Leading projects keeps John Jarvis busy at work and in the La Jolla community


A graduate of La Jolla High School, class of 1982, John Jarvis earned his bachelor of arts in business economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has served on various boards and taken leadership roles at the La Jolla High School Foundation, San Diego Rowing Club, Make A Wish Foundation, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), BIOCOM, and La Jolla YMCA Adventure Guides and YMCA Overnight Camps.

He is also a member of LEAD San Diego, Class of 2004, and he attended the Center For Creative Leadership Development Program in 2005.

Jarvis has been representing San Diego companies in commercial real estate negotiations since 1987. As a principal at Hughes Marino, in addition to his client projects, he is responsible for leadership development programs at the company. Jarvis resides in La Jolla with his wife and three children.

What brought you to La Jolla?

My family would vacation at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club beginning in 1970, and we moved permanently in 1975 to a home on Spindrift just up from the club.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

It’s pretty good as it is today, but how about local dogs allowed on the beach, fire rings year-round with wood bundles dropped off each morning, and a point left surf break in front of the Contemporary Art Museum.

Who or what inspires you?

Our three children are my main source of inspiration. We do our best as parents; we encourage them to be bold and think for themselves. Then they grow up and strike out on some ambitious plan, and as a parent, it can be wonderfully shocking. Our kids are the reason I do most of the worthwhile things that I do.

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

A really great dinner party should have laughter, music and interesting conversation, so I would start with my wonderful wife, Sara, then fill the table with Will Ferrell and John Belushi, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare. Now that would be a great night!

What are you currently reading?

We actually have a book club of old La Jolla friends, mostly guys. We don’t always read them, but the books suggested are usually harrowing adventure tales, like “Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage“ (amazing story). Right now, we are reading “The Sweet Science” about boxing, and our book club meeting will be ringside at an upcoming fight.

What do you do for fun?

It’s all pretty fun. I work a lot, and spend a lot of time with the kids. I always seem to be getting involved in something new. Right now, I am knee-deep into Boy Scouts as an outdoor leader with my son Colin. Troop 4 in La Jolla is 100 years old this year, oldest troop west of the Mississippi! I was Nation Chief of the Adventure Guides program. I road my bike down the coast of California as part of the Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge for CAF. And I have gotten into rowing on Mission Bay with the San Diego Rowing Club, which I really enjoy.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Tough question. I try to stay really positive, always questioning, always open-minded, always learning. I realize that can also make a person really annoying, so I try not to be that guy. But attitude is everything, and I am always working to keep a really positive outlook, enjoying in the moment.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Some of my friends think I’m crazy, but I tell my kids all the time: You are perfect as you are. You don’t have to get A’s. You don’t have to go to college. You probably will, and you will likely do great things, because therein lies the richness in life, but you don’t have to do it for me.

What would be your dream vacation?

I am a simple man. Tavarua would be fine.

What historical figure do you most identify with?

Snoopy is pretty cool. From Wikipedia: “Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly conventional dog, but eventually evolved into perhaps the strip’s most dynamic character.”