Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to Present Stewart Kwoh with Prestigious Civic Medal of Honor

December 2, 2009 8:00 am

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced today that the prestigious 2010 Los Angeles Civic Medal will be presented to Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California (APALC).

The selection was announced by George Kieffer, past Chamber Chair and Chair of the Civic Medal Selection Committee.  The selection committee is comprised of selected board members, previous honorees and various community and civic leaders.  While sponsored by the Chamber, the award is not a business award, but rather signifies extraordinary civic leadership and public service over an extended period of time as recognized by those in the broader civic community.

The medal will be presented to Kwoh at the Chamber’s 121st Annual Inaugural Dinner on February 4, 2010, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Kwoh follows in the footsteps of previous Civic Medal awardees Warren Christopher, Sherry Lansing, Eli Broad, Father Greg Boyle, John Mack, Richard Riordan and Nancy Daly Riordan and Tom McKernan.

Under Kwoh’s leadership, the APALC has become the largest and most diverse legal assistance and civil rights organization targeting Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.  However, Kieffer said that it is not simply Kwoh’s formal involvement in various civic roles, but “his informal civic leadership … the respect in which he is held by a broad civic community and the character he reflects in doing his work.”

Among his many civic engagements, Kwoh is involved with numerous foundations, philanthropic organizations and nonprofits.  He has served as Chairman of the Board for The California Endowment, is trustee of the Methodist Urban Foundation, California Consumer Protection Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Tang Family Foundation and the Fannie Mae Foundation.

He serves on the board of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, television broadcast station KCET and public radio station, SCPR.  Stewart also serves as chair of the 1010 Development Corporation which is a faith-based nonprofit that has built affordable housing for low-income seniors and families.

“Stewart is a marvelous choice,” said Warren Christopher, who received the recognition in 2003.  “His kind of superb citizenship and active civic involvement are required today to make our democracy work.”

John Mack, who was honored in 2005, said that Kwoh has been involved in many of the major issues facing the city over the past 25 years.  “He’s just been a superb community leader who epitomizes everything the medal represents,” Mack said.

Sherry Lansing said “Receiving the Civic Medal of Honor was one of the great highlights of my life and Stewart’s selection this year makes the award all the more significant.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said “this is really the Academy Award of our community and Stewart has been a major star.  I congratulate him and thank him for his many years of public service.”

“Kwoh’s contributions to Los Angeles epitomize what the Chamber’s Civic Medal of Honor aims to recognize,” said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kwoh earned his Bachelor of Arts at UCLA and his Juris Doctorate degree from the UCLA School of Law.


The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.

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Alejandro Guzmán, 213.580.7544