Celebrating Legendary Legacies

Ben Huber Wins Spirit of Philanthropy Award;
Cancer Center Turns 30

Longtime civic leader G. Ben Huber's three decades of visionary stewardship were recognized Dec. 13 when the 50-year Fairfield resident was presented the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation's "Spirit of Philanthropy" award.

The award was presented during a special event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the NorthBay Cancer Center, which opened in 1987. That was the same year that Huber joined NorthBay Healthcare Foundation's board of directors, embarking on a 30-year tenure of visionary leadership for Solano County's only independent, community-based, non-profit health care system.

Huber first arrived in Solano County in 1965 when he and a colleague established Explosive Technology, a successful and respected firm manufacturing pyrotechnic devices for the military and aerospace industry. That same year he joined the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce and served on its board of directors for many years. He was named the chamber's first Citizen of the Year in 2016.

Huber also served the Fairfield community as a member of the City Council for many years.

His tenure at NorthBay Healthcare began in 1987 when he joined the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors. During the next 30 years, he served as director, vice-chair and chairman of various NorthBay Healthcare boards, and during the course of his leadership oversaw development of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NorthBay Cancer Center, NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement programs, as well as its stroke, heart and vascular and trauma programs.

Also during this time, the organization achieved the highly sought-after Magnet designation for Excellence in Nursing, and collaboration with Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Huber is only the third person to receive the "Spirit of Philanthropy" award. It was presented earlier in 2017 to Al and Patt Shaw, for their generous support of NorthBay's Dream of a Lifetime program, the Hospice & Bereavement and We Honor Veterans programs, as well as their commitment over many years to be top sponsors of the Solano Wine & Food Jubilee.

In 2016 the award was presented to Heidi Campini for the significant contributions she and her husband, Jim Lawrenz, made through the years. Jim was president of NorthBay Healthcare Foundation when he lost his battle with cancer in 2013.

Also honored during the evening was Dolly Rivero Mendieta, who received the Christine Franklin Award for 2017. Dolly, a project/event coordinator at Genentech, a biotech firm that manufactures cancer drugs, among other things, has been a huge supporter of NorthBay Healthcare, organizing "Strike Out Cancer" at the River Cats for several years, raising thousands for the NorthBay Cancer Center. The award is named after Christine Franklin, who was a longtime NorthBay Guild member and cancer patient who used her illness as a platform to educate the community about breast cancer. She died in 2012.