San Jose, California , United States
Apr 01, 2015 12:16am
|Info||A proud native Californian, Don was born in the Central California town of Paso Robles. He is the oldest of 7 children of 1st generation Croatian immigrants. He attended grade school in Oceanside, at the time, a small Southern California beach town. It was here that he developed a life long love of the ocean and water sports. His family re-located to Salinas and Don attended Palma High School where he was active in athletics and social programs. He spent the summer of his junior year picking berries in the fields of the Salinas Valley and working for a photo finishing company. |
After graduating high school, Don attended the University of Santa Clara. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree. While at Santa Clara, he participated in the Broncos football program and also played rugby. During his sophomore summer, he worked for the Oakland YMCA as a counselor at a summer camp in the Santa Cruz mountains working with inner-city kids and handicapped children. During his junior and senior summers, he was a counselor at the University of Santa Clara Sports Camp working with young children in the field of athletics.
Graduating from Santa Clara, he moved to Hawaii to start a career in the hospitality industry. After working for a short time with the Jolly Roger restaurant chain, he accepted a position with Paradise Management Corporation as an account administrator and later served as Resort Property Manager on the island of Kauai. It was in Hawaii that Don became an avid surfer and discovered the thrill of flying and obtained his Pilots License. He did his solo flight off historic Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, an experience of a lifetime.
Don returned to California 2 years later and was looking to start a new career in the San Jose area. At the time, his father needed some ‘temporary’ assistance in an expansion program and Don agreed to help out for a short time. This turned into a 5 year stay in San Diego.
At the end of the San Diego assignment, Don returned to the Santa Clara Valley and accepted a position as the Business Manager of a local business in the graphic arts industry. He later moved into operational and sales positions and has remained in this industry. He started his own company in the late 1990’s and later sold it to the company where he is now an Account Representative
In addition to this, he has been a leading professional in the fitness industry since the mid 1980’s and has been a positive influence in the lives of thousands of people. Don is also a teacher with the Fremont Union High School District in Sunnyvale in their Adult Education program in the area of speech and public speaking. Working mostly with immigrants who want to improve their speaking skills, he finds it extremely rewarding to see the personal growth his students achieve.
Don is single and resides with his dog Nick, a chocolate Labrador retriever, in West San Jose. He has 3 brothers (sadly, Don lost a younger brother to cancer 4 years ago) and 3 sisters, the youngest a Downs Syndrome Child, the pride of the family. He is an active pilot with single and multi-engine ratings as well as being instrument rated. Over the years he has been active in the OTHG Motocross racing club and enjoys snow and water skiing, scuba diving and travel.