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Jackie S.
Democrat CA 14

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  • In Recognition of Larry Buckmaster

    by Representative Jackie Speier

    Posted on 2013-02-26

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    SPEIER of california in the house of representatives Tuesday, February 26, 2013 Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Larry Buckmaster who is retiring as the President and CEO of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce after 30 years of outstanding service to our community.

    Larry is the type of person who creates a community through performing multiple acts of stewardship each and every day--he has done so for decades. Let me give you just a few examples.

    When Larry Buckmaster took over the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce it had a deficit and membership lagged. He almost immediately turned it around and led the board to boost both membership and participation by members in various chamber events.

    Second, America needs leaders. It's tough to find them. Leadership means putting your neck on the line and exposing yourself to criticism. Larry Buckmaster knew that Redwood City and the San Francisco Peninsula needed a new generation of leadership. He founded the Leadership Redwood City/San Carlos/Belmont program so that business and government professionals would learn from each other and hear from current leaders about issues that are shaping the community. Most importantly, Larry Buckmaster wanted students to be inspired to step up and become community leaders in their own right. The proof of Larry's wisdom and his success is around us each day. Over 800 students have [[Page E191]] heard from state legislators, members of Congress, city council members, as well as the staff of local and state governments. Many members of city councils, commissions, the Board of Supervisors and the State Legislature were first inspired to public service by the leadership class created by Larry Buckmaster.

    Leadership by example is Larry Buckmaster's creed. Kainos is a non- profit dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities, and Larry's leadership is exemplified by the $750,000 raised over the years through a golfing tournament held annually to benefit Kainos. Larry, an avid golfer with a hole in one to his credit, brought his love of people and his skill as a golfer together to create this community benefit event.

    The Progress Seminar is an annual event at which community leaders spend a weekend together thinking and talking about the major issues impacting our region. Larry Buckmaster has grown this seminar into a sold-out event for many years, and ideas that sprout from the seminar often become solutions via city council and other activities, both public and private.

    Mr. Speaker and members, Larry Buckmaster has his quirks. He loves reading his emails and rarely responds. His filing system is a mess yet he can find everything. He is an avid reader who consumes one book per week, often military histories. Unfortunately, Larry roots for the Chicago Bears. We in the San Francisco Bay Area adore Larry so much that we will forgive his choice of football teams. It's only explicable when you realize that Larry was raised in Illinois and thus never really understood our wonderful 49er's until it was too late in life to surgically correct his unfortunate allegiance to a different team. Thankfully, Larry has shown great judgment in other matters, eschewing party politics, petty politics and self-aggrandizement. In fact, Larry Buckmaster always points to the accomplishments of his staff rather than to his own, demonstrating that he really is a great leader even if he is a poor judge of quality football teams.

    Larry Buckmaster is a natural athlete and has coached over 500 children in softball and soccer. He is proud when one of the former players says that Larry saw something great in them as a child and that this turned around the life of the child. Larry and Joan, his wife of 48 years, have three children and six grandchildren. It is said that his grandchildren turn him to mush, not too surprising given his love of children.

    Mr. Speaker and Members, I know that we often recognize Americans who have left their mark upon their communities and it is appropriate to do so. It is also appropriate to recognize that some persons provide decades of exemplary service to this nation not merely because they are paid to do their job but because they are in love with their work and receive payment many times over by watching the fruits of their efforts flower for future generations. Larry Buckmaster loves his job and has now chosen to retire. I find it hard to believe that we are going to let him leave. Let us honor a wonderful American, a great father and husband, and a civic treasure. Larry Buckmaster will be remembered for the lives that he improved, the leaders he inspired and the smiles that he brought to our faces. Let's wish him well on the golf course. He deserves a second hole in one.


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