Ross I. is one of two newest Board of Directors for our Sky Ranch HOA. It was my honor and privilege to interview our neighbor for this newsletter. Follow along as we get to know Ross and be reminded that dreams, the American Dream, still come true!
I met Ross around the neighborhood and HOA meetings, but I didn’t get to know him until this month. He invited me into his spookily decorated home, offered me water and cookies (what a sweet talker), and we sat down to get to know each other.
Ross emigrated from Sicily, Italy to San Diego, California in 1972, when he was only 16 years old. He was accompanied by his parents, Tanina and Vincenzo. Ross’s father chose to come to San Diego because they had family here and it would be an easier transition than moving to a place where they knew no one.
Ross went to school, but not for long! He utilized the school system for the Driver’s Education course, earned his license, and quickly opted out of formal schooling. He did get an education through life’s experiences. He went to work for his uncle doing landscape work. It was nice to have a pay check, but Ross was an entrepreneur even at this young age. He bought himself a lawnmower and a weed-whacker and started up his own business in 1974! He was able to earn enough money to purchase his first brand new home in 1975. Better yet (because I’m a car girl) he bought his first brand new car the same year. He still owns that Trans Am — maybe he’ll show it to you if you ask nicely.
Ross, his two children Vince and Tanina, (are you seeing a pattern here?), and his mom lives right here in Sky Ranch with us today. He purchased adjoining Bella Vista lots so the family could remain close together. Family, togetherness, and sharing time are very important to Ross. Ross’s mother raised Ross’s children because they lost their mother at a young age. Grandma Tanina only speaks Italian, so the kids grew up to be bilingual. Ross is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish! Hablo Espanol, pero es muy piquito.
After I learned about Ross’ history and how he grew his business, I wanted to get to know the current Ross. We all know I’m a dog lover, so of course I asked with wide, hopeful eyes, “Do you have any pets?” They do! Lily, she’s a small dog that enjoys spending time with the family. Lily must have been hanging out next door as I didn’t get to see her on interview day.
I enjoy a few hobbies and I was wondering if this businessman had time to ‘hobby’. His answer: Rest. He soaks in the coolness of the air conditioning while his body rests one day a week. When he’s not resting, Ross likes to eat! He spends his free time with friends going to restaurants and hanging out. His favorite place for a steak? Santee’s very own, Pinnacle Peak. Favorite Mexican place? Marieta’s in La Mesa.
I came back to business and learned that Windmill Landscape is in existence today and going strong. I have to tell you, and he may be a bit too macho to want to admit it, but his voice changes when he talks about working. His eyes light up, he sits a little taller, and he gets excited when he talks about beautifying his home and our neighborhood. Which led into the one question I had specifically set aside for HOA business. “Please tell us something you would like to be a part of as a member of the Board of Directors.” His response, “My goals are to lower the HOA fees and keep our area beautiful.” There will be no slacking on the Landscape Committee with Ross on board.
Thank you, Ross, for sharing your story with us and letting us know the American Dream is attainable with hard work and dedication.