Joe Stapleton Named Newport Beach Citizen of the Year

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Joe Stapleton – photo by Meghan Black

Newport Beach resident Joe Stapleton, president and co-founder of Spinnaker Investment Group and an active member of a number of local community groups and organizations, has been named the Newport Beach 2020 Citizen of the Year by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Stapleton joins a long list of honorees dating back to 1949.

According to information provided by the Chamber of Commerce, Stapleton received the news in a surprise announcement while he was attending a Chamber Board Zoom meeting, ostensibly to give an update on his work with the Newport Beach Foundation. After concluding his presentation, Chamber President and CEO, Steven Rosansky, informed Stapleton that he was this year’s recipient of the prestigious honor. The meeting was also attended virtually by a number of past Citizen of the Year recipients and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Chamber of Commerce always plans the Citizen of the Year announcement as a surprise, and Stapleton was indeed caught off guard.

“It is rare that I am without words, but this means the world to me,” said Stapleton. “None of us do the work we do because of recognition, we do it because of our love for Newport Beach. I understand the commitment and responsibility that come with this honor, there are so many others who are well deserving of this recognition. The list of those before us, represents individuals who have dedicated their lives to our great City. It will continue to be my goal to inspire the next generation of community leaders. I am truly blessed to call Newport Beach my home.”

In making the presentation, Rosansky noted that “Joe is very deserving of this honor. He is a tireless volunteer and has definitely made a difference in the 10 plus years he has been part of the Newport Beach community. Whatever he starts, he finishes, and he is always all in!”

Stapleton will be honored formally at the Newport Chamber Honors event to be hosted at a future date.

According to information on the Chamber’s website, the Newport Beach 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 finally, “it’s for the one who says, “Newport Beach is my home and my life, and its future and mine are the same. Whatever I can do to make them better, I will do.”

Stapleton’s current and past involvement in the community of Newport Beach is extensive.

Currently, he serves as a member of the Finance Committee for the City of Newport Beach and is Chairman of the Board of the Newport Beach Foundation.

He also serves on more than a dozen boards of directors for community and civic organizations including The Pacific Club, New Majority Orange County, Newport Beach & Company, Literacy Project Foundation, Speak Up Newport, OC Cats (University of Arizona Alumni Association), The Pacific Arts Foundation, Corona del Mar Residence Association, Lott Trophy and International Executive Council.

Stapleton is also on the Executive Board of the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

His past services include serving as a harbor commissioner (2013-2017), a Leadership Tomorrow Board Member, Founder of The Elite OC Young Professionals Society, and many other community endeavors.

As President and Co-Founder of Spinnaker Investment Group, Stapleton oversees the firm’s client relationships while advising businesses and individuals on customized wealth and investment management, life insurance, group benefits and executive compensation solutions. His top priority is assisting clients to achieve what is most important to them by bringing their goals and desires in line with their financial resources.

He holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona. He lives in Newport Beach with his wife, Sarah.

Stapleton joins other recent Citizen of the Year honorees including former Mayor Nancy Gardner (2019), Debbie Snavely (2018), former City Manager Homer Bludau (2017), John and Elizabeth Stahr (2016), Paul Watkins (2015), Jack and Nancy Skinner (2014), Jean Watt (2013), Tom Johnson (2011/2012), and the late Ralph Rodheim (2010).

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