ANNUAL GALA

In 2023 we held the 79th annual awards gala. Stay tuned for further details about our plans for 2024.

79th Annual Awards Gala

Check out the photos from this year's event!

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Congratulations To Our Award Winners!

Educator of the Year: Peter Wilson

"We are proud to celebrate Principal Peter Wilson as the Hayward Educator of the Year! Mr. Wilson's leadership at East Avenue Elementary has brought a 60% improvement in Language Arts and Math, as demonstrated by the CAASPP results, a remarkable improvement that has been maintained through the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also prioritized creating a safe and inclusive school climate while promoting STEAM education and professional development for his staff. Beyond his work, Peter enjoys exploring California, coaching youth sports, and searching for the perfect slice of pizza with his family. Congratulations, Principal Wilson!"

Firefighter of the Year: Jared Matthews

Jared was hired in September of 2001 and has promoted through the ranks from Firefighter to Apparatus Operator to his current position of Fire Captain. Captain Matthews has ran the Toys for Kids program for the last twelve years, sits on the rescue committee and is also a Rescue Specialist for the Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 4 (CA-TF4). Captain Matthews is a part of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team for the Department and has been the coordinator for the St. Baldricks Childhood Cancer head shave event, assisted with the ROP program and has taught four academies. He sat on the Executive Board for Local 1909 and has helped as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and CPR instructor. Jared lived in Hayward as a child until he moved to Castro Valley when he was 12 years old.

Police Officer of the Year: Emilio Gonzalez

Officer Emilio Gonzalez grew up in Hayward and started with the Hayward Police Department on 05/24/2021. He was assigned to patrol in 2022, making over 100 arrests. 65 arrests were proactive, 20 total guns were confiscated, he authored 5 search warrants, he authored 2 Ramey warrants, he authored 2 warrants for felony evading in a vehicle, and he received the California Highway Patrol’s 10851 pin for recovering at least 12 stolen vehicles with at least 3 offenders in custody. He worked on an investigation that reached the FBI and they followed up with a larger investigation based on his initial investigation and arrests. Officer E. Gonzalez has been repeatedly commended for his calm demeanor, professionalism, and his compassion in caring for his community. For these reasons, he has been selected as the Police Officer of the Year.

Co Non Profit of the Year: Spectrum Community Services- Lara Calvert, Executive Director

Created by Sotera Brown in September of 1971 as a volunteer-run organization called Family Tutorial Services. This small organization started when a group of volunteers working with Head Start in Hayward saw a need for family-wide services, beyond what Head Start was offering to low-income children. The Family Tutorial Services reached out to the neglected, Spanish-speaking enclaves of Hayward, helping them connect to the rest of the community by offering them English Language tutorials – a stopgap method to teach English to busy, low-income adults.

The Family Tutorial Services expanded its programs into areas where they saw a need arising where other organizations could not meet it. Our Low-Income Weatherization and Senior Nutrition Programs launched in the late 1970s to offer the help the Older Americans Act and US Health and Human Services knew were important to people across the country.

The organization changed its name to Spectrum Community Services in 1986 to reflect its expanding services, and we have stayed true to our 50 year-long mission to help the most vulnerable populations in Alameda County. Our long history of family supportive services and community work has advanced our mission of promoting our clients’ financial sustainability and improving the overall quality of their lives.

Co Non Profit of the Year: Kaulana Na Pua/Kumu Hula Association-Deanie Lum

Throughout the decades, Kumu Hula Association have been the driving force behind culture and the spirit of aloha. Not only generating business to the City of Hayward through their countless festivals and events but continuing to build community in the city we call home, Hayward. Upon looking at all the qualifications, they have met every single one. Again I would like to emphasize on their years of support given to Hayward businesses and Hayward as a whole. Starting in the 1980's with the Hawaiian Festival, the Hawaiian Hula Competition at Chabot and now the street fair, Hayward is known worldwide as the Hawaiian home away from home.

It gives me great pleasure to nominate "Kaulana Na Pua/ Kumu Hula Association" for Hayward's non-profit of the year!

Small Business Person of the Year-April Yamaguchi, Snappy’s Café.

Moving to Hayward in 1995, April came to Hayward to revel in its diversity and opportunity. April opened Snappy’s Café 13 years ago. As a small business consisting of one employee, Snappy’s gives courteous and consistent service whatever time you visit the establishment. Although the recent pandemic was hard on all establishments, Snappy’s continued to be open for carryout and continued to be a valuable thread in the fabric of our community.

April has given time, talent, and treasure to the Hayward community. April has donated coffee for events in the downtown and around Hayward, most recently for the veteran’s ball (that raised over $10,000 for Operation Dignity) last October. April also been involved in hosting local Art and Literacy projects in her charming Coffee Shop.

Business Person of the Year: Alejandro Gamarra, The Mexican Restaurant

Alejandro Gamarra, Business owner in Hayward, has been a huge advocate for our community. Alejandro has been involved with the community for some time and has been with the Hayward Chamber of Commerce since 2004. He has been a local business owner for 29 years and has helped employ thousands of people. Alejandro not only helps the city, he helps and supports the events that are held in the Downtown area that bring businesses and people in the community together. He is the one that looks out for what’s best and brings people together to make Hayward a better place. Alejandro continues to expand his businesses and bring more jobs to the City of Hayward. Thank you, Alejandro, for all you do for the community and the City of Hayward.

Young Professional of the Year: Jose Carlos Montesinos

Jose serves as a role model for other young professionals. Jose was at the Eden Computer Clubhouse Coordinator for 8+ years. He run an after school program where young people have a safe space where they can explore their creativity through technology and the support of mentors and supportive adults.

Jose has demonstrated the highest level of service, professionalism, and competence in their place of work. Jose is very passionate about South Hayward and the community he represents. His last event was to help the Day Laborers who don't get the services they deserve. In addition, Jose demonstrates noteworthy professional and personal achievement and is always trying to find solutions to the challenges his community faces. Jose has returned to the Chamber and continues to extend his drive to do more for his community. He has just joined the ambassador committee and will be reliable source to the group and the city of Hayward.

Business Manager of the Year: Todd Falduti, Southland Mall

Mr. Fadulti has been in the commercial retail property management for 22 years, including his time as the Regional Operations Manager with Westfield in Los Angeles, and managing the Westfield San Francisco Centre Portfolio. He has been with Southland Mall for the last 5 years, navigating a major retail business during and coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Fadulti is being nominated because of his tireless efforts to fight for the small and large businesses at Southland Mall; by advocating for and working with the city, law enforcement and business community on finding solutions to help big and small businesses weather the storm of public health shutdowns and community unrest.

Todd and Brookfield Properties has been and is good partner to the Hayward community. One example is that they have launched their Partner to Empower Program, illustrating a commitment to partnering with, empowering, and providing resources for Black and minority-owned businesses. Todd reached out to the Black Business Roundtable and others in the community to implement this Brookfield initiative at Southland Mall, as a way to remove barriers to becoming a store vendor at a large retail mall such as Southland Mall.

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