Growing Up

Growing Up in the Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Area

I was born in San Francisco, at the then Stanford Hospital, and moved to Los Altos when I was 4 months old in 1956.  It was a time of great change, growth and optimism in Santa Clara Valley.  My parents moved to California as part of the post-World War II veterans’ migration west:  many service men, such as my father, who had been stationed in California before deploying to the Pacific Theater had seen the promise of California and were investing in their future in the Golden State.

Even before I could verbalize it, I was learning what would be the essence of Santa Clara Valley, that change would be the only constant and that hunger would be the hallmark in transforming Santa Clara Valley into Silicon Valley and arguably the leading economic growth engine in the world.  We lived on Manor Way bounded by an orchard, a spur of the Southern Pacific railroad and a fire station.  Within just a few years only the recently built fire station remained:  the Railroad transformed into Foothill Expressway and the orchard became housing and a park.   

Much of the institutional infrastructure on which we have built our communities was being developed.  In 1957 the most important institutions in my childhood were emerging:  El Camino Hospital and Foothill Community College were created by voters/committees and Almond and Egan schools were about to open.

In 1960 we moved “most of the way” cross town to a house that would allow me to walk the 3 blocks to Almond grade school, where I was a “Mustang” from grades K-6.   I benefited from the golden period in California education where the schools from K-16 were providing the best public education in the country.  I earned my share of cuts, bruises and concussions just being a boy.

In 9th grade I became an Eagle Scout and later was selected to join the Order of the Arrow.  I enjoyed several summers at Camp Oljato near Fresno in the Sierras – the traditional summer camp for local scout troops.  I spent one summer living with a family in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico where, for at least a few brief weeks, I was close to fluent in Spanish.  The exchange program promised that at least one room in each house would be air conditioned since the temperature rarely dipped below 100 degrees during the day or 80 degrees at night:  that one room turned out to be the parents’ bedroom into which I never stuck a toe.

At Los Altos High I played “D” and JV basketball and earned my tennis letter my junior year.  Our senior year we almost stopped Gunn’s consecutive victory streak (which ultimately reached 200 straight matches), losing just 4-3.



My mother, Mary Lou Glatfelter Zoglin, grew up in York, Pennsylvania in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country, the daughter of a high-school French teacher. She attended Radcliffe College (now absorbed into Harvard).  After graduating she received a Fulbright grant for a year's study at the University of Brussels and then returned to New York City to work for The Rockefeller Foundation as a translator and editor and there met my father, Stanton Zoglin, then an intern at Bellevue Hospital.

After marrying they moved first to Nashville, Tennessee and then to Seattle, Washington before finally arriving in Santa Clara Valley. In 1961 she was elected to the Foothill/DeAnza Community College Board of Trustees, where she served for 13 years. Later that decade she was appointed by the Governor to the statewide Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.  In the late 60’s she was named Citizen of the Year in Los Altos.

After my father passed away my mother earned her Ph.D. in Administration of Higher Education at UC-Berkeley. With Prop 13 making it difficult to find full time employment my mother moved south to take a position as Dean of Instruction at Coastline Community College in Orange County, in charge of what was then the largest television course program in the country. A few years later she became Vice-President for Instruction, responsible for the education of some 15,000 students.

After “retiring” from her position at Coastline in order to return to the Bay Area and resume her life as a community volunteer she became the Executive Director of Mountain View/Los Altos Healthy Ventures, a collaborative of 21 schools, nonprofit agencies, the city, clinics and hospitals, and the YMCA and YWCA, working for the health and well-being of children and families.

Mary Lou was elected to the Mountain View City Council in 1996 and served as Mayor of the city in 1999.  She was re-elected in 2000 and completed her final term just months before passing away in 2005.


My father was born in Kansas City, Missouri to Nathan Zoglin, an immigrant who had migrated from Ukraine at age 11, and Jennifer Rosenberg.  My grandfather was a physician and my grandmother was the second woman to pass the bar in the state of Missouri.  His style of life is chronicled in the Mr. and Mrs. Bridge books often read as part of high school English curricula which were written by his high school classmate Evan S. Connell.

After attending one year of college at Carnegie Tech, my father volunteered for the Marine Corps where he earned his purple heart while serving in forward positions throughout the Pacific; his division sustained had a 70% casualty rate.  Their exploits were described William Manchester – the frequently published author in his 1975 article in American Heritage magazine – The Man Who Could Speak Japanese.

After the war my father transferred to Harvard where he earned first his degree in Chemistry and then his MD.  His style of life as an intern at Bellevue, was again chronicled in Dr. Nolen’s book:  The Making of a Surgeon  <I subsequently lived in the same dorm as his son.>  Gradually moving across the country he decided to start his practice in the El Camino Hospital area – first at the corner of Miramonte and Cuesta and later at 2500 Hospital Drive across the street from El Camino Hospital where he practiced with Dr. Hake, Rush and soon Gilman.

After being elected as Chief of Staff at El Camino hospital he continued to participate heavily as a volunteer.  He traveled with Dr. Bill Reeves to Washington DC in successful quest for funding for what is recognized as the first computerized system installed in a US hospital in 1971.  My father also served on the regional Boy Scouts of America board for many years.  He died at the age of 51 in his office, late at night while reading EKG’s, of a heart attack.

My sister Katie earned her AB and JD from Harvard University before returning to the Bay Area to practice law.  She has spent the past 20+ years in public service law:  in the Santa Clara County DA’s office, the City Attorney’s office in San Francisco, Deputy County Counsel in the Santa Clara County Counsel's Office and more recently in for the City of San Jose.

