October 15th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, speaker to be announced
October 21st, 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC
Happy Birthdays to Larry Baumann, John Benya and Gary Correia
December 7th, Holiday Party, details to be announced
Congratulations! Larry Baumann celebrated his 50th anniversary of his return from Viet Nam today!
Hail: Jeff Fischbeck, 2019-20 Club President (his 1st official meeting!)
Program: Today’s guest speaker is Kevin Hardy, retired from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in June 2011 as a senior development engineer after a career than spanned 40 years. Kevin was involved in a number of fascinating deep ocean adventures, but turns his thoughts these days to those amazing people and events that made San Diego an important spot on the map!
Nestled on the sandy shores of southern California, San Diego is renowned as a laid-back place with easy-going people. Yet somehow between the margaritas and surfboards, this sleepy little beach town, born in 1769, has been a powerhouse of invention and activity. From the first European settlement in the state of California, to building famous flying machines that first flew across the Atlantic and first put an American into orbit. Other breakthroughs came in undersea manned habitats, developing technology to dive the deepest ocean trench, the science to predict surf conditions at Normandy for the WWII’s D-Day landing, advancing basic understanding of the human genome, to designing cameras that presently orbit Mars and the moon. San Diego has made important contributions to the modern world, and continues to do so.
1769 – San Diego is “discovered” by Juan Cabrillo and becomes the first settlement/town in California.
1893 – John J Montgomery made the man’s first controlled flight in a heavier-than-air craft right here in Sand Diego! He is known as the father of basic flying.
1903 – San Diego buys a laboratory from the University of California Berkeley, and brings it to Coronado. The lab relocates to La Jolla and becomes the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
1908 – Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet sailed into San Diego Harbor. Many people cite this arrival as the beginning of the US Navy Base, San Diego.
1908 – Lt. T.G. Ellyson, USN becomes the Naval Aviator #1 here at North Island, San Diego.
1911 – Glen Curtiss became known at the Father of Naval Aviation, training pilots for the Navy at North Island. He also designed the first float plane for the Navy.
1912 – The Spreckels Theater opens in San Diego, it is the only playhouse west of the Mississippi at this time.
1915 – Balboa Stadium dedicated as a 15,000 seat facility, the biggest in the United States, at the time.
1915 – The Panama California Exposition opens in what is now called Balboa Park. The Exposition highlighted the completion of the Panama Canal and the fact San Diego was the first US port of call for ships coming out of the canal on the Pacific side.
1916 – The San Diego Zoo is born. Utilizing animals brought to the Panama California Exposition, Dr. Harry Wegeforth starts a world famous and innovative zoo.
1917 – US Navy builds the Chollas Heights radio antennas, capable of a 3,000 mile range during the day and a 17,000 mile range at night. The most powerful antennas in the world at that time.
1927 – A new company, Magnovox, develops an outdoor speaker system for President Woodrow Wilson’s speech at the Balboa Stadium. The first speaker system of its kind.
1927 – Charles Lindbergh designs and flies the Spirit of Saint Louis in San Diego. Then takes his plane across the country to Newfoundland and flies non-stop to Paris. He returns to San Diego to find 60,000 people at Balboa Stadium to welcome him home!
1928 – Cal Tech build the Palomar Observatory, the largest telescope ever constructed.
1936 – Ruben H. Fleet designs and builds the still popular PBY Catalina, the American Flying Boat.
1939 – Consolidated Aircraft (founded by Ruben H Fleet) designs and builds the WWII workhorse, B-24 Liberator.
And, he was only getting started! Kevin went on to discuss the history of rockets and space craft, underwater vehicles, ocean tides, waves and weather charting. His newest hobbies include working with young people and getting them excited about science, innovation, and the earth we live on. The PLOC wants to thank Kevin for a wonderful presentation and welcomes him to join us again, anytime!
