Established in 2002, in partnership with Farmers & Merchants Bank, the Orange Catholic Foundation provides a forum that inspires leaders and motivates them to grow in their professional lives.
The Conference on Business & Ethics is a much anticipated event in Southern California that highlights professional ethics in the workplace.
This impactful event is sought-after by hundreds of faith-filled influential business, religious, academic, and philanthropic leaders. It is a time where guests look forward to gathering knowing that they share a common goal to ethical best practices in their daily lives.
We strive to inspire leaders to perform best ethical practices, both personally and professionally.
Keynote Speaker: Steve Carlston
President and General Manager, NBC4
We are excited to have Steve Carlston, President and General Manager of NBC4, as the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. As an experienced broadcast television executive, Steve is known for his culture-driven leadership style. Throughout his career, he has been the driving force in establishing strong core values in the workplace that encourages trust and mutual respect, fosters diversity, and promotes inclusion. From his leadership platform, Steve has transformed careers, developed great leaders, and has built highly successful television stations in markets across the country. Steve also has a deep passion for supporting the community in his professional and personal life. We look forward to hearing Steve share his dynamic leadership skills on April 16, 2021.
Emcee: Vikki Vargas
Orange County Bureau Chief, NBC4
Vikki Vargas has been a reporter with the NBC4 news team for more than 35 years. Based in Orange County, she is the Bureau Chief responsible for gathering and covering the region’s major news stories weekdays for the NBC4 News at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Recognized for her versatility and journalistic integrity, Vargas has covered a number of national and international stories for the station. She has won numerous awards including the OC Press Club, LA Area Emmy and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition. She was recognized with the Vision & Visionaries Award from Cal State Fullerton, her alma mater. Vargas, with the station, established the ‘NBC4-Vikki Vargas Scholarship,’ granted to a Cal State Fullerton journalism student annually.
CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS & ETHICS HONOREES
Founder and Former CEO of Flojet Corporation
Benjamin Du, an immigrant from the Philippines, founded two successful manufacturing businesses. After receiving an engineering degree in the Philippines and working for a few years, Ben decided to pursue a Masters in Business Administration degree in the US. In 1967, along with his wife, Carmela, they moved to California where Ben worked in the aerospace industry while completing his masters program.
Ben worked for various engineering firms in Southern California and in 1975 he founded Flojet Corporation to design and manufacture small positive displacement pumps. In 1999, Ben decided to sell Flojet Corporation and retire, but his retirement didn’t last long. An opportunity came to invest with one of his Chinese suppliers, Providence Enterprise Limited. In 2018, Providence Enterprise was sold to a private equity firm with Ben finally retiring.
Ben serves on the board of Hoag Hospital Foundation and was a former member of the board of Performing Arts Center (now Segerstrom Center For the Arts), UC Irvine Foundation and Boys Hope / Girls Hope.
Ben has been married to Carmela Du for 55 years. They divide their time between their homes in Newport Beach and Maui, Hawaii. He and Carmela enjoy traveling, supporting philanthropic programs in the community focusing on health, arts, education and religious developments. They also enjoy spending time with their daughter, Lizette, son-in-law, Chris Pribus and granddaughters Cristiana and Jessica.
Chairman Emeritus of PSOMAS
Tim Psomas grew up in Los Angeles, attending Transfiguration Grammar School and Mt. Carmel High School. Upon graduation from Loyola Marymount University he joined his father’s engineering firm, Psomas, and eventually led the growth and diversification of the company throughout California and the Western US. He was also founding chairman of Digital Map Products, a SaaS real estate information company. He is past national chairman of The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and was a founder and national chairman of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).
Tim currently serves as a director of several private companies including engineering, technology startup and professional services firms. He served as a trustee at LMU for three terms, as a member of the Board of Regents and as President of the Alumni Association. Tim is a member of Order of Malta, Orange County location, where he coordinates math tutoring for construction technology students at Taller San Jose. He served on the Construction Oversight Committee of Christ Cathedral and is currently chairman of the Real Estate and Asset Management Committee for the Diocese.
He chairs the 2021 Feasibility Study Committee for Cristo Rey Orange County High School with the intent to provide under-served students with a Catholic College Preparatory education and four years of workforce participation experience.
He and his wife Alanna attend St. John Vianney Chapel on Balboa Island, where they raised their four adult children. Tim enjoys sailing especially with son Mike and other family members. Tim and Alanna are blessed with nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREE
The LeVecke Family Foundation and members of its board are the recipients of the Farmers & Merchants Bank Lifetime Achievement Award for their recognition of making a significant contribution to the community.
THE LEVECKE FAMILY FOUNDATION
The LeVecke Family Foundation was started by their uncle, Reed J. LeVecke. The Board of Directors of the LeVecke Family Foundation consists of the 3rd generation children of Neil and Milo LeVecke.
The Foundation is faith-based that strives to serve and support the needs of the Catholic Church. Its mission is to support organizations that serve individuals and families that are in alignment with the values of the Catholic Church. The Foundation also supports organizations in which the extended LeVecke family members live, work, or have personal involvement.
It is our mission to provide:
● HEALTH CARE which supports the Consistent Life Ethic of the Catholic Church
● CATHOLIC EDUCATION, tuition assistance and other educational needs
● RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES and their MISSIONS
● SOCIAL SERVICES that will enhance, strengthen, and protect families
As the LeVecke Family Foundation grows, the present 3rd generation looks forward to the 4th generation’s involvement and to those they serve.