It was arguably the most prestigious social event of the Southern California business community.
On Feb. 17, some 450 executives from all over Southern California converged upon the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Laguna Niguel, for the 16th Forum for Corporate Directors awards dinner.
The high-powered function was hosted by Michael A. Mussallem, chairman and chief executive of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation. Edwards was also one of the overall event sponsors, joined by the Walt Disney Co. assisting in underwriting the evening.
The annual dinner is created to bestow upon business leaders recognition for their excellence. The Forum for Corporate Directors labels the awards Directors of the Year and for the past 16 years 89 individuals have been honored by the organization.
John Della Grotta, chairman of the Forum for Corporate Directors and a partner of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, welcomed the arriving crush of dignitaries, including the five honorees for 2011. Included in the assemblage were a large contingent of Newport-Mesa business men and women, among them one of the 2011 honorees, Douglas K. Ammerman. Accepting the award for corporate governance, Ammerman serves on the boards of EPL Intermediate Inc., (El Pollo Loco Inc.), Fidelity National Financial Inc. and Quiksilver Inc.