“A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others.” – Robert Green Ingersoll
The qualities of an extraordinary man go far beyond provider, leader and humanitarian. A man that stands out above the rest is one who has a benevolent heart for others. He’s the type of person who would lay down his life for someone else. His compassion for people creates service without expectation. This man is a philanthropist full of intelligence, creativity and empathy, who leads his household to model these attributes daily. He is humble, altruistic, and makes wise decisions that will impact future generations. He is a man with integrity and perseveres when challenged. People are inspired by his legacy, and his genuine qualities are reflected in the home. He is a noble man full of traditions, goals, and dreams. His commitment to excellence echoes in his daily life and he strives to always be optimistic.
The following remarkable local men all have the characteristics of someone worthy of being called extraordinary. They have gone far beyond their call of duty and are truly men of influence who have made a point to pass on what they’ve learned to others. As you read their stories, you will be amazed at their community contributions, selfless hearts, and genuine care for their families. These men are examples of outstanding role models in our community, and it is both an honor and pleasure to share their stories with you!
Bosch Automotive Service Solutions
James Johnson, the Operations Report Analyst for Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, is a zealous man with many talents. He has been the Chief Officer for the Chino Hills Auxiliary Radio Team (CHART), a group of amateur radio operators who provide emergency communication service, for the last 15 years and has been recognized as an outstanding Volunteer by the city of Chino Hills. Emergency Communication is probably one of the least talked about aspects of preparedness, but experts say it plays a vital role in ensuring human survival during any type of disaster; it is something James understands we can’t afford to overlook.
James earned his amateur radio license in July 1994 due to his interest in wireless communication devices and amateur communications. Disaster after disaster has shown us how crucial communication can be during a time of crisis. From dispatching first responders into affected areas to coordinating with loved ones during times of crisis, our communications infrastructure is vitally important to our safety. Through CHART, James has installed an antenna at the Sheriff’s Substation, as well as other areas throughout Chino Hills. James also commits his time to the San Bernardino County Fire Emergency Communications Service. He is passionate about the many challenges that come with working in a fast-paced environment, both locally and internationally.
James’ positive attitude is the mindset that has allowed him to succeed over the years and advises those who are looking to succeed in their careers to “try many career paths that interest and challenge you.” He has many hobbies, including computers, photography, and home improvement projects. His achievements are valued and based off his own personal interests and professional life, and he prides himself on being a master in communication.
A proud father of four amazing children, James has created a special bond with them through patience, participation, and genuinely involving himself in their interests. His family has helped guide him with support through the good times and the bad. His secret to a successful relationship is “communication at all levels,” and he believes firmly that there always has to be a give and take. The community of Chino Hills is a better place because of James’ selflessness and ability to donate countless hours to protecting those around him.
Corona Fire Department
Compassionate, steadfast and dedicated, Captain Jim Steiner knew he wanted to have a career where he could serve others. A Corona resident for nearly 30 years, Captain Steiner was first hired as a Firefighter Apprentice for the Corona Fire Department in 1986. After serving as a Firefighter and Engineer, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1996. He is currently assigned to Fire Station 4 as an engine company captain, with additional responsibilities of mitigating hazardous material emergencies.
But to Captain Steiner, serving the public is about so much more than being on duty. Once he began viewing his position as a 24/7 commitment to the community, his life took on a whole new meaning. He became very involved in the community, focusing mostly on supporting and being a friend and mentor to young children who are/were struggling with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
One of his biggest inspirations is a young woman named Victoria Smitherman. She is only 15 years old, but has been battling brain cancer for the last few years, enduring multiple surgeries on her brain to remove cancerous tumors, the agony of ongoing chemotherapy and radiation, losing her hair, missing school, and enjoying the regular life of a teenage girl. Captain Steiner says, “She never complains and has kept her sense of humor and positive outlook on life…Victoria goes out of her way to offer words of encouragement to cheer up others, both young and old, who may be struggling with similar health issues.”
Due to his work in the community, Captain Steiner has received numerous awards, including Corona Fire Department Firefighter of the Year for 2003 and 2010, 2011 Ira D. Calvert Distinguished Service, 2013 UNITY Award for Community Service, 2014 Corona Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, 2015 Corona-Norco Day of the Child – Champion of Young Children, 2016 The California Professional Firefighters William “Dallas” Jones Outstanding Political Achievement, and 2016 American Diabetes Association “Father of the Year.” He has also been the President of the Corona Firefighters’ Association since 2002. However, Captain Steiner is always quick to mention that “without the support of my family and the community involvement of all the members of the Corona Firefighters’ Association, I most likely wouldn’t have received any of these recognitions.” He knows that through their continued support and teamwork, his contributions to the Corona community can flourish.
Captain Steiner has a wife, Beth, and three children, Sarah, Brandon and Brooke. A caring husband and father, he creates a special bond with each member of his family by spending time with them together and independently. They have been on many vacations together, including Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas and Yosemite. Drawing inspiration from his own father, Captain Steiner carried on a family tradition of taking each child on a vacation individually when they turned 21. He and his oldest daughter, Sarah, went to New York City, while he and Brandon took a vacation to Alaska to go fishing. His youngest still has a year until she turns 21, but he knows their journey together will be just as memorable.
Captain Steiner’s primary and most influential role model is his father. He says, “As a social worker, my father has cared and advocated for hundreds of underprivileged, abused and neglected children for nearly half a century. He is my inspiration, and there is no doubt that his compassionate nature has had an impact on the type of person I’ve become.”
He enjoys many hobbies and interests, including woodworking, playing the guitar, MMA workouts and boating, but he recognizes that his success comes from dedication and hard work. Captain Steiner’s advice to future generations is simple, yet effective: “Nothing good comes easy. You have to set goals, work hard and make sacrifices along the way. You are entitled to nothing. You have to earn it.”
