Augie has been a corporate leader for more than three decades and runs Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS in the same way he ran his successful businesses. All donors are treated like investors, and top thought leaders provide leadership and direction.
Success is great, but significance is vital. Augie calls upon his peers who have achieved remarkable success and reaped the benefits from those accomplishments to make a significant, life-saving difference in the lives of others. These incredible leaders have responded to the call.
Fitness Industry Advisory Council
ALS steals your muscles, and robs you of everything exercise provides. Because Augie dedicated his career to improving the physical health of others, he is able to recruit fitness industry champions to help work out creative ways to keep focus on conquering ALS.
Past Award Honorees
Augie’s Quest is honored to have support from business and entertainment leaders in our Quest to find a Cure. Click through gallery displaying names, photos & bios of honorees from our Tradition of Hope Gala.
2016 Founder’s Award Recipient
Patrick Fuscoe is the founder and CEO of Fuscoe Engineering, Inc. and over the course of his 35-year career has been lead engineer on milestone assignments such as the highly acclaimed Village of Woodbridge; the Laguna Beach-Bluebird Canyon Landslide Repair; Orange County Fairgrounds; Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse; Dana Point Harbor Revitalization; Newport Banning Ranch Coastal Community; Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square at Santa Monica pier; and the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. Under Pat’s able leadership, Fuscoe Engineering has transformed into a company of individuals who work as a team dedicated to quality, service and innovation as well as a company which thoughtfully integrates the built environment into the natural environment in a creative and responsive manner.
Under Pat’s able leadership, Fuscoe Engineering has transformed into a company of individuals who work as a team dedicated to quality, service and innovation as well as a company which thoughtfully integrates the built environment into the natural environment in a creative and responsive manner.
2015 Founder’s Award Recipient
Bert Selva is president and CEO of Shea Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in America operating in nine states across the country. Shea Homes remains the only builder ever to be named one of America’s top 50 customer service brands two years in a row by J.D. Power & Associates.
Bert received CEO of the Year by Builder and Big Builder magazines and was inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame in 2010. Bert has received several prestigious awards, including the Hearthstone Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award, and the “Spirit of Life” award by City of Hope National Medical Center.
Bert is currently an Executive Committee member of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Board member of St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco and previously served as Chairman of the Board for HomeAid America (developer of housing for the transitionally homeless). He is also a member of Leading Builders of America, and a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He is the Director of the Augie's Quest to Cure ALS Leadership Council.
2014 Founder’s Award Recipient
As owner of Allied Lube, Inc. Richard operates Jiffy Lube franchises. He purchased his first Jiffy Lube in 1992 after having had hands on experience by performing every job within a Jiffy Lube store. He also learned what it would take to run a store through his keen observation as a store employee and manager.
Today, twenty plus years after purchasing his first franchise, Richard owns 74 stores with locations throughout Texas and Northern California. It is his business acumen and dedication to providing outstanding customer service that has brought stable and steady growth to his business since he acquired his first store. Currently he ranks within the top five Jiffy Lube franchisees in the United States.
2013 Founder’s Award Recipient
Ivo A. Tjan is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of CommerceWest Bank, a full service commercial bank with a unique vision and culture of focusing exclusively on the business community.
Mr. Tjan is the Founder of the company and launched an Initial Public Offering in 2001. The Bank is headquartered in Irvine, California with Regional Offices serving Orange County, Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego. Mr. Tjan was named one of OC Metro’s Hottest 25 People of Orange County, California.
Mr. Tjan is an active member and board member of several social and charitable organizations. Mr. Tjan sits on the board of the American Bankers Association Government Relations Committee; he is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), American Bankers Association, Bank CEO Network, California Bankers Association, New Majority and Pacific Club. He is also a former Board Member for the California State Fullerton University Philanthropic Foundation, Advisory Board for CASA, Marconi Foundation and the Children’s Museum as well as a former member of Western Independent Bankers Association. In addition, Mr. Tjan supports a variety of charities in Southern California, like Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Cancer Society, Orangewood, TACA, MDA, Stars and Stripes, Miracles for Kids, Canyon Acres, Taste of the Nation, Tim Salmon Foundation, United Way, WHW, local schools and colleges, and many more.
