Bits 'n' Pieces

Port Offers Grants for Large Park Projects

The Port of Long Beach Community Grants Program is accepting proposals from government agencies and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to fund large, impactful environmental projects at the area’s existing and future public parks and open spaces.

This solicitation, which at $7 million is the highest amount offered to date, represents a unique opportunity to fund proposals capable of achieving substantially greater environmental benefits in the neighborhoods most affected by Port operations. Eligible applicants will propose open space and “multi-benefit” parks projects, which support the community and the environment. Fundable project elements include trees and vegetation, irrigation, stormwater systems, noise buffers, paved areas creating access to the park and support facilities.

Prospective applicants should describe projects at a high level and allow program staff to determine eligibility. Eligibility for this solicitation is defined by the Community Infrastructure guidelines. To view project guidelines and the pre-solicitation workshop presentation held on Aug. 9, go to www.polb.com/grants and select Program Overview.

A conference call to answer questions about the solicitation will be held from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 13, and can be joined by clicking here or calling (323) 451-1087 and entering conference identification 133 721 215#.

Concept papers must be submitted online by 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

The award-winning Community Grants Program is a more than $46 million effort to fund projects that help those in the community who are most vulnerable to port-related environmental impacts. These projects are expanding asthma services, controlling stormwater runoff through the building of permeable parking lots, and creating open space buffers between port operations and communities, to name a few.

LBS Welcomes New President & CEO

LBS Financial Credit Union announced the appointment of its fourth president and CEO in the institution’s 88-year legacy: Sean Hardeman. Formerly serving as the credit union’s executive vice president and chief lending officer, Sean assumed his role as president & CEO on August 18. Sean’s selection to lead LBS Financial was appointed by the board of directors, succeeding Jeff Napper, who retired on Aug. 17 after a 46-year tenure with the credit union, including 21 years as president and CEO.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Irvine, and a nearly three-decade tenure in the credit union industry, Sean has been an influential presence at LBS Financial. His journey at LBS Financial began as the credit union’s senior vice president of member services from 2011 to 2015, with his most recent role as executive vice president and chief lending officer since 2015. Sean’s leadership has been instrumental in fortifying operational frameworks, elevating the caliber of products and services, attaining historically high member service scores, and sustaining peak performance benchmarks.

Notably, Sean spearheaded the expansion of the credit union’s branch network, overseeing the establishment of the Long Beach State and Long Beach Marina branches. He led initiatives such as the introduction of the credit union’s inaugural mobile banking solution and the streamlining of various processes, advancements like image-enabled ATMs, mobile deposit capture, and enhanced card functionalities.

Annual Torch Run for Pediatric Patients

On Saturday, Aug. 26, hundreds of children battling cancer and serious blood disorders, survivors and families who are honoring loved ones who have passed participated in the annual Torch Run, to help raise funds for expanded treatment programs and research at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute (JJCCI) at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach (MC-WH) .

Participants triumphantly carried an Olympic-style torch in an unforgettable relay around Long Beach’s iconic Lion’s Lighthouse for Sight at the Shoreline Aquatic Park. The crowd, filled with sponsors, community supporters, and volunteers, erupted in cheers and applause when runners’ names were called, building up the excitement in the air for the first in-person Torch Run since 2019.

Whether it was a former patient celebrating seven years of remission or a current patient celebrating the completion of their first year of treatment, each runner led their team of supporters in style with posters, banners, and colorful attire. After all the patients and supporters completed their runs, families and friends enjoyed a wonderful picnic and carnival by the ocean. Those in attendance also signed Ribbons of Hope cards, special cards of support that will be distributed to the patients of the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute after Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

For some families and patients, this was the first time they experienced the Torch Run in person. Many others, however, could not wait to return to the lighthouse. Some supporters, such as the family and friends of Matt Johnson, have been participating in the Torch Run for years, coming back each year to reunite with the JJCCI Care team.

The JJCCI provides quality, compassionate care to children with cancer, sickle cell disease and other serious blood disorders. The funds raised by the Torch Run go towards supporting the psychosocial support programs, including a School Integration Program and Art Therapy, that are woven throughout care plans, ensuring that patients and families learn to cope with all aspects of childhood cancer.

US Postal Service Career Opportunities

The U.S. Postal Service is hosting several free hiring events to help future employees create their online profile and immediately start applying for jobs.

