Editor's Note: Who are the movers and shakers in Los Gatos? Those who lead by example, change things around and make us better by challenging the status quo and having integrity? This is the fifth installment in our Names in the News Q&A feature.
Tim Lundell, 61, grew up in a working-class family in Portland, OR, attending Central Catholic High School and graduating with a bachelor of science degree in philosophy and mathematics from Portland State University.
Lundell came to California 40 years ago to attend law school at Santa Clara University. He moved to Los Gatos in 1978 with wife, Penelope O’Neill.
Lundell started a law practice in San Jose after graduating in 1975, and eventually joined his law school best friend, Nev Spadafore. After 25 years, Lundell & Spadafore is now one of the older small law firms in San Jose, practicing out of its restored Victorian near Bellarmine College Prep.
A successful civil litigator throughout his career, Lundell has focused primarily on real estate and business litigation, while Spadafore is one of the most respected family law attorneys in the Bay Area.
Lundell’s involvement with Los Gatos began shortly after his first son, Patrick, started at and it has never stopped.
He was cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 556 for three years, and has followed the lives of many of the now-grown scouts.
That experience evolved into coaching Little League for his second son, Danny, and friendships with many parents.
This collaboration led to the formation of the Dads’ Club at Van Meter. When the kids started at, the club continued as well.
Recognizing the need for additional funding to keep Los Gatos schools at the forefront of education, Lundell and several parents spearheaded the campaign to make the one of the first districts in the Bay Area to pass a parcel tax.
Lundell later served on the advisory committee to continue and increase the parcel tax when the first measure timed out. In the meanwhile, Danny had taken up roller hockey, and Lundell took on the year-round job of coaching his team for the next six years, including coaching the club team at
After co-chairing grad nights for his sons' graduating classes, the void in community involvement opportunities was filled when Lundell found Rotary.
The was chartered in 2003, and Lundell joined shortly thereafter, eventually becoming club president in 2007, assistant district governor in 2009, and lieutenant governor in 2011.
Earlier this month, Lundell was honored at the District Conference in Squaw Valley as “Rotarian of the Year” for District 5170, an honor bestowed in recognition of dedication to the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”
He has chaired both of the Morning Rotary’s major annual fundraisers, the held in September, and “ hosting its fourth fine art show and auction this weekend.
Besides assisting his wife, Penelope, during her tenures as chair of the Los Gatos Arts Commission and as president of the Museums of Los Gatos, Lundell has served on the Los Gatos General Plan Advisory Committee and currently on the North 40 Advisory Committee.
Los Gatos Patch: What is your biggest contribution to the Town of Los Gatos?
Tim Lundell: I like to think that it’s been the aggregation of contributions in many different capacities, from youth leader and coach to supporter of education, to participation in citizen government, and to the many community efforts and causes that have benefitted from financial and hands-on contributions from the Morning Rotary. I am most proud that so much of our financial support has benefitted art and music education for Los Gatos students.
Patch: What is the area of most influence in your profession?
Lundell: Even in the combative world of civil litigation, I try to emphasize civility and professionalism among the attorneys I work with and against. I believe very strongly in opportunities for alternative dispute resolution to help clients resolve their issues as quickly and fairly as possible and to feel assured that there is life after lawsuits.
Patch: How do you challenge those who work with you to become better?
Lundell: Many people feel that the legal profession is ethically challenged, and by openly practicing the ethical principles advocated by Rotary, I hope I make a difference in leading by example.
Patch: How do you inspire them?
Lundell: The waking hours in a day actually provide more opportunity than most people realize. If you find fun, inspiration, fellowship and satisfaction in making the community a better place, it is amazing what can be accomplished in the hours before and after working hours.
Patch: How are you a “transformative leader”?
Lundell: My dad grew up on a farm in Eastern Oregon and carried many of those simple values throughout his life. My wife kids me about inheriting the perspective of life in Ione, OR. But those simple values are what I believe in and what I advocate for others in their lives: Be fair and just, love your family and friends with all your heart, and leave the world a little better than when you arrived.