2012 Founder’s Award Recipient
Robert Olson is CEO, President and founder of R.D. Olson Development and R.D. Olson Construction. Based in Irvine, California, his firms represent more than three decades of experience in the development and construction of hospitality properties, office, retail, multifamily and recreational projects. The company’s client list includes Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Lodging, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Ojai Valley Inn, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, Morton’s Restaurant Group, Houston’s Restaurants, Dave & Buster’s, Sears, The Irvine Company and Neiman Marcus.
Mr. Olson guides the strategic vision for his companies with an active, hands-on approach toward every facet of construction and development, providing valuable input for marketing, investment analysis, debt and equity structures, planning and entitlements, budgeting, constructability and end-user requirements. Recognized as a business leader and entrepreneur, Mr. Olson has been the recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, Construction Financial Management Association’s Construction Executive of the Year and the Orange County Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award.
Mr. Olson belongs to World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and is a former member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), including having served as Chairman of the California Coast Chapter. His philanthropic activity includes serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Mr. Olson is an MBA graduate of the University of Southern California.
2011 Founder’s Award Recipient
Peter Ueberroth has been the recipient of numerous awards, including 1984 Man of the Year from TIME MAGAZINE. He has been awarded the French Legion d’Honneur, and he has received the Sports Torch of Learning Award and Scopus Laureate award from the American Friends of the Hebrew University.
Being both an author and an athlete, Mr. Ueberroth has been inducted into the National Water polo Hall of Fame, and also became a bestselling author with the release of his book, “Made In America.” In addition to being a member of the Young President’s Organization, Mr. Ueberroth served as its International President in 1981-82. He has received 12 honorary degrees from: Notre Dame, Pepperdine, Ohio University, Holy Cross, Claremont-McKenna, Lafayette, Maryland, Loyola-Marymount, San Jose State, Monterey Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic and U.S.C.
2010 Founder’s Award Recipient
A 30-year food industry veteran, Mark Wetterau has effectively served in a variety of leadership positions including: president and COO of Wetterau Inc., chairman and CEO of Shop ‘n Save, co-founder of Wetterau Associates, LLC, and chairman and CEO of Quality Beverage, among others. In each role, Mr. Wetterau led each organization to significant national growth and success, while maintaining the highest standards and ethical values.
In 1998, Wetterau Associates acquired Golden State Foods (GSF), in partnership with Yucaipa Companies, and Mark became chairman and CEO of GSF. In 2004, Wetterau Associates and GSF management purchased Yucaipa Companies’ share of ownership, and Golden State Foods became a 100 percent management-owned and run company. Under his leadership, GSF has grown from $1.4 billion in annual sales to its current $4 billion and has diversified its customer base and company offerings substantially.
Passionate about community involvement and charitable service, Mark has served on the boards of dozens of nonprofit organizations throughout the country and spearheaded the establishment of the GSF Foundation for kids at Golden State Foods in 2002, of which he currently serves as chairman.
2008 Founder’s Award Recipient
Mr. David Scott Olivet serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Renegade Brands, LLC, and as an Operating Partner at Altamonte Capital Partners. He helps source, evaluate and monitor investments broadly, with particular emphasis on consumer and retail businesses focused on the sports, action sports, outdoor, street and fusion, and culturally relevant lifestyle brands. He served as the Interim CEO of Fox Head, Inc., and was the CEO at Oakley Inc. at Luxottica Group from October 2005 to 2009 and its Chairman from July 2009 to February 2011. Past leadership roles include VP of New Business Development at Nike Inc., Senior VP of Gap, Inc., Bain & Company. He has more than 25 years experience in retail, merchandising, manufacturing, marketing, finance, strategy, technology, international business and multi-divisional general management.
Olivet serves as an Executive Chairman of RED Digital Cinema, and as Chairman of the Board of Da Kine Hawaii, Inc. and Mervin Manufacturing, Inc. HUF WORLDWIDE, Inc., and Brixton. Mr. Olivet received his B.A. in Government from Pomona College and his M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
2007 Founder’s Award Recipient
Alexander L. Cappello is the Chairman and CEO of Cappello Group, Inc./Cappello Capital Corp. - Member NASD-SIPC, a global merchant banking firm specializing in Strategic Advisory Services, Mergers & Acquisitions and Finance. The firm has been active in over 40 countries, with principals who have completed in excess of $50 billion in transactions.
