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How well do you know Sally Valdez?

posted May 2, 2014, 2:00 PM by Joyce Evans
Sally Valdez
You might know Sally Valdez as PSAR’s director of operations. But, did you know that she’s dating the guy she knew back in high school who would wait for her after lunch and would walk her to her photography class?
A San Diego native, Sally loves sports, including baseball, football, basketball, but especially NASCAR. When you step into her office, you can tell that she also adores her family, Yosemite National Park and her dog Madison, as well as her job with the realtor association – she considers PSAR members, and staff as her extended family. But, the Valdez family still greatly misses Sally’s father, John, who passed away on Christmas Day 2005.
“My philosophy of life is to smile, be happy and embrace it as much as you can because you can never know when it will be taken away,” Sally says.
It was 23 years ago, in October 1989, when SallyAnn started her part-time job as a bookkeeper assistant with the East San Diego County Association of Realtors while attending SDSU. Prior to the August 2012 merger of ESDCAR with the Chula Vista-based Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors, she held the position of accounting administrator. After the merger, she was named director of operations.
Sally grew up in La Mesa and attended Lemon Avenue Elementary School and La Mesa Middle School. In eighth grade, she was among seven students who came down with chicken pox, and she was the only girl. “I took a lot of heat about that from my friends,” recalls Sally.
At the end of her sophomore year at Helix High School, she joined her girlfriends on the tall flag squad because the flag wavers and the Highlanders band were planning a trip to Scotland. Later they were told that the newbies weren’t eligible to make the trip. “I wasn’t too upset once I learned that it rained the whole trip, everyone came back sick and no one saw the Loch Ness Monster.”
About three years ago, she reconnected through Facebook with her high school friend Mark, who played on the football team at Helix and had returned to San Diego to be closer to his family. Today, Mark works as a construction project superintendent. They enjoy going out, attending Padres games and recently attended SDSU basketball games and the NHL Kings-Ducks hockey game played at Dodger Stadium this past January.
“My brother introduced me to auto racing during the time when our dad was sick,” Sally said. “Watching a three-hour auto race was a brief way to escape the sadness. Our dad was so sick his last two years, either in the hospital, nursing home or in rehab. I would go visit him during my lunch hour and after work. My sister figured that every day for two years, except for about six days, there was always someone from our family who visited him.”
Sally, the youngest of three children, has a brother, John Jr, and sister Linda. Their mom Maria recently celebrated a milestone birthday. “I can’t tell you which one, my mom says she’s 39 and holding and she used to yell at me for telling the neighborhood how old she was,” said Sally.
Sally’s dog Madison, age 2, is a Papillon breed, also called the Continental Toy Spaniel. Madison is the great granddaughter of Kirby (1990 – 2007), best known for being the only dog to have won all three major international dog shows in the same year and being the oldest winner of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at 8 years old.

Don't forget to read about next week's story....Hint: She was a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising...