Avenidas announces Lifetimes of Achievements honorees | February 10, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 10, 2012

Avenidas announces Lifetimes of Achievements honorees

Six local seniors honored for work in the community

by Eric Van Susteren

Palo Alto nonprofit organization Avenidas Inc. recognized six seniors for their community contributions by naming them Lifetimes of Achievement honorees during a private reception on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Jean Coblentz of Sunnyvale, Bill Floyd of Portola Valley, Phyllis Moldaw of Atherton, Kenneth Sletten of Woodside, and Boyd Smith and Jill Johnson Smith of Palo Alto received recognition at the reception at Garden Court Hotel.

Each year, Avenidas, a senior-services organization, recognizes members of the community who are older than 65 as Lifetimes of Achievement honorees for their work as philanthropists, community leaders and fundraisers.

"It is a thrill for Avenidas to shine the spotlight on this group and give them the recognition they deserve," Avenidas CEO Lisa Hendrickson stated in an announcement.

Honoree Jean Coblentz's community involvement goes back to 1953, when she co-founded the board for Stanford University's Cap and Gown Women Leaders Honors Society. Coblentz has been a volunteer and officer of the Allied Arts Guild Auxiliary in Menlo Park and raised money for what became Packard Children's Hospital.

She is chair of the Auxiliary's Development Committee and a development officer at Stanford for 27 years, where she served two terms with Associates of Stanford Libraries. She is also an honorary member of the PTA.

Bill Floyd's community efforts range in scale from local to statewide. He has chaired and served on many nonprofits' boards, including Lytton Gardens, Community Housing Inc., YMCA of the Mid-Peninsula, Children's Health Council and Avenidas.

He has been a member of Yosemite Conservancy Board since 1993, a UC Berkeley Foundation trustee since 1994, and chair of the Berkeley Engineering Fund Board since 1996.

Phyllis Moldaw financially supports and participates in charitable and community organizations, particularly those focusing on the underprivileged and underserved. She was a lead donor for the Moldaw-Zaffaroni clubhouse of the Menlo Park Boys and Girls Club, a lead donor and board member of Moldaw Family Residences at Palo Alto's Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life, and a significant supporter of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

She also participated in Communities in Schools, a national network that serves the lowest performing schools and the students most vulnerable to dropping out. She is a former president and current trustee of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Ken Sletten was a partner, founder and CEO of the general contracting firm Rudolph & Sletten, known for its construction of such projects as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Skywalker Ranch.

He serves on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, Stanford Athletics, the Stanford University DAPER Investment Fund and the Palo Alto Club. He received a Purple Heart for his service in the Korean War.

Boyd Smith and Jill Johnson Smith founded the Golden Gate Family Foundation and co-founded the California Family Foundation. At Stanford, they co-endowed the Housing Assistance Program for families (Escondido Family Fund), the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professorship Chair and Martin Luther King Jr. student scholarships. They both served on the advisory board of Stanford's Center for the Study of Families, Children and Youth.

Boyd Smith has chaired the boards of the YMCA of the Mid-Peninsula, Avenidas, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Children's Health Council. He was on the Board of Governors of Stanford Associates, currently serves on Stanford's Hoover Institution Board of Overseers, and is a member of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Foundation board. Jill Johnson Smith has been on the board of RoadRunners Sports Club for youth at Onetta Harris Community Center in east Menlo Park.

Avenidas will also host a garden party on Sunday, May 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. along with its community partners, the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online. Proceeds from the garden party help fund the programs offered at Avenidas. Tickets can be purchased for $75 by contacting Avenidas at 650-289-5445 or www.avenidas.org.

Editorial Assistant Eric Van Susteren can be emailed at evansusteren@paweekly.com.


Like this comment
Posted by just a local person
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

These awards have gone from honoring unheralded hard-working individuals to honoring the big donors/fundraisers. These recipients have also worked hard, but the motive of raising more money becomes transparent.

Like this comment
Posted by Another neighbor
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm

"Just local" puts it more gently than I would.
Boyd Smith is currently involved in asking the city for permission to build a huge, humongous, self aggrandizing, code-violating, zone breaking, building at 355 Alma Street where the gas station was.
This is just a couple of blocks from Avenidas so of course they know about it. How much has Smith given. or will give, to Avenidas in return for this so called honor.
Shame, shame. No way to put lipstick on this critter. Developers have infiltrated a number of local non profits. You can watch them support mega developments before the city council. Shame, shame.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

"Developers have infiltrated a number of local non profits"?

Wow, the cynicism of some people! No, developers certainly cannot be people who genuinely feel it's their responsibility to give back to the community. They can't possibly care about other people. That would defy the happy little fiction that other people want to believe about who they've decided are good and who they've decided are BAD.

Shame belongs somewhere, but not on the people who have accomplished much for others in our community. Your completely unfounded allegation that Boyd Smith has paid to have this honor bestowed on him is shameful, Another neighbor.

Like this comment
Posted by Another neighbor
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm

You are correct, Resident, it was impolite of me to mention the elephant in the room. Smith has been associated with many good causes.
I was questioning AVENIDAS judgement in honoring someone who is in the middle of a controversial huge development application with the city, right near Avenidas. The impression of bias cannot be avoided, and the impression of trying to influence the outcome.
Web Link

Seems a little odd that many of the honorees are involved in construction or development. Other organizations have done similar things. For example, the Chamber of Commerce often honors members of its own board.
The first posting on this list expressed it well.