Playa del Rey resident Joseph A. Czyzyk, chairman and CEO of Mercury Air Group, Inc., has been appointed as the new Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce chair of the board.

Czyzyk was officially installed as chamber chair during the 122nd annual Inaugural Dinner Feb. 10, where Gov. Jerry Brown and more than 1,500 business and civic leaders were in attendance.

“When government and labor join with business, we can create good jobs, bring back prosperity and pull us back from 14 percent unemployment,” Czyzyk told the audience. “To generate jobs we need to convince government at all levels to support pro-jobs (and) pro-growth policies and eliminate anti-business regulations.”

Czyzyk, who was born in Poland as the son of Holocaust survivors, spoke about what the city meant to him when he first moved to Los Angeles.

“When I first came to Los Angeles nearly 50 years ago, the city had the best street system in the world,” Czyzyk said. “It was one of the things I really enjoyed about Los Angeles and a major reason why Los Angeles was such a fabulous place to live.

“Los Angeles no longer has the infrastructure I remember, or the infrastructure we need today. Improving our infrastructure will revitalize our city and create jobs.”

Czyzyk has visited nearly 100 different nations and has established business operations in more than 45 countries during his career, which started in the airline industry.

He joined Mercury in 1984 to establish the company’s cargo division. As chairman of the board, he privatized the company in 2006, after nearly three decades on the American Stock Exchange.

In addition, he is past president of the city of Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners, having served on the commission since its inception in 1998 until his retirement in 2008. Czyzyk has the distinction of having served as a city commissioner under the last three mayors of Los Angeles.

He also serves as treasurer of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a member of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and sits on the Board of Visitors at the Graduate School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.

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