Jay Burress had a lot of good news to go over on his first full year as president and CEO of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. Business events booked in 2013: up 10% to 495, counting gatherings that brought 50 or more hotel nights. Actual room nights for the year: up 2% to 805,793. OC drew 44.3 million visitors last year, and they spent $9.5 billion here, according to the bureau’s research. Burress did his own math to give the crowd of hospitality pros and public officials at the bureau’s annual meeting last week at the City National Grove his favorite number: $1.1 million—every hour of every day. That’s about the pace of spending that visitors maintained over the year. Here’s another way to look at it—tourists spent about as much as the bureau’s annual budget by 2 p.m on Jan. 1 … Here’s a switch—last week was all about fundraising for UC Irvine and all about personnel at Chapman University in Orange … Let’s start with Chapman, where President Jim Doti has recommended Chancellor Daniele Struppa as his successor. The 67-year-old Doti—president since 1991 and a fundraising dynamo whose tenure has seen a big rise in Chapman’s performance and profile—indicated he has no set plans for retirement. His recommendation has gone to Chapman’s trustees, who plan to gauge faculty sentiment … UCI is making like Doti on fundraising as its gets ready to bid farewell to Chancellor Michael Drake, who’s bound for Ohio State this summer. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Howard Gillman, who will step in as interim chancellor between Drake’s departure and a new hire, got the ball rolling last week with word of a $5 million gift from the Beall Family Foundation for a new center intended to boost efforts to get UCI research into the marketplace (see story, upper right) … Then came news of another $5 million gift—this one for a Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials and Research at UCI Health’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center … UCI rounded out a big week with news that N.Y.-based private equity firm Blackstone Group looked beyond L.A. for a $3.5 million gift it hopes will spur entrepreneurship at the campus level. The Anteaters will share the gift with UCLA and USC—where Gilman served as dean of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences before coming to UCI last year. UCI will put its cut toward a Launchpad program modeled after an earlier effort at the University of Miami … Rockwell Collins Chairman Emeritus Don Beall was a big backer of UCI long before last week, and he and wife, Joan, will be honored next week by the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, home of the Beall Center for the Arts and Technology. It’s just the third Claire Trevor Star to be awarded, and word around campus says this one will come with quite a performance for the March 10 event at the theater named for the late actress and stepmother of Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren. Plenty of well-known corporations and couples are supporting the event, including Rockwell, Applied Medical, Boeing, Microsemi, Vizio, Emulex, First American, George and Julia Argyros, Jim and Kelly Mazzo, Paul and Elizabeth Merage, Jim and Vivian McCluney, and Chuck and Twyla Martin.
Burress by the Hour; Doti’s Roadmap; Bealls’ Starry Night
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