Ralph De Leon
honored with CA Ag
Leadership Foundation award
Ralph De Leon
can add another title to his
long list of accomplishments: recognized - and lauded - leader.
De Leon, a resident of Fillmore and chairman of the Santa Clara Valley Bank Board of Directors, was presented last month with the 2011 California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) Profiles in Leadership Award.
The award recognizes Ag Leadership Program (ALP) alumni for their leadership actions resulting in the betterment of industry, community, business, government, education and/or the environment.
De Leon, who was also the interim CEO of Santa Clara Valley Bank, is a Class 1 Ag Leadership Program alumnus who has a lifetime of leadership and service to agriculture and his community.
"We at Santa Clara Valley Bank are very proud of our Board Chairman Ralph De Leon" for his recent recognition, said SCV Bank President and CEO Cheryl L. Knight.
De Leon demonstrates that legacy: a Santa Clara River Valley businessman and activist, De Leon, owner of Santa Paula-based SAMCO, was appointed in 2000 to the University of California President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture & Natural Resources by University of California.
has a business background in labor contracting, trucking and citrus/avocado farming.
A native of Mexico, De Leon
moved to California in 1957 and became a naturalized citizen.
is also an Army veteran.
has an Associate Arts in Business/Computer Science from Ventura College
, and received certificates in advanced business studies from the University of California Los Angeles and the University of California Santa Barbara
Prior to founding SAMCO in 1977, De Leon had an extensive career in agricultural operations serving as manager of Santa Paula Growers Association and Inland Growers Association, manager of Western Harvesting Company of El Centro, and assistant manager of Coastal Growers Association of Oxnard.
A Kellogg Fellow of the Agricultural Leadership Program, De Leon has served or still serves on the boards of directors of various companies and organizations, including Fruit Growers Laboratory and Agricultural Producers, California Avocado Commission and the California Agricultural Employment Forum.
The latter appointment of De Leon
was made by the director of California Food & Agriculture and the director of the state Employment Development Department.
De Leon also has served as an American Farm Bureau Federation director
A Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Director 1984-86, De Leon was a Private Industry Council member 1983-90, and is a past director of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Paula-Fillmore-Piru as well as the Ventura County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
In 1998 the Santa Paula Women in History Committee
honored him for his
civic and community activities.
Sent to Chile on a California Avocado Commission
fact-finding mission, De Leon
also visited Paraguay as a Farmer-to-Farmer program leader to oversee agricultural education for natives to enable them to grow and harvest citrus.
also helped and organized 65 farm worker families with home ownership in Santa Paula.