In addition to being a member of the USC Board of Trustees and past President of the USC Alumni Association’s Board of Governors, Mr. Cappello is the only two term International Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). YPO honored Alex by naming one of its most prestigious global recognition awards the “Alexander L. Cappello Annual Award” presented at its Global Leadership Conference. Alex’s current and past board memberships include: ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI),Board member of California Republic Bank, RAND Corporation (Center for Middle East Public Policy - CMEPP), RAND Corporation (Russia Forum), The Pacific Council, and Jordan River Foundation; Chairman of Inter-tel (NASDAQ), Chairman of Intelligent Energy plc., Chairman of Geothermal Resources International, and Chairman of Advanced Biotherapy, Inc.; Board member of Koo Koo Roo, Inc. (NASDAQ), CytRx Corp. (NASDAQ), and Genius Products, Inc. (NASDAQ); Chairman of Catholic Big Brothers and Sisters, Board member of Friends of Florence (Italy), Fraternity of Friends of the Music Center, Friends of the Cultural Preservation, and the Regency Club.
2013 Augie’s Quest Champion for ALS Award Recipient
Eric is responsible for all aspects of domestic and international operations for “The World Leader in Private Clubs”. Prior to joining ClubCorp, Eric served as a principal of KSL Capital Partners, the private equity firm that purchased ClubCorp in 2006. Affeldt also previously served as president and CEO of KSL’s former golf division, KSL Fairways; vice president and general manager of Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami and the combined PGA West and La Quinta Resort and Club in California; and was a founding partner of KSL Recreation. In addition, Eric was president of General Aviation Holdings, Inc. He is currently an MDA Vice President and a member of the World Presidents Organization. He serves as Non Executive Chairman for the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE:FUN). In 2010 Eric was named the most powerful person in golf by Golf Inc. magazine and was a regional finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. In 2013 Eric was awarded the prestigious Cecil B. Day Ethics Award by the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University, which recognizes national leaders in the hospitality industry who live and lead based on their faith, family and respect for others. Eric is the former manager of the Belgian National Baseball team. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Religion from Claremont McKenna College.
2012 Augie’s Quest Champion for ALS Award Recipient
ALISON GREENSPAN is president of Di Novi Pictures, and partner to producer Denise Di Novi. She has worked with Di Novi since 1999.
Greenspan’s other film credits include NIGHTS IN RODANTHE, SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 1 & 2, NEW YORK MINUTE, CATWOMAN, and WALK TO REMEMBER. For television, she helped adapt the beloved “Eloise at the Plaza” and “Eloise at Christmastime” for ABC.
Alison graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. At Penn, she enjoyed a four-year stint as performer, writer & director for the nation’s only all-female collegiate sketch comedy troupe, Bloomers.
She spent her childhood in Virginia and Boca Raton, Florida with mother Ann, father Stephen and younger sister Melissa. The Greenspans moved to Northern California, where Stephen was Vice President of Seagate Technology in Silicon Valley. Stephen was diagnosed with ALS in 2004, and passed away in 2009 after a 5 year battle with the illness.
Greenspan has been a tireless advocate for ALS since her father’s diagnosis. The passion increased when her aunt Marilyn, Stephen’s sister, was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. Marilyn passed away in 2011. Now part of a Familial ALS family, Alison’s wish for a cure has become that much more personal and urgent. She enjoys fundraising and sharing her knowledge to family members who are caregivers for pALS and newly diagnosed ALS patients.
2011 Augie’s Quest Champion for ALS Award Recipient
Nigel Lythgoe is the CEO of Big Red 2 Entertainment. Lythgoe most recently served as president of 19 Television, and prior to his tenure there, worked at London Weekend Television, where he was Controller of Entertainment and Comedy.
Lythgoe has been a driving force in the world of performing arts as the executive producer of the TV juggernaut “American Idol,” which has been nominated for more than 40 Emmy Awards, and “Idol Gives Back,” which raised more than $140 million for charity and in 2007 received the prestigious Governors Award, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ highest honor. He is the co-creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series “So You Think You Can Dance.” In 2010, he took “So You Think You Can Dance” to the U.K., where he is reprising his role as judge, and in 2011, he launched “CMT’s Next Superstar” along with his son, Simon.
Lythgoe is actively involved with numerous charities, serving as the chairman of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, Los Angeles, and as an honorary national vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He also sits on the honorary board of Center Dance Arts at the Music Center Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County.
