S: LIFE IS GOOD
16: When the request was made to share experiences and lessons learned through our friendship, where do I start? As you build your career, you look to find successful people who give strategic advice and share their wisdom only to help you become successful. I can’t thank you enough for the time you have spent with me, outside your office, educating, encouraging and guiding me to achieve a successful future. The lessons shared and wisdom given was always with a sense of compassion and understanding about the human element, driving me to be the “Best Person”, the “Best Human Being”, that I could possibly become (teaching me the understanding that this journey is a road, and not a destination). As I reflect on all of the conversations, meetings, and time spent over the last twenty-four years, I am truly grateful for the knowledge and wisdom that you have shared with me. As written by Robert Louis Stevenson; “That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had!” My Good Friend, thank you for ALL that you have done to make this world a better place! Sincerely, Philip "Ted" Attalla | PHILIP "TED" ATTALLA
17: During the years I have known Ramon and Dynamic Builders I have always considered it a privilege and an honor to have access to an iconic developer in the Country’s most important industrial market. Ramon’s legacy of success is incredibly impressive because of its longevity, volume and geographic breadth. There are few streets in Downtown Los Angeles that one can travel on without being reminded of the impact of Ramon and Dynamic Builders. When thinking about Ramon I am always reminded of his true entrepreneurial spirit. Ramon is a decisive leader that ALWAYS had the best information and support on hand to assist him. Ramon would often counsel me on the importance of a positive attitude and the multitude of intangible ways that positivity would permeate throughout your life. Ramon is a magnetic figure; the guy you want to sit next to, stand next to and hope to be a part of his next successful venture. Ramon is a truly individualistic, from his hair style to his manner of dress and the grand nature of his office. Ramon makes an impact on all those fortunate enough to be in his presence. One humorous story that comes to mind dates back many years. I was in a meeting at Dynamic’s office with Ken Jackson and Carol Jones. Ramon entered the meeting at about the halfway point and introduced himself. He said that he wanted to see how things were going or if there was any way he could be of assistance. My client was pleased to meet the founder of Dynamic Builders and to see he had an interest in his requirement. Ramon engaged the group in small talk for a couple of minutes. Then, he quickly moved toward the door and announced, “I have to get back to my office and finish counting my money”. He waved good bye and the room had a great laugh. My best to Ramon and his family for continued success. | JEFF RINKOV
18: Ramon, it is a pleasure to write to you to express my gratitude to you and your Family for many years of both a personal friendship and business partnership. I appreciate you taking me under your wing when I was a young salesman at 26 years of age (now 49, Wow!). I still remember the lunch you invited me to where you shared your advice to me. You helped me formulate a financial plan and told me to work it each day, you told me to reduce spending and save as much as possible, you showed me how to control my future by owning real estate, you told me to be conservative. I still have my notes from that meeting. You have been a mentor to me and I appreciate you getting me started in the business. I think our first big deal was the Spreckels Sugar property on Washington blvd. You were a tough client but a fair client and you loved to pay big commissions to the brokers and we all loved you for it. You wanted to get others rich which is why I think you are so successful. I recall giving you a pitch to hire me to sell 5 buildings in Rancho Cucamonga. You loved my new call center concept and aggressive mailings. One day you called my office and I was out and the secretary could not get a hold of me. I was probably at the beach or in the bar. You became very frustrated with me not calling back. We met and the result of the meeting was that I purchased a pager. You never knew that you were the only person who had the pager number. My wife was not even given the number. Eventually we sold the properties and I returned the pager. | MIKE SMITH
19: (Mike Smith continued) Some memories I remember about you are: 1. You were always the most generous and giving person. 2. You are an optimist. 3. You are a lifelong learner. I recall you learning multiple languages and studying and listening to tapes on your way to the office. I was blown away to see your built in desk in your Rolls. Not sure that desk would be legal today. 4. You have the ability to meet a person and correctly guess what county or even city they were born. This really started a meeting off the right way. 5. You are the ultimate salesperson. You know when to speak and when to listen. You focused on the client not yourself and this is why you succeeded. 6. Entering your office was always intimidating. You had to bring your “A” game. 7. You are a man of your word and you are always fair. 8. You love your Family and always put them first. Ramon, I have learned so much from you over the years and I appreciate the opportunity to write to you today to express my feelings. I wish you the best and if you are available for lunch sometime in LA or Orange County, please let me know and I would enjoy getting together.
20: I first met Ramon Bonin 20 years ago in 1992. Few people have made as much of a positive impact on me, both personally and professionally, as Ramon. Like most of us, I could go on for hours talking about him as I have during the past with friends, family and co-workers. However, I have chosen 3 particular stories that I feel best sum up my relationship with Ramon and what he has taught and meant to me. “Great People Make People Feel Great” The year was 1992 and Johnston Pacific had only been in business 8 months. I was constantly cold calling, searching for new buyers, tenants, investors, developers, landlords and sellers whom I could introduce my services to. Upon one such cold call, the prospect asked me if I’ve ever heard of a developer in Los Angeles named Ramon Bonin. I had told him that I hadn’t. He responded by saying, “Well that’s one person you need to meet because Ramon has practically built downtown Los Angeles and you might want to find out if he wants to do the same thing in Orange County.” The next day I sought out Ramon and called him on the telephone. I wasn’t expecting much because I did not feel he would even acknowledge my phone call, much less answer it. Much to my surprise, Ramon did call me back. I introduced myself and explained to him why I was calling and invited him to visit me in South Orange County to look at available land for sale that could benefit us both. Ramon took me up on my offer and we agreed to meet in two weeks at my office in the Irvine Spectrum and tour the new 125 acre Pacific Commerce Center in Lake Forest. | ROB JOHNSTON
21: (Rob Johnston continued) In the two weeks leading up to our meeting, I began asking myself what I had gotten myself into. Here I was, an unknown, meeting the #1 developer in the second largest city in the United States. What would I say to him? What questions would he ask me? Was I really capable of successfully working with a man like this? I became more nervous as the days passed and my meeting meet Ramon grew nearer. The night before, I could hardly sleep and the next morning I could hardly eat. Ramon arrived at my executive suite offices in Irvine with his son, Blaise. Ramon was not at all as I thought he would be. He was genuine, kind and very thoughtful. He engaged in personal conversation for our first 20 minutes together before even discussing business. He informed me that we had about two hours together and off we went with Blaise to look at land for sale in South Orange County. During the two hours together, Ramon made me feel important and successful. Blaise made me feel the same way, just like his dad. I kept thinking to myself, “These two guys must be fake. This must be a put-on. No one is genuinely this outgoing, caring and honest.” However, as our time together wore on, I realized that Ramon and Blaise were the real deal. They treated me as an equal in their presence. What I remember most about that first afternoon was, after we said goodbye, I felt like a million bucks. I felt great. Ramon made me feel as if he were the one just starting out in business and I was the incredibly successful real estate tycoon. Then I remembered a saying that I had heard years ago that went: “great people make people feel great.” That confirmed that I had truly been in the presence of a great man that afternoon.
