Celebrating Philanthropy – David and Susan Gill
2017 Distinguished Trustee Award Recipients
Community service and giving are homegrown for Susan and David Gill. Her father coached swimming, yet didn’t even know how to swim. His father was counted on to man the barbecue at local fundraising events. They both credit their parents with inspiring them and setting the example of giving back.
The Gills are the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC)’s 2017 Distinguished Trustee Award recipients. The award honors those who have demonstrated philanthropic leadership in supporting nonprofits in Monterey County.
David and Susan have humbly, quietly and steadily been active donors and volunteers for dozens of nonprofit organizations from King City to Monterey.” – Steve McGowan, CFMC 2017 Board Chair
“Their decades of involvement and leadership have inspired and encouraged others and helped change lives though their support of education, sports, health, and the arts,” McGowan said while presenting the award at the CFMC’s annual Celebration of Philanthropy.
A Dynamic Duo for Good
The Gills have been a team for longer than most. They met in middle school and became high school sweethearts, marrying in 1974. Together, they have transformed educational and character-building opportunities for their South County neighbors.
They know their community well. David grew up working on the family farm on the outskirts of King City. A third-generation grower, he heads Rio Farms and Gills Onions and is recognized as a leader in the agricultural industry. David heads Hartnell Community College’s ag committee and chairs The First Tee of Monterey County.
Susan, a former educator, has been a steadfast supporter of local libraries and co-chaired the campaign to build the Hartnell Community College King City Education Center. She has served as a board member, fundraiser extraordinaire and hands-on volunteer for more than a dozen organizations.
Giving means so much to both of us. We have seen the direct benefits within our community,” – David and Susan Gill
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
The Gills believe education is a powerful equalizer. They support many scholarships to promising local students to help them achieve their goals. “Susan and I really like to focus on youth organizations to help influence youth and support education,” said David.
The Gills also appreciate history. They have been instrumental in the campaign to restore and retrofit Mission San Antonio de Padua (ongoing) in South County. “School children come and visit and can see how life was many years ago,” said Susan. “It’s like taking a step back in time. I just want to preserve it for future generations to visit.”
The Gills are also founding family members of the Southern Monterey County Foundation, the CFMC’s first affiliate fund, which provides grants to benefit communities from King City to points South.
Awards & Service
In addition to serving on several nonprofit boards, and receiving the Hartnell College Leadership award individually, the Gills have received many awards together including:
-1995 King City Citizens of the Year and Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Ag Leadership Award
-2008 Valley of the World Ag Leaders Award, National Steinbeck Center
-2009 Philanthropists Award, Arts Council for Monterey County
-2012 Monterey Bay Business Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement
-2016 Growing Future Leaders Award, Boy Scouts of America, Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council
-2017 Distinguished Trustee Award, Community Foundation for Monterey County
“The Gills wide-ranging, consistent and generous contributions of their time, energy, talent and resources is an incredible example of philanthropic leadership,” McGowan said.
Their passion to give back makes them a ‘dynamic duo’ for doing good. We congratulate them on all they’ve accomplished.” – Steve McGowan, CFMC Board Chair
CFMC Celebration of Philanthropy
The Gills were honored on October 25, 2017 at the Celebration of Philanthropy. The annual gathering thanks those who support and partner with the CFMC to invest in healthy, safe, vibrant communities. As the 2017 Distinguished Trustee award recipients, the Gills designated a $10,000 grant from the CFMC to the nonprofit organization of their choice, The First Tee of Monterey County.
2016 William H. Tyler III
Past Distinguished Trustee Award Recipients
2015 Nancy Ausonio
2014 F. Robert Nunes
2013 Warren Wayland
2012 David and Laurie Benjamin
2011 Mike and Mary Orradre
2010 Bob and Sue Antle
2009 Julie Packard
2008 Sherrie McCullough
2007 Maggie Downer
2006 Clint and Dina Eastwood
2005 Ed and Terry Haber
2004 Michael McMahan, Neal McMahan, and Marsha McMahan Zelus
2003 Davis Factor, Jr.
2002 Joanne Taylor-Johnson
2001 Hilton and Roberta Bialek
2000 William and Nancy Doolittle
1999 Jim and Jeri Gattis
1998 Patricia Tynan Chapman
1997 Margaret Owings
1996 Basil Mills
1995 David Packard
1994 Harriet Thurmond and Sarah Hermann
1993 Francis Cislini
1992 Marshall Steel, Jr.
1991 Virginia Stanton and Gordon Paul Smith
1990 Ruth Fenton
1989 John McCone
2016 William H. Tyler III
Top photo: (l to r) 2017 CFMC Board Chair, Steve McGowan, Susan and David Gill, CFMC President/CEO, Dan Baldwin. Photo by DMT Imaging.