As part our innovative 10-year-plan, Delivering for America, the Postal Service is focused on building a more stable and empowered workforce. Our employees are our greatest asset, and we are investing in our new employees by providing robust training and on-the-job support.

If you enjoy taking walks, breathing in fresh air, and serving your community, the Postal Service is a great place to work, with job security, career advancement opportunities and benefits. The Postal Service has an immediate need for the following positions to be filled:

  • Mail Processing: clerks and mail handlers
  • Delivery: city and rural carriers
  • Transportation: tractor trailer operators
  • Maintenance: mechanics, laborer custodian and automotive technician

Applicants must be 18 years or older. All applicants must be able to pass drug screening and a criminal background investigation. Some positions require an exam. Any position that has a driving requirement will also require a valid driver license and clean DMV two-year driving history. Citizenship or permanent resident status is required.

The Postal Service is an equal opportunity employer offering a fast-pace, rewarding work environment with competitive compensation packages, on-the-job training, and opportunities for advancement.

Port Again Exceeds Goals 

Efforts by the Port of Long Beach to include more small businesses among its contractors and vendors are raising awareness of opportunities in doing business with the port.

Nearly half of port funds spent on contracts applicable to the port’s Small Business Enterprise Program goals in the most recent fiscal year went to buy services and materials from companies defined as “small business enterprises” and “very small business enterprises.”

The 48.9% participation by small and very small businesses in contracting for which small business enterprise participation is measured translates to $54.2 million in spending on construction projects, consulting services, event planning, and other supplies and services for the port, which is the Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach. The port’s goal for small business enterprise participation in applicable contracting is 27%.

The port’s utilization of small businesses for which participation is measured has risen steadily in recent years. Fiscal year 2018 saw a 30.2% rate, 2019 was 33.2%, 2020 was 34.4%, and 2021 was 40.8%.

The thresholds of annual receipts and number of employees for classification as a small business enterprise vary widely by industry, as determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Very small business enterprise eligibility is equivalent to the state of California’s microbusiness designation: businesses with $5 million or less in annual gross sales, averaged over the last three fiscal years, or manufacturers with 25 or fewer employees.

All aspiring contractors for the port apply for posted contracts on the port’s “Planet Bids” online system, where the businesses can pre-register and check back for posted bids. Go to polb.com/businessopportunities and click on “Access the POLB Vendor Portal.” 

The complete small business enterprise utilization report for fiscal year 2022 is available at www.polb.com/sbe.

Lifesaving Cardiac Procedures for Children

Saar Danon, M.D., the medical director of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Cardiac Catheterization at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, traveled to Honduras for a week-long medical mission trip to provide specialized cardiac catheterization procedures and cardiac surgery to pediatric patients.

Dr. Danon worked in close collaboration with the pediatric cardiac team at Hospital Maria and the World Pediatric Project volunteer team to train 17 local providers on cardiac catheterization procedures, cardiac surgery, and post operation care in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Hospital Maria is the only pediatric hospital in Honduras where a child can undergo cardiac catheterization procedures, so the wait list to receive any procedure is more than a year long. After a year of waiting, Dr. Danon treated 6-year-old, Yeimy, a patient with a congenital heart disease, with the necessary cardiac catheterization procedure to resolve her cardiac anomaly.

Dr. Danon, the volunteer team, and the local pediatric cardiac team worked from dawn to dusk at Hospital Maria to successfully perform five open heart surgeries and 15 catheterization procedures in one week. Through their passion and efforts, Dr. Danon and his team improved the lives of 20 children.

All of this was made possible by the World Pediatric Project, a non-profit organization consisting of medical and non-medical volunteers, hospital systems, partners, donors and staff working together to heal critically ill children and build healthcare capacity in the world. The organization partners with 12 countries in total, primarily assisting those in Central America and the Caribbean.

Nine out of 10 children in low resource countries lack access to basic surgical care, but since 2001, the World Pediatric Project has provided over 15,000 children with access to life-changing care, facilitated training for hundreds of local health care workers, and advocated for health policies.

In 2021 and 2022, Dr. Danon was recognized as a Top Los Angeles Doctor by the Los Angeles Business Journal. While his home base is MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s, he has gone on seven trips to Central and South America to provide services to communities that lack access to specialized cardiac care, and train local physicians to care for children with complex congenital heart disease.

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