90 Years and Plenty More
Taking place during the holiday season for the second time, the Club held its 90th annual meeting Dec. 5 in the Tom Bradley Room high atop City Hall.
The meeting featured holiday décor, festive wishes, a video highlighting the Club’s expansion into serving all of California, the swearing-in of the Club Board, and annual awards.
Club CEO John Hawkins and Chief Operating Officer Robert Larios handled the hosting duties.
After the singing of the National Anthem, once again performed excellently by internationally acclaimed singer and Club Counselor Gedina Bergstrom, and then lunch, Robert Larios asked Andrew Virzi Jr., DWP, and Club Board Member, to present the new board, which was accepted unanimously and then sworn in by Brian Trent, the Club’s CFO. The Club Board for 2019 is:
- Robyn Wilder, Fire and Police Pensions
- Andrew Virzi Jr., DWP
- Andrew Virzi III, DWP
- Neil Guglielmo, LACERS
- Terry Carter, LAPD
- Danny Wu, LAFD.
Here’s to another great 90 years of service to municipal employees!
Recognition for Great Club Service
The Club is all about great service to City Employees, and the second half of the luncheon was dedicated to recognition of exemplary service.
The Club Representative Award is given to a Club Rep who exemplifies excitement and enthusiasm for this great City, colleagues and the Club. The honor was given to Tonja Bellard, Economic and Workforce Development, by Robert Larios.
“The excitement and enthusiasm has been strong within this Club Rep since 1991 when she first became a member,” Robert Larios said. “She has since then been a strong supporter of the Club, even before it was called the Club. That’s 27 years of belief that the Club is the place that celebrates the lives of employees and the place that helps employees experience California life and work. She has done her part that entire time to tell co-workers about the benefits and services offered, experience those benefits and services for herself for her family and team up with Club staff to help them with their goals that include reaching every City employee. This year, she helped our Mobile Team unit become better than it ever had before by scheduling and coordinating several full-day events at her workplace for hundreds of City employees from a variety of departments. That is not easy to do, but she made it happen.
“The Employees Club of California is honored and privileged to recognize and award the 2018 Club Representative Award to Tonja Bellard.”
The Club President’s Award is given to a Club staff member who has gone above and beyond the scope of their job. The award was presented to John Monahan, IT Developer, by Club CEO John Hawkins.
“John Monahan is this year’s winner of the President’s Award,” John Hawkins said. “And for good reason!
“As a member of the Club’s IT Dept., he has been vital in providing world-class knowledge and expertise in the development of the Employees Club’s new database system called Carter. His positive attitude, unending patience, and his strong work effort ultimately allow us to bring the Employees Club’s technology to modern and futuristic levels that will help us serve members and their families now and into the next decade – both online and in person.
“John, you have set the bar high for all employees of the Club by being an inspiration and an example for the rest of the staff. But most importantly, you have given our Club members the ultimate in customer service, allowing us to truly celebrate the lives of City employees and experience California life and work, together.
“Thank you and congratulations John!”
The Club Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ed Harding, outgoing President of the Retired Los Angeles Retired City Employees, Inc. (RLACEI). Ed was not able to attend the annual meeting in person.
“The Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award is rarely given, but when it is issued, it is for someone who truly has given a lifetime of work and effort to the City of Los Angeles,” John Hawkins began. “It is for someone who has gone above and beyond, every day, for years, decades, since the first day he became an employee of the City. He has worked to make a better life for his coworkers and for the City.
“Edward J. Harding is the President of the Retired Los Angeles City Employees, Inc. He has been the glue that has kept Retired employees together after they have given a career to the City. He has for decades made sure Retired employees were heard to protect their benefits and retirements, and overseen annual golf tournaments and holiday parties and picnics and other meetings for Retirees and their families. He had the foresight to create an alliance with the Employees Club in 2011, and it is an alliance that continues today.
“Thank you for all that you have meant to the Employees Club, the Retired Los Angeles City Employees, the City of Los Angeles and to all those you have touched with your leadership, presence and care.”
Congratulations to the Club for an excellent 2018. Here’s to even greater years ahead as we begin our 91st!