2010 Augie’s Quest Champion for ALS Award Recipient
John Ondrasik, who goes by Five for Fighting, burst on the scene some 15 years ago with his Grammy Award-nominated hit “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” and has been a mainstay on mainstream radio ever since. In his career, Ondrasik has sold over 2.5 million albums including 2004's “Battle for Everything,” which spawned the 2X platinum “100 Years.” His music has been featured in 350 films, TV shows and advertisements ranging from the The Blind Side to Hawaii Five-O. He has also written tunes for everyone from Josh Groban to The Backstreet Boys.
Ondrasik gave away a million copies of a five-volume compilation album he created for United States troops, and he has performed regularly for the USO. Additionally, www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com raised more than $250,000 for five designated charities: Augie's Quest, Autism Speaks, Fisher House Foundation, Save the Children and Operation Homefront.
Ondrasik is a featured speaker from Ted Talks to the Salk Institute, at corporate and private events. He's graced The Kennedy Center stage, performed for world leaders and presidents, and contributed a special performance for NASA. Ondrasik has been a sports commentator for SI.com, the Los Angeles Kings, and a guest on everything from Jim Rome to ESPN Sports Center.
As he explores the possibility of a Broadway show featuring his tunes, he’s currently on the road performing songs as a quartet and with symphonies around the country while working on the follow-up to his sixth album, Bookmarks.
2009 Augie’s Quest Champion for ALS Award Recipient
Nancy O’Dell is one of the country’s leading entertainment journalists and TV hosts. She joined “Entertainment Tonight,” the most watched entertainment news program in the world, as co-host in 2011 and was previously the anchor of “Access Hollywood” for 13 years. Oprah Winfrey and Mark Burnett Productions also tapped Nancy as host of one of OWN network’s premiere primetime shows entitled “Your Own Show.” Viewers have also seen O’Dell as host of “Countdown to the Emmys” special on FOX, “The Golden Globes Arrivals Special” and co-host of “The Tournament of Roses Parade” on NBC for 10 years. She was also host of FOX’s New Year’s Eve Special ringing in 2011.
Although O’Dell maintains a busy work schedule, she regularly makes time for philanthropic endeavors. Nancy is a member of the prestigious Leadership Council for Augie's Quest to Cure ALS, and the National Spokesperson for the ALS Therapy Development Institute. She formed "Betty's Battle," in 2009 in honor of her mom.
2014 Augie’s Quest ALS Courage Award Recipient
José Cofiño was a motivational speaker and writer who lived with ALS. He drove awareness, raised research funds and helped others overcome adversity.
As a seasoned franchising executive and successful entrepreneur and business leader, José turned to consulting and investing in emerging companies. He specialized in helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses by developing brands, processes and systems that are scalable, consistent with their concept’s core identity. A particular area of focus was franchising, where his clients included H&R Block and KFC.
José served as President and COO of ADIR Restaurants Corp., Vice President of the Disneyland Resort, President of PepsiCo Restaurants International in Brazil, and also held leadership positions at Holiday Corporation in the Harrah's and Holiday Inn brands.
José was born in Cuba, raised in Mexico City, and immigrated to the United States in 1968. He earned a BS degree in International Economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MBA from Stanford University.
He lost his courageous battle with ALS in 2017.
2012 Augie’s Quest ALS Courage Award Recipient
LAUREN WITSENBURG, VP of Operations at Jenny Craig, lost her battle with ALS in January 2013 after an extremely aggressive case of ALS. She was a strong and courageous woman who inspired others to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Lauren's drive to succeed was contagious, which made her a natural leader. Physical activity was a major part of her very active lifestyle, which made ALS even more difficult to accept as her muscles progressively stopped working.
Lauren's husband and son joined her in October 2012 when she received the Courage Award at the Tradition of Hope Gala for Augie's Quest to Cure ALS. Lauren remains an inspiration to remind us all that we can change the world. Jenny Craig has coordinated a campaign to support ALS research in her honor.
2010 Augie’s Quest ALS Courage Award Recipient
Mr. Robert Donato received a BA in Finance from New York University. He spent most of his life working in the financial services industry, starting as a stockbroker in 1963 and later retiring as Executive Vice President at Paine Webber. Bob received many awards throughout his life but his most cherished award was received when he was inducted into the Fair Lawn High School Athletic Hall of Fame. While in High School Bob earned nine letters for 3 years in Football, Basketball and Baseball.
