Humanitarian Awards


Thomas M. Buchenau

East County Attorney and Civic Leader

"The quality of a leader is reflected in the standard they set for themselves." Ray Kroc

Thomas M. Buchenau

Thomas M. Buchenau is a third generation San Diego native having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. A dedicated citizen of East County, he has been engaged in the private practice of law since 1977 and also serves as a Pro Tem Judge for various local courts.

As a former instructor at San Diego State University as well as Cuyamaca Community College, and a publicly elected Trustee for the Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District, Buchenau understands the importance of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation Windows of Opportunity Scholarships and outreach programs offering post secondary education and leadership opportunities for graduating high school seniors.

Buchenau recalls that as early as he can remember, his parents strongly believed in community service, church and family and they taught by dedicated example. Tom is a member of the LEAD San Diego, Class of 2005. These Community leaders are invested in regional success. They are a group of individuals who believe in developing the next generation of diverse and engaged leaders. Many have widely recognized leadership experience in San Diego County and are striving to make a difference through their vision, service, determination and creativity.

Thomas Buchenau and his wife, Sam, have lived in El Cajon for 35 years, which includes their two cats, Gracie and Phoebe. Mrs. Buchenau is the current Soroptimist International, California District III Governor. On her behalf, Tom is an advocate for this worldwide volunteer service organization for business and professional women, working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.

In giving back to the community, Thomas M. Buchenau is currently active with the following organizations:

  • San Diego County Bar Association, Director
  • Foothills Bar Association of San Diego County, Past President
  • Sharp HealthCare Institutional Review Board, Member
  • Kiwanis International, Past President of Spring Valley and Rancho San Diego Clubs
  • Kiwanis International, California-Nevada-Hawaii District, Division 31, Lt.Governor Elect

Thomas M. Buchenau was nominated by:

  • Beth A. Atuatasi, Attorney At-Law El Cajon, CA
  • Charter Board Member of Jonathan Tarr Foundation

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