Asia Society Southern California 2012 Annual Gala Dinner

ASSC held its 2012 Annual Gala Dinner at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A. on Mar. 28, 2012. (Asia Society Southern California)

LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2012 — Asia Society Southern California Center held its 2012 Annual Gala Dinner here at downtown's historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

An evening in support of Asia Society and its innovative programs, the Gala featured a keynote address from Sidney Rittenberg ( 李敦白 Lǐ Dūnbái), who received the 2012 Visionary of the Year award. The Gala also honored C.L. Max Nikias, President  of the University of Southern California, as the 2012 Education Leader of the Year; and Y.H. Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air and Chairman of Hanjin Group, as the 2012 Asian Business Leader of the Year honor.

The festivities began with the rousing sound of Taiko drummers inviting all guests to the ornate Crystal Ballroom. Guests were further welcomed by the sound of traditional Balinese music and Panyembrama dance, an offering of welcome and goodwill.

The evening’s emcee was Janet Yang, producer of such films as The Joy Luck Club, The People vs. Larry Flint, and Dark Matter. More recently, Yang was the producer for the made in Shanghai production Disney High School Musical: China. Dinner guests were also treated to a performance by pianist Pauline Yang of USC's Thornton School of Music.

The Gala Dinner closed with a discussion with Sidney Rittenberg, who received a standing ovation from the crowd.