Six years ago I received a personal invitation to the Orange Catholic Foundation’s Conference on Business & Ethics. At the time, I had no idea what the Orange Catholic Foundation was and attended solely at the suggestion of my friend. Fast forward to today. That friend, Alan Arnold, is now the chairman of the Orange Catholic Foundation, and I am in my sixth year as director of development and communications. I have had the privilege of helping orchestrate the past five conferences. My takeaway? Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit or, for that matter, of the Orange Catholic Foundation’s Conference on Business & Ethics.
Our 15th Annual Conference on Business & Ethics opened Friday morning, May 12, to a capacity audience of 1,100 people at the Anaheim Hilton. More than 500 were logged on to view the live webcast.
The keynote speaker, Emmy Award-winning actress Patricia Heaton, spoke candidly about the ups and downs of her personal, professional, and spiritual life. Her comments, wonderfully delivered with just the right amount of humor, seemed to resonate with everyone in the audience. Dodger baseball legend, Vin Scully received the Farmers & Merchants Lifetime Achievement Award and shared several poignant, yet humorous stories that touched the hearts of everyone in the ballroom.
Receiving the Bishop’s Award for Exemplary Business Integrity were: Annette Walker, president of strategy, Providence St. Joseph Health, and chief executive of St. Joseph Health; and Christopher Furman, president and CEO of Ventura Foods. The day of the event also marked the 33rd wedding anniversary of Christopher and Monica Furman. Taking advantage of the situation, Bishop Vann surprised Monica by having her take the stage with Christopher and blessed their marriage.
In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, everyone attending the Conference on Business & Ethics received a one-decade rosary and a two-CD set of Vin Scully narrating all five mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary. Father Steve Sallot, the vicar general, along with Bishop Vann, Vin Scully, Patricia Heaton, and a host of guests including Mike Scioscia, came on stage to help close the conference with a decade of the rosary and the Fatima Prayer.
The purpose of the Conference on Business & Ethics is to raise funds to provide financial assistance for students in the Diocese of Orange who desire, but otherwise cannot afford, a Catholic education. One hundred percent of the net profits from this event support tuition assistance with 80% granted the following school year and 20% invested in our Tuition Assistance Endowment. Although at press time we don’t have an audited statement, we are confident that after all expenses, this event will net in excess of $500,000, an all-time record!
Visit OrangeCatholicFoundation.org to view Conference videos.