You might know Claudia Zaker as a 2014-2015 PSAR board director.
But did you know that this Chula Vista native practiced martial arts, including Taekwondo and Judo, starting in elementary school and continuing through college. She attended Loma Verde Elementary School, Hilltop Middle School and Castle Park High School (class of 1997). “My uncle owned a martial arts studio,” said Claudia. “It taught me discipline and self-control, which helped me when I was racing cars.”
You heard right. Claudia used to race Mustang cars while in high school and college. She raced her two-door, red-colored, “souped-up” Ford Mustang Cobra SVT convertible at Qualcomm Stadium and other venues in California as a member of a local Mustang car club.
“I grew up learning about cars because my dad restored vintage cars,” said Claudia. “But, then, I sold my car when I began working in law enforcement.”
You heard right again. After earning a degree in criminal justice from National University, Claudia spent four years working as a deputy sheriff with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Her interest in law enforcement was heightened when a relative became an unfortunate victim of a crime. “I admired the detectives’ professionalism and how they helped our family,” she said.
As a deputy sheriff, she worked in patrol, at the courthouse, at the women’s jail and undercover on narcotics and gang cases. Her young attractive looks were helpful when posing as a high school student on illegal drug deals or gang surveillance detail.
“I’ll admit it, it was a lot of fun to be a young Latina working undercover with other deputies who looked like scruffy, long-haired hippies,” Claudia said.
While still in law enforcement, she began working in real estate with husband Max. “I was making more money as a part-time agent than as a full-time officer,” said Claudia, “so I made the switch to real estate.” It was August 2003 when Claudia became a full-time real estate agent, and now she has become an owner of a real estate company.
That’s right again. Claudia and Max were recently named the new owners of the Keller Williams Realty franchise in Chula Vista. In a few weeks, their new office address will be 2371 Fenton St., Chula Vista. The office has about 70 agents and growing.
Today, Claudia and Max are raising daughters, Jasmin, 9, and Brianna, 19, and son Scotty, 26. They met when Claudia was in college. Both Claudia and Max were working at the time for the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP), a non-profit organization that advocates the revitalization of Downtown San Diego. Max was working at the time as CEO for DSDP. He bought his bride a new Mustang as a wedding gift, “as if a diamond ring wasn’t enough,” said Claudia.
“I’ve always eagerly jumped right into new challenges, whether it was martial arts, car racing, law enforcement, serving on the PSAR board and now owning a real estate franchise,” said Claudia. “Life has unexpected surprises, so it’s best to just hold on and enjoy the ride.”
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Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: Playing rugby has taken him to visit five continents.