This year, at the 2016 Annual Breakfast hosted by Downtown Santa Monica Inc., seven individuals were highlighted for their perseverance and passion towards the city.

DTSM Inc. honored these individuals for their contributions from providing heart-pounding workouts to maintaining the cleanliness of the Downtown area. According to DTSM, these individuals showed a great amount of commitment and excellence in their respective industries that has transformed the Downtown area.

Edward Guerboian

Edward Guerboian has owned Readers Fine Jewelers for over 70 years and is located at 331 Wilshire Blvd. He was given the Lifetime Achievement award for his invaluable long-term service to the community. He has been a member of Santa Monica for many years, and has served as a chairman of the board for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, has been president of the Kiwanis and been a board member for the Santa Monica Boys & Girls club and Santa Monica College. He loves to devote his time and efforts to the city that has helped him grow along with his company.

He said, “The DTSM Lifetime Achievement award was totally unexpected by me and truly an honor because I was being recognized for my 40 year longevity in our community. I’ve always loved having the opportunity to be a part of Santa Monica, which I feel, is a “gem of a city” and to be able to serve and dive back to the community as well. My sincere appreciation goes to Kathleen Rawson and the DTSM board.”

Tony Ayoub

Tony Ayoub, a lifelong jeweler and the owner of the Jewel Shop on Third Street Promenade was also given the Lifetime achievement award for his long-term commitment to Santa Monica.

Jay Aguilar

Jay Aguilar works hard to help maintain the beautiful streets of the Promenade. He was given the Envision award in recognition of his dedicated service of Downtown. His hard work and efforts are vital to the area and are being recognized.

Jim Cahlin

Jim Cahlin, owner of Orangetheory Fitness in Santa Monica and is located at 1431 2nd Street. Cahlin received the Eclipse Award, for his dedication and service to the community within this past year. Orangetheory Fitness is one of the fastest growing national fitness craze with multiple locations in the U.S. and locations now in Israel, Great Britain, and Canada. Cahlin moved here from Florida and is currently planning to expand in Manhattan. He has been a Santa Monica resident for a little over a year and feels an obligation to contribute positive manner and healthy habits to the Downtown area.

He said, “We are honored and psyched to even get recognized alone an award for our efforts. Over the time we have been in Santa Monica we have been active in contributing to the community from beach clean ups to donating memberships for silent auctions. Truly honored and thankful to DTSM, but we are not stopping here. The company has a long way to go.”

Jonathan Chu

Jonathan Chu, received the Essence award this year, is the owner of The Independence on 205 Broadway. He was given the award for his devotion and persistence in creating a successful restaurant in Downtown Santa Monica. Owner, Jonathan Chu took his old space and turned it into a bright and airy restaurant called The Independence and has changed the game when it comes to the restaurant industry. He has brought locals, tourist and media all under the same roof to enjoy his outstanding dishes.

He said “The Independence is more than thrilled to receive this award. It was the hard work and participation in city events, along with supporting Downtown Santa Monica in sponsored events. We love being here in the Downtown area, the weather, the people and the competition is a fun and energetic atmosphere.”

Elena Christopoulos

Elena Christopoulos, the president of The Downtown Neighborhood Association, located at 1519 6th St. Christopoulos received the Evolve Award because of her forward thinking and progressive efforts that steer the innovative culture of Downtown Santa Monica. Christopoulos is a ten year resident of Downtown Santa Monica and is actively engaged in Santa Monica’s civic life as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women.

She is overwhelmed with joy and said, “I am quite humbled and very grateful to be honored by DTSM Inc., but I didn’t receive the award alone. I want to specifically thank my husband, Richard Brand. This is actually the first formal acknowledgment of what we have done for the community I love so much.”

Rob Schwenker

Rob Schwenker, publisher at The Daily Press, located at 1640 5th Street in Santa Monica. Schwenker also received the Essence Award this year for a being devoted partner who constantly exudes the essence of Downtown Santa Monica. Along with being the Publisher of SMDP, he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Santa Monica History Museum. He is also a past President of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica, on the board of the Santa Monica Police Activities League, a member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, and an Executive Committee member for the Buy Local Santa Monica steering committee. His progressive, authentic and vibrant character is essential to the Downtown area.

According to the organizers, these individuals have gone above and beyond, working tirelessly to improve the culture, business and tourist areas of Downtown Santa Monica.