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Distinguished Alumni: Sac State to honor county Supervisor Don Nottoli’s lifetime of achievement

Don Nottoli in a suit and tie on a gray backdrop.
Don Nottoli, a longtime Sacramento County supervisor, is the 2022 Sac State Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. (Courtesy Don Nottoli)

Don Nottoli caught the public service bug at an early age.

“Probably in middle school, or even elementary school, I had an interest in civics and what was going on in the community and certainly the state and nation and the world,” Nottoli said. “But I got involved in student government in high school … and I learned early on that community is very important.”

Nottoli, retiring after nearly three decades as a Sacramento County supervisor, is the 2022 Sacramento State Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The association will honor Nottoli and alumni during the annual Distinguished Alumni Award celebration and dinner Thursday, Oct. 13.

Born and raised in Galt, Nottoli followed his father – a 40-year high school history teacher who was also an elementary school district trustee for many years – into community service. In 1978, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Government/Journalism from Sac State.

First elected to the Galt High School District Board of Trustees in 1978, Nottoli served there for 17 years before winning a seat on the Galt City Council.

He later became chief assistant to his friend and mentor, Toby Johnson, then a Sacramento County supervisor.

Since 1994, Nottoli has represented District 5, a region stretching south from Rancho Cordova through Elk Grove and Galt to the Delta.

“I enjoy the challenge, but also the satisfaction of working to try and craft resolutions and solutions, which are sometimes very elusive,” Nottoli said. “I enjoy working with people. … It’s been a tremendous honor.”

“As an elected official, people put their faith and trust in you to fulfill the obligations of the office you hold and also represent them, and that’s what I’ve worked at. It’s certainly inspired and motivated me throughout my career.”

During his seven terms on the board, Nottoli has worked to build parks and libraries, redevelop former military bases, improve roads, and improve and expand Sacramento International Airport.

“I may have had a role, a tiny role, in many efforts benefiting our community,” Nottoli said. “It takes a team of folks to carry things out, whether it’s the professional staff, leadership within the community, businesses, neighborhoods, or the nonprofit organizations.

“I am most proud of having the opportunity to serve and to work to hopefully bring about the betterment of the community.”

Nottoli said he is honored to be recognized by the Sacramento State Alumni Association.

“It’s humbling to be recognized for just doing my job,” he said. “It’s a tremendous honor, and I’m very proud of this University of which I am an alumni.”

But Nottoli won’t be resting on his Lifetime Achievement laurels. Although there are some national parks in his retirement travel plans, Nottoli also wants to volunteer.

“I’ve been very blessed in my life and still have some opportunity to give back,” he said.

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About Jennifer K. Morita

Jennifer K. Morita joined Sacramento State in 2022. A former newspaper reporter for the Sacramento Bee, she spent several years juggling freelance writing with being a mom. When she isn’t chauffeuring her two daughters, she enjoys reading mysteries, experimenting with recipes, and Zumba.

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