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Ron Hyde takes over as new president of Tri-Valley Community Foundation

Original post made on May 3, 2012

Ron Hyde, chairman of the Foundation's board of directors, was named chief executive and president of the organization this week, succeeding long-time president Dave Rice, who has left the area's major nonprofit funding group.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 3, 2012, 7:56 AM

Comments (21)

Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

How is it that an individual who was dismissed from the bench for his "persistence in violating the standards of judicial conduct" ends up in a position of responsibility at an organization whose essential function is the handling of money?

". . . a world where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket. . ."

Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950)

Will we ever learn?


Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Same world where a judge's wife can shoplift $2400 worth of merchandise, gets her wrist slapped and charged with a misdemeanor...but a homeless man that steals $1 worth of soda from McDonald's gets thrown in jail and charged with a felony.

Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Here is the link to the Pleasanton Weeklys account of Mr. Hydes dismissal as Judge 9 years ago.

Web Link

And I am believer that people do learn from their mistakes.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on May 3, 2012 at 8:46 pm

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
T. Roosevelt

Posted by Virginia
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

What has happened to the monies that are due to all the
Non-Profits from the Employee Giving Campaigs from Sandia and
Lawrence Livermore Labs. It's been over two years since funds have
been disbursed.

Posted by Virginia
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I have information that can prove that what the Foundation has been doing
is misappropriating funds, to give Mrs. Suzanne Lawless (Fares) over
$100,000. a year salary without the Boards Approval (About 4 raises in less
than two years). What Board Member was really minding this
Foundation, as I see it none of them, they all turned a blinds eye.
The Foundation should be holding a liability of over $600,000 due to
non-profits selected by employees of Sandia and Lawrence Livermore
Labs. these funds have not been distributed, or has that been quietly
written off? The truth needs to be told. There is a lot more to this story
than what is being written.

Posted by PTown Dad
a resident of Birdland
on May 4, 2012 at 8:06 am

The TVCF has done some good things for the community and can continue to do more. However, they'll need to do several things:

1. Get a credible leader from within the community to take over. Hyde should be humble enough to recognize this. Let's see if he hires someone. His continuing role should be questioned because of what happened when he was a judge and the fact that the board of directors' job is to oversee the President. If Rice was doing something wrong, the board chairman wasn't doing his job either. Hyde needs to hire and step down.

2. They need to do a thorough investigation of all the rumors that have been flying around the community for years. Rumors aren't always reality, but they have to investigate the largest rumors and produce credible findings. There are plenty if people to talk to about a history of suspicions.

Many people have benefit from TVCF and many good people have served with TVCF. I hope they can do the right thing to right the ship.

Posted by Patriot
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on May 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

Please understand that former Judge Ron Hyde has done a ton of good deeds for the Pleasanton community over the years including his total support of Operation Stand Down that occurs in Pleasanton every other year--helping Homeless Veterans from the Vietnam Era and now the more recent conflicts too. Give him a chance to "right the ship" and I know that he will put his heart and soul in to doing so.

It is also very sad for me as I have known David Rice for several years and always thought of him "doing good" for all of his efforts. I do hope that whatever went wrong here by his leadership can be rectified in the near future. If not it truly saddens me that yet another quote "Upstanding" person has gone astray--why does this have to happen in our society?

Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Dublin
on May 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

The pertinent question, IMHO, is not whether Judge Hyde has a good heart. It appears that he has contributed a great deal of time to the community. The questions is - Does serving on the bench and volunteering for non-profits qualify a person to run one? There is also a credibility issue. The apparent issues took place under his watch as Chairman of the Board. If his oversight as a Board Member was lacking, it does not seem appropriate for him to take over for the person he was responsible for supervising. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it is the Boards responsibility to supervise the CEO and ensure the financial integrity of an organization.

Posted by Jimbol
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Let's not forget this scandle took place smack dab in the middle of the Obama Administration.

Posted by virginia
a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

The Pleasanton weekly posted this story on February 24, 2012.
The Tri-Valley Community Foundation has just wrapped up its best year ever, raising $3 million to support the 150 nonprofits that rely on its funds to serve the 350,000 people who live in the Valley.
How could we trust this story?
As a public charity did anyone ask for a Financial Statement to verify? Of course not! How could everyone be so blind? It’s clear that we all want to believe in the good that this foundation has done, it may have! But the unfortunate issue is that most of the good was afforded from Funds that did not belong to this Foundation to do as it pleased, let’s not forget that! Yes, it is a non-profit organization to support the community in its needs, but not with funds that were restricted or directed for specific projects.
The Board Members really needs to take a long hard look at how much he/she really had committed to this organization, what happened only occurred because the Board was not involved and there was only one person that reported to them. At the end of the day everyone involved even other employees have to live with the errors of their ways.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Let's see where this goes.
Boards do not run the day to day operations of organizations. That is the job of the President, CEO, or Executive Director. Boards give direction. Boards call for audits. Boards review information, and then take action. Perhaps the system worked? Maybe the problems with the Fund were very recently indentified through the process of a routine audit, and the Board took immediate action? Maybe this is situation where the system and its checks and balances worked?

