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Former Deputy Insurance Commissioner Gary Hernandez died this week from a pulmonary embolism. Hernandez served as Deputy Insurance Commissioner and Chief of Enforcement under Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi.
"Gary was a good guy and an excellent public servant," said Steve Young, IBA West General Counsel. "Interestingly, he got his start in business working for an independent agent," added Young.
"I was very sad to learn about Gary's passing," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in statement this week. "He was a dedicated public servant, talented lawyer, inspiring community leader, and a lifelong volunteer. His passing leaves a tremendous void and he will be greatly missed."
At the time of his death, Hernandez was a managing partner at SNR Denton (formerly Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal), an international law firm with offices in San Francisco. Gary joined the firm in 1997 after serving in the public sector. He served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. Hernandez was a nationally recognized leader, with a special commitment to the Latino community. Gary was named one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States. He was also named California Attorney of the Year and recognized as one of the 50 most influential minority lawyers in America. His example, coming as he did from a very modest background, inspired countless young people to go to college and to law school.
His community service included serving on the board of directors of the Latino Community Foundation. Among his many accomplishments, Gary was instrumental in helping to bring a University of California campus to Merced, which opened in 2005. He also served as a trustee to the University of California Merced Foundation. Gary was a devoted husband and is survived by his wife Teri Hernandez.
A public service of remembrance for Gary Hernandez will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel (Market Street, SF) in the Grand Ballroom on June 23 at 2 pm.