Leadership Gilroy presented the L.I.F.T. Award to Chef Carlos Pineda.
Pineda was presented with the award on Sept. 30 during Leadership Gilroy’s virtual fundraiser on Sept. 30.
The organization’s Board of Directors nominated Leadership Gilroy alumni who continue to go above and beyond in the community in relation to: Lead, Inspire, Focus, and Team.
Pineda is the director of Hospitality and Culinary Services and Executive Chef at the Culinary Academy and Kneaded Bakery & Catering at Rebekah Children’s Services. Born and raised in Gilroy, after graduating from Gilroy High School he attended and graduated from the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell in 2007.
After his experience interning at the Inn at Spanish Bay with the Pebble Beach Company, Pineda went on and worked as chef in Monterey, Carmel, Los Angeles, San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
In 2010, Pineda transitioned to Rebekah Children’s Services where he helped develop their Culinary Academy. This program allows youth ages 15-25 to learn hands-on culinary skills in a commercial kitchen.
The Culinary Academy has since graduated more than 1,300 students and continues to have a job placing rate of 98% for almost seven years straight. In 2014 he completed the requirements to receive his California Teaching Credential for Vocational Education and is currently working towards his Administration Teaching Credential.
Pineda is an avid supporter for the LGBTQ+ community and is a contributor to various service organizations in the Bay Area, such as being a board director for the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, South County Young Professionals Network, Gilroy Exchange Club, EL Cajon Project, Leadership Gilroy, Gilroy Foundation, is a member of the City of Gilroy Housing Advisory Committee and is also the past president for the Gilroy Sunrise Rotary Club.
The L.I.F.T. Award was first given last year to Jaime Rosso.