She also contributes here expertise to the broader community.  She has lived in and trained the legal communities in Argentina, Uruguay, and Serbia.  Most recently she spent a year in Morocco where she served as Deputy Director for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. 


My brother Bill is a great athlete who was named All Conference SCVAL soccer at Los Altos High and then played on Foothill’s State Championship soccer team.  Even before graduating from college he knew his calling – he had built his first home:  a log house in Breckenridge, Colorado.  After graduating from San Diego State Bill earned his contractor’s license.  For the past twenty years he has enjoyed working as an Independent Contractor at Lake Tahoe and currently resides in Reno, Nevada with his partner Chahaya LaBarrie and son Kaisha.


My wonderful wife, Karla Lacey, was born in Wichita Falls/Colorado and grew-up in an oil family which meant that she lived in a number of small towns in Texas, ultimately graduating from Cooper High School in Abilene.  She is a proud Aggie, having graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M before beginning her career as an accountant in San Antonio, Texas.  One of her most notable (odiferous) clients was Pace.

After earning her MBA at Harvard Business School she moved to San Francisco to work for Clorox.  After Clorox she worked for Colgate, including nine years including time in Portugal, Argentina and ultimately Costa Rica where she was the General Manager.  She returned to the States to work for the non-profit GMAC which administers the GMAT test for business schools.

We met the summer between years at business school and started dating a scant 19 years later.  After 5 years at Cisco managing their corporate integrated marketing program she served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Guckenheimer which creates customized dining experience to fit corporations’ cultures by offering healthy, hand-prepared meals for employees  before they were sold to the Danish firm ISS.  She and her dear friend Gerri Kies subsequently founded PSG, an executive search firm.


Sarah and Kelly Zoglin were born on Friday, August 13th, 2004 – the day of the opening ceremonies for the Greek Olympics.  They are rising Sophomores at Los Altos High School who enjoy playing field hockey, basketball and softball at LAHS as well as serving as leaders in their youth group at Los Altos United Methodist Church.  Their greatest love is for our dog Zoey. 



Following my time at VISTA and USMC Officer Candidate School I joined EF Hutton as an analyst in the investment banking division in Manhattan.  After graduating from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business I joined Hewlett Packard as a product manager in the Information Networks Division based in Cupertino.

Anxious to take a shot at entrepreneurship I founded the Sylvan Learning Center franchise in Stockton.  One year later I moved to San Diego when I bought four more Sylvan Learning Centers.  Sylvan Learning Centers tutor children in grades K-12.

Few outcomes in my business career have been as satisfying as helping a child and a family turn around the downward spiral of poor grades, low self-esteem and engagement and acting-out into an enthusiasm for school and learning.  After five years we sold the San Diego centers.  I kept the original center in Stockton which I describe as “an overnight success after 13 years.”  It took many years’ commitment to the Stockton community that ultimately paid off in a successful center that is fully engaged with the educational leaders of the city.  In early 2008 we also bought the Modesto Sylvan Learning Center franchise.  We sold our Sylvan Learning Centers in 2017.

After Sylvan I worked at a pair of promising kiosk companies that provided customers with essentially the Internet experience before the Internet.  The second company morphed into one of the online music retail sites that we started in 1995. 

Since that launch I have worked in eCommerce and online Marketing for the past 20 years at large companies like Dell where I led the team responsible for designing, developing, deploying and managing which sold more than $1 billion/year.  I have also worked at start-ups like Netli which was purchased by Akamai and WIRED Digital the online division of the cutting edge WIRED Magazine.  WIRED was a truly exhilarating time and place where we are credited with having created and sold the first banner ad.  Each day was unique as we, along with portals like Excite, Yahoo and InfoSeek tried to figure out what the content and commercial side of the WorldWideWeb meant. As a 40-year old working south of market in San Francisco I loved working with mostly 20-somethings, the majority of whom sported double-digit body piercings and/or multi-hued hair.

After serving as VP, eCommerce for Corel Corp, I joined the web analytics firm Coremetrics in 2010.  Soon thereafter Coremetrics was bought by IBM where I served for four years as IBM Enterprise Marketing Management Practice Leader for Digital Marketing Services:  we provided eCommerce and Digital Marketing consulting services to IBM customers. Since then I have spent six years leading a variety of global digital marketing, e-commerce and lead generation teams within various permutations of IBM's Cloud business unit.



I completed the tri-fecta of Los Altos public schools in 1974:  Almond Elementary School, Egan Junior High School and Los Altos High School.

I earned my AB magna cum laude in economics from Harvard University where I wrote my thesis on the "De-regulation of the Securities Industry."   Harvard was an incredibly rich environment that allowed its students the exposure to and engagement with an incredible variety of programs and leaders.  I first shook Jimmy Carter’s hand in a meeting of 15 people when he was a little known Governor from Georgia.  The Institute of Politics  provided an un-paralled exposure to public servants.  In 1976 I had the opportunity to escort then Congressman Leon Panetta from Monterey; among his many public service positions was as our Secretary of Defense.  I played Freshman and JV Tennis and later was the Treasurer for An Evening of Champions:  a dormitory driven event that has raised over $2.2 million for Cancer Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

I returned to the peninsula to earn my MBA at Stanford.  In addition to co-founding the Challenge for Charity I was one of the leaders of the 1983 Conference on Entrepreneurship.

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