Positioning Philanthropic Clients for Multi- Generational Success

Event Recap

On July 27, 2021, Orange County Advisors in Philanthropy held its first in-person event in more than a year. An online audience also joined the program, which focused on how a trusted wealth advisor can retain multiple generations of a client family by supporting and encouraging their philanthropy. The panel, moderated by Marty Dutch of First Foundation, featured the wealth advisor, multigenerational family and nonprofit organization leader in an engaging conversation.

David Emmes, founder of Pacific Edge Advisors, shared memories of important conversations with the late Phyllis and Ross Escalette. Ross was the founder and president of Auburn Brass and went on to launch Brasstech/Newport Brass of Santa Ana, a respected maker of faucets and plumbing fixtures that employed more than 500 people. After selling the company and struggling with their sense of purpose in retirement, Ross and Phyllis found new meaning in life when David introduced them to a deeper understanding of philanthropy. While they were involved with and supportive of many nonprofits, their largest and most personally meaningful gift was to establish the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Art Collection at Chapman University.

The Escalette’s daughter, Suzanne Ellingson, and her husband, Scot, reflected on her parents’ philanthropy. They shared their initial reaction to the large charitable gift and how that gift touched their life together. Always advocates for children, they work to continually involve their own children in selecting nonprofit organizations and making charitable contributions. Part of that ongoing philanthropy embraces Chapman, including the Escalette Collection. This is especially meaningful as their oldest daughter graduated from the university in 2013 and married an artist and collector of art. As a family, they decided to put their own twist on the newest additions to the collection, celebrating underrepresented artists and subject matter. To illustrate the evolution of the collection, art from the Escalettes was on display alongside art from the Ellingsons.

Dr. Sheryl Bourgeois, executive vice president and chief advancement officer at Chapman, shared how she and others at Chapman worked with Ross and Phyllis through the years and continued to embrace the Ellingsons for more than a decade. Connecting donor passion with institutional needs and priorities is key. For this multigenerational family, art education is a constant. They have sponsored a mural on campus and expanded the Escalette Collection to be timely and relevant for the conversations of today and far beyond. The Escalette gift to the university involves three generations, and David Emmes remains their trusted advisor.

Event Overview

Cultivating and supporting the philanthropic priorities of your clients can deepen the client/advisor relationship multi-generationally.

Join us in-person or online for a Speaker Series luncheon, moderated by Marty Dutch of First Foundation. The panel features:

  • Suzanne and Scot Ellingson | Philanthropists
  • David Emmes | Pacific Edge Advisors
  • Sheryl Bourgeois, Ph.D. | Chapman University

An important goal of a successful multi-generational wealth advisor is to position philanthropic clients for the transfer of their wealth and legacy to the next generation. During this lunchtime session, you will learn how the collaborative efforts of the advisor, nonprofit organization and donor can strengthen your relationship with your clients. Original artwork from the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Art Collection will be on display, connecting three generations of a family as an example of their family’s legacy.

Scot and Suzanne Ellingson

Scot and Suzanne have been married for 22 years and live in Laguna Beach, California. Scot is a partner at Access Partners and Suzanne is retired after selling her family business, Brasstech/Newport Brass, in 2002. The couple have been philanthropically involved with several organizations including Chapman University and are currently leading two non-profit organizations. Scot is the Chairman of Safe Families for Children and Suzanne serves as Board Chair for Child Creativity Lab. They have two children, Morgan and Angelique. Suzanne’s parents, the late Ross and Phyllis Escalette, were philanthropic leaders in Orange County.

David Emmes

David is the founder of Pacific Edge Advisors, a multi-family office serving a limited number of individuals and families. David has spent the majority of his 36-year career in the investment business, most recently as U.S. Markets President – West for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. In this capacity he oversaw the investment strategy, implementation and management of client assets and private banking in 10 offices across the region. David’s experience includes four years working in venture capital and over 10 years in the derivative industry working with institutional clients. He serves on the Board of the Orange County Museum of Art as an emeritus trustee.

Sheryl A. Bourgeois, Ph.D.

Sheryl has 30 years of experience in fundraising, advancement and marketing for nonprofit organizations. As executive vice president and chief advancement officer for Chapman University, Sheryl oversees all external affairs, including strategic marketing, communications, development, and career services. She has helped to grow Chapman from a liberal-arts college of 2,200 students to a nationally ranked R2 university with a student body verging on 10,000. Sheryl earned her BA in English from UCLA, and her master’s and Ph.D. in higher education management from the Claremont Graduate University.