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Hot 25: 2009 Honorees
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Published: November 01, 2009

Pretend City

Fact: In its first month of operation, the museum had 19,634 visitors.
Pretend City President Pam Shambra on timing: “Orange County is especially ripe for a children’s museum like this, with over 450,000 kids under the age of 8.”
Admit it: You played dress-up as a child. You pretended that you were a fireman, a doctor or even a pop star. Pretend City is turning kids’ dreams into reality. The children’s museum in Irvine is set up like a mini-town, where kids can role play, or just play, in a variety of environments – painting at an art studio, shopping at a Ralphs grocery store or building castles at a sandy beach.   
“Pretend City gives children the opportunity to learn foundational skills, such as creativity and leadership, through interactive and exploratory play, as well as develop an understanding of the interconnectivity of the world,” says Pam Shambra, president of the museum. “It can also help build career aspirations.”
For the last 12 years, a team of local business people – including Shambra, Anne Marie Moiso, Alexandra Airth, Sandra Peffer and William Lyon Jr. – has been working hard to build the 28,000-square-foot museum, which opened in August. While more plans for the museum are under way, classes in dance, art and martial arts for children and adults will begin this month.
“The way children learn today is very different than when we were their age,” Shambra says. “Children often spend a lot of time in nonsocial activities. The result is a generation of children who are at risk of not learning how to develop critical-thinking skills – essential tools for succeeding in business and in life. We don’t want to miss this window of opportunity when millions of brain connections are made.”

– Ashley Eliot

OC METRO's 2009 Hot 25 honorees:

Toby Bost  |  Mike Gillespie  |  Anil Puri  |  Sean Collins
Kevin Boylan & T.K. Pillan  |  Dr. Jason Knight  |  Hugh Hewitt
Luke Allen  |  Tina Aldatz  |  Sukhee Kang  |  Glenn Gray
Amelia & Florent Marneau  |  Tim McFerran  |  Tallia Hart
 Bill Sanderson Henrik Fisker  |  Janet Hamada  |  Wayne Gross
Julie Miller-Phipps  |  Michael Ruane  |  Carl St.Clair
  Pretend City  |  Phil Willms Sheryl Bourgeois  |  Steve Nichols

<<< Back to 2009 honorees

Web extra:
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of OC METRO's Hot 25 awards, here are our original Hot 25 honorees, who were featured in 1990.

Doug Rankin  |  Erich Vollmer  |  Dennis Aigner  |  Greg Patton
Janice Mittermeier  |  Carol Stogsdill  |  Carl St.Clair
Anton Segerstrom  |  Christopher Cox  |  Christine (Reed) Iger
Dr. Robert Bade  |  Thomas Mays  |  Mike Goode
Richard Gadbois  |  Rudy Castruita  |  Debbie Miede
Ernest C. Brown  |  Mossimo Giannulli  |  Daniel L. Rasmussen
Cynthia Ellner  |  Kathryn Braun Lewis  |  David Wilhelm

<<< Back to Web extra main page:
first Hot 25 honorees

Readers Feedback:

AFAIC that's the best aneswr so far!
Comment at 1/24/2012