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Gift Legacy eNewsletter 03/23/22

Dear donors and supporters,

Happy spring! We are still getting a few showers here and there, but the seasons have changed and with this change comes a few exciting events at the Hartnell College Foundation to benefit our Hartnell students and programs.

First, I am thrilled to announce that the The Board of Trustees has unanimously chosen Michael Gutierrez, currently president of Sacramento City College, to be Hartnell College’s Superintendent/President. He comes with significant experience and also with a lot of heart for students, and I eagerly expect to share his start date with you very soon.

Mr. Gutierrez was one of three finalists who presented their candidacy in front of the community on March 11, 2022. If you would like to see his presentation, go to this YouTube link:, or to read about it, click here:

I want to thank all those who are supporting students through the Women’s Education and Leadership Institute Spring Soirée and Party Near the Library events. We appreciate all your love and look forward to breaking bread together, celebrating, and hearing from students and leaders that inspire.

Be well and see you soon!

Jackie Cruz

Vice President,
Advancement and Development
and Executive Director for the
Hartnell College Foundation

LEADERSHIP AWARD TO LOCAL GIANT John Romans humbled by honor

Before becoming one of the most influential business women in the Central Coast and in the Silicon Valley, Susan Black worked as a flight attendant, for the Department of Defense, in real estate, and in marketing for a bank. All these experiences, she said, prepared her for a successful career in banking.

“Early in my banking career, I was committed to fighting for equal access to credit – now, I am concerned about access to education,” she said. “Personally, education made an enormous difference in opening doors for me, and I feel strongly that education not only changes lives, but also has a significant impact on the community as a whole.”

Susan is the picture of grace and philanthropy. Over 10 years ago, she joined the Hartnell College Foundation with a goal to uplift her community through education.

“I am so impressed with Jackie Cruz and her leadership and phenomenal work leading the Foundation,” she said. “It’s all about the students and the Foundation is committed to the students.”

Susan ended her first seven-year term on the Foundation Board, took a one-year break, and returned for a second term. Her love for Hartnell students was palpable.

“Every time I leave the campus after a meeting, I am so inspired,” she said. “The stories shared by the student speakers at each meeting or program are indeed impressive and touching.”

In addition to her board involvement, Susan is one of the founding members of the Women’s Education and Leadership Institute (WELI) at Hartnell. This is one of the innovative programs supported by the Foundation that has nationally recognized statistics. Each year, 25 young ladies join WELI, receive a scholarship, and are matched with a mentor for one year.

“This work is rewarding,” she said. “I am amazed by everyone’s commitment.”

Black is from Wisconsin, and is the youngest of five girls. Her sense of adventure led her to attend the University of Hawaii for her bachelors and Rochester Business School in New York for her master’s degree.

She founded Pinnacle Bank in 2006 and served as President/CEO from 2008 to 2017. She currently enjoys her role as Chairman of the Board, a title that gives her great flexibility to volunteer. Aside from her commitment to the Foundation board, she serves as Chair for the Rancho Cielo Board of Directors.

Black is married to Aris Angelopoulos and they enjoy their ‘happy place’ in Pebble Beach. They have two grown children and four grandchildren, whom they love to play with. She enjoys gardening, reading, and walking on the beach.

The Hartnell College Foundation feels fortunate to have donors, supporters, and board members like Susan Black, whose leadership and commitment is contributing to the betterment of our community. Her unconditional love for and dedication to Hartnell students is invaluable and transformative. Thank you, Susan!

PLANNED GIVING Understanding your options

The goal of planned giving is to help you plan your estate and charitable giving in a way that benefits you, your family and charity. There are several ways you can make these planned gifts to charity and enjoy tax and income benefits.

If you have questions, please contact Director of Philanthropy, Kristine Edmunds at or call her at (831) 755-6903. We look forward to helping you.

What will your legacy be?

If you are thinking about naming the Hartnell College Foundation in your estate plans, contact our Vice President of Advancement and Development/Executive Director for the Foundation, Jackie Cruz at or call (831) 444-2446 or our Director of Philanthropy, Kristine Edmunds at or by phone at (831) 755-6903. To make a gift in support of Hartnell students, go to:

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