Tate awarded with Leadership honor

Former mayor is 2019 LEAD winner

Former Mayor Steve Tate, with wife Jennifer to his left, accepts his recognition as Leadership Morgan Hill’s 2019 LEAD award recipient at a Jan. 31 ceremony at Guglielmo Winery.

Former Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate just retired from public service at the end of last year, but he’s already being honored for his ongoing philanthropy in support of his community. Last week, Tate was recognized as Leadership Morgan Hill’s 2019 recipient of the Leadership Excellence Award.

The award, known as LEAD, recognizes one Morgan Hill resident each year whose vision and leadership advance community service and volunteerism, reflect courage and insight and inspire others to lead in similar ways, reads the announcement from LMH.

Tate was revealed as the 2019 LEAD winner at a Jan. 31 San Francisco Giants-themed ceremony at Guglielmo Winery. He accepted the recognition with his wife, Jennifer, by his side and surrounded by longtime friends.

“Morgan Hill is a very special place and Leadership Morgan Hill does a great job of grooming leaders to keep it that way,” Tate said. “I am honored to be selected for this award and look forward to a great celebration that supports the Leadership program’s ongoing focus on excellence.”

Tate will be further honored at a July 20 outdoor gala fundraiser, also at Guglielmo Winery. The gala—which includes dinner, music and dancing—is a fundraiser for LMH, a nonprofit public benefit organization.

LMH Board President Byron Kelley said, “The board is excited to honor Steve Tate, a man whose admirable track record of community leadership and service has had a significant and lasting beneficial impact on Morgan Hill.”

Tate, a LMH program graduate and former board chair of the nonprofit, served a total of 27 years as an appointed and elected public servant for Morgan Hill: seven years on the planning commission, eight years on the city council and 12 years as mayor. He retired at the end of his sixth mayoral term in December 2018. Tate is also a retiree of IBM, where he worked as a software planner, as well as in sales and as a planning manager.

Tate might not have set out to be mayor when he and Jennifer moved to Morgan Hill in 1977, but his love of the community and “passion for balanced growth” inspired his local civic involvement, reads the announcement from LMH. He played a key role in former Redevelopment Agency projects that are now essential to the community, including the Community and Cultural Center, Aquatics Center, Centennial Recreation Center and Morgan Hill Library.

City Manager Christina Turner described Tate’s mayoral style as “respectful and ethical engagement with city staff, local educators and business leaders, and residents, while maintaining focus on protecting the community’s best interests.”

One of Tate’s top priorities as mayor was youth services, and has been active in a number of youth organizations including Rotary Interact Clubs at the local high schools, the Youth Action Council and the El Toro Boys and Girls Club. In 2017, the YMCA recognized Tate’s service with the Project Cornerstone Lifetime Asset Champion Award.

Tate’s service to the local community will likely continue as a volunteer. He is still a member of Rotary Club of Morgan Hill, and a board member of Boys and Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. Over the years, he has served as board president of LMH (winning the nonprofit’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016), and of the Santa Clara County Library Joint Powers Authority, the Cities Association of Santa Clara County and the Peninsula Division of the League of California Cities. The Morgan Hill Community Foundation honored him as Outstanding Philanthropist and Volunteer in 2018.

Steve and Jennifer have two adult children and two grandchildren. One of the Giants’ biggest fans, Tate and his wife spend a month in Arizona every year watching the team’s spring training.

LEAD honorees are selected by a panel of community leaders that includes former recipients. LMH is in its 24th year of “building community engagement, and leadership,” reads the nonprofit’s LEAD announcement.

For more information about LMH and the July 20 gala, visit leadershipmorganhill.org.

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