Ronald L. Jensen
(September 6, 1930 – September 2, 2005)
PCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is named for Ron Jensen, who amassed a lifetime of achievement in business and philanthropy.
Ron, a highly successful entrepreneur, started multiple companies including UICI, a diversified financial services company. He was also a venture capitalist with investments in a variety of industries.
A favorite saying was “from success to significance,” which he embodied as he got deeply involved with philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. He took particular interest in getting entrepreneurs to give more of their wealth to worthy causes. Ron got great satisfaction from his giving, and wanted others to make the journey from success to significance.
Ron and his family, through their foundation, The Jenesis Group, were major supporters of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, which supports social entrepreneurs with the potential to change society.
PCA and Ron were introduced in November 2004 in Houston where PCA Founder Jim Thompson was inducted as an Ashoka Fellow. Ron took an immediate interest in PCA because of his interest in young people: “In God’s time, we’re not here long. You’ve got to go generational to have an impact.”
Ron appreciated the value a strong sales staff brings to an organization. He loved that PCA was a nonprofit with people “selling” its program in the field. He admired PCA’s record of increasing “earned income” from our partnerships with schools and youth sports organizations.
Although busy with his varied interests, Ron advised PCA on how to duplicate its success in Northern California in other parts of the U.S. He and Jim Thompson were in frequent contact to discuss ideas until Ron passed away from an automobile accident in September 2005.
Ron’s interest in making the world better was continued by his wife, GJ, until she passed away in 2014, and is continued by his children: Julie Jensen Meyer, Janet Jensen, Jeff Jensen, James Jensen and Jami Jensen.
2017: Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset and Stanford University Psychology Professor
2016: Billie Jean King, social pioneer
2015: Dusty Baker, Major League Baseball Player and Manager
2014: Joe Ehrmann, former NFL Player, founder of Coach For America and author of InSide Out Coaching
2013: Phil Jackson, 11-time NBA Champion Coach and PCA National Spokesperson
2012: Dick Gould, Stanford University’s 17-Time NCAA Champion Men’s Tennis Coach
2011: Bruce Bochy, Manager of 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants (and subsequent 2012 and 2014 World Champion teams)
2010: John Wooden, Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach (accepted by his son, Jim Wooden)
2009: Tara VanDerveer, Basketball Hall of Fame Coach of Stanford University
2008: Jim Sochor, College Football Hall of Fame Coach of UC Davis
2007: John Gagliardi, then football coach at St. John's University, still the winningest coach in college football history
2006: Ted Leland, former Director of Athletics at Stanford University