The incomparable Ken Gomez, center.
One of the greatest things about working for Clinica Verde is the extraordinary people we meet along the way. People who step forward and want to help. People inspired by the vision. People who inspire US by their passion and spirit. Case in point: Ken Gomez. We met him in a round-about sort of way (more like 2 to 3 degrees of separation), but once we did we felt an immediate kinship. Ken has great energy, great ideas, and is the walking embodiment of a self-starter. He’s the kind of supporter any organization is lucky to have – because he so quickly turns into a real friend. He approached us with an idea – why not sell and promote our Clinica Verde coffee at Philz Coffee in San Francisco? Ken is a Philz regular, and he knew the CEO, Jacob Jaber, was also an energetic, creative thinker with a big spirit. Thus launched a partnership between CV and Philz – and the birth of the Philanthropist Blend. 25 cents of each cup and $1 of each bag of Clinica Verde coffee sold at select Philz coffee houses benefits our organization. Thanks to Ken.
So, meet our friend Mr. Gomez:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a native of the Bay Area and currently reside in Marin County. In 2008, I retired from the corporate world where I worked as a Human Resources Manager. During that time, I had the great fortune to work with many wonderful charities in my extra-curricular role as the Community Partners liaison for my company. I’m now working on a second career in civil service as an analyst for the State of California.
How did you first get introduced to Clinica Verde and our coffee?
I was at a small, intimate dinner party and the host offered coffee to his guests at the end of the meal. Since it was getting late, I initially passed until the intoxicating aroma permeated the room. At this point, I could not resist, and drank two cups (cream, no sugar). It was AMAZING! Of course, I had to ask where it was from and how could I get some pronto. The host seized the opportunity to educate me about this wonderful medical clinic in Nicaragua, its mission, and one of the driving forces behind it, Susan Dix Lyons.
What’s amazing is that you not only had the idea (of selling and promoting the coffee at Philz Coffee in San Francisco) – you took that idea and moved it forward yourself, creating value and momentum for Clinica Verde. Where does your energy come from? My energy comes from passion, inspiration, and the human spirit. I have always been involved in community service from a very young age and truly believe in global good for all. I view myself as a citizen of the world and have had the great fortune to visit over 85 countries, many of them struggling, third word nations. I’ll never forget my first trip to Haiti in 1975 at the age of nineteen. I thought to myself, how could such a poor country have such a rich culture? The answer became much clearer as my travels led me around the world in search of unique and intriguing experiences. My main take-away was that one person CAN make a difference by being kind, compassionate, and understanding.
What are your personal passions?
Travel, music (piano, clarinet and oboe) and dance. Did I say travel?
Why do you think people should support Clinica Verde? (And buy its coffee!).
Clinica Verde has truly set the bar for what a non-profit should be. They have a clear vision, laser-like focus, and a comprehensive business plan that respects not only the environment, but the people and culture they serve. Clinica Verde’s holistic approach incorporates the very best of everything from nutrition to routine care. As for the coffee, its flavor is extraordinary. In addition to enjoying a great cup of coffee, you know that you’re making a positive impact on humanity, one cup at a time.