JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon decided not to do Davos in the Desert over concerns about the government of Saudi Arabia’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Dimon did do some double dipping as a do-gooder on the Westside a few days later, adding heft to Axios.com’s lineup for its Smarter Faster Revolution college tour at UCLA on the afternoon of Oct. 30 and star power to the Santa Monica-based International Medical Corps Awards Celebration at the Beverly Wilshire that evening … The annual gala drew a crowd of more than 500 and raised $1.1 million for IMC, which sends teams of first responders to natural and man-made disasters around the world, striving to establish sustainable improvements in healthcare as part of each mission …
… Dimon offered a for-profit corollary to IMC’s non-profit mission as he accepted the Global Citizen Award on behalf of JPMorgan Chase, telling the crowd that it’s in his outfit’s “DNA to be there for our clients and communities, in good times and bad” … Dimon shared the spotlight with venture capitalist extraordinaire Bob Smith, head of Vista Equity Partners in Austin, and his wife, Hope, who together received IMC’s annual Humanitarian Award (caption for photo at end of column).
JPMorgan Chase underwrites the Smarter Faster series, which includes the collegiate tour and is billed as “leaders explaining the ideas shaping their lives and world views.” Dimon shared the marquee in Westwood with WndrCo boss Jeffrey Katzenbergand new Hollywood denizen Meg Whitman, who has signed on as CEO of new mobile video startup Quibi, which recently signed on for HQ space in Jerry Snyder’s Hollywood 959 Campus. Katzenberg is backing Quibi, which means that both he and Whitman had plenty of reason to get in front of the Smarter Faster crowd at UCLA – likely prime territory for the sort of talent that will drive the venture … The talk at UCLA was the seventh installment of Smarter Faster Revolution, and first on the West Coast for Axios.com, a two-year-old news site founded by Politico cofounder Jim VandeHei, who brought a key exec and correspondent to his new venture, not to mention some backing from Katzenberg – yet another reason for the mogul to make the scene … Katzenberg gave the UCLA crowd a 33-word lesson on elevator pitches when he boiled down Quibi’s strategy for them: “It’s combining the two-to-three-hour length of a movie with the serialized nature of television in episodes that are less than 10 minutes long and can be watched on the go.” Another way to remember: “Quibi” is short for “quick bites” …Whitman’s advice to the youngsters doubled as a recruiting pitch of sorts: “Silicon Valley is ground zero for tech, but you’re starting to see momentum in other cities,” she said. “Look at the different companies you could join and join the one that’s the best fit and go to that city” … Dimon’s gave some straight talk that likely made some students wonder and gave faculty and administrators a touch of heartburn: “College should change,” Dimon said. “It’s too expensive – it takes too long.”
There doesn’t seem to be any heartburn with Brian Calle’s latest venture—and that’s news because he’s the same guy who brought on a severe case of indigestion when he took over LA Weekly late last year. The new publication is Irvine Weekly, and it looks as though Calle has pulled off a turn of fortune, getting the first couple of issues of his new extension in Orange County out with nary a negative notice – a reversal from the job cuts, boycott, exodus of advertisers and event cancellations that marked his arrival in L.A. The Oct. 29 issue of Irvine Weekly featured a more pronounced position in local politics than LA Weekly has taken under Calle, and weighed in at 16 pages, nearly a third of them advertising …. Fortunes turn in more way than one, notes Charles E. Long, Jr., a well-traveled exec who recently arrived in Century City as regional president of BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Long says that he’s found that every culture has some form of the old aphorism of “shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves in three generations” to sum up the dissipation of many family fortunes through the years.
More than one family fortune has dissipated with an assist from Las Vegas, but that doesn’t seem to be a matter of fate for Ricardo Zarate, founding chef of Rosaliné in West Hollywood, who seems to have Once (on-seh) at the Venetian’s Palazzo on a smooth path after seven months in operation. Word in Vegas says Zarate spent a couple of days a week at Once for its first few months but checks in about once every two weeks these days. That seems to be enough – the Peruvian-Asian fusion menu is a delight – the sliced beef heart is worth the trip – and service is spot on … You can bet this tracks back to SoCal: Eddie World, the remarkably well-run gas station/food court/convenience store/ice-cream parlor about halfway to Vegas on I-15, has 16 Tesla charging stations to go with 25 gas pumps.
Sullivan Says: Here’s the caption for the photo above, from left to right: Hope Smith, CEO of Baby + Momma Organics; Robert Simon, founder and chairman of the board, International Medical Corps; Jamie Dimon; Marylyne Malomba, nutrition specialist, International Medical Corps, recipient of the Founder’s Award; Nancy Aossey, president and CEO, International Medical Corps; Robert Smith.