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She has 70 snakes in her garage.

posted Jan 30, 2015, 3:46 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Feb 6, 2015, 1:42 PM by Richard D'Ascoli ]
You might know Michelle Adcock as the recently elected affiliate director on the PSAR board of directors. She has begun serving a two-year term ending in 2016. Michelle also has participated as a dancer at PSAR’s recent Unfashion and Variety Show, and was named the PSAR Affiliate of the Year at the 2014 Installation Dinner.
 
She works as the area manager for First American Home Buyers Protection Corp. and as an account representative with First American Natural Hazard Disclosures. She has worked for First American for the past 20 years, and has been ranked the #2 sales rep in the nation for the last 15 years. She is a long-time member of First American’s Circle of Excellence program.
 
But did you know that Michelle has about 70 snakes in cages in the garage of her Rancho San Diego home in El Cajon? Her husband Ross, a real estate sales agent with AXIA Real Estate Group, Inc. in Mission Valley, breeds the snakes, including emerald tree and Dominican red boas and green tree pythons.
 
Also, throughout their 25-year marriage (their 25th anniversary this year is Feb. 25), Michelle and Ross have raised Indian Star tortoises and African Leopard tortoises in their backyard. They also have collected pottery from the Mata Ortiz village in Mexico, a place they visited last year on vacation.
 
“We have no dogs or cats, but we have 10 tortoises and lots of snakes,” said Michelle. “We’re so excited because after 20 years of trying we finally have successfully bred the Indian Stars.”
 
A native of Homewood, Ill., on the south side of Chicago, Michelle’s family moved to San Diego when she was in the seventh grade. Her father and mother are legendary in the history of the San Diego real estate industry. Her father, Lloyd Klowden, along with his partner Jack Forness, operated one of the largest Century 21 offices in the world. Century 21 Klowden-Forness Realty was a real estate powerhouse in San Diego from the 1970s to the 1990s. Michelle’s mom Iris also sold real estate. Lloyd passed away in 2007. Iris, 73, still lives today in San Carlos.
 
“People who knew my father still speak so highly of him,” said Michelle. “He helped me get my foot in the door at First American.”
 
Michelle grew up in San Diego’s Del Cerro area and attended Lewis Junior High and Patrick Henry High School. Michelle has a twin sister named Melissa. In high school, when Melissa wanted to break-up with a boyfriend but wanted to avoid hurting his feelings, Melissa would give Michelle $10 to assume the sister’s identity and tell the bad news to the boy.
 
Two years ago, Michelle and Melissa Carrillo won the “Most Alike” prize in their age category at the annual twins convention held in Twinsburg, Ohio. They’re close in more ways than looks. If one twin has a painful physical ailment, the other twin also will feel the discomfort, sometimes a few days before the pain begins. Michelle and Melissa have an older sister Sheryl who works today as a paralegal. Today, Melissa is a title rep with Chicago Title in the East County.
 
After high school, Michelle worked as a paralegal for three different law firms. Then, at age 23, she met Ross when both of them worked at the Hahn Company. Michelle was an executive secretary and Ross as an art director. Founded and managed by Ernest W. Hahn, the company was a major shopping center and owner and developer. During its 30 years of existence, the company built more than 40 shopping malls in 18 states, from Florida to Oregon, including Horton Plaza in Downtown San Diego.
 
Michelle and Ross have two adult children, Jerome and Sedona. Any spare time is spent with their three grandchildren, Parker, 5, Marlee 4, and Brayden, age 6 months. Michelle also enjoys zumba, pilates and cooking. She also enjoys watching Food Network TV shows with Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray and Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa).
 
She also grows air plants (Tillandsia Ionantha) in her backyard. Native to South America, the air plant is epiphytic, meaning that it lives by absorbing water and nutrients through its leaves rather than from soil. In fact, Michelle and Ross started selling air plants last year at local street fairs in Encinitas and Hillcrest and the Bates Nut Farm Holiday Festival. At the most recent La Mesa Oktoberfest, they averaged a sale every nine minutes during the three-day event. The business, called Air Plant Art, also features handmade custom arrangements.
 
“I love PSAR because of the people, it’s such a supportive family,” said Michelle. “We have such a strong group of affiliates. It’s so motivating to have these people working together, even though we are competitors. But, here we are, working side-by-side for the good of the association. It’s terrific.”

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-- Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: She once owned and flew Cessna airplanes but now she enters equestrian competitions with her horses.