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COAST, CENTRAL, AND NORTHWEST CITIES : STANTON

Volunteer Rick Muth Chosen for Citizen of Year Award

March 03, 2000|JUDY SILBER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Carrying on the family tradition of community service, Rick Muth, president of Orco Block Company Inc., was awarded the Cypress College Foundation's Citizen of the Year Award for Stanton last week.

"I inherited [the legacy of community service], and I enjoy doing it," Muth said. "I like doing something positive, something that helps perpetuate some good."

Muth, 50, is being recognized for his humanitarian contributions to Stanton. Orco Block sets aside a portion of its profits for charity donations and Muth serves on the Stanton Boys and Girls Club's board of directors. In addition, Muth is an executive board member for the Orange County Performing Arts Center and helps coach the Santa Ana College track team.

Muth also inherited his job from his father, who together with Muth's uncle, grandfather and another partner, helped found Orco Block in 1946. The family saw an opportunity in Southern California's growth and began making concrete blocks used for walls and industrial buildings. Muth says he has worked almost every job at the company, beginning with picking up broken blocks in the company yard during grade school.

The tradition of community service began with his maternal grandfather, who served in the Montana state government, Muth said. His parents, Peter and Mary Muth, also have strong humanitarian values. They started the policy of donating 5% of Orco Block's gross profits to charities and in June, the doors to the Upper Newport Bay Interpretive Center in Newport Beach will open, thanks in part to the elder Muths' $1-million donation.

Aside from the fact that he believes in what he does, Muth said the nonprofit activities are good for building management skills. At a company, employees follow their bosses' orders simply because they must. "But when people aren't being paid, all you have is the power of persuasion," Muth said.

Muth said that although his own children may not work at Orco Block, they won't break the family tradition of community service because they already volunteer at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

Judy Silber can be reached at (714) 966-5988.

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