Dale “Gene” Copley Jr. – I was born in Reno, Nevada more than a couple of years ago. Now I am a proud father of two wonderful children, one in college at Geoge Fox and the other is a junior at Cascade high school. I am also the lucky recipient of the affection of the best wife God could have given me. Throughout my life, I have had so many great people to give credit to. Chief among those is my grandfather who stepped in when my father left. He taught me about life and so much more.
I grew up here in Southern Oregon and love the mix of the outdoors and the incredible people. I left to join the Army and spent three years with the 101st. I had an instructor in Panama that summed it up and put it in perspective. After 3 months in the jungle, he said, “this is an experience that you would not trade for a million dollars nor do again for two million”. In the military, I met some great people, and to know them has been one of the true pleasures of my life.
After the army I went to college at Northrop University for my Airframe and Power Plant Degree, then on to aeronautical engineering, after determining that a future sitting in front of a computer designing a bolt with 3,000 lbs of sheer strength was not for me, I changed colleges and my major to administration of justice to join the LAPD. After two years and multiple ride alongs with different departments, I had the opportunity to observe an arrest of a particularly bad person. Let me tell you I have nothing but respect for this sheriff as well as many others, meaning that I knew that I could not have treated the prisoner with the kit gloves that they did. So I started studying Business at the University of Phoenix and found my niche.
Leaving Southern California and coming back home to Oregon was great, although after spending 12 years at a fast pace, it took me a little while not to get annoyed when a cashier was talking too long to his or her customer. Bringing this all together, and with the support of my wife, in 1996 I opened Quizno’s (at that time a little-known deli), which quickly grew into three stores. My next venture was a truck and RV repair shop with a friend of mine. I have opened eight businesses three of them with partners, and yes I am still friends with all of them. All of these experiences have made me who I am today.
Though I had great professors when I was studying Business Management, I have learned more than college could have taught me while opening and running six successful businesses and two that did not quite get off the ground.
My favorite saying comes from a quote my grandfather had on a plaque in his garage:
“All it takes for Evil to thrive is for Good people to do NOTHING”