Tribute to Leroy Ornellasby Representative Jeff Denham
Posted on 2013-02-01
in the house of representatives
Friday, February 1, 2013
Mr. DENHAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and honor San
Joaquin County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas on his retirement from the San
Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and to thank him for his dedicated,
life-long spirit of community service.
Alfred L. ``Leroy'' Ornellas was born in Tracy, California, on April 3, 1944. The Ornellas Family has been dairy farmers in the Tracy area since the 1930s.
A third generation farmer and dairyman, Ornellas served for several years as a member of the San Joaquin County Agricultural Advisory Board and was selected by his peers to serve as Chair for five of those years. In addition, he served as the Board of Supervisor's representative to the Ag Advisory Board.
Leroy was a founding member of the San Joaquin County Citizens Land Alliance--an organization that advocates for the rights of private property owners. He has been active in land use issues as a member of the first ``Tracy Tomorrow'' task force and has provided testimony to various legislative bodies engaged in the development of land use plans and agricultural issues.
In recognizing his many contributions to the community and to agriculture, the City of Tracy and the Tracy Chamber of Commerce honored Leroy as ``Agriculturist of the Year'' in 1995. Also, in 2010, the Ornellas Dairy was recognized by Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. as part of the Western Area Members of Distinction. This program recognizes members who excel in their operations, in their communities, and in the industry.
Leroy was elected to the Board of Supervisors for District 5 in November of 2002, where he served as Chair for the 2004 and 2009 sessions. At the time of Leroy's election, the Fifth Supervisorial District included the cities of Escalon, Tracy, Ripon, Mountain House, half of Manteca, and a portion of Lathrop. Escalon and Ripon were later removed from District 5 after multiple redistricting cycles.
In 2012, term limits ended Leroy's tenth year of public service on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors; but, as Leroy's community service did not begin with his election to the Board of Supervisors, it will not end there either. He currently sits on several boards and commissions affecting the San Joaquin Valley, but he is most proud of those in which he must collaborate with his peers from other cities and counties. Some of such organizations include the Board of Directors for the Sutter/Tracy Community Hospital, the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Chair, 2008), the San Joaquin Council of Governments, and the Regional Airport Planning Committee among several others.
Leroy is a member of the Tracy/Ripon/Manteca Chambers of Commerce, Tracy Noon Rotary, Young Men's Institute, National Rifle Association, and the San Joaquin Farm Bureau. In addition to his business and public service interests, Leroy is a motorsports enthusiast and an admirer of glass and paint art. He enjoys attending sports venues, traveling, and American History.
Leroy and his wife, the former Jennie Deaderick, were married in 1963. They have three sons--Kevin, Mark, and Mathew--all of whom are married and assist in managing the family farming operation. The Ornellases have four grandchildren. Leroy and Jennie, their three sons, and four grandchildren will all have been educated in San Joaquin County public schools. Leroy and his sons attended Modesto Junior College, where the two eldest played football. His eldest granddaughter attended San Joaquin Delta College and graduated from San Jose State in 2011. All of the Ornellas children and grandchildren have been or are members of 4-H.
Mr. Speaker, please join me in honoring San Joaquin County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas on his retirement and in thanking him for his exemplary leadership and service to the community.