I am very fortunate to have had many experiences that brought meaning and purpose to my life. My father, who along with his five siblings, ended their education in eighth grade to work and earn enough money to allow their youngest brother to finish high school and attend college, passed on the importance of education to me. My family also made college savings a priority so I could complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Valparaiso University. For the first 25 years of my career I worked for a large technology company that emphasized “giving back” as a responsibility to customers, employees, suppliers and investors including the communities where we had facilities. This gave me exposure and a real sense of “what’s also important” in managing a for-profit business. In 1997 I retired early to devote full time to non-profit organizations. I became involved in founding new organizations - Director’s Forum, Chairman’s RoundTable (CRT), San Diego Social Venture Partners (SDSVP) and Project Walk. I have also been on a number of non-profit boards, serving as former Chairman of both The San Diego Foundation and Bastyr University. Currently, I serve as President of the Board of Directors at EJE Academies and as a member of the Board of Directors at Bastyr University, which operates a free health clinic at EJEA for the students, families and staff.
I learned about EJE in early 2002 when it was a parent advocacy group, conducting workshops and providing information about the public school system to parents, many who had recently immigrated to San Diego from Mexico. SDSVP had just formed as an organization under The San Diego Foundation, with their first grant cycle centered on parent involvement. Under the leadership of Eva Pacheco, EJE made a successful proposal to SDSVP to fund their transition to become a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and I was the lead partner to oversee SDSVP’s investment of $90,000 over a 3-year period. During the 3rd year of funding, Cajon Valley Union School District closed Ballantyne Elementary, the school attended by most of the children of the members of EJE. After EJE was granted the request to open a charter school under the district's jurisdiction in 2004, given my experience with non- profit organizations, Eva asked me to be President of the Board of Directors of the newly formed EJE Academies Charter School.
Chairing the board of a number of non-profit organizations over the past 20 years has taught me one very important lesson; you must have a passionate and motivated Executive Director with clear values and vision to accomplish your mission. EJEA has this in Eva Pacheco; she attracts individuals like myself, who share her same attributes and want to be a part of EJE Academies. Both Eva and I are dedicated to transforming EJEA into a community cultural center that provides education, healthcare, nutrition programs and an activity center to support local children and their families. The modernization and expansion of the existing campus will provide us the physical facility to realize our vision.