Monday, September 30th, 6:00 pm, 65th Annual Installation Dinner, Bali Hai, Hawaiian attire requested. The installation of the 2019-20 Board of Directors, Officers and new Club President Jeff Fischbeck
NO BREAKFAST MEETING on October 1st
Tuesday, October 8th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC, Speaker to be announced
Tuesday, October 15th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC, Speaker to be announced
Matt Griffith was officially welcomed into the Optimist Club of Point Loma today. Matt is a Point Loma resident and works for Centura Wealth Advisory. He is excited to be an Optimist and is a strong believer of giving back to the community and providing for the youth of our community. Welcome Matt! We are glad to have you as a member of our Club!
Sea Breeze Vacation Rentals was founded in 2002, and it started with just one home, the company’s owner’s home! Today they are one of the largest vacation rental management companies in the industry with over 400 properties under management. They specialize in Southern California beach homes and offer properties in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Costa Rica for international travelers. “Our success has been predicated on our ability to provide an exceptional guest experience while building a trusting relationship with each property owner. We do this by treating each home as if it was our own,” this according to Lucas Murdock, the company’s Vice President and General Manager.
“We like to spend some time getting to know our prospective properties and their owners. We will provide the owners with income projections from vacation rentals and compare the income to that of a more traditional long term rental. The difference can be startling,” he told us. Most of their new owners are considering vacation rental benefits for the first time. But, these benefits also come with some risk and costs that do not occur with the longer, traditional rental program. Properly preparing the home for vacation rentals in important. Whether the home is currently furnished or in need of furnishing, Sea Breeze can help owners select the appropriate pieces, materials and required accessories. Lucas believes the best owner/vacation renter experience occurs when both parties enter into a short term lease with equal expectations.
Sea Breeze Vacation Rentals manages the property for the owner. Sea Breeze will find the renter, qualify the renter, collect the rent, provide housecleaning services, 24 hour security for the home, and ensure all house rules are followed. “We have a “no second chance policy”. If a guest is not following the rules, they will be contacted immediately and told to cease or be required to vacate. We will even involve local law enforcement, if necessary. Luckily, we have not had to go to that extent yet,” he shared. Sea Breeze believes in a “good neighbor” policy and will work with local residents to provide them with a 24 hour phone number to report any “bad behavior”.
Sea Breeze is also very involved in the local and state politics surrounding the vacation rental business. A recent San Diego ordinance was recalled and may be up for consideration again later this year. At the state level, a new “rent stabilization” law was recently passed by both legislative houses and sent to the governor. As of 9/24/19, the governor has not acted on the bill (AB-1482). How this new law may impact vacation rentals is not yet determined. Lucas told us, “We will be watching this bill closely to see what impact it may have on short term rentals.” But, the language in the bill exempts single family residences unless owned by a real estate trust or a corporation. That leaves the issue of vacation rentals for attached units undefined. If you have interests in the vacation rental business model contact Sea Breeze Vacation Rentals through this link. Thank you Lucas, for the interesting presentation.
Sept 16th, 5:00 pm Board Meeting, SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry, SDYC
Sept 24th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting, SDYC, Speaker to be announced
Sept 30th, 6:00 pm, Annual Installation Dinner, Bali Hai, Hawaiian attire, $20pp (see Tom Lewis for reservations)
In 1941, six service agencies got together to create and support the launch of the United Service Organization (USO). This new group was formed to provide morale support and recreational services to the members of the US military services. The founding partners, YMCA, YWCA, Catholic Community Charities, Jewish Welfare Board, Salvation Army and Travelers Aid Society, provided financial support and partnership relations to the new USO. They continue to provide partnering opportunities and support volunteerism, two critical roles in the USO success.
