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Meet Fernando

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Fernando Sandoval is a candidate for Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees, Ward 5 which includes Los Medanos College and many East County communities. Fernando is running to bring educational excellence and equity to  prepare students to meet the future workforce our economy demands and to develop the leaders of tomorrow. He will lead with integrity and values fiscal accountability and transparency. Fernando will prioritize community outreach and local partnerships to augment the District’s priorities and goals. He will bring bold, visionary solutions and financial consulting expertise to address the District’s budget constraints due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2013, Fernando served as President of Rotary in New York supporting efforts to fund for the eradication of infectious diseases as part of the “Polio Plus” program, providing educational scholarships for high school students and supporting international student exchange programs. Fernando is a member of the Latino Community Foundation as part of Contra Costa County and in 2019 reviewed and was part of the approval committee to provide funding to the Future Leaders of America (FLA) and the One Day At a Time (ODAT) organizations. FLA provides a comprehensive youth empowerment program in our public schools and the community year round. ODAT develops leadership skills for elementary through high school providing educational and positive growth mentorship.


In 2017, Fernando served as a member of the Community College District Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee (DEEOAC) to advise on a district-wide commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equal employment opportunities in accordance with California Education Code, Title 5. As Chair of the Bond Oversight Committee beginning in 2017 Fernando worked for modernization of schools at Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD). Under his leadership, the Bond Oversight Committee has opened the new Willow Cove Multi-Purpose Building, the new science wing at Pittsburg High School, and the new Parkside Elementary School Wing to be opened this August. In addition to his leadership roles, Fernando is active in organizing resources, motivational workshops, tutoring, and mentoring opportunities for students at Los Medanos College and local high schools throughout our region. 


In 2017, Fernando helped to develop the Young Professionals Conference held at San Ramon’s Bishop Ranch. The conference was designed to empower the next generation of leaders by connecting them with leading corporations, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and young professionals to advance ideas in building communities of the future. 


Fernando is a current and active member of East County based NorCal Gateway Rotary creating the "Closing the Digital Divide" initiative. This initiative focuses on raising funds to address the “digital divide” by providing free internet access to enhance remote learning opportunities for students impacted by Covid-19. Currently, Fernando also serves as the Chair of the East County United Latino Voices (ULV) of Contra Costa County which focuses on leadership and advocacy for healthcare, education, and immigrant rights. Fernando collaborates with other ULV community leaders to organize the District’s DREAMERS Conference which rotates to the various colleges in the district and has grown into one of the District’s signature events engaging students, faculty, and staff. 


Fernando was honored for his public service by being awarded the 2020 Cesar Chavez Award for Exemplary Community Service presented by Los Medanos College.


At age 17, Fernando asked his mother  to consent to his enlistment with the U.S. Navy.  He went on to serve six years and half years with the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam War Veteran. During his time with the Navy, he was selected for the Advanced Electronics Training Program as a Data Systems Specialist to support the computer and display systems on the USS Enterprise. This groundbreaking experience was a precursor to the current STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum we have in our educational system today, which he is committed to expanding to all. His military and technology training positioned him for unique opportunities in the corporate finance arena. 


After completing his service in the Navy, Fernando went on to build a prestigious career in the field of emerging technology and in the finance and banking arena utilizing his technology expertise, analytical skills and business knowledge. He has managed information technology systems for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sperry Univac Computer Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Corporation, and IBM, among others for over 25 years. He also spent 10 years as a Global Relationship Manager and International Banking Consultant for some of the top banking institutions worldwide providing management strategies, budgeting, audit preparation, and policy decisions for economic recovery efforts.


Fernando is a published author of his memoir, “From Tortilla Chips to Computer Chips,” which highlights his childhood in Pittsburg, his experience in the Vietnam War and his career trajectory in various leadership roles with some of the most prestigious international banking and finance institutions. Today, Fernando’s memoir is used as a foundation for the development of identity, educational inspiration, and commitment to civic engagement as he speaks to high school and college students.


Fernando was raised in Pittsburg by his father Raul, who worked at the Johns Manville plant in Pittsburg, and his mother Otilia, who worked 12-hour shifts in the canneries in the river town of Isleton. He remembers the personal sacrifices his parents made to provide a pathway to education for their four children. Fernando is the product of public schools from K-12 and his undergraduate experience. He attended the University of Connecticut and later the University of New York as a reentry student after serving in the military. He went on to complete a certified program in Project Management at George Washington University. Fernando is the proud father of a daughter who recently graduated Summa Cum Laude at the Medaille University in New York. 

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