On Thursday, September 29, the Long Beach Post hosted an event to honor young people from around the city who are doing great things to better their community and beyond. Out of hundreds of nominations from our readers, judges chose 40 winners, representing a range of professions and activism. The Post will be profiling each honoree in the coming days.
As the director of special events at three Long Beach restaurants—two Lola’s Mexican Cuisine locations and The Social List—you could say Brenda Rivera stays busy. But on top of that, Rivera stays on the lookout for opportunities in which she and her restaurants can contribute to a community cause, be it fundraisers, events, or anything that meets a local need.
Her nominators describe her as a supremely dedicated “rock star,” with a strong demonstrated commitment to The LGBT Center of Long Beach, the Museum of Latin American Art, numerous nonprofits and countless artists and musicians.
Rivera said being recognized as one of the Long Beach Post’s 40 Under 40 award winners was “surreal, humbling, [and] joyous.”
“[It is] something I did not expect and it makes it extra special,” Rivera said. “I feel like I work hard every day, running the [back-of-house] staff at Lola's and The Social List, [and] that sometimes [I’m not really ever able] to take the time to breath and look around or smell the roses. So being recognized in the category with so many others that I admire feels amazing.”
Yet, most of all, Rivera said she’s proud to call Long Beach home.
“Long Beach as a community is so unique because there are so many groups, and individuals making a difference every single day,” said Rivera. “Whether it's in our local leadership, the arts, food, transportation, education you name it. There are truly people [who] care about Long Beach, here working toward making the entire Long Beach community stronger and a better safer place to call home.”