Valdez is all about community

(11-02-2009)

Article by Chris Day

Steve Valdez '87 is always on the go for the good of his passions. He volunteers with La Gente, the Grizzly Club Board of Directors, the Adams State College Board of Trustees, and the San Luis Valley Cattleman's Association – that's on top of his work managing Alamosa's City Market store and farming and ranching 380 acres near La Jara.

Such service has earned the humble, hard-working San Luis Valley native and family man recognition as the Grizzly Club Member of the Year. Now in his sixth year on the Grizzly Club Board of Directors, Valdez has helped take the club to new fund-raising heights. He served as the organization's president from the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years after a two-year stint as the vice president. He's also served as the president of the SLV Cattleman's Association and has been a major player in organizing and promoting ASC's Annual Beef Bowl football game and fund-raising event that has now morphed into a more all-encompassing SLV Agricultural Day tradition.

Always stepping up to the plate to donate or arrange for supplies, set up and cook the tasty goodies, or take tickets at Grizzly Club fundraising basketball tournaments, Valdez said it's been easy.

"This award surprised me. I love to give back to the college because of what it gave me. I haven't done anything different that what someone in my shoes should do," Valdez said.

Grizzly Athletic Director Larry Mortensen disagrees. "Steve has gone above and beyond the call of duty as board president and member. He has spent his valuable time and resources making Adams State better, particularly ASC Athletics. He truly cares about our student-athletes and our programs."

Current Grizzly Club president Keith Cerny had similar thoughts: "Whether it was his leadership as president of the Grizzly Club, or as manager of City Market, Steve is always willing to do whatever is needed for Adams State Athletics and the college as a whole."

Valdez earned his bachelor's degree in management and marketing from ASC in 1987, then launched a 25-year career with City Market; he has managed the Alamosa store since 1996. That's a perfect fit for the Centauri High School graduate who competed in five different sports during his time as a Falcon.

Valdez has pleasant memories of both his college intramural football career and the varsity events. "My friends and I always looked forward to going to the games. I have fond memories of cheering the teams on," he said.

It was those memories that drew him back to service of the college as Grizzly Club board member and college trustee, a post he has held since December, 2007. He is proud of his college and the people involved with it. "I have fun going to the events and seeing the commitment from the community making the college work," he said. "I'm just giving back and doing my part."

Valdez also does his part as a family man; he and his wife, Sandra, help their three daughters— Rachel, 15, Erika, 12, and Olivia, 11—compete at horse-showing events, and their son, Garrett, 8, who plays baseball.