22: (Rob Johnston continued) “Focus On What You Have Instead of What Others Have and You Will Lead a Much Happier Life” One of the projects I did with Dynamic Builders was an 11 acre build-to-suit project in Rancho San Clemente named the Fairway Business Park. During a particularly long and intense marketing meeting we were having prior to kicking off the project, Ramon sensed that I was a bit frustrated with the profit that Johnston Pacific would be earning in such a large project. (Ramon always treated me more than fair so, in looking back, I’m not exactly sure why I was exhibiting this behavior.) Then, toward the end of the meeting, Ramon stopped and was silent. He paused for a moment, looked at me and said, “Rob, focus on what you have instead of what others have and you’ll lead a much happier life.” Those words of wisdom from Ramon have had a dramatic effect in my life. Since that moment I’ve learned that regardless of your chosen profession or how successful you are, there’s always going to be another person who makes more money than you. If you spend your time focusing on what they have instead of what you have, you will never obtain the true happiness and live life to its fullest. | "Surround yourself with people that add quality to your life"
23: (Rob Johnston continued) “Because I Work With Good People” As I mentioned earlier, it was hard choosing just three memorable lessons learned with Ramon, but this last one I think about and laugh about often. Ramon invited me to Los Angeles to have lunch with himself and his son-in-law, Ken Jackson, to discuss marketing efforts on one of our projects. I had now known Ramon for about 8 years and there was one burning question I had always wanted to ask him. “Why have you been so successful?” I was eagerly awaiting the chance to ask him at lunch, with pen and paper in hand, ready to take down as many pages of notes as possible. I was assured that Ramon’s answer would be a long and detailed one and I was excited and privileged that I would have a chance to gain this knowledge. Well, half way through lunch the perfect moment came up. I said, “Ramon, you’re the most successful business person I know. Would you please tell me the key to all your success?” Without hesitation, Ramon leaned across the table and got very close and said these words – “Because I work with good people.” And then he leaned back and continued to finish his meal. Here I was, on the other side of the table, with my pen and tablet paper ready to write down a chapter’s worth of advice on how to be successful and Ramon blew me away with his simple six-word answer. Looking back, not only did that moment make a huge business impact with me, but it is also funny to think that I could have predicted what the master’s answer would be. I actually would have preferred being on the other side of the table and seeing the expression on my face when Ramon spoke those few words and immediately went back to finishing his lunch. On a final note, the older I become, the more I realize that rarely in life does one get to work alongside one of their heroes. I am one of the lucky few who has.
24: Ramon Bonin has been one of the most influential people I have met. Ramon has always impressed me with his amazing combination of humility, insight, and drive for success. I will never forget the motivational tapes and seminars that he shared with me. One of the most important philosophies that I garnered from these sessions was that as a business person you must have the mentality of a rat in a maze and never stop looking for the cheese, no matter the obstacles or frustrations. Regarding insights, one of Ramon's favorite truisms was that people are a creature of habit and they will eventually revert to their habits.These insights, as well as many others from Ramon have been instrumental in my life journey. I will be forever grateful for meeting Ramon and sharing his wit, humility and success stories. | HENRY MONTGOMERY | "People are a creature of habit and they will eventually revert to their habits"
25: Over the twenty years as Dynamic Builder’s manager of its banking relationship with Comerica Bank, I got to know Ramon not only as an astute businessman, an excellent but one of the toughest negotiators but also as a genuine personal friend who has the kindest of heart and sincere concern for other people’s personal lives. One of my most memorable moments with Ramon was the time I made an hour’s appointment late in the afternoon to negotiate the final terms of our bank’s credit commitment. When I showed up for my appointment, Dawn, Ramon’s executive administrative assistant asked if she could fetch me a cup of coffee or glass of water. I jokingly responded and requested for a couple of shots of whiskey given the tough negotiations I was expecting from Ramon. Dawn, true to form, brought me in into Ramon’s office and casually mentioned to Ramon my request. Without hesitation, Ramon took out a bottle of Schnapps, a couple of shot glasses, and poured for both of us. Both of us are truly not drinkers. However, over the full bottle which we totally consumed, not only did we breeze through the negotiations satisfactorily but also talked about everything and anything through the remainder of the afternoon. I was feeling so good after the lengthy “meeting” that I missed a bank-arranged ceremony for later that evening to award me an all important Chairman Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement. I was later informed that the president of the bank was not pleased by my absence because I was the only absentee among the 20 or so awardees and that I will probably not get the award after all. (The bank did give me the award after I explained that I spent the time developing my relationship with one of our most important clients). In retrospect, I am truly convinced that even if I did lose the bank award, the quality time Ramon took to get to personally know me, above and beyond our business relationship, would have been worth it all. That is Ramon. Throughout my 30 some years in my career, I developed many close personal relationships with my clients but none as great as with Ramon. Lots and lots of Kudos to Ramon Bonin.” | NILO SOLER
26: ROY MILLER | Mr. Bonin has shared many invaluable life lessons, thoughts and experiences with me over the past 11 years, covering a broad spectrum of simple but profound rules for daily living, happiness and accomplishment. He strongly believes in the power of the human spirit, self development, self motivation and self improvement and has shared many of his vast collection of motivational tapes and books with me. I have admired his humility, compassion (especially for the less fortunate), unquestionable integrity at the highest level and the care with which he treats everyone who provides service to him or his organization (waiters, doormen, parking attendants and employees at all levels; to name a few). I believe everyone leaves this gentleman's presence with a enhanced positive outlook and a deeper sense of self value. Talking of Mr. Bonin's compassion for others, I'm reminded of an incident that occurred about 9 years ago in downtown Los Angeles: He and I had just sat down for lunch outside his favorite fish food restaurant when he suddenly appeared extremely concerned about something that was happening on the sidewalk behind me. Without a word, he hurriedly took something from his pocket, stood up and handed it to someone who was obviously approaching from the side walk. I looked around and saw a homeless man reaching for the money Mr. Bonin was giving him. The man thanked him and with a broad smile hurried on down the sidewalk. Without any mention of the man, he sat again down to lunch and commenced our business discussion. This act of unsolicited kindness left an indelible impression on me and, since that day, I have kept a number of $1.00 bills that I frequently share with the needy at the end of freeway exits whenever I get the opportunity. Yes, I said "opportunity" because that's how I interpreted Mr. Bonin's action that day.
27: He grabbed the opportunity to assist someone less fortunate and in need of help. This might be the most compelling life lesson I have learned from this extraordinary gentleman. One of my cherished and unexpected gifts from Mr. Bonin is a book titled: Key To Yourself - Opening the Door to A Joyful Life from Within. He gave me this book on January 7, 2002 (shortly after meeting him), with the following handwritten autograph: To: Roy Miller May this book add Joy, Peace and Abundance to your Life. What you believe You can Achieve. With kind Regards Ramon 1/7/02 I feel extremely fortunate to have met this wonderful, uniquely talented and brilliant man who embraces and exemplifies all the principles of a full, wholesome life every minute of each day. I will remain forever grateful for both the personal and professional enrichments he has brought to my life and I will continue to pray daily for his well being and that of his precious family.
28: Mr. Ramon Bonin has been a friend, a business client and a personal mentor to me for over 25 years. I can say without hesitation, that outside of my immediate family, I have valued his advice, integrity and honesty in the top tier of all my acquaintances to date. Mr. Bonin’s achievements as an individual and businessman have only been exceeded by his unbelievable humility, warmth and generosity to his friends and associates. As much time as he devotes to his business, he always make time for those who call on him for advice. He is one of the few people that I know who sits with you and gives you his full and undivided attention and invariably you leave with actionable input. Where many an executive would be wary or reluctant to talk about their early beginnings, Ramon takes pride in doing so. Many might think this is done to show off his success, I interpret this as a motivational vehicle that serves him well, but also the receiver. I know for a fact that Ramon’s coaching and advice enabled me to far exceed my own expectations both measurably as well as personal development. | WINSTON MILLER
29: (Winston Miller continued) I have had many memorable experiences with Ramon over the years, but a few remain indelible in my mind. On one occasion, I visited him at the ranch with a work colleague, and we had an amazing time riding the quads around the perimeter of the ranch and enjoying the picturesque view of the ranch and the valley, like teenagers. Another time while at the ranch, Ramon and I were enjoying a walk. With blue, sunny skies hovering above around mid morning, Ramon looked up at the sky and predicted that in a few minutes we’ll be running for shelter from rainfall. Sure enough, there was a downpour within five minutes and in no time it was over, returning to the original blue, sunny skies. I am still amazed at how he was able to make that prediction! Ramon business edits have separated him from the corporate culture of today. In pricing his loan transactions over the years that I served as his banker, he subscribed to the “win-win” principle. He was always of the mind-set that the bank should be appropriately compensated, both in fees, compensating balances and business referrals. It was the greatest pleasure and satisfaction that one could ask for in any relationship. The most amazing part of Ramon’s journey is the way he conducts himself under the most trying of circumstances. Quite often as human beings we often, “talk the talk but are unable to walk the walk,” when life deals us tough challenges. Once again Mr. Bonin has proven himself to be the exception. I have heard him say many times, that life is 5% of what happens to you and 95% of how you deal with it (something like that)! Ramon your life reflects the very essence of this maxim and to me you will always be my ideal role model. In saying thanks for your many years of service to so many, myself included, I would like to quote from Philippians 1:6 – For being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. May God bless you and Patty as He continues to restore you to complete health and peace in Him.
