Eva and Sam Guerrera with arms entwined.Sam and Ava Guerrera could have chosen to live anywhere in the world. How fortunate for Sonoma County that they fell in love with this area and chose to retire here. The Guerreras have embraced the community, generously supporting a wide array of local non-profits, including Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. 

A woman ahead of her time, Ava was traveling the world while others in her generation were settling into married life. Challenged to name her favorite of the 80 countries she’s visited, Ava says it’s impossible. “It would be like having a favorite child!” 

Sam took a more traditional path—graduating from college, serving in the Army, and then beginning his career. Although they attended the same college, the couple didn’t marry until they reconnected years later. Sam’s career with Valspar Paints took them to Minnesota, where they settled into family life, raising their son and daughter. 

Retirement brought the Guerreras to Santa Rosa where the couple found everything they wanted—culture, access to an airport for convenient travel (of course!)—and the beautiful geography and landscape that defines Sonoma County. “When we visited here, we knew this is where we would retire. We both fell in love with the Sonoma Valley, and it has been our home for the last 25 years,” says Sam.

Soon after their arrival, Sam and Ava became involved with Memorial Hospital. Sam emphatically states, “This community needs and deserves a hospital with the stature that Memorial has. It is so important that we have access to the very best in health care, and Memorial offers that. I am proud to support such a fine hospital, and will continue to do so as long as I am able.”

Throughout the years, Sam and Ava have chosen to use long-term appreciated stock to support Memorial. This is a very tax-savvy means of making a gift—not surprising given Sam’s extensive business background. By donating an appreciated asset, the Guerreras avoid capital gains tax, and they are able to realize a tax deduction for the full amount of the appreciated stock.

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