By Sebastian Lopez
At the upcoming Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s 91st Annual Installation Dinner on June 15 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalow, Dorothy (Dee) Menzies and Iao Katagiri will receive awards for their commitment and contributions to the Santa Monica Community.
Menzies will receive the Bob Gabriel Community Service Business Award and Katagiri will receive the Roy E. Naylor Achievement Award.
“These awards are given to thank and showcase Santa Monica chamber member businesses and professionals that do exemplary service for the betterment of the community of Santa Monica,” Gigi de Pourtales, Director of Events and Marketing for the Santa Monica Chamber said. “This year, two women who have made an enormous difference to Santa Monica and in that in that to the community at large are retiring”.
Gabriel was a successful businessman in insurance and real estate, served on the city council and led many community nonprofit agencies. The Bob Gabriel Community Service Award honors organizations that show commitment to supporting the needy within the community.
Menzies was born in Santa Monica and after receiving her Bachelor of Science, Life Teaching Credential and Master of Education degrees from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, went on to become the head of school at Carlthorp School, first woman president of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica, served on the Board of the Santa Monica YWCA and YMCA, serves as a member of the Santa Monica College Associates, serves on the Education Committee for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and more.
“Participating in the activities of the Chamber of Commerce has been extremely meaningful to me for several reasons,” Menzies told The Mirror. “First, it is an honor to serve the City that I love and hold in high regard, second, I enjoy enriching the experience for the Santa Monica business owners, and finally, serving the Chamber and the City is a family tradition that dates back to my father who was a Chamber Board Chair in the 1960s.”
Naylor was president of Naylor Paints and an active participant in Santa Monica Service Organizations including the chamber of commerce.
Katagiri is Deputy Vice President, External Affairs and Director of Community Relations for RAND Corporation, President of the Board for Connections for Children, long-time board member of WISE & Healthy Aging, serves on the boards of Westside Food Bank, Santa Monica Police Activities League, The Santa Monica College Associates and more.
“Whether we need thoughtful people to address problems or can-do people to implement solutions, Iao has been there for the Chamber and the community for decades,” Chamber President Laurel Rosen said. “She chaired the board of directors in 2009-2010, during the recession, and helped keep the Chamber moving forward.”
This is Katagiri’s second Naylor award, which is the first time anyone has been recognized twice for lifetime achievement.
“Just as important, she has shared her wisdom and insights, mentoring many community leaders,” Rosen said. “We are fortunate that she may be retiring from RAND, but not from all of us.”
For more information on the awards and the installation dinner, head to: smchamber.com.