2018 award winners

emerging leadership award: susana bendijo

Susana BendijoCongratulations to Susana Bendijo, recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award for 2018. For 18 years Susana has been involved with CRU, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to high school students. The focus of her ministry for the last two years has been specifically to Long Beach Area schools, where she lives out her huge heart for young people to become followers of Christ, to mature in that relationship, and to share the gospel with others.

community leadership award: gregory sanders

Pastor Gregory SandersIt is our privilege to present the 2018 Community Leadership Award to Pastor Gregory Sanders, whose broad and varied leadership roles include senior pastor of The ROCK Christian Fellowship, president of the Long Beach Ministers Alliance, creator of “A Mile of Men” community violence response program, and Senior Alliance Clergy council to LBPD. His passion for service to the community of Long Beach and tireless volunteer work is felt in the church, on the streets and in the marketplace.

2017 award winners

emerging leadership award: mercedes sequoia

Mercedes SequoiaThe 2017 Emerging Leadership Award goes to Mercedes Sequoia, who volunteers her expertise in an advisory capacity to various Long Beach area groups. Mercedes’ main focus has been to empower and encourage women through Women Lawyers of Long Beach (WLLB), advancing the full participation of women in the legal profession, advocating for fairness and equality, and improving the status of women in our society.

community leadership awards:

tiffany sickler

Tiffany SicklerTiffany Sickler is 2017’s co-recipient of the Community Leadership Award. For over 25 years, she has utilized her considerable educational credentials, her deeply-rooted involvement with the foster care system, and a huge heart for children to advocate for the needs of displaced youth. She is currently the Program Director for Home Forever, a Long Beach non-profit dedicated to “a world where every child has a permanent family.”

justin rudd

Justin RuddCongratulations to Justin Rudd, the 2017 co-recipient of the Community Leadership Award. In 2001, he founded the Community Action Team (CAT), producing 60+ local programs and events benefiting children, animals and the environment in the Greater Long Beach area. Additionally, his fundraising efforts include annual clothing and food drives, help for breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, animal shelters and more.

2016 award winners

emerging leadership award: sarah palmer

Sarah PalmerThe 2016 Emerging Leadership Award is presented to Sarah Palmer for affecting positive change through her work with Liberty in North Korea (LINK), helping to rescue North Korean refugees and resettle them in South Korea and the United States. In addition, she is passionate about offering literacy support to young children through Traveling Stories, an organization which emphasizes the joy of reading, transforming reluctant readers into confident ones.

community leadership award: steve kuykendall

Steve KuykendallThe 2016 Community Leadership Award is presented to Steve Kuykendall for his leadership and passion in the establishment of a Long Beach Fisher House, a haven for our military, veterans and their families. This 16-bedroom house serves families of veterans receiving care at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Hospital when they don’t have another option. Steve embodies our nation’s promise to support those who have sacrificed for its freedom.

2015 award winners

emerging leadership award: allison nicholas

Allison NicholasThe 2015 Emerging Leadership Award is presented to Allison Nicholas for her compassionate provision of hope, healing and support to the Long Beach community through her work with Get on the Bus. This program offers support and free transportation services to families, bringing children (and their guardians/caregivers) to visit their mothers and fathers in prison. She is also a staunch supporter of family values, freedom and liberty.

community leadership award: cathy taylor

Cathy TaylorThe 2015 Community Leadership Award is presented to Cathy Taylor, founder of Hurting Moms, Mending Hearts, a support group for mothers who are suffering the heartache of having a child or children who are making choices that are destroying them, as well as their families. She is also actively involved in Celebrate Recovery, a Bible-based program addressing choices and behaviors which have proved harmful to one's self and others.

Nominate 2018 community leaders...