Andy and Yasuko Matsui
According to the Matsui Foundation’s website, in the 1960’s, Andy Matsui moved to California from Japan and to Salinas in 1969, working hard so that he could learn about flower growing and eventually purchase his first 50 acres to raise chrysanthemums and then roses. In 1998, he had experienced nearly 30 years of ups and down in commercial flower growing and, at age 63, decided to study orchid growing an eventually transitioned all of his operations to orchids. Matsui Nursery is currently the nation’s largest orchid grower, and this success encouraged Matsui to give back to those who supported him.
In 2017, Teresa Matsui, on behalf of her parents, Andy and Yasuko Matsui, announced the philanthropic gift of 215 acres of land north east of Salinas. This is the largest gift the Hartnell College Foundation has received in its history. Their philanthropy will provide $400,000 in scholarships through 2019 for the Bachelor of Science Degree in computer science and information technology through a visionary accelerated 3-year program (CSin3). For 2020 and beyond, Hartnell is establishing a special Foundation Matsui Leadership Gift Committee to develop specific programs and strategies to most effectively maximize the Matsui’s philanthropic impact.
Margaret D’Arrigo- Martin has been a standout leader and advocate for women, philanthropy, and education in this community for some time. She has provided her leadership and support generously in the non-profit sector in addition to her role as Vice President of Community Development at Taylor Farms, is Co-Founder of IMPOWER, a group primarily focused on empowering women in the Salinas area and unlocking their potential to make a difference in their community. She is also Founder of Margaret Inc., an organization that, “that focuses solely on empowering women so that they have the skills and confidence to realize the greatness that is within them.”
Margaret has been a key supporter of Hartnell students and their education, and especially Hartnell’s WELI (Women’s Education and Leadership Institute) program and Forum. Through IMPOWER, she helped provide the seed money for WELI Forum and the program itself. She chaired the President’s Task Force Funding Plan and currently serves on Hartnell College Foundation’s Board of Directors.