Business Insider

Donald Trump hands another ambassadorship to a member of his Mar-a-Lago resort that costs US$200,000 to join

  • Lana Marks is likely best known as a handbag designer. Her sought-after bags can cost as much as US$400,000.
  • Marks is the fourth member of the Mar-a-Lago club Trump has tapped for an ambassadorship
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 1:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 1:14pm

The nomination of Lana Marks as ambassador to South Africa, yet another Mar-a-Lago member tapped for such an honour, is certain to raise some uncomfortable questions about whether US President Donald Trump is rewarding long-time members of his exclusive, a pricey, Mar-a-Lago club.

In a statement from the White House, Wednesday, Trump announced several new appointments to key administration posts, including that of Marks.

Lana Marks is the founder, chief executive and of Lana Marks Inc, a luxury fashion accessories company.

Rather than crossing swords with honorary consuls or hosting royals for high tea, Marks is best known for her high-dollar handbags.

According to the Palm Beach Daily News, the South African-born entrepreneur has a legacy of lawsuits, past and present.

“In more than a dozen past lawsuits against her in Aspen, New York, California and South Florida, Marks has repeatedly been accused of stiffing her attorneys, accountants, landlords and employees. She is also embroiled in bitter, international legal battles in South Africa and Israel with her siblings over a family trust and the care for their 89-year-old mother.”

According to the White House, Marks has served on the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Women’s International Forum for more than a decade.

The Afrikaans and Xhosa-speaking couture designer attended the University of the Witwatersrand and the Institute of Personnel Management in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Marks is the fourth Mar-a-Lago member, which costs US$200,000 to join, to earn a nod from the president for an ambassadorial posting

The other Mar-a-Lago members tapped by Trump for diplomatic posts:

  • Robin Bernstein, a founding member of Mar-a-Lago: Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
  • Patrick Park: Appointed ambassador to Austria but declined the honour.
  • Brian Burns: Appointed ambassador to Ireland but said no for health reasons.