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At his high school, he counseled troubled kids.

posted Apr 29, 2016, 4:13 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Apr 29, 2016, 4:17 PM ]
You may know Rob McNelis as a previous winner (2004) of the REALTOR® of the Year award and past president (2006) of the East San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (ESCAR and PSAR merged in 2014). Rob also served as president of the San Diego Association of Mortgage Brokers (2005). He was the 2007 Santee Citizen of the Year and 2009 president of the Santee Chamber of Commerce. Since 2010, he has served on the Santee City Council and is currently running for mayor in the November general election.
 
But did you know that Rob lived with eight roommates in his own apartment during his senior year of high school? “I was living with my dad at the time and one day he told me he was moving,” said Rob. “I was given the choice to either go with him and he would pay my way, or stay but I would be on my own, and I decided to stay because I was tired of moving.”
 
Growing up, Rob and his mom never lived in one place for more than two years, Rob said. Rob was born in Pomona, Calif. and lived in several Los Angeles County cities, including Puente Hills, Baldwin Park, Rico Rivera, Huntington Park, Ontario (6th and 7th grade) and San Bernardino (8th grade) before moving in with his father at the beginning of 9th grade. His father, a real estate and mortgage broker, lived in a very nice area of LA County called Diamond Bar, Calif., and Rob attended Diamond Bar High School (the school’s mascot is the Brahmas, the school’s colors are purple and gold).
 
In high school, Rob founded the Young Republicans Club and served as chapter president. He also was a founding member of a peer counseling program on campus. “Looking back, we were entrusted as students with some heavy-duty counseling with kids in trouble,” said Rob. “They trained us in psychology and reading body language and how to look for signs of someone who needed help.”
 
Also in high school Rob was co-captain of the wrestling team and was a member of the track team as a pole vaulter. His best leap was 13 feet, 6 inches.
 
During his senior year of high school, Rob worked at Sav-On Drugs where he met his wife Dawn. They have been together for 26 years. “At Sav-On, I would work until midnight so I could get enough hours to be considered a full-time employee and make enough money to pay the rent,” he said.
 
After graduating from high school in 1990, Rob earned his real estate license and worked for his uncle delivering documents between Downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino. “For two years, I spent three or four hours a day in traffic,” Rob said.
 
In 1992, at age 20, Rob moved to San Diego and he worked for two years as a manager for a consumer finance company. “After about 18 months with that company, they told me I had maxed-out and don’t bother asking for a raise for the next five years,” recalled Rob. “No matter how hard I worked, I would still make the same amount of money. So, I stayed there another six months before leaving.”
 
He then became a partner in a mortgage company. “That job worked out well for a while until we found out one of the other partners was embezzling some of the profits,” said Rob.
 
In 2000, Rob founded and operated One Stop Lending and Realty. His company was named 2007 Small Business of the Year for the 77th State Assembly District. In 2012, Rob joined Summit Mortgage Corp., and in 2014 he joined Movement Mortgage. He opened Movement Mortgage’s Santee office in January of this year, and is serving as sales manager.
 
Today, Rob and Dawn are raising two teenagers who attend Santana High School, a 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son. “Can you believe it?” asked Rob, 44. “The Santana colors, purple and gold, are the same colors as the Brahmas.”
 
Rob listed the city accomplishments since he joined the Santee City Council. “We have attracted more than 200 new businesses to Santee, kept developers accountable to minimizing traffic impact. the median price of a home has risen 30 percent and condos 43 percent, the sales tax revenue has increased by 25 percent while city spending has remained at responsible levels, the pension policy has been reformed resulting in huge savings to the city and added community festivals, walking trails and dog parks. I want to keep Santee the best place to live and a city to be proud of.”

He stays involved in PSAR because, “Everybody knows your name at PSAR. The members are friendly and support each other. The staff has a genuine desire to help you. And, I appreciate the association’s role as a strong defender of private property rights. Our Association helps us stay abreast of the governmental issues that affect our industry.”