Richard has long been a fan and supporter of the Prevention Center. He makes my job easy. But what I love most about Richard is watching him take the stage at our Annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon. He’s one impressive auctioneer. In fact, he’s a man of many talents. I am happy to introduce you to Richard Pio Roda.
Q: Tell me about your life.
A: I was born and raised in Southern California and the Napa Valley. I received my B.S. in Accounting and International Economics from the University of San Francisco, and my J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. My first real job was as a Deputy General Counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District, where I met Katie Albright, our amazing Executive Director. I am currently a partner at the law firm of Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, in Oakland. I specialize in Public Law, Public Contracting, Construction, and Education Law. I live in San Francisco, where I am proud to serve as a Commissioner on the City and County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission. I am also a professional auctioneer.
Q: What are you most passionate about?
A: I am most passionate about connecting with and serving our various ethnic and underserved communities throughout the Bay Area, whether it’s through supporting organizations or causes, politicians, advocating for change, or contributing. I am grateful and humbled by all of the successes, blessings, and talents that I’ve earned and received — it’s too obvious and right that I share them with my community.
Q: If you could change the world, what would you do?
A: I would ensure that people felt they had an opportunity to pursue their passions, and that in doing so, it would also drive them to be thoughtful and conscious of others and the environment.
Q: If you could ensure that future generations learned one thing, what would it be?
A: Education and knowledge are the key to a thoughtful, well-lived, emotionally intelligent life.
Q: Why did you first give to the Prevention Center?
A: I was working for the San Francisco Unified School District, and an opportunity to give my time and budding legal expertise presented itself in association with the Prevention Center. Then, when Katie took the Executive Director role, I was one of the first people she talked to about it, and I wholeheartedly wanted to support her because I knew she would bring the organization to levels above and beyond what it could imagine. Finally, I was asked to do the live auction for the Annual Luncheon several years ago, and jumped at the chance to provide those talents, support the Prevention Center, and help raise unrestricted funds.
Q: Why do you continue to support the Prevention Center?
A: I can’t imagine not doing so. It has woven itself into my life, and I don’t think twice about supporting it and its mission.
Q: You served on the Board of Directors, why?
A: Primarily because I wanted to be part of a non-profit organization that I could tell was on the come up, was well-run, had a healthy balance sheet and income statements, but also appeared, at the time, to be in start-up mode. When Katie joined, I knew her energy and drive would take the Prevention Center to the next level, and I wanted to be a small part of that.
Q: How would you describe your personal mission?
A: If I can’t help personally, then I am going to try to connect you — especially if you’re in need — with what or who I know to get you to where you want to be, or to a better place. And to have fun!
Q: What makes you angry / sad?
A: Lack of options, apathy, ignorance, and violence against those least able to defend themselves.
Q: What makes you hopeful / happy?
A: My nieces and nephew, my family, my friends, and winning.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about San Francisco?
A: The diversity (of people, thoughts, opinions) and that it’s a “big” small City. Also, the great restaurants everywhere.
Q: Anything else you want to say?
A: It was an absolute honor to serve on the Board of Directors for the Prevention Center. I will continue to be involved, contribute, attend the luncheon, and, whenever I am called, I will serve as the auctioneer for the Luncheon. I am proud to take the stage again this year for the 19th Annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon, on April 28.