SAN DIEGO–The American Diabetes Association (ADA) office serving San Diego has announced the three recipients of its 2013 Father of the Year awards. The event honors fathers in the U.S. who have demonstrated the ability to balance their personal lives, serve as role models of strength, commitment and love for their children and help make positive contributions to their communities. Locally, the Father of the Year awards event has raised 1.8 million dollars for the American Diabetes Association since its inception nine years ago, and plans to surpass two million dollars after this year’s event. Nationally the event has raised 30 million dollars.
The three, who will be honored at a dinner on June 6, include: Donald H. Ankeny, president/CEO of Westcore Properties; James L. Fitzpatrick, owner, CEO and publisher of San Diego Magazine; and, Todd Leigh, attorney with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch.
The ADA said the trio was selected based on their commitment to the community and to family. “We are proud to honor men who have achieved a high-level of success in their careers while finding the time to be exemplary fathers,” said Nicole Eades, manager of the American Diabetes Association, Greater San Diego Area. “These men deserve recognition not only as fathers and community leaders, but for the thousands of dollars they will help raise to stop diabetes.”
Ankeny and wife Joy, who reside in Rancho Santa Fe, are raising twin daughters, Hannah and Julia, sophomores at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla. Ankeny also has two grown daughters, including Lisa, a doctoral student at the University of Denver School of Medicine, and Kristin, a finance executive living in Los Angeles. Ankeny currently serves as a trustee and chair of the Advancement Committee at The Bishop’s School, and has served as chair of the Rancho Santa Fe Elementary School Foundation and on treasurer of the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. The native of Minnesota played ice hockey while attending Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He graduated cum laude with a degree in economics. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University School of business. He worked for six years as an investment banker in San Francisco before moving to San Diego in 2001 to join Westcore Properties, a private real estate investment firm focused on the acquisition of industrial and office properties in the western United States with particular focus on California.
Fitzpatrick and wife Jan, who reside in La Jolla, have been married since 1968. They both attended Lutheran North High School in Chicago, where Jim was the captain of the football team and Jan was a homecoming queen. Their first date was on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 1965. Jim then attended Valparaiso University in Indiana, and later served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. The family settled in Orange County, where Fitzpatrick excelled in sales with several companies. In addition to his bachelor’s degree, he has a master’s degree in business administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
In 1986, Fitzpatrick acquired an ownership interest in Entrepreneur Magazine, headquartered in Irvine, and served as publisher for four years. Then, in November 1994, he acquired San Diego Magazine from founders Ed and Gloria Self. He sold the magazine to Curtco Media, publishers of the Robb Report, in 2005, and subsequently reacquired the magazine in 2010. He received the 2000 Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for his success with San Diego Magazine, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 from the City & Regional Magazine Association. He launched the magazine’s website, Sandiegomagazine.com and now delivers the digital version in the Apple newsstand. He has been active on boards and committees of many local civic organizations, including the San Diego Symphony, Lincoln Club, San Diego Sports Commission, San Diego Bowl Game Association, and others. He is the former chair of the Salvation Army Community Advisory Board Sierra Del Mar Division. They have three children and six grandchildren, including twin boys.
Leigh and his wife Carola live in San Diego’s Santaluz community near Rancho Santa Fe, and have five children, Frank, Jeff, Mary, Zach and Josh, along with nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Zach, 40, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 2. Over the decades, Leigh has been a dedicated volunteer for the American Diabetes Association in many capacities. He has served and chaired numerous ADA committees and boards on the national, state and local levels. He served as chairman of the national ADA board in 1991-1992. He is the recipient of the highest volunteer awards given by the ADA for outstanding contribution in the case of diabetes. Leigh also is an avid runner, completing numerous Ironman triathlons and more than 27 100-mile trail runs, as well as the Bad Water 146 ultramarathon, a 146-mile run from Badwater Basin in California’s Death Valley (282 feet below sea level) to the top of Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet above sea level).
Leigh graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in economics in 1964, and a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law on the Berkeley campus in 1967. He has practiced law since 1968 at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, specializing in commercial real estate law. Established in 1946, Procopio is the largest full-service business law firm in San Diego County with more than 130 lawyers practicing in more than 30 specialty areas.
The Father of the Year Awards program, presented by the Father’s Day Council and benefiting the American Diabetes Association, honors fathers in the U.S. who have demonstrated the ability to balance their personal lives, serve as role models of strength, commitment and love for their children and help make positive contributions to their communities. The New York-based Father’s Day Council, which began the awards in 1942, designated the ADA as its charity partner in 1999. The San Diego ADA chapter began its Father of the Year awards in 2004.
The ADA will host its 10th annual Father of the Year Awards beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, at Hyatt Regency La Jolla, 3777 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego. Tickets begin at $300 per person.
For more information, contact Eades at (619) 234-9897, ext. 7438, or visit www.diabetes.org/SanDiegoFOTY.