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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022


Expect the smell of Skyline Chili in the air over the next week, as Cincinnati Bengal fans make their way to SoCal for the Super Bowl in Inglewood.

There are plenty of Bengal ties already in the area, as seen in Peter J. Brennan’s feature on ex-NFL players making their way in OC’s business world. See page 1 for more on the business success of Jordan Palmer and Morgan Trent, among others.

Quarterback whisperer Palmer (who backed up older brother Carson Palmer while in Cincinnati) is in expansion mode: the Laguna Niguel resident and Mission Viejo High School grad plans to get an office together with Rx3, the Newport Beach private equity firm that attracts professional athletes seeking investments, he tells Brennan.

Palmer, whose best friend is Rx3 co-founder Nate Raabe, says they plan to share office space near the Marbella Country Club in San Juan Capistrano.  

Besides Raabe, the other two R’s in Rx3 are Byron Roth, owner of the biggest investment bank headquartered in Orange County; and Aaron Rodgers, currently the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.


Notable Super Bowl events taking place in the area over the next week include the Warrick Dunn Charities Wine Classic, scheduled for Feb. 8 at Rancho Capistrano Winery in San Juan Capistrano.

The three-time NFL Pro Bowler and limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons is raising funds for his charity which helps single-parent families become homeowners through its Home for the Holidays program.

The event is expected to attract several former players, including local entrepreneur Will Blackmon, who won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants, and now runs a company called The Wine MVP. Tickets run $150.

The largest local party on tap for the big game? Possibly the all-day Super Bowl party for 600 military personnel being held at the American Legion Newport Harbor, Post 291.

The event is being hosted by Gary and Julie Crisp, owners of Costa Mesa-based digital printing firm Crisp Imaging. It’s their 11th such party; this year’s version will count 300 Camp Pendleton active-duty Marines, and 300 veterans, sponsors and support staff. The USC marching band will be on hand, according to the event organizers.

Next week’s Business Journal features our annual list of the Largest Charitable Gifts in OC; preliminary data shows nearly $400 million in giving over the past year from nearly 90 gifts $1 million or higher, with local colleges drawing the biggest amount of donations.

The top of the list sees a newly announced gift: The estate of Audrey Steele Burnand just disclosed a $57.8 million donation to UCI.

More than $55 million of the gift is to fund the creation of a new center at UCI that will pursue research into the causes and treatment of depression. It’s believed to be the largest philanthropic donation to a U.S. university to support research focused solely on depression, the school says.

For more on the donation and others, see next week’s print edition.

Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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