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Local businessman, first responders and others honored with top awards at Chamber breakfast


While Mayor George Bass was the main speaker at the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast with the Mayor, a longtime local businessman, first responders and a utility worker were also in the spotlight as the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce presented its yearly awards for outstanding performance and achievements in the City’s private and public sectors.

Long Beach Mayor George Bass presented John Bull, owner of Bull’s restaurant in downtown Long Beach, with the 2022 Aline Doherty Citizen of the Year Award recipient.

“When COVID hit, he took care of his employees,” Mayor Bass said. The mayor also pointed out how the long-time businessman always pitches in and helps local schools.

Joe Culpepper, with h20 Innovation, presented Avery Taylor with the Utility Person of the Year Award for 2022. Taylor has been employed with the Public Works Department for more than forty years.

“Avery is always willing to stay late and get the job done,” Culpepper says.

Long Beach Fire Chief Griff Skellie took the podium to announce Lee Jordan as this year’s recipient the First Responders of the Year award for the fire department.

“He’s been with us for four-and-a-half years,” Chief Skellie said. “He was born to do this job. Everywhere he turns, his work is over the top.”

Police Chief Billy Seal presented Long Beach Police Department’s award for 2022 to Detective Brad Gross.

“He [Detective Gross] builds a good relationship with the citizens of Long Beach, and is able to get a lot of information we need to solve crimes,” Chief Seal said of Gross before the award presentation.

Two American Medical Response (AMR) employees, Brayden Lynch and William Roy, were named the First Responders of the Year award in the AMR Personnel of the Year category.

“These two honorees [Lynch and Roy] continue to pick up extra shifts,” said AMR Chief Dana Thrower before the awards presentation.

Chief Thrower also pointed out how the two AMR employees’ quick-thinking on one call that was supposed to be a routine transport led to saving four lives.