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IN PROFILE: Jon Zellhoefer

BUSINESS: Owner of the Death Valley Brewing

AGE: 61

BACKGROUND: “My background could take a half page. I have a bachelors in engineering, a masters in business and a law degree. I have done product development forever. I inherited the property out here in Tecopa and it’s a great opportunity to be creative. Beer is like cooking, it’s an art. I got into brewing because craft brewing is in high demand right now.”

FIRST JOB: “My first was production supervisor for Proctor and Gamble. I was 21 and right out of college.”

YEARS IN BUSINESS: “Business is business, and it’s all the same. You look at demand and you look at the markets. I have been doing that even before I graduated from UCLA. I was senior class president and my job was to figure out what would make the campus more attractive to students so I have always been innovative. We need to be innovative and take advantage of our local uniqueness.”

PERSONAL: “I have been in and out of the area since 1969. I would say what I like doing the best in this area is working to enhance nature’s uniqueness. I like taking hikes and walks and restoring wetlands and things of that nature.”

BUSINESS CLIMATE: “The business climate is challenging. We are a most unique area and we have to find ways of developing business without altering what nature is out here. It’s a great area and opportunity for innovation. When people come out from the Midwest the businesses need to work together to give the visitors the experience that we can provide them.”

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