Manhattan

Manhattan Beach recently had a celebration of riches

The eighth annual Best of Manhattan awards returned to an in-person affair at the Westrdift hotel, where a sold-out crowd of more than 300 celebrated local businesses last week.

Besides the 11 publicly nominated categories, the event, hosted by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, also commemorated its 80th anniversary and announced three special awards. Those award winners were selected by board members.

The capstone of the evening, however, was a reveal of a surprise Unsung Hero award given to outgoing chamber President and CEO Kelly Stroman.

The secret award, presented by Manhattan Beach Mayor Hildy Stern, lauded Stroman for developing innovative ways for businesses in the city to survive 18 months of coronavirus challenges.

“I am really touched,” Stroman said. “This is unexpected and a great surprise. It is truly an honor to stand in front of this great community.”

Stroman relayed a story of how, in the first week of the pandemic, she ran in the rain to Rock ‘N Fish to insist on take-out food just as that restaurant was shuttering because of public health orders. She ate her food while sobbing, she said.

“You all are my family,” Stroman said during the Thursday, Oct. 21, event. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve you and to service this community.”

Stroman isn’t going far, however. She has been named the managing director with Friendship Foundation’s new Friendship Campus in Redondo Beach.

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The other board-selected winners announced at the gala were:

  • Chamber Hall of Fame: Michael Greenberg, Skechers president.
  • Bob Meistrell Local Legend: Jon and Nicole Hirshberg.
  • Chamber Member of the Year: Latrice McGlothin, Kinecta Federal Credit Union.

The chamber also honored first responders, who were chosen by a vote of their peers. The safety officers received a standing ovation for their service:

  • Firefighter of the Year: Battalion Chief Tyler Wade.
  • Police Officer of the Year: Michael Lynch.

Publicly voted winners in each category were:

Source : https://www.dailybreeze.com/2021/10/26/best-of-manhattan-awards-reveals-secret-unsung-hero-recipient/

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