Update: April 13, more details about Ron Brown
The Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce last week added to the resumes of three Walnut Creek community stalwarts in giving out its annual UXL awards.
- Educator of the Year: Teacher Peggy Shelby of Foothill Middle School.
- Business Person of the Year: Ron Brown, executive director of Save Mount Diablo.
- Citizen of the Year: community volunteer Janet Abrams.
Ron Brown, a leader in Save Mount Diablo's preservationist activism, is also due to be recognized at the Contra Costa Council's Small Business Awards Luncheon May 4.
Despite the recession and its challenges, Ron has increased and diversified fundraising to ensure Save Mount Diablo’s financial sustainability. "As a result, Save Mount Diablo has preserved more land in the last 18 months than in the previous 10 years," stated a Save Mount Diablo press release. "He has also expanded volunteer opportunities and built bridges to sometimes unlikely partners."
Brown, a Walnut Creek resident since 1974, lives in the shadow of Shell Ridge Open Space with his wife, Sharon. “When we stand back and take look at the landscapes that we’re preserving—not just for today but for our children and future generations—it brings a great sense of joy and satisfaction, that we’re doing something to preserve and heal the world,” Brown said.
“Ron has led a diverse group of non-profit organizations as successful corporate members of the business community, recognizing that non-profit programs and our outstanding quality of life here in Walnut Creek are only possible in a thriving community supported by a strong diverse economy”, wrote Brian Hirahara of BH Development in his nomination of Brown for the award. “He is a great model business owner for the community.”
Janet Abrams wrote in an email that she was honored "but I am also embarrassed. I am the kind of a person who is pleased to be in the background working for good causes … The bonus for attending tons of meetings and hours of work is the wonderful people i meet who hav become my friends over the years. We work side by side for an issue or project that is important to us and amazing bonds are created."
Abrams has volunteered for:
- The East Bay Women's Conference, organized by the Walnut Creek chamber.
- The Walnut Creek Library Foundation, including work in planning the architecture and furnishings of the new downtown library that opened in 2010.
- The Walnut Creek Soccer Club, with some 19 years of scheduling fields for teams "before computers," Abrams said.