I met Tom Wilson back in 1992, when he had just been picked as the Executive Director of the Canal Alliance. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Mariana Ramírez, at the Pickleed Community Center here in San Rafael.
The second I met Tom I had the notion I had known him for my entire life. I remember him telling me that evening, that he had heard a few things about my work for the community, and he would like to meet with me, maybe in a café or a restaurant, for dinner.
Since then we have not stop meeting at least every other month to discuss about things happening in the community.
As a result, besides getting to know the man I have observed the change he has brought to the Canal Alliance as well. To sumarize: the arrival of Tom Wilson to the office made the community feel part of the agency and the agency became part of the community.
He's always interested about the problems of the people in the Canal and, better than that, he's always interested in helping to solve those problems.
I also became a winner as a result, because he has been my teacher. I have learned from him that being the Executive Director of a community based organization, is not about power, it's not about burocracy, it's not about fame. It's all about care, it's all about compassion, it's all about love for the neighbor, all of these 3 qualities fit the profile of Tom Wilson perfectly.
In a more personal fashion, I have been a winner because we have become like brothers. He knows the good, the bad and the ugly happening in my life (he opens his mouth and I'm in jail☺). I have always found an ear to listen, the right advise, and the right direction from this man.
My family and I have been honored by having him coming for dinner in our home in the Canal. He had share time with us, and that is priceless, it is something that we deeply appreciate as a family.
And tonight besides the 30th Aniversary of the CA, we also celebrate 20 years of Tom as our leader. In honor of this 20 incredible years of service to our community, it is my pleasure to present this special award to my friend, to my my brother, my Executive Director Tom Wilson☼
Septiembre 13, 2012, Jewish Community Center, San Rafael.