SSU's Carlos Pena dedicates his time to a community that needs it.
Based on his vast involvement with local businesses, Pena has been chosen by the Cotati Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to receive the Spirit of Sonoma County Award for 2012.
Over the past year, he has spent his time working with local businesses and charitable organizations to improve Cotati and surrounding communities. Pena, manager of special projects for the athletic association, has also used his position on campus to bridge the gap between the University and the businesses surrounding it.
"It amazes me to think how much difference one person has made in this regard," says Gerard Giudice, owner of Sally Tomatoes, who nominated Pena. "He has personally visited and cultivated relationships with over 100 local businesses and groups..."
The Spirit Award is given out each year to recognize individuals in the community that have contributed to the economic vitality of Cotati by building relationships with local businesses to create positive change in the community.
Two years ago, Pena lost his eight-year-old child Galilea in a tragic car accident. Despite his heartbreaking loss, Pena managed to turn his grief into a positive and launched a successful 501c(3) non-profit named after his daughter. Galilea's Place to Play benefits youth sports programs in Cotati and the surrounding community. Pena aims to continue to build relationships with local businesses and community members for years to come and grow his non-profit in the process.
The Spirit of Sonoma County Luncheon honoring Pena is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday Dec. 7 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park.
Telephone: 707-584-2000 Fax: 707-585-1363
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