30: I want to take a few moments to say thank you. When Andrea Berkley first handed over the Dynamic Builder account to me with the understanding that you were one of the bank's most important clients I was nervous and apprehensive about doing a good job. I remember during our first meeting when we all had lunch at the former Transamerica building how you knew the name of all the servers and how they showed you respect, not because you were the customer, but because they liked you. Even on day one, you taught me that everyone should be shown respect and given the courtesy of being addressed by their name. You were always my favorite borrower, not because of your portfolio, but because you were down to earth and showed genuine interest in me as an individual. Over the years, we talked about life and love and what was truly important (family, friends, and good health). I feel that you served as a mentor and role model. I admire the fact that you started with nothing but through hard work, perseverance and staying true to your word, you seceded beyond anyone's wildest imagination. Thank you Ramon for being the unique individual that you are and for caring so much about others. You have greatly influence my life and I will try to live by your example. | ING SAENAM
31: BENNETT MERMEL | Ramon became our friend when he built our first building downtown. This was one of seven buildings he would build for us. We appreciated his honesty, integrity and extensive knowledge about the business. Even after our buildings were built, we still remained friends and would go out to Langer's Deli for lunch every few months. My brother who is not with us anymore also held Ramon in the highest esteem. I consider Ramon a very close friend and admire him greatly.
32: I remember one day I was sitting in Ramon’s office. After we finished our business discussion, being the gentlemen, Ramon inquired about my family and my health. He noticed that I had dropped quite a few pounds since the last time he saw me. Ramon was worried whether there was something wrong. I reassured him that I was fine and healthy but I’d been seeing a nutritionist who put me on a strict diet that had worked. When Ramon heard this, he launched into a discussion of his diet. Gesturing with one hand in the air, Ramon instructed me on what I should and shouldn’t eat. When he was done, I turned to him and said very politely, Ramon, if you don’t mind, I’m not going to have you as my nutritional consultant. Ramon, who was not used to someone contradicting him and who enjoyed food as much, if not more, than I did, roared with laughter. We both started laughing and it remained a joke between us for years. When I would call the office and Dawn asked who was calling, I told her to tell Ramon it was his “nutritional consultant” on the phone. With that announcement, Ramon knew exactly who was on the phone. | DAVID LAPIN
33: BOB CLIPPINGER | I met Ramon many years ago as Kimberly Jackson’s father and Ken Jackson’s father-in-law. I thought he was a very spirited, lively, fun, fascinating and interesting man. I got to know him better when I had business dealings with him and Dynamic Builders. Ramon was always very fair, articulate and helpful when it came to difficult issues within a transaction. I appreciated his candor in addressing problems and his desire to see a project or problem through to a solution that was acceptable to all parties involved. I respect the company that he grew from the ground up as well as his ability to make things happen in tremendously difficult times. I wish and pray God’s blessings on him and his family. | "If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you've got"
34: The first time I met Ramon Bonin I was 23 years of age and working in the wholesale fish business. I was looking to buy my first warehouse and a broker introduced me to Mr. Ramon. He asked me a question to which in pursuit of the answer would change my life forever. The question was “Is seeing believing or is believing seeing”? The answer to that question was the beginning of the awakening of my mind. Ramon taught me a simple and powerful lesson that first day. He said “Charles, your thoughts are your most powerful things. Control your thoughts and you will control your destiny, for you are nothing more than the sum total of all your past thoughts and (subsequent) actions. You are what you think”. He told me I was three years away from being able to afford my first building, and as I left his office that day and he gave me a tape program as a parting gift, and our friendship began. Over the following years Mr. Ramon and I became close friends. We would go to lunch at Paul’s Kitchen, where Mr. Ramon had his own table reserved and we would feast on all sorts of Chinese food and talk about business, life, family and the laws of the universe. Three years came and went and sure enough Mr. Ramon built my first building and then some years later my second building. My business grew and grew and so did I as a man in search of truth and wisdom. | CHARLES LOVE
35: (Charles Love continued) I will share with you one piece of true wisdom: If you seek, you will find. If you knock, the door will be opened. For he who seeks will find, and to him who knocks the door will be opened. Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. When you seek the truth you will find it, and when you ask for wisdom you will receive it, but first you must know WHO to ask and you must expect to receive it in return. Let no doubt enter your mind, for he who doubts is unstable in all his ways, and is like a ship without a rudder, being tossed by the waves and wind. It is 0530 and I am ready to go to work now in a new industry. I am no longer in the food industry but now I work in the energy business. I have been through good times and I have faced challenges. My faith is what has pulled me through and I understand that the real treasure in life is not found in silver and gold but in wisdom and in love. Some seed falls on good ground and produces a crop. I am a blessed man and the LORD has used Mr. Ramon, my dear and good friend, to teach me and show me the way. Ramon, may the LORD bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and give you peace. Your friend Charles Love
36: PETE LISA | We first met in about 1978/ 80 just before he bought the garment delivery company, the name I can't remember, I guess he was just hustling me for my business. He was still doing construction as well. It seems we just clicked and became friends ever since. The one thing I'll never forget about him, he was there when my wife passed away in 1984. He was there to give me the inspiration and a purpose to continue, now that's what I call a friend. We've shared our personal stories, we've traveled together, been to each others house, we've laughed / cried together, you name it we've done it. Dynamic has built two beautiful building, well over 100,000 Sq. Ft. for me and my brother Tom, in downtown LA. Which we were very successful. I also remember Ramon and Patty giving us a catered party in the middle of the culdesac on Mateo to celebrate the completion of our new building, which was a complete surprise to me. The friendship I have with Ramon will go on till the day I die, Ramon is just one of a kind, he's a special kind a guy. I'm so thankful that we met !!! Ramon is the type of person where if you know him, is to love him...... Thanks, Pete
37: As an emigrant in this country for 30 years Bridget and I never met anybody like Ramon. We spent unforgettable time together. In those few lunches we had with him. He gave us advice about life and business that we will remember them for rest of our lives. He is a wonderful Man and our experience with him was nothing but enjoyable time Thank you Julio & Bridget | JULIO & BRIDGET MANSHADI | "What you think about comes about"
38: I first met Ramon in 1971 at Belmont Shore where Ramon and Patty rented a summer place for their 2 week vacation. Ramon could go to L.A. in the morning, take care of business and be back by noon for the rest of the day. I was living there at the time, being recently divorced. My 3 kids were with me for our 2 week vacation and they met Kim and Blaise on the beach. We all got together for a hot dog roast on the beach at night. We would have fires on the beach then in the fire pits provided. About the third year Ramon needed some doors in a building lacquered and his super and laborer who were doing the painting at the time were not able to finish natural wood. He had asked me in previous years if I would be interested in doing his work but I tried to stay in the South Bay area, and I didn't usually mix business in with my social life. I had the time to spare so I finished the hardwood and started a 40 year association. After we finished our hot dogs and were sitting around the campfire while the kids were off playing, I noticed Ramon had one of my precious Russian skewers in the fire and it was getting red hot and losing its temper. When I started to say something I saw he had burned into a log “Ramon loves Pat" and was waiting for the iron to get hot enough to finish the "ty". Needless to say, I could not interrupt such a romantic thought. Every time I use those skewers I am reminded to stay romantic with my lady. | BUZ SHADWELL
39: (Buz Shadwell continued) That reminds me of a time when Ramon and I were talking and something came about anger. Ramon said he never lost his temper. I laughed and said I had seen him go ballistic at times when talking to a sub. He laughed and said “Buz, I wasn't mad, that is all some people understand. I don't lose my temper I use my temper". That is only one of the many quotes I have heard from Ramon. Hope I have not given away any of his secrets. People in Ramons business and personal life have many titles for him, general contractor, businessman, investor, developer, financier, but I always think he would like to be called what I always refer to him as, "builder". He gave his company the right name, "dynamic".
