Jane Close Conoley serves as the seventh President of California State University, Long Beach. Since coming to Long Beach, she has championed a number of causes in support of equity. For example, she chaired the Everyone Home Long Beach Task Force to create a plan to make the experience of homelessness both rare and brief in Long Beach, and supported the CSULB Basic Needs program that responds to student emergencies, precarious housing situations and food insecurity. Dr. Conoley has also supported the establishment of the Dream Center for undocumented students and created financial backing for students to renew their DACA status. She is a champion for all students and underwrote the creation of the Student Cultural Resource Council that aims to create common cause among students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Dr. Conoley launched a campus-wide initiative to adopt a growth mindset approach to student learning emphasizing the importance of creating a welcoming campus climate that reinforces that each admitted student is valued and belongs at Long Beach State University. Finally, she directed an effort to make all university scholarship money more accessible to qualified students. The web-based project has resulted in more than a million more dollars being awarded to meritorious and high need students at Cal State Long Beach. She has been a very public advocate for justice in confronting racist, harassing, and anti-Semitic actions on her campus and across the region. During her tenure as president, all economic and ethnic groups have improved their graduation rates and all the opportunity gaps among groups have been reduced. Her goal is for zero disparities among groups in persistence and graduation rates.
Rev. Dr. Phyllis Everstine Hayes-Reams (MD, MPH, MA) was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She is a graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology from Stanford University and Medical Doctorate from the Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program co-administered by Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Hayes-Reams went on to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. After sub-specialty fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine at UCLA, she completed an additional general medicine fellowship and earned a Master in Public Health with emphasis in Epidemiology from UCLA. In 1997 she joined the medical staff of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group at the Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center as its first full-time Staff Geriatrician. Dr. Hayes-Reams has board certifications in Geriatric Medicine, and Hospice/Palliative Medicine. She is the Chief of Service of the Department of Geriatrics, Palliative Medicine, Continuing Care, and Social Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Medical South Bay Medical Center. She is the medical center Physician Champion for Family Violence Prevention and Durable Medical Equipment. Dr. Hayes-Reams has a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is an ordained minister/itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, currently on the ministerial staff at New Philadelphia A.M.E Church in Long Beach. Her public service affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Rotary International; and the National Council of Negro Woman. She is a past chair of the Lakewood YMCA Branch Board of Managers. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, and President-Elect for the Rotary Club of Signal Hill. Dr. Hayes-Reams is married to Dr. Lester Reams. They have two children, Phyllisa, a recent graduate from Prairie View A&M University; and Alexander, a junior at Long Beach Poly High School.
Kevin and Jennifer met as teenagers while working at a restaurant in Cypress. Friends for three years before their first date, they have been married now for 32 years. Both share in their ambition of getting involved to make a difference in our community.
Kevin graduated from CSU Long Beach with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He co-founded P2S Inc., a 230-person engineering, commissioning & construction management firm, in 1991 with his twin brother, Kent, and John Sosoka and has served as President & CEO since 2005. In 2018, Kevin was named #21 in Glassdoor’s Top 50 CEOs in the United States for firms under 1,000 employees. Kevin also devotes himself to our local community currently as Chairman of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach board of directors, member of the board at the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, member of the board of trustees of the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House. He has volunteered as a CSULB Innovation Challenge mentor since 2013 and is past chair of Community Hospital Long Beach Advisory Board.
Jennifer is a proud 3rd generation Long Beach native. She attended public schools in the Long Beach Unified School District and graduated from CSULB with a degree in Liberal Studies and a minor in Child Development. Jennifer taught elementary school and mentored student teachers in Orange County before retiring to raise her four children full-time. She has served as soccer coach, Girl Scout leader, parent volunteer and dance booster. Jennifer served as the Long Beach Symphony Crescendo Event Chair in 2017. She currently serves on the boards of the Long Beach Symphony Association, Steel Magnolias and the Long Beach Cancer Society. She is also actively involved with the Assistance League of Long Beach having served twice as the Woman of the Year Chair and serving as the current Chair-Elect of Rick Rackers.
Performance Plus Tire has been family owned and operated for over 47 years. From simple inner-city roots, the company has grown to become one of southern California’s largest Independent Tire, custom wheel and automotive service dealers. Under the leadership of Hank Feldman and his wife Joyce, the company has remained solid over the years despite company hardships. With the move to Long Beach in 1992, the company has flourished. The company boasts 53 employees running an active retail business and a robust internet business shipping tires and wheels all over the world. Performance Plus Tire is known for their outstanding customer service and community support. Hank has instilled in his team that if “We don’t take Care of the Customer Someone Else Will” and has integrated that motto into helping the area community with the attitude of “If We don’t take Care of our Community No One Else Will.” The Performance Plus Team and Family believe strongly in giving back to the community. The company will celebrate their 22nd annual food drive this November. Over the years Performance Plus has helped over 10,000 families with boxes of non-perishable foods. The food drive helps local organizations such as: Cambodian Association; JFCS; Head Start of LB Unified; Meals on Wheels; Child Net, Oropeza Elementary School and more. Performance Plus’ community impact goes beyond their food drive. Each year help is provided for many local organizations. Some of the highlights are: Sponsorship of the LB Historical Society recent “Chrome” Show; Sponsorship of LA County Sheriff Motorsports Program; Long Beach Police Foundation Support; Sponsorship of Pathways to Independence Clients and Fundraiser; Jazz Angels Sponsorship; Ronald McDonald House Sponsorship; CCEJ Building Bridges Camp Sponsor and Parking Sponsor for the Interfaith Breakfast; LB Jewish Federation Corporate Sponsor; JFCS sponsorship and more. Company owners Hank and Joyce as well as many of their employees are extremely active in the local community in their off-work hours. They serve on several boards, and volunteer on many committees.
Taizin Fujishima Barnhardt is a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach. Though mainly focusing on the arts during the first three years of his high school career, Taizin has branched out working hard with the Associative Student Body to help socioeconomically disadvantaged students at Wilson. Through committees and clubs, Taizin and other members of ASB have led the creation of centers around the school where students could find snacks, feminine hygiene products, or directories to other opportunities like bus passes. His committees have also pushed the schools to look at mental health issues more seriously, having various meetings with his principal to create a safer space at his school. Plans for the initiative will come into effect in the following year, including a Peer Counseling class, a Stress and Coping class, and a mental health center. One of Taizin’s major motivations in his past. Growing up, he suffered homelessness, poverty, and his parents’ divorce. He has overcome and grown with each trial of his life, working at his job as a barista, going to school and trying to improve it, and aiming high for his future. Taizing is planning to attend CSULB this fall for Liberal Studies, and is exploring different avenues to showcase his talents as he finds his future career pathway. He plans to continue working with CCEJ as a Youth Mentor and is grateful for all the opportunities he has received and for the communities he has been a part of due to his involvement with CCEJ in the past three years.