Pleasanton Weekly

Cover Story - December 16, 2011

The Shapiros: Our couple of the Year

by Jeb Bing

Joyce and Bob Shapiro have been named the Pleasanton Weekly's "Couple of the Year" for 2011, joining the select group of individuals and couples who have earned the title during the 11 years the Weekly has recognized community leaders since 2001.

The Shapiros may be the most award-winning individuals to share the recognition. Both have volunteered their services and served on key community boards for many years, with Joyce going back to the 1970s when she owned a building and operated a business in downtown Pleasanton, and Bob to 1999 after he married Joyce and moved here.

Just this year, they received four major awards, including the Mayor's Award "for demonstrating a generous concern for others and a spirit of service dedicated to the betterment of the Pleasanton community." Earlier in the year, they were honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. Business Legacy Award, the Community of Character Foundation award and the Local Hero award presented by state Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-20th).

Both served as fundraisers for the Pleasanton Firehouse Theater, the Las Positas College Foundation and the Sandra K Wing Healing Foundation. In fact, fundraising and support for charities and nonprofits often take place at their home on Kottinger Drive, a spacious single story residence that Joyce first moved into in 1966. It was there she delivered her first child, a daughter Robin, with her first husband Gerald (Jerry) Getty, who died of a heart ailment in 1984.

Joyce met Bob in 1991. They married in 1994 and Joyce moved to Westchester County, N.Y., where he was a corporate executive with Prodigy. The move came after Pleasanton's three-day centennial celebration, which she chaired.

The newlyweds moved to Michigan a year later when Bob took a new job, and then back to Pleasanton and the Kottinger Drive home when Bob joined a dot.com firm. When that business closed in the height of the dot.com bust, he obtained a real estate license and joined Keller Williams. He built the small local office into a major area-wide real estate firm, leaving the agency as general manager and its chief executive after nine years of service.

Joyce Shapiro has been a recognized business and community leader in Pleasanton for the last four decades, and is continuing now in the fifth. Following in the footsteps of her parents, the late Ett and Ray Young, who lived in Castlewood and owned properties on Main Street, she joined her sister in starting the Gingham Clinic at Neal and Main. That's when she first joined the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, launching a 40-year involvement in business and civic interests that continues today.

She began the organization now known as the Pleasanton Downtown Association where she served as its first president in 1979 and again in 1981. She was president of the Chamber in 1978. During that time, she was also appointed to the Pleasanton Planning Commission, serving through 1985. Active in the California Downtown Association, she was its statewide president in 1982 and also president of the Junior Women's Club.

One of her early awards came when she was voted the best overall chief executive officer at the Valley Volunteer CEO dinner in 1993. Returning to Pleasanton with Bob from New York and Michigan in 1999, Joyce picked up where she left off as a community volunteer. She compiled the Pleasanton 2000 fact book, which was also printed in Braille, and at the same time was a founding board member of the Tri-Valley Senior Support Program. In 2003, she received the Chamber's Carol Bush Award for Volunteerism, and was honored the following year with the PDA's President's Award as its most valuable volunteer.

A graduate of the 2004-05 Pleasanton Leadership Program, which is sponsored by the Chamber and city of Pleasanton, she was asked to become its program manager, a volunteer position that she has held for the last six years. Bob also is a graduate of the prestigious program.

Since rebuilding their home on Kottinger Drive in 1999, they've made it their showplace for the neighborhood and also their center for entertaining hundreds of civic, city and business leaders over the years. It was featured in a Home & Garden section of the Pleasanton Weekly.

Joyce also is a master chef who "loves to cook and always has." Bob is a wine enthusiast, a connoisseur, "but not a sommelier," he insists. Together, they're the ultimate party and dinner hosts, and friends crave invitations to events at the Shapiros. These include, among many, the winning bidders of Las Positas College's twice-a-year fundraisers which award the highest donors an evening at Joyce and Bob's home to the highest contributors. That no doubt explains why the college foundation raised a record amount in contributions earlier this year.

Also enjoying the Shapiros hospitality over the coming holidays will be what they call their melded family. That will include Bob Shapiro's son Scott Shapiro, his wife Shannon, and their daughter Gracie, who live in Oakland, where Scott is a senior advertising executive for Disney and the ABC group.

Joyce's two children also will be there. They are Rod Getty and his wife Cathy, and their two children Taylor and Megan, and daughter Robin, her husband James Wong, and their daughter Sierra. Rod, a civil engineer, is vice president of an engineering firm. Robin has been a physical therapist at ValleyCare Health System for 17 years.

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