LOS ANGELES — California State Governor Jerry Brown and more than 1,400 business and civic leaders were on hand to help usher in Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce 2011 Chair of the Board, Joseph A. Czyzyk, Chairman & CEO, Mercury Air Group, Inc.
Czyzyk was officially installed as L.A. Area Chamber Chair during the 122nd annual Inaugural Dinner Thursday night, where he rallied business and civic leaders to seize 2011 by working to speed economic recovery and create more job opportunities in Los Angeles.
“When government and labor join with business, we can create good jobs, bring back prosperity and pull us back from 14 percent unemployment,” Czyzyk said. “To generate jobs we need to convince government at all levels to support pro-jobs (and) pro-growth politics and eliminate anti-business regulations.”
Czyzyk, who was born in Poland — son of Holocaust survivors — spoke about what the city meant to him when he first moved to Los Angeles.
“When I first came to Los Angeles nearly 50 years ago, the city had the best street system in the world,” Czyzyk said. “It was one of the things I really enjoyed about Los Angeles and a major reason why Los Angeles was such a fabulous place to live.”
“Los Angeles no longer has the infrastructure I remember, or the infrastructure we need today. Improving our infrastructure will revitalize our city and create jobs.”
As a toddler, Czyzyk traveled through Europe. He grew up in Canada before his parents moved to the U.S. when he was 16 years old and he became a U.S. citizen.
He has visited nearly 100 different nations and has established business operations in more than 45 countries during his career, which started in the airline industry.
Czyzyk joined Mercury in 1984 to establish the company’s cargo division. As Chairman of the Board, he privatized the company in 2006, after nearly three decades on the American Stock Exchange.
From extensive travels to every part of the globe — with a special emphasis on South America, Asia and the Middle East — Czyzyk has deep international relationships which have allowed Mercury to expand far beyond its Los Angeles headquarters.
He is past president of the City of Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners, having served on the Commission since its inception in 1998 until his retirement in 2008. Czyzyk has the distinction of having served as a City Commissioner under the last three mayors of Los Angeles.
He also serves as Treasurer of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), a member of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and sits on the Board of Visitors, Graduate School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.
Czyzyk is a decorated U.S. Veteran, having volunteered for two tours of duty (1966-1969) with the U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalion (Seabees) in the U.S. and the Republic of Vietnam. He is a proud Board Member of the CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation, helping to carry on the Seabees’ can-do attitude.
Czyzyk is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles. He and his wife, Faye, are Los Angeles residents and are the parents of four adult children and have one grandson.
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.