Last July, attorney Paul Watkins got one of the biggest surprises of his life when he was named Newport Beach Citizen of the Year for 2015.
On Friday, Nov. 13, he received a special proclamation from the city as well as accolades from friends and business associates during a dinner held in his honor at the Balboa Bay Resort.
“He has been a longtime servant of the city and been involved in a lot of different groups and organizations,” noted Steve Rosansky, President of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. “He’s worked on city committees, he’s a Chamber member and former chair of the Chamber board, he’s very committed to Newport Beach. He’s always willing to give his time and volunteer. He epitomizes all the qualities that we look for in the citizen of the year.”
“He’s an outstanding choice,” agreed Mayor Ed Selich, who presented Watkins with the proclamation. “Paul has done a lot for our city.”
As noted on the Chamber’s website, the 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.’”
“I was totally surprised by this award,” said Watkins when he learned of the honor in July. “There are so many fantastic recipients of the citizen of the year honor that I have known, so I am truly humbled that they would think of me to join that very esteemed group.”