Kimberly Dwan Bernatz; Gary Capata; Joanne Fernbach; Sandi Wright-Cordes

Online PR News – 19-December-2014 – Irvine, Calif. – Four prominent community leaders have been named to the board of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the Society announced today. Rounding out the 25-member Board of Directors are Kimberly Dwan Bernatz, Senior Vice President of First American Trust; former mayor of Laguna Niguel Gary Capata, managing partner of Capata & Co. CPAs; civic leader Joanne Fernbach; and Sandi Wright-Cordes, a retired school administrator.

“These four individuals represent the best that Orange County has to offer in terms of community involvement and dedication to the arts,” said John Mangum, president and artistic director for the Philharmonic Society. “The Society is thrilled to welcome these remarkable leaders in our community to our board of directors, and we look forward to benefiting from the valuable perspectives each of them brings.”

Ms. Bernatz is a returning Philharmonic Society board member and is also a second-generation board member; her father Jack Dwan served on the Society’s board 1998-99. Ms. Bernatz’s involvement with civic organizations has included roles as Membership Chair of University of California Irvine’s Center for Investment and Wealth Management and past Chairman of the Board of Pacific Chorale. She is also a member of the Hoag Hospital Foundation’s Endowment and Planned Gifts Committee, a member of the Orange Coast Estate Planning Council and an advisory council member for the Assistance League of Newport Mesa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California and is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.

Exposed to classical music at a very young age, Gary Capata’s love of music extends back to playing the bassoon in high school, and he is invested in ensuring the continuation of youth music education for future generations. Mr. Capata served on the Laguna Niguel City Council from 2004-12 and was elected Mayor in 2007 and 2011. He has also served as Commissioner for the Laguna Niguel Planning Commission and the Laguna Niguel Traffic Commission, and previously served on the Orange County Fire Authority Board from 2008-12. Mr. Capata is currently also a member of the Group Insurance Trust CAL - CPA Board of Trustees, Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, Laguna Niguel Rotary, Laguna Niguel Lion’s Club, Saddleback College Foundation, and the Ocean Institute’s Board of Directors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s in business administration, both from the University of Southern California.

Joanne Fernbach served as President of The Committees of the Philharmonic Society from 2009-10 and in that capacity, represented them on the Society’s board for three years. Passionate about the Society’s youth programs, she has been an active member of The Committees for more than 25 years, serving as chairman of the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee and in multiple leadership positions for The Committees. Ms. Fernbach has also been involved with the Christian Science Nursing Care Endowment Board (secretary and founding member), National Charity League, and Junior League of Long Beach. Ms. Fernbach holds a bachelor’s degree in junior high school education and taught at middle schools in the Long Beach and Los Alamitos school districts for a number of years.

A retired school administrator, Sandi Wright-Cordes joins the Society’s board of directors as President-Elect of the Philharmonic Committees. Grateful to the strong commitment to music education she experienced as a student in the Long Beach Unified School District, Ms. Wright-Cordes has been an active member of The Committees since 2009 and has also served as The Committees’ Vice President of Youth Programs. Prior to retirement, Ms. Wright-Cordes, who holds a master’s degree in Education Administration, was an elementary schoolteacher for the Long Beach Unified School District and Garden Grove Unified School District, and for the latter served as District Program Facilitator, K-6 Supervisor of Gifted and Talented Education, and as an elementary school principal. Ms. Wright-Cordes has been involved with the Women’s Auxiliary of Garden Grove Assistance League (charter member) and is a member of the Orange County Millennial Choir and Orchestra.

About the Philharmonic Society of Orange County
Founded in 1954, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County is Orange County’s oldest and most recognized music organization, presenting the world’s most acclaimed symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, performing organizations and artists. A catalyst for cultural and educational development throughout its region, the Philharmonic Society is a key resident company in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

For more than 60 years the Society has presented artists who set the standards for artistic achievement: Sir Georg Solti, Itzhak Perlman, Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel and Cecilia Bartoli, to name just a few. In addition, many of the world’s greatest orchestras have performed in Orange County by invitation of the Philharmonic Society. The Society celebrated the diversity of our cultural landscape with Eclectic Orange Festival presentations from 1999-2004. Eclectic Orange events championed contemporary composers through commissions and sponsorship of regional and world premieres. Among the living composers presented were Tan Dun, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Edgar Meyer, Burhan Öçal and Mikel Rouse. Past presentations include the West Coast premiere of Steve Reich’s “The Cave,” the Southern California premiere of Terry Riley’s “Sun Rings,” the United States exclusive engagement of Théâtre Zingaro, the West Coast premiere of “Orion” by Philip Glass, the West Coast premiere of Steve Reich’s “WTC 9/11”, and the 2011 exclusive West Coast recital appearance of opera superstar Renée Fleming.

About First American Trust
First American Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF). For more than 50 years, First American Trust has provided comprehensive financial planning, investment management and trust services on a local, full-service basis. First American Trust is based in Southern California and has approximately $3 billion under administration as of Nov. 30, 2014. For more information, visit