Will Seppi named Volunteer of the Year
Healdsburg resident gives back to community professionally, personally
There aren’t many city council agenda items that fill a room full of Healdsburg residents faster than a volunteer being honored for his dedication to the community.
On Monday night, there were two men being honored who have spent many years giving back to the community in a multitude of ways.
Costeaux Bakery General Manager Will Seppi was presented with the 2012 Marie Sparks Memorial Volunteer Award and the City Council officially recognized Dave Miller for his work with Healdsburg Little League. Miller’s volunteer time was celebrated on a larger scale during last week’s Little League opening day ceremonies.
But much attention was given to Seppi Monday evening as the prestigious local award was handed down from previous volunteer award recipients. The group of former winners gathers each year to nominate and select an outstanding volunteer that honors the legacy of Marie Sparks, an outstanding volunteer who died in 1995.
Last year’s award recipient Dick Bugarske introduced Seppi, saying that it was the intertwining of how much he gives back to the community, both personally and professionally, that made Seppi a perfect choice for the Marie Sparks Memorial Award.
After listing the dozens of non-profits and service clubs that Costeaux supports, as well as the personal volunteer time Seppi logs, Bugarske said, he could “go on and on” about the time and effort dedicated to giving back.
After receiving the award, Seppi acknowledged that it was his parents’ philosophy of giving back — a guiding principle of their ownership of the bakery — that showed him the importance of volunteering.
“As I looked out last night at the sea of people, I could name countless people and what they do and the amount of energy and time they give in the community,” Seppi said in an interview Tuesday morning. “That’s the great thing that makes Healdsburg, Healdsburg — the selfless giving that so many people do.”
Seppi, born and raised in Healdsburg, is known by many as one of the faces behind Costeaux French Bakery, along with his parents Karl and Nancy Seppi, who bought the business in 1981.
“I grew up here and there’s a sense of an obligation to give back, because of the people that gave to me when I was growing up here, you continue that legacy on,” he said.
Seppi was informed of the honor early on a Wednesday morning when at his Sunrise Rotary Club meeting when a large contingency of past winners showed up to announce that he had been selected.
“I was shocked, I was speechless,” he said. “Very rarely am I at a loss for words. What do you say besides ‘thank you?’ It’s very humbling.”
Seppi said he receives a tremendous amount of support from his family and business. Seppi, and his wife Brandy Lee Seppi have two girls, Natalia, 16 months and Beatrice, 4 months.
Included in the work that Seppi does in the community is volunteering with programs like Read Across America, the Foss Creek Cleanup, Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, the Rosenberg Committee, the high school internship program, and Healdsburg Sunrise Rotary — where he has been involved with the club’s annual Teacher Appreciation Awards, CHOICES program, last year’s 4th of July picnic and Duck Dash and the annual Veterans’ Day Breakfast.
“I love being a part of the community and I am happy and fortunate to be able to give back,” Seppi said.
Seppi joins an impressive list of local volunteers to have received the Volunteer of the Year award over the past 17 years including: Vince Dougherty, Tom and Jo Peterson, Ken and Cheryl Rochioli, Tony and Terry Amoruso, George and Debbie Georgeson, Jerry Eddinger, Carmen Perez, Karen Tappin, Lou Bertoli, Kay Steinbach, Mark Decker, Cassie Call, Yvonne Milligan, Dorothy Studer, Bill Domenichelli, Ray Holley, Richard Bugarske and Mary Lou Eddinger.
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:21 pm By Kerrie Lindecker Tribune Editor
Rick Tang Photography