Judy Egenolf

Paul Wellman

Judy Egenolf

The S.B. Questionnaire: Judy Egenolf

Listening to a Stalwart Supporter of Countless Causes

Monday, January 13, 2014
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It’s absolutely exhausting to read the long list of Santa Barbara nonprofits in which Judy Egenolf has played a role, from the Anti-Defamation League to Human Rights Watch to Domestic Violence Solutions and so on. It’s not surprising, for every conversation with her turns into a lesson in civic consciousness. Her passion for causes is admirable and contagious, and I defy anyone to say “no” to her when she calls you to attend a particular benefit or to donate an auction item.

Judy started as a certified primary and secondary Montessori teacher and ran her own school for several years. In 1988, she and her husband, Rob, established Amherst Exchange Corporation in Santa Barbara with Judy at the helm. Over the years, she has served as qualified intermediary in thousands of exchange transactions nationwide, entrusted with handling assets that reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

She took time away from her duties to answer the Proust Questionnaire.

What do you most like about your job?/

It is different every day and I work with very complex, interesting people. I also have a newish job as a director at The Bank of Santa Barbara. Everyone involved is passionate about being the best community bank in the county. It’s invigorating.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A world of people caring about one another, without judgments, greed, and territorial or religious separation. It’s asking a lot, but perfect is never easy.

What is your greatest fear?

Actually, my greatest personal fear ended when our two children were independent enough not to need us. My huge fear was dying prior to doing my best job as a parent when they were still young. Now, I look at life from a privileged position of joy. There are close family members and friends I treasure, and new people to include each day. I fear cruelties perpetrated by people with power against those who are vulnerable and/or defenseless. We are fortunate to have organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Anti Defamation League, Pacific Pride Foundation, and many others that protect human dignity with vigorous commitment.

Who do you most admire?

No one is perfect and all encompassing. I admire Rosa Parks and Galileo because they were brave enough to stand up for an unpopular belief. Albert Einstein and Marie Curie were brilliantly creative and pursued their doubted curiosities. Gloria Steinem and Nelson Mandela found words to ignite others to reach for their own human dignity. Locals I admire include Selma Rubin, Jean Schuyler, Derek Westen, Peter MacDougall, and so many more. My friend Don Skipworth makes everyone at home in the kitchen. My children teach me the most.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Travel. Each new country is thrilling and expanding. It should not be an extravagance, it should be a requirement!

What is your current state of mind?

I am moved by the promise of this fresh new year. I’m excited!

What is the quality you most like in people?

Intelligent generosity.

What is the quality you most dislike in people?

Greed without boundaries.

What do you most value in friends?

Truthfulness coupled with forgiveness.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Creative enthusiasm.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Awesome, fantastic, terrific. I use hyperbole when lazy.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I have always wanted to be a rock star. That would necessitate a great voice.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be wiser about money.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I compiled and taught an art and music history program that was incorporated into our public elementary system when my children were there. As I think about other accomplishments, I come back to the bliss of having 3rd graders get high on Rousseau and Mussorgsky. I taught K thru 6th and all grades devoured the images, emotions, and sounds of greatness. The arts inform our ability to learn all subjects.

Where would you most like to live?

In a world at peace.

What is your most treasured possession?

The love of my husband.

Who makes you laugh the most?

Rob (my hubby) and John Stewart.

What is your motto?

Take good care of yourself so you can be your best for others.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Sorry to see see Margaret Thatcher on Ms Progressive Egenolf's list of most admired people. At least she is candid that she is not good with money, since her laundry list of causes always insists on spending other people's money, while amassing quite a bit privately of it on her own. And a bank actually hired her?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry - I'm sure she's a nice lady who has done a lot of good, but I would have preferred to read something more substantive about her good works rather than this pretentious questionnaire-related trivia...

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 12:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As usual foo opens his extra large mouth to utter his customary shrill squawks without even the smallest shred of information to support his foolish rambling.

RobEgenolf (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Welcome to the club Mr. Egenolf.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 12:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Did the writer intend to use the word "strident" in the headline? It's not a compliment.

Moonrunner (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 12:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Do they mean "Jon Stewart" of The Daily Show? Yeah, strident sounds like zealot, and that's one of the bloggers not the subject I'm sure.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foo is consistently negative, Rob, so....we just skip over his egregious twaddle and pasted-in remarks. Ha, I don't even SEE Thatcher on Mrs. Egenolf's list... foo'ls ever in another world. Great work by Mrs. E.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry, the word strident was used in error. It's been changed to stalwart, which is more appropriate for Mrs. Egenolf's work.

Matt (Matt Kettmann)
January 13, 2014 at 1:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Judy Is one of the great volunteer treasures of our community. her smile and spirit are contagious. Her activities are everywhere and she is forever protective of those in need. We love you, Judy!

robertbason (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 1:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you Mr Egenoff, glad to learn Ms Thatcher was on your wife's most admired list but just did not make it in the interview. This is a relief.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nobody's perfect. But some come close. The world would be a much better place if there were more Judy Egenolfs in it.

bgoldish (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More Egenolfs, less Thatchers.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo, you share local GOP chief Greg Gandrud's Thatcher fetish, you should meet up.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't always agree with what foofighter writes, but he's entitled to express his opinion here as much as anyone else is.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually nobody is entitled to post their opinion here except the owners of the SB Indy. This is a private site open to the public, not a public one.
Yeah it sucks to get a comment deleted or a friend gets booted, but in the end it's the Indy's living room and we're all guests.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Over the years the Indy has never deleted a post of mine that I know about so I think I'll continue to express my opinions here, and support others doing so as well, though I don't always agree with what others write.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You totally miss my point. Am I entitled to walk into a place of business and start harangueing people? I think not.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Okay, Ken, whatever. One man's harangue is another man's opinion.

