SMC — A restaurateur and a math professor are recipients of the 2011 Alumni Recognition Awards issued by the Santa Monica College Foundation, it was announced last week.
Martin Jeffrey King, co-founder of King’s Seafood Co., and SMC professor Terry Green will be recognized at the college’s commencement ceremony, which will be held June 14 at Corsair Field.
King will receive the award for “Outstanding Professional Achievement,” while Green is being recognized for “Distinguished Community Service.”
For more than 50 years, King has dedicated his career to the promotion of guest-first hospitality and operational excellence in the restaurant industry.
King is chairman of the board and co-founder of King’s Seafood. He oversees the long-term financial planning, sales, investor relations, and property management of six concepts and 17 restaurants. Combined, King’s Seafood attracts more than 3 million guests each year.
King’s passion for restaurants and hospitality is the result of a long-standing family tradition. From a young age, King helped his uncle and father, who owned a number of King’s Restaurants in Southern California.
A graduate of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, King received an associates degree from SMC in 1958 and a bachelor’s in history/political science from UCLA.
In 1978, King became president and large stockholder of King’s Restaurants Inc. He helped conceptualize, build, and operate 13 restaurants. After the business was purchased by Tiny Naylors Inc. in 1981, King established Hospitality Consultants LTD. Shortly thereafter, he was hired as the director of food services for the Los Angeles Olympic Games Operations Division in 1982.
Since that time, King has helped nurture more than 15 additional restaurants to include award-winning concepts I Cugini, Ocean Avenue Seafood, Lou & Mickey’s, King’s Fish House, and Water Grill, a recent recipient of a Michelin star.
King and his wife, Ellen, live in Los Angeles. They have five children, all alumni of UCLA. King is the proud grandfather of five.
Green, who attended SMC from 1965 to 1967 and earned an associate of arts degree, began what would be a lifetime commitment to community service at SMC. While a student, he was a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma, the honors and community service organization, and would later serve as its faculty advisor for 20 years.
Green transferred from SMC to UC Santa Barbara where he continued his studies of math and history. He graduated in June 1969 and immediately joined the Peace Corps, serving as a volunteer high school teacher on the island of Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean. While there he also helped build a rudimentary basketball court to introduce the sport to the students.
After the Peace Corps, he taught several subjects from 1971 to 1986 at John Adams Middle School. In 1986, he was hired as SMC’s first full-time developmental math instructor and, over the past 25 years, has helped thousands of students overcome their fear of math. For his teaching excellence, he was nominated several years ago for the Hayward Award, the top award given to a community college professor in California.
During his tenure as advisor or co-advisor to AGS, Green has seen the organization grow from 20 to 250 members each semester. AGS students must perform at least 20 hours of community service each semester, and some do more than 100 hours, earning them the President’s Award from President Clinton and President George W. Bush.
During his years as an advisor, Green participated in many community service events with his students, including the AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Revlon Run/Walk to find a cure for breast and ovarian cancer, and an annual Thanksgiving program in Santa Monica that distributes food and clothing to the homeless.
Green mostly grew up in Santa Monica, attending local schools before his father, Chuck Green, changed careers from SMC instructor to diplomat. His father now teaches at SMC’s Emeritus College for older adults. His mother, Dorothy, is an active retiree.
He married JoAnn, also a teacher, in 1972. They have two adult daughters, Carrie and Jennie.