El Cajon Citizen of the Year
“It’s special. I feel proud, grateful that he won,” said Shawn Williams, 15, of his grandfather, Richard “Dick” Nasif, for winning the 2016 El Cajon Citizen of the Year award. The awards luncheon was held Feb. 7 at the El Cajon Elks Lodge #1812.
Both an Elks and a Lions Club member, Christian Wille explained that “the winner, there were five nominees, is selected based on service to the community.”
The El Cajon Valley Host Lions Club, Heartland Lions Club Primary, Stoney’s Kids Legacy, El Cajon Rotary, San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and the El Cajon Valley Kiwanis all nominated individuals. Other nominees were Debra Turner-Emerson, Dee Dean, Marcie Findley, and Anthony Zambelli.
The El Cajon Citizen of the year program dates back to 1955. Last year’s recipient, Humbert Cabrera, explained that his year was “very fruitful.”
During the program, former Citizen of the Year winners, like Sunny Horton, were asked to stand up and be acknowledged.
San Diego County of San Diego Supervisor Dianne Jacob quipped, “Dick, it was with great intent how each of the organizations tried to one up each other (owning him) but you are in my district!”
Andrew Hayes, District Representative for Senator Joel Anderson, presented him with an Certificate of Recognition. El Cajon Mayor Pro Tem Bob McClellan and El Cajon City Councilmember Steve Goble also spoke to the well-attended luncheon attendees along with Mike Harrison, who represented 50th District Congressman Duncan Hunter.
Nasif’s daughter, Sandra Williams, said, “He’s volunteered for many years.” Indeed, Nasif, retired after many years, as a lieutenant, with the El Cajon Police Department, but by all accounts has done years of community service as well. Retired El Cajon Police Department Chief Bob Moreau shared stories from Nasif’s years of police service.
Nasif, 74, has been a resident of El Cajon since 1952. He ticked off just of few of the events and organizations he’s volunteered for: El Cajon School District, America on Main Street, and coached or managed various youth baseball teams.
“Did I expect it? Not really,” said Nasif. Later, during his acceptance speech, Nasif said “I would like to thank the Lions, Elks, Rotary, and Chamber and recognize my fellow nominees.”
His long term commitment to the community includes fund raising and planning to sponsor various academic targets for kids for science and art. He was chair of the Prop O committee that funded and built the new police facility. A hearty round of applause went up as he was presented with the 2016 El Cajon Citizen of the Year award.