Dave Lucchetti, a Sacramento State alumnus and president and CEO of Pacific Coast Building Products, always has believed in giving back to the community, with a particular interest in helping the younger members of society.
Lucchetti (Physical Education ’67, Certificate ’68) will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the California State University system during commencement ceremonies for the College of Health and Human Services at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Sleep Train Arena.
He and his wife, Christine, daughter of Pacific Coast Building founder Fred Anderson, are well known in the community for their philanthropic work. The Anderson-Lucchetti family has been involved in numerous campaigns for nonprofits, such as Sierra Adoption Services and Jesuit High School. In 2005, the family pledged funding to the Sutter Medical Center Foundation for construction of the Anderson-Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we can help with these efforts,” Dave Lucchetti says. “We’re thankful for the ability to do that.”
Lucchetti came to Sacramento State via Delta College in Stockton. While at Sac State, he was a defensive back for two years under football coach Ray Clemons, although he downplays his contributions. “I didn’t play my senior year, and that team was very good,” Lucchetti says.
It also was at Sac State where Lucchetti met his future wife on a blind date. The two were married a short time later and, after serving with the Army Reserve, Lucchetti went to work at Lodi High School, where he coached various sports, and taught PE and history.
But after two years, it was time for a change.
“I had thought that was what I wanted to do the rest of my life,” Lucchetti says. “But then I realized I wasn’t sure.” So he went to work for this father-in-law in 1970.
Since then, the Rancho Cordova-based company has grown from six or seven locations to about 90, spread over several Western states. Pacific Coast Building Products not only manufactures building materials such as gypsum wall board and asphalt roofing, it also distributes roofing, drywall and masonry products; and in some areas, it contracts for roofing, insulation, and glazing work.
It’s a family-owned and -run business, and takes that designation seriously, not only in the way it treats employees but also in the way it conducts itself in the community.
When considering support for an organization, the primary focus for the Anderson-Lucchetti family is children and young people.
Lucchetti notes that there are families with serious issues and problems, and the children need to see there is another way of life. “We need to break that cycle so that these kids have a chance to be productive,” he says.
One of the organizations the family supports is Cristo Rey High School. Started by a Jesuit priest, Cristo Rey has campuses across the nation. The Sacramento school opened in 2006 and, like all Cristo Rey high schools, provides education and support for children from families living below the poverty level.
Each student takes part in a work-study program, working in office-type settings five days a month. The employer covers the costs of the student’s education, and the student not only learns skills but also sees firsthand what kind of life is available to him or her.
Pacific Coast Building Products employs many Cristo Rey students, Lucchetti says. It even reaches out to them once they graduate, offering them jobs while they attend college. “And college is one of the conditions,” Lucchetti says. “You go to school.”
Joining a company with a reputation for helping the community was an easy fit for Lucchetti. His parents, Frank and Cristina, ran a farm near Stockton. “My mom and dad were not wealthy at all, but always were active in the community and active in charitable organizations,” he says. “They were very giving people.”
The parents also instilled a sense of self-reliance in Dave and his two brothers. They gave the boys a small plot of land on the farm, and the three grew their own crops to sell at the family’s fruit stand. “That’s how we paid for high school and college,” Dave Lucchetti says. “It was a good experience.”
Lucchetti is impressed with the strides Sacramento State has made in recent years. “It’s moving into the next phase, and I think it’s doing well,” he says. “Its involvement in the community has improved over the last seven or eight years.”
He and Christine have met University President Robert S. Nelsen and his wife, Jody, and Dave observes that the new president is enthused about getting Sac State more involved in the community. “Every time I go to a function, he’s there,” Lucchetti says.
Community involvement also means the region needs to support the University, providing jobs for its students by attracting new businesses to the area and retaining those already here, Lucchetti says.
Meanwhile, Lucchetti continues his own personal involvement in helping the Sacramento area. The approach is best summed up by his description of how family members oversee one of the company’s foundations, deciding how funds are spent. “It’s with the condition that you don’t just give money out. You become involved in what the group is and get to know what they do. That works pretty well.”