Posted by just me
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thank you to the commenters pointing out the backstory on Mr. Hyde. I hope that the Weekly does more research and expose on this story as it is important to the community.

BTW--to have to select your neighborhood to comment makes the comments not private. Additionally, my "neighborhood" does not go by a name that I know of. Just sayin'.

Posted by Virginia
a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hey Jack,
Aren't Boards suppose to review the financials and
ask questions. The questions is did they really know how
read a Financial. It's clear based on previous information
that this has been going on for a while to have gone through
the Endowment Fund in 5 years is very questionable.

Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Dublin
on May 7, 2012 at 11:57 am


Several points you raise are spot on. The primary role of a board is oversight. In fact, it is their number one responsibility. Sadly, many board members show up once a month to keep a seat warm so they can say they are involved in the community and list their position on their resume. That is not to say that there are not effective board members out there. However, they are the exception rather that the rule. If the purported issues have occurred for some time and the board members, especially the board chair and treasurer,did not see warning signs earlier, they are as culpable as the CEO. In fact, I would argue that rather than continuing to serve on the board, they should step down. The only reason this type of activity continues to happen (this is not the first time this has occurred to non-profits in the Tri-Valley. See Lisa Dial - Convention and Visitors Bureau), is because board members are not help accountable.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on May 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I must've missed where this has been going on for "a while." My point is, what if the problems were recent in nature, and the board did act decisively in a timely fashion?

Posted by Virginia
a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 7, 2012 at 11:17 pm

The more I look into this Foundations actions, I find myself with a great amount of questions, one of which is, what has really been going on with the relationship of Tri-Valley Community and Hacienda Heping Hands? I find no infornation with the promised Grants from Hacienda Helping Hand and Tri-Valley and what funds have been collected for these Grants. So far a lot of smoke and screens. I have to date been unable to get a financial statement as allowed under the 501c3 disclosure of a public non-profit under the IRS regulations.

Well I guess this issue will be also brushed under the rug, or if we ignore it long enough it will go away.

How many deserving Non-profits in the community have gone with out due to the miss direction of funds.

Doesn't anyone care anymore? Then why give.

Posted by Jimbol
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Then why give, Virginia? Maybe they'll contribute to a program for the grammatically challenged.

Posted by disappointed
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

The Pleasanton Weekly's should have egg on their face about this situation, and their fluffy February 24 story about TVCF's banner year is only one facet.   The Weekly has partnered with TVCF for years with their Holiday Fund and has written many long and glowing articles about TVCF's great accomplishments (many of which don't seem to be visible except in Pleasanton Weekly articles).  Sure the Weekly had good itentions to encourage philanthropy, but the newspaper also benefited from the publicity they were generating, and the Weekly was even awarded TVCF's "Community Champion" award in December 2012, which they faithfully reported with a proud smile to all their loyal readers.  

I hope this situation will be a wake up call to the Weekly to do their job as journalists and report the truth (or at least perform a bare minimum of fact checking).  Admittedly, TVCF hasn't ever released financial statements to the public, but they do file a tax return that can be found on internet charity sites.  The latest available filing dated 6/30/10 (almost two years ago) shows TVCF with a fund balance of negative $172,000 (deficit) caused by $994,000 of cash outflows over the prior 24 months.  God knows what transpired since then (supposedly their best year ever), but I hope someday the full story will come out.  If the Pleasanton Weekly can muster the courage, they are best suited to publishing a full account of the promises that were broken and the funds that will never reach their intended charitable destinations. 

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I hope the whole truth comes out. Virginia, you are absolutely on the right track.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

You are so right about Mrs Lawless. There was something fishy with her from day 1. She had many other staff members dismissed as they questioned the actions of herself and David Rice. She and her friend (don't remember the name)came in, met with Mr. Rice, and immediately ordered all new expensive furniture for the office. The desks alone were ridiculously priced. Any complaint met with disciplinary action from Mr. Rice for not respecting the new "consultants". "Consultants", or thieves in my book. I'm sorry that they got away with this for so long and took down an organization that did much good for the Valley before it was taken over by that group of individuals. And, yes, where was the Board through all of this. They should also be held liable for their deliberate inaction. Good luck with that though. You are right - this whole thing will be swept under the rug and none of that money will be given where it was designated.

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