MONTEREY, Calif. – January 18, 2017 – Ted Balestreri, Chairman and CEO of Cannery Row Company and co-owner of the Sardine Factory Restaurant attended the official swearing in ceremony of newly elected Congressman Jimmy Panetta in Washington D.C.  Jimmy Panetta is the son of former defense secretary and CIA chief Leon Panetta and Sylvia Panetta.  Balestreri and his wife Velma were invited to the ceremony by the Panettas. 

Congressman Panetta will represent California’s 20th Congressional District, which includes Monterey and San Benito Counties and portions of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.  He was also recently appointed to the House Agriculture Commission. 

“The Panettas are life long friends and I was honored to attend the ceremony,” said Balestreri.  He adds, “Panetta’s appointment carries on a family legacy and tradition of public service in Washington.  I am confident Jimmy will do an excellent job representing the California Central Coast in Congress!” 

Balestreri was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board in 2016.  He served as the longest ever seated Commissioner of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, from 1985-2007; and in 1995 was also appointed California delegate to the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. 

Balestreri was the driving force and spearheaded the revitalization and development of one of the country’s most famous streets, Cannery Row in Monterey, California.  Balestreri is general managing partner of the Foursome Development Company, the parent company whose majority ownership of commercial properties on and around Cannery Row—including luxury hotels, restaurants, and retail stores—has significantly transformed the area into the bustling attraction it is today.  Travel and tourism is the second largest industry in Monterey County and Cannery Row attracts over 5 million visitors per year from all over the world.

Balestreri’s leadership and commitment to tourism has been acknowledged by the Travel Industry Association of America, The California Travel Association and the California Tourism Hall of Fame. His awards and achievements in the hospitality, business, tourism, and education industries are extensive, and include the prestigious Hall of Leaders Award given by the Travel Industry Association of America, as well as various humanitarian awards.

Balestreri is also co-owner of the world famous Sardine Factory restaurant established in 1968 on Monterey’s Cannery Row.  The restaurant has received virtually every award possible in the industry, including the “Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award”, the Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award” and Restaurant Hospitality’s “Best Wine List in America”.  The restaurant was also voted one of the “Top Ten Most Romantic Restaurants on the Central Coast” by Open Table and listed as one of the “Top Ten Seafood Restaurants in Carmel/Monterey” by Gayot.com, in addition to many other honors.

 Balestreri is a member of the National Restaurant Association, World Travel & Tourism Council, California Restaurant Association, and  Knights of Malta among others.

Photo Captions:

California District 20 U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta, second from left, is sworn into office by Speaker Paul Ryan, far right. Others in attendance include family friend Ted Balestreri back left, parents Secretary Leon and Mrs. Sylvia Panetta and wife Carrie McIntyre Panetta, holding the Bible.

Ted Velma Balestreri Jimmy Panetta

Jimmy Panetta, left, Velma and Ted Balestreri