Leadership Long Beach
By Randy Gordon,
Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
LLB Class of 1995
August 27th, 2013 – I arrived in Long Beach in April 1994 as the president/CEO of the Chamber after being hired by one of the best leaders I had ever met, Diane Creel. At the time she was the president of Earth Tech. I respected her as a very strong leader of her company, which had sales of $60 million at the time and ultimately grew to $2 billion before she retired. In a very short period of time I learned a lot about leadership from her.
She encouraged me to apply for Leadership Long Beach (LLB) so I joined the Class of 1995!
LLB was very beneficial to me as it propelled my learning curve of knowing Long Beach and meeting so many elected officials and community leaders in my first year on the job. Meeting with city leaders and learning more about the operations of the port, airport and Long Beach’s police, fire, gas, water and health departments along with the CSU System, was a great experience. I remember looking at the list of LLB graduates for the first four years and being so impressed. Never did I realize that I would meet three individuals in my class who would one day become chairmen of the Chamber. They were Mark Gray of Guzman and Gray CPA’s, Scott Dionne of Windes and McClaughry Accountancy and Dave Neary of Westland Construction. Wow, three chairmen of the Chamber and the Chamber CEO in that one class of 1995!
I have learned most of what I know about leadership by having 31 different chairmen in my Chamber professional career. It has always been challenging but also a rewarding job as one does have to adjust your leadership style to fit with the individual chairman who will lead the Chamber for a year. I also learned a lot by constantly immersing myself in high regarded books on leadership. With this, I will leave you with this great definition of leadership from Ken Blanchard:
“Anytime you seek to influence the thinking, behavior, or development of people in their personal or professional lives, you are taking on the role of a leader.”
Long Beach is blessed to have so many leaders. Leadership Long Beach can be proud that many of them are graduates and are now well-equipped leaders that will continue to lead our community now and into the future!
(Founded in 1989, Leadership Long Beach offers principled leadership programs by educating and engaging adult and youth leaders on issues important to the city’s future and sustainability.
For more information, check us out at www.leadershiplb.org or www.facebook.com/leadershiplongbeach.)