The Crowd: Newport CEO honored for military reserve service

Newport Beach resident Mike Talbot, Universal Space Lines LLC president and chief executive, as a California State Military Reserve major received the California Medal of Merit presented by Col. Marc Breslow, Regional Support Command South commander. The recognition was also directed by Brig. Gen. Roland L. Candee, State Military Reserve commander.

Talbot, who has served since 2005 as a legal officer within the State Military Reserve, received the medal at a November ceremony at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.

"Major Talbot has provided exceptional meritorious service to National Guard members, their families and the California State Military Reserve," Breslow said. "His leadership and selfless devotion to duty enhanced operational support and ensured Guard unit readiness, enabling them to sustain the rigors associated with mobilization and deployment. ... Major Talbot's service reflects great credit upon himself, the California State Military Reserve, and the state of California."


Ritz managing partner named Man of the Year

The Muscular Dystrophy Assn. has named restaurateur Ray Jacobi as its Man of the Year. Jacobi, managing partner of Newport's iconic Ritz Restaurant and Garden, will host a VIP underwriting dinner in his establishment Feb. 23.

The association's Gift of Hope gala in Newport Beach will follow later in the social season. To support MDA and honor Jacobi, contact Jamie Byrne (310) 398-6064 or email


Saks donates to local charity groups

February is the month of giving for luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. The upscale America fashion house will donate 5% of all registered purchases during February to various Orange County charitable organizations, including the Children's Hospital of Orange County, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Charity League's Newport Beach chapter and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Saks has also chosen to donate 5% of online purchases made with a Saks credit card to the very worthwhile St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was the lifelong charitable focus of the late entertainer Danny Thomas. It's carried on today by his daughter Marlo Thomas Donahue and a very dedicated contingent of Hollywood support.

"Saks is committed to our local communities and we appreciate our customers' charitable involvement," said Saks Chairman and Chief Financial Officer Steve Sadove.


Escalette art collection arrives at Chapman

Valentine's Day will mark the official announcement of the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art at Chapman University in Orange.

A mid-day event will include a campus tour of the art collection that has been made possible over the past several years via the philanthropy and artistic vision of the Escalette family. Chapman University curator Maggi Owens has worked with the donors to exhibit works by renown contemporary artists including Robert Rauchenberg, Tony DeLap, Billy Al Bengston, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellina Kevorkian and Hubert Schmalix.

The most impressive roster is being labeled "a museum without walls" inasmuch as the collection is displayed in classroom buildings, offices, and public spaces indoors and outdoors.


Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo performs 'Cinderella'

The West Coast engagement of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is Feb. 9 through 12. The company will perform a production of "Cinderella." It is the first time Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo has joined the center's prestigious international dance series.

In honor of the visiting dance production, South Coast Plaza will display a "pop-up" exhibit featuring rarely seen photographs and videos of Monaco, the late Princess Grace and historical shots of Les Ballet.

Making the event that much more culturally interesting will be the participation from seven of O.C.'s most outstanding dining rooms featuring special Monegasque cuisine. Marché Moderne, Pinot Provence, Leatherby's Café Rouge, Antonello Ristorante, Quatro Café, Nella Cucina and Antonello Espresso Bar will feature everything from aperitifs of the Riviera to multiple-course grand dinners with wine pairings.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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