Robert Mayer receives Local Legend award at first Best of HB ceremony

The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce designated the first Local Legend award to Huntington Beach’s Robert Mayer, whose long history of development and involvement in the city precedes him.
Mayer’s long-time friend and colleague Joyce Riddell announced his award and gave a brief speech on background, highlighting his time spent with Stephen Bone advancing the vision of Huntington Beach as a tourist destination. Largely due to his work in developing resorts, Huntington Beach transformed from an oil city to an iconic beach and surf location.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher also presented Mayer with an American flag flown over the capital in his honor.
Mayer expressed gratitude for the award and thanked the city’s business representatives for their long-time loyalty and friendship.
“I’m very happy with everything that’s happening,” Mayer said. “I just can’t appreciate enough that everybody in Huntington Beach has been so kind to our company and our people.”
Moving forward, the Local Legend award will be in Mayer’s name as the Robert Mayer Local Legend Award.
The Best of HB ceremony served to honor 50 businesses in ten categories regardless of chamber membership. Voting for all nominees was open to the public through a SurveyMonkey link.
Golden West College took home the title award, the Best of HB. College President Wes Bryan accepted the award and asked the audience who went to Golden West College, had a family member or friend who did, or knows someone attending now. When a vast show of hands filled the room, Bryan emphasized the significance of community.
“We are your college!” Bryan exclaimed to an increasingly excited audience.
In the opening categories, city representatives accepted both the Sense of Place and the Shaka awards for the Huntington Beach Municipal Pier and the 4th of July Parade, respectively. On stage to accept the award were Patrick Brenden, Julie Toledo, Fred Wilson, Lori Ann Harrison, Kellee Fritzal, Fire Chief David Segura, and Police Chief Robert Handy.

“I really want to commend the Chamber of Commerce for coming up with an event like this to really bring out 50 great businesses and things in Huntington Beach that need to be celebrated,” Brenden said to the audience. “So, we’re happy to be receiving this on behalf of the city. Thank you very much.”

Republic Services’ representative Jeff Snow lifted Diane Dwyer of the Assistance League of Huntington Beach to the stage as they accepted the Wave of Hope award. From 2016-17, the Assistance League returned $758,000 to Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Westminster and served over 15,000 people. When Managing Partner Brett Barnes accepted the victory for Duke’s Huntington Beach in the Surfer’s Choice category, he thanked several people representing restaurants in the same category.

“It really means a lot to me to feed you guys and to host every surf event,” Barnes said. “I don’t really know what to say except that I’m astounded that we won.”
Family-owned Huntington Surf and Sport won the Big Kahuna award for big business. Owner Aaron Pai accepted the award and thanked his family for everything they do.

“I borrowed $60,000 from my parents to purchase the store,” Pai said. “And 40 years later, I am so honored and so blessed to have my family, Trevor and Taylor, right here running the show.”
Other winners were State Farm Insurance agent Dianne Thompson in the Home Sweet Home category and The Boeing Company in the Ohana category.
The Chamber’s Best of HB ceremony replaced the former Business & Leadership Awards Luncheon. In previous years, the nomination process was grueling, and winners were chosen by a private committee and were announced prior to the event. The Best of HB opened an easier nomination process to the public (nomination required only the submission of an organization’s or business’ name) and kept the voting public through an online voting portal.

“We hope this event encourages residents to become increasingly engaged with the business community,” Chamber President & CEO Jame’s O’Callaghan said. “We had great involvement this year but we’re looking forward to an even bigger turnout next year.”

Not present to receive their awards were Zack’s for the Small but Mighty award and the Huntington Beach/Seal Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for the Living Green Award.
To explore an opportunity to be on a nominating committee for 2019, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based business advocacy and networking organization that represents 675+ businesses, employing more than 160,000 employees in Huntington Beach and Orange County.

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