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RSVP / ORANGE COUNTY : A Starring Double Bill : Movers and Shakers Get Round of Applause for Their Role as Patrons of the Arts

November 24, 1994|KATHRYN BOLD

A small chain of furniture stores and a food industry giant were among 12 businesses recognized for their contributions to local arts organizations by the Orange County Business Committee for the Arts.

More than 300 guests, including many of Orange County's leading movers and shakers, gathered Sunday at the Pacific Mutual building in Newport Beach for the OCBCA's 13th annual Business in the Arts Awards ceremony. After the awards, guests headed to the nearby Ritz restaurant for a dinner of lobster salad and roast beef.

Key Notes

"How did I find myself doing this on a Sunday night?" That was the question posed by the keynote speaker, Henry Wendt, retired chairman of the board of SmithKline Beecham and owner of the Quivira Vineyard and Winery.

His reason for being there soon became clear: to tout the mutually beneficial relationship between business and the arts.

"The very idea of a partnership between business and the arts is a very American concept," he said. "It has no counterpart anywhere in the world."

With the recent political events and calls for less government, he noted, "investing in intellectual capital" is more important than ever.

"We can expect to see less support from government for the arts," Wendt said.

Saluting the Winners

OCBCA Chairman George Argyros handed out to winners the crystal trophies designed by Tiffany & Co.

The law firm of O'Melveny & Myers (represented by senior litigation partner James Selna) and Yamaha Corp. of America (represented by Masahiko Arimoto, president) received First Time Awards.

"All art institutions have lots of difficult problems with the declining economy. Governments have higher priorities these days," Selna said. He said it's up to businesses to support the arts not only with money, but also with their time and resources.

Disneyland and Taco Bell Corp. received Return Awards, and Distinguished Achievement Awards went to Glabman Furniture, Tiffany & Co., the Fieldstone Company, Latham & Watkins, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, the Orange County Register, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. and The Times Orange County.

The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art received the Arts Award, given to a local nonprofit organization that has successfully forged innovative partnerships with area businesses.

"We couldn't get along without them," said Patricia House, director of development for the Bowers. "The public can only afford to give so much. It's up to the private sector to support art and culture."

A special Award of Distinction for Development and Production in Arts and Education was given to KOCE-TV, Channel 50, Orange County Public Television.

Key Players

This year's judges who attended were: Catherine Michaels, executive director of the Children's Museum at La Habra; Fred Mickelson, regional vice president of Southern California Edison Co.; Albert Nichols, chairman emeritus of Corning Nichols Institute and director of the Corning Life Sciences Inc., and Terry Van Gorder, president and chief executive officer of Knott's Berry Farm.

The Orange County Business Committee for the Arts is part of a national organization started in 1967 by David Rockefeller to foster business support for the arts. To date, the committee has presented 148 awards to local businesses and honored 19 arts groups.

Accepting awards on behalf of their companies were: Jack Lindquist, past president of Disneyland, and Norm Doerges, executive vice president; Charlie Rogers, senior vice president of Taco Bell; James Glabman, chairman of Glabman Furniture; Jo Ellen Qualls, vice president of Tiffany & Co.; Peter Ochs, chairman of Fieldstone; Gregory Lindstrom, partner with Latham & Watkins; Henry Segerstrom, co-managing partner of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons; John Schueler, executive vice president and general manager of the Orange County Register; Thomas Sutton, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Pacific Mutual; Judith Sweeney, president of The Times Orange County; Peter Keller, executive director of the Bowers, and Rochelle McReynolds, director of major gifts and grants for KOCE-TV.

Other faces in the crowd were Betty Moss, founding executive director of the OCBCA; Chris and Pam Massey, Judie Argyros, Peter and Mary Muth, Jeanne and David Tappan, Barbara Glabman, Betty Hutton Williams, Jim and Lynn Doti, John and Elizabeth Stahr, Michael and Harriet Botwinick, Tom Tomlinson, Harry and Berdie Bubb, Gavin and Ninetta Herbert, Renee Segerstrom and Rick and Alison Stein.

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