Directors’ Stories

Photo: Anne Fishbein

Gene Johnson – President

​In all the years that I worked, my mother never called me on the phone, as she believed that family should not interfere with business.

Years ago, one day I was informed that my mother was calling, and I expected the worst. When I answered, I thought I was speaking to an excited little girl. She shouted “Gene, Gene I could see every tree at the bottom of the hill!” She was on the way home after the bandages were removed from cataract surgery.

When I was growing up, my grandmother had very limited  hearing and was not able to participate fully in family activities, and she never became close to any of her grandchildren.

Later I became aware of a family where a 13-month-old girl born with cataracts would sit in the corner holding things close up to her face while the other children ran and played. Immediately after surgery, arranged by Lions, she was up playing with the children. She went on to be an honor student and captain of her high school volleyball team; she received a college scholarship.

Later in my life, I developed cataracts in both eyes that limited my vision. After the surgery the colors were again vivid and I could see the ball down the fairway.

Hearing the stories and comments of people LSH has helped is heart-warming and spurs me to spend the time to help more families.

LSH is the only organization in Southern California that does what we do.


Gene Johnson has been a fixture in the Long Beach business community and the Lions community for decades. His company, GJ Property Services, founded in 1977, serves commercial income property investors and employs 48 people. He serves as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

His other community activities include:

• Board Emeritus, Boys and Girls Clubs of Long Beach

• Advisory Board, Children’s Clinic of Long Beach

• Past President, Downtown Long Beach Lions Club

• Past Treasurer, District 4-L2 of Lions International

• Former President, Long Beach Civic Light Opera


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