Our speaker today was Bill Ukropina, one of the founders of Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors. They currently employ thirty-three people who specialize in leasing and selling commercial properties in the greater areas of Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia.
Bill graduated from San Marino High School and Washington State University and has lived in Pasadena with his wife for thirty-two years. He has three boys, Nick who works in manufacturing sales and is in the USC MBA program. His son Grant is a management engineer at McMaster Carr Industrial Supply and is finishing his MBA at USC and Conrad, who graduated from Stanford in June of 2016 and just received his Masters degree there. Conrad was a member of the Stanford Football team and played in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game. He broke six (6) all-time kicking records while at Stanford.
Bill and his wife Lynn-Ann were lead sponsors of a Pasadena Cancer Support Community Event last year and are very involved as volunteers and donors.
Bill mentioned that he always wanted to be a quarterback from the time he was 8 years old. When he was in third grade he went with some friends to a San Marino High School practice and was able to meet Rich Haley, an outstanding quarterback in 1988. Fast forward to Bill’s youngest son Conrad, who was also interested in quarterbacking for his high school, Loyola High School. Conrad tried out for the position with several others and the coach had narrowed his choice down to three candidates, Conrad was one of them. Unfortunately, three days before the season opener Conrad broke his arm in four places during a tackling drill. He was determined to find some other way to stay involved with the team where all of his friends were. So Conrad decided to take up kicking. He was so good at it, his dad, Bill, decided to make a DVD and sent it to eighty (80) college coaches. Some schools responded with an offer of a partial ride, like USC, Princeton, and Yale. Only one responded with a full scholarship from Fresno State, Coach Pete Alamar. Conrad, meanwhile, decided to accept a non-scholarship “walk-on” position at Stanford. His first day there an announcement was made, “we have a new special teams coach, Pete Alamar”. It didn’t take long for Conrad to realize he had made a wise decision. In his first game in his sophomore year, with no experience at the position, Ukropina drilled a 44-yard field goal against UCLA on regional TV.
Conrad received a full scholarship his senior year at Stanford. He learned the art of Practice, Patience, and Perseverance and increased his work out routines, strategy and the patience it takes to win. He made a 42-yard and a 46-yard field goal against USC to win and against Notre Dame he made the game winning Field Goal after the defense tried to ICE him out by calling time outs. Stanford won that game 38-36.
Our thanks to Bill Ukropina for sharing his story and passing on a good lesson of Practice, Patience and Perseverance.