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COVER STORY
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Lucy dunn & the ocbc, continued ...Published: July 01, 2011

Enter the OCBC and Lucy Dunn. It is this backdrop of business unrest and uncertainty that has opened the door for Dunn & Co. to emerge as the county’s most formidable weapon in its push to compete for new business – not just in California or the nation, but globally. During the past five months, Dunn and her staff have hosted 13 delegations of 
Chinese business leaders who have toured major Orange County companies and landmarks. On another front, the business council is reinforcing efforts by Santa Ana officials to help permanently relocate Chivas, a Major League Soccer franchise, from Carson (just up the 405 Freeway) to the county seat, and with it a worldwide base of 45 million fans, particularly south of the border in Mexico and Latin America. The marketing exposure for Orange County, some speculate, could be enormous.
   
“We will be the Orange County welcome wagon,” Dunn proclaims, her mind racing as she ponders the possibilities. “We get lots of inquiries from the Pacific Rim, France, Turkey, Dubai. We’ve hosted international delegations interested in investing in Orange County; there is a very strong global market here.”
   
Dunn’s road map to rebuilding the region’s economy and boosting Orange County’s own business fortunes is not a one-way street ending at the OCBC’s Irvine headquarters. She is clearly constructing a superhighway that is carrying the group’s influence well beyond the county line. Her keen sense of collaboration and rich resume of public service on the state level has led her to form ties with some of the most powerful business development organizations throughout the state, including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Together, Dunn and others crusading on behalf of business have won passage or key endorsements for legislation on education reform, water policy and public-private partnerships, all in the name of jump-starting California’s stalled economic outlook.
   
Closer to home, Dunn and her team helped land $457 million in state transportation funds for O.C. last year and saving taxpayers $20 million in 2009 by proposing a faster timeline adopted by local transit officials for construction on the 91 Freeway. 
   
“Am I bullish on California?” she asks. “Absolutely. I have to be. I have to be a cheerleader. There is no choice. Look at California as a whole, with 2 million people out of work and how many hundreds of thousands more who are underemployed or who have just given up looking for a job. I believe with all my heart that Orange County is the economic heartbeat of California. But to be successful we need California to get better.”
   
Dunn, who sharpened her executive skill sets by working for two decades in the region’s rough-and-tumble real estate industry in the 1980s and ’90s, knows California’s economy will not heal overnight.



O.C.'s not-so-secret weapon -- Go to page:
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

JULY 2011 COVER STORY PACKAGE
O.C.'s not-so-secret weapon  |  Q&A with Lucy Dunn
The Orange County Business Council through the years
OCBC Investors  |  OCBC Board Members

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