Born in Indiana, Tari Blalock was raised by hardworking parents in a strict Catholic and Baptist household. She had lots of brothers and sisters to grow up with and help raise.


Blalock's dad, Jerry, was an ironworker, as was his father and brother. Her mom, Shirley, worked in various roles of office administration, banking and ran a transportation company. Her parents divorced and remarried, giving her the experience of having extra parents to help raise her.


Education was a top priority and Blalock attended excellent schools, she said. Her career started early as a babysitter, and she ran a baby-sitting clinic at her high school at just 14 years old. A Brownie and a Girl Scout, Blalock said she did well academically and was involved in multiple extra-curricular activities in both middle school and high school: track, swimming, band and French Club. She would attend several community colleges in California as well as the University of Phoenix, studying international business and computer science.


Her education led to working in some of the top companies in Silicon Valley, such as Hitachi and Yahoo. Blalock now owns and runs "Relylocal.com Hesperia" with her husband, Scott, and son, Morgan. Their company promotes and markets local businesses to local consumers in Hesperia, Summit Valley and Oak Hills. They are members of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce.


The Blalocks also work as International Exchange Coordinators for EF Foundation for Foreign Study, where they help qualify potential host families and match them with students from more than 25 countries. They are currently hosting a student from Germany named Eva who attends Sultana High School.



Q: What do people not know about your job?


A: That I love what I do because it protects our environment keeping folks here in the High Desert to shop and buy services reduces fuel consumption and keeps our air cleaner.



Q: What is the best thing about your job?


A: That I get to stimulate our local economy in Hesperia. We help keep the dollars local by encouraging the locals to spend locally.



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


A: To adopt a child. I love being a mother. My sons are in their mid-20s and raised. We host exchange students in their high school years and they go back to their home countries after their stay in the US. I want more children and would love to adopt a child or two from the foster care system.



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


A: Teaching children and adults about protecting our environment through hands-on planting and gardening of organic fruits and vegetables. Teaching them about raising chickens organically and about nutrition. I am a cancer survivor and helped get Relay For Life of Hesperia started in our city in 2004. Cancer prevention stimulates my passion about teaching others to live healthy lives.



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


A: Running a huge community garden and selling locally grown fabulously healthy organic fruits and vegetables.



Q: What makes you tick?


A: Doing the right thing to help others in need.



Q: What is the source of your values?


A: My spiritual upbringing and learning about hard work and volunteerism at an early age.



Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?


A: Mother Teresa because of her huge heart and endless giving by helping one life at a time her entire life.



Q: What is your favorite quotation?


A: "Work hard. Play Hard. Learn Hard." I've got to earn a living while making time for the good stuff playing with my kids, having fun riding my horses, loving my husband and worship. I never stop reading ever.



Q: Tell us about your belief system.


A: Constantly educating myself and learning alongside others.



Q: What motivates you?


A: Teaching others and watching them grow when they apply what they learn.



Q: What is your secret to living a happy, satisfying life?


A: Being an active Christian by using my God given talents and sharing them with others.



Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?


A: Running marathons to raise money for cancer research. I ran my very first marathon in 2001 in Nashville, Tenn. and raised almost $3,000 while I trained. Staying fit while trying to find a cure for cancer it was AWESOME to cross the finish line and receive my medal!



Q: What book had a significant impact on you?


A: "The Dorikame Saga: Birth of Change," written by Morgan Gavin and Blake Frazee. These gentlemen through insurmountable odds published their first book together as best friends. They started writing it in high school. They had academic challenges, but despite all of this, published a book together, a thrilling sci-fi fantasy novel. Emotionally invested in this book, my heart sings when I talk about it because one of the authors is my son.



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


A: God, my family, my friends, my pets and my horses.



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


A: Read, exercise, eat healthy, respect yourself, your parents and family always and keep your mind open about the world so you can form your own opinions based upon facts and personal experience.



Q: What is your passion?


A: Horses and protecting their environment so they always have a place in our world.



Q: What do you do in your free time?


A: Play with my horses, tend to my garden and spend time with my family and friends.



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


A: My brother Jerry, who passed away 20 years ago today at the age of 24, who I miss terribly; Walt Disney because of his amazing passion and talent to continue bring happiness to the world long after his passing; and Joan of Arc because of her courage and passion to put others first, even laying down her life for them.



Q: What's your favorite movie and why?


A: "Rocky" because heart and soul and courage is all you need to realize your dreams.



Q: Tell us about a special vacation.


A: Taking my mother to Paris in 2003 and taking my dad and stepmom to Alaska because it was a dream of mine to thank them for all that they have done for me.



Q: What's your favorite guilty pleasure?


A: Wine tasting I love touring vineyards, as it reminds me of my grandparents' farm in Indiana where they specialized in growing grapes.



Q: Tell us about your first car.


A: 1966 Ford Fairlane GT with a his/her shifter and headers to boot! It was a beautiful color of rust orange with white racing stripes. I bought it in 1983 from a coworker at one of my first jobs in California.



Q: What's your favorite sports team and why?


A: The San Francisco 49ers because they won five Super Bowls before any other NFL team and they worked hard to get there. We were heartbroken that they didn't make it to the Super Bowl this year after such an awesome season.



Q: What's the best thing about living in Hesperia?


A: The people and their friendly, loving hearts. We have made so many friends in our eight years here, and they are solid lasting friendships of personal friends and business partners.



Q: What is your earliest memory of the city?


A: In October 2003, landing at Ontario airport over a sea of flames due to the wildfires at the time. I headed to my Realtor's office in Hesperia after driving through the Cajon Pass that was on fire at the time. The first horse I bought in Hesperia, I named Wildfire.



Q: Describe a special memory you have of Hesperia.


A: My husband carrying me over the threshold of our house on Feb. 3, 2004 when our Realtor gave us the keys.



Q: Tell us about the charities that are close to your heart and why.


A: The American Cancer Society because I has the honor of chairing the inaugural Relay For Life of Hesperia in 2004 and again in 2005. Through this volunteerism, I met someone with melanoma who saved my life as I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2008. My brother has brain cancer and we have a Relay Team called Patrick's Chargers. This year I am serving on the Relay Committee as a Community Relations Chair and as a Team Sponsor. I have been volunteering for various cancer organizations since 1981 when my cousin, Michelle lost her life at the age of 4 to leukemia.



Q: What's your favorite place to eat in Hesperia?


A: The Italian Kitchen the owner Mike, worked with one of my bosses from Yellow Freight years and years ago. We can't wait to go back for some eggplant parmigiana and lasagna!



Q: If you could change one thing about Hesperia, what would it be?


A: Underground phone and electrical cables we have such a beautiful desert skyline, I would love to see it more clearly.



Q: Tell us one thing that most people don't know about you.


A: I am a nerd I love math, computer science, animal science and I love to read.



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


A: I want people to be tolerant of differences in others and appreciate these differences.



Q: How can readers reach you?


A: tariblalock@relylocal.com


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