2016 SCHA Honorees

By Barry Dayton


The Spotlight …

Brightens a stage, a dance, a speech, a song.

It penetrates … pierces the darkness …

Illuminating the moments of our lives.

Almost since the very first AIDS diagnoses in 1981, thousands of people, businesses, organizations, foundations, and other supporters have helped D.A.P. develop from its grassroots beginnings of concerned volunteers to an organization that national leaders are holding up as a replicable model in their plans for an AIDS-free future.


Carolyn Caldwell
100 Women Award for 2016
Sponsored by Annette Bloch


Carolyn Caldwell has been showing her commitment to the health and well being of our community since joining Desert Regional Medical Center as CEO in 2012. For her, AIDS is a personal matter and she feels deeply aligned with the mission of Desert AIDS Project, where she has been a board member for three years.

Armed with a degree in zoology and chemistry, Caldwell began her career in healthcare as a medical technologist in the early 1980s. Her best friend was a gay co-worker who tested positive in 1984 – still in the days when an AIDS diagnosis was delivered as an almost certain death sentence. Although her dear friend lived longer than many in those earliest days – losing his battle with AIDS in 2000 – Caldwell experienced at least a part of his sorrow each time another of his friends died.

Upon moving to the Coachella Valley, Caldwell quickly saw the side-by-side presence of both great wealth and great need here. That’s why she does so much more than “just” run a 387-bed hospital with the area’s only Level II trauma center and the region’s only neonatal intensive care unit … and why the City of Palm Springs Human Rights Commission recognized her work with the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center for helping increase literacy and provide recreation opportunities for our community.

As a long-time member of the 100 Women annual giving program, benefiting the lives of women and children affected by HIV or AIDS, Caldwell is deeply committed to helping bring about an AIDS-free world. When Get Tested Coachella Valley – the nation’s first-ever, region-wide HIV testing and “treatment as prevention” initiative – was launched two years ago, Caldwell was an enthusiastic supporter. But she went a giant step further by “walking the talk” and securing an establishing $1.5 million gift for the campaign from Tenet, Desert Regional’s parent company.

Caldwell said, “All these years after my best friend’s death from AIDS, working with D.A.P. has been rewarding to me on so many levels – both personally and as a healthcare professional. And as a wife and a mother, I have been so gratified to be a part of the work of 100 Women in reaching out to women and children whose lives are affected by HIV or AIDS.”


Jim Burba & Bob Hayes
Partners For Life Award for 2016
Sponsored by Harbinger Pictures


Although Jim Burba and Bob Hayes have been business partners for more than 15 years, they’ve been life partners for even longer. With 26 years on that score, the couple was married in 2014 on the stage of the Nokia Theatre – now Microsoft Theatre – in Los Angeles.

For the past three years, Burba and Hayes have been included on Out Magazine’s list of “20 Power Couples to Know,” which includes such luminaries as clothing designer Tom Ford and his partner, Richard Buckley; singer Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish; and talk show host and actor Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia di Rossi. As co-founders of the Burba Hotel Network (BHN), the enterprising couple develops and produces the world’s most prominent annual gatherings of the hotel and tourism investment community in such far-flung locales as Hong Kong, Delhi, Singapore, Los Angeles, and London.

In 2014, the first film production of their entertainment production company Burba Hayes LLC, “Space Station 76,” debuted to rave reviews at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin. Directed by Jack Plotnick, the film stars Matt Bomer, Patrick Wilson, and Liv Tyler. Burba Hayes’ second film, “Walking Out,” starring Matt Bomer, just wrapped filming in Montana.

The couple has also co-authored a soon-to-be-published book called Smart Partners, focusing on how to create and maintain successful partnerships—in business and in life. Based on their principles for partnering, the book covers everything from deciding if you really need—and want—a partner, to how to pick a partner whom you trust and who shares your core values. The book is chock-full of colorful anecdotes and wisdom garnered from more than two decades of experience as life and business partners.

When Burba and Hayes aren’t writing books and producing events, films, and Broadway musicals – yes, they do THAT too – they are involved in a number of global initiatives and charitable causes. BHN was founded on the principle of sharing success with the communities it serves, including Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs where they have a home. Through BHN events and their community involvement, Burba and Hayes have contributed more than US $15 million for scholarships, education and social services organizations.


