After graduation from SAHS I attended UC Irvine. Played basketball my freshman year, but soon found out that my future in basketball was very limited. Started working part-time at Disneyland on the weekends to help pay for school. To my surprise, I was offered a management job in theme park operations and was part of the opening management team in both Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Along the way Uncle Sam called and I served six years in an army reserve MASH unit. It was almost as crazy as the TV show.
In 1977 after moving to Newport Beach, I married Tina Coombe. We were both avid tennis players. The marriage lasted only seven years. I was traveling too much and she was playing way too much mixed doubles without me!
In 1985 I made two major life changes. After 17 very enjoyable years with Disney, I accepted a management position with Taormina Industries, a small family business located in Anaheim. Later that year I was very fortunate to meet and marry a wonderful lady, Diane Driver Chappell (and her two children). It’s been a great marriage – we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this November. By 1989 Taormina Industries had grown from $3 million to over $150 million in annual revenue. I had been promoted to President and CEO of the company. In 2001 Taormina merged with Republic Services to form the second largest solid waste company in America. I stayed on with the new company as Executive Director of Municipal Relations for Southern California.
2013 was another major change in my life. After splitting time in both Newport Beach and La Quinta for almost 30 years, we decided it was time to move full-time to our desert home and retire! Our desert home is on the Citrus County Club, which is perfect, since both of us love golfing and the friendships we have made with fellow members. Our other love is traveling (getting out of the desert in the summers).
Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been 50 years since we graduated from SAHS. We all had some great times as “Saints”. Looking forward to seeing many of you at the reunion.