"Dick Merkin’s business and philanthropic achievements are legendary and I’m proud that he partnered with me in co-founding the Milken Institute’s FasterCures Center…his many achievements – in healthcare, education and the arts – emerge from a profoundly personal commitment to making the world a better place."
Dr. Richard Merkin, CEO and Founder of the Heritage Group, was honored by the Milken Institute Global Gourmet Games benefit with the Inaugural Tommy Lasorda Leadership Award.
The first ever Lasorda Leadership award was presented to Dr. Merkin on April 28th at a benefit held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and raised more than $3 million for FasterCures, a medical center at the Milken Institute pursuing accelerating the pace of critical medical discoveries. The event marked the beginning of the four day annual Milken Institute Global Conference.
“I’m overwhelmed to be honored with this award,” said Dr. Merkin, “and am especially pleased to be recognized by an organization like FasterCures that has done so much to change the world.
I never thought there would be a sentence that connected my name with Tommy Lasorda’s and am delighted now there is,” he continued.
Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken commented, “Dick Merkin’s business and philanthropic achievements are legendary and I’m proud that he partnered with me in co-founding the Milken Institute’s FasterCures Center, where he is a highly valued board member. His many achievements – in healthcare, education and the arts – emerge from a profoundly personal commitment to making the world a better place. That sustained commitment has made him the role model that earned the Lasorda Leadership Award.”
The Lasorda Leadership Award, named after baseball icon Tommy Lasorda, “recognizes individuals who embody Tommy’s legacy of leadership and management, a philosophy that applies across multiple disciplines. Leadership rules were always simple and straightforward. Love what you do and instill pride in those you lead. Appreciate what your team and your organization do for you. Be clear and honest in your communications. Put the team before the individual. And motivate your players to make sure they want it more than the other team –
even if the other team had more talent.”
The event attracted more than 400 people with actor John O’Hurley, a veteran of the Global Gourmet Games, presenting the Global Gourmet Games competition instructions with notables Michael Milken, Tommy Lasorda, Sasha Cohen, 2006 Olympic Silver Medal winner, Director John Landis, Oscar nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman, John Salley, former NBA star, Natasha Duffy, Lisa Mesloh, former Dodgers star Steve Garvey and his wife Candace all joining in on the fun testing their gourmet food, wine and trivia knowledge.
Dr. Merkin is the CEO and founder of the Heritage Group. Under his stewardship, the Heritage Group has become the largest, physician-owned and operated integrated delivery system in the United States with over 50 related healthcare companies. The Heritage Group encompasses numerous patent, venture capital, private equity, and insurance companies.