40: BRETT ANDERSON | When presented the opportunity to contribute to your efforts in honoring Ramon, all of us here at Sladden Engineering began to reflect on what Ramon and Dynamic Builders have meant to us over the years. In reflection, we discovered that Sladden Engineering has been on the “Dynamic Team” since 1977. Over the past 35 years we have completed over 300 successful projects together. We take tremendous pride in our continuing relationship with Dynamic and consider this long-term relationship the greatest example of our commitment to our clients. We appreciate that Ramon has recognized our capabilities and commitment and has rewarded us with continued loyalty. We are forever grateful to Ramon and Dynamic Builders for the opportunity to maintain our professional (and personal) relationship through 5 different decades. Ramon is directly responsible for the growth, ongoing success and sometimes survival of Sladden Engineering for the past 35 years. All of our employees and our families have benefited tremendously from Ramon’s ambition, drive and incredible success. We have all learned a lot from Ramon and have many wonderful memories over the years but we have decided that it is Ramon’s graciousness, respect and genuine concern that is most memorable. Ramon has taught us that there is always room for a sincere smile, a firm handshake and a warm greeting even in adversity. | "Live in the present moment, what we have is now"
41: HOWARD SHADWELL | It’s hard to believe its been forty plus years that I have known you and the Bonin family. From the time I was just a kid on the beach, until now. There are not many people in my life for which I can say that. I think that alone says a lot about a persons character and the things in life that matter to them. On both business and personal level, you have been someone I have admired, not just for your accomplishments, but also in how you have handled our relationship. Balancing business and friendship is not easy, you have always made me and my family feel that our friendship is as important if not more important than our business relationship. You have been very generous in both areas. “I don’t lose my temper, I use my temper”, that’s something I heard you say many years ago, and it has always stuck in my mind. I am happy to say, you haven’t “used your temper” with me. Or maybe you have and I just didn’t realize it. I could go on and on about the things I remember, but 40 years is a long time. Just know, you have been a very positive influence in my life. I have often thought of how much of an impact you, the Bonin family, and Dynamic Builders has had on my life and of many others. Your years of real estate development has kept many people working for many years. The financial benefits you have provided to all the subs and their employees cannot be overlooked. You are responsible for that, you should be very proud. Thank you for the many years of friendship and for all the business you have provided. | "Life is all about your attitude"
42: MARK UYEKAWA | Ramon Bonin is by far one of the hardest working men I know, of which I have tremendous amount of respect for. I have watched Ramon hire and fire more superintendent than any other company that I have ever worked for. He is a man who does not put up with idiots, nor does he tolerate sub standard work. From the jobs of which I have worked with him, he has shown me not only his dedication to the field of construction but also the standard of quality of the work that is put into the job. Ramon is a man true to his words, he has treated me fair and with respect and that is why I enjoy working for Ramon. I am glad to have met Ramon and everyone at Dynamic Builders.
43: JIM CHAVEZ | I vividly remember the first time I was asked to come for meeting to the Holiest of Holy places, “Ramon’s Office”. Of course I had heard through the grapevine, a visit to the Sanctuary could mean the chosen one was not happy with your performance, or maybe he just wanted to know how you were going to approach a certain project, or worst of all sins, why were you asking for change orders. When I walked in to the inner sanctum, I was awestruck, and not to mention really nervous. I had never seen such a Palacio office. As I recall, Mr. Bonin’s chair was higher than his loyal subjects, it made me feel he was larger than life. Mr. Bonin shared with me his humble beginnings, and that with hard work, determination, and belief in yourself and the good Lord, really good things could happen. Ramon’s words hit a nerve, his message was beautiful and heartfelt. I would like to thank Mr. Bonin for all his kind words and lessons throughout our working relationship. Mr. Bonins lessons still apply today, my son has joined my Business, my belief in God is even stronger and good things are happening to our company, We are blessed to still be in Business throughout these four rough years. I would like to thank Mr. Ramon Bonin for all the work, discussions, and guidance; it has all made me a better man. | "You must always look for a win-win situation"
44: MALCOLM SMITH & GAIL WILSON | We are writing today about a man that has earned our total respect and admiration, his name is Ramon Bonin. We began our journey with Ramon in the late 1980’s. We have not only constructed a lot of buildings together, but have earned a mutual respect along the way. Sometimes, we would meet with Ramon over lunch, in his office, or even at his ranch to discuss business. Ramon has a way of making people feel comfortable and proud to be a part of his “Dynamic family”. He has demonstrated great leadership and wisdom throughout the years. We have found Ramon to be honest, loyal, successful, and a hardworking man of his word. This is not to say he is not demanding at times, but that is what probably contributed to his wonderful success today. Through the years not only have we had a great working relationship, but we feel we have acquired a life long friend as well. Our hats are off to honor our colleague and friend. We salute you! Malcom Smith and Gail Wilson Fineline Interiors Inc. | "Happiness is a choice"
45: RICK SCHERRER | Ramon, You are, and have been throughout my life, my uncle, friend, mentor, boss, antagonist, disciplinarian, and acted as my Father at times. I believe that after working for you over twenty years, I was fortunate to learn most phases of the warehouse development and construction business. Many times, you have stated that I am in the top two percent of the smartest people in the industry. Even if this were true, I would attribute this to your influence. This past year, I have spent six days a week with you. It has allowed both of us to spend time together sharing our lives, hopes and dreams. I am grateful for this time together. I will always love you.
46: BRUCE GILLINGS | I first met Ramon in June of 1982. I had been working for a structural engineer in Fullerton but wanted to get back into architecture. He knew Ramon and made the introduction: a week later I was working at Dynamic Builders in the Architecture Department. From the beginning working for a General Contractor – Developer was a shock for me, having come from the design side of the industry only. I soon found myself out on jobsites where I was frequently being challenged by field workers and superintendents for the constructability of what I had drawn. A very sobering – and valuable – experience indeed, it taught me to understand their needs and to view all of us as on the same team. Orchestrating all of this was Ramon. He had a vision of building a design-build firm when few others offered that service. As I would learn in the 2-1/2 years that I worked at Dynamic, Ramon knew what direction he wanted to go, and was on course to get there. For Dynamic, it proved to be an effective business model that contributed to the firm’s success and was later emulated – with less success – by other firms. For myself, I gained a comfort level and understanding of what was really needed in the field and how to approach construction from a cost-effectiveness model. That has proven invaluable in my career. For me, an even larger lesson was discovering how Ramon handled himself in many different situations. I was fortunate enough to be included in meetings at various stages of projects, including conceptual, design development, budgeting, contract negotiations, permitting, construction administration, and close-out. While I had experience in these, I had not been a part of the “behind-the-scenes” meetings where money, contracts and performance was candidly discussed. Through it all I was impressed with how Ramon dealt with challenges. Sometimes things were adversarial when a client would think they were not being treated fairly; sometimes it was challenging to come up with a good package at a good fee; any variety of circumstances. Regardless, Ramon maintained a cool and a professionalism, and after meetings he would talk with me and other Dynamic staff about what he had learned about himself and others.
