In my continuation of stories about Benicia couples who have businesses in Benicia and support the City with extreme volunteerism, this month we are featuring Jim Ponder and Deanne Sandoval Ponder.

Deanne Sandoval Ponder owns Sandoval’s Mexican Restaurant and Catering at 640 First Street in Downtown Benicia. It is Benicia’s oldest Mexican restaurant. Sandoval’s has always been a family affair with brothers and sisters involved through the years (Danny Sandoval, Pam Sandoval, Julie Sandoval and Randy Ramos).

Deanne bought Sandoval’s in 1986 and has been committed to Benicia and its residents since then;  whether by serving great Mexican food to her loyal clientele or generously donating to many Benicia non-profits like the Community Action Council (CAC), St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Arts Benicia, Benicia Main Street, American Cancer Benicia Relay for Life, and Soroptimists of Benicia.

As a testimony to her generosity, Benicia Main Street named her the Grand Marshal of the 2013 Fourth of July Celebration. 

Not to be outdone by his wife of 20 years, Jim Ponder founded Ponder Environmental Services in 2001. He started the business in his home, then moved it to the old Ferry Dock at the East 5th Street Pier. Currently, Ponder Environmental Services is one of the largest employers in Benicia with over 100 employees. The company is now located at 4563 East Second Street, in the Industrial Park.  They have also opened offices in Sacramento and Bakersfield. Ponder Environmental Services’ motto “Service Beyond Expectation,” offers a range of world class services that improve the safety, cleanliness and compliance of manufacturing facilities, commercial buildings and public venues.

Jim is also dedicated to the Benicia community through his contributions to the Benicia Police Officers’ Association, American Cancer Relay For Life Benicia and the annual golf tournament benefiting the Native Sons of the Golden West 89 Benicia.

Benicia Magazine congratulates both Deanne and Jim for not only having successful Benicia businesses but for their personal commitment to the community of Benicia.