Daniel Pintauro
New Generation Arts and Activism Award for 2016
Sponsored by Helene Galen

Former child star Danny Pintauro – today, he prefers Daniel – proved that sometimes it’s the way we handle adversity that defines an activist. Remaining poised and service-minded when a very private thing is made public makes the very-much-grown-up Pintauro a champion of the AIDS service community.

Although he’d already begun his professional career at age 2 as a model, then an actor in commercials at age 3, Pintauro rose to stardom with an eight-year run playing Jonathan Bower in the hit 1980s sitcom Who’s the Boss? He was a pretty popular kid, even as he went on to appear in his acclaimed film debut as Tad in Stephen King’s Cujo and had a five-year role on CBS-TV’s daytime drama As the World Turns.

While trying simply to live his life as just another college student at Stanford University, The National Enquirer said they’d out Pintauro as gay in a story that would run whether he participated in it or not. His Who’s the Boss? co-star, Judith Light, a 2008 Steve Chase honoree and long-time LGBT rights supporter, advised him to give the tabloid an interview so he would have some control over the conversation.

She was right. “Believe it or not, The National Enquirer did a really fantastic, heartwarming article about it,” Pintauro said. “I was shocked.” And People magazine called his confession “a beacon of light for the gay community.”

This Eagle Scout married his partner Wil Tabares in 2014 and in 2015 chose to share his private life with the public as a service to the LGBT community. He revealed on Oprah: Where Are They Now? that he’d abused crystal meth in an effort to explore his sexuality and discussed the disastrous impact the drug is having on the gay world. The kicker in the interview was his announcement that he has been HIV positive for the past 12 years.

Recognizing that crystal meth use is rampant worldwide, including right here in our back yard and among many of its own clients, D.A.P.is forming a Crystal Meth Action Team. Some of their clients have already stepped forward, willing to “stand in the spotlight” and share their stories, in order to help others who might be struggling with meth addiction. D.A.P. applauds Pintauro for his courage in sharing with the world both his HIV status and his former drug use.


Jim Casey
Pioneer Arts and Activism Award for 2016
Sponsored by Eisenhower Medical Center

Last, but certainly not least, among this year’s honorees is Jim Casey who is no stranger to anyone familiar with the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in recent years. Casey co-chaired the event for seven consecutive years, from 2009-2015. His company, Integrated Wealth Management (IWM,) was presenting sponsor of the gala over that entire time, to the tune of $1.5 million – helping to raise nearly $10 million over those seven years. A good deal of that total raised was due to Casey’s personal and professional influence with individuals and companies who offered significant sponsorships to D.A.P. for many years.

Because IWM is a financial advisor and wealth manager with deep ties to the worlds of Hollywood and Broadway, Casey had access to a number of celebrities who graced the gala stage over those years, whether as emcees, award presenters, honorees, or entertainers. A particularly noteworthy year was 2012 when Joan Rivers hosted and Queen Latifah, Wynonna Judd, and Megan Mullally all performed. That year, in addition to locals Father Andrew Green and Karolee Sowle, and international HIV activist Hydeia Broadbent, actors Peter Gallagher and Matt Bomer were honored. Today, an online search on Bomer’s name will likely reference his coming-out as a gay man, with a long-time partner and three children, from the Steve Chase gala stage.

Two years later, as retiring board chair Curt Ringness was honored along with Terri Ketover, and David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard, a special “AIDS in Cinema Award” recognized the collective work of producers and directors who brought us the seminal films And the Band Played On, How to Survive a Plague, Boys on the Side, and Philadelphia.

Today, Casey continues to have feet planted firmly in both the financial and entertainment worlds. He and his partner, Kim Waltrip, have had several successes as film producers through their joint venture, Kim & Jim Productions, including “Hit & Run” starring Bradley Cooper, Dax Shepard, and Kristen Bell, and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” starring Jessica Chastain, James MacAvoy, and Viola Davis.

His seven-year, gala co-chair Barbara Keller, remarked “Jim Casey has been, and remains, a remarkable example of how you can combine business savvy, the performing arts, and philanthropy to really make a difference in the world. My years of working closely with him have made him a dear friend who I know can always be counted on.”

Help shine a spotlight on these honorees and others!

Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Palm Springs Convention Center

Tickets at desertAIDSproject.org or 760-992-0440