47: (Bruce Gillings continued) He was always conscious of the perspective of those who would not agree with him, thinking through why they might be feeling that way and looking for solutions and a way for everyone to win. This approach to dealing with others was a whole new world to me. And what I kept seeing was how Ramon would master a situation, or always have that as his focus. Even when something didn’t work out as he had planned, he would step back, reflect on it, and look at it as a valuable learning process. Ramon was one of the most positive people I had ever met in my life, and remains so in his view on life. His outlook was consistently one of optimism, with each situation an opportunity for learning, growing, and searching for a way for everyone to win. Not everything turned out for the best, but often it did. When it didn’t, Ramon would reflect on what had happened and what he could have done to make it work better. Rarely would I ever see Ramon feel as though he was a victim of someone or something else, and when he did, that didn’t last for long. He always came back to taking responsibility for the outcome, or at the very least for his experience of the outcome. The impact of that attitude on me and how I view life has been tremendous. I have found over the years that as all of life’s challenges arise, I have been able to reflect on how Ramon dealt with his challenges, to the point where that is now simply a part of who I am. That outlook on life has become a defining force for me, and Ramon was a key inspiration for me in finding that. Out of my experience at Dynamic, I was inspired and motivated to start up my own firm. It was a challenging experience: often times frustrating beyond imagination, often times rewarding. What I learned from Ramon infused my experiences time after time. A number of years ago I was able to sell my firm to a larger one and become a partner with them. I still use the tools and lessons learned from Ramon, and find that again and again the more successful people I meet share core values that Ramon had. So while my involvement with Dynamic has tapered off over the years, I still smile and find myself in situations where I am reminded of Ramon. He has indeed had a large impact on my life, one that continues to this day.
48: DAVID SESTAK | It was a typical day at work when I answered my cell phone. It was one of my three sisters calling with distressed news; my mother had been in poor health and was slipping away. Her emphysema was straining the rest of her system. The insufficiency of her lungs was causing her heart to work extra hard to circulate oxygen. She suffered a heart attack and was in an oxygen tent fading in and out of conscienceness. When she was conscience she was in pain, gasping for air and unable to communicate. We were not sure if she knew what was going on or aware of who was in the room with her. I told Blaise that I might have to leave work on short notice and travel back to the Midwest for a week. Ramon got word of the situation and called me into his office. We were in his office for over an hour talking about life and death, the hereafter and eternal live. Ramon said “you should go back and see her”. My frame of mind was I didn’t want to go back to watch her die and I would go back for the funeral if she did pass. I resisted and agued that trip back to the Midwest was not necessary. There was a lot of crying and sadness (by me) and comforting by Ramon. In the end Ramon convinced me to go and told me that nothing at work could be that important and going to see my mother and family at that time was absolutely necessary. When I conceded to go, Ramon gave me the time off work, paid for the plane tickets for my wife and I as well as paying for the rental car. His generosity was hugely overshadowed by his concern that I do the right thing. He made sure that after I walked out of his office that I was going to do the right thing by paying for everything and let me know that I was not to come back to work. Not going back to see my mother would have been regrettable. My mother recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital while I was visiting and lived out the rest of her life comfortably at home with my father. There will always be a place in my heart for Ramon Bonin. He filled my mothers last wish to see her son one more time.
49: STEVE JUSTUS | There are too many memorable experiences with Ramon for me to mention, and of those most important, still too many and too private to share. Several memories do stand-out in a fashion that other people can appreciate. The first is a time when Ramon asked me if I was unhappy about something that went wrong, to which I said “yes””. He then asked if it felt good to be unhappy, to which I replied “no”. Finally he asked why I would chose to have unpleasant feelings when I could choose otherwise. The light bulb went on. Ramon balanced the scales of judgment on the basis of best result as opposed to foolish pride. I am fortunate to have had experiences with him where my own decision making ability was tempered by such reasoning. His memory was of course remarkable. He never forgot a thing, right Mr. uh, .. ? Ramon cared more for facts, than opinions. Except for the opinion of his boss, Mrs. Bonin. Mrs. Bonin was always right. Period. Of course he knew her well enough that she was not always consulted. Long Live Ramon Bonin! A champion among the best of men. His friend and admirer, Steve
50: LISA FAY | Ramon is a good man, maybe great? No, OK great man and knowing him has been a wonderful pleasure. Not only is he a great man, but a kind, caring, generous and thoughtful boss as well! My time working next to Mr. Bonin was a wonderful experience. He made Dynamic Builders not only a place of work, but a place where one felt he/she belonged and appreciated as if we were family. So for that, I will always cherish Mr. Bonin for the opportunity and allowing me to be a part of his family! May Mr. Bonin continue to live a healthy and prosperous life, and may his legacy be one of greatness and kindness.
51: MELISSA MARAVILLA | When I think of Ramon, I couldn’t help myself but cry. I don’t know why but he always has a soft spot in my heart maybe because I long for a father figure I never had? I started feeling that way when I saw him after his bypass surgery. I remember I was just a few months old at his company; my first impression of him is that he is a strong willed, strict boss; he always gets what he wants. I always sweat and very terrified every time I come up to his office, I actually call it the “principal’s office” that’s why I started calling him “SIR”. But when I saw him after his surgery I cried a river because then I saw the real man behind the “CHAIRMAN” when I hugged him at that moment I begin to realized that the person I am afraid of is a normal and a very kind hearted, generous person. He likes to joke around people but his funny jokes are always half truth. He is a loving husband, making sure that Patty is 100% right, a dutiful father to his children, he always stares them with love and admiration, a generous chairman to his employees, he makes sure that we are being provided for, be it in our bonuses or in our lavish holiday parties. When I got laid off I felt so sad, not because I lost a job but because I lost some of my angels in my life. Ramon, Ariel and Blaise...I consider them my angels because of what they’ve done to me. They were the wings that pushed me up when I was down, they were the torch that lighted my way when it’s too dark, they were my hands when I could not reach and when they were around I was in heaven. Thank you Sir Ramon for giving me the opportunity to know you and to work with you. Until we meet again
52: CAROL LEFKOWITZ JONES | In 1998 Ramon introduced me to the concept of creative thought, which was a new and welcome intellectual pursuit for me. Over the course of the next 10 years, in the context of the work place at Dynamic Builders and during the occasional outings to job sites, lunches and visits to the “octagonal office”, Ramon helped me to observe my own personality, and to view my own behavior objectively. He encouraged me to enhance the traits that helped me, and to challenge myself to modify those traits that were a hindrance to my personal or professional development. During one of my early discussions with Ramon, he encouraged me to get to know my prospects and customers, to better understand what drove them to their business and real estate related decisions. He felt that I was too focused on delivering my presentation, and not enough on getting to know my customer. I remember summing up his advice by stating “I know what you means mall talk!”, which I think made him smile because that didn’t quite catch the point, but was sweet and maybe touching in its naivety. (I later better understood and practiced the intended lesson J).
