City-government and company leaders congregated at the Annenberg Beach Community House on Monday morning to recap a year's worth of accolades accrued by Santa Monica businesses, organizations, individuals and civic divisions.
The event, which was hosted by the , also included the unveiling of a new slogan and graphic identity for the city. , City Manager Rod Gould and others helped present the awards and new promotional efforts.
The slogan reads: "California's most celebrated beach city" (scroll right to see the graphic). Its creation was spurred by National Geographic naming Santa Monica as One of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the World, along with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sydney, Australia; and Vancouver, Canada. The recognition also prompted the SMCVB to reach out to local groups and compile a list of honors received in 2010.
In total, the SMCVB identified more than 75 accolades amassed by hotels, restaurants, retailers, civic divisions and individuals over the course of 2010. Among those recognized were (Most Glamorous Hotel in LA Weekly's Best of LA issue); (Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator); (Top 8 Sports Bars in the United States, ESPN Magazine); (Burger of the Year, GQ); and the RAND Corporation (One of the Top Ten Places to Work in Los Angeles, Large Company Category, Los Angeles Business Journal).
In terms of governmental departments and civic organizations, those noted included the City Attorney's Office (Law Office Accomplishment Award for State and Local Government, American Bar Association); the City Clerk's Office (Friend of the League, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica); (four SCAN/NATOA awards); the (Project of the Year, Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association); and the , which was honored at the organization's Heroes Awards Ceremony for making Santa Monica “disaster-resilient.”
Among the individuals who received praise was Fabian Lewkowicz, whom the 5W Report named Best Event Photographer in Southern California.
The was singled out for the five-star rating it received from the Library Journal. "That puts our library within the top 3 percent of libraries nationwide," Gould said.
Gould emphasized another a big win: the being named the best in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure magazine.
The location where the event was held was noticed as well, in light of the Annenberg Community Beach House receiving a LEED Gold Rating from the US Green Building Council.
"That was a real achievement for this beautiful facility," Gould said.
Moreover, the group that staged the event also earned an honor: Southern California Meetings & Events magazine's first runner-up for Best CVB.
Bloom disagreed with the ranking: "We have the best damn CVB in the country," he insisted, to which the audience applauded.
Meanwhile, some of the less-obvious awards drew chuckles from the crowd, including 's win for Best Use of Bacon in Los Angeles magazine's Best of LA issue.
Gould noted that, since he became City Manager in January 2010, he's noticed "striving for excellence" as a common theme in the city. At the end of the presentation, he and Bloom led a toast honoring attendees and celebrating the city in general.
As he was rattling off various recognitions, the mayor cracked, "I don't know why the Santa Monica didn't get an award."
Go here for a full list of awards received by local businesses, organizations, individuals and government divisions in 2010.