By Jenna Jay
San Diego businessman and life coach Claudio Stemberger has found an Italian niche thousands of miles away from his homeland. The semi-retired Italian entrepreneur gives lessons in his native tongue to students around La Jolla and other parts of the county, integrating his philosophy of the power of knowledge into his teachings of Italian language and culture.
Stemberger, equally well-versed in English and Italian, harbors an expansive vocabulary and projects his philosophical outlook to students.
“I always taught that the mastering of a language is vital to anyone who really wants a sense of confidence in making him or herself known for what he or she knows,” he said.
Stemberger is an immigrant from the north Italy town of Fiume (now part of Croatia) who first stepped afoot American soil in the 1950s.
A San Diegan for the past six years, Stemberger initially began giving Italian lessons as a way to get involved in the community.
“When I came to the area, I recognized that there are very many people of Italian descent living here in La Jolla, and strange enough to me, at least at the time, many Sicilians,” Stemberger noted. “I was told many of them loved to go back to their native land, but no longer knew the language. I thought it would be very pleasant to make many friends by teaching Italian, something I had done for many years.”
Earning a client base from advertisements and referrals, Stemberger quickly became an integral part of several travelers’ Italian adventures. He provides one-on-one attention to students in 90-minute sessions at $60 per class that (true to his Italian roots) often run much longer than scheduled. He recommends students attend a language session once a week for about four months to become fluent in the basics.
Stemberger said that he enjoys learning from his students, as well, who range from children to influential scientists and others “from all walks of life.”
Stemberger is a former CEO of MBS Engineering Solutions & Product Development in Cincinnati, Ohio, the city he migrated to when he left Italy. He said he made a living in product development and consulting in the U.S. and Italy before semi-retirement brought him to La Jolla in the mid-2000s.
Among a bevy of life accomplishments, Stemberger was a member of the U.S. Congressional Advisory Board during the Ronald Reagan presidency, and has also been a recipient of the Presidential Order of Merit from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Stemberger said he continues his participation through city and national initiatives.
Stemberger is a member of the La Jolla Tennis Club and the University Club of San Diego. He is also a Rotary Club member and certified life coach.
“My goal at this stage is to enjoy life to the fullest and give the best of myself to others,” he said. You can reach Stemberger at (760) 703-0311.
More Italian fun:
Dine with Chef Cinzia of Mama Mia and Ciao Bella restaurants while you learn how to order in Italian, and master proper Italian etiquette during a program at The Riford Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd., 7 p.m. Nov. 11. The cost is $45 per person. Make a reservation at (858) 459-0831.