Arthur Joseph Pick, Jr. was born in 1931 in Louisville, KY. In 1945, Art’s family moved to California and legally changed their name from Pickelheimer to Pick, which Art said was fortunate for his future political career, “since Pickelheimer wouldn’t fit on a bumper sticker”.
In 1953, Art was drafted into the military and spent two years at Fort Ord in Monterey Bay, CA. He returned to Riverside in 1955 and worked for Sage’s Markets, located on Magnolia where Alin Paper Company is today. While working full time, Art attended the University of California, Riverside, majoring in education. Upon graduation in 1959, he received a one year scholarship in Public Affairs with the Coro Foundation in Los Angeles. Art went on to receive a master’s degree in Urban Studies from Occidental College in 1969.
Art was elected to the Riverside City Council in 1967, ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly in 1972 (he felt “the electorate did him a favor”), and became the Chamber Executive on November 1, 1972, where he was “surrounded with hundreds of friends.” During his time as Chamber Executive, Art was instrumental in a number of key developments, including the establishment of the Division concept as a major element of the Chamber, not only mobilizing previously inactive portions of the business community like Canyon Crest and Hunter Park, but also bringing each business organization under one umbrella, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. Art also developed the Leadership Riverside program; implemented Riverside Against Drugs (RAD), Riverside Against Taggers (RAT) and Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful (KRCB); developed the California State Citrus Heritage Park; worked with congress to secure the site for the Riverside National Cemetery; and was instrumental in the formation of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Korean Chamber of Commerce and the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Art held a number of leadership positions during his long career. He was a member of the California-Nevada High Speed Ground Transportation Commission from 1992-97; President of the Riverside Monday Morning Group from 1991-94; President of Young Life Riverside from 1966-68; President of the Riverside Symphony Orchestra Society from 1966-69; Founding President of the Riverside Cultural Arts Council from 1969-71; Founding President of the Mayors and Council Association of Riverside County, 1968-69; and Trustee to both La Sierra University (1990) and Riverside Community College (1997-98). Art participated in a number of other civic groups as well, including the Riverside Raincross Club; Vice President for the Sunkist Orange Blossom Festival; Treasurer for the California State Citrus Heritage Park; Chair of the City/UCR Task Force Committee; and Founding Chair for the UCR Extension Advisory board.
Art received a number of awards, including the Distinguished Service Award by the Riverside Jaycees, 1966; Patron of Arts Award, Cultural Arts Council, 1977; Citizen of Year Award, Riverside Police Officers Association, 1990; Community Service Award, 1990; UCR Distinguished Alumni Award, 1990; Riverside International Relations Council Citizen of the Year, 1992; and the CSDR Robert Presley Community Service Award, 1997. Art worked to increase gender and minority representation at every possible opportunity, and for that he received the first Atlas Award given by the YWCA in 1989; Vernon Jordan Humanitarian Award, Riverside Area Urban League, 1989; and the Martin Luther King Visionaries Award in 1998.
In the spirit of civic involvement and leadership development, we are proud to be called members of The Pick Group. We hope to follow in Art Pick’s footsteps, leaving a deep imprint on the culture and development of Riverside.