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Cottonwood Award Luncheon May 30 2024
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Our 2024 Honorees
Skip Keesal
Cottonwood Award
for Leadership


Gloria Cordero
Recognition for
Service and Commitment


Throughout his illustrious career, Skip has received many honors and awards, routinely named one of the "Top Lawyers in America", not to mention one of the most powerful people in Long Beach.

Samuel (“Skip”) Keesal, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Skip currently resides in Rolling Hills with his lovely wife, Beth. He served in the United States Army and attended the University of Arizona and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Skip graduated from CSULB with a B.S. degree in business. In 1965 he received an LL.B. from the University of Southern California (USC) Law School.

Skip founded the law firm of Keesal, Young & Logan in 1970 which now has offices in Long Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, and Hong Kong. The firm has developed expertise in many practice areas including civil litigation, class, and mass actions, securities and banking, energy, environmental, admiralty, and maritime. Skip has tried over 250 cases in 17 different states, including approximately 75 jury trials. He has been named one of the best Lawyers in America in a dozen specialty areas (only 39 lawyers hold this title).

In addition, Skip received the Lifetime Achievement Award (Southern California) by America’s Top 100 Attorneys, has been a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) since 1990, and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) since 1993.

Skip and others in the firm have dedicated themselves to the local and national communities by supporting numerous charitable and civic projects and have served on numerous Boards of charitable organizations for many years and continue to do so with pride.


Gloria Cordero has served on the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners since January 2015.

She is a principal at Cordero & Associates, a Long Beach-based public affairs consulting firm she founded in 2008. In 2006, then-Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster appointed her as the city's deputy director of community affairs, where she managed education, workforce development, nonprofits and business, and community outreach.

Cordero previously was the government affairs director for Long Beach City College and a regional manager for Southern California Edison. She started at Edison as an educational representative, where she developed and implemented energy-efficiency and safety programs for school districts in Los Angeles, the South Bay, and Long Beach.

Cordero has a long history of community service in Long Beach, where she served as a board member on the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Long Beach, Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership, and the California Conference for Equality and Justice. She is currently a member of the Long Beach YMCA Metro Board. Cordero, a former educator, has volunteered for more than 40 years with the Navajo Nation in Arizona, where she was appointed by then-President Pete Zah to the board of the First Navajo and Library Foundation in Window Rock, Ariz.

A Long Beach native, Gloria received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Long Beach. Gloria and her husband, Mario Cordero, have two incredible children and three amazing grandsons.



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