Stop #21 – Portland, OR 6/7/12
The twenty-first, and final, stop of the Tacha Tour was in Portland, OR. Last, but certainly not least, the City of Roses welcomed us with open arms and showed us a very good time. Before the event we had a little free time which we used to find an amazing gourmet ice cream store, Salt & Straw. Hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever had! As evening fell, Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs, Keith Hinkle (JD ‘97) joined us again at our event hosted by Katy Durant (Seaver ’86) and her husband Gordon Sondland at their beautifully renovated hotel property, Hotel DeLuxe. The classic hotel has been renovated to give it an old Hollywood feeling, and our event took place in their “Private Screening Room.” Our Portland alumni reminisced fondly about Southern California weather, but couldn’t stop raving about how much they enjoyed being in their chosen city. The alumni community in Portland isn’t as large in number as in other cities, but they are a tight-knit group that enthusiastically welcomes alumni from across the five Pepperdine schools. Talking to them and hearing about their love and enthusiasm for the school was the best possible way to bring a close to the 2011-2012 Tacha Tour!
Stop #20 – Seattle, WA 6/6/12
The twentieth stop on the Tacha Tour took us to Seattle, WA. We were lucky enough to be joined by Pepperdine Law alum, Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs, Keith Hinkle (JD ‘97). Our hosts Derek (JD ’96) and Jessica (JD ’97) Newman welcomed us to their beautiful law firm Newman Du Wors for our alumni reception. With views overlooking the water, the venue was truly outstanding! They even showed us several offices with attorneys using (and loving) standing desks. The pros and cons became quite the topic of conversation…a conversation which we carried back to the office in Malibu. Several of us have tried out the idea with make-shift standing desks of our own. We also got to meet one of the youngest members of the Pepperdine Law family. One of our alums brought her adorable daughter who might one day be a proud member of the class of 2032. We had another potential Pepperdine Law student who traveled all the way from Vancouver, Canada to meet Dean Tacha and our alumni. It was an evening that made us quite proud of where we’ve been and excited about where we are going!
Stop #19 – Las Vegas, NV 5/23/12
Stop number nineteen of the tour was in lucky Las Vegas, NV! After a quick flight from Los Angeles we arrived in the desert and were greeted with a wall of heat. Once we found our way to our magnificently air-conditioned hotel (off the strip) we recharged and got ready to spend the evening with Pepperdine Law alums. Prof. Nancy McGinnis (JD ‘85) made the trip as well and brought along her sister Jean. Our host, Board of Visitors member Jennie Dorsey (JD ‘97) was particularly happy to see her. Like many Pepperdine Law professors Prof McGinnis had kept in touch with her former student over the years so seeing one another again was a special reunion. Prof McGinnis was also reunited with one of her classmates from her time as a Pepperdine Law student. It was amazing to see how tight knit the Pepperdine Law family really is. All of the alums who attended had a wonderful time mingling and catching up! They even went around the room and introduced themselves to everyone. Our Las Vegas alums are quite accomplished!
Stop #18 – Denver, CO 4/26/12
The eighteenth stop of the tour took us to Denver, CO. Our host Monty Moran (Co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Restaurants and JD, ‘93) was unfortunately unable to join us due to previous travel arrangement, but generously offered to provide us space in Downtown Denver at the Corporate Headquarters for Chipotle. The offices feature bright pops of neon orange and lime green, and even a textured wall covered in soft fuzzy material. A fast moving thunderstorm wreaked havoc with traffic in Denver on the evening of the event, but many alumni braved the storm come out for the reception. Dean Tacha was especially delighted to have her son and daughter-in-law in attendance so that she could introduce them to so many members of the Pepperdine family. There were also several of her formal judicial colleagues in attendance who peppered her with questions about her thoughts on the future of legal education. Her thoughtful and encouraging responses were inspirational for everyone in attendance – friends, judges, and alumni alike.
Stop #17 – Salt Lake City, UT 4/25/12
The seventeenth stop of the tour was Salt Lake City, UT. We very much enjoyed getting to spend time in this beautiful and modern city. There are still plenty of reminders of the 2002 Olympic Games throughout the city. . Our reception was hosted at the law firm of Parsons, Behle & Latimer by a group of alumni: Randall Holmgren (JD, ‘83), Bart Johnsen (JD, ‘94), Jill Dunyon (JD, ‘91), David Rudd (JD, ‘82), spearheaded by Jeffrey W. Shields (JD, ‘80). The reception in the firm’s conference room provided us with a beautiful panoramic view of the Salt Lake City skyline. In addition to meeting quite a few alumni, Dean Tacha was also reunited with several of her former colleagues and friends from the bench. She pointed out the beautiful Federal Court House and spoke fondly about the times she had visited Salt Lake City and sat there as a judge.
