HONOREES AT “PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ" – A PEARLS OF WISDOM GALACategory:
HONOREES AT “PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ – A PEARLS OF WISDOM GALA.
NICK BAGGARLY, FRGS, Executive Director, Expedition Leader. Nick Baggarly is known for his ability to organize ambitious team efforts to achieve meaningful objectives. A successful Silicon Valley software engineer, Nick took a sabbatical from McAfee Associates in 1997 to lead an expedition on an 8,000-mile drive through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. His team delivered medical supplies to remote villages for Rivers of the World, an international aid organization. In 2002 he co-founded the ‘Drive Around the World’ non-profit organization to produce extraordinary and relevant adventures with each project aimed at highlighting a different problem.
Drive Around the World was founded with the goal of producing dramatic adventures to promote cross-border understanding and goodwill as well as to raise funds for charitable causes. In 1999, Nick led the LATITUDE Expedition—a 16,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe through 16 countries, driving from Beijing to San Francisco. During the journey, his team worked with teachers throughout California to interact with middle school students. In 2005 he led the LONGITUDE Expedition, a 44,000-mile drive through 30 countries to highlight Parkinson’s Disease research. The project featured five non-profit programs including a drive-a-thon fundraising program and a global-grass-roots awareness campaign which was lauded as “unprecedented in the history of disease advocacy.” Nick believes humanities’ problems are merely, “seemingly-insurmountable challenges.” He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of New York’s Explorers club.
While Nick's charitable work has always been a labor of love, his expeditions will always have special purpose for him because his 35-year-old sister was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Mr. Baggarly is being presented the AWARENESS AWARD at the event.
We are honored that Nick and Todd Borgie, the Co-founder of Drive Around the World will be joining us April 18th.
RICHARD J. HECKMANN is Chairman and CEO of K2 Inc. Previously, he founded USFilter on July 16, 1990, and embarked on a series of acquisitions aimed at building the world’s largest water treatment company. Mr. Heckmann was named 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year in the turnaround category for the Inland Empire region of Southern California and again in 1997 for the Master Entrepreneurial category. In 1999, USFilter was acquired by Vivendi SA for $8.2 billion in cash and debt assumption. Mr. Heckmann was Director and owner of Smith Goggles. He is also a founding shareholder of Callaway Golf, Inc. Mr. Heckmann is also an owner of the NBA Phoenix Suns basketball team. Mr. Heckmann was also Chairman of the Listed Company Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and a member of the Exchange’s Special Governance Committee. He was Associate Administrator for Finance and Investment of the Small Business Administration from 1978 to 1979, where he was responsible for small business lending and venture capital investments made by the United States government. He also served as the White House liaison from the SBA and is a former director of the Advisory Board of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Presently, the International Center for Entrepreneurial Management (The Heckmann Center) is under construction in Palm Desert, California. Mr. Heckmann, along with the State of California, donated the funds to build the school. The new graduate school is to become part of the University of California, Riverside, system.
Mr. Heckmann is being presented with our WARRIOR AWARD. This award is given to an individual who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and refuses to allow the diagnosis to take them down. They fight and seek advanced methods that further the treatments and overall awareness of Parkinson’s disease
RAJENDRA MEHTA is the owner and general manager of El Paseo Jewelers and a local philanthropist.
Rajendra Mehta, more commonly known as Raju, was born in Kankroli, India. Raju began his journey in the jewelry industry at the age of 15 when he learned how to cut diamonds, and by the age of 17 he was selling rough and polished diamonds. After graduating from South Gujarat University, Raju immigrated to the United States in 1982, bringing his knowledge of diamonds and his entrepreneurial streak with him. Six months after arriving, Raju and his brother Atul set up their wholesale business in Los Angeles. Over the years, Raju and Atul as a team have adapted to ever-changing jewelry industry and expanded into retail. In 1998, they purchased a store on El Paseo Drive that would become the first location of El Paseo Jewelers. In 2007, Raju took over as general manager and since then both he and El Paseo Jewelers have become an integral part of the Coachella Valley community.
Raju Mehta and El Paseo Jewelers have been Gracious Philanthropists. At its best, philanthropy is gracious, graceful, and administered with a light touch. When we think of grace, apart from the religious connotations, we think of support given with seriousness of purpose, but with a light touch. Graciousness supports without judgment, without pity, and without self-satisfaction. Gracious graceful philanthropy is humble, enlightening, and gives equally to the giver and receiver. Mr. Mehta is being presented with our COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD.
Sponsorships and ticket prices are available at http://parkinsonsresource.org/30th. The event is being held at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells, CA.
We have other Honorees and will have their bios by the next newsletter. If you follow us online, their information can be gotten sooner. Check us out at http://parkinsonsresource.org/news.