The Trusteeship

’19 Pasadena Retreat – Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead – April 26 – 28

The reviews are in and the ’19 Retreat has been proclaimed:  Fabulous!  With historic Trusteeship Retreat attendance of nearly 50 members joining in the informative and fun three-day event, we want to thank our Retreat committee, panelists and hostesses who made the Pasadena come alive!

“I really think the weekend went great, and everyone had a great time. Our member panels certainly were a highlight for me. I am always stunned by the expertise and talent of our members. The dinner at Julia’s was another highlight! Perfect in every way. XX Jane O.”

“Karen, I thank you for all your leadership. I think it is fair to say you inspired all of us during the whole process. We are lucky to have you as our president, your willingness to innovate, your ability to bring everyone together, your genuine respect of people’s opinions and your amazing ability to multitask yet stay focused. It was a true pleasure to work with this amazing team. I hope you all realize how important your work was and how much everyone has said what a great retreat this was. I thank each of you as well. Truly, Abbe L.”

“Just a note to thank you for making our retreat week-end so special! It was a wonderful first-time experience for me. All my best, Karen G.”

“Just wanted to send a big thank you for all the behind the scenes making it happen job you did. Bravo! I really enjoyed the day and spending time with such incredible women. Look forward to seeing you soon. Elizabeth F.”


Opening Night:  Dinner, Cocktails & Feng Shui

The ’19 Pasadena Retreat opened with a great cocktail reception on the rooftop pool deck of our host hotel, Hotel Constance. Many Trusteeship members, who we hadn’t seen in a long time, attended the cocktail reception and then meandered over to the Sunset Room where we enjoyed a lovely dinner! At the opening dinner we were treated to a presentation on the Art of Feng Shui, by Diane Miller, Feng Shui expert and author of “Feng Shui – Just add Wind & Water” where we were gifted Diane’s book by President, Karen Caplan.  Thanks Karen!


Climate Change Panel Discussion

Our day began on Saturday in the Colorado room at the Hotel Constance, our host hotel, with a breakfast buffet as members gathered and seated themselves, connecting with old and new friends. Our Trusteeship Panel of Experts discussed The Truth About Climate Change and what we can or cannot do…this was a topic of discussion that frankly, could have lasted for hours with expert panelists:

  • Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board under Gavin Newsom – and his three predecessors
  • Anne Shen Smith, retired Chairman and CEO of The Southern California Gas Company and current member of the PG&E board
  • Janet Clayton, Senior Strategist for Vectis Strategies, a public affairs and public relations firm with offices in LA and in Washington D. C.; former editorial page Editor for the LA Times and recently retired SVP of Edison International
  • Diane Wittenberg, retired president of The Climate Registry and co-author of CALIFORNIA GOES GREEN, a Roadmap to Climate Leadership.

We discussed what is happening in regards to fire and climate, California’s environmental leadership, AOC’s Green New Deal, and the impact of the widely successful Clean Power Alliance in Southern California. As well as the question, will our children and grandchildren live in a Southern California where extreme weather makes our iconic lifestyle obsolete? What are we doing and what more can we do about it?

Special Access/VIP Behind the Scenes Tour of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Hostess, Jane Olson, was able to open the doors for us to tour one of the nation’s most secure facilities, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To say the least, the experience was out of this world!

We all arrived promptly at 10:30 a.m. and began our two hour, behind the scenes guided tour. We learned about the projects JPL is currently working on, the history of JPL, it’s relationship with California Institute of Technology and why JPL is considered the Center of the Universe. We saw rovers and other spacecraft and imagined what other worlds are out there and if there is in deed life on other planets.

This was truly a “once in a lifetime” event.  The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America’s first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and Earth’s moon.

In addition to its missions, JPL developed and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.  JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed for NASA by Caltech. From the long history of leaders drawn from the university’s faculty to joint programs and appointments, JPL’s intellectual environment and identity are profoundly shaped by its role as part of Caltech.

Today JPL continues its world-leading innovation, implementing programs in planetary exploration, Earth science, space-based astronomy and technology development, while applying its capabilities to technical and scientific problems of national significance. JPL technology developed to enable new missions is also applied on Earth to benefit our everyday lives.

