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Rick J. Caruso Elected to USC Board

Business leader Caruso has been named Developer of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Photo/Courtesy of Caruso Affiliated

Rick J. Caruso, founder and chief executive officer of Caruso Affiliated, has been elected to the USC Board of Trustees.

A high-profile developer of open-air malls, Caruso Affiliated has built its reputation on creating neighborhood and regional retail centers of extraordinary quality. The company’s portfolio comprises more than 35 properties nationwide, with a particularly strong presence in Southern California through projects such as The Grove in Los Angeles’ Fairfax district and The Americana at Brand, currently under construction in Glendale and slated for opening in spring 2008.

“Rick Caruso embodies so many of the values that USC cherishes: an entrepreneurial spirit, drive, a passionate desire to make a difference and a commitment to the vitality of Los Angeles and the wider community,” said USC President Steven B. Sample. “Add to these qualities his enthusiasm for and allegiance to USC’s mission, and you can understand how delighted we are that he has agreed to serve on the USC Board of Trustees.”

Caruso is a second-generation Trojan � his father, Dollar Rent-a-Car founder Henry J. Caruso, also attended USC. The younger Caruso graduated from the USC Marshall School of Business in 1980. He formed Caruso Affiliated as a part-time venture that same year and went on to earn a J.D. from Pepperdine University in 1983. In 1990, after six years in corporate securities law, he decided to devote his energies to his company full-time.

Since his student years, Caruso has stayed involved with the life of USC. He has served on the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development’s board of councilors since 1989, and in fall 2006, he and his wife Tina pledged $6 million to help fund construction of the new USC Catholic Community Center and church.

Likewise, Caruso’s ties to his native Los Angeles run wide and deep. At age 25, he became the youngest commissioner in the city of Los Angeles for the Department of Water and Power, and he was president of the Los Angeles Police Commission from 2001 to 2005.

Caruso is a member of the board of directors of the California Medical Center Foundation, the board of visitors of the Pepperdine University School of Law, the board of directors of St. John’s Hospital and the foundation board of directors of the National Institute of Transplantation. He previously served on the board of the Los Angeles Children’s Museum, and he is a longtime supporter of Para Los Ni�os, a nonprofit agency assisting low-income families and at-risk children on Skid Row.

A sought-after speaker, Caruso has lectured at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Public Administration as well as the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development. He is a frequent presenter at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Caruso was named Alumnus of the Year by the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1995, Man of the Year by the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1997, Developer of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 1996 and Humanitarian of the Year by the House Ear Institute in 2001 and the National Conference for Community and Justice in 1999. He received USC’s Alumni Merit Award in 2005.

In 2006, public television station KCET honored Caruso and his wife with its Visionary Award recognizing them as “visionary leaders dedicated to positive change in Southern California through philanthropic, business and civic leadership.”

In 1997, Caruso garnered the Pacific Coast Builder Conference’s Gold Nugget Grand Award for The Promenade at Westlake. The Urban Land Institute honored him with awards of excellence for The Commons at Calabasas and The Grove in 1999 and 2003. In addition, he has collected three International Design and Development Awards for The Promenade at Westlake (1998), The Commons at Calabasas (2000) and The Grove (2003).

The Carusos, who have three sons and one daughter, own homes in Brentwood and Newport Beach.

Rick J. Caruso Elected to USC Board

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