Hunt says goodbye to Irvine Co.

Feb. 1, 2001 12 AM PT

Mathis Winkler

NEWPORT BEACH -- Gary H. Hunt, one of the Irvine Co.’s highest ranking

executives, announced Wednesday he will leave his job.

The company’s chief negotiator with government agencies and an

executive vice president, Hunt, 52, said he will stay on as a special

advisor on an exclusive basis over the next five months.

Hunt said he is discussing future plans with professional associates

and personal friends. Working as an independent consultant for

corporations and organizations is one option he’s considering.

Most recently, Hunt oversaw the Irvine Co.’s governmental relations,

environmental affairs and community relations departments.

While emphasizing that he hasn’t made any decisions and is looking at

all options, Hunt said a move to the East Coast might also be possible.

One option is working with the new Bush administration, though plans

are far from set in Washington, D.C., said Hunt, a longtime supporter of

the Republican Party. He served as vice chairman of the party’s national

convention’s host committee in San Diego in 1996.

"It is with a great deal of anticipation that I have decided to start

a new chapter in my professional, political and personal life after more

than 20 years with the company," Hunt said, adding that he had discussed

the move extensively with family members and Donald Bren, the company’s


Hunt said he is leaving his former employer with "deep personal

regard" for the company and his colleagues.

"It is not possible for me to capture in words the enjoyment and

personal commitment I have felt," he said. "One of the key factors in

making this decision now is that the company is clearly well-positioned

for a bright future, with a very organized, highly capable team of


Bren, who described Hunt as "one of my closest advisors over the

years," praised Hunt’s professional dedication.

"Although he will now be moving on to new challenges . . . our

friendship and my respect for him will always remain," Bren said in a

prepared statement.

Another former colleague, Carol Hoffman, predicted great things for


"Gary Hunt will be fabulously successful at whatever he decides to

do," she said. "There’s room for him at our firm."

Hunt serves on the Orange County Business Council and the Irvine

Health Foundation, among others, and has held numerous appointed

positions in state and federal government.

He and his wife, Joanne, have two sons, Patrick, 17, and Nicholas, 16.

The family lives in Corona del Mar. With his sons leaving for college in

the next few years, he said he wanted to have more time to spend with


He’ll also continue to volunteer as a referee for soccer games and

will spend some time in Baja California, where the family keeps a

vacation home.

"Everybody says they’ll read books," he said, laughing. "I’m not going

to say that."

Hunt’s departure marks the second time a top-level executive has left

the company in less than a year.

In September, former vice president Hoffman left the company to start

her own consulting firm.


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