Ryan & Associates Insurance Financial Services
For over 13 years, Mike Ryan has dedicated his life and professional career to helping people. His business Ryan & Associates Insurance and Financial Services, as well as his committed involvement in the community, has allowed him to advocate for the needs of others. Some clients have even referred to him as a “financial physician.” His guidance began with parents who taught him the importance of faith, family, and strong work ethics. He believes addressing people’s needs with no expectation in return is highly rewarding: “There is more than one way to get paid in life, and it isn’t always money.”
Mike’s career and community motivation stem from his own personal experience. He worked in Corporate America for many years and often wondered, “What value am I offering society?” When retirement was around the corner, he hit a wall of obstacles. “Six months before I was ready to retire, the company shut its doors, and thousands of us became unemployed,” he recalled. At the same time, Mike wrestled with his wife’s battle to become insured despite her disabilities. With an “un-insurability” problem, the collapse of his former job, and the stability of his family at stake, Mike needed a miracle. “To start a whole new career and business this late in life was definitely a challenge.” He found a solution through an agent who is still a friend today. “Finally being able to get coverage for my wife made me realize what planning and insurance meant to a family,” he says. Mike took the steps to get licensed and went into business to educate people about their options so they wouldn’t face the struggles he once endured. “I never looked at it as an obstacle. I took it all as a challenge that had a solution, and that is how I approach my client’s needs today.”
Mike is zealous about making a difference. His business and community volunteer work has been highly recognized through awards like “Business of the Quarter”, Presidential Awards, and most recently, Chairman’s Award for Business and Community Service in 2015 from the Corona Chamber of Commerce. He works closely with the Alzheimer’s Association and is the creator of
www.seniorhelponline.com, a website geared toward seniors with helpful educational information. He’s currently the Vice Chairman and serves on the Finance Committee at Peppermint Ridge in Corona, a home for developmentally disabled individuals and serves on the Board of Directors and is Treasurer of the Dayle Macintosh Center, a disability resource center aiding those with disabilities to become productive members of society. It was there that he met his mentor and inspiration, the late Richard Devylder, who he admired for his tenacious “I can do it” attitude. Mike is also on the Board of Directors for the Corona Chamber, Chairman for the Community Services Network, Chairman of the Board for Norco Area Chamber, and part of the Board for “Meals on Wheels” in Riverside County. Community groups he serves on are City Rotary and LAFF (Life after 55). “All of these groups fit my passion for business and helping others.”
Mike is a family man whose growth has been exponential over the years as a person, father, and community leader. His work with people has shown him a variety of situations that have increased his appreciation for his own family. His advice to others is to “help make a difference in someone’s life, do what you love, and always try to communicate effectively.” His definition of communication is unique: “it means that the other person understands what you meant to say.” Mike engages in healthy relationships with his children and advises fathers to instill in their own kids a sense of right and wrong, as well as responsibility and pride in their work, and he concludes that he “couldn’t do anything without family.”
Chino Valley Fire District
Ray Santoyo has a fiery passion for serving others and is a hero to his family, as well as the community. He has worked for the Chino Valley Fire District for 30 years, with the past 23 as an Engineer . In this position, Ray is in charge of driving fire apparatus, including the tiller, to fires and other emergency incidents. Making a difference in people’s lives through his actions is what motivates Ray to succeed. This passion was inspired by his father whose words still shine, “If you do something with passion and to the best of your ability, the reward will always be fulfilling.” As a courageous survivor of a severe bicycle accident where he was struck by a vehicle, Ray told himself that recovering gave him courage to tackle anything in the future. At home, Ray is lovingly supported by his family. Aside from Ray’s outstanding work with the fire district and being an extraordinary family man, Ray is also quite the humanitarian.
For over 20 years, he has been on the games committee for the LA84 Foundation Mt. SAC Relay Youth Days. In the last two years he has been a board member for the Chino Valley Historical Society and a community participant in Chino High School’s “Law, Justice and Public Service Academy” program. He is the founding member of the Chino Valley Fire District Honor Guard and served the Cub, Boy, and Girl Scouts for over a decade. “I am still a Merit Badge Councilor for the fire safety and first aid merit badge with the Boy Scouts of America,” he says. Over the years, he was very active in his children’s sports, including accompanying his daughter across California for Color Guard competitions. His heart for others has changed lives through his gift of service, “I have tried to fill a void wherever I see help is needed.” He loves being able to pass on the knowledge he’s gained as a firefighter to others who aspire to enter a career in the fire service. He has been highly recognized for his gifts, heroism, and talents. His awards include Firefighter of the Year in 2004 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Black Sheep Post 11546, a Hurricane Katrina Assistance Award, the Meritorious Award for rescuing a fallen police officer, and the Chino Police Department’s Chief’s Commendation Award for rescuing a victim of an attempted homicide.
Ray is happily married and the father of four amazing children who have made him proud of their contributions and commitments to serving the community. “As they were growing up, we would take them to Fairmount Park in Riverside during Thanksgiving to help feed the homeless, which gave them appreciation for what they have.” His legacy continues with his children, who give back by putting together care packages for soldiers serving overseas. As a father, he listens to his children, gives them space, and still remains very active in their lives. “It has always been important to me to show my kids the love I have for them and to teach them how to do things on their own.” He hopes that future generations can “believe in themselves” and stands firm on the knowledge that the best way to approach something is to focus on one thing at a time. Through communication skills and the ability to work with others with a smile, Ray Santoyo continues to inspire as an exceptional male role model in the community.