Los Angeles Business Journal Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony

Lindsay Huff, ASR Special Projects, ASR Founder Andrea Herz Payne, and Elizabeth Markovitch, new ASR Director of Development

On March 9, 2010, the women of ASR attended the Los Angeles Business Journal’s annual awards luncheon.

We had the privilege of meeting personally 2010 Business Person of the Year and LABJ Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Soon-Shiong. Surgeon, researcher, inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, he is a remarkable, humble man with an equally remarkable story.

Born and raised in South Africa at a time when apartheid was still epidemic, Soon-Shiong began his medical career at a very young age in South Africa. Receiving half the pay of his Caucasian counterparts, he shone in his endeavors, overcame the oppressions of apartheid, emigrated to Canada and then The United States where he has become one of the most innovative scientists of our time, changing the face of medicine.

In the 1980’s, Soon Shiong performed the first cell transplants to produce insulin in a diabetic. He subsequently invented Abraxane, the first breast cancer drug based on nanparticle technology. His new-found material wealth not only catapulted him into the ranks of America’s wealthiest individuals, it has inspired extraordinary philanthropy. Soon-Shiong and his wife Michele Chan started their own foundation which has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to local hospitals, and is assisting in the planned reopening of South LA’s MLK Jr. Hospital and in the improvement of Skid Row Medical Care. In his seemingly extemporaneous acceptance speech we heard wonderful and humorous examples of his innovation and insight into the healthcare industry through technological improvements.

We got reacquainted with social media and internet marketing guru Torsten Kunert who has joined the ranks of those contributing their significant knowledge and expertise to the ASR team. Tunert was in attendance with business partners Robert Star and Irvine Zysensky; they have an important iPhone application in the works – we’ll update you in the future.

We also had the privilege of speaking with LABJ publisher Matt Toledo and Editor Charles Crumpley. As new subscribers, ASR appreciated the opportunity to thank them for the extensive, informative, and interesting coverage of our community. The day was a unique, fascinating experience for us, gaining the perspective of local entrepreneurs and interacting with members of the wide-ranging Los Angeles business world.

Update: LABJ will be publishing an article about ASR in their March 22, 2010, issue! We will be posting it here as soon as it is released! Stay tuned…

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