1) Why do you think you were selected for the award?
Well, that is twofold. I have created a gathering place, built with love and an attention to the community it serves. I put endless hours into the design of our markets to create a warm, friendly atmosphere where you can socialize with your neighbors. Also, I am heavily involved in sponsoring community events and raising money for local schools.
2) What youth events and fundraisers do you participate in?
I started Andy’s Summerfest, an all-day concert featuring top entertainers from around the Bay Area that raised approximately $125,000 each year for the San Rafael schools and is now run by HeadsUp. I have also participated in San Rafael Little League, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, church fundraisers, school barbecues and music festivals with proceeds donated to local schools. You name it — if asked, we have done it.
3) Future plans for community involvement?
I think I am just getting started. Once all three stores are more established, it will free up some time to focus on some programs that are important to me. I have my eye on creating an after-school program where we help kids who are falling behind in their academics before they are too far behind and lose confidence.
4) Your support of local youth and their programs is strong. Are you just a kid at heart?
Yes, plus it’s these kinds of programs that kept me from going in the wrong direction when I was growing up. I believe it’s not good to have too much idle time as a kid.
5) What do you love the best about Marin?
What is there not to love? I also feel really blessed that my father settled in Marin after World War II when he could have settled anywhere in the United States.
6) Marin’s greatest assets?
For me, it has always been a place of caring parents and a sense of belonging to a village. Whenever I travel, I am always proud to say I am from Marin. The lifelong friendships created growing up in Marin are still present. To this day I still have many of the same friends from grade school. The other assets are very obvious: the mountains, beaches, outdoor activity, good food and great weather.