With a face almost as familiar as his voice, Seal Beach’s Christmas Parade Grand Marshal Seth Eaker is moving into the limelight.
Long the parade’s emcee, the 39-year-old Eaker will serve as grand marshal of the city’s Christmas parade this year. Past parade grand marshals include O’Malley’s Pub founder Brian Kyle, retired Grace Community Bible Church pastor Don Shoemaker and Save Our Beach. founder Kim Masoner.
Eaker said he was humbled and honored to join that group.
“It means that the community has recognized ... my contributions in a way that places me in the footsteps of people … that I deeply admire and respect in our community,” Eaker said. “It’s also at the same time exciting because I feel that I’ve made a difference in Seal Beach being a business advocate.”
A former president of the chamber, Eaker divides his time between running his business, Black Marble Consulting, serving as operations manager of Main Street Cyclery and serving in various volunteer activities. He was also recently named 2012 Businessman of the Year by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce,
He’s the Run Seal Beach board secretary, chairman of governmental affairs and relations for the chamber and, from Oct. 2010 to Feb. 2012, worked with the Seal Beach Victims’ Fund, which collected and distributed money from the community to aid victims of the Salon Meritage shooting.
“I love the community, and I’m amazed by what it is and what it’s all about,” Eaker said.
He has been actively involved in nonprofits for alcohol and drug abuse and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender causes from 1990 to the present.
“I would sum it all in a simple Platonic statement: The penalty for those who do not participate in community or government is government by worse people,” Eaker said. “If you don’t get involved, unfortunately in my opinion that’s only hurting yourself.”
Eaker lives in Old Town with his partner of 12 years Anthony Morgan, a commercial aircraft pilot. Eaker said he enjoys traveling, working out and cooking. He said he’s been involved in community activism since he was in college.
Eaker has an MBA from the Drexel University College of Business and Administration. Before that he attended Sewanee, the University of the South, double majoring in his chemistry and philosophy.
Growing up, Christmas was always a big part of the year for Eaker. Born in Tampa, he spent his early years traveling back and forth between his parents’ homes in Florida and Corona del Mar. He said one of his fondest holiday memories was caroling through a Florida neighborhood in a rented U-Haul trailer.
“It was so hot and there was never any snow,” Eaker said. “It was a very cognitively dissonant thing.”
“To me, Christmas is a very festive ... (and) not necessarily a traditional consumerism or religious holiday," Eaker said. "It’s more a community holiday. When I think of the Christmas parade, I think it encompasses all parts of the Seal Beach community."