Pleasanton Weekly

Column - February 5, 2010

7 share in Community Service awards for 2010

by Jeb Bing

Local businesses, organizations and individuals were recognized at the 47th Annual Community Service Awards and Chamber of Commerce Dinner last week, an event that celebrated good people doing great things in the community. They included Safeway, Inc., ValleyCare Health System, the Tri-Valley YMCA and then the coveted distinguished individual service award to Joe Cristiano.

As UNCLE Credit Union CEO Jim Ott pointed out in making the award presentation, Cristiano is a special person. Not only is he an accomplished businessman in both the corporate and small business worlds, he is humble, kind and generous with his time, talent and expertise. A longtime Pleasanton resident, Cristiano is the retired president and chief executive of Kelly Moore Paints, one of the world's leading paint companies. He is also chairman of the board for the Bank of San Francisco. Perhaps even more important to our local community, Cristiano is also chairman of the MCM Group, an international consulting firm that advises start-ups as well as Fortune 500 companies on strategic planning and executive coaching. This work makes him literally in demand all over the world.

Cristiano was recognized for his volunteer work here in the Tri-Valley. Over the past year, he has logged hundreds of hours of coaching, advising and helping local business owners and managers to navigate thee challenging economic times. His personalized support has meant a great deal not only to the entrepreneurs he counsels, but to their employees and families who have felt the positive impact of his expertise.

"Joe's Mentoring Group," as it's come to be known, meets monthly on such subjects as business fundamentals, problem solving, management and supervision, strategic planning, leadership and more. Giving freely of his time, he plans and leads every meeting. He frequently draws on his extensive contacts and brings in guest speakers with expertise in areas of interest to a particular group he is mentoring. He also gives out a few assignments, including books for individuals in the group to read and review for the others. His enthusiasm for business and success is infectious and it was, in fact, members of Joe's Mentoring Group who nominated him for the chamber award.

The local group has more than 30 attendees and, despite increased demand on his time, Cristiano still finds a way to meet one-on-one as needed. Of those he coaches, he only asks that if and when their time comes to be in a position to help others in a similar manner, that they do so freely in what he calls a "pay it forward" fashion.

Other awards this year included the chamber's Business Philanthropy Award, given to Safeway, Inc., for providing philanthropic service beyond the scope of normal business activity; the Excellence in Business Award, given to ValleyCare Health System for its positive impact in the Pleasanton community through its achievement within the scope of normal business activity, and the Excellence in Service Award, given to the Tri-Valley YMCA as the nonprofit organizations that have contributed to Pleasanton.

New "Green Business" awards also were given to businesses that promote sustainable environmental business practices throughout their organizations for the benefit of employees, customers and the community. Recipients of this first-time award were Life Technologies, Pleasanton Corporate Commons and Postnet.


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