Orange County Business Council Celebrates 25 Years Of Innovative Solutions At 2020 Annual Dinner

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OCBC Installs Joe Hensley as 2020 Chair

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Orange County’s infinite possibilities and innovative solutions were on full display on Thursday, February 6, as over 650 business executives, academic leaders, and elected officials celebrated Orange County Business Council’s 25th Anniversary Annual Dinner and Installation of the 2020 Board of Directors. In addition, Joe Hensley, Market President of Orange County for U.S. Bank, was sworn in as Chair of OCBC’s Board of Directors.

With Steve Churm, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs of FivePoint Holdings, LLC, serving as the evening’s emcee, the night featured a special keynote presentation by Richard Davis, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish, who urged the audience to tell the story of Orange County.

“Orange County is remarkable; it’s got remarkable statistics, and remarkable people – we just need to tell the story better,” Davis said. “We’re in this room today because we had OCBC, who 25 years ago, stood up and owned it as an advocate for this County, and we are empowered by OCBC to continue telling that story in the future.”

OCBC celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, and the event honored its legacy with a special tribute video– which highlighted its predecessor organizations that formed over 100 years ago with the foundation of the county, to the merger of these organizations in 1995 alongside the county government’s bankruptcy, testing the merits of OCBC immediately. Over the past 25 years, OCBC’s broad contributions to the county have been clear, from billions in infrastructure funding, to new affordable housing projects, groundbreaking research, economic development, and exceptional leadership. To view the video, click here.

Many leaders who paved OCBC’s history were thanked and acknowledged during the event, but one man’s over 20 years of leadership and service to the organization – Thomas Phelps of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLC – was honored with the inaugural Thomas D. Phelps Leadership Award. Mr. Phelps’ remarkable philanthropy was also recognized with the Orange County Community Foundation’s 2020 Power-Packed Philanthropy Award.

In addition, in recognition of its 2020 theme: “Orange County: Infinite Possibilities. Innovative Solutions,” OCBC also highlighted Orange County’s resiliency and resources – from the county government’s bankruptcy in 1995, known as the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, to its now booming 21st-century global economy, with the lowest unemployment rate among peer regions, and a GDP larger than 28 states in the union.

“Over the past 25 years, Orange County has grown into an economic powerhouse – a community with style, culture, and taste all its own,” said Lucy Dunn, OCBC President and CEO. “We have seen a period of substantial growth… but we still have work to do. With you, OCBC will foster infinite possibilities and find just the right innovative solutions to ensure the region’s continuing prosperity and high quality of life in the next 25 years and beyond.”

Outgoing Chair Robbin Narike Preciado was honored for her fantastic leadership in 2019 under the theme “The Art of Business. The Business of Art.”

Said Preciado, “We have a diverse, robust economy, and it is because of all of you in this room.”

Newly installed board chair Joe Hensley heralded Orange County as a place “to find experts and imagination… Look no further than Orange County – we have created the world’s best companies, universities, and the happiest place on Earth.”

“Let’s celebrate not just OCBC’s 25 years of success, but the county’s success and our individual successes,” Hensley said. “And let’s celebrate the possibilities and innovation coming to us over the next 25 years with a bright future to look forward to.”

About OCBC:
Orange County Business Council represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC is comprised of the region’s most influential global businesses and organizations in the region, working to assure effective investment in infrastructure, an advanced education system that produces skilled workers, growth of venture capital and high tech companies, and housing solutions for the workforce. OCBC membership is comprised of some of the world’s largest global corporate leaders as well as representation from local government and academia. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Catherine Harper
Communications Manager

SOURCE Orange County Business Council

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