Julie Riera Matsushima

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Julie has an outstanding record of community service activities. Currently serving as Commissioner to the City of San Jose Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services Department she tirelessly works towards raising awareness for the need of adaptive and equal play equipment in the city's parks.

San Jose City Councilmember Pete Constant recently invited Julie to serve on the Advisory Board to the Office of Therapeutic Services; serving citizens with disabilities.

An active member of the Rotary Club of San Jose since 1990, Julie recently spearheaded two notable projects during her year as club President (2007-08). The first, a community project, was a partnership with the City of San Jose whereby the Rotary Club of San Jose raised $17,500 to purchase 30 adaptive swings which the City installed in neighborhood parks throughout the city so that children with disabilities may play side by side with their able-bodied peers. The second, an international project, was to send 280 wheelchairs to children and adults in Vietnam. Members of the Rotary Club of San Jose successfully raised the funds to purchase the chairs from the Wheelchair Foundation, Inc. Julie, along with her husband, Mel, who chaired the committee, and a group of Rotarian delegates personally traveled to Vietnam to assemble and fit children and adults in their new wheelchairs.

In 2001 Julie established the That's Amore Charitable Foundation, Inc., for the love of children with special needs. That's Amore Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization has a mission to raise funds for therapy and equipment for children with disabilities. Julie hopes to expand the fundraising efforts of this organization in the future to serve more children in need.

Other notable community service includes Julie's energetic leadership of the Santa Clara County Sister-County Commission with Florence Italy for more than ten years. In 1993, as Chairperson of the Commission, she was appointed head delegate representing Santa Clara County to the Tuscany World Peace Conference held in Italy. Julie was recently an honored recipient of the prestigious Medici Medal Award in 2009.

Boards of many community non-profit organizations have had the benefit of Julie's membership, some of which include the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Via Rehabilitation Services the Rotary Club of San Jose, and the O'Connor Hospital Guild. She also served on the Advisory Board to the San Jose State University School of Nursing.

Julie is passionate about giving back to the community and believes that every individual has the opportunity to make a difference by becoming involved.