Six celebrated for longtime service

Avenidas honors citizens for their 'lifetimes of achievement'

For many, the 2014 Lifetimes of Achievement honorees are household names. They are a former college counselor, a corporate attorney, longtime community volunteers, the former editor of the Palo Alto Weekly and a former school-board member.

On Tuesday, the nonprofit Avenidas announced the honorees at a private reception for family and friends: Jean Dawes, Greg Gallo, Isaac and Maddy Stein, Jay Thorwaldson and Carolyn Tucher. On May 18, they will be publicly celebrated at a garden party co-sponsored by Avenidas, the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online.

"We are proud to be able to honor such an esteemed group of high achievers and show the community what age and wisdom can accomplish," Avenidas CEO/President Lisa Hendrickson said.

Jean Dawes, a former college counselor at Palo Alto High School, is a longtime advocate for education and fair housing. In addition to working for the Palo Alto Unified School District for more than 20 years, she was an educational consultant for College Admissions Advisors Associates.

She also spent decades devoted to nonprofit organizations and served on the boards of the Pursuit of Excellence, a scholarship program for under-represented students; Palo Alto Housing Corporation; and Midpeninsula Citizens for Fair Housing. She has served on the Palo Alto Woman's Club Philanthropy Committee since 2005.

Greg Gallo has spent more than 40 years as a lawyer, first with Ware & Freidenrich and later as a partner at DLA Piper. He has served on the boards of several for-profit organizations such as Maxtor Corporation and Network General, as well as numerous nonprofit boards including the American Red Cross, Family & Children Services, the Entrepreneurs Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

He also chaired the board of the Senior Coordinating Council (which later became Avenidas) in the early 1990s.

Both Isaac and Madeleine ("Maddy") Stein are champions for community causes, nonprofit fundraising and Stanford University. Maddy's lengthy volunteer resume at Stanford includes: founding chairwoman, School of Education Advisory Council; vice chairwoman, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society; and member of both Haas Center's National Advisory Board and Stanford Challenge Leadership Council. Apart from Stanford, Maddy has been president of the boards of the Children's Health Council, Community Breast Health Project, Palo Alto Community Fund and the Elizabeth Gamble Garden Center. She has been honored with a Tall Tree Award and with a Stanford Associates' Board of Governors' Award.

Isaac has been a partner at the law firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe; chief financial officer and general counsel at Raychem Corp.; chairman at Esprit de Corp; and president and founder of Waverley Associates Inc., a private investment firm. Most recently, he was CEO, CFO, and chairman of the board at Maxygen.

He also has been active with numerous nonprofits, including chairing the boards of UCSF Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Services and Stanford's Board of Trustees. He has also been a director of several investment funds: Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the James Irvine Foundation. The Steins were 2004 recipients of the John W. Gardiner Visionary Award from Pathways Hospice.

Jay Thorwaldson retired as editor of the Palo Alto Weekly in January 2011, capping an influential career in journalism and writing that spanned 50 years. Before joining the Weekly, he worked for the Palo Alto Times/Peninsula Times Tribune, taught at Stanford, and was director of public affairs at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. His written pieces have led to expansion of the Council for the Arts in Palo Alto, Palo Alto Information & Referral Service, Interagency Communication Network, and Palo Alto Community Network, as well as the creation of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and Palo Alto Fire Department's paramedics program. He spearheaded the creation of Family LifeSkills and has served on many boards, including Senior Coordinating Council (now Avenidas), Peninsula Conservation Center (now Acterra) and Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce.

He was also on the advisory boards of Adolescent Counseling Services and DeAnza College's communications program. He received an award for uncovering information that led to the arrest in 1969 of a Neo-Nazi terror group operating locally; was awarded a Tall Tree Award in 2001; and led the Weekly to win six "general excellence" awards in the annual competition of the California Newspaper Publishers' Association.

Carolyn Tucher's contributions to the community have focused on education, art education and "building bridges across 101." With regards to the lattermost, she was a founding board member of Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and co-founded Cultural Kaleidoscope, a Palo Alto Art Center program that teams up children and teachers from East Palo Alto and Belle Haven classrooms with Palo Alto classrooms and local artists.

She spent eight years on the Palo Alto Board of Education, including two terms as president, and served on many committees including the California School Boards Association State Legislative Committee, the State Advisory Commission on Special Education, and the State Superintendent's Advisory Committee on the Teaching of Writing. She has also served on the boards of Leadership Midpeninsula, Adolescent Counseling Services and Palo Alto Art Center Foundation (PAACF). In addition, she has been honored with several awards throughout the years, including a Silicon Valley Arts & Business Award for Individual Leadership, a Sally Siegel Award from Palo Alto Educators Association, and a Tall Tree Award.

Tickets to the May 18 garden party can be purchased for $75 by contacting Avenidas at 650-289-5445, or online at Proceeds from the party help fund the many programs offered at Avenidas, a nonprofit that supports older adults in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside and Mountain View.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:24 am

Congratulations to an outstanding group of community stars!

Like this comment
Posted by Phyllis
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Congratulations- especially to Jay Thorwaldson!

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