I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (the Peninsula). I went to highschool at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. I did my undergraduate study at UCLA, majoring in French Language and Literature. I had gained sufficient French and Spanish skills at UCLA to help me land a job with United Airlines. I worked for United for several years in a variety of positions, first at Washington-Dulles International Airport, moving to San Jose International Airport and finally San Francisco International Airport. I left United to join the excitement of an internet start up. Atomz Corporation (now a part of Adobe) specialized in creating software for web site designers. (Don't blame them for my poor web skills...I was in operations.) While I tremendously enjoyed the energy of working for an internet start up, I decided to return to school at night to obtain an MBA. I joined the program at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. I was so invigorated by the MBA program, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in economics. At George Mason University, I spent most of my days at the Center for the Study of Public Choice where I was both inspired and humbled by my colleagues. I completed my dissertation in April 2007 on the economics of religion, studying under the subfield's founder, Larry Iannaccone. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Economics Department of San Jose State University.
In addition to my academic life, I am also a licensed real estate broker and, with my partner Tom Stafford, own and operate a boutique real estate brokerage in Woodside, CA: Stafford & Haight Realty, Inc. Tom and I have been working together for over 15 years, and between the two of us, we have over 50 years of experience in virtually all aspects of real estate. We specialize in personalized service in the residential markets of Woodside, Menlo Park and Atherton.
I am also actively involved with two non-profits in California: Peninsula Volunteers, where I served in various board positions, including as President and as Chair. I also spent some time on the board of Research and Respite for Alzheimers Disease. Both organizations provide valuable services to our community, serving primarily the senior population. I am also very active with Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid-peninsula, a wonderful organization committed to promoting volunteerism.
I am married to Steve Meller, my soul-mate, best friend and co-conspirator. We met in San Francisco while he was there on a temporary assignment. After a brief period in Ohio, I managed to convince him to relocate back to the Bay Area. I suspect the prospect of year-round golf was what sealed the deal.
All things Outdoors
I really enjoy being outside to do just about anything...hiking, surfing, kayaking, playing golf, or simply just sitting out on my deck enjoying a glass of good wine with friends.
Colleen with friends Lisa, Angela and Jennifer in Santa Barbara, and with Anne and Greg, and husband Steve Meller in Adelaide.
My exposure to travel as a child seems to have resulted in an addiction to foreign travel as an adult. I seem to be happiest in those places which are least familiar. I am lucky enough to have visited many countries in Europe, a few countries in eastern Europe, Russia, a few countries in Southeast Asia, Japan, French Polynesia, Australia, and much of Central America. Most recently I spent a few weeks in Egypt, visiting the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings and Queens. I haven't been to India or sub-Saharan Africa, but I hope to remedy that soon. I am constantly torn between the excitement of discovering a new place and new people, and the pure joy of returning to places I have enjoyed so thoroughly.
Miranda and Maggie - Our Girls
(providing proof that cats are simply more dignified than dogs)
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