Comeback & commitment

Zaneta Encarnacion

Tue March 1, 2016 2:49pm

The Piancone family has lived in the Rolling Hills Ranch community of Chula Vista for 17 years. This community was hit hard during the recession and in 2009 Sandro Piancone was suddenly unemployed. He made an unexpected discovery in a $1 purchase at a used book store that inspired him and his wife Kim into their next successful season in life.
Today Sandro is an author, entrepreneur and importer of food products into Mexico. Kim, after spending almost 20 years in real estate, is now a proud and busy stay-at-home mom to their two boys, Michael and Maximo. The last member of the family is their stay-at-home cat Lucky.
“What we love most about living in Chula Vista is the small town family feel to it. Even though it’s a rather large city, the diversity of its residents seems to have a common denominator … which is the nurturing and support of family and friends. Whether it’s a local Little League team making it big or a Navy family coming or going, our community pulls together to support others.”
The Piancone family has committed to share their success and blessings with others through philanthropy and service. Both Sandro and Kim serve on the St. Rose of Lima school board and provide time, talent and treasure to this higher calling. They have also instilled a charitable legacy within their boys, who raised money over the summer by offering homemade pizzas to family and friends for a donation. The boys saved 10 percent of their collected donations, invested 10 percent and donated another 10 percent to local causes before spending on themselves.
While Sandro coaches soccer for their younger son’s school team, Kim actively participates in community philanthropy as a member of Las Primeras with more than 35 other local women. She holds the office of corresponding secretary and is proud of the impact being made by the group, including raising funds for local nonprofits to the tune of more than $1 million in the group’s 66-year history.
Each year the group holds a themed gala, which has become a favorite date night for Kim and Sandro. This year the Rock the Boat event will be held on March 12 at the harbor on the ferry Berkeley. The Piancones will surely be dancing the night away for another cause greater than themselves — children, families and individuals in need.
“The promise we made to each other was that when we made it out of our unfortunate situation, we would always be grateful and give back to others in need. Giving back to others really helps to keep us humble, grounded and appreciative. And pizza! Pizza helps too!”
For more information on the Rock the Boat gala, visit
Zaneta Salde Encarnacion is executive director of the Southwestern College Foundation.