September 10, 2018 was the opening date of the new Headquarters office of USO San Diego. This facility can be found at 2790 Truxton Road, Suite 110, in Liberty Station (right here in Point Loma!). The facility is open 365 days a year and provides services to 8,000 military personnel and their dependents EVERY MONTH! Ashley Camac is the Executive Director of USO San Diego. She came to the USO with an extensive background in military family programming. “According to the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), there are 140,000 active duty personnel in San Diego County. That means over 300,000 potential customers for USO San Diego services, when you add in dependents!” Ashley told us. “In the last year, USO San Diego documented 282,000 unique instances of services, we served over 32,000 meals, we booked over 52,000 hours of volunteer service and provided over 7,200 toys to dependents of military personnel during the holidays.”
But, that is just the beginning! Every Monday, USO San Diego welcomes 700-900 new recruits to the airport heading to MCRD, the Marine Boot Camp in San Diego. USO San Diego is first introduced to the incoming recruits for all branches joining out of San Diego at their location inside the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Kearney Mesa, where they are processed for enlistment or induction into the armed services. Then, just to keep things interesting, on Tuesday, USO San Diego welcomes back 700-900 recently graduated recruits at the airport, back from leave and on to Camp Pendelton for their infantry training programs. “Tuesday nights we serve a free dinner to military personnel and their dependents at Liberty Station Park. We average around 500 people, adults and children, for dinner, every week. Local service groups and individual volunteer to serve the dinners. It is a great event and very welcomed by our clients,” Ashley said. “Thanksgiving dinner is another very busy day. We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Peninsula YMCA for this Thanksgiving.” USO San Diego also offers a free food pantry for service members and their families. Food products are donated by local providers on a regular basis. These products are displayed in the Pantry at the Liberty Station office. They are available to their clients, free of charge.
Military families live in many communities throughout San Diego County. To make sure they are meeting the needs of these families, USO San Diego has a mobile service program. “We have one USO office on wheels right now. We hope to add a second vehicle in the near future,” according to Ashley. “The mobile office can bring services to our clients. It is important for us to reach out and let military families know we are here to assist them.” Programs are another big part of USO San Diego. Reaching out to teen dependents, military spouses, and Military Kids Club are but a few of the programs offered. “We offer programs for the service members, their spouses and their children. We help them find their way into the military, help manage their lives while they are in the military and then offer them assistance as they transition out of the military. We feel the service they provide to our country, should be met with the services we can provide to assist them and their families with the challenges of the military life.” We could not agree more! Thank you Ashley for sharing with us the work of the USO. We are grateful for all you do.
Sept 3, 2019; Members Only Breakfast Meeting; 7:00 am SDYC
Sept 10, 2019; Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC; Speaker to be announced
Sept 16, 2019; Board Meeting, 5:00 pm SDYC, Steak Fry, 6:00 pm, SDYC
Sept 24, 2019; Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker to be announced
Sept 30, 2019: 65th Annual Installation Dinner; 6:00 pm at Bali Hai, $20pp
“Do you know the #1 cause of death in the United States, for adults under the age of 50?” asked William (Bill) Perno, a retired San Diego County Deputy Sheriff and Community Organizer for Social Advocates for Youth (SAY). “Drug overdose. Drug overdoses are killing approximately 192 people per day and the majority of those deaths are caused by Opioid overdoses. That is one lethal drug overdose every 7 1/2 minutes!” Bill Perno is also the Alcohol and Drug Prevention Specialist for SAY. SAY San Diego is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the whole child, whole family and whole community. Their goal is to provide healthier and safer communities. Established in 1971, SAY touches the lives of more than 50,000 individuals annually. SAY works with school districts, county health services, law enforcement, foster care and juvenile detention facilities. For more information on SAY and their programs, please visit their website HERE.
Bill Perno was visiting with the Optimist Club this morning to share some startling facts about the synthetic Opioid crisis. Mexican drug cartels are the leading source of synthetic Opioids. “Follow the money,” Bill told us. “One kilogram of Fentanyl costs the drug cartels $32,000. It is regularly available from foreign chemical manufacturers. One kilogram of Fentanyl will make one million pressed pills. Each pill sells for $20 or more. Making that kilogram of drugs worth $20 million in pills. Follow the money.” Readily available on the internet are press pill machines and fake die stamps. So with $1,000 investment in equipment and $32,000 for the kilogram of Fentanyl, you can create $20 million in profit.
Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. It is 100 times stronger than morphine. But with a little different process in the lab, you can create Carfentanil, a synthetic Opioid that is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. On average, 50 mg of heroin will cause a fatal overdose, and 1 to 2 mg of Fentanyl can cause a fatal overdose. While only 20 micrograms of Carfentanil can be fatal. Your are playing Russian Roulette every time you take a pill laced with Carfentanil or even Fentanyl, because the cutting or mixing process of making the pressed pills is so imprecise, there is no way of knowing how much of the synthetic Opioid you are ingesting. Fentanyl has been added to many drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, counterfeit pain medications, “spice” (synthetic cannabinoids), counterfeit Xanax, Ritalin and Adderall pills, MDMA (Ecstasy) and others.
Bill shares these facts with anyone who will listen. He has given more than 350 presentations to community groups, school districts, students, teachers, parents, health care providers and policy makers. He also provides synthetic drug training to law enforcement agencies and organizations throughout California and many other states. “Please, manage the safety and security of your prescription drugs. Do not share prescription drugs. Do not take a prescription drug if you do not know for certain that the source is from an actual pharmacy. The counterfeit pills with Fentanyl can look like a pharmaceutical drug. If you are finished with your prescription drugs and have pills left over, take them back. The DEA organizes regular drop off days for left over prescription drugs. The police and sheriff stations have safe drop off boxes. Do not leave them around your home.” Bill also told us about Narcan, the Opioid reversal medication, available at local pharmacies. “This is a special treatment for an overdosing individual. It is good for 90 minutes. So make sure the individual gets medical treatment after the administering of Narcan, because the effects do wear off.”
Well Bill, I can tell you that your presentation will not be wearing off on any of us! Thank you for a terrifying look at today’s biggest killer and arming us with enough information to alert our friends and neighbors to the grave dangers we all face. And, thank you to SAY for taking this message to our youth and their families. The Point Loma Optimist Club joins with SAY to serve and protect our local youth.
August 19th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the SDYC, 6:00 pm Steak Fry at the SDYC
August 27th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC
With many of our expert joke tellers off on summer trips, we encouraged one of our guests in attendance, CAPT Charlie MacVean, USN (Ret), to tell some submarine related sea stories in the “Entertainment” portion of today’s program. He got some great laughs AND a strong round of applause. We will have to get him back for more.
Some additional help retrieving flags was rendered this past weekend by the son of Optimist J. C. Agajanian. He dutifully tallied the count of 144 flags, and was rewarded with a pit stop at Baskin-Robbins for his hard work.
We received a very nice thank you letter from “Outside the Lens” for our club’s recent donation in support of their “Cameras in the Classroom” program at Dewey Elementary, and for their “Youth Council Photo Workshops” for local high school students.
Thanks to member Doug Cleary inviting an esteemed legal colleague, Anne Rudolph, to be our guest speaker today, we were educated in many of the do’s and don’ts of estate planning. Ms. Rudolph delivered a terrific, concise, easily understood, and very helpful discussion that emphasized three major points: Prepare, Communicate, and be Realistic (especially with family members). As she pointed out, Preparation is not only important for beneficiaries, but also for the person who wants to know how their wishes will be implemented while they still have their full faculties. Communications with those to be making future decisions are best if they are clear and specific, especially when dividing tangible property or when specifying Advanced Healthcare Directives to one’s doctor. Realistic approaches are needed in establishing/reviewing estates for law changes, family situations, trustee/executor selections, health care solutions, and a minefield of many other challenges. It’s obvious that it’s best to call in an expert (and early) when it comes to estate planning. Many of us left the meeting with “homework” from the many lessons learned today. Thank you, Ms. Rudolph!