In his retirement Bob enjoys many activities including boating, golf and being with the family and friends. He is lovingly known as “Captain Bob” by all who know him. Captain Bob met the love of his life, Vivian, in High School in 1956, and they married in February, 1962. They have two children and two grandchildren, Anna and Jacob, whom they adore.
Bob was diagnosed with ALS in February 2008. He and his family have continued to display an amazing amount of courage each day in their quest for a cure.
2011 Augie’s Quest Humanitarian Award Recipient
For more than three decades, David A. Pyle has been a leader and innovator in the private, postsecondary education community. As CEO of American Career College and Executive Chairman of the Board of West Coast University, Mr. Pyle leads these institutions serving thousands of students looking to better their lives through pursuing careers in health care.
Mr. Pyle strives each day to inspire his team to help students succeed in school and in life. American College of Optics began instruction in 1978 with one campus located in Los Angeles. In 1992, Mr. Pyle expanded the curriculum to include other health care education programs, renaming it American Career College. Today, American Career College has three campuses, where over 4,500 students are enrolled in specialized health care programs. Mr. Pyle acquired West Coast University in 1997.
Mr. Pyle supports numerous philanthropic activities, in particular those which focus on health care and education programs for underserved and at-risk children and families.
2009 Augie’s Quest ALS Courage Award Recipient
Philip S. Smith is Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing/Procurement Officer for Unified Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery cooperative in the Western United States. Previously, Smith was Vice President, Procurement, for Certified Grocers of California, Ltd. (a predecessor company to Unified Grocers), a company he joined in 1994. Smith is an active participant in several food industry-related organizations, including the State of California WIC (Women Infants and Children) Stakeholders Committee, the Board of Directors for Food 4 All and the National Grocers Association (member of the Executive Committee). Smith also serves on committees for the City of Hope and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Phil and his wife, Janis, have two sons and reside in Southern California.
2006 Founder’s Award Recipients
The Tradition of Hope Gala was created to honor John Shea, Edmund Shea Jr., and Peter Shea in its inaugural year. They worked together to raise over $1 million for ALS research and set the bar high for all future honorees.
They were a key part of a long-running, successful family business that was started by their grandfather, a Portland, Ore., plumbing contractor, in 1881. The J.F. Shea Company is one of the largest privately held construction and real estate companies in the United States. It was involved in such landmark construction projects as Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay bridges.
Edmund Shea passed away in 2010.
2017 Founder’s Award Recipient
Matthew attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied political science and history. In 2002, he won the Orange County Business Journal's Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, and has twice been an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Matt is a past Chairman of the Global Board for the Entrepreneur's Organization. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Jill, and their two children.
2017 Augie’s Quest Champion for ALS Award Recipient
Natalie Morales is the West Coast anchor of NBC News' TODAY, host of NBCU's "Access Hollywood" and co-host of "Access Hollywood Live." She previously served as news anchor and co-host of TODAY's third-hour. She joined TODAY in 2006 as a national correspondent and has reported for all NBC News platforms including "NBC Nightly News," "Dateline NBC," and MSNBC.
Morales has contributed to several major breaking news stories including coverage of the Royal Wedding in 2011 and the birth of Prince George in 2013. In October 2010, Morales live-translated and reported on the Chilean miner rescue - coverage that was seen worldwide and recognized with a 2010 National Headliner Award. In August 2008, Morales had the exclusive jailhouse interview with the infamous "Clark Rockefeller." Her other notable reports include the 2009 presidential inauguration; Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005; the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and the election of Pope Francis in 2013.
As a part of TODAY's 'Shine a Light' Campaign in 2014, Morales ran in the Boston Marathon and raised over $70,000 for victims of the 2013 bombing. Morales has won three Daytime Emmy Awards as part of TODAY's recognition as the best morning news program. She was a member of the "Rock Center with Brian Williams" team that won a Robert F. Kennedy Award for their lobster divers story in June 2013, and she was also honored with the 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Series for her Dateline series, My Kid Would Never. Additionally, "Hispanic Magazine" named her one of the "Top Hispanics to Watch" in 2005 and one of the "Top Trendsetters" of 2003.
Morales, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, was born in Taiwan and spent much of the first 18 years of her life living overseas in Panama, Brazil, and Spain as an Air Force "brat." She graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and Latin American studies and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
Interested in learning more about the Augie’s Quest team?