10 Qustions for William J. Kellogg

William J. Kellogg

President, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

William J. Kellogg was born in 1951 and raised in Altadena, Calif. In 1973, he graduated from Dartmouth where he had been a four-year letterman in tennis, served as co-captain of the varsity team and was selected to the All-Ivy League Doubles.

He and wife Tricia moved to La Jolla in September of 1979 when he accepted a job in the administration office of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, working for his father. He is now president of this fourth-generation family business.

He has held numerous volunteer positions over the years, including serving as president of the La Jolla Shores Association for five years. He is currently president of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, a member of the Community Advisory Boards of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Scripps Memorial Hospital. He also serves numerous positions in the tennis world, including as the current co-chair of the USTA Davis Cup and Fed Cup Committee.

Q: What brought you to La Jolla?

First of all, La Jolla was my favorite place to visit when I was growing up. Both sets of grandparents lived here, I got to spend all day, every day, at the Beach Club when I visited. I loved the ocean, downtown La Jolla, the Cove, the playground, the tennis, the Cove Theater, the Jewel Ball and the milkshakes at the snackery.

However, my brother, Bob Kellogg, was the person responsible for actually bringing me to La Jolla. He called me during the summer of ’79, told me that H. W. Bond had retired as the General Manager of the Beach Club and asked me to consider coming to work for the family. My dad, William C. Kellogg, was very supportive and offered me a job. He told me we would never regret the move - and he was right!

Q: What makes La Jolla special to you?

La Jolla has a wonderful, small-town feel and the best location on earth. Whenever I walk down the street, I see people I know. The weather is consistently great (I even like the fog), the coastline is magical, it is totally self-contained, it has a casual beachfront atmosphere, and it is filled with fun-loving, interesting and involved people.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

Even though we are living in paradise, there are things that could be improved. Our city services are the most notable thing missing – trash pickup, village maintenance, grooming of our parks and beaches, enforcement of zoning ordinances and, of course, repair of potholes. If I could snap my fingers and have it done, I think we would be better served to become a bona fide city.

If I were granted a second snap of my fingers, I would wish for a more unified voice for La Jolla, less animosity, more tolerance for opposing viewpoints and quicker resolution of community planning issues.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

I am always inspired by people who look outward, see what needs to be done, and get on with it, regardless of who gets the credit.

Q: If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

Benjamin Franklin (great one-liners), Elton John (great entertainment), Michelangelo (to paint a picture of this grand event), Arthur Ashe (to add some class and civil rights issues to the conversation), Billie Jean King (women’s rights and lively conversation – she has an opinion on everything), Margaret Thatcher (Politics - and tough enough to hold her own in this group), Ellen Browning Scripps (the greatest wonder of La Jolla and one of the first female college graduates in the nation), the Queen of England (I’ve practiced my table manners all my life for this occasion), and of course, there would be two more seats at the table for my wife and I.

Q: Tell us about what you are currently reading.

Tom Clancy’s “Rainbow Six,” “The Perfect Board” by Calvin Clemons, “Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough” by Jonathan Tisch and “Dealing with People You Can’t Stand” by Brinkman and Kirschner.

I am a situational reader - Clancy on vacation, business books on airplanes, tennis magazines and the La Jolla Light at night or while waiting for computer programs to install or download.

Q: What is your most prized possession?

Our mountain home in Big Bear. It gives my wife and me an escape from the pressures of life under a microscope. It is wonderful to have a place where we can simply hang out, enjoy our dogs and try out a different lifestyle every once in awhile.

Q: What do you do for fun?

I love to hang out with my wife, our two daughters (and their significant others) and our two grandkids. I love to play tennis and other sports and go to sporting events (Davis Cup and Fed Cup). I love to play with and go hiking with our dogs (four Chesapeake Bay Retrievers).

I love to go to the movies, concerts or plays. And I love to build and repair things.

Q: Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

The Veterans Memorial Walls on Mt. Soledad have had a tremendous impact on the families of thousands of veterans.

The plaques installed on these walls will ensure that our community remembers the sacrifices made on our behalf by those who have served in the armed forces. Coordinating the construction of the expanded memorial is probably the most significant, meaningful and potentially long lasting thing I have done in my life.

It has revitalized the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, educated our community about the significance of the memorial and is now designated as a National Monument.

Q: What is your motto or philosophy of life?

It is better to give than to receive and if something is worth doing, do it well!