Twelve Business in the Arts awards were presented Sunday at an event that honored "people who care about things that last," said Frank Wells, president and chief operating officer of the Walt Disney Co.
About 320 people, many of them leading members of Orange County's business and arts community, attended the 11th-annual awards ceremony presented at Pacific Mutual in Newport Beach by the Orange County Business Committee for the Arts. The $200-per-person affair included dinner at the Ritz restaurant after the presentations.
Nourishing the Spirit
The evening paid homage to businesses that have demonstrated outstanding support of the arts--despite the pinch of the recession.
"With the ever-tightening government budgets, if corporate America is not going to continue and expand its role of being great patrons of the arts, who will be?" asked Wells, the evening's keynote speaker. "It's corporate America's responsibility, pure and simple."
Businesses heeding that responsibility were honored with the committee's Distinguished Achievement Awards for contributions made from July 1991 through June 1992.
"This year, times have been very tough," said award-winner James Glabman, chairman of the board of Glabman Furniture. "We felt this year in particular we shouldn't ignore the arts. Arts bring so much beauty into people's lives."
Said award-winner Peter Ochs, chairman and chief executive officer of the Fieldstone Co.: "The arts help to bring spirit and joy, especially in times like these when that spirit may be lacking."
Ochs and Wells presented crystal statues to the winners. First-time awards were given to Robert Gumbiner, chairman of the board of FHP Health Care, and Kazuo Sonoguchi, president of Mazda Motor of America Inc.
Return award winners included Michael Kang, owner of Five Feet and Five Feet Too restaurants; Jo Ellen Qualls, vice president of Tiffany & Co.; Harold Schultz, managing partner with Coopers & Lybrand; and Greg Lindstrom, partner with Latham & Watkins.
"It's exciting to be a winner in this group," Qualls said. "So many businesses do so much for the arts."
Distinguished Achievement Awards, presented to those who have won the first-time award and at least two return awards, were given to the Fieldstone Co.; Henry Segerstrom, managing partner of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons; Vince Kontny, president and chief operating officer of the Fluor Corp.; R. David Threshie, publisher of the Orange County Register; and Carol Stogsdill, editor of The Times, Orange County.
Stop-Gap, a 13-year-old theater company that uses drama for education and therapy, received the Arts Award, given each year to an Orange County nonprofit arts group that has developed innovative partnerships with business. David Todd, managing partner with Price Waterhouse, presented a $1,500 cash grant to the company.
After the awards ceremony, guests adjourned to the nearby Ritz, where they dined on Maine lobster and crab cakes, grilled sirloin of Colorado lamb, hazelnut souffle and warm pear \o7 en chemise.\f7
The local committee was founded in 1981 by its executive director, Betty Moss, and David Tappan, former chairman of the board for the Fluor Corp.
Award selections are based on an entrant's contribution of financial support, quality and scope of the program, involvement of company personnel and impact of support on the arts group, community and company.
Also among the guests were: Zee Allred, Donald and Joan Beall, Victoria Bryan, Harry and Berdie Bubb, James and Lynne Doti, David Emmes, Arden Flamson, Sir Eldon and Lady Betty Griffiths, Larry and Dee Higby, Pat House, Peter Keller, Jerry Kenny, Don and Grace Laffoon, Jack and Belle Lindquist, John Martin, Chris Massey, Jack and Jan Massimino, Ron and Kathy Merriman, Fred and Joan Mickelson, Albert and Tricia Nichols, Tom and Marilyn Nielsen, Peter and Dorothea Perrin, Renee Segerstrom, Toren Segerstrom, John and Elizabeth Stahr, Tom and Marilyn Sutton, Dick and Myrna Tripp, Erich Vollmer and Betty Hutton Williams.