After being around so many entrepreneurs in my husband’s family I decided to go into business for myself. I found an office space to share at 1720 Union Street in the Cow Hollow area. The office was was very near the marina and Golden Gate Bridge. The office area contained a reception, conference room and 3 individual offices. The main office was occupied by the person who had the lease, which was a woman who provided consulting to business on employee relations. The other office was occupied by a woman who had a legal background and was a lawyer who worked with American families wanting to adopt children from Russia. I could not have picked a better location. Down the street was an art gallery owned by a retired photographer who had made his money photographing fashion for major magazines. There were plenty of restaurants where I could grab some lunch or entertain friends.
My clients during that time frame ranged from small businesses to large corporations. I did tax returns and financial statements for small business and I provided simple accounting and bookkeeping functions . I also got into consulting which included providing advice to the Leoni family, which was the current Consulate from Venezuela. I did audits for oil and gas companies and had an audit contract with ENRON OIL. I performed audits at CHEVRON in the East Bay and also performed oil audits in Texas. I also consulted with a real estate development company, HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AND NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION CORPORATION. I went to Guatemala for them to see if I could learn more about investments in Guatemala.
I was always trying to come up with ideas for new businesses projects. I contacted BRITISH PETROLEUM about establishing a photo voltaic subsidiary in Ghana Africa. BP agreed to my terms, I had someone in Ghana who was supposed to deliver clients. But nothing ever happened. The guy in Ghana who was supposed to help set up the business did not follow through.
I even consulted with the Tax Assessor’s Department for the City of San Francisco for the software installation. The company that had the contract to install the new Tax Assessor Program was having a difficult time understanding the current system. I was brought in and asked to help and I researched their historical files and found all the necessary documentation on their system.
I was always hustling.
I also became involved with various volunteer projects outside of work. I was President of the Marin County CPA’s for one year and arranged speakers for the monthly luncheons at restaurants in Marin County. I also contacted the Commonwealth Club, a famous organization in San Francisco that promoted the discussion of public affairs. With the Commonwealth Club as a backer, I presented a symposium regarding the political changes occurring in Europe and named the symposium “The Cost of Democracy, Can We Afford It?” I arranged permission with the Dominican College in San Rafael to host the symposium. I was able to arrange speakers for the symposium from the prestigious “Hoover Institute”, entrepreneurs who were working in Eastern Europe, plus Ambassadors and other government agents to discuss the social, political and economic consequences in Eastern Europe. The event series was even written up in the local newspaper, the Marin Independent Journal. Local politics were colorful in San Raphael and I worked with a local woman who wanted to become involved the local politics and I help her get elected to public office/ or as a representative. I don’t remember.
At the time, my marriage was ending but I was still living in San Raphael California. I would commute every day by bus to Union Street and return every night.
One night was different. It was late and I was walking fast from the bus stop through the center of San Raphael towards home and I could hear the echo of my heels on the sidewalk in the crisp night air. Getting home entailed walking up a big hill to the very top where Brian and I had lived in a small house. At this point, I was divorced and usually the night walks home were very quiet and empty of sounds, people or traffic. Except one night, I heard a motorcycle roaring loudly in the distance. It eventually pulled up beside me and offered me a ride home. I accepted, I did not sense any danger, and 2 minutes later I was at my front door. And I never saw him again. It was a very serene feeling after the rider pulled away and a full moon rose in the sky.