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George Chiala to Receive Leadership Excellence Award at 2014 Summer Gala

George Chiala - photo courtesy of Liza Garibaldi

MORGAN HILL, CA (2014-01-27) – Leadership Morgan Hill (LMH) announces that community leader and philanthropist George Chiala has been selected as this year’s recipient of the prestigious 2014 Leadership Excellence Award.   George will receive the award and be honored at a festive outdoor summer celebration – date and venue yet to be finalized.

Lorraine Welk, 2014 Chair of the Leadership Morgan Hill organization, is thrilled with George’s selection, stating that “The Leadership Excellence Award recognizes leaders whose vision and leadership advance the spirit of our community. Award recipients reflect insight and inspire others to lead in a like manner.  The award criteria perfectly describe our 2014 honoree, George Chiala".

George’s farming innovations have made George Chiala Farms, Inc. very successful.  By rotating various crops and creating his own processing plants and equipment, he has made the family-run business state-of –the art where innovation is a way of life. They process over 60 million pounds of vegetable ingredients annually.

 George’s success in farming is reflected in his community support and philanthropy.  He started a relationship with the Second Harvest Food Bank in 1999 and has donated thousands of pounds of food as well as used equipment to this non-profit agency that feeds people in need.  Support of Second Harvest’s Produce Mobile enables over 7000 low income households to receive fresh fruit and vegetables monthly at their homes.

George dedicates himself to improving our community. He chairs the Board of Trustees of the Saint Louise Regional Hospital Foundation, spearheads the effort to bring a Catholic High School to Morgan Hill and has served on the Santa Clara County Land Use Committee, the Labor Housing Task Force of Santa Clara County, and is a past chair of the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau.  He initiated and still helps run the annual car raffle benefitting Saint Catherine parish.  He has been recognized by the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce as their “Man of the Year” in 2005 and is an honorary Rotarian who was instrumental in bringing mushrooms back to our annual Mushroom Mardi Gras celebration.

George and his lovely and gracious wife Alice run the farming business as a family with sons George Jr. and Tim as full partners.  The Chiala family owns the historic Fountain Oaks estate in the eastern foothills and frequently donates use of the beautiful venue for non-profit fundraising events. When informed of the award, George was humbled and said that he was greatly honored to be joining the ranks of previous Leadership Excellence Award honorees.

George will officially receive his medal at the summer tribute dinner.  Community leaders, supporters of LMH and friends of the honoree are expected to attend this community celebration to honor George and to benefit the local nonprofit LMH educational organization. Dinner and the brief award program will be followed by music and dancing.  In keeping with the outdoor setting, dress for the event is casual, upscale summer fun.

Chairing the Honorary Committee for the event is 2013 Excellence Award recipient Mike Cox and LMH Board member Ana Espinola chairs the Event Committee.   Information on the date, location and tickets will be posted on the website www.leadershipmorganhill.org by the end of February.

Awardees are selected by a blue-ribbon panel of community leaders that includes former Leadership Excellence Award recipients. Funds raised will benefit the non-profit LMH educational organization, now in its 20th year of dedication to building community leadership. The annual LMH program provides insight, tools and training that enables and inspires leaders in all walks of life to give back to the community through service. LMH graduates are found in leadership positions throughout the community in government, education, business and nonprofit organizations


Photo of George Chiala courtesy of Liza Garibaldi - Director LMH

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