Lido Isle’s buzz is growing: see Kaitlin Aquino’s front-page story for more on a record-breaking home sale on the 875-home neighborhood.
About 100 execs and entrepreneurs from the International Executive Council last week gathered at the home of the island’s best-known business exec, Palmer Luckey, to hear Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier speak about his space tourism company (NYSE: SPCE), which has begun taking paying customers about 50 miles above the Earth.
Colglazier told the audience that he transferred the emphasis on safety from his prior job running Disney’s parks to Virgin Galactic; space flights between airports around the world won’t be possible until a new propulsion system is developed; and there are eight times more Oscar winners than astronauts.
Colglazier gave his hour-long presentation on a 135-inch video LED screen from Brea’s ViewSonic Americas, whose president, Jeff Volpe, elicited “oohs” and “ahhs” when he showed how the giant screen could be folded into a smaller box.
Volpe pitched the executives to buy one, saying that the large screens would be ideal for lobbies of their businesses, our Peter J. Brennan reports.
See page 17 for more on the rapidly growing local employee count at Luckey’s Costa Mesa-based Anduril Industries, which is part of the new wave of aerospace and defense firms making their mark in OC.
Park Kennedy made his mark in his 20s while at USC; the econ grad was a two-year letterman in track and field.
Several decades later, Kennedy, the chairman emeritus of Santa Ana title company giant First American Financial Corp. (NYSE: FAF), has set some records at another school, Orange’s Chapman University, where he now chairs its board of trustees.
A $15M gift from Kennedy to Chapman’s Fowler School of Law, announced on Aug. 24, is one of the largest gifts in the law school’s history.
$10M of the gift is designated for student recruitment and scholarships to bring top talent to the law school, and an additional $1M will elevate the Parker S. Kennedy Professor of Law to the Parker S. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Law. The rest of the funds’ use will be disclosed later, the school said.
The announcement came during a welcome reception for new law school Dean Paul Paton, and brought some positive news to the law school. Former dean John Eastman, who is no longer associated with the school, was booked in Georgia earlier that week for his role in the 2020 election interference case.
Kennedy’s gift strengthens the ties between OC’s oldest company and Chapman. His father, the late Donald Kennedy, the grandson of company founder C.E. Parker, was a large backer of the university and its law school.
Chapman President Emeritus and Econ Professor Jim Doti serves on the board of First American, which counted a $6.3B valuation as of last week. Another board member, Reggie Gilyard, was dean of the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman from 2012 to 2017.
Kennedy counts a 2.6% stake in First American, now worth about $165M, according to the company’s latest proxy statement.