The 2019 Dick DeWees Leadership Award, given on behalf of Leadership Lompoc Valley, will be presented to Shawndel Malcolm at the annual Leadership Lompoc Valley Kick-Off Banquet Friday, Sept. 27, at La Purisima Mission.

Each year the Leadership Lompoc Valley Board of Trustees selects an individual who sets an example of the community leader that their program develops.

Malcolm is founder of the Planting a Seed organization, a nonprofit that he started in Lompoc in January 2013 “to empower and restore hope by providing support and opportunities to those under-served in our community.”

Planting a Seed focuses on helping people who have experienced homelessness reclaim their lives. Malcolm and his team of volunteers build relationships with homeless individuals on the streets of Lompoc and in the adjacent riverbeds, and offer assistance such as hygienic care packages, information about where to obtain food, and urge them to join programs that provide housing or mental care.

In addition to the personal assistance it provides, Planting a Seed partners with community organizations, such as Bridgehouse shelter, Marks House and Lompoc Community Connect to coordinate additional services, such as food provision, free medical screenings, free clothing, and free haircuts for those in need.

Malcolm has also been a valued partner to the city of Lompoc and other county and state government organizations in clean-ups of local riverbeds, which have been locations of homeless encampments.

The community is welcome to join in the recognition of Malcolm’s contributions to serve the community at the annual Leadership Lompoc Valley banquet. At the event, organization will also be introducing it’s 2019-20 Leadership Lompoc Valley class members.

Wine and hors d’oeuvre will be served starting at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow.

To register, visit

— Marlee Bedford for Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.