COSTA MESA — Segerstrom Center for the Arts has announced that Jane Fujishige Yada, manager of Harbor Field Holdings, LLC, has been elected to serve as the center’s new board chair beginning July 1, 2021.
Yada is an Orange County businesswoman and philanthropist whose family interests have played a significant role in the growth and development of this region since 1952. She has been a member of the center’s board since 2001, and is vice chair of the Facilities Committee and ad hoc Reopening Committee. She is also a member of the center support group, Angels of the Arts, and co-chaired the very successful Candlelight Concert in 2018. Yada will serve a three-year term.
Mark C. Perry, current board chair, said, “I speak for the Segerstrom Center Board of Directors when I say that we are thrilled that Jane Yada has agreed to be our next chair. For many years, she has given generously of time, knowledge, business acumen and personal resources. She is a native of Orange County, respected for her effective professional, business and philanthropic leadership.
“Jane is the ideal person to lead a vitalized and forward-looking center. When she commits herself to a project or cause, she brings a roll-up-your-sleeves enthusiasm and work ethic that inspires her colleagues, as we have seen in her approach to the board ad hoc Reopening Committee and Facilities Committee. Personally, I look forward to working with her in the months ahead as we transition through this challenging period, our reopening and planning for the center’s future.”
“I am honored to serve as the chair of Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Board of Directors,” said Yada. “The center is one of Orange County’s greatest assets. The diverse, world-class cultural and entertainment choices available at the center are critical to Orange County’s position as a major, nationally recognized metropolitan region and equal in importance to our business, educational, health, tourism and retail resources.
“I am so proud and supportive of the center’s ambitious and generous commitment to our community through its exemplary education and community engagement programs, the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and Studio D: Arts School for All. I so admire the center’s leadership during the past 34-plus years, and I welcome the challenges before us and to building on and expanding the vision and dreams of those who have preceded me.”
About the New Board Chair
Jane Fujishige Yada is an Orange County businesswoman and philanthropist whose family interests have played a significant role in the growth and development of this region since 1952. She grew up in Anaheim, where, in the early 1950s, her family was among the prominent local farmers, specifically growing strawberries, vegetables and herbs.
With the opening and subsequent growth of Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center area, the Fujishige farm became a part of the Anaheim Resort Area in the 1980s. In 1998, the family sold the majority of the original farm ground to the Walt Disney Corporation.
In late 1990s, Yada became co-manager of the family farming interests as well as the family real estate portfolio under Harbor Field Holdings, L.L.C. Today, the Fujishige interests include multiple agricultural, residential, industrial office and hospitality properties as well as farms in Orange County, Ventura County and Santa Cruz County.
In 2017, the family co-founded Gem-Pack Berries, a year-round shipping and distribution company for strawberries that supplies major grocery retailers across the country. Yada and Fujishige Farms, along with other partners from within the strawberry industry, also helped form California Berry Cultivars, LLC, a strawberry breeding company, whose goal is not only to develop the “perfect” berry, but also to make the cultivars publicly available for all farmers, large and small.
From 2003-2006, Yada oversaw the design and entitlement process for Lambert Ranch, the 51-acre farm in Orange County’s North Irvine that was owned by the Lambert and Fujishige families. It is adjacent to what has become Orange County’s expansive 1,300-acre Great Park. The 169-home development was built by The New Home Company, and has received more than 32 building industry awards, including Community of the Year (Builder & Developer Magazine) and six Gold Nugget Awards (Pacific Coast Builders Conference). The phenomenal success of this project catapulted the growth of The New Home Company and its efforts to become a publicly traded company.
In 2008, Yada worked closely with the Black and Decker company and the integration team in their $4 billion merger with Stanley Corporation. The initial corporate plan proposed moving the entire company out of California to the East Coast or Midwest. Instead, a deal was structured to keep all 450 employees in Orange County. The successful effort further strengthened a landlord/tenant relationship that is now more than 20 years strong.
In 2015, Yada and her family teamed with Nexus Development and Prospera Management to develop a family-oriented hotel on a portion of the family’s remaining Anaheim property. This Hilton-branded hotel has been ranked consistently as the No. 1 family hotel in Anaheim by Tripadvisor.
Yada received her B.A. in English from UCLA. In addition to her leadership roles with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, she is a member of the boards of Pacific Symphony and CHOC Children’s Hospital Foundation, City of Hope, A3M (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches), Hoag Hospital, Second Harvest Food Bank, and numerous other organizations. She is co-chair of CHOC Follies. She is also a huge fan of her hometown sports teams, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Anaheim Ducks.
About Segerstrom Center
Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence, offering unsurpassed experiences and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring arts-based education and community engagement programs.
Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is the county’s largest nonprofit arts organization. In addition to its six performance venues, it is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and Studio D: Arts School for All.
The center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza, and many other special events.
Segerstrom Center is a leader among the nation’s performing arts centers for providing education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts. The center’s programs reach hundreds of thousands of students each year in five Southern California counties. Community engagement programs developed through the Center for Dance and Innovation and Center Without Boundaries also connect the center more comprehensively with Orange County’s many diverse communities.
The CDI supports flagship artistic programming and a wide range of projects that celebrate innovation, nurture creativity and engage audiences of the future. It is home to the ABT Gillespie School and Studio D: Arts School for All, formerly the School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities. The Center Without Boundaries develops partnerships with non-cultural organizations to help them in their own efforts to respond to the ever-changing needs of the community.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region’s major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale, who contribute greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons performed at the center.
In addition to Segerstrom Center for the Arts as a presenting and producing institution, it also identifies the 14-acre campus that embraces the center’s own facilities as well as two independently acclaimed organizations: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art.
For more information, visit www.scfta.org.