Sharing Success – Steve and Marti Diamond
“Giving adds another dimension to our life. We want to give people hope and opportunity that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”– Steve and Marti Diamond
Steve and Marti Diamond both started from humble beginnings. At age 15, Steve was awarded an academic scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans. He earned a B.S. in theoretical mathematics and an M.D. followed by his internship in surgery and residency in psychiatry at Stanford Medical School. He ventured into commercial real estate which ultimately became his full-time career.
Steve bought his first home in Carmel in the early 1970s. He built their current home 25 years ago. It has been their refuge over the years from their busy life in the Bay Area, especially during the pandemic, and has become their full-time home.
Through a combination of intelligence, aptitude, passion and entrepreneurial spirit, they both grew thriving businesses in the San Francisco Bay area. They met through mutual friends and were social and business acquaintances before eventually tying the knot on one of Marti’s yachts. Theirs is a true partnership, living and giving together.
Blazing a Trail
Marti, a native of El Salvador, began selling homemade tissue flowers to neighbors at age seven. She learned her creativity from her mother and her risk-taking from her father and was always driven to improve her life and that of her family. Her entrepreneurial spirit was evident as she restored a 60-foot boat at her home in California after navigating it from Florida through the Panama Canal with her three young children.
She turned her love of being on the water and natural hospitality into a successful charter business that included a fleet of four luxury dining yachts, two of which she commissioned and built. She sold the California Spirit to Giants Enterprises and proudly markets that vessel and her Diamond Seas with the Giants. One of the few women in this male-dominated industry, she led the way and mentored other women to find their passion and success in other fields.
Marti sums up her philosophy this way, and urges young people to:
Take the risk. Love what it is you wish to promote. Be persistent, nothing is impossible. Use your high energy – you’ll need it.”
She urges others to create their best lives with love, imagination and hard work:
- Do it yourself if you can
- Create the best
- Be persistent
- Ask for help and be a quick learner
The couple started the Marti and Steve Diamond Charitable Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) in 2017 and the Steve and Marti Diamond Scholarship Fund in 2022.
Their main area of interest is education. They have invested in College Futures Monterey County, a CFMC initiative combining scholarships and success services to give students the best opportunity to get to and through college. They have also supported Bay Area students through the nonprofit 10,000 Degrees.
“I could not afford to attend college full-time and relied on night classes for my education. It makes me happy to help in some way,” shares Marti, who relishes following the students’ progress.
We’re looking to support really talented young people with exceptional ability and drive.” -Steve Diamond
“We feel very fortunate to invest in others’ success. A handful of young people can really change the world,” Steve says.
Steve and Marti Diamond Scholarship Fund
The purpose of the fund is to provide strategic, need-based scholarships.
- Amount: up to $4,000 depending on the student’s unmet need
- Scholarship is renewable for up to 4 years
- Available to students enrolling in an accredited 4-year university or trade school
- Financial Need
- Minimum GPA 3.5
- Demonstration of exceptional ability in the area of interest
- Demonstrating interest in completing a Bachelor’s degree or Trade School certification
- Letter expressing need and educational goals, person they admire and why
- Willingness to interview via zoom or in-person
Make a Gift
- To make a gift to the Steve and Marti Diamond Scholarship Fund, donate directly and securely online here or click below.
- Send a check made payable to “Community Foundation for Monterey County” with “Steve and Marti Diamond Scholarship Fund” in the memo line
Community Foundation for Monterey County
2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940
- To make a gift of stock or other assets, please contact Christine Dawson, Senior Vice President Philanthropic Services at 831.375.9712 x126.
Donations to the Steve and Marti Diamond Scholarship Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) are tax deductible.
The CFMC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization,Tax ID #94-1615897.
About the Marti and Steve Diamond Charitable Foundation
The aim of the Marti and Steve Diamond Charitable Foundation is to provide support to women and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and capital projects through grants to nonprofits. The fund has granted more than $625,000 since 2017. In addition to the Marti and Steve Diamond Charitable Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation for Monterey County, Marti and Steve have granted more than $1.6 million through other philanthropic endeavors.
The Marti and Steve Diamond Charitable Foundation is a donor advised fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.