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On Jan. 27, the Monterey Bay Business Hall of Fame added 25-year ag veteran Nick Pasculli, founder, president and creative director for Salinas, CA-based TMD Creative, to its hallowed halls.
“It’s very special. It’s a mixed thing, because on a certain level I don’t know I deserve it, but I’m glad someone out there thinks I do,” Pasculli said. “It’s humbling for sure. When you get recognized like this, in any shape or form, you feel a certain responsibility to those who not only nominated you and selected you, but the community in general to live up to those expectations that got you the recognition.”
Each year, Junior Achievement of Northern California honors business and community leaders from the Monterey Bay area who have established a legacy of excellence within their industries and created a significant impact on their communities.
“This is our 12th class of the Business Hall of Fame. Our selection committee looks for individuals who have demonstrated a legacy of business success as well as industry and community leadership,” said Taran Barca-Hall, regional director, central coast, for Junior Achievement of Northern California, serving Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. “They must demonstrate innovation and excellence in their field with an emphasis on ethical business practices and community involvement.”
With that in mind, the selection committee found Pasculli to be a perfect fit, and he was among those who were honored in the Class of 2017. Pasculli has long been a big believer in the marriage of creativity and strategy, and tries each day to make a difference and help other organizations to be successful.
“He has a great story,” Barca-Hall said. “Nick has really built a niche for himself within the ag industry, which is such a big part of the Monterey County economy and he’s become the go-to leader in his field here. For him to start that company less than 20 years ago on his own and build it to what it is today is just an inspiring story.”
Pasculli first learned of the honor when someone on the committee invited him for lunch, which he thought was simply a birthday get-together, and others from the Junior Achievement started to show up so he knew something was up.
“They told me I had been nominated and I was speechless,” Pasculli said. “I had to keep it a secret and as I reflected on it, I thought to myself, ‘whoever I’ve become, the foundation was laid a long time ago and I would have to go back to my parents, where I learned by work ethic.’ My dad was in the produce industry for many years and my mom was a substitute teacher and PTA president, and was always involved in things.”
In Pasculli’s mind, the award was more for them than for himself, and that came out in his speech on the day he was presented with the award.
“It was important to me to recognize the people who helped me get to the place I was at this point in my life,” he said. “It was not so much about me and my accomplishments, but more a testament to my parents and mentors and those in the industry that have helped me get here.”
At the luncheon, Pasculli was joined by his parents, spouse and children, his TMD family and many friends from around the industry. Bishops Garcia and Ryan from the Monterey Catholic Diocese were also on hand to share in his special day.
“At the induction ceremony, some students were recognized for their academic achievements and philanthropic achievements, and that’s what makes this thing so rich,” Pasculli said. “We get to witness what the young people are doing, but they also get to see what us old timers are doing and I think there’s a mutual dose of inspiration.”
By Keith Loria | The Produce News