August 13th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC
August 19th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the SDYC, 6:00 pm Steak Fry at the SDYC
August 27th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC
We officially said “Welcome Aboard!” today to new member Jason Milosh, Executive Director of the Peninsula YMCA.
The slate of next year’s Board of Directors was announced at the meeting. Thank you to everyone previously serving in these positions, and congratulations to the following Optimists who will be guiding our club in the upcoming fiscal year starting in October:
- President: Jeff Fischbeck
- 1st Vice President: Chris Jacobs
- 2nd Vice President: Gary Correia
- 3rd Vice President: Randy Rolfe
- Secretary/Treasurer: Jim Dennison
- 2nd Year Board Members: Collin Clifford, Jesse Sikorski
- 1st Year Board Members: Barry Rogers, Art Curran, Doug Cleary, J.C. Agajanian
- Immediate Past President: Steve Doyle
- Senior Past President: Jim Seman
Member Doug Cleary volunteered himself as this week’s guest speaker, on a very difficult topic. His presentation was “Sexual Harassment Law in California After the #MeToo Movement — The Law Has Changed.” He explained some of the differences between relevant Federal and California law as well as some recent changes, using an actual case study (with fictitious names) to make his points. We were left with the reaffirmation that this is a complex legal area and one that we should all strive to avoid. Thank you, Doug, for your presentation.
Ryan Adams joined the PLOC this morning. Ryan is a 7 year Point Loma resident and was drawn to the Club because of the flags along Rosecrans! Ryan is a commercial pilot flying FedEx packages across the country. Welcome to the Club Ryan!
Breakfast meetings are in store for August 6th and 13th. Speakers will be announced next week. First VP Jeff Fischbeck will be leading the next two breakfast meetings, as Pres. Steve takes a family vacation.
August 19th will bring a Board Meeting at 5:00 pm and Steak Fry dinner at 6:00 pm. All meeting to be held at the SDYC. We look forward to all members joining us at these great get-togethers!
The PLOC was pleased to welcome Ms. Claudine Van Gonka, the Public Relations Manager for the San Diego Blood Bank to our weekly breakfast meeting. “Saving lives with quality blood services in partnership with the community, is the Mission of our non-profit group”, Claudine informed us. The San Diego Blood Bank was established in 1950. It provides blood services to San Diego and Imperial Counties as the San Diego Blood Bank. In Los Angeles and Orange County it is known as the Southern California Blood Bank. What are blood services? According to Claudine blood services include blood collection, component preparation, platelet collection, plasma collection, designated donation services and a reference laboratory.
In fiscal year 2018, the Blood Bank received over 130,000 donations, made over 2,000 mobile visits and worked with a $45 million budget. They also are involved with other life saving programs. “We also have a Mother’s Milk Bank. Where lactating mothers, with excess breast milk, can provide mother’s milk to children in the NICU at UCSD Hospital. And, we are participating in the NIH “All of Us Research Program”. The NIH is collecting 1 million genetic samples, from all corners of the country. Their goal is to gather data to accelerate research and improve health. By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward delivery precision medicine,” Claudine said.
For 50 years, the San Diego Blood Bank was known for its headquarters building on Upas Street, in Hillcrest. Today, the Blood Bank has six fixed locations (El Cajon, Escondido, Sabre Springs, Vista, Carmel Valley and San Diego. They also have 10 fully equipped mobile units available for on-site blood drives. “All our blood service donors are volunteers. We can provide them with some juice and snacks, but we do not pay for blood. We also accept donations of money and volunteer efforts,” she told us. “A unique fact about the San Diego Blood Bank … we were first in getting blood supplies to New York after 9-11. Our relations with the military and our outpouring of volunteer blood donations, allowed us to take 380 pints of blood to New York on September 12th.”
Thank you, Claudine. We learned a lot about the San Diego Blood Bank today, and we will drag (kicking and screaming) some our members to your San Diego office to make that volunteer donation!