Lunch & China/US Trade: What’s at Stake? Panel Discussion & Historic Behind the Scenes Tour of Pasadena City Hall

Our next stop:  Pasadena City Hall where lunch was served in the Mayor’s private quarters. We followed up our boxed luncheon with a Panel of Trusteeship members discussing the US and China and what is at stake with the current trade situation.

The governments of the world’s two largest economies have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle for months as Washington presses Beijing to address long-standing concerns over Chinese practices and policies around industrial subsidies, market access and intellectual property rights protections.

Our Panel was led by Elizabeth Harrington, who has spent decades working with and in China, and it took a look at the key issues between the US and China and their implications: What are Washington and Beijing fighting about? What’s at stake? How does Beijing view our complaints?

Panelists included Trusteeship members:

  • Elizabeth Harrington, President & CEO, E. Harrington Global. Board of Directors: Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Temptation Foods/India, and The Warranty Group/Chicago. Advisor to the Chinese government on in and outbound foreign investment. Assist US companies to do business in China and Chinese companies to do business in the US. Retired Partner, Pricewatershouse Coopers China and Global Strategies practices. Hurun Report—China Rich List, North American Publisher; China’s leading business magazine.
  • Jihee Huh, Vice-Chairman, PAFCO. Directs and oversees marketing and new business ventures. Manages and increases global expansions; allocates and directs new product development; manages and expands Pete’s Seafood Club development. Pacific American Fish Company (PAFCO) is a global seafood Import, export, manufacturing, distribution company founded in 1977.
  • Donna Smith, President & CEO, Persnickety Productions Inc., a motion picture production company. Former Pres. & CEO, Cinema Completions Int’l. Inc. Former Sr. VP, Production and Post Production at Universal Pictures. Former CEO at Entertainment Completions Int’l. Chair, Women in Film Foundation. U.S. Film Ambassador to China. Board Member: Mediascope; Partner in Film West Global.

Next we toured lovely Pasadena City Hall as it opened its doors just for us! We received a behind the scenes tour of the historic building. Pasadena City Hall, completed in 1927, serves as the central location for city government in the City of Pasadena, and it is a significant architectural example of the City Beautiful movement of the 1920s. The city’s exquisite landmark exhibits Italian Renaissance and Spanish influences with its red tile roof, ornate fountain, and lush garden courtyard. It has also been the backdrop to several movie and television shows.

Elegant Dinner At the Home of member Julia Gouw

We gathered for our final Retreat Dinner at Julia Gouw’s lovely home in Pasadena for an authentically prepared Chinese meal. We enjoyed pre-dinner refreshments in the beautiful backyard and then meandered inside to Julia’s gorgeously decorated tables for a fun and joyous dinner.


Special Access: The Huntington Gardens Tea & Tour

Trusteeship members gathered in San Marino and joined The Huntington Library President, Karen Lawrence, for a lovely tea at The Huntington Tea House. It was a perfect conclusion to a wonderful retreat!

Our tea was then followed with a private tour of the Huntington Art Gallery with Director of the Art Collections, Christina Nielsen. Christina’s knowledge of the exquisite Huntington homes and buildings as well as the amazing private art collection was delightful….from the famed Blue Boy restoration project to Pinkie who held court at the front of the room, all was lovely.

Afterwards we were all able to enjoy the grounds at our leisure, shop at the Bookstore or attend their annual Plant Sale.

Upcoming Events

  1. Advancing Women’s Leadership at Kathy Checchi’s Home – February 13

    February 13 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Beverly Hills
  2. The Trusteeship Board of Directors Meeting

    April 4 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  3. Annual Trusteeship Retreat

    April 17 - April 19
  4. The Trusteeship Board of Directors Meeting

    July 11 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  5. The Trusteeship Board of Directors Meeting

    October 3 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

“The Trusteeship is a wonderful refuge — a place to go that is safe, nurturing and supportive. A place where you can suspend time — where the pressures and demands of your daily routine become secondary to the sharing of confidences and passions with women that walk similar paths and know your challenges and triumphs.”

– Rita