Updated: Feb 22
Rich Krantzman (CA-Theta)
Rich Krantzman, a new member of the San Diego Alumni Association board of advisors, hits the 50th anniversary of pledging SAE this coming fall. He brings to the board a wide range of experiences in sales, property management, international marketing, and, for a hobby, some 30 years as a drummer in local bands, most notably a Jimmy Buffet tribute band.
He grew up in Hayward and Moraga, in the Bay Area, and came south to SDSU for the same reasons it attracts thousands of young men every year from afar.
“It had a good business school, nice beaches, and beautiful women,” he said. “I had never been to San Diego but some buddies were headed there. So why not? I soon learned it had a great Greek system, too.”
Rich pledged in Fall 1973, his first semester at SDSU while living in El Conquistador, the only off-campus dorm at the time. At first, he majored in management but switched to marketing because he had experience buying and selling, going back to high school when he worked for an auto parts store his uncle owned. It was part of Grand Auto Stores, a family business based in Oakland that grew to a 120-store retail chain. “I enjoyed how you could buy and sell things and see how things are packaged and promoted,” he recalled. “Marketing was in my blood and State had great classes.”
He moved into the house and worked at a tire and battery warehouse in National City while going to school. He found a dream extracurricular job: hasher at the neighboring Pi Phi house. In addition to free food and occasional companionship, he improved his social skills and proudly notes he was named Pi Phi man of the year. He graduated in business marketing in 1978 and entered his first job, selling key machines, nuts and bolts and thousands of other items to repair shops and dealerships.
He soon moved on to a better job as a manufacturer’s representative in the region, representing a wide range of companies in auto-related products. He followed consumer needs that went from muscle cars, to van conversions, to mini-trucks, and to the general overall automobile parts, accessories, chemicals and closeouts markets.
Rich was named vice president of sales for Mexico in his first year as an automotive rep. He introduced Armour All into Mexico. He brought new companies to the US market from Europe such as Thule Racks and the Karcher Pressure washers. It broadened his horizons.
“In addition to calling on customers, I’d attend trade shows to find neat new products to sell,” Rich said. “A favorite was in Las Vegas, then Germany. I would represent some exclusively in my territory. The most memorable were Martin turbochargers in the early days and Karcher pressure washers, which were new to the U.S. and gaining in popularity on the east coast.
I got them into Price Club on Morena Boulevard. It was a big seller, helping people use the increased water pressure to clean patio furniture, decks, cars and walls.”
He worked for various rep groups from 1980 to 1991. For community involvement, in the 1980s he was president of The Society Club, which raised money for the American Cancer Society through large singles events and raised over $250,000 a year. Rich had his own company, Krantzman and Associates, from 1991 until 2009. The aftermarket began changing in 2007 and independent retailers were going out of business. Big companies kept acquiring smaller ones and the market changed. Some, such as Pep Boys, moved their headquarters out of California. Costco bought Price Club. He finished his career at NAPA Auto Parts in San Diego as a district outside sales manager.
For hobbies, he lists travel, photography, concerts, biking, travel, good wines and women. He is not currently in a band, but has fond memories of one band, Island Breeze, a Jimmy Buffet cover band, which opened up for Buffet at Coors Amphitheater in San Diego and Irvine Meadows in Orange County.
“We also did many ParrotHead club parties and played at the Endzoners Party at the Holiday Bowl a few times,” he said.
His favorite Bands: Yes, Styx, Beatles, Tower of Power, Stones.
“I'm a classic Rock Guy!” he said.
His favorite Venues, Humphrey's Back Stage Lounge. He has ushered at Humphrey's Concerts for some 23 years now, the Belly Up and the venue in Otay Mesa that changes names every so often.
Now semi-retired, he is divorced and lives in Bay Park. Rich keeps busy as a managing general partner of a family real estate partnership founded by his uncle and a partner 50 year ago. His dad, a role model, handled management until 2012 and then served as an advisor until his passing in 2021. Their properties include a shopping center in Merced, a strip mall in Dublin, Calif., and diversified holdings in Texas, Utah and Oregon.
“Investments are more affordable in other states,” Rich said. “We’ve pursued 1031 exchanges as one strategy. You can get much better properties than you can in California and some great tenants.”
(Editor’s note: A 1031 exchange is a swap of one real estate investment property for another that allows capital gains taxes to be deferred. It is named after a section of the IRS Code).
For his role on the alumni board, he wants to be active in broadening the membership. He had a great pledge class and many from his era are still in Southern California and are good candidates. He'd like to see more of his pledge bro's become active in the Alumni Association. The same is true for other generations, he said.
“We can all be active in recruiting younger members,” Rich said. “This includes getting them to the house and seeing the wonderful upgrades that have been done.”