RANCHO SANTA FE — Since her arrival to Rancho Santa Fe more than five years ago, Rochelle Putnam has immersed herself in the community.
She joined the trails committee right away, she said.
“I’ve been on that for four years and a member of the riding club for five years, she said. In addition she has been on the Roads and Traffic Committee for three years, which she has chaired. She was drafted by the Association to head the committee that was in charge of the survey that asked residents about long-range planning in the community.
“It was so much fun. I learned so much about the Ranch. There was no subject we didn’t discuss,” she said.
She said her two main interests when she is on the Association board are to continue the drive to get high-speed Internet into Rancho Santa Fe and to work on the new marketing committee.
“Our focus really is on increasing the awareness of all the great amenities we have here in the Ranch. That includes clubs, groups and organizations,” she said.
When someone is looking to make a move somewhere, she wants to make sure they consider Rancho Santa Fe, which can be done by improving the website.
“When someone is in Boston and the snow is flying outdoors, I want their reaction to be ‘Wow! Rancho Santa Fe looks like a great place to live. Look at the trails. Look at the golf club. Look at that riding club. Look at the school. That is where I want to live,’” she said.
“I think Rancho Santa Fe is a fabulous place to live. I think the good news is we don’t have any major issues or problems,” she said. “I think we need to pay attention to the broadband and look at email communications with members.”
“The community has a tremendous amount of open space. The survey we took showed solid support for open space and 82 percent of those responding said they thought the amount of service provided by the Association is ‘just right.’
“We just need to stay in touch with the residents and make sure we are doing what they want us to do,” she said.
Another thing learned from the survey is that it is critical to people to preserve the rural atmosphere and the attention to privacy and security, she said.
She said a lot of credit to how well the community runs goes to the Association staff.
“I think they really have a lot of talent. I’ve gotten to know them and they make everything we do on these committees a lot easier,” she said.
Because of her experience on committees and heading the survey, she knows a lot about the community.
“I think I will be productive from day one,” she said.
“I’m into everything,” she said. “I’ve been like that all my life. In high school I was in three sports, I was the editor of the newspaper and yearbook. I was in drama.”
She graduated with honors from her high school and was valedictorian.
“In college (she went to Harvard) we made up clubs that didn’t exist, like the Stein Club,” she said.
The Stein Club was for beer-drinking enthusiasts. The Kirkland House Annex Beach Club at Harvard was for sunning on a the few warm days they had.
She graduated Harvard in 1984 with a degree in economics. Although she is a native of Maine, she decided to make a move.
“I decided to live in a warmer place,” she said.
At the time she was working for LPL Financial, with its headquarters in San Diego, so she relocated. There she met her husband Jim. They married 19 years ago.
“We had a lot of fun,” she said. “We were a great team.”
She worked at LPL for her entire career from 1984 to 2008, when she retired at the age of 46.
These days she spends her time riding her four horses and showing two of them.
“We trailer them to Fiesta Island,” she said. “We’ve taken them camping.”
She said packing for a camping trip with horses is worse than packing for a trip with human twins, what with the saddles, bridals, grain, water buckets and the like.
For fun the couple likes to travel, saltwater fly fishing and snow skiing. In honor of her 50th birthday, the couple is planning a trip to Africa. They live with their yellow Lab, Margarita.