July 30, 2019, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, guest speaker is Claudin Von Gonka, from the San Diego Blood Bank
The Peninsula Family YMCA was chartered in 1970. Located at 4390 Valeta Street, next to Correia Junior High, the Y is open to the community and providing service to over 8,000 community residents each year. Jason Milosh is the new Director of the Peninsula YMCA. He stopped by for breakfast and to give us an update on what is new at the Y.
Jason is a transplanted New Englander. He came to San Diego in 1997 and decided to stay. He started at the Y as a fitness instructor worked his way up to become the director. His goal is to help develop the local youth by training them in healthy living and social responsibility. “Our Y has over 270 children in our childcare program, and we have over 300 children in our summer camp programs,” he said. “With 250 volunteers and 140 staff members, we are very busy !”
The current structure for the Y was built in 1977. It is undersized and showing its age. In 2005, the Board of the Y decided to begin a capital campaign to rebuild the facility. The new Y will allow them to serve thousands more people with improved effectiveness. Multiple parking areas, exercise studios, meeting rooms, modern locker rooms, a central courtyard and rooftop deck are just some of the new additions.
The Y serves the whole community. Their members are as young as 5 months and as old as 96 years. Inclusivity is not just word, it is way of life around the Y. “It is important that everyone feels welcome and part of our family at the Y,” Jason told us. Thanks Jason. We are proud to be supporters of the Peninsula Family YMCA and to welcome you, as a new member of our Point Loma Optimist Club!
July 15th – Annual Golf Tournament at River Walk Golf Course, Noon check in and lunch, 1:00 shotgun start. Awards ceremony and Steak Fry at 6:00 pm, SDYC. Scheduled Board Meeting continued until August 19th.
July 23rd – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker will be Jason Milosh from the Peninsula YMCA
July 3oth – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker will be Claudine Von Gonka from the San Diego Blood Bank
Outside the Lens is a San Diego based organization that provides photography and digital media programming to youth and the community. Their Mission is simple, to empower youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community and the world. They target underserved and at-risk youths in grades K-12 throughout San Diego County in coordination with local schools. But their reach is much greater as they also work with educators in Columbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Africa and Mexico.
Lucy Eagleson, the Program Director for Outside the Lens, visited with the Optimists this morning to share her passion for photography, digital media and children. Lucy was born and raised in Escondido, CA. She got her undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego and her Master of Fine Arts in Film and TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She also spent three years living and volunteering at an orphanage in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “I bring film and digital arts into the classroom,” she said. “Our programs help children find a voice, share a story and make a difference. We work with children from Dewey Elementary School and High Tech High here in Point Loma. It is a very rewarding program and I have had the privilege to be involved with Outside the Lens for the past five years.”
Outside the Lens is a 501(c)3 organization. Founded in 2001, they have delivered their curriculum to over 16,000 children in weekly classes, after school programs, summer sessions, workshops and teacher trainings. Children get to tell their stories using photography, video and other digital media forms. They are guided by writers, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, artists and teachers. They learn valuable life skills such as problem solving, collaborative thinking, use of technology, perspective and communication skills. They explore early photographic methods and cutting edge digital media programs. They share their stories, their thoughts and their dreams in ways that give them hope and confidence.
“Our programs include, Camera in the Classroom, where photography and video means are used to help explain complex subjects. Cameras in the Community allows students to show and share their views of life where they live. Cameras Cross Cultures allows students in different geographic regions to share their cultures and traditions,” Lucy told us. The goal of Outside the Lens is to help the student to understand their own identity, their family relationships, their community relationships, their environment and their world. It is a big goal and a worthy one.
The Point Loma Optimist Club is proud to be a supporter of Outside the Lens and we thank Lucy for sharing more about this wonderful group with us this morning.
