The highlight of Coeur de Cuisine™ is honoring members of our community who best exemplify the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self. Mike and Cindy Peters are founding members of the Escondido Charitable Foundation, which provides grants to local non-profit agencies. In its 10 years of existence, the Foundation has raised over $3 Million to benefit local organizations in Escondido.
Cindy has been a resident of Escondido since 1955, attending Felicita Elementary School, Juniper Elementary School, Del Dios Middle School and Orange Glen High School. She went to Palomar College and then continued her education at San Diego State University, graduating in 1973. She has a degree and teaching credential in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Special Education, as well as Music. She began her teaching career in Special Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Escondido Union School District in 1973.
Cindy has taught at several schools here in Escondido - Central, Rincon, Rock Springs, and Oak Hill, as well as returning to Orange Glen High School as a teacher for the hearing impaired. She has been blessed to teach for Rotarians Elmer Cameron, Ron Smith, Ron Guiles and Leila Sackfield.
She was a New Teacher Mentor, trained as a Reading Recovery teacher, as well as setting up a Title-1 program. Additionally she was trained in the use of cochlear implants for deaf students and developed a program for other educators and staff in the Escondido School District. Cindy has also worked for several years at Cal State San Marcos, as a Teaching Supervisor for students finishing their teaching credential program. Cindy was named Special Education Teacher of the Year in 1991.
Outside of the Escondido Union School District, Cindy has been involved with the Deaf Ministry at Emmanuel Faith Community Church, and founded the Silent Witness ministry 25 years ago. Silent Witness is a group of young women that minister to the church and community through American Sign Language, set to music. They perform with the EFCC choir, as well as throughout the community, including at Elizabeth Hospice, Rotary Christmas programs and SIDS memorial services.
Mike has been a resident of North County San Diego for over 45 years. As a graduate of San Diego State University, he began his banking career in San Diego in 1972. He holds a graduate degree from the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.
Mike has been President and CEO for two local banks: Hidden Valley National Bank and The Bank of Escondido. He is currently the Executive Vice President and San Diego Regional Manager for Pacific Western Bank, which was founded in San Diego County in 1982. Including recent acquisitions, Pacific Western now has over $25 Billion in assets, and ranked as the Best Bank in America by Forbes Magazine in 2017.
Mike is active in the community, including being on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego for over 30 years, the Boards of the Escondido Downtown Business Association, the Escondido Charitable Foundation, and the North San Diego Business Chamber.
Mike and Cindy live in Escondido. Their two children (Jeff and Cara) and six grandchildren also live, work and play in Escondido. Jeff is a real estate broker in Escondido, and Cara is a 3rd grade teacher for the Classical Academy, in Escondido.