You might know PSAR member Tony Santiago as a title insurance industry executive over the past 24 years. He served for two years as an affiliate director on the PSAR board. He also has chaired the PSAR golf tournament three times. He is a two-time winner of the Affiliate Member of the Year award in 2006 and 2011. He is a frequent supporter of PSAR fundraising events and participates at many events, including PSAR’s recent Habitat for Humanity building project in Imperial Beach.
But did you know that he was reluctant to accept a job with a title insurance company until he met several cute girls with whom he would be working?
He grew up in Chula Vista and graduated from Southwest High School. “I was a skate rat in high school,” said Tony. Winter weekends were spent snow boarding at Southern California ski resorts.
After high school, Tony worked in his dad’s car audio shop. A customer named John Lynn needed some work done on his car. John worked in title insurance and had an opening for an office clerk. Tony and John started talking, and John offered Tony the job. “I had no clue what title insurance was,” said Tony. “They don’t tell you in high school about title insurance. But, when I found out I would have to wear a tie, I said ‘no way.’”
The next day, John returned to the car audio shop and brought with him a couple of young, attractive women who worked in the office. “When he told me I would be working with those girls, I said `sign me up right away,’ and that’s how I got into the title insurance business,” said Tony.
Today, John Lynn is Tony’s sales manager at Ticor Title.
Since the start of his title insurance career in 1990, Tony has worked for several companies. “I’ve worked in almost every title position, including search, escrow, accounting, marketing, title officer and sales,” said Tony, who joined Ticor in 2011. His current title is Senior Sales Executive/Assistant Vice President.
Tony married wife Tamara in 2002. They met while both were working at a title company. They enjoy spending time at their home in Spring Valley, as well as camping excursions, and Tony is a devoted fisherman.
“I started fishing for mackerel at age 5 at the Imperial Beach pier,” said Tony. “Now, nearly every weekend, I’m fishing somewhere, at a lake or the ocean. This year has been phenomenal for deep-sea fishing. The warmer water El Nino conditions have been terrific for catching yellowtail, dorado (also called mahi-mahi), bluefin tuna. They’re all biting, and Tamara is a great cook with new recipes all the time.”
One of the original founders of PSAR’s Young Professional Network (YPN) group, Tony is a big supporter of PSAR. “We all want the best for the industry and work together well as friendly competitors,” said Tony. “I care a lot about the future of real estate, and am willing to do what I can to help our association grow.”
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Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: He drove an Aston Martin automobile (seen in several James Bond movies) to a speed of 160 miles per hour, and he took his hands off the wheel.