Biz Buzz: A.G. Citizen of Year is Broadway Jewelers owner

Eddie El Helou, an Arroyo Grande businessman active in supporting local events and programs, has been chosen by the city’s Chamber of Commerce as its Citizen of the Year for 2009.

El Helou, the owner of Broadway Jewelers at 121 E. Branch St., has been a longtime board member with the Arroyo Grande Village Improvement Association. He is a sponsor of the Arroyo Grande Christmas Parade and is a Strawberry Festival volunteer.

A member of the Kiwanis Club, El Helou also is past president of the Arroyo Grande Community Hospital’s board and a key backer of the Police Department’s police dog acquisition program.

“Eddie inspires me by his quiet, often anonymous contributions of time and effort to his community,” wrote Greg Steinberger of Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab in the nomination he submitted.

El Helou will be recognized formally at the Chamber’s 49th annual awards dinner on Jan. 28. The event begins at 5 p.m. at the South County Regional Center. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by calling 489-1488.

— Tad Weber

Women’s Business Center promotion

Maria Torres has been named program manager of the Women’s Business Center program, sponsored by the Small Business Association and Mission Community Services Center.

Torres has been the program’s business assistance specialist for the last two years.

She began her program manager duties Jan. 1 at the business center’s new location at 71 Zaca Lane in San Luis Obispo.

Torres also served for eight years as liaison to the Consul General within the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans.

— Melanie Cleveland

French Hospital names officers

Seven physicians have been selected as medical staff officers for French Hospital Medical Center for 2010 through December 2011.

Their role is to provide leadership for the French medical staff in the areas of quality assurance, credentials and patient safety.

Physician officers include: chief of staff James Malone; vice chief of staff J. Trees Ritter; medical staff secretary and treasurer Lorianna Fletcher; new department of medicine chairman Christian Voge; vice chairman for the department of medicine Paul Christensen; department of surgery chairman Scott Smelser; and vice chairman for the department of surgery James Lawler.

French’s medical staff is comprised of more than 330 physicians.

— Julia Hickey

New employee at Mortgage House

The Mortgage House in San Luis Obispo recently hired Bob Bevan of Arroyo Grande to serve as a reverse mortgage adviser. Bevan, a Cal Poly graduate and veteran of the Vietnam War, has lived in the Arroyo Grande area for more than 35 years.

— Julia Hickey