The Santa Monica College Foundation is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2011 SMC Alumni Recognition Awards – restaurateur-entrepreneur Martin Jeffrey (Jeff) King and SMC math professor Terry Green.
Both will be recognized at commencement, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 at SMC’s Corsair Field, 1900 Pico Blvd.
King receives the SMC Alumni Recognition Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement and Green is being honored with the SMC Alumni Recognition Award for Distinguished Community Service.
For more than 50 years, King has dedicated his career to the promotion of guest-first hospitality and operational excellence in the restaurant industry.
King is Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of King's Seafood Company (KSC). He oversees the long-term financial planning, sales, investor relations, and property management of six concepts and 17 restaurants. Combined, King's Seafood Company attracts more than 3 million guests each year.
King's passion for restaurants and hospitality is the result of a long-standing family tradition. From a young age, King helped his uncle and father, who owned a number of King's Restaurants in Southern California.
A graduate of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, King received an Associates Degree from Santa Monica College in 1958 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History/Political Science from UCLA.
In 1978, King became president and large stockholder of King's Restaurants Inc. He helped conceptualize, build, and operate 13 restaurants. After the business was purchased by Tiny Naylors Inc. in 1981, King established Hospitality Consultants LTD. Shortly thereafter, he was hired as the Director of Food Services for the Los Angeles Olympic Games Operations Division in 1982.
In 1983, King teamed up with Cousin Sam King to launch University Restaurant Group (URG). More than 24 years later, their first concept, 555 East Steakhouse, remains a widely popular establishment in Long Beach.
In 1993, URG was renamed King's Seafood Company to reflect the King family tradition and focus on high quality seafood. Since that time, King has helped nurture more than 15 additional restaurants to include award-winning concepts I Cugini Ocean Avenue Seafood, Lou & Mickey's, King's Fish House, and Water Grill, a recent recipient of a Michelin Star.
King's charisma, coupled with his tenure within the restaurant industry, makes him a sought-after figure of the professional speaker's circuit. He has held a plethora of leadership positions within respected restaurant associations and educational institutions.
The recipient of a number of industry honors, King has accepted the City of Hope Lifetime Achievement Award, Nation's Restaurant News Hot Concept Award, and the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also recognized as the UCLA Alumni of the Year, inducted into the California Restaurant Association's Fine Dining Hall of Fame and Educational Foundation Hall of Fame.
King and his wife Ellen live in Los Angeles. They have five children, all alumni of UCLA. King is the proud grandfather of five. In his spare time, King enjoys maintaining relationships with colleagues and friends, many of whom he has known since grade school.
Green, who attended the college from 1965 to 1967 and earned an Associate of Arts degree, began what would be a lifetime commitment to community service at SMC. While a student, he was a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma, the honors and community service organization, and would later serve as its faculty advisor for 20 years.
Green transferred from SMC to the University of California at Santa Barbara where he continued his studies of math and history. He graduated in June 1969 and immediately joined the Peace Corps, serving as a volunteer high school teacher on the island of Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean.
While there he also helped build a rudimentary basketball court to introduce the sport to the students.
After the Peace Corps, he taught several subjects from 1971 to 1986 at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica. In 1986, he was hired as SMC’s first full-time developmental math instructor and, over the past 25 years, has helped thousands of students overcome their fear of math. Some of his students have even gone on to become math teachers themselves. For his teaching excellence, he was nominated several years ago for the Hayward Award, the top award given to a community college professor in California.
During his tenure as advisor or co-advisor to AGS, Green has seen the organization grow from 20 to 250 members each semester. AGS students must perform at least 20 hours of community service each semester, and some do more than 100 hours, earning them the President’s Award from President Clinton and President George W. Bush.
During his years as an advisor, Green participated in many community service events with his students, including the AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Revlon Run/Walk to find a cure for breast and ovarian cancer, and an annual Thanksgiving program in Santa Monica that distributes food and clothing to the homeless.
He has also been an active member for many years of the Santa Monica Y’s Men’s Breakfast Club, a support group for the YMCA. He has served as the club’s president, vice president and treasurer, working on campaigns that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various YMCA projects.
Green grew up most of his life in Santa Monica, attending local schools before his father, Chuck Green, changed careers from SMC instructor to diplomat. His father now teaches at SMC’s Emeritus College for older adults. His mother Dorothy is an active retiree.
He married JoAnn, also a teacher, in 1972. They have two adult daughters, Carrie and Jennie.