July 2nd, 7:00 am; Breakfast meeting at SDYC, Speaker to be announced
July 9th, 7:00 am; Breakfast meeting at SDYC, Speaker to be announced
July 15th, Noon, Annual PLOC Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Course, get your foursome organized NOW! 6:00 pm, Steak Fry and Awards Banquet, SDYC
The Board of Directors met last Monday night and we approved a $1,000 donation to the Outside the Lens. They provide camera equipment and training to Point Loma elementary school and high school students. We also approved a $1,000 donation to the Point Loma High School Cheer Boosters for new uniforms. They helped us with merchandise sales and logistics at the OptimisTiki Luau. Thanks to Vince Glorioso and his Youth Works Committee for their fast action in reviewing these applications and getting them to the Board in time for approval!
This morning, the Point Loma Optimist Club welcomed a long time Point Loma resident as our newest member. Rodney Eales Joined the Club this morning. Membership Committee Chair, Tom Lewis presided over the induction. Member Bert Barkley recruited Mr. Eales. And, President Steve Doyle provided Rodney with his official membership badge and a plaque recognizing his membership. Welcome Rodney, we hope you enjoy a long and fruitful membership with the Club!
The quintessential Renaissance Man, he writes, he builds, he creates, he teaches and he visualizes opportunities. Neil Senturia has done all these things, and many more. “I guess I started my career as a writer for Hollywood,” he told us. “I did some writing for M*A*S*H, Alice and Tony Randall, but it is such a strange place, I knew I wouldn’t last there.” In 1980, Neil moved into the financial services and real estate syndication business. “But, I wanted more and needed more, so in 1985, I started developing and building condominiums, office projects and hotels. That was a fun! I built about 2 million square feet over 10 years!” Then Neil put his mind to entrepreneurial efforts in technology. “Remember, this was 1995 and the Internet was just starting. Email was new and exciting. I got together with some friends and we came up with the idea for an Internet kiosk in airports. You know, check your emails between flights! We called the company Atcom.” The idea was good, but Neil soon realized his costs were out of line with his profits. A young technician working for Neil suggested he take the technology and offer it to hotels. “You never know where a great idea will come from,” he reminisced. “But it taught me a great lesson, listen to all the ideas presented. You never know when a really good one will come along.” And with that change of direction, Neil’s company grew quickly and was sold for a nice profit. The entrepreneurial spirit was on fire!
Neil has started multiple technology companies since Atcom. Some of these companies he has sold. Some he still owns. And one in particular failed, Digital News Co. “I learned more from that failure, than from most of my successes. I also pivoted off that failure to become a consultant!” he shared. “But being a good consultant is not as easy as it sounds. So a friend of mine told me I needed to write a book. Thus was born, “I’m There For You Baby …The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Universe“. What that book did was not make me a great consultant, it got me started into another career as an author, writer, and blogger.” Then the writer gig got Neil into teaching and mentoring. He became involved with Defy Ventures, a program designed to teach inmates how to take control of their lives after prison. He started teaching at SDSU. Then he picked up a job writing a column in the Business section of the San Diego Union Tribune. And, just so he doesn’t get bored, Neil still runs Blackbird Ventures, a company he started in 2005 to invest in new technology start-ups. The Renaissance Man never sleeps!
“I’m There For You Baby” is now in its 3rd update. “I think I have learned some things in my life,” he said. “If I could pass a couple of them along, they would be… #1 Return every phone call or email. You never know when one of those communications will provide you with a golden opportunity. #2. Networking is a profession, be good at it. It is rare someone will accomplish great thing all by themselves. A network provides you with contacts to people who can help you grow. And #3. Go to all those events and meetings you get invited to. Especially the ones that don’t seem to mean anything to you. It makes you available again, to great ideas, contacts and who knows, maybe even the love of your life!” Neil has not slowed down. He is full of life. He is constantly thinking about new opportunities and new ideas. We could use a few more like Neil Senturia!
Thank you Neil, for sharing a small piece of your world with us this morning. We are glad to have added you to our network!