The Trusteeship

Ilyanne Morden Kichaven – Brunch-Around – June 9

Ilyanne opened her home in Sherman Oaks to a lovely, daytime “Brunch-Around”.

This is what her guests had to say:

Ilyanne- Thanks so much for a delicious meal and interesting conversation. It was very nice getting to know each of you better. Appreciate the pix as well! I will be sending you names of potential counsel in the next couple of days.  All the best, Dianne

Thank you, Ilyanne, for a delicious and insightful brunch!  Xo, Laura

Thank you for hosting us, Ilyanne and thank you all for the honest and helpful conversation! Jennifer

Hello everyone, It was such a pleasure to be with you all… and share Ilyanne’s wonderful brunch. What tales we could all tell to those working their way up the ladder…but….let them make their own stories!!! Let’s do it again soon….Ilse

Sounds like a great day!

Behind the Scenes at KCRW & Interview with Vicki Riskin – June 5

The Trusteeship enjoyed a special Behind the Scenes Tour of the all new and recently opened KCRW Studios in Santa Monica, hosted by Trusteeship member, Jennifer Ferro, President of KCRW.

After the tour all enjoyed an interview with Trusteeship member and KCRW board member Vicki Riskin. Vicki is the Past President of the Writers Guild of America, and served for 12 years as a board member of the Human Rights Watch. She was interviewed by Jennifer regarding her recently published book about her parents, “Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir” and their amazing lives.

From KCRW:

“We were so excited to host The Trusteeship and to be fully operational in our new, state of the art headquarters. Designed with collaboration in mind by noted workplace architect Clive Wilkinson, the award-winning KCRW Media Center is a new Los Angeles landmark. Conceived in 2008, the new building now serves as a destination for shared dialogue between KCRW and our audience, and operates as a multipurpose venue and broadcast studio for one of public media’s most innovative outlets. The new facility has dramatically increased our production capacity, with 26 studios for news, music, and culture. These new studios provide unprecedented opportunities to bring listeners into KCRW to experience live programming and observe in-studio performances and events.”

About the Book:

Fay Wray was most famous as the woman—the blonde in a diaphanous gown—who captured the heart of the mighty King Kong, the twenty-five-foot, sixty-ton gorilla, as he placed her, nestled in his eight-foot hand, on the ledge of the 102-story Empire State Building, putting Wray at the height of New York’s skyline and cinematic immortality.

Wray starred in more than 120 pictures opposite Hollywood’s biggest stars—Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper (The Legion of the Condemned, The First Kiss, The Texan, One Sunday Afternoon), Clark Gable, William Powell, and Charles Boyer; from cowboy stars Hoot Gibson and Art Accord to Ronald Colman (The Unholy Garden), Claude Rains, Ralph Richardson, and Melvyn Douglas. She was directed by the masters of the age, from Fred Niblo, Erich von Stroheim (The Wedding March), and Mauritz Stiller (The Street of Sin) to Leo McCarey, William Wyler, Gregory La Cava, “Wild Bill” William Wellman, Merian C. Cooper (The Four Feathers, King Kong), Josef von Sternberg (Thunderbolt), Dorothy Arzner (Behind the Make-Up), Frank Capra (Dirigible), Michael Curtiz (Doctor X), Raoul Walsh (The Bowery), and Vincente Minnelli.

The book’s—and Wray’s—counterpart: Robert Riskin, considered one of the greatest screenwriters of all time. Academy Award–winning writer (nominated for five), producer, ten-year-long collaborator with Frank Capra on such pictures as American Madness, It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, and Meet John Doe, hailed by many, among them F. Scott Fitzgerald, as “among the best screenwriters in the business. ” Riskin wrote women characters who were smart, ornery, sexy, always resilient, as he perfected what took full shape in It Happened One Night, the Riskin character, male or female—breezy, self-made, streetwise, optimistic, with a sense of humor that is subtle and sure.

Fay Wray and Robert Riskin lived large lives, finding each other after establishing their artistic selves and after each had had many romantic attachments—Wray, an eleven-year-long difficult marriage and a fraught affair with Clifford Odets, and Riskin, a series of romances with, among others, Carole Lombard, Glenda Farrell, and Loretta Young.

Here are Wray’s and Riskin’s lives, their work, their fairy-tale marriage that ended so tragically. Here are their dual, quintessential American lives, ultimately and blissfully intertwined.

Ann Reiss Lane – Dine-Around – May 22

Ann Reiss Lane once again volunteered to host a Dine-Around and as is the case, all who attended had a great time! Sharing wine and appetizers in the garden was especially sweet as Ann’s garden is always a masterpiece to the eye and nose!

We had a lovely visit!  XO, Leeza

Just as with my Xmas party 2 years ago everyone loved the size. The 4 of us really bonded and I enjoyed the preparations and camaraderie.  XXOO, Ann

’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.

Bon Voyage Luncheon for Claire Rothman – April 17

A lovely Bon Voyage Luncheon for Claire Rothman was held at IL Cielo Restaurant in Beverly Hills on April 17th to a sold out room!

The Bon Voyage Luncheon was organized by Claire’s dear Trusteeship friends to celebrate her as she transitions to her new home in Las Vegas at the end of April.

We were honored to have this opportunity to show our appreciation for the 40 years Claire has shared her time, talent and treasure as an active founding member, as Trusteeship President, 1993-1996, and as our steady, devoted Board member.

Thank you to all who joined us as we expressed our feeling of deep gratitude for a friend who has enriched our lives.


Upcoming Events

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“Imagine an enriching experience and rare opportunity to meet, learn from, and share time with a college president, a top TV or movie producer, an artist, an author, a politician, a business or philanthropic leader, to name a few. That’s the magic of The Trusteeship. Friendships and support when life has dealt you a setback are added — precious gifts.”

– Caroline