After nearly forty years as a Cal Trans engineer, Bob Gomez knew how to make it easier for people to get from one place to another, but he had never built a path. By all accounts, he was a quick study. He has helped complete some of the toughest new paths in the Berkeley Hills as a member of the Weekly Hot Shots, the volunteer path builders who devote two mornings a week to BPWA projects.

Bob’s dedication and willingness to take on just about any job that needs doing have earnedhim the 2015 Jacque Award for outstanding contributions as a BPEA volunteer.

“Bob fit right in very quickly,” notes Steve Glaeser, co-leader of BPWA’s path buildingprojects. “He enjoys building things and solving problems on the fly, and he also works well with others.”

Bob particularly enjoys that collaborative process. “We each contribute our ideas and come up with a solution. Plus, I get to use my engineering skills: thinking, laying things out, and making them look aesthetically pleasing.”

Off the paths, Bob devotes himself to mentoring a number of high school and college students, particularly those of Mexican descent. As someone who taught himself the skills necessary to earn his civil engineering license, Bob is a terrific role model for his those he takes under his wing and steers toward college. Sometimes he even pays their tuition.“He helps high school students build good study habits and navigate the college applicationprocess,” says Jaz Zeitlin, another Hot Shot.” He’s very proud of their accomplishments.”

Bob also gets a great deal of satisfaction pulling tree stumps, placing steps, and setting posts for a railing. “I love contributing to the design and construction of something people can actually use.”