I still think a comments board such as this is an appropriate location to express one's opinion. For example, you do it all the time, much more often than I do. I don't always agree with you [sometimes I do], but I don't tell you that you can't do it.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

how did foo know Thatcher was on Egenolf's list?? Rob E. did not mention it, & it's not in the printed interview...who does foo work for??

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 3:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 3:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tory, Tory, Tory.

With chagrin, I too will admit Mrs Engenoff is a nice lady. And my first comments were indeed …… strident.

Like Diogenes, I shall continue seeking other community stalwarts who do value Margaret Thatcher. We do need Mrs Thatcher's principles to guide our civic engagement now, more than ever.

Where are the community volunteers who still believe if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. But if give him someone else's fish, he will continue to vote for you for that same lifetime.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 4:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you teach a man to fish in this town he'll probably end up in prison.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 4:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They just arrested a teen for fishing in Mission Creek!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 5:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ahhh! You were using sarcasm Foo, now I get it! You meant to say you wished Thatcher *were* on her list.

As for "John Stewart", what's to say Egenolf isn't a fan of the Kingston Trio? How will we ever know?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 8 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foo: why don't you admit "with chagrin" your LIES about your bizarre heroine Thatcher presence on this kind woman's list? Eh?! This is attempted character-assassination by association. Troll!!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 5:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

foo may be banker Igor Sill, whose worshipful essay on Lady Thatcher [4/16/13] -- -- at least makes him foo's brother-in-adoration of Thatcher. (If I am wrong, I apologize to Mr. Sill.) On that 4/16/13 thread cited do check EB's hilarious quotation of Johnny Rotten's cheeky "tribute" to Thatcher...privatize! Like foo wants to privatize education.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 5:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Kind of "odd," to put it very mildly, to speculate on someone's anonymous online identity in that manner, no?
Quite frankly, I've always assumed that some of the more prolific comenters here are sock puppets for other commenters of the opposite political spectrum. Peole often seem to be "arguing with themseves," if you catch my drift.
Howevere, that's the extent of my "specuation."

zappa (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 6:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice to learn more about Judy. I have always been so thankful I chose Amherst to handle my first property exchange rather than an alternative that turned out to be fraudulent. She and her colleagues were kind and professional.

SimplyEllen (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 7:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

understand, zappa, and 'Peole' [sic]can be that way... did you find it odd, to put it very mildly, that a poster added something to the article that wasn't in it? so he could riff on the Iron Lady or ascribe to her views she may or may not possess? "Howevere" [sic] that's the extent of my "specuation" [sic].

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ooh, you got me. Was typing in haste, didn't spell check etc., but you're right, no excuse for dumb typos.

At least I do have the tricky use (or what should be non-use in this example) of apostrophes down, right?

"A side-bar topic [sub-thread as JT says] is that when a wealthy family like the Wrigley's got great PR and huge tax breaks (and tax relief)..."

Insert (sic) where required above.

Normally would not note such things as doing so might seem to be on the very border between pedantry and douchery, but...

Did I strike a nerve or something with my reference to "sock puppets?"

zappa (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

no, no, zappa, you're way ahead of me, I had to look up "sock puppet" -- , thanks. You've been posting since April '11 [apostrophe right?] with almost 200 of them, and I've been on these threads much longer and have self-identified in them as a local teacher with 38 years experience, with a Ph.D. degree, and JohnLocke calls me "far left" but then he calls himself "center left" and based on his posts [he is not sock puppet] he's center and I'm a bit on the left. Foo has excoriated me for being a teacher in earlier posts, but then he hates them all. Every one of my posts, wild as they may be, are all my own and no deception or standing-in for another or other groups (e.g. Demo. Party). I've hammered Das Williams as much as our many neo-cons. No nerve struck, but nice try.
You write, "A side-bar topic [sub-thread as JT says] is that when a wealthy family like the Wrigley's got great PR and huge tax breaks (and tax relief)..." is tricky since "family" requires the singular (and single) apostrophe of possession, but there are a lot of Wrigleys so "Wrigleys' " would also work using the possessive plural apostrophe, but not so well.
You're tending toward douchery in your post, but I stand corrected in my ref. to Mr. Sill. You are right, I should not have done that.
You have a good day. Oh yeah, foo really is a sock puppet.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 1:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"You're tending toward douchery in your post, but.."
Well, I hope you weren't teaching English. There absolutely nothing to do with possession here, just a matter of simple correct _pluralization_.
Wrigley's (sic) (sorry) is no more correct in this context than it would be to write of the Kennedy's (sic) or the "DrDan's" (sic) for that matter.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes" and all that.

It's nice of you to stand corrected on something.
I'm also happy that you have a doctorate. Good for you!
You have a good day, too.

zappa (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 2:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Every new article is a brand new rabbit hole to fall down.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 3:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice lady? Most certainly not. Just ask any of her unfortunate employees or former employees... many of whom could not even put up with her for an entire work day prior to tendering their resignation.

Philanthropic? Sure. Not discounting that, but come on...

elleJ (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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