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In The News


El Cajon Sculptor Diane Keltner Chosen to Create Bust of Bill Walton for Boys & Girls Club 

~ Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer (1993) Bill Walton, born and raised in La Mesa, is on his way to immortality courtesy of sculptor Diane Keltner and owner of White Sage Gallery on East Main Street in El Cajon. Keltner was commissioned by local businessman Ron Brady, who donated $3 million with his wife, Mary Alice, towards construction of the future Boys & Girls Club of East County Brady Family Clubhouse in La Mesa, to bring to life Walton’s face.


Brady was the idea man behind creating the Bill Walton bust that will be included in a section of the clubhouse that will house a Walton memorabilia collection.

Walton was on hand on Jan. 18 to see the finishing touches of his bust at Keltner’s gallery. Keltner, an Alpine resident, has created more than 20 busts, and used 15 pounds of terracotta clay to mold the bust of Walton that will be bronzed at a foundry.

Keltner’s artistry was evident in Walton’s bust that reflected a countenance filled with humor and projected good will, a hard feat to accomplish. Keltner is a gifted sculptor, working relentlessly to achieve this masterpiece. She worked off of a series of photos in addition to personal sessions with Walton.

Walton said he was “humbled” by such an honor.

While Keltner worked on the bust, the atmosphere at the gallery was filled with humor and always evident was Walton’s good nature and Keltner’s artistic ability.

Keltner’s years of experience in sculpting is evident in the pieces scattered throughout her gallery. To see more of Keltner’s works of art, visit whitesagegallery.com or White Sage Gallery on Facebook. White Sage Gallery is open on an appointment base only.


A Friendly Face at the Door
Artist’s relief of donor Peter Filanc welcomes Construction Engineering and Management visitors

Peter Filanc was the force behind SDSU’s Construction Engineering and Management program, and now he is also the face at the front of it.

A bronze relief of Filanc, unveiled Oct. 15, has been mounted near the entrance to the CEM program offices in the Education Building.
Filanc, former president and CEO of J.R. Filanc Construction Co., passed away in 2007. The Filanc family has donated millions to SDSU’s Construction Engineering and Management program, whose graduates are filling San Diego’s need for qualified engineers with advanced construction and project-management skills.

Created by friend and colleague
“I’m not sure everyone understands the depth of Pete’s commitment,” Professor Ken Walsh told the audience assembled for the unveiling.
“He was the initial fundraiser (for the program), and he was very hard to say no to. He also worked with me very closely on designing the curriculum.” Walsh is the AGC-Paul S. Roel Chair of Construction Engineering at SDSU.
Appropriately, the bronze relief of Filanc was created by a friend and professional colleague, Diane Keltner, who graduated from SDSU in 1992 with a degree in art. She later became a qualified electrical contractor and president of Synergy Electric Company, Inc. in Santee, but continues to practice art in her El Cajon studio and gallery.

Filling a need in San Diego
Keltner and Filanc met when he served as president of the Associated General Contractor (AGC), San Diego chapter, and received its highest honor, the AGC SIR Award. At the time, Filanc was only the 18th construction-industry leader to be so honored in the group’s 76-year history.

“I served on the board when Peter was president,” Keltner recalled. “He made a presentation to the board to support a new construction and engineering management program at SDSU. At that time, when construction managers wanted to hire good people, they had to go to Arizona or beyond.”

SDSU’s program was established in 2005 with major gifts from Jack and Jane Filanc, ROEL Construction and other members of the AGC San Diego chapter. Now, with nearly 150 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled, solid internship partnerships within industry and recent accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the Construction Engineering and Management program at SDSU is a source of highly qualified staff for the construction sector, San Diego’s fifth largest industry.


Spotlight – La Chappa
Atrium of Art in Honor of Barona’s $1 Million Contribution for Cardiac Program

In 2005, cardiologists at Sharp Grossmont Hospital were concerned about the increased patient volume in our cardiac cath labs.


Grossmont’s labs are among the busiest in the county. performing more than 3,000 diagnostic and interven­tional procedures and treating

more than 200 cases of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) per year. And the
number is rising. As one of the first facilities to use minimally invasive techniques in cardiac surgery, Sharp Grossmont Hospital has long been a recognized leader for heart care services in San Diego.

Hospital leaders were willing to invest in new tech­nology to help accommodate a 25% increase in proce­dures performed since 2004. But a limited budget required resourceful thinking. They sought assistance from Grossmont Hospital Foundation, who listened to the doctors and agreed that something needed to be done. “We knew the community would support the idea of philanthropic investment to improve our situa­tion. When it comes to cardiac care, everyone wants the best equipment possible in the facility where they will receive care if needed,” said
Foundation vice president, Belli Morgante. She shared with the cardiologists the important role doctors can play to encourage their patients to help achieve clinical excellence through the acquisition of (lie latest technology funded with philanthropic con­tributions.


El Cajon cardiologist Peter Belott, M.I. was intrigued. Grossmont had been his home base for nearly three decades. Because of this, he found it nat­ural to ask his patient. Leon Banegas. a member of  the Barona Tribe of Mission Indians, for a significant contribution to help upgrade the cardiac cath labs at Sharp
Grossmont Hospital.


The Barona Band of Mission Indians has lived in Southern California for over 5,000 years and the Barona Indian Reservation since 1932.


The Tribe was once a semi-nomadic band that traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. It is now a sovereign government operating Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, East County’s
premier luxury resort and casino.


News Vistas

A Magnificent Day for Vista Hill’s Stein Education Center... Happy 98th Birthday, Sam Stein!
Three remarkable staff members were honored with the Helping Hand Award on September 29 at the Stein Education Center Main Campus.
With approximately 100 in attendance, Mary Bagonghasa, Raymond Fierro and Jamie Brida were called to the podium to receive accolades and a gift of appreciation
for their many years of service and dedication to the children and adults at Stein Education Center.

Liz McInnis, Ph.D., Director of Education Programs; Chayo Chavez, Director, Recreation Programs; and Joanne Garcia, Director of Adult Services, made the presentations and

offered comments about the outstanding recipients. Sam Stein and his family were in attendance — son Jerry, daughter-in-law Sharon and grandson Greg — to hear “Happy Birthday” and many kind words about Sam and Rose Stein and the wonderful and positive effect their support has had on Stein Education Center.

McInnis mentioned that in the early days the entire fall event was held to honor Sam; but after a few years, Sam suggested honoring the teachers and aides and others who worked directly with the children and adults. This practice was adopted and has been going on ever since. Emcee Rob Dean, Vista Hill President and CEO, introduced sculptor Diane Keltner who presented Sam with a handsome bronze bust. This piece will be displayed at the Stein Education Center Main Campus.


Everyone agreed it was a great likeness
of Sam. Ms. Keltner is a member of the Circle of Friends Committee which was responsible for the event and festivities.

Students from the SEC Recreation Program led the pledge of allegiance and helped sing “Happy Birthday.” Donors and friends had a chance to meet the Stein family and the Helping Hand Awardees, and everyone enjoyed cake and refreshments. Additional members of the Circle of Friends Committee are George Venables, Chair; Renée Bannasch, Robert Dean, Heidi Dorman, Albert Franco, Joanne Garcia, Linda Jones, Liz McInnis, Ph.D., John McNutt, Claudia Miller, Ann Mound, Jayne Schultz, Fern Siegel, Valerie Smith, Joan Stein, Beckie Van Houten, Mary
Venables and Diane Willcox.