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Legacy Award
Sue & Ralph Stern

Sue and Ralph Stern’s legacy of giving is impressive, with Sue bringing her commitment to youth-in-need causes to the marriage. Launching, running and eventually selling three companies and acquiring another didn’t deter Ralph from partnering with Sue to support causes as diverse as cancer research (Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Clinical Trials and Research at UCI’s Chao Family Cancer Center and the endowed chair of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at UCI), integrative health (advisory boards of UCI Health and UCI’s Samueli College of Health Sciences), endowed Chair of Holocaust Education at Chapman University, funding a community center in Uganda, and creating and funding a medically trained clown program for hospitalized children at CHOC. Sue continues her longtime commitment to Girls Inc., is trustee emeritus at SCR, and an Angels of the Arts board member. Ralph was the overall chairman of construction and funding of the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and Tarbut vTorah middle and high schools, and is former president and board member of the Jewish Community Foundation.

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“A man questioned why G-d allows poverty, suffering and injustice; and was told to ask G-d. ‘I’m afraid He will ask me the same question in return.'” – the Sterns’ favorite quote

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Nominated By: Girls Incorporated Orange County, Jewish Community Center of Orange County, UC Irvine
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Outstanding Philanthropist
Keith Swayne

Retiring from a successful career as an entrepreneur and CEO in 2000 didn’t stop Keith Swayne from engaging in numerous advisory and board positions in a variety of business and nonprofit organizations. His current nonprofit affiliations include Orange County Human Relations Community Partners co-founder; UCI MIND Leadership Council, Family Foundation Alliance of Orange County co-founder, and Orange County Community Foundation Board of Governors and board chair. Keith and his late wife Judy co-founded the Keith and Judy Swayne Foundation in 2005. Previous affiliations include Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach board chair and capital campaign co-chair; Boys and Girls Club of America National Trustee; NatureBridge board member and development chair, University of Oregon’s College of Arts and Science Dean’s Advisory Board; Whittier College Trustee. Awards include a statewide award from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, a statewide Civil Rights Leadership Award, and recognition locally by the Orange County Congregation Community Organization, Human Options, The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Central Orange Coast and UCI MIND.

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“I choose to offer my time and resources to help others and to address issues in our community. I am immensely grateful to have this opportunity.” – Keith Swayne

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Nominated By: Orange County Human Relations, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast, UCI MIND, Orange County Community Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Orange County Congregation Community Organization
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Outstanding Philanthropic Group
Junior League of Orange County

Junior League of Orange County, CA (JLOCC) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of its trained volunteers. Members of JLOCC share a vision of a community in which the health, safety, and education of all individuals are promoted and supported. For over 60 years, JLOCC has provided its members with training, leadership skills, and opportunities to make a difference in the community. The organization’s areas of focus include improving lives of foster youth and victims of human trafficking through education, direct service, monetary donations, and legislative and community advocacy. Current projects and partners include: Orangewood Foundation (Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities Program and Samueli Academy), Junior League Juniors Program, Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, Grandma’s House of Hope, Crittenton Services, and Impact Orange County. JLOCC is a diverse group of over 400 women that include community leaders, business owners, mothers and professional women, whose members collectively volunteer over 25,000 hours of their time annually.

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“Junior League of Orange County, CA is thrilled to receive this award and to be recognized for our impact in the community” – Jennifer Jackson, President, Junior League of Orange County

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Nominated By: Christina Markl
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Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
Dr. Adrienne Matros

Adrienne Matros is a licensed clinical psychologist who lives in Orange County with her family. She serves on the board of directors for several nonprofits that include CHOC Children’s Foundation, Merage Jewish Community Center (JCC), Tilly’s Life Center, JCC Association of North America and Aleh-Negev Board of Governors (Israel). The various committees and organizations Adrienne volunteers with are primarily focused on children and youth. She tirelessly volunteers most days of the week and considers it a wonderful opportunity. Since moving to Orange County in 2001, she says she has had some incredible role models, who have encouraged her to get involved. She says that every organization she financially contributes to on a philanthropic level is an organization where she devotes her time and volunteers on a regular basis. The organizations include the Merage Jewish Community Center (JCC Cares volunteer program), Orangewood (Samueli Academy), Covenant House California, CHOC’s Mental Health Advocacy Committee, Girls Inc., Jewish National Fund Disabilities Task Force, Global JCC (an international teen engagement program) and IsraAID’s International Disaster Relief Program.

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“Paying it forward is what life is all about. The greatest joy of volunteering is knowing that I have made a positive difference in someone’s life!” – Dr. Adrienne Matros

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Nominated By: CHOC Children’s Foundation
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Outstanding Founder
Bill Bracken, Bracken’s Kitchen

Following a 35-year career as executive chef at five-star luxury hotels in Southern California, Bill Bracken found his true calling in 2013 when he launched Bracken’s Kitchen through his mobile food truck called Betsy. He developed partnerships with some of the country’s top food vendors and joined forces with food recovery organizations in the fight to redirect perfectly good food, before going to trash bins, to his commercial kitchen with hundreds of volunteers in Garden Grove. More than 30,000 nutritious, wholesome, hearty meals are served per month. He does so with partnerships with Chefs to End Hunger and Solutions for Urban Agriculture. And, Roosters Foundation of Orange County’s Adopt-a-Kitchen event brings its members to Bracken’s Kitchen to prepare 1,000 meals for Veteran Outreach and children’s organizations. Bracken also trains young chefs through his Culinary Training Program. His mission: Through food recovery, culinary training and a community feeding program, he is committed to recovering, re-purposing and restoring both food and lives.

