David W. Wilson, owner of Tustin-based Wilson Automotive, pledged $25 million to his alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa.
The donation, celebrated Friday, Oct. 20, is the largest gift in UNI history and will go toward creating the David W. Wilson College of Business.
Locals are probably familiar with Wilson’s catchy tune that promises “You won’t get a lemon at Toyota of Orange.” The Orange County dealership marked the Iowa native’s first foray into ownership back in the early 1980s. From there, Wilson grew his company to 18 dealerships in the Southwest and Mexico with annual sales that top $3 billion. The group has at least 2,500 employees.
For Wilson, who grew up on a farm in Traer, Iowa, the gift to UNI is personal. The 1970 graduate learned as a child that when something was outside the family budget, he could work and pay for it himself.
The eldest of five children, he recounted for the Register in a 2012 interview how he mowed lawns as a fourth-grader to pay for his own baseball mitt. As a college student, he worked at a car dealership to pay his tuition. That strong work ethic has followed Wilson his entire life.
His business motto also is simple: “The truth is, you can only lead by example. If you’re having trouble in your company, look in the mirror.”
David Wilson on Friday, Oct. 20 pledged $25 million to the University of Northern Iowa, his alma mater. The money will go toward establishing the David W. Wilson College of Business and two endowments. (Photo courtesy of UNI)
While his gift to UNI will stand out for its size, the 75-year-old is not new to giving back. He’s donated equipment to Orangewood Children’s Home in Orange and even paid off $16,000 in layaways at a department store back in 2011.
His pledge to UNI carries a few firsts for the university, beyond its sheer size. The school said once the donation is approved by its regents, the David W. Wilson College of Business will be the first “named” school at UNI. His contribution also will establish two endowments, including the Wilson Endowment for Integrity and Excellence.
The Orange County Rescue Mission has an “urgent need” for food items through the end of the year. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz / The Orange County Register)
Rescue Mission urgently needs food
The Orange County Rescue Mission has an “urgent need” for food donations through the end of the year.
Items the mission needs include canned tuna, meat, fruit, vegetables, spaghetti or marinara sauce, beans and soup. Packaged items include peanut butter, rice, cereal, snack bars, pasta and instant noodles.
Donations can be dropped at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope at 1 Hope Drive in Tustin. Donations can also be ordered online and delivered to the nonprofit.
The donation warehouse is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, go to rescuemission.org/urgent-thanksgiving-food-needs.
Senior Expo is Nov. 2 in Mission Viejo
Providence Mission Hospital is sponsoring a free Medicare Senior Expo on Nov. 2 in Mission Viejo.
The event from 1-4 p.m. will include a variety of health talks including ways to lower drug costs, navigating healthcare and managing diabetes and other chronic conditions. Speakers will include Providence Mission Hospital doctors, specialists and care teams.
The expo is being held at the Norman P. Murray Community Center. Address: 24932 Veterans Way
For more information, go to providence.org/OCmedicareclasses.
On the move
Ronald Wolf is the new medical director of hepatobiliary and pancreas surgery at Hoag Family Cancer Institute. The board-certified surgical oncologist specializes in treating liver, bile duct and pancreatic cancers. Wolf comes to Hoag from concurrent posts at UC Irvine School of Medicine, where he served as professor of clinical surgery in the hepatobiliary and pancreas surgery/islet cell transplantation division.
Elizabeth Weldon has joined Haynes and Boone LLP as a litigation partner in the firm’s Costa Mesa office. She joins from Snell & Wilmer LLP where she spent 20 years in commercial and business litigation with a specialty in franchising. Weldon is a certified specialist in franchise and distribution law.
Ashley Rankin has joined the nonprofit Radiant Futures, formerly Women’s Transitional Living Center, as the development manager. Previously, she was the engagement and event coordinator at Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.
Gov. Gavin Newsom reappointed Gloria Alvarado of Santa Ana to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, where she has served since 2021. Alvarado has been executive director at the Orange County Labor Federation since 2019, where she has served in several positions since 2011, including organizing director and community organizer. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Alvarado is a Democrat.
Newsom also appointed Joe Kalmick of Seal Beach to the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. Kalmick has served as a Seal Beach City Council Member since 2019. Kalmick was the owner of Main St. Art & Framing from 1978 to 2014. There is no compensation for this position, which did not require Senate confirmation. Kalmick is registered as a Democrat.
Ronald Eguchi of La Palma was appointed to the Wildfire Technology Research and Development Review Advisory Board. Eguchi is the chief executive officer of ImageCat Inc., which he co-founded in 2000. He was vice president at EQE International from 1991 to 2000.
A group of 34 visual arts students from Laguna Beach High School toured Roland DGA’s corporate headquarters as part of National Manufacturing Day and ISA (International Sign Association) Sign Manufacturing Day. (Photo courtesy of Roland DGA Corp.)
Roland DGA Corp. held an open house at its Irvine campus for students from Laguna Beach High School as part of National Manufacturing Day and ISA (International Sign Association) Sign Manufacturing Day. The group of 34 Visual Arts students was accompanied by their teachers and toured Roland DGA’s corporate headquarters.
Vital Link’s first Empowering Futures Benefit partnered with University Lab Partners to host the benefit at Edwards Lifesciences, raising $45,000 to be used to foster STEM education in Orange. Vital Link is a nonprofit dedicated to preparing students for careers.
Status Update is compiled from press releases by contributing writer Karen Levin and edited by Business Editor Samantha Gowen. Submit items and high-resolution photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow at least one week for publication. Items are edited for length and clarity.
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