Rubins lead foundations at LSU, UCR
October 6, 2010
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) A Riverside/Los Angeles developer and his wife are continuing their long history of community involvement by each taking leading roles at the foundations of neighboring Riverside universities.
On Oct. 5 Mark Rubin, chairman and chief executive officer of Regional Properties Inc. in Beverly Hills, assumed the chairmanship of the La Sierra University Foundation Board while his wife, Pam, enters her fourth month as the chair of the University of California, Riverside Foundation. Mark Rubin previously served as the LSU foundation’s vice chair while Henry Coil of Tilden-Coil Constructors Inc. led the board. Coil will serve as emeritus chair.
The Rubins live in Beverly Hills and will soon make a second home in Regional Properties’ luxurious new Raincross Promenade condominiums. The company built the project at Third and Market streets in downtown Riverside, a couple of blocks from the city’s historic Mission Inn.
Mark Rubin plans initially to inspire less active individuals on the La Sierra foundation board to get involved and aims to encourage more fundraising on the part of the overall foundation. After that, “I‘ll do what the president [Randal Wisbey] tells me to do,” he said. Meanwhile Pam Rubin began her role July 1 as chair of the UC Riverside Foundation, her first experience in a governance position.
“I’m happy to help in any way I can to advance the causes of UCR and the educational advancement of the school,” Pam Rubin said. “I’m honored to be asked and waiting to be guided.”
The dual foundation leadership roles came as a surprise to the Rubins. “I don’t think we could have planned it. We didn’t plan it,” Pam Rubin joked. “I’m sure we’ll be sharing stories.”
Jim Erickson, La Sierra’s Center for Philanthropy director and long-time friend of the Rubins introduced Mark Rubin to La Sierra. Erickson headed the UC Riverside Foundation between 1985 and 1999.
The foundation appointments are the latest of many volunteer roles the Rubins have held in the inland community since Mark Rubin began developing property in the growing area during the 1960s. While some questioned his move to develop businesses in the smoggy, sprawling region, “I saw an opportunity in the Inland Empire,” Rubin said. “The only place I want to develop and build is in the Riverside area. I’ve turned down projects everyplace else. To me it’s common sense.”
He initially purchased acreage in the Mission Grove area and developed homes, shopping centers and offices. He still has another 15 to 20 acres of undeveloped property in that area and is currently constructing a six-story office tower in downtown Riverside near the 91Freeway. Four additional levels are being constructed underground as a parking facility. A construction crane now hovers over the site that is offering 140,000 square feet of office space for lease, an important commodity in the city’s central core of government, law and business buildings where space is a premium at 6% vacancy. Rubins’ Los Angeles area developments included First Regional Bank which he co-founded in 1979 and where he served as vice chairman of the board.
Rubin also serves on Riverside’s Downtown Partnership board, the Mission Inn Foundation board, the Riverside County Philharmonic and on the board for the California Riverside Ballet. Pam Rubin also serves on the board of the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda and the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors.
Volunteering time and expertise with community and institutional boards is all part of giving back, Mark Rubin said. “The community has been good to me and I think that’s the least I can do for the community,” he said.
“The city of Riverside has really created our lifestyle,” Pam Rubin said. “We really love the people of Riverside,” and want to help advance the city’s interests.
While contributing their time and expertise to the betterment of the Riverside community, the Rubins have significantly impacted the region with their philanthropic activities. The Rubins have given millions to UC Riverside and put its medical school on track to fruition with a $4 million endowed chair funding a medical school dean’s position. And recently they spearheaded a Jewish Studies program at the university.
Their contributions have also aided American Jewish University in Bel-Air where Mark Rubin serves as a board trustee; Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles where he and Pam serve as a regent; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he is also a Board of Governors member; the Riverside Community College District; and La Sierra University.
Mark Rubin was born in Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the United States in 1948 after surviving the horrors of a Holocaust concentration camp during World War II. He arrived in California in 1953 after attending school five years in New York City and working as a messenger in Manhattan. In the Golden State he worked as a construction site laborer, the starting point for a career in property development. He built his first apartment house in 1958 in Pasadena.
Citing famed scientist and inventor Thomas Edison, Mark Rubin attributes his success primarily to hard work, “90 percent perspiration and 10 percent inspiration. What I do isn’t rocket science. Do the right thing. Treat people right and they’ll treat you right,” he said.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University