President: Bitta Jansma Sharma
Bitta lives in beautiful Belmont Shore with her husband Patrick and sons Owen (3) and Evren (1). Bitta grew up down the coast in Newport Beach, where she met Patrick at Newport Harbor High School. She graduated from Claremont McKenna College and then received a J.D. and Masters in Education from Stanford. Prior to enrolling in law school, she taught English in primary schools outside of Paris and was a French instructor at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast. After law school, Bitta worked as a corporate attorney at two global law firms in Silicon Valley, Boston and Los Angeles, focusing primarily on the legal needs of venture and growth technology clients. After seven years of practice and with two little ones at home, Bitta decided to transition from legal work back to education. She is currently fulfilling a long-held desire to directly serve the California public education system by pursuing a teaching credential at CSULB. Patrick has a Ph.D in history from UCLA, a JD from Harvard and specializes in corporate tax at a law firm in Los Angeles. The Sharmas enjoy walking down 2nd Street, reading with the kids at Bay Shore Neighborhood Library and hanging out at the beach.
Immediate Past President: Dick Gaylord
Dick Gaylord is a Top Producing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX® Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach. RE/MAX® International honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Active in the Long Beach community, Gaylord currently serves as chair of the Personnel Commission at Long Beach City College. He also has served as chair of the Long Beach Planning Commission and Long Beach Civil Service Commission, and as a member of the Long Beach Human Relations Committee. He also served the state of California as a member of the Real Estate Advisory Commission and chair of the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners. In 2000 Gaylord served as president of the California Association of REALTORS© and in 2008 he served as president of the National Association of REALTORS©. Gaylord was honored by the March of Dimes as “Industry Man of the Year.” He is a member of St. Bartholomew’s Church and has resided in Belmont Shore for more than 40 years.
Vice President: Kurt Schneiter
Kurt Schneiter has lived in Belmont Shore and the heights since 1989 where he and Jennifer have been raising four daughters. Schneiter had spent 12 years on the Parking Commission and is proud of the changes that occurred during his 12 years, including but not limited to: count down meters, rebuilding the alleys and adding over 20 parking spaces in the retail district. Kurt currently develops, renovates and purchases commercial real estate throughout the United States.
Treasurer: Michael Crosby
Mike and his wife, Lenore Rozner, have lived in the Belmont Park neighborhood for the past 27 years, where they raised their two children and shepherded them through the local public schools. Retiring from work as a corporate project manager, Mike served as the “stay-at-home Dad” during those school years, until both children were in college. He subsequently started a consulting business as The College Admissions Coach, assisting local families in navigating the college applications process. He has served as Financial Secretary for both the Lowell and Rogers PTAs, and assisted the Wilson High baseball and soccer programs for many years with their parent group “accounting” needs. Mike attended Long Beach State on a baseball scholarship, graduating with a degree in Sociology.
Secretary: Cate Swigart
Cate Swigart moved to Belmont Shore in early 2016 with her husband, John. They added a yellow labrador retriever to their family in mid 2016 and welcomed a daughter in late 2016. They are expecting another child in November 2018. Cate grew up in Massachusetts, received Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Stanford, and then worked in Finance spending her first year in Boston and her next six back in the Bay Area. After living in China and traveling the world in 2014-2015, Cate and John settled in Southern California to be near his parents who are Newport Beach residents. Currently, she is a stay-at-home Mom. Cate is a member of InsightLA Long Beach, a Buddhist meditation center. She enjoys running on the boardwalk. She is a podcast junkie and a world music lover.
Casey Allen and her husband Dave can boast living in Belmont Shore for 38 years and in Third District of Long Beach for 47 years. She has been a neighborhood and community advocate most of her life and has a passion for the homeless. Her education credentials include: Education degree from Eastern Oregon, math and science degree from CSULB, and Master of Arts and Technology degree from USIU. She has been an educator in Oregon, Germany, L.A. City, and even a part time teaching professorship at Cal State U Dominguez Hills, but spent most of her career teaching math and science in the ABC schools. Today Casey is a small group leader for SeaCoast Grace Church and serves on the LBPD Quality of Life Board, which only services the homeless. She is also the "self appointed" captain of the La Verne Avenue contingency. Casey, husband Dave, and adult son Chris, love living here.
Angie Degen lives in Belmont Shore with her husband Jeremy and their three children. Angie grew up in the Bay Area and spent the summers with her Grandparents in the Shore. She is very active in the special needs community and can usually be found at Lowell Elementary volunteering during the week. Angie has served on the board for the Down Syndrome Association and Special Olympics. She also enjoys volunteering for several community groups in Long Beach that assist with the homeless, disabled, mental health and bullying.
Howard Homan played football for Brigham Young University where he received a degree in Parks and Recreation and Public Administration. He completed his Masters degree at California State University Los Angeles. Professionally, Howard worked for the City of Bell as Parks and Recreation Director and for the City of Carson as their Parks and Recreation Director. He managed several departments for the City of Carson, including the Convention Center. After retiring, Howard began a second career in Construction Management and managed the construction of the Palm Springs Convention Center. Howard has lived in Belmont Shore for 50 years and manages his own apartment buildings. He has a keen interest in what is going on in Long beach and especially in Belmont Shore. He is married and has two grown sons and three grandchildren.
Barbara "BJ" Newell
Unlike most of their colleagues, Barbara “BJ” Newell and her husband David are newbies to Belmont Shore. She didn’t discover Belmont Shore until her college days at UCLA and fell in love with it. BJ lived in the Heights for a year before she and David — then living in Seal Beach — married. They promised themselves they would return to the beach one day, which they did in 2003, after raising their three amazing daughters in Whittier. They have been “living the dream” ever since. Professionally, BJ was a high school English teacher at Bell Gardens High for 22 years. Besides being a part of Friends of Belmont Shore, she has done volunteer work at LB Rescue Mission, and tutors at Lowell Elementary and SATO High School.
David "Coach" Newell
The other happy transplant to Belmont Shore is David “Coach” Newell. He attended Whittier College where he was a First Team All American football player. Following graduation, he entered the Marine Corps as an infantry officer, and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. Then began “Coach’s” 40 year career as a U.S. History teacher and highly successful football coach at Bell Gardens High School, where he also met Barbara. As the head football coach, his teams won 18 league championships, and he was selected Coach of the Year four times by the Los Angeles Times. Besides thriving in all Belmont Shore has to offer, he and his wife spend as much time as they can with their three wonderful adult daughters.
Phyllis has lived and raised her children in Long Beach and has owned her home and lived in the Shore for fifteen years. She currently works for Boardwalk Properties as a Realtor. She is on the board of the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, working with the undocumented. She is also active with the Long Beach Rainbow Lions Club working to help organize a new club. Please let Phyllis know if you'e interested in helping out with this.
David is a real estate and construction attorney and manages operations for multiple commercial and residential properties. He is also a licensed General Building Contractor and Real Estate Broker. He currently serves on the Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Commission. David is a graduate of the PACE program at Poly High School, College Honors Program at UCLA where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received the Dean’s Prize and Chancellor’s Award, and the Law & Business Program at Vanderbilt Law School.