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.De Leon 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.
He is also an Army veteran.
He 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 directorA 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.
De Leon also helped and organized 65 farm worker families with home ownership in Santa Paula.
SCVBank Elects Ralph DeLeon as New ChairmanSanta Clara Valley Bank, N.A.
SCVBank Elects Ralph DeLeon as New ChairmanSanta Paula, CA. May 5, 2009- Santa Clara Valley Bank (SCVBank; OTC BB: SCVE.OB) today announced that Mr. Ralph DeLeon has been elected Chairman of the Board.DeLeon replaces Mr. Guy E. Cole, who has served as Chairman for the past two years.
President and CEO Michael Hause commented, "I have known Mr. DeLeon for over 27 years, and he has been a leader in many fields and endeavors.
Ralph is well suited to lead SCVBank into the future."
After managing several grower and harvesting companies, DeLeon formed SAMCO, which provided custom harvesting services for growers in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida and The Bahamas.DeLeon has been honored as a Kellog Fellow of the Agricultural Leadership Program.
He has served as Director of Fruit Growers Laboratory, Associates Insectary, Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of the Santa Clara Valley, the Ventura Chapter of the American Cancer Society, and Agricultural Producers.DeLeon was a commissioner of the Private Industry Council in Ventura; appointed by the Director of the California Employment Department to the Agricultural Employment Forum; appointed by the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture to The Hass Avocado Commission; and appointed by the President of the University of California to the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
In addition, Deleon helped 65 farm worker families with home ownership in Santa Paula.
He served in the U.S. Army 1963-65.
Incoming Chairman DeLeon stated, "These are unprecedented times for the banking industry.
Considering the melee that continues to plague banks both large and small, I am all the more proud of the superior performance and conservative approach demonstrated by SCVBank.
DeLeon continued, "SCVBank's future looks bright and I am excited to be a part of it."
SAMCO is a family-owned and -operated company founded by Ralph DeLeon, president, who has spent his entire working life in the industry and knows the business from the ground up.
Born in Mexico, Ralph and his family came to the U.S. in 1957, where he earned a degree in business administration and also studied law.He got his start in the citrus industry as a quality control inspector for a packinghouse in Camarillo, Calif., and quickly advanced through the ranks.He later managed packing and harvesting operations in the Imperial Valley.He moved on to Ventura County as assistant manager for Coastal Growers Assn., then became manager of Santa Paula Growers and manager of Inland Growers Assn.Ralph's experience as a member of Class I of the prestigious California Agricultural Leadership Program helped propel him into business for himself.He launched SAMCO, which was incorporated July 7, 1977.
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