Recently, Laguna Niguel resident Jim McGinley was named 2021 Citizen of the Year. We cannot think of anyone more deserving. I first met Jim four years ago while attending my first Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce meeting at El Niguel Country Club. I had just launched the Laguna Niguel Lifestyle project and, being new to the publishing business, was a bit apprehensive walking into a room full of our community’s top business leaders.
Within minutes of entering the meeting space, Jim approached me with a warm greeting, smiling eyes, and a welcoming hand extended. His greeting was reassuring, and I could immediately tell that Jim was a special human being. No agenda. He was simply there to offer kindness, friendship, and support. To me, those are key characteristics of any good citizenship measure.
Speaking with Jim during that first breakfast, I quickly realized he was a true “giver”—and I was amazed at all the service organizations to which he has volunteered his time. Jim is a Past President of the Laguna Niguel Rotary Club, Assistant Governor for our regional district, and a relentless servant to the Rotary Club’s service and outreach efforts.
For the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, Jim has served as a board member, membership chair, and ambassador for the past seven years. He has volunteered for his church, St. Timothy Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel, and has impacted countless families and individuals through his years of leadership and service with the Knights of Columbus.
Jim has also served our City of Laguna Niguel governance directly, through his time as chairman and vice-chairman of the Parks & Recreation Department. Additionally, he held leadership positions with the Laguna Niguel Sports Advisory Committee and is the founder of the Laguna Niguel Senior Games.
“Jim McGinley’s service to Laguna Niguel has positively impacted every aspect of our community over a span of many years,” said Laguna Niguel’s Mayor, Elaine Gennawey. “Our school children, senior citizens, business owners, Veterans, and more have all benefitted from his generous actions. Never one to say ‘no’ when asked, Jim finds a way to effortlessly work towards a beneficial solution. And usually, Jim identifies the need and initiates the action without needing to be asked. He does not shy away from service which requires long-term commitment and is a valued collaborator. The way Jim serves is an inspiration to many in our community; his actions are those of leading a faith-centered life without regard to recognition.”
It should be noted that the Citizen of the Year is not awarded by the City of Laguna Niguel. Instead, all nominations come directly from community volunteers and the final selection is made through a vote of all past Citizen of the Year award winners.
Jim continues to contribute to community outreach in many other ways that are not always noticed. He is always “present,” spreading the good news about our community at local events and on social media. Thanks, Jim McGinley, for all you do to make our community a better place for all of us!
[PULL QUOTE]: “Jim McGinley’s service to Laguna Niguel has positively impacted every aspect of our community over a span of many years.” - Mayor Elaine Gennaway