One of five kids, Ron Garton spent his early years in Chula Vista. His mom and stepfather then moved the family to Whittier, where Garton says he was "a typical California kid cruising Whittier Boulevard and Friday and Saturday nights and playing guitar in a garage band."


After graduating from La Serna High School in 1984, Garton enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at George Air Force Base as a fuels specialist in 1985. He's been a High Desert resident ever since.


Garton left active duty in 1988 and entered the Air Force Reserve, where he cross-trained into civil engineering and site development, receiving the training to launch his career as a professional land surveyor. He landed his first job as an engineering technician with San Bernardino County in 1989. In 2000 Garton left civil service and went to the private sector with the Keith Companies in Moreno Valley, where he helped build a Fazio-designed golf resort in Los Cabos, Mexico.


For the last eight years Garton has worked for Cubit Engineering in Hesperia. He's now director of Engineering and Surveying and serves as chair of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.


Garton and his wife, Doreen, have three children. Their youngest son, Tim, works for Garton at Cubit Engineering as a survey chainman. The couple are also raising a special needs grandson.



Q: What do people not know about your job?


A: When you tell someone you are a surveyor they instantly say, "Oh, you're the guy in the street looking through the little thingy." As a professional land surveyor I have many years of school, experience and professional development courses. I got my Land Surveyor's license in 2000 after passing the rigorous state exams, which typically have a very low pass rate. Land surveying is an art as much as a science. Land surveyors perform many tasks including, geodetic calculations, deed analysis, writing legal descriptions, digital terrain modeling and aerial photogrammetry. We are only visible to the public when we are in the field doing boundary surveys or construction staking.



Q: What is the best thing about your job?


A: The variety of different projects I get to work on. At Cubit we do everything from simple lot surveys to highly complex commercial, residential and industrial developments. One day I can be working on a terrain model for street improvements and the next day researching survey records from the 1850s for a boundary survey. You also get to meet a lot of different people with different backgrounds. As director, I get to supervise our marketing efforts and network with some great people and organizations.



Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.


A: I would like to own my own business someday. That would be a huge undertaking. I love to produce great projects but I hate the administrative side. That's really the hardest part of being your own boss. I would also like to break 80 at Hesperia Golf and Country Club.



Q: What is your greatest accomplishment, professional or personal, to date?


A: I just got my first trophy ever for being the Most Improved Golfer for 2011 from the Lands West Golf Club. I took 12 strokes off my handicap. I just started playing in June of 2010 so hopefully I can improve some more. On the professional side it would have to be getting my Land Surveyor's License in 2000 (PLS 7717) after many years of study.



Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?


A: In Hesperia doing what I'm doing now either at Cubit or in my own business. It's very nice to live and work in your own community. Hesperia and the High Desert have great potential for future development


and that is where a surveyor needs to be. I love to drive around town and point out projects that I've worked on. There should be a whole lot more in 10 years.



Q: What makes you tick?


A: New as in new projects, new challenges, new people, new guitars or new golf clubs. I really like new things to peak my interest. That's what is so great about my career. Every day something new comes up and you have to wrap yourself around it and figure out how to make it work. It's like when you get a new widget in the mail and on the box it says "some assembly required" and there are no instructions. That is fun!



Q: What is the source of your values?


A: My family without a doubt. From my parents to my grandparents, aunts and uncles there were so many great role models in my life growing up that I took a little from each one of them. Through them I learned about the teachings of Jesus Christ and was baptized when I was in high school. It helps to be able to turn the other cheek when you're the smallest kid in class.



Q: Tell us about your belief system.


A: We had saying in high school marching bad that "band is what you make it." I think that applies to life as well. If you go around looking for handouts you'll either get an empty hand or a handful of government cheese with strings attached. Opportunities just don't fall in your lap. You have to go out and find them.



Q: What motivates you?


