David Fleming is the creator and founding chair of the Los Angeles County Business Federation “BizFed.” He has served the people of Southern California for more than seven decades as an instigator of progress and force for good, improving the lives of millions through his distinguished career, extraordinary public service, and deep commitment to creating a brighter future for all. He is widely recognized for leading the LA charter reform movement in the 1990s.
Fleming has served on nearly 50 boards and commissions at charitable, civic, and nonprofit organizations and at all levels of government: city, county, state, and federal. His wide breadth of work, tireless volunteerism, and generous philanthropy have helped restructure city government, advance major public transit projects, expand access to affordable education and the arts, and uplift children and families in need. Fleming’s contributions have made a measurable difference in government, education, commerce, infrastructure, healthcare, and media, among other areas.
During his successful 55-year legal career, he specialized in corporate, land use, and environmental law, also representing clients in banking, securities, and estate planning. Fleming spent 30 years with Latham & Watkins LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world, and served as chairman of the attorneys committee of the California Savings and Loan League. He credits his Midwestern upbringing – and his early years as a sports announcer at radio stations in Chicago and his home state of Iowa – with shaping his work ethic and sense of community.
Highlights of Fleming’s numerous appointments and leadership roles include service on the 10-member LA 2020 Commission alongside former U.S. Secretaries of commerce and labor; a presidential appointment to serve as trustee of the nonpartisan James Madison Foundation; a mayoral appointment to serve as director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority; and a stint as co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council alongside former California Governor Pete Wilson. He also served as chairman of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, the largest organization of its kind in the nation.
In 2014, Fleming was awarded the LA Chamber’s Civic Medal of Honor, the highest award given annually to a Los Angeles area resident for a lifetime of outstanding civic achievements. He is a recipient of the Fernando Award for lifetime volunteer service and Holy Cross Hospital’s Nelle Reagan Award for Volunteerism. He has been honored by the United Chambers of Commerce, the LA County League of Women Voters, the LA Family Housing Foundation, the Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation, the Valley Interfaith Council, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Jewish National Fund, and other philanthropic and civic organizations.
Over the years, Flaming has devoted nearly 100,000 hours of service to civic, community, charitable, and government organizations. He and his wife Jean have contributed to a wide array of charities, including Valley Presbyterian Hospital, California State University Northridge, the Reason Foundation, and his almae matres Augustana College and UCLA School of Law. Fleming is a proud member of UCLA Law’s inaugural class.
“There is no endeavor more rewarding than service and no act more satisfying than giving back,” said Fleming. “I’ve had the privilege to not only throw my support behind projects and policies that make sense, but to watch as my vision for progress takes shape.”
Fleming’s vision for an organized, civically engaged business community is now a reality. BizFed, the grassroots alliance of business networks he founded and launched alongside Tracy Hernandez in 2008, now has more than 215 member organizations representing 410,000 companies employing 5 million people. The BizFed family has grown in scope to encompass three complementary branches: BizFed Central Valley, BizFed PAC, and BizFed Institute.
BizFed Institute is fortunate to be named a major gift recipient through David W. Fleming’s living trust. We want to express our gratitude for Mr. Fleming’s unwavering support of our mission and his willingness to memorialize it in this way.
BizFed Institute is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit that breaks down barriers with information and builds consensus solutions to address key issues impacting California’s economy. Our work connects decision makers with thought leaders across housing, water, energy, workforce readiness, and immigration policy. What we do is only possible through the generous support of our partners. You can click the link below to make a donation to the BizFed Institute.
You have the option of including BizFed institute as part of your annual personal and/or corporate gift strategy or philanthropy. Check donations can be made payable to BizFed Institute and mailed to the following address:
6055 E. Washington Blvd.
Commerce, CA 90040