Published November 17, 2020
The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce honored President Eduardo M. Ochoa at the annual Legacy of Leadership event on Nov. 13, which was open to the public via virtual live stream.
Two other community leaders were also honored: Melissa Kendrick, Executive Director of the Food Bank for Monterey County, and Ron Johnson, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County.
Andrea Bailey, Chair of the SVCC Board, said that the recipients were chosen for their roles as leaders in bringing positive change to those around them.
“It's especially important during one of the most challenging years we are continuing to experience – the COVID 19 pandemic,” Bailey said. “Dr. Eduardo Ochoa, Melissa Kendrick and Ron Johnson embody these characteristics and were quick to pivot to meet the unprecedented level of need in the community.”
Part fundraiser, the event started on a playful note, with SVCC CEO Paul Farmer, in a black sequined jacket, recognizing attendees and auction bidders in the chat box including Karina Rusk of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, Susie Brusa of Rancho Cielo, and Colleen Bailey of the Monterey Jazz Festival.
In his acceptance address, Ochoa said, “I am accepting this award not for myself but for the dedicated faculty and staff of CSUMB. It is their dedication to our students and the betterment of our community that has allowed me to lead this institution to achieve as much as it has in the past eight years.”
He talked about what makes for effective leadership in these times.
“It’s no longer the heroic, charismatic man on a horseback,” Ochoa continued. “Rather it is the person who listens well, who can capture and articulate the hopes and aspirations and potential of an organization, so all its members recognize themselves and their contributions in that vision. And then who supports and empowers them to achieve it. It has been my honor and my privilege to do this for Cal State Monterey Bay, and for our community.”
Bailey reported that the entire event—including sponsorships, ticket sales, silent and live auctions, fund-a-need, and a bidding game—raised $61,980.