A: Fun is great motivator. If you are having fun at work you do good work. Of course I have fun playing golf but that doesn't necessarily translate to good golf. I found myself having to speak more in public recently either for work or for the Hesperia Chamber. I was really nervous at first but soon realized that if I could make it fun that it was easier and less nerve racking.



Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?


A: That would have to be my son, Tim. He is a great guy with a good head and not a mean bone in his body. He is an accomplished musician and is studying to be a minister. His mother and I divorced when he was very young but we remained friends and kept close contact to make sure we were raising him to the best of our ability. He has turned out to be a fantastic young man and I'm sure he will have a successful future.



Q: What book had a significant impact on you?


A: "My American Journey" by Colin Powell. When I was with the Keith Companies, one of the company vice presidents, Larry Truman, gave me a copy of the presentation notes from a leadership seminar he attended. The speaker was Colin Powell. A few weeks later I was moving my stuff into a small cabana room at the company house in Los Cabos, Mexico where I accepted a position as a project manager. There on the nightstand was a copy of the book (Larry had been there the week before). It was a great lesson on leadership in adversity and we had plenty of that in Mexico. Especially when a tropical storm came through and wiped out three months of work.



Q: What are five things you can't live without?


A: God, family, music, fun and lately golf.



Q: What words of advice do you have for younger generations?


A: When you are 18 years old you are grown up so please act like one. There are too many kids not doing anything because they don't know what to do. When I went in the Air Force as a fuels specialist I knew it was not what I was always going to be but it got me started on the right path. Choose a good path and follow it to the next one.



Q: What is your passion?


A: Cars and guitars, ever since I was a kid.


I started playing guitar at age 10 and love it. I have a nice little guitar collection. My favorites are a BC Rich Eagle Archtop Supreme hand made for me by Bernie Rico Jr. who is now the owner of Rico Jr. Guitars. Bernie and I went to High School together and his shop is here in Hesperia. I also have a Gretsch 6120 DSW guitar similar to the one used by Duane Eddy that I picked up a couple years ago at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society festival in Nashville. I don't play as much as I used to simply because I have so many other interests.


Fast cars have always been a love as well. I always watched the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 growing up. I've even raced a little myself at the old road course in Las Vegas in a Porsche 914 and at Grange Motor Circuit in Apple Valley in a racing kart. I have a 1985 RX-7 sitting in my yard waiting for the economy to get better so I can make a club racer out of it.



Q: What do you do in your free time?


A: Golf has been my free time obsession lately and taking too much of it. My wife now refers to herself as a golf widow and I can usually be found on the course at Hesperia on the weekends. I am also the membership chairman for Lands West Golf Club and have been developing our social media content to attract new members.



Q: Which three people, living or from history, would you like to have at a dinner party, and why?


A: Well since I would rather have a fun dinner party than a serious one I would have to say Will Rogers, Steve Martin and Bubba Watson. I'm not sure why but they were the first to pop in my head.



Q: What's your favorite movie and why?


A: "The Man from Snowy River." It's just a great film with breathtaking scenery. No profanity, blood and gore, explosions or nudity. They just don't make movies like that anymore. The horse chase at the end will put you on the edge of your seat no matter how many times you've seen it.



Q: What is your earliest memory of the city?


A: When I was stationed at George AFB I went to Hesperia with a buddy to visit his girlfriend. It was a stark contrast to Victorville or any of the cities down the hill I grew up in. I was surprised at all the houses on large lots and there was a real relaxed and friendly atmosphere in town.



Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say, anything you'd like to get off your chest?


A: I love Hesperia. No, I do not need my head examined. This is a great place to live, work and raise your family.



Q: How can readers reach you?


A: I can be reached at my office at Cubit Engineering, Inc. 16490 Walnut Street, Unit B-3 Hesperia. Phone number is (760) 244-2247. My email is rong@cubitengineering.com.


Who would you like to see profiled in an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a line at Editor@HesperiaStar.com.