10 Questions with Chamber CEO Bob Gattinella


Bob Gattinella is the CEO of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce. Born in Lawrence, Mass., he felt the desire to move to California at an early age and has never regretted it.

He is a licensed general contractor and has owned and operated two construction businesses for over 30 years. His company specializes in commercial tenant improvements and residential remodeling.

In 2011 he was voted in as president/CEO of the Encinitas Chamber. Under his direction, Chamber membership has grown by 30 percent.

In 2014, the Chamber celebrated its 50th year, and with the expansion of its Board of Directors, Gattinella remained as the CEO and continues to oversee the local Chamber of Commerce.

He answered 10 Questions for the Encinitas Advocate:

What brought you to Encinitas?

I was living in Palm Springs and was working on a lot of projects in San Diego and Orange County. I was spending a lot of time on the road and in motels. I looked at a map and found a convenient location between my two biggest business areas. We bought a second home in Encinitas, and two summers later, we decided to make Encinitas our permanent home. It really is a very special place to live.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Encinitas?

At the Chamber of Commerce, we get a lot of phone calls from potential visitors. I think what Encinitas really needs is another decent-size hotel with a banquet hall and conference rooms.

Who or what inspires you?

People who are the best at what they do, whether it’s in industry, sports or art.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Warren Buffett, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ernest Hemingway.

What are your favorite movies?

I like “The Godfather,” “Star Wars” and the “Lord of the Rings” series.

What is your most prized possession?

That would have to be my house. I designed the house for my wife and myself, then took the time off work to oversee the construction of the house. It’s just what we wanted in a house.

What do you do for fun?

I like to ski, scuba dive and fish.

What is it that you most dislike?

Pushy people with a closed mind who only understand their own point of view, who won’t listen to a different perspective.

What would be your dream vacation?

I love to travel, and every vacation is always too short — so a long vacation just traveling from city to city or country to country would be ideal.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Don’t screw up.