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Celebrating Local Heroes: Highlights from the 12th Annual Cottonwood Awards Luncheon

Updated: 6 days ago


Two men posing for a picture
Faustino Bernadett and Skip Keesal

Faustino Bernadett and his wife, Martha, had a wonderful time at the 12th Annual Cottonwood Awards Luncheon! The event was a celebration of local leaders like Skip Keesal and Gloria Cordero, who have left lasting positive impacts on our community, and Rancho Los Alamitos, which naturally led Dr. Bernadett to be part of sponsoring this event. From mouthwatering BBQ to lively music and engaging tours, it was a memorable day filled with appreciation and support for our local heroes!  


Skip Keesal, founder of Keesal, Young & Logan in 1970, boasts a stellar legal career spanning over 250 cases across 17 states. Recognized as one of America's top lawyers, he's received prestigious accolades, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from America's Top 100 Attorneys. Beyond his legal achievements, Skip is a respected figure in Long Beach and a member of esteemed legal organizations like the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Committed to community service, he and his firm actively support charitable initiatives, making a positive impact locally and nationally. 


Gloria Cordero has served on the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners since January 2015. She is the principal of Cordero & Associates, a Long Beach-based public affairs consulting firm she founded in 2008. Previously, she was the city's deputy director of community affairs and as a government affairs director for Long Beach City College and Southern California Edison. In addition to her professional endeavors, Cordero is actively involved in community service, serving on various boards in Long Beach and volunteering for over 40 years with the Navajo Nation in Arizona. 


Rancho Los Alamitos encapsulates the rich tapestry of California's history. The ranch reflects centuries of change and continuity from its origins in Manuel Nieto's land concession to its transformation into a public space. Named for the cottonwood trees that once flourished on its grounds, the ranch has been cherished by generations of owners, including Governor José Figueroa and the Bixby family. Throughout its history, it has been a hub of economic activity, drawing workers from around the world. Today, Rancho Los Alamitos stands as a 7.5-acre testament to resilience and evolution. Donated to the City of Long Beach in 1968, it serves as a place of beauty, history, and reflection—a reminder of our shared heritage and the enduring spirit of California. 


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