Save Mount Diablo head named business person of the year

Group has saved more land in last 18 months than in the previous 10 years

The executive director of Save Mount Diablo has been named business person of the year by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce.

Ron Brown began as the organizations executive director in 2000. A news release from the chamber notes that Save Mount Diablo has preserved more land in the last 18 months than in the previous 10 years.

"Despite the recent recession and its inherent challenges, Ron has steadily increased and diversified fundraising to ensure Save Mount Diablo's financial sustainability," wrote Brian Hirahara of BH Development, who nominated Brown for the honor. "He has also expanded volunteer opportunities and built bridges to sometimes unlikely partners."

Save Mount Diablo is 40-year-old organization that preserves land around Mount Diablo, restores habitat, provides recreational opportunities and educates the public and responds to land use proposals.

While non-profits aren't usually considered businesses, the chamber noted that they need to run just as efficiently as a traditional business in order to be effective.

"Being selected for this award is indeed validation for what those of us in the non-profit sector have always known, that non -profit organizations are businesses that manifest themselves in the 'quality of life' of the community," said Brown in accepting the award.

Brown and his wife, Sharon, have been Walnut Creek residents since 1974.

"When we stand back and take look at the landscapes that we're preserving -- not just for today, but for our children and future generations -- it brings a great sense of joy and satisfaction, that we're doing something to preserve and heal the world," Brown said.

The business or business person of the year is awarded to a Walnut Creek Chamber business or business owner with a major and stable presence in the community and who demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit and skill. The program was introduced in 2009.


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Posted by Mike McCormack
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:22 am

This is well deserved recognition of the role that Ron Brown and the staff and volunteers have had in conserving land in the greater Mount Diablo area, well beyond Walnut Creeks borders. Thank you to the Walnut Creek chamber for this accolade. Save Mount Diablo has been around for 40 years and has been instrumental, directly and indirectly, in much of the land and quality of life preservation we all enjoy and do at times take for granted. Visit if you have an interest in lending a hand on land stewardship projects, going on some local hikes, or donating to the cause if that is your bent. Congratulations.

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Posted by Bob Oxenburgh
a resident of Diablo
on Apr 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Ron has been the most insistent and effective person in our entire community when it comes to doing the right thing on Mt. Diablo. The Athenian School, as a fence line neighbor, benefits enormously from the magic performed by Ron and Save Mount Diablo. Our students hike the trails (most recently last Monday to the peak) and do a share of service in the Park. We are proud of all you do for our Mountain Ron! Grateful thanks from all at Athenian.

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