Given in recognition of outstanding leadership and service contributions to the community.
By Susan Fornoff
Leona Bridges (MBA 84) has made a successful transition from a career in financial services to a life in community service. She supplements her commissionership for the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System with board appointments for the American Baptist Seminary of the West, West Bay Local Development Corporation, Delta Research and Educational Foundation, and San Francisco State University Foundation.
For Leona, the recipient of GGU’s Community Service award, volunteerism has been a way of life since childhood. In addition to work with the NAACP, she volunteers through a Feed the Homeless program with the San Francisco alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
While attending SF State, she studied business administration by day and worked at night in collections for Crocker Bank. After completing her MBA at Golden Gate, she climbed the ladder at Barclays Global Investors, ultimately becoming managing director in the Global Index and Markets Group.
Sounds like more than a full plate — but still, Bridges put in some hours on behalf of West Bay Community Center and with the alumni associations of both of her alma maters. “If you can’t give back,” she asks, “what is the point? I believe we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to someone else.”
After leaving the business world, Bridges turned community service into a full-time-plus pursuit. She endowed a scholarship at SF State and serves on that university’s foundation. At GGU, she is president of the Edward S. Ageno School of Business Advisory Council. She also serves on all of those boards and had recently completed two and a half years on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (yes, she rides the bus) when Mayor Ed Lee asked that she move
to San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System.
“My experience at Golden Gate has been wonderful,” she says. “Education is so important, and I continue to give feedback and help guide direction there. I’ve accomplished a lot, but now I am in a space where I want to give back and help others.
“Things are not given to you just to be selfish, but so that you can help and embrace and share with others. I know it sounds clichéd, but I truly believe it.”