More than 650 business and community leaders gathered early this morning to support Catholic education in Orange County. The 13th annual Conference on Business and Ethics, held at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, was sponsored by the Orange Catholic Foundation. The nonprofit, founded in 2000 by Bishop Tod Brown, raised $250,000 for tuition assistance programs for Catholic education within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, a record for the annual event.
Each year the conference aims to promote ethical business practices. Several business leaders were honored for their example of ethical leadership and integrity. This year’s honorees included Sebastian Paul Musco, founder of Gemini Industries and Relief Pod International, and Richard Heim, division president and CEO of the Western Region of Clark Construction. They were recognized during the event with the prestigious Bishop’s Award for Exemplary Business Integrity for their unique professional accomplishments and personal dedication to ethical business practices.
“We are blessed to have so many business people that lead their companies according to resolute and compassionate ethical codes that respect their employees, associates, and our communities. I am again inspired by two such leaders that have excelled in their respective professions without sacrificing their commitment to leading their lives as Christ has shown us. Paul and Richard are truly applying their faith in all aspects of their lives and I am blessed to recognize their efforts and commitment at this year’s conference,” said Bishop Vann.
Also recognized were the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange, honored with the prestigious Farmers & Merchants Bank Lifetime Achievement Award for the innumerable contributions they have made to all aspects of life in Orange County, Calif.
Keynote presentations by President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services Dr. Carolyn Woo and by John Allen, Jr., associate editor of Crux and the Boston Globe were a highlight of the breakfast event.
“The annual Conference on Business and Ethics is an important part of OCF’s overall mission to create endowment funds, nurture planned giving, raise funds, and encourage stewardship to support all aspects of the Catholic faith in Orange County. It is an honor to bring the values of faith, integrity and service above self together with powerful keynote presentations and to raise money for our Catholic schools at the same time. The half-day event is an important fundraiser to allow the Catholic schools in the diocese to be available, accessible, and affordable to all students of all social and economic strata by providing scholarships to students in grades K-8 who require financial assistance,” said Cynthia Bobruk, executive director of OCF.