The Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce honored Inland business and community leaders including Rose Mayes at the group's 110th Annual Inaugural Celebration on Wednesday, March 24, at the Riverside Convention Center.
Rose Mayes, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, was named Citizen of the Year.
Cindy Roth, President and CEO of the Chamber, said the award recognized Mayes' longtime leadership on issues related to diversity and advocating for those in the throes of losing their homes, among many other community initiatives she has led.
"This lady never says no.", Roth said in reference to Mayes' dedicated volunteerism and passion for social justice. Mayes stated "I had something in my genes or DNA for social justice. I was taught as a child, 'Just be fair. Be honest.'"
Rose attended Houston, Texas, Community College and owned three record stores before coming to California to work for the Wall Street Journal for 10 years.
She worked her way up from part-time clerk to assistant circulation manager.
Mayes returned to Riverside in the early 1990s and has been honored repeatedly by many groups. She received the ATHENA of the Inland Valleys award for community service and her efforts to mentor other women. In her spare time, she earned a Bachelor's degree and a Master's in Management and Business Education.
Rose Mayes has used her knowledge to serve the Riverside community in a variety of organizations.
She served as the President of the Riverside East Rotary Club and is a member of Toastmasters Club 797. She was a very active and key player with the Riverside Mahatma Gandhi Peace Foundation that erected the statue for Mahatma Gandhi located at Mission Inn and the Mall. She served as the President for the Riverside African-American Historical Society, Inc.
(RAAHS) and Vice- Chair to The Group, a community organization that discusses and considers issues that arise in the community.
She was appointed to the State Fair Employment and Housing Commission by Governor Schwarzenegger.
Mayes was to a great extent responsible for the erection of the Dr. Martin Luther King statue on Ninth Street by City Hall. She had the vision of a MLK statue there as a symbol of "Justice for all".
The Bank of America awarded Mayes The 2008 Neighborhood Builder Award in recognition of her leadership ability and the unblemished integrity in carrying out the mission of the Fair Housing Council.
The prestigious James Irvine Foundation awarded Rose Mayes (President) of the Riverside African-American Historical Society a generous grant of $90,000 which was to develop and administer the highly successful Eleanor Jean Grier Leadership Academy.
In her acceptance speech, Rose dedicated her Citizen award to her deceased Christian parents, Roosevelt and Lucy Greene. She also paid tribute to the late Dr. Alan Pauw as one of her mentors, Pauw was the Chamber's 2005 Citizen of the year.
Many of Rose Mayes' friends, acquaintances and civic leaders together with family members were in attendance to salute and honor her with flowers and other gifts. Family member who flew in from Houston, Texas were Yvette Mayes, daughter, Lillyan Lee, Sadie Simmons, (sisters), Arrainna Watson (niece). Her brother Herman Greene , drove from Los Angeles; her sisters, Katie Greene, Esq. and grandson Marcus live in Riverside.
In addition to Rose Mayes being named the 2010 Citizen of the year, she was elected and sworn in as a member of the Chamber Board of Directors. To meet this new challenge Mayes, "I want to thank the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Citizen of the Year Committee for nominating me to join your committee. I'm touched and grateful for the trust you placed in me. I stand ready to serve."
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