Del Mar resident recognized as ‘outstanding volunteer’
Del Mar resident Jerry Hoffmeister was recognized as “outstanding volunteer” in the 2022 National Philanthropy Day, held by the Association of Fundraising Professionals San Diego Chapter.
He was nominated by EJE Academies Charter School, where he serves as president of the board of directors.
“One of the reasons I retired was I really wanted to spend more time on things I really care about,” said Hoffmeister, 85, who moved to Southern California from Pittsburgh about 30 years ago. “I was managing companies for a large corporation in Pittsburgh. I had been there, done that. It became very routine for me. I knew how to do that, I did it well.”
Hoffmeister, who retired in 1997 at age 59, credited his job with guiding him toward involvement with nonprofits. He also said he admired his father, whom he described as “a very generous guy in terms of doing things for people who needed help.”
“The first nonprofit that I really worked with was an organization called Operation Better Block,” Hoffmeister said. “I was living in Pittsburgh at the time.”
He added that the nonprofit gave local children jobs that involved cleaning neighborhoods, which improved the community and gave local residents more of a stake in community development. Operation Better Block was established in 1970, according to its website.
Over the years, Hoffmeister said he became involved in starting new organizations, such as Director’s Forum, Chairman’s RoundTable, San Diego Social Venture Partners and Project Walk.
Hoffmeister said he learned about EJE Academies Charter School in 2002 when it was a parent advocacy group that conducted workshops and provided information about the public school system to parents, many who had recently arrived in San Diego from Mexico.
San Diego Social Venture Partners had recently formed as an organization under The San Diego Foundation, with their first grant cycle centered on parent involvement, according to Hoffmeister.
The school proposed that SDSVP fund its transition into a nonprofit organization. Hoffmeister said he was the lead partner to oversee the $90,000 investment SDSVP made over a three-year period.
“During the third year of funding, Cajon Valley Union School District closed Ballantyne Elementary, the school attended by most of the children of the members of EJE,” Hoffmeister said. “After EJE was granted the request to open a charter school under the district’s jurisdiction in 2004, given my experience with nonprofit organizations, [school leader Eva Pacheco] asked me to be president of the board of directors of the newly formed EJE Academies Charter School.”
He added that his goals are “to continue to support the school and help them make the school into a community engagement center, and I’ll stay with that as a board member.”
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