It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Mert Preston on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at the age of 95.

Some agencies are blessed with dedicated donors, some with energetic volunteers, and some with outstanding staff. In addition to these three things, Face to Face was blessed to have Mert.

Mert Preston joined our Board of Directors in his mid-50’s and served there for 17 years, doing “whatever needed to be done.” He leaves a legacy that will continue here at Face to Face. Each year we honor someone who has made a great impact on the #HIV system of care and the people we serve with the aptly named Mert Preston Award.

Mert grew up in a poor, truck-farming family in the San Joaquin Valley. Even though they didn’t have much, Mert’s parents always made sure to help other families in need by giving them food from their garden. Since then life has been good to Mert. He owned and operated several auto parts stores in and around Sonoma County. When those were sold he began to invest in real estate. “I believe in paying it back and sharing my good fortune. Face to Face has been there to support me and my friends, and I’ve always been impressed with the organization and everyone involved in it.”

So, when Face to Face thinks of things to be thankful for, we will always think of Mert. RIP.