“People Watch: Businesses cited for the art of giving”

“Betty does the heavy lifting each day on behalf of the arts community and is the one who pulls it all together,” said Orange County Business Committee for the Arts chairman and Emulex Corp. executive chairman Paul Folino at the organization’s 25th annual “Business in the Arts” Awards on Nov. 19 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel.

Betty Moss, OCBCA’s founding executive director, was feted for her work, saying, “Nothing is ever done without many people helping.” She credited Fluor Corp.’s David Tappen with asking her to start the effort and her assistant Kathleen Burchardt for her amazing support. “I’m overwhelmed,” she said tearfully.

Guest of honor Dr. James Doti, president of Chapman University, offered statistics about business support of the arts in Orange County from a recent four-year Economic Impact of the Arts Study he co-authored with OCBCA.

“Individual and corporate contributions increased from $16 million to $23 million – an increase of 44 percent – and that doesn’t include all the capital gifts that go to bricks and mortar,” he reported.

Businesses honored included East West Bank, Gemini Industries Inc., Narratus Inc., Haskell & White LLP, South Coast Plaza, Tiffany & Co., Bank of America, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Target and Wells Fargo Bank.

The Arts Award was presented to Saint Joseph Ballet, along with a $2,500 cash grant from Hanford Hotels.

Lodging Establishments of Laguna Beach received a Special Recognition Award for their $2.5 million in contributions to the arts in Laguna Beach through a voluntary assessment.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to The Boeing Co., with Gary Toyoma , vice president, accepting. Folino said of the 12 businesses honored, “They collectively allocated an average of 52 percent of their total philanthropic dollars to the arts, and that doesn’t include in-kind services totaling more than $2.7 million.”

Each honoree received a commissioned etched crystal piece, designed exclusively for OCBCA by Tiffany & Co. The close to 300 guests later enjoyed a delicious gourmet dinner at The Ritz Restaurant and Garden.