But did you know that Rhonda, just a few days ago, was recalling a very traumatic event that happened 17 years ago this week? In fact, the awful accident that occurred on March 1st, 2000, is the reason why Rhonda serves today on the PSAR Charity Committee.
“My husband Mark, a California Highway Patrol officer, had stopped to help a young couple whose car broke down along Highway 15 and he was hit, there on the side of the road, by a drunk driver,” Rhonda said. “Mark was thrown about 30 feet in the air and suffered two broken legs and internal injuries. He eventually recovered after 10 separate surgeries and physical therapy every other day for two years. He later returned to work and then retired a few years ago from the CHP.
“But, in the weeks and months following that horrible, traumatic day, our family, including our two small children, was the beneficiaries of support from the CHP charity organization called the 11-99 Foundation (11-99 is the police radio code for “office down, officer needs help, extreme emergency”). They lent us a van with a wheelchair lift, which was huge at the time. It allowed us to get our lives back and travel around as a family to our kids’ youth sports activities. I will forever be grateful. It’s the reason why I’m committed to the PSAR Charity Committee. I want to give back because somebody gave to us in our desperate time of need.”
Rhonda was born and raised in a small town of London, Ohio (population 4,000). Fellow PSAR member Susan Carroll, recent recipient of PSAR’s South County 2016 Affiliate of the Year award, also has relatives from London, Ohio. “My grandmother and Susan’s grandmother together ran the kitchen at the London Country Club,” said Rhonda. “One of my jobs as a teenager was to work as a waitress with Susan’s grandmother.”
Six days after graduating from high school, Rhonda moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University because an uncle, Dr. Glendon Drake, was serving as chairman of SDSU’s Linguistics Department at the time (Dr. Drake later served as Chancellor of the University of Colorado in Denver and as President of Walden University in Minneapolis). Rhonda graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. While she still in college, Rhonda began her career in the mortgage industry with Home Federal Savings & Loan.
“I have worked at nearly every job in the mortgage business, including funder, underwriter, originator, regional operations manager with million-dollar signing authority,” said Rhonda, who recently joined Guild Mortgage Co.
For the past 20 years, Rhonda and Mark have enjoyed spending time at a vacation home in Baja California’s Laguna Percebu, located south of San Felipe. “As our kids were growing up, we had lots of fun with our four-wheelers and dune buggy. We’ve been going there since our daughter was age 3,” said Rhonda (today, their two children are ages 26 and 23).
A couple of trips to Mexico have included stopovers at Guerrero Negro in Baja Sur where gray whales migrate to give birth in the lagoons. “The mom whales love to show-off their babies and they love to get petted and a massage,” Rhonda said.
Rhonda plans to continue her service on the PSAR Charity Committee for many years to come. “Our Association is such a giving community,” she said. “Our members are active in supporting the community. The finest people in the real estate industry belong to PSAR.”