Former California Deputy Insurance Commissioner Gary A. Hernandez, has died as the result of a pulmonary embolism, the state Department of Insurance announced.
Hernandez was a leader in Latino community, a dedicated public servant, talented lawyer, inspiring community leader, and a lifelong volunteer, said current Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “His passing leaves a tremendous void and he will be greatly missed.”
At the time of his death, Hernandez was a managing partner at SNR Denton (formerly Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal), an international law firm with offices in San Francisco. He joined the firm in 1997 after serving in the public sector. He served as a deputy city attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. After that, he served then Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi as deputy insurance commissioner and chief of enforcement, overseeing market conduct, fraud investigations and management of all failed insurers in the state.
Hernandez also was a nationally recognized leader, with a special commitment to the Latino community. He was named one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States. He was also named California Attorney of the Year and recognized as one of the 50 most influential minority lawyers in America. His example, coming as he did from a very modest background, inspired countless young people to go to college and to law school.
His community service included serving on the board of directors of the Latino Community Foundation. Among his many accomplishments, Hernandez was instrumental in helping to bring a University of California campus to Merced, which opened in 2005. He also served as a trustee to the University of California Merced Foundation.
He is survived by his wife Teri Hernandez.
A public service of remembrance for Gary Hernandez will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel on Market Street in San Francisco on June 23 at 2 p.m.
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