For Rocky Chavez, success has always meant hard work. Born in Los Angeles, Rocky grew up in the fields alongside his father, who taught him how to pick grapes – and also the value of a job well done.
Rocky never left the fields even through college, when he supported himself by harvesting almonds in order to earn a Bachelor’s degree from California State University in Chico. Then, Rocky spent more than 28 years as a United States Marine, rising to the rank of Colonel and being appointed Chief of Staff for the 4th Marine Division.
After serving his country, retirement was not an option for Rocky, who then went on to spend nearly a decade on the Oceanside City Council. In 2009, Rocky was appointed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and made the journey to Sacramento to serve as Undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Later, Rocky served as Acting Secretary.
Rocky has served on several local boards including the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, KOCT Oceanside Community Television, Women’s Resource Center. Education matters to Rocky, who coached varsity wrestling at El Camino High School and was the Chief Education Officer for the School of Business and Technology Charter High School in Oceanside.
Rocky and his wife Mary live in Oceanside, and have three children and three grandchildren. Mary studied at the University of New Orleans and also holds an M.B.A. from California State University, San Marcos. Rocky has passed his lessons of hard work to the next generation. His son Temujin Tom is a physician in South Carolina. Rocky’s daughter Regina Ann Shepperson and youngest son Sage John are both college graduates.