Our History

The Gately Foundation

Dawn & Jim Gately (standing) with
Nancy & Joe Benvenuti

The Gately Foundation thanks Joseph and Nancy Benvenuti for its existence.  The story of how and why the Gately Foundation was created begins with the life story of a treasured friend and mentor, Joseph Benvenuti.

Joe Benvenuti served in the US Army and was stationed in the European theater during WWII.  After the war’s end, he was discharged and went home to his wife, Nancy in New Jersey.  In the late 1940’s, Joe and Nancy loaded up their children and their worldly possessions and moved all the way across the country to Sacramento, California.  Here in Sacramento, Joe and his family settled and he started a new business with very little capital but a lot of hard work.  The hard work eventually paid off as he became an extremely successful national developer.  Benvenuti’s company developed in excess of 30 million square feet of buildings.  Joe Benvenuti was also the owner of the Sacramento Kings and the cofounder and owner of Biba’s Restaurant.

In 1980, James Gately entered the life of Joe Benvenuti when he left the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse where he was a CPA and went to work for Joe as controller.  Over his 32-year career with Joe, Jim learned how to build buildings and develop property from the master.  It was during the mid 1990’s that Joe stepped back from running the day-to-day company operations due in large part to personal medical issues.  He handed the reins to his understudy and friend, Jim Gately, who ran the company until Joe’s death in 2012.

To reward Jim for his faithful service and competent management of the company, Jim became a partner.  Joe Benvenuti always took care of Jim and his family.  During Joe’s business career, which spanned almost 70 years, he gave millions of dollars to charities.  This attitude of giving was an extremely important part of Joe’s character and life.  This man started from humble beginnings and always felt it was important to give back and support his community and his church.  He would always pray to God for guidance.  Upon his passing and subsequent sale of the company in 2012 the assets were distributed to the partners.  This is when the idea of creating a family foundation was born.

The Gately Foundation was created from Jim Gately’s distribution of company assets.  Jim wishes to honor his mentor and friend by carrying on his legacy of giving and contributing to the community because this is what Joe had taught him to do. The Gately Foundation is, in effect, a direct legacy of Joe Benvenuti and his own good work and character.  It is our hope he will be both honored and remembered with every grant given to the community via the Gately Foundation.