53: (Carol Jones continued) I remember distinctly one day confiding my upset when a coworker responded to me in a manner that I felt was hurtful, and Ramon’s kind response “you cannot control what people say to you, Carol, but you can control your own response (or reaction)”. I subsequently often considered his words. I am currently teaching my own children that words spoken (by others) are simply words, that their being spoken doesn’t establish their truth or validity, nor should we allow them to have any emotional power over us. This was yet another of many valuable lessons Ramon imparted to me. I valued my interactions with Ramon during much of my employment at Dynamic as the greatest education I could receive, and perhaps even allowed myself to linger there specifically for the opportunity his mentorship offered. I continue to practice creative thought, and I am now married and a mother of happy and healthy triplet girls now 3.5 years old. Ramon, thank you for your contribution to my life! My best thoughts and wishes always.Carol Lefkowitz Jones
54: JEFF WORTHY | There are few people I have met in my life, much less my career, that have inspired me to bigger and better things than Ramon Bonin. I was fascinated to meet someone who literally went from living in a house with dirt floors to the largest industrial builder in Los Angeles. The fact that he was a self-made man was impressive. The fact that he was self-educated man was even more so. Ramon placed a very high value on learning. In doing so, he encouraged me to complete my master’s degree and commit myself to lifelong learning. Ramon routinely reminded me that the most valuable asset for any man was the time he was allotted by our creator. Ramon was a very generous man when it came to his time. He took the time to mentor others as well as myself and was always willing to stop and listen when asked.
55: (Jeff Worthy continued) One of my favorite characteristics of Ramon was his unique sense of humor. I had lost a bet once to Ramon and Blaise and the wager was a dinner at Morton’s steakhouse. As the waiter was having us select our steaks, they displayed a large live Maine Lobster at $65 per pound. Blaise commented that the lobster appeared afraid of what’s coming next. Ramon looked at me and said, “Mr. Worthy is the one that should be afraid”. The memorable moments with Ramon are numerous. Perhaps the most memorable moment was during a team building event out in the desert. I had organized a camping trip with the construction personnel. I showed up early to set things up. Minutes after I got there, Ramon showed up out of the blue. I pulled out a few camp chairs and we sat done to talk for an hour. Later that evening, Ramon returned to join all of in in a steak dinner as we sat by the campfire. Ramon is an American made success story, a testimony to hard work, ceaseless learning and finding opportunity where there appears to be only challenges. I am grateful to have been a part of his company and am honored to consider him a friend.
56: When I think back to a time when I was on the Dynamic Builders Bus as a team member I have a smile from ear to ear. My memories are very fond of you and your company. You and Patty held some of the funniest most get down and dance all night and wake up the next morning with sore dancing feet parties!! Talk about a fun company picnic! Great times!! I really enjoyed working for your company. I loved all the smiles in the office with the friendly good mornings from all! I liked how every day was a new day. I appreciated the respect and sincerity throughout the office. Dynamic Builders, Inc., the name really says it all!! I was so proud to be riding on the bus. I enjoyed being a part of the team atmosphere really empowered how I was allowed to grow and creatively have my own responsibilities all in the same. | FERON BRADACH
57: (Feron Bradach continued) I interviewed for my position first with Steve Justus. He asked me to meet with you Mr. Bonin and Blaise a day or two later. I was intimidated at first, well the first 5 minutes, and then the two of you made me feel more excited than I ever had felt before about starting a new position and jumping on board. My first day I was asked by you to bring a roll of plans down. I grabbed those plans ran downstairs opened your office door and walked right up and placed them on the table. You kindly asked me to pick them up and turn back around, go back outside your door, close it and then try knocking first. So I knocked on your door and you asked me to come in and hand you the plans this time. I totally understood so much about you in that first part of my voyage with your company. You were so respectful to me, I really appreciated that! Integrity is a very important word. You, Mr Bonin and your company taught me so much about integrity. Consistent values, actions and methods. Another thing I admired was how you understood that we are all human and we may error. In this situation honesty and openness about the error turned into a lesson learned. Thank you for being such a kind man!
58: BARRY SEGAL | THE LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE I opened my architectural business during the boom times of the mid-eighties. There was plenty of work, the business expanded rapidly, and I soon had an office of about ten employees. It was easy—and I thought it would always be that way. So when the recession of the late-eighties/early-nineties hit, I was totally unprepared. In a very short time, everything I had worked for was gone—and the debt was mounting. I tried everything from selling, marketing, and advertising, to calling old clients. I even tried cold-calling. But nothing helped. Then one day, as I was discussing my plight with a friend, he suggested that my problems might not be on the physical level. That perhaps I should look at my relationship with money on the metaphysical level. He then recommended I read a book called, “The Abundance Book,“ by John Randolph Price. I bought the skinny little green book, which is a forty-day meditation on prosperity and wealth—and so I began my meditation. I meditated as the credit cards maxed out. I meditated as I missed another mortgage payment. I meditated as the utility companies threatened to cut off the gas and electricity. I meditated as I sold off the last of my assets—the stocks and bonds I had been given for my bar mitzvah. On the fortieth day, with the debt still mounting, in an act of desperation, I opened the LA Times classifieds and began reading the want ads for architects.
59: (Barry Segal continued) You have to understand that I had never worked for anyone before. I had always been an entrepreneur from my first lemonade stand right up to opening my architectural office. So for the first time in my life, I was reading want ads. All of the ads were similar. They gave a brief job description and then said, “Send resume and salary history to post office box .” Well, I had no resume and my salary history was simply that whatever was left over after I paid the bills and my employees, was mine. Then an ad jumped off the page at me. It read “Prestigious downtown builder seeks in-house architect. Call Ramon. 213-746-6630.” So before I had a chance to think about it, I picked up the phone and called Ramon. A secretary answered and I said I was inquiring about the ad. She asked if I’d like to interview for the position and when I said, “Yes,” she asked, “Can you be here in an hour? And,” she added, ”bring your resume.” Of course, I didn’t have a resume, but I jumped in my car anyway and headed to an interview for a job that I probably wouldn’t be offered, and even if it was offered to me, I really had no intention of taking. I arrived at the address, in an industrial area just south of downtown that wasn’t familiar to me and when I pulled into the parking lot, the first thing I saw was a brand, spanking-new, white, Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, parked in a space that had a placard on the wall that read, “This Space Reserved for Ramon.” I walked into the uniquely-designed, concrete block building and after a short wait in the lobby, a thickly-built man, with construction worker hands, a big smile, and a booming voice, said, “Hi, I’m Ramon,” in an accent that I couldn’t quite place. I would learn later that it was Cajun and that Ramon had grown up in the poorest part of Louisiana, in a tarpaper shack, with barely enough food to eat. I would also learn that today, Ramon was a multi-millionaire owning hundreds of buildings in and around Los Angeles. His success he attributed to living according to what he called, “the laws of the universe.”
60: (Barry Segal continued) He ushered me into his office and we sat down. Ramon then asked to see my resume. I took a deep breath and said, “Ramon, I have to be truthful with you, I don’t have a resume. And I’m not really looking for a job—I’m here by accident.” Ramon stared at me for a few moments and then slowly said, “Barry, there are no accidents.” That, I would learn, was the first law of the universe. We had a friendly conversation about what he did (building industrial buildings) and what I did (designing residential buildings). After about thirty minutes, Ramon stood up. We shook hands, and I left. When I got home I said to my wife, Kathy, “I met this interesting guy today and I just have a funny feeling he’s going to offer me a job.” Kathy, who’s much smarter than I am, said, “You have to send him a thank you note.” “Why?” I asked. She said, “It’s the right thing to do, and, you have to get it in today’s mail.” She helped me compose a letter, which we sent off that day. The following afternoon, I was sitting in my now empty office when the phone rang, something that hadn’t happened for a while. I picked it up and a voice said, “Hello, Barry, this is Ramon. Are you available for lunch tomorrow?” I said I was, and he asked if I had ever been to Paul’s Kitchen, which is an old-time, Chinese restaurant that is sort of an institution downtown. I said I hadn’t, and then something intuitive made me ask, “Would it be okay if I brought my wife? She is my partner and I don’t make any decisions without her input.” Ramon said that it would be great. In fact, he said that his business was a family business and he appreciated the importance of family. Taking care of family, I would learn, was Ramon’s second law of the universe. “However,” he added, “since your wife is coming, we’ll go to The Tower for lunch.”