Stop #16 – Austin, TX 4/18/12
The sixteenth stop of the tour was in Austin, TX. It was a special treat for our team and our alumni to have the reception at the Texas State Capitol building. Our host, Jeffrey Boyd (JD, ‘91), is currently serving as Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Chief of Staff. He took us on an amazing behind-the-scenes tour of the capitol building, showcasing the press room, the governor’s reception room, both his and the governor’s offices, and the affectionately nicknamed “dead animal room” – a conference room so named because it is home to many of the governor’s hunting trophies. We were indeed in Texas! Our Austin group wasn’t the largest we’ve seen, but they are extremely connected and supportive of each other. Many of the attendees have remained friends since Law School or cultivated friendships as alumni- some have even helped each other move forward in their careers! We were so fortunate to be able to cover so much territory in the great state of Texas, and a visit to the state capitol was the perfect way to cap our journey.
Stop #15 – Houston, TX 4/17/12
The fifteenth stop of the tour was in Houston, TX. Our new Associates Director, Stephen Butler, had previously lived in Houston so he treated the team to one of his favorite breakfast restaurants – the Breakfast Klub. We were not disappointed! With stomachs full of DELICIOUS southern cooking we made our way to the reception location. We were so lucky to be able to have our event at the beautiful home of Terry Giles (JD, ‘74) and Kalli O’Malley. The Houston reception was one of our most well attended and the people there seemed truly excited to get to meet and talk to one another. Terry spoke to the group about the difference Pepperdine Law has made in his life and the lives of his fellow alumni and encouraged everyone to support the school as much as they could. He even offered to match any donations given to the school for the week following the event! The parents of a recent SOL graduate were excited to meet up with another alum who had advised their daughter about a job opportunity in California, going as far as to put her in touch with a former colleague who was now working in that office. It was wonderful to see the Pepperdine alumni network in action! Jack White (JD, ’03) also told a wonderful story about a memorable encounter that he had with Judge/Dean Tacha in the past. Jack eventually clerked for then Judge, and now Chief Justice Roberts, but his brief experience with Judge/Dean Tacha during the application process left an enduring positive impression, and he expressed how excited he is to have her as part of the Pepperdine Law family.
Stop #14 – Dallas, TX 4/16/12
The fourteenth stop of the tour took us to Dallas, TX for the first leg of our Texas relay. Our generous hosts were Board of Visitors Bill Minick (JD, ’85) and Jeff Cash (JD, ’97). We had our reception at an amazing penthouse restaurant and lounge atop the Towers at Williams Square in Irving, TX called the La Cima Club. It was a clear day and the views extended for miles, though all the windows made it challenging to take pictures with good lighting. We even made a new friend as we were joined by a Seaver graduate who happened to work in the same building. It was also wonderful to catch up with Courtney Echols (JD, ’08), the former Law School Director of Alumni Affairs who recently moved to Dallas with her husband. We made sure to remind everyone that we’ll be returning to Dallas on May 20th for the 4th Annual Dallas Waves Fiesta We’ve challenged the attendees of the Dallas the reception to come out on May 20th with some more Pepperdine alumni friends!
Stop #13 – Nashville, TN 3/22/12
The thirteenth stop of the tour was in Nashville, TN. Nashville is known as Music City, and we were delighted to find live music performers everywhere…even in the restaurants at the airport! We were hosted by Phillip North (JD, ’77) at the law firm of North, Pursell & Ramos, PLC in beautiful downtown Nashville. Phillip gave us a tour of the offices which feature a beautiful library, a collection of mementos from memorable cases and a window in the corner of the office’s common room that shows an amazing 270 degree view of the Nashville skyline. The reception room was decked out in orange and blue, even featuring color coordinated flower arrangements. All of us visitors to the state were also delighted to find that authentic southern sweet tea was being served. That’s a treat we don’t see very often. Several people traveled quite some distance for this alumni reception even a current 3L who is hoping to move to Nashville after graduation. We were also delighted to be joined by founding Dean Ronald Phillips, who now serves as Senior Vice Chancellor and School of Law Dean Emeritus. Although the reception didn’t have live music, we had a fabulous time , and learned some great tips from the locals about the best places to find those musicians…even outside of the airport.
Stop #12 – Phoenix, AZ 2/21/12
The twelfth stop of the tour had us visiting beautiful Phoenix, AZ. The weather was warm and dry. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect for the reception since our hosts, Liz (JD, ‘87) and Martin Mathers (JD, ‘87) invited us to have our reception at a new restaurant in town called Baratin. We were truly overwhelmed by the delicious food that was served. Our hosts have excellent taste! In addition to our law school alums we were also joined by Bob Clark, the director of the Pepperdine Alumni Association, Darren Pitts (MBA, ‘95) and Board of Regents Member Thomas Trimble and his wife Glenna. Martin and Darren are members of the Pepperdine Alumni Leadership Counsel and in addition to enjoying the fellowship of our Pepperdine Law alumni they made sure that the group also took advantage of the occasion to celebrate Pepperdine University’s 75th Anniversary. We thoroughly enjoyed the food, fun and sun Arizona had to offer.