Citizen Of The Year Award
The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce presents two categories of awards each year to deserving citizens of Newport Beach.
The Newport Beach Citizen of the Year Award is presented to that individual who best represents the qualities each of us admire and respect among our friends, neighbors and associates.
It’s not given so much for achievement, as it is for helping others achieve.
It’s not given for outstanding single effort, as much as for long-term, continuing commitment to the community.
It’s not given for position, public or private, as it is for “being there” when there is service called for.
It’s not given so much for being a member, or for paying dues, or for financial contribution, as it is for being the one everybody wants on the Committee when there’s a job to be done.
It’s for the one who says, “Sure – I’ll help – what do we need to do?” And then does it.
And it’s for the one who says, “Newport Beach is my home – and my life – and its future and mine are the same – and whatever I can do to make them better, I will do.
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Citizen of the Year
About David Beek
David Beek, a Newport Beach native, was born on April 24, 1963 right here at Hoag Hospital to parents Seymour and Jenne (Jean).
As a child, he lived on Lido for about 5 years, then moved to Mexico City until at the age of 8, he moved to La Jolla with his brother, Tom, and went back and forth between La Jolla and Newport Beach until landing in Newport Beach in 7th grade to stay with his Dad.
David attended both Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor High Schools and a high school in Arizona. Fun Fact: To burn off energy, he was in a punk band, the Rayons. He graduated in Arizona, then returned to Orange County and enrolled at Orange Coast College where he would earn his AA Degree. He transferred to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication.
David worked for a series of employers including the Pennysaver, Gustaf Anders in La Jolla and South Coast Plaza Village and Home Depot. Eventually David’s father asked him if he was interested in running the family-owned Island Marine Fuel business. After the lease expired with the current operator, David took the helm.
As the new general manager of Island Marine Fuel, David saw its potential, building on and pulling inspiration from his Home Depot career with a customer service focus. David has now been there for 22 years and calls it the best job in the world. He comments, “I get to deal with people when they are at their happiest…boating on the water in a place like Newport Beach.”
At 36, he joined Balboa Yacht Club. Volunteerism is a cornerstone at the Yacht Club, with virtually everything being run by volunteers. He went on to become Port captain, a difficult job, and would eventually become Membership Chair, Rear Commodore, Vice Commodore and Commodore.
David is a serious boater. He and his father started the Newport to Ensenada Race and the family boat, Vamos, served as the official start boat. It would eventually become the largest boat race in the world.
Soon, Ray Lewis and Brett Hemphill asked David about joining the Chamber Commodores Club. His Dad was already a Commodore. Although he didn’t know too much about it, he said yes and that ignited a new facet of his volunteer efforts.
David served on various Commodore committees, but the one is best known for is the Christmas Boat Parade, where he started serving as Co-Chair over 14 years ago. To this day, David’s passion and dedication to this cherished community event is one of his most important contributions.
Additionally, his experiences catapulted his involvement in the community to serve on many other boards and committees. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce for 16 years, chaired the Chamber’s Marine Committee and is a Past “Skipper” of the Chamber’s Commodores Club, having been selected Commodore of the Year in 2013. He has been honored as a past recipient of the Newport Beach Chamber “Silver Anchor” Award and served on the Board of Directors for Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach and Company. David is now a Staff Commodore at the Balboa Yacht Club.
Currently, he serves as the President Elect of The Balboa Island Museum of Newport Beach, Co-Chairman of The Flight of Newport (formally Flight of the Snowbirds and Flight of the Lasers) for the past 10 years and most recently waw honored with the Boy Scouts of America’s “Good Sea Scout” of the Year Award in 2022.
David has been married to his wife, Barbara, for over a decade, has a successful daughter, Riley. He has been boating for over 35 years.
Previous Citizen of the Year Award Recipients
John and Elizabeth Stahr
Jack and Nancy Skinner
No Award Given
Norm Loats, Ed.D.
Thomas C. Edwards
Clarence “Bus” Turner
Rush N. Hill, II
William D. Lusk
J. Peter Barrett
William P. Ficker
T. Duncan Stewart
Richard “Dick” Stevens
A. Vincent Jorgenson
Judge Robert Gardner
Dr. Basil H. Peterson
Paul A. Palmer
David Nielsen, M.D.
William “Bill” Spurgeon
J.L. “Les” Steffensen
James “Jim” Edwards
Edward Milum, M.D.
Joseph A. Beek
Dora O. Hill
O.W. “Dick” Richards
Robert “Bob” Murphy