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Irvine Co. Names New Community Relations Official


The Irvine Co. said it has named former Los Angeles Olympic Committee Vice President Frank L. Smith to the newly created post of community relations vice president.

Prior to joining the Irvine Co., Smith, 42, served briefly as president of the Orange County Centennial, a special committee charged with developing a celebration of the county's 100th birthday. Earlier, Smith had served as executive director of the Orange County Economic Development Corp., a business development group that ceased operation last year.

Smith's appointment appears to further distance Irvine Co. Vice Chairman Thomas Nielsen from local community relations responsibilities. Nielsen, who was named company president in 1983, was removed from day-to-day administrative chores at the company in June as part of an administrative reorganization. He was assigned to community relations projects, including securing government approvals for development projects.

Then in September, Nielsen was named one of several Irvine Co. vice chairmen. Still, Irvine Co. chairman and majority shareholder Donald Bren said Nielsen would continue to serve as the company's principal spokesman.

However, in announcing Smith's appointment, the company said he will be responsible for "building and maintaining an effective and innovative Irvine community relations program." Nielsen, a spokesman said, would continue to handle community relations "on a broad scale."

Further, the spokesman said that Nielsen, currently on vacation, "will continue to function fairly independently."

The new move comes just 3 1/2 months after the company, Orange County's largest land owner and developer, lost a special election in Newport Beach to expand its Newport Center shopping and office complex.

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