Dave Juhnke named Citizen of the Year in San Luis Obispo

Dave Juhnke, a San Luis Obispo attorney with a background of service to more than half a dozen nonprofits, is the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.

Juhnke was honored Saturday at the chamber’s annual dinner. He is the latest recipient of the award, which has been given annually since 1973.

A managing partner in the law firm Sinsheimer, Juhnke, Lebens and McIvor, Juhnke was visibly taken aback at being given the award.

Among those offering him congratulations were his two sons, whose attendance took their father by surprise.

“I want to thank my partners, who are all here at this event,” Juhnke said. “Now I know why.”

Juhnke also cited his parents for instilling in him the spirit of community service.

He was recognized for serving as chairman of the board for many nonprofits, including the chamber, American Red Cross, San Luis Obispo Literacy Council, YMCA and Economic Vitality Corp.

He led a fundraising campaign to support the Prado Day Center, which assists the homeless, and recently helped lead the YMCA through financial challenges, including a fundraising event that raised $30,000.

An attorney who specializes in civil litigation in the areas of employment discrimination, real estate and business law, Juhnke offers his services pro bono to organizations when asked.

He also volunteered to coach youth soccer, baseball and basketball teams over a 10-year span, and is a member of the Rotary de Tolosa club.

“His service to the San Luis Obispo community is not visible to most because he does it effortlessly, not looking for recognition,” the chamber noted in its news release.

Juhnke has lived in San Luis Obispo for 25 years.

He was presented the award by Greg Hind, the sportswear company owner who was last year’s Citizen of the Year for his philanthropic efforts.