Jack and Nancy Skinner thought they were going to have lunch at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club last week, but when they walked down the stairs to the club’s bay front patio, they were met by a round of applause from a group of community leaders who were there to congratulate the Skinners on being named Newport Beach Citizens of the Year.
“I am taken aback, I don’t know what to say,” said Jack Skinner.
They are the first husband and wife to be honored for the prestigious award, which dates back to 1949. The Skinners, who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, have been involved with city issues such as water quality and land use for many years, and are still active as board members for SPON.
The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce presents the Newport Beach Citizen of the Year Award to “that individual who best represents the qualities each of us admire and respect among our friends, neighbors and associates.”
“Jack and Nancy are inseparable, one might take the lead and the other supports that person,” said Chamber President and CEO Steve Rosansky. “Jack is a water quality genius, he spent decades trying to pinpoint sources of pollution in the upper back bay. Nancy has been involved with many environmental causes, serving on committees. They are two treasures of Newport Beach. They are like energizer bunnies, they keep on going.”
“The Skinners are a great example of giving back and being part of their community,” added Rosansky. “If you look at our criteria, it’s the person who volunteers without being asked, who has been there over the years, doing something because they want to do it. They fill the bill perfectly.”
“We try to look at what is the best for the city,” said Nancy Skinner, a former Tournament of Roses Queen. “We have a wonderful city and try hard to keep it that way.”
“Your contributions have bene many over the years—I cannot think of a more deserving couple,” said Rosansky.
Among the past Citizen of the Year recipients on hand to congratulate the Skinners: Tom Johnson, Ralph Rodheim, Evelyn Hart, Marian Bergeson and Mayor Rush Hill.
“This award goes to people who dedicate their lives to the community, and now you’re a member of that group,” Mayor Hill told the Skinners.
A dinner in their honor will be held November 14 at the Balboa Bay Resort.
For more information, visit the Chamber of Commerce website at NewportBeach.com.