John Sensiba, managing partner of the Sensiba San Filippo accounting firm in Pleasanton and a well-known city and civic leader, was presented with the prestigious Mayor's Award for 2015 at a civic celebration last Friday at the Callippe Preserve Golf Course.
In addition to honoring the year's recipient of the city's special award, the 44th annual event Mayor's Award event also honored members of city commissions, committees and task forces that, in Thorne's announcement, "help us create a vision for the place we call home."
Groups honored were the Civic Arts, Housing. Human Services. Library, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Youth commissions; the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Committee; the committee on Energy and the Environment, the Economic Vitality, Cultural Plan Update Steering and Pioneer Cemetery Oversight committees, and the Alviso Adobe and East Pleasanton Specific Plan task forces.
Also honored were the city's Poet Laureate, Sandra Harrison Kay, and teen Poet Laureates Maya Lyubomirsky and Nicole Tsuno.
City Council members Karla Brown, Kathy Narum, Arne Olson and Jerry Pentin joined Thorne in congratulating both John Sensiba and the volunteers who serve on the council's advisory committees and commissions.
"This (event) is an opportunity to recognize all who serve and one special person whose contributions to our community have been exceptional," Thorne told the crowd of more than 200 volunteers and their spouses. They were seated at white linen-covered tables on the outdoor patio of the Callippe Preserve golf clubhouse, overlooking the first tee.
"Callippe Preserve has received many awards over the years," Thorne said.
These have included:
-- Ranked in the top three of the best golf courses in the East Bay;
-- Named one of the best municipal courses in the country;
-- Recognized by the Audubon International Society as a "Certified Cooperative Sanctuary" by preserving the surrounding area for native wildlife;
"Add to that the fact that Callippe uses 7 million gallons of recycled water for landscaping the greens, and I think you can see why we're so proud of our golf course," Thorne added.
"We live in a great city," Thorne continued. "We've been ranked the fourth best city in which to live, we're 13th for starting a new business in Northern California, and it was recently announced that we now keep close company with those 100 cities throughout the nation offering the most comfort and the best amenities for tourists."
In announcing John Sensiba as this year's Mayor's Award recipient, Thorne quoted Winston Churchill, who said, "You make a living by what you do, but you make a life by what you give."
He then cited some of Sensiba's many accomplishments:
As chairman of the ValleyCare Health System board of trustees, Sensiba was instrumental in guiding the financially-troubled hospital into a successful merger with Stanford Health Care. He now serves on the newly establish Stanford Health Care/ValleyCare board.
Sensiba is a nationally-recognized expert in the accounting field, who was selected by the Glass Hammer in 2012 as one of the "Men who Get It." He received both the Tri-Valley YMCA's Martin Luther King and Leadership Pleasanton awards last year.
Sensiba also served as corporate chair for the Walk to Cure Arthritis this year and has served as chairman of the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership group. He was chairman of this year's Rotary Club's Spirit Run and a recipient of the Ed Kinney Community Patriot award.
"You inspire us all and I'm so very pleased to present you with the Mayor's Award for 2015," Thorne said to a standing ovation as Sensiba, with his wife Marianne joined the mayor at the podium to accept the award.
The Sensibas have three children, Clayton, Melanie and Megan, who also joined their parents at the ceremony along with the couple's extended family.