George & Madeleine Protsman

George was born in Plymouth, Indiana, where his parents owned a hardware store started by his grandfather.  George is the youngest of three children, with an older brother and sister.  When George was in the 6th grade, his parents divorced.  His mother was a school teacher and they moved first to Herndon, Kansas and then to Holland, Michigan where he went to high school.

After high school, George left the cold for sunny San Diego State where he majored in political science and business.  Having played basketball in high school, he became a basketball coach at Brown Military Academy while attending San Diego State.  He was also active in the Sigma Chi fraternity.  It's a family thing - his Dad and his son also were Sigma Chi; and quite fittingly, Madeline was the sweetheart of Sigma Chi, so as you can probably guess George and Madeleine met at San Diego State.


Madeleine was born in L.A. and lived in Pasadena for awhile before growing up in San Marino and graduating from San Marino High.  Madeleine's father was in the hotel and restaurant supply business and her mom was a homemaker.  Madeleine is the oldest of three girls.  After getting her degree, she did an internship in Administrative Dietetics at Mills College and she is a registered dietitian.  She managed the restaurant in Marston's Tea Room in San Diego and later Grossmont. 

George also worked at Marston's during college, in the kitchen and as a busboy.  After college, he went to work at Long's Drug Store (when they only had 16 stores).  He stayed with them for 17 years, eventually running their internal MBA program and Pharmacy Management training programs as well as being involved with acquisitions.  By the time he left, he and Madeleine and their two children, a son and daughter, were living in the Santa Cruz area.

Drawing on his entrepreneurial experience, George and Madeleine opened an Office Products business in 1978, with the concept of complete office supplies from coffee to furniture.  The business expanded to four retail locations and 170 employees before they eventually formed a marketing consortium with 16 other businesses and formed Value Plus, which became a national marketing and merchandising company before selling to a NASDAQ company in the 90s.

Their business success allowed them an early semi-retirement in Lake Almanor when George was just 49.  They are avid fly fishermen (Madeleine taught George to fly fish) and also golfers, so  the lifestyle fit them well.  They spent 22years at Lake Almanor but only one winter, spending 3 or 4 months most winters in New Zealand.

Over the years they have been quite active in their respective communities.  While in Santa Cruz, George was President of Rotary as well as President of Family Service Organization and Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee.  After the earthquake in '89, he founded the Santa Cruz Property Owners Association and was involved with the design and rebuilding of Santa Cruz.

At  Lake Almanor, he started the Water Quality Committee of Plumas County to monitor Lake Almanor; founded the Seneca Hospital Foundation; and was on the board of the Lake Almanor Country Club where they lived.  He was chair of the Save Lake Almanor Committee and received the Plumas County Environmental Eagle Award.
Madeleine was involved with the Seneca Hospital Auxiliary, the Ladies Golf Club, and the Golf and Clubhouse Committee.

Their son currently lives in Morgan Hill and works for Staples (using the experience from the family business in Santa Cruz) and has two daughters.  The oldest is 17 and at UC San Diego.  Her sister is a junior in High School and a volleyball player.  Their daughter and son-in-law live in Kennebunkport, Maine where she is co-owner of a company involved in the systems furniture business.  They have a 13 year old daughter and 10 year old son, both of whom are also involved in sports.

July 10, George and Madeleine will celebrate 50 years of marriage and have a trip planned for the month of September in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho to do some of their favorite activities (camping, fly fishing, and probably some golfing).
They still own their home in Lake Almanor and the family gets together there regularly.  George and Madeleine also make several trips a year to Maine to visit their daughter and grandchildren there.

They moved to Blacklake almost two years ago, although for about four years prior they had been coming to the condos during the winter.  They love the rural atmosphere of Nipomo.

Current activities include the Santa Lucia Fly Fishing Club, Santa Maria Food and Wine Society, Gold Coast Seniors and Women's 18 hole Golf club, Gyros, and Newcomers.  George also belongs to a men's discussion group and Madeleine is part of a neighborhood group, The Crafty Ladies.  George's hobbies also include painting and cooking.

And of course, camping and fishing remain high on their list (and they note they do it the old fashioned way, sleeping in the back of their suburban or tenting).

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