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Pete Siberell Named Citizen of the Year for 2007
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007
Click photo to enlarge
Pete Siberell stepped into the conference room in the executive offices of Santa Anita Park last Tuesday expecting to attend an unexpected meeting called by his boss. What he found instead, was members of the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce Board and members of the press, on hand to witness and record his reaction as he was named Sierra Madre’s 2007 Citizen of the Year. View the video here.
The Citizen of the Year is nominated by members of the Community. Members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce then review the nominations and select the winner for that year. This year’s ballot box was filled with nominations for Siberell. Also nominated was Centennial Co-chair and Library Director Toni Buckner.
Siberell has led the Mt. Wilson Trail Race Committee for several years, and has overseen major growth in the event. The event, which was once just a run up the hill, now includes a pre-race pasta feed the night before, a community children’s art show, booths featuring information and product for the runner, massage for runner’s aches and pains, and for the last two years, with the help of major sponsor CATZ, a kid’s fun run up and down Baldwin Ave. Siberell has also been instrumental in bringing the race, California’s second oldest trail race, into the 21st century, with the introduction of computer chips that monitor racer’s time and streamline the tracking of the performance of the 300+ runners who participate each year.
Siberell has also taken on leadership of the Sierra Madre Little League, serving as president, and also brought it to a new level, with improvements on the field, such as new sprinkler systems, shaded dugouts, and a new scoreboard. Opening day has also been expanded, with the addition of game booths and bouncy houses for the kids.
“To say I was surprised with the news of my selection is an understatement,” said Siberell. “I am considering asking for a recount! There are just so many wonderful people in our community who deserve this kind of recognition well ahead of me. All I do is surround myself with energetic and capable people who seek to make Sierra Madre a great place to live, and make sure we make a positive impact. I would like to thank the board of directors of the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce for the award I hear that a number of residents are already lining the 4th of July parade route to show me what they think of the selection!”
Siberell is the Director of Community Service & Special Projects at Los Angeles Turf Club (Santa Anita Park), and has been with Santa Anita for 14 year, prior to which het was in the advertising agency business in Los Angeles and San Francisco. At Santa Anita he is responsible for 1) working with the City of Arcadia and the community, 2) local and corporate donations, 3) the recreational facility and programs on the backside of the racetrack, 4) use of the racetrack and its grounds for community events and 5) use of the racetrack and its grounds for revenue events.
Special projects he has been involved with include the proposed Caruso development (“The Shops at Santa Anita”), formation of a host committee for the 2003 Breeders’ Cup event (acquiring off-site parking, local transportation systems and over 200 volunteers) and the coordination of the filming of “Seabiscuit” for a two-month period at the end of 2002 , along with many film, TV and commercial projects at Santa Anita, including “American Dream Derby,” “Alias” and “Las Vegas.”
Pete’s also involved with various marketing events at Santa Anita. He started the Santa Anita Derby Day 5K Run & Walk, which benefits the Arcadia HS Athletic Boosters Club and the Arcadia Historical Museum.
His wife, Marianne, is a flight attendant for United Airlines, and the couple have two sons, P.J. (11) and George (10), who both attend Don Benito School in Pasadena.
In addition to his service with the Trail Race Committee and the Little League, he is Past Chairman of the Community Services Commission for the City of Sierra Madre (eight years), a member of Sierra Madre Rotary Club, a member of the board of the Arcadia Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce. He plans to continue working Sierra Madre’s Community Services department to design scheduled athletic events to raise awareness of, and prevent, child obesity.
Last year’s Citizen of the Year, Bud Switzer, who worked for several years maintaining the Trail and preparing the Trail for the annual race, frequently runs into Siberell as they are out running, and “we give each other a high five.” Said Switzer of Siberell’s selection “Pete is a really terrific person, basically low key, but he’s an incredible organizer, he really gets a lot of work done with the organization that he’s the chairman of, the Mt. Wilson Trail Race…he’s done a terrific job as president of the Little league this year, especially this year…he’s helped fix the field up, he’s responsible for getting a lot of work done.”
Siberell will be honored at a banquet on January 25th at Santa Anita, when the Chamber’s 2008 Board of Directors are installed. Entertainment will be provided by the Southern California Lyric Theater. For information on getting tickets to the event, call the Chamber at (626) 355-5111.
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