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“Before we can give refuge to the poor, educate our young, heal our sick or offer hope to the afflicted, we must be able to feed them.” – Bill’s favorite quote

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Nominated By: Roosters Foundation of Orange County, Solutions for Urban Agriculture, Chefs to End Hunger
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Outstanding Corporation or Business, Small (1-50 employees)
Apriem Advisors

Founded in 1998, Apriem Advisors is an independent, registered investment advisor firm, which manages over $725 million for hundreds of families. Direct donations and tireless volunteering come from all levels of the firm, as Apriem serves as their partner in philanthropy. Through World Vision, founding partner Harmon Kong helps children, families and their communities overcome poverty and injustice in developing nations, while partner Rhonda Ducote, who founded Apriem’s Women of Wisdom initiative, conducts free monthly seminars to help educate and empower women in family finances. Apriem executives are active board participants: Ducote for Southern California Hospice Foundation and Ducote and Kong for UCI’s Center for Investment and Wealth Management and Art4Kids; VP Landon Yoshida for Cal State Long Beach’s College of Business and Biola University’s Crowell School of Business; and VP Jennifer Olson for the Auxiliary Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire. Apriem is part of 100 Companies Who Care, a nonprofit that enables members to harness their collective synergy to make a larger impact on the community.

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“We believe it’s better to give than to receive. It is our joy to share our time, treasure and talents to those in need.” – Rhonda Ducote and Harmon Kong, Partners, Apriem Advisors

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Nominated By: Southern California Hospice Foundation, HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications
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Outstanding Corporation or Business, Mid-Size (51-499 employees)
Balboa Bay Resort & Club

Balboa Bay Resort is Newport Beach’s only Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond waterfront resort, and the Balboa Bay Club has been celebrated for more than 70 years as a landmark social haven. Resort and Club owners, the Pickup and Martin families, are enthusiastic and involved philanthropists who provide financial support to local nonprofits, create fundraising initiatives and inspire their employees to volunteer and help others. Benefiting are Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, both financially and through the leadership of Todd and Natalie Pickup, and Orange County School of the Arts. Kevin Martin and his family support First Tee of Orange County and KidWorks. Richard Pickup made a $15 million donation to Hoag’s Neurosciences Institute, Carole Pickup was a driving force in finding a kidney for a Resort employee, and the 1221 Club, the Club’s women’s group, provides scholarships for Newport Mesa graduating seniors. Other support includes New Directions for Women and Newport Beach fire and police departments. Employees help with underwater bay cleanup and support a charity annually of their choosing.

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“Balboa Bay Resort & Club inspires a culture of giving through charitable contributions by ownership, community involvement and employee supported programs.” – Sam El-Rabaa, General Manager, Balboa Bay Resort; Leticia Rice, General Manager, Balboa Bay Club

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Nominated By: New Directions for Women, Orange County School of the Arts
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Outstanding Corporation or Business, Large (500+ employees)
Clark Construction

Clark Construction has been helping their clients build for over a century. Their 4,200 employees are spread across offices and job sites throughout the United States, and their values guide the way they do business. They proudly deliver projects that strengthen the fabric of our communities, including housing facilities for military families and hospitals for veterans. Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is also an integral part of Clark’s corporate culture. Their giving transcends simple checkbook philanthropy; they believe that the deed is just as important as the dollar, and through their volunteer work, fundraising, and pro bono efforts, they aim to make lasting positive impact that will benefit communities for years to come. Over the past decade, Clark’s Western Region has donated more than $5 million and thousands of hours in volunteer work. A partial list includes Taller San Jose Hope Builders, Habitat for Humanity LA/San Diego, ACE Mentor Program, CHOC, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, Irvine Animal Care Center, Illumination Foundation, and much more.

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“Clark is passionate about making a difference. Beyond dollars, our people are tireless volunteers–always ready to roll up their sleeves and help their neighbors.” Carlos Gonzalez, Regional Executive Officer/Senior Vice President

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Nominated By: Taller San Jose Hope Builders
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Outstanding Youth
Hannah Novakovich

Seventeen-year-old Hannah Novakovich is a leader. At her school, Pacifica Christian High School in Newport Beach, she was elected National Honor Society VP by her peers to organize student volunteer activities, elected Admissions Prefect by her teachers to organize welcome events for new students, launched two bands to perform for the school’s Art Showcases, founded a Fashion Club, and was an accomplished volleyball (team captain) and soccer player (team reached CIF playoffs). Through Grace Fellowship Church in Costa Mesa, she plays guitar in the worship band and is part of the team leading worship. Her work with nonprofits include Families Forward, Samaritan’s Purse and Mercy House, where she collected and prepared hygiene and school supplies as well as Christmas gifts for families. Her work with Thomas House Family Shelter, where she initiated sewing classes for children, taught her how much her time and energy meant to making a positive impact on children’s lives. She received the Cooperation for National and Community Service’s Presidential Volunteer Bronze Service Award for her leadership and community service.

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“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – CS Lewis; Hannah’s favorite quote

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Nominated By: Thomas House Family Shelter

Honorees