California Homebuilding Foundation's Hall of Fame - 30 years
Robert A. McCaffrey CEO and Karen Bonadelle McCaffrey VP, McCaffrey Homes.
Building homes and supporting communities are part of the DNA at McCaffrey Homes. Where the husband-and-wife team have grown a land development and residential building firm to include more than 8000 residences in central San Joaquin Valley.
I actually knew from the beginning. I love this business, this industry and I wanted to be part of it. I'm a daughter of homebuilder, John Bonadelle, and he built Bonadelle Homes. My dad would take us as children and he would bring us out to the communities, and he would share with us his dreams and his visions.
He'd say to us as we were walking out and he'd be leading ponies - we'd be riding ponies.
And he'd say, "You know we're going to build homes here, and we're going to put the main street into the community here. Karen, where would you put the model homes?"
And I'd say, "I don't know Dad I guess in the middle?"
"No no no! You need visibility. You put them up against the main street. Never forget that, visibility."
I've remembered it all my life.
At about the age of nine I started working at the office, after hours and during the summers. I first began assisting the receptionist and answering the phones. It was a real switchboard - think Lily Tomlin - and by the time I went away to college I had worked in the various departments and had a pretty good overview of the business and the different areas.
Bob's strong work ethic and sense of determination started at an early age working on his family's farm in Bakersfield, California.
"My mom was school teacher and my dad worked for Kern county. They didn't have a lot of money so what I had to do was I had to work for a living. And growing up on the farm taught me how to not be afraid of any jobs, not be afraid of long hours, and not be afraid of hardwork.
Some of the jobs that I did, to name just a few and I did a lot of them, was I picked cotton - back in those days, it was before the cotton picking machine and you'd have that big ol' 10 foot long sock and you'd walk down the rows and you'd fill that sock up full of cotton, and you had to fill it up before you could dump it into the trailer. I hoed the weeds in the cotton rows.
I tended to the siphon pipes in the ditches at night to water the cotton rows and then in those same ditches where I tended to the siphon pipes at night, I could go on those ditches a hunt for crawdads which was the poor boys lobster.
So I'd say I had a good time going up on the farm."
Karen sees herself as a symbol of her father's legacy driven to building more than houses but homes. She takes pride in creating a neighborhood where dreams are possible.
My childhood was filled with grand openings of communities. My dad brought in the Three Stooges and nearly 15,000 people attended. Those early events were exciting and they were certainly memorable.
And of course no vacation was complete unless we visited model homes. I've always been very grateful to him for giving me the understanding... How wonderful it is to build the American Dream.
Karen and Bob have enriched the community through their service as trustees for such charitable organizations as Children's Hospital of Central California, Fresno State University, Habitat for Humanity, and local sports programs like the McCaffrey classic basketball tournament.