61: (Barry Segal continued) The next day after Kathy and I arrived at Ramon’s office, he took us on a tour in his Rolls Royce, of industrial Los Angeles showing us all the buildings he had built. The tour ended at the Transamerica Building—a very exclusive restaurant on the 32nd floor of the Transamerica Building with a panoramic view of the city. As we pulled up, the valet opened the door and said, “Hello, Mr. Ramon,” and Ramon called him by name and then asked about his son. Then the doorman said, “Hello, Mr. Ramon,” and Ramon knew him by name and asked about his wife. They all knew him—the elevator operator, the desk clerk, the matre de, all of them. Kathy and I glanced at each other and we were immediately impressed with the genuine concern that Ramon expressed to everyone he met. As we got into the elevator that would take us to the restaurant, we noticed that it was undergoing renovation and the panel where the buttons should have been was covered with a piece of plywood. Ramon asked jokingly, “How will we get there?” Without giving much thought to her response, Kathy said, “We’ll have to visualize it.” Ramon stared at her a moment, then responded, “I believe in that.” To which Kathy shot back, “So do I.” Well that started a whole conversation between Ramon and Kathy that would last throughout lunch, completely excluding me. You see, visualizing what you want was Ramon’s third law of the universe.
62: (Barry Segal continued) We were seated in a glass room with a magnificent view of all downtown and I enjoyed the view and the food while Kathy and Ramon continued their conversation. Finally, as dessert was being served, Ramon turned to me and said, “Barry, we spoke to over one hundred people and personally interviewed over forty people for this job—all of whom were more qualified than you. But out of all of those people, you were the only one who sent a thank you note.” Giving gratitude, I learned was Ramon’s fourth law of the universe. Ramon then asked, “If I offer you this job, tell me, how will you help me?” As I gathered myself to give the perfect answer, because now I wanted this job, Kathy, who I always thought was much smarter than I, interrupted Ramon and said, “Ramon, I know how my husband is going to help you, but tell me, what are you going to do for my husband?” I almost jumped across the table, but Ramon took it in stride and with a laugh said, “I’ll teach your husband the laws of the universe and how to create wealth.” He then made me an offer I couldn‘t refuse, so I closed my office the next day and went to work for Ramon. The first day at my new job, Ramon personally gave me a tour of his office facilities and introduced me to his staff. After meeting everyone, we ended up in his library, where he housed an extensive collection of metaphysical and motivational books and tapes and he invited me to borrow anything I wanted, any time I wanted. As I looked through the shelves, I spotted something familiar—that little green Abundance Book. I now remembered that I met Ramon on day forty, the last day of my forty-day meditation. I opened the book and there inscribed on the first sheet was a hand written note that said, “To my dear friend, Ramon, from whom I have learned so much. John Randolph Price.”
63: (Barry Segal continued) I worked for Ramon for ten years and over those years Ramon taught me much about the laws of the universe. We had many long discussions over lunch—some at the Tower, but many more at Paul’s Kitchen, where Ramon was a legend. He even had a placard over one of the tables that read, “This table reserved for Ramon.” Always after lunch at Paul’s, the waiter would bring our fortune cookies. Ramon would open his first and it would always say something like, “All the riches of the world are already yours.” Then I would open mine and it would always say something like, “If you just work a little harder, then all the riches of the world can be yours.” Ramon was an excellent teacher and I learned his laws of the universe. Ramon and his teachings have made a great contribution to my life and to this day when I’m faced with any difficult decision I often stop and ask myself, “What would Ramon do?”
64: Ramon, as my first and most influential mentor in business, you have taught me many lessons. However, the most important lesson was the need for constant and never-ending improvement through self-education and evaluating the results of actions taken. Sure, we spent many hours at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, and you exposed me to more ideas that I can list. But the underlying instruction was that we should never stop learning and improving. This is adding to my life every single day. Just as Jesus spoke if teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish, you have taught me how to seek out valuable knowledge. There is much chaff floating around, but we need to be able to sift through it to get to the wheat. You showed me what the wheat looks like. Sure, you directly gave me much wheat, but the never-ending value has been the understanding of how to eliminate the bad information and to expand on the good. I am a work in progress, but without you I would not be the man I have become. You and I spent many hours evaluating the results of my actions. This process has given me the ability to correct inefficient steps in my processes, and to improve my results. People (other than you) just don't understand the value in teach this to a young person. But you have know this, and taught it well. It isn't enough to say that an action failed. It is more important to evaluate WHY it failed, and to change the approach so that same mistake isn't made again. | IAN MARKSBURY
65: (Ian Marksbury continued I remember sitting on your couch on Rockledge in 1984 and then during the summer of 1985 in Newport talking about life. I also remember the lunches and dinners we shared. Remember the time we sat at the Chinese restaurant in Fullerton and filled the entire table with plates of food just so we could experience the variety? And the few meals we had at Homer & Edies? These are memories I cherish and save for those moments of personal doubt. Your rise from poverty in Louisiana to the heights achieved have been an inspiration. I am glad to have the chapter from Robert Anthony's book to read from time-to-time. Ramon, you are loved AND appreciated by so many of us. Thank you for making an enduring change in my life and for sharing a part of your life with me. Ian P.S. I still wear the Pepperdine watch you and Patty gave me when I graduated in 1986 and I still have a nail you gave me during our first visit to one of your projects before I graduated. | "Focus on what you want and not on what you don't want"
66: MIKE FLORA | In my short time at Dynamic Builders, I became acquainted with and learned to admire and respect Ramon. In thinking about how I would respond to Ariel’s request, I thought about the few people in my life that have changed its course, and there are only a few. Ramon was one of those people to me. He gave me opportunities that others were reluctant to do. He gave me experiences that would not have been possible without his help. He allowed me to grow and guided me on that growth path. He taught me to be compassionate and firm at the same time. He made me laugh when I saw nothing to laugh about. He showed me how hard work would pay off at the end of the day. He introduced me to people that I cherish and would not have known without him. He directed me in such a way, that I became the person I am today. Ramon, I thank you for it all. My best always.
67: TONY MAMARIL | My memoire with Ramon Bonin: My memoire with Ramon started when I was hired by Dynamic Builders, Inc. in June 1989 as an architectural drafter. During those years, all construction hand drawings was produced together with Ramesh and Jagdish Patel in the architectural department with definite deadlines. Every time I meet Ramon by the office hallway, he will always ask if the drawings are finished and if they are ready for city submittals. As years pass, he changed his line of questioning or inquiries, from assertive where are my drawings or where are my permits or lastly where are my preliminary drawings? All these questions are just for you to start a wonderful conversation and to have a nice working day atmosphere in the office. Ramon and I had many fun projects together, from building plans, elevations and a fabulous entry, then office space planning and building site layouts and on to small garages, fences and cabinets. In some of our meetings, he was so humble that he wants to take a moment to learn and speak the Filipino language so he could communicate all his ideas to me. It was so obvious that I could sense his frustration when he would call Ariel for help to translate from English to the Filipino language. Ramon always had the last words to say, sometimes a quote from his personal experience “your ability for accomplishment will always follow with success”. I am honored to take all of his worthy advice. This is what makes him very well respected and a great friend. Thank you Ramon for your sincere personal advice, your valued time, your wonderful generosity and for the great opportunity working with Dynamic Builders, Inc. God Bless you. Sincerely Yours, Antonio C. Mamaril Jr.
