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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Jones Issues Statement on the Passing of Gary A. Hernandez

News: 2011 Press Release

For Release: June 1, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Insurance Commissioner Jones Issues Statement on the Passing of Gary A. Hernandez
Former Deputy Insurance Commissioner, leader in Latino community, lifelong volunteer

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement today on the passing of Gary A. Hernandez:

"I was very sad to learn about Gary's passing," said Commissioner Jones. "He was a dedicated public servant, talented lawyer, inspiring community leader, and a lifelong volunteer. His passing leaves a tremendous void and he will be greatly missed."

At the time of his death, as the result of a pulmonary embolism, Gary was a managing partner at SNR Denton (formerly Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal), an international law firm with offices in San Francisco. Gary 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. He was a nationally recognized leader, with a special commitment to the Latino community. Gary 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, Gary 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. Gary was a devoted husband and is survived by his wife Teri Hernandez. 

A public service of remembrance for Gary Hernandez will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel (Market Street, SF) in the Grand Ballroom on June 23 at 2 pm.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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