40 under 40

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Amelia Niumeitolu

    Locally famous for introducing herself as someone who "lives, loves and works in Long Beach," Amelia arrived from Tonga--near Samoa in the South Pacific--with her family when she was four.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Ashleigh Ruhl

    On top of her nonstop work as Editor of the Gazette Newspapers, Ashleigh is also a nonstop advocate for Long Beach itself.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Baktaash Sorkhabi


    Baktaash is largely a city advocate—meaning he advocates for making Long Beach more accessible, more green, more pedestrian and bike friendly, and overall more beautiful.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Bill Bedrossian

    Those who know Bill always point out his love for the children and families of Long Beach, a fact proven by his former work for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) as well as his current position as Executive Director of Olive Crest.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Emma & Isaac Simons-Araya


    Writing their own songs and playing their own instruments, the teenage brother-and-sister duo better known as the Potential Lunatics has not just hit the local circuit by playing practically every nook and cranny of a space that can be called a venue, they also recently played at the

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Eric Leocadio

    His mission was simple: to create a citywide, relational infrastructure that offers innovative tools, systems and resources for individuals and organizations.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Erica Crespo

    A proud Trojan, Erica saw that Long Beach was home to hundreds of fellow USC grads and yet, had nothing to connect them together—seemingly antithetical to the school's well-known reputation of social networking.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Gina Stewart

    A few years ago, the Long Beach Volunteer MeetUp Group—despite having some 300 members—was sadly dormant. Gina saw an opportunity to not only occupy her spare time but to energize the many Long Beach residents she knew had a knack and desire to give back.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Ina Parker Hicks


    Unquestionably, the success of a city as well as an organization depends on the individuals that comprise them—and Ina has been essential in making Green Long Beach one of the most dynamic and effective green advocacy groups in the city.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Jahaziel Romero


    Jahaziel has a business that many men would love to have: he prints t-shirts, the classic garment that will never leave one's closet.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Jeannine Pearce

    One of Jeannine's nominators succinctly described her as thus: "Woman, mother, social activist." Though there are many more adjectives that go beyond this list to describe Jeannine, the fact remains that her work for the Long Beach Coalition for New Jobs and a Healthy Community is

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Jenelle Hutcherson

    Though a woman of many talents—her work as a stylist at the Den Salon in Downtown for the past five years proves she is a master with scissors—it is her tireless work at embracing the diversity of women that truly makes Jenelle shine.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: John Grefe

    A self-proclaimed technology and code geek, John's dedication to fostering Long Beach’s growing tech community is unparalled.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Jonas Corona

    For three years, Jonas has overseen the nonprofit Love in the Mirror—and he is still only 9-years-old.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Julie Bartolotto

    Julie's job is not only difficult, but essential--after all, what is a city to do for its future if it is not properly documenting its past?

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Keir Jones

    Go to many events and you'll see Keir Jones’ name somewhere—on a poster, in a pamphlet, projected on a screen. And it's not necessarily because he is locally famous but rather, outside of his State Farm Insurance business, he endlessly provides his time, money and professionalism to countless

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Kris Gragson

    With his blog, LongBeachStuff.com, Kris, who was born and raised in Long Beach, has helped to promote countless small business in the city.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Lena Gonzalez

    The daughter of an immigrant mother, Lena graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in political science and went on to earn her Masters of Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Luis Navarro

    Though Lola’s Mexican Cuisine bears the name of his Guadalajaran mother, Luis is the face of the restaurant on 4th Street’s Retro Row.

  • 40 Under 40 Winner: Marisol Barajas

    Marisol’s passion for community organizing and helping women has led her to work at several well-known Long Beach nonprofits including The Children’s Clinic, where she oversaw outreach at the nonprofit healthcare provider that emphasizes holistic approaches to wellness for Long Beach children