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Meet the Honorees: 2024 Community Champions

By February 15, 2024February 16th, 2024No Comments

Susan and Dennis Gilardi

Inspired by their families before them and their parochial upbringing, Susan and Dennis Gilardi believe in giving back to support the communities to which they belong. Susan’s father was a general practitioner and surgeon who did everything from setting bones to delivering babies. She remembers him accepting barter from those who were unable to pay cash for his services, such as fruit from their yards and fresh eggs from their chickens. Dennis’ grandfather, who ran a butcher shop in Marin, helped people during the Depression when they could not afford to buy meat, often not collecting on their accounts.

These legacies of helping those in need took root in both of them, as did the value placed on education, housing, and health care. Dennis finds great wisdom in this Winston Churchill quote: “What is the use of living, if it not be to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?” Over the decades and between the two, Susan and Dennis have served on boards for numerous organizations to support higher education, health care, arts, and housing. They have led campaigns to support healthy aging, access to health care, local initiatives, and so much more.

For Susan and Dennis, it is all about the results. They have seen first-hand the positive outcomes their time and philanthropic investments have made. Since 1988, they have sponsored a local Little League team. Through generations of kids, they have witnessed the importance of sportsmanship, discipline, leadership, and conflict resolution that team sports provide to youth. Over their decades of supporting Marin Community Clinics and other health care organizations, the Gilardi’s have seen them grow to support a broader range of people with better access to care than ever before. The result has been healthier communities for everyone. Susan shared, “What you do to and for one group effects the entire community”. They noted that this has never been more clearly demonstrated then by the pandemic. We are all interconnected.

Susannah Clark

Susannah grew up in a small town in Western New York surrounded by a large caring family. She was fortunate to have had a great education without the burden of loans, access to health care with great insurance, a career with growth opportunities and safe neighborhoods in which she could raise her children. She has not taken anything for granted. Through her volunteer and work positions, she has always had the goal of creating those same opportunities for everyone. Susannah broke it down to this most basic truth, “Our health is the foundation for everything we do in life.

Early on, Susannah discovered a passion for civic engagement. In high school and college, she served in student government. In her career, she has worked as a paralegal and an Aide to six Marin County Supervisors for more than 23 years. During her time at the County, she focused in initiatives and policy work around flood control, homelessness, health and human services, criminal justice, wildfire prevention and public safety. Susannah has served as a Board Member for MarinHealth Hospital Foundation and MarinHealth Hospital, Bay Area Community Resources, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the Countywide Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board. Over the years, she has witnessed the positive impact Marin Community Clinics has made on her community and she made a personal commitment to supporting its success. She is a member of Marin Community Clinics Legacy Circle and is the co-founder of its annual Golf Tournament.

Susannah wants to live in a community where everyone has access to what they need to be healthy. From health care to government, she has seen firsthand what having an advocate on your side can do to help navigate a complex system. Susannah is a champion for the people she serves and is a strong advocate for so many in Marin.

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