Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce gave out the "Citizen of the Year" award to environmentalists Jack and Nancy Skinner. The couple were given a surprise by former winners and Chamber of Commerce board members on Thursday at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Beach. (Kevin Chang/ Daily Pilot) (KEVIN CHANG, Daily Pilot / July 31, 2014)

Past recipients of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award gathered Thursday to congratulate the first husband and wife to be honored with the title simultaneously.

An unknowing Nancy Skinner arrived around lunchtime at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club with her husband, Jack, thinking he was the one being surprised with the announcement, chamber President Steve Rosansky said.

But both Skinners, who have long been involved in city issues such as water quality and land use, were selected.

"They're inseparable," Rosansky said. "We're proud to have them represent Citizen of the Year for 2014."

A dinner in their honor will be held Nov. 14 at the Balboa Bay Resort.

— Emily Foxhall

Twitter: @emfoxhall