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Chamber Awards 'Best of Manhattan' Honors

Oct 22, 2016 10:39AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Members of the Neptunian Woman's Club celebrate their award

The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce celebrated local businesses and organizations at the Manhattan Beach Marriott on Thursday night with its "Best of Manhattan" awards.

The top award, the "Best of Manhattan" prize, was given to SKECHERS. That award honors "the very best of business in Manhattan Beach...a business that has a major presence in the city, has shown remarkable profitability and stability, excels in quality customer/client service, and is a leader in employment creation."

SKECHERS president Michael Greenberg accepted the award on behalf of the company. "The best thing we ever did 25 years ago was pick Manhattan Beach as our home," he told the crowd.

SKECHERS, the global footwear company, opened its first retail store in Manhattan Beach in 1995. SKECHERS has been a longtime sponsor of major Manhattan Beach events and institutions, including the holiday fireworks, the SKECHERS Friendship Walk, and the renovation of the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium.

Other nominees included Fresh Brothers Pizza, Manhattan Beach Studios Media Camps, and The Strand House.

SKECHERS also won in the "Pay It Forward" category, which recognizes a business with "a proven record of exceptional generosity, and that has gone above and beyond through partnerships with, investments in, and pro bono work with a variety of organizations in Manhattan Beach."

Reflecting on the growth of the SKECHERS Friendship Walk since it was founded in 2010 - and how it has gone from a fledgling idea to a fundraiser that has raised more than $7 million for education and children with special needs - Greenberg said that his motto was, 'Always think big, and don't give up."

Other winners included GROW The Produce Shop for the "Small and Mighty" business award. The popular local grocery store was honored for its "quality customer/client service, ethical business practices, community involvement, and the special flair they bring to the community."

"It's always good to be recognized for the hard work that you do," said GROW owner Barry Fisher, who accepted the award along with his wife and co-owner Kathy Fisher. "All of us pour our heart and souls into the store."

The "Shop MB" award, which recognizes a retail business that "demonstrates outstanding customer service and satisfaction in all aspects of their work," was awarded to Manhattan Meats.

Chef David LeFevre of MB Post, Fishing With Dynamite, and The Arthur J won the "Top Chef" award for a chef that is known for "food taste, presentation, originality and specialty, and creates an overall excellent dining experience."

The Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks won the "Affair to Remember" award for a "Manhattan Beach event that is fun for the whole community with no cost to attend."

The "Home Sweet Home" award for an individual in the real estate, wealth management, or mortgage profession who "promotes excellence in service and ethics while providing quality assistance to their clients in Manhattan Beach" was awarded to Jennifer Caras.

And the "Enhancing MB" award acknowledging "tremendous value and benefit brought to the community by a non-profit organization" went to the Neptunian Woman's Club of Manhattan Beach.

Darrell Sperber, the late owner of Manhattan Beach Toyota, was honored posthumously with the Bob Meistrell Local Legend Award. He was remembered for his "civic-minded" commitment to multiple events and charities in town, and for his enthusiastic participation in and support for Leadership Manhattan Beach. He passed away in January 2015.

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