August 5, 2008

Leadership L.B. Classes Train Leaders Who Make a Difference

By Shirley Wild, Society Columnist

"Vision, Leadership, and Commitment" were boldly displayed on banners in the CSULB Student Union Auditorium for the June graduation of the Leadership Long Beach Class of 2008.

The auditorium/ballroom was transformed by committee member Sharon Diggs-Jackson with colorful balloon arches and plants in addition to the banners. The dinner committee was chaired by Karen Owens, outgoing vice president of administration.

Nearly 200 people attended the event, hosted by CSULB President F. King Alexander. The 27-member class presented their class projects and received their graduation certificates from LLB Executive Director Peter Bostic and Vice President of Programs Carolyn Smith Watts.

LLB outgoing President Colleen Bentley from the Cal State Chancellor's Office was unable to attend since she was leading a training session in Washington D.C., but she appeared by video with the White House in the background.

New President Denny Moore, whose theme was "Star Trek," wrapped up the dinner with a stirring speech congratulating the Class and Alumnus of the Year CJ Harmatz of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. He was both funny and serious as he introduced LLB's tag line for the coming year: "20/20 Leadership," in reference to the fact that Leadership Long Beach is celebrating its 20 th year in 2008-09.

FYI: Leadership Long Beach offers adult and youth leadership programs to benefit the Long Beach community. Its 700 alumni members serve on the City Council, on city commissions and nonprofits throughout the city. For a list of the members of the Class of 2008 and their projects, see To help, call 562-436- 3020.

Seen at the Scene: Councilman Patrick O'Donnell, who led the Pledge of Allegiance; City Auditor Laura Doud; former Mayor Eunice Sato, a member of the LLB Honorary Board of Governors; John Fiedler of SCE and his wife, Donita Van Horik, a dinner committee member.

Other dinner committee members Helene Ansel, Cyndi Stafford, LaVerne Duncan, Ron Hoppe, Brett Waterfield, Cecile Harris Walters, and Willa Heart; school board member Felton Williams; Long Beach City College trustees Jeff Kellogg and Tom Clark; Rich Archbold; Eddie Pierson; and Anitra Dempsey.

Also, Jerry and Gail Miller; Kim Armstrong; Al Day; Jim Goodin; Eric Brown; Suzanne Mason; Fran Hanckel; Mark Levinstein; Rob and Donya Webb; Alan Fox; Winnie Wu; Ray Jankowski; Dennis and Leslie Smith; Janey Roeder; Bob and Anne Emigh, who is also a past alumnus of the year.

Also, Sheila Nix; Brittanie Heart; Ruth Ashley; Steve Gordon; Jeff Coburn; Juan Garza; past LLB Presidents Lou Anne Bynum and Minnie Douglas, who is a past alumnus of the year; Mark Taylor; Robert Garcia; Past Alumni of the Year Darick Simpson, Pam Spoo and Judy Ross; Woody Sides; Michelle Friesen; Myna Pappas; Guy Heston; Eamonn Killeen; Zadie Cannon; Margaret Brewer and Jerry Caliguiri.Friends Brunch

President of the Friends Los Cerritos, Vicki Pard, recounted numerous accomplishments achieved by Rancho Los Cerritos staff and volunteers during the past year at the Friends annual meeting.

Some 60 people attended the brunch which was held at the rancho on June 7. Pard recognized the 10,600 volunteer hours provided by the Friends and various volunteers and noted that the rancho welcomed more than 5,500 visitors for tours of the house and gardens, and 3,200 fourth-graders took part in the rancho's school programs during 2007.

Neil Larks, who has served the rancho as a volunteer in a variety of programs for more than a decade, while chalking up over 2600 volunteer hours, was the 2008 honoree and recipient of the Sarah Bixby Award for his dedicated and extraordinary service to the rancho.

Neil has educated, entertained and delighted countless visitors.

A special award went to Suzie Chhouk, a 15-year-old Long Beach Poly High student (class of 2010), who has donated 110 hours to the rancho as part of the Teen Docent Program.

Ellen Calomiris, the Rancho Los Cerritos Site Director, described exciting new programs and plans for the rancho in the coming year, including the beginning of construction of a new visitor's center, and the redesign and expansion of a California Native Plant Garden.

Lee Shoag, president of the Ranch Los Cerritos Foundation, was also in attendance and expressed his deep appreciation for the continued commitment and support provided to the rancho by the Friends.

Completing the festivities was guest speaker and master storyteller Jim Lewis. He is a member of the National Storytelling Association, the California Reading Association, and the Society of Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators, who entertained all with stories of his childhood in rural Oregon.

FYI: The Friends of Rancho Los Cerritos is a volunteer corps which supports, preserves and interprets the historical and cultural aspects of Rancho Los Cerritos. The volunteers provide many services in the operation of the rancho and underwrite public and member programs. Membership is open to all; call 562-570-1755.

Seen at the scene: Gail and Gene Dermody, Marcia Harris, Sherie and Ed Cooley, Nancy and Floyd Phillips, and Mickey and George Mellevold.

News of social events with charitable purposes may be sent to Shirley Wild at [email protected] and include group name and identification of individuals from left. Call Shirley at 562-594- 9468 for information.

(c) 2008 Press-Telegram Long Beach, CA.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.