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Business leaders gather for Director of the Year Awards

The Forum for Corporate Directors presented the honors last night at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

By Caitlin Adams and Kimberly PorrazzoPublished: February 18, 2011 09:49 AM

Michael A. Mussallem (top left) pauses with the 2011 award recipients.
Hundreds of O.C.’s top executives gathered Thursday night at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel to honor five business leaders who were selected by the Forum for Corporate Directors (FCD) as recipients of the 2011 Director of the Year Awards.

The 16th annual awards spotlight board members, directors and chairpersons who have shown outstanding dedication and promoted excellence in corporate governance and boardroom leadership.

Michael A. Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences Corp., served as the special guest host at the event. Mussallem, who also is currently featured in the February issue of OC METRO, is a former Director of the Year honoree.

The FCD has established a tradition of recognizing corporate leaders who help influence and guide companies to achieve growth while maximizing market value, said John Della Grotta, chairman of the FCD and partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.

“The individuals being recognized have been instrumental in helping lead their companies through critical challenges – some anticipated and others unanticipated – as they navigate economic uncertainty, new regulatory requirements, increased activism among stakeholders and heightened competition in the global marketplace," he said. "We are pleased to recognize each of them as Director of the Year honorees in 2011."

Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia LLC, was recognized for her contribution to Corporate Growth and Development while serving on the boards of Bank of America Corp. and the Walt Disney Co. Lozano, an Orange County native, summarized the role of a director: “Our job is not to manage, but to monitor.”

The only woman to be honored this year, she stressed the importance of diversity among boards. Prior to the award ceremony, Lozano told OC METRO that her acceptance speech would not focus on gender diversity, but on the merits of a diverse board in all senses. Lozano’s father, she said, was among those who “busted through the brick wall of diversity on boards,” having also served on the boards of Bank of America and the Walt Disney Co.

All the honorees emphasized their role in guiding companies with the highest standards of “fairness” and “transparency.”

Since the inception of the Director of the Year Awards 16 years ago, 89 individuals have been recognized by the FCD. Past recipients of the award include Julie Hill, Harriett Wieder, George Argyros, Peter Ueberroth, Betsy Sanders and Henry Samuelli.

The 2011 Director of the Year honorees:

Corporate Governance
Douglas K. Ammerman, independent director; serves on the boards of directors of EPL Intermediate Inc., Fidelity National Financial Inc. and Quiksilver Inc.

Corporate Growth and Development
Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia LLC; serves on the boards of directors of Bank of America Corp. and the Walt Disney Co.

Corporate Leadership and Service
Thomas E. Pardun, chairman of the board, Western Digital Corp.; serves on the boards of directors of CalAmp Corp., Finisar Corp., MaxLinear Inc. and Occam Networks Inc.

Enhancement of Economic Value
Sheldon Razin, founder and chairman of the board, Quality Systems Inc.

Early Stage Companies
Murray E. Rudin, managing partner, Riordan, Lewis & Haden; serves on the boards of directors of CyberCoders, Cymetrix Inc. and InstallerEDGE

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