Robinson, Escobedo lauded by The Arc for contributions, successes
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: January 11, 2013
Two Santa Paulans, Fred Robinson and Ivan Escobedo, received high honors from The Arc at the organization’s recent Annual Awards luncheon held at Spanish Hills Country Club.
Barry Morrow, Academy Award-winning screenwriter and producer of the film “Rain Man” and Emmy Award recipient for the television movie “Bill” was the guest speaker and oversaw the installation of the 2013 Board of Directors.
Robert Hogan, president of The Arc Board of Directors, presented the awards to Robinson and Escobedo as well as to others also honored for their exemplary achievements and service to the agency over the past year.
The Richard M. Bateman Award, the agency’s highest recognition of an employee, was presented to Robinson, the agency’s retiring chief executive officer. Hogan said, “Fred Robinson is a dedicated professional and inspirational leader; respected for his integrity, compassion and commitment to improve the quality of life for those we serve. Through this compassion, he has transformed The Arc during his 22 years of leadership to a progressive and person-centered agency advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.... As we honor Robinson with this special award,” Hogan said, “we also pay tribute to Richard Bateman’s dedication and commitment that he brought to his work, and ensure that his memory will always endure at The Arc of Ventura County.”
The annual award is a memorial tribute to Bateman, an Arc job counselor and one of the victims of a 1993 murder spree that included victims at the Oxnard EDD Office.
Robinson, a Santa Paula native, stepped down as the leader of The Arc effective December 31. The former city councilman has been appointed to the city’s Planning Commission.
Escobedo received the Participant of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding successes through programs and activities at the Hazel Kay/Dorothy Smead Heritage Valley Arc located on North 10th Street in Santa Paula.
Other Arc participants at other center also received awards.
Harriet Weigel of Port Hueneme, community advocate and volunteer, received the Hazel Kay Benefactor Award in recognition of her many contributions in support of the agency’s mission and participants. The award is named for the late Kay, who with Smead was dedicated to The Arc and served and held numerous local and statewide offices on behalf of the agency and its clients.
Introduced at the luncheon was Patricia Schulz, who has succeeded Robinson as the agency’s chief executive officer after serving as chief operating officer and former director of human resources.
The Arc of Ventura County, founded in Santa Paula in 1954, serves nearly 700 individuals countywide through an array of quality programs and services. The agency offers opportunities that assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to enjoy a life of dignity, respect and inclusion, including gaining life skills to learn to live independently, participating and volunteering in the community, and receiving training and skills to obtain employment.
For additional information, contact (805) 650-8611 or visit www.arcvc.org.