68: DAWN MARTINEZ | I met Ramon on April 23, 1997. The date is so vividly impressed due to the fact it was a most life altering day. I walked into Dynamic Builders for a job interview I answered in the Los Angeles Times. At that time I was a broken woman, who was dealing with divorce, dropping out of college and in the process of finding a place to live and a new job. I had my interview with the HR department and went on my way to my next interview. As I was driving down the 110 freeway toward my second interview of the day, I was called back for a second interview that was to take place in 20 minutes if I was available. I decided to ditch the second interview as I honestly believe GOD had something special for me after all the world had been dealing me. I met with Ramon and Blaise and discussed some of my back ground and was asked if I would excuse he and Blaise while they spoke privately. I was called back in before I could sit down I was called back into Ramon’s office and welcomed to the Dynamic family. Since that day I have been blessed in more ways than one. I found a job at which I was not hindered from personal growth as it was encouraged on a daily basis. There are so many things that Ramon had taught me over the years. We had discussions about Job, angels, finances, relationships and many others. He and I seemed to have the conversations I could not have with other people without the other person being offended due to my beliefs. He listened and then gave his wisdom on the subjects. These were enlightening times.
69: (Dawn Martinez continued) The background of Ramon is one I tell to many people as I am inspired how an American citizen rose from the circumstances handed to them to be something great. I honestly believe it’s almost like spreading the gospel of prosperity to some people. Work or be lazy, it’s your choice but, you if you keep doing what you’re doing, you will keep getting what you’ve got. You have the power to make decisions to change your life. I have come to love Ramon as a father figure and find myself very jealous of his children, that I had not known him longer. I somehow feel I have missed out on more of his knowledge. I want to thank you Ramon, from the GOD created being I am, for being a part of my life. You have inspired many people. GOD puts people in your life for HIS specific plan to work in their lives and I am very blessed to have had Ramon put in my path. Agape,
70: ROGER MADISON | When I first met Ramon Bonin it was by a strange introduction of sorts. I wasn’t looking for a job as I had just set up a new corporation and I was in the process of separating from my partnership in Maxwell Industries. I was set against working for anybody ever again. I got a phone call from an old friend that I hadn’t spoken to for 3-4 years. Explained my separation from Maxwell and my plans at the time and he suggested that I meet with this guy he knew “Ramon” before I decide what direction I go. I was pretty resistant to the idea and Glen finally said he wants to meet you at his ranch and buy you lunch, so what is worst that can happen “you get a day relaxing at a ranch and a free lunch”. Being one that never turns down a free lunch and thinking that if this guy is willing to give up his Friday to meet with me; I would agree to meet him in Hemet. Well, I drove and I drove and I drove some more to what seemed like the end of the world as I knew it and finally arrived at a ranch house of what looked like a church camp. A gentleman rode up on a quad and asked who I am and I replied that I “am looking for a guy named Ramon Bonin but I think I am lost”. He replied “no you’re not lost, stay on this road till it splits and take the left split up to the house, park by the garage. He is up there waiting for you”. Now at that point I would have sworn that I knew the guy I just spoke to on the quad, and it turned out that I did, but that is another story. So I drive past the grapes past the ponds and the Playboy Mansion Grotto pool and stopped at the pool house. No garages in sight so I kept driving up the hill. Finally parking I got out and met Ramon at his kitchen door for the first time.
71: (Roger Madison continued) My first impression of Ramon was that he was a delightfully simple man dressed in comfortable cloths but at first glance, he looked like the kind of man that took no prisoners. Boy was I wrong Ramon started by telling me about himself and how he had gotten to the position that he held and how he developed properties in a unique way. At that point I knew nothing about him or his business. I had spent 20 of my roughly 30 years in the business under 2 men that had very different dispositions. David Strauss was always looking for blood in the water and someone to kill. Bob Lawrence of E&T was just the opposite being slow of thought and actions to the point that I had run the company for 9 of the 10 years that I was there. I didn’t want to relive either of those experiences so right off the bat I told Ramon “I’m not really looking for a job but Glen said you would buy me lunch”. Ramon laughed and we sat down and talked for 3-1/2 hours. I gained an education into a new way of doing business that day. I had proudly shown Ramon P&L statements from E&T where I had maintained 13.5 to 14.5% net profit over 8 years while open bidding with a 5-6% margin. This is something rarely done in the industry. He simply said we make a bit more and went on to explain how his structure worked. Bored of sitting at the kitchen table Ramon loaded me into his white SUV and showed me the property, including all 300+ acres. This is where things got interesting. At first we just drove around the ranch and up to the infamous tree house. I hoped that we weren’t going to be building tree houses since most of my experience was in steel and concrete. I didn’t have a clue what the structural foundation loads of a pepper tree where.
72: (Roger Madison continued) We piled back in the SUV and headed back toward the camp. All of a sudden Ramon decided to drive up the side of the mountain. Did I mention that there was no road plenty of boulders but no road! He said “I am planning to put a road in here some day” as he started up the hill. I just said something like But, But But I hung onto seat, I hung on to the dash board, I left permanent marks in the side panel, I grabbed the ceiling when my head hit it and finally, we made it to the top of the hill. We stepped out and as he explained his plans for the valley below; I realized the complexity and intelligence of this simple man from humble beginnings. PS. He did buy me lunch that day in town at his favorite fancy restaurant. This is where I really learned about Ramon’s preferences. The waitress dressed in shorts and a tank top said in an obnoxious voice “the special is burger fires and a coke for $4.99 what a ya gona have” and the rest was history.
73: CARMEN ANICETO | The first week I started with Dynamic Builders Inc. I got a call that Mr. Bonin would like to meet with me in his office (little did I know then, that when Mr. Bonin calls, you run!!!). I was so surprised that most of the conversation he asked was about my family and he wanted to know more about me - not just my work experiences and background. I knew at that moment, I am right where I needed to be... Mr. Bonin's Dynamic world! And as time went by (8years and still counting!), my professional career has been nothing but top notch. I have learned so much and I particularly enjoy the pace of each project. Fast, fast and fast! And as Mr. Bonin would often ask...ARE WE DONE YET? Or WHERE'S MY C OF O? No one questions that as everyone knows it’s just the Dynamic way of life! Each year both Mr. Bonin and Blaise take us out for Administrative Day aka “fancy” lunches to let me know how they appreciate all that I do. And each time I walk away knowing my job means more than a simple paycheck. I consider myself really lucky for the opportunity to work for Mr. Bonin and be surrounded with people who have nothing less than the Dynamic attitude!!! Thank you Mr. Bonin! Sincerely, CARMENGUIA ANICETO Filipino Mafia Queen-bee
74: CHRISTY FULBRIGHT | The idea of summing up Ramon in a paragraph is difficult, in fact, it is impossible. His influence on me is huge. Ramon has impacted my life more than anyone - second only to my husband, and my beloved grandmother. Ramon is a force, a light, a lightening bolt. He is powerful, thoughtful, insightful, kind, from another world. He showed me how to see myself , and my place in the world, from another perspective. He gave me my first book, The Richest Man in Babylon, and many, many others. He has spent hours teaching me, guiding, and listening. Ramon taught me to shoot guns ( he could be in Special Forces - he's that good of a shot). He helped me buy my first income property. If I am forced to make an important decision, I look to Ramon for advise. Ramon is a dear friend, father figure, and a role model.I am very blessed to know him. Some of my favorite Ramon - isms... "Change Channels" "Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want" "Wait a while" "Fake it till you make it" One of my best memories is on Ramon's ranch. We strapped produce from Bonin's market on the back of the quads, and rode out to an area with an old homestead. The foundation, and the old fireplace was all that was left. We sat under big shade trees. Ramon pulled out a salt shaker and a knife, and we ate fruits and vegetables for hours, sharing stories. At one point, Ramon looked around and said, "Girl, it doesn't get any better than this". He was right.
75: DESMOND DONNELLAN | I have known Ramon for over 20 years. In this time he has