The California Native
In 1983, while climbing Ayer’s Rock in the Australian outback, Lee Klein contemplated his life thus far. Lee, a native-born Californian and an MBA, had spent two decades as a corporate manager and college professor. Prior to that he traveled quite a bit, first with the U.S. Navy, then roaming around the world on his own—an adventure which included living in the temples of India and Nepal, hitchhiking across the deserts of Iraq and Iran, and working passage on a banana boat in the Persian Gulf.
As he ascended the sandstone monolith, he began to question the American Dream. Was he really happy with his career? He decided that if you are not having fun, then you are doing the wrong thing. Money is not the real measure of success—enjoying what you are doing is. And if at the same time you can bring enjoyment to other people, then you are truly successful.
Shortly after returning home, he put the corporate and campus worlds behind him and founded The California Native. That was back in 1983, more than a third of a century ago, but we never lost sight of the goals which Lee set at the beginning—to have fun and bring enjoyment to our clients while always providing excellent service at reasonable prices.
Meet the California Natives:
|Lee Klein: Founder and President of The California Native. Lee is an MBA who dropped out of a career as a corporate manager and college professor for a life of travel and fun.|
|Laurie Kraft Pepitone: Our Operations Manager, Laurie, has been keeping our trips running smoothly since 1993. She is also a certificated travel consultant.|
|Dave Klein: (Lee’s son) Tour coordinator and musician, when he's not working with our clients or improving our web site, Dave performs throughout the world.|
|Lori Klein Del Rosario: (Lee's daughter) Lori has led California Native trips since the beginning. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and Master's Degrees in education and recreation.|
|Ellen Klein: (Lee's wife) Ellen serves as an international representative and scout for The California Native. Her background includes teaching, theater, and business management.|
|Fred Grote: Fred, who has lived, taught and worked as a business consultant in Latin America, holds a Master's Degree in ESL and has led groups throughout the world.|
|Marcia Schultz: Marcia, who holds a Master's Degree in ESOL, has traveled extensively through Latin America and loves sharing her knowledge of the people, culture and history.|
|Lynn Reinecke: Lynn, who holds a degree in Anthropology, has been working with Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians and leading California Native trips for more than 25 years.|
|Jessica Jerman: Jessica has worked with social, educational, health and environmental organizations in the U.S. and Central America. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and Sociology.|
|Bogart: Bogart is in charge of customer complaints. He is very lonely because business in his department is almost nonexistent, so he contents himself with eating bananas.|
|Lauren: (Bogart’s wife) Lauren is in charge of keeping Bogart happy and making sure that his bananas are peeled (Bogart is very fussy).|
|Yucatan & Chiapas|
|For more information, contact us at:|
|6701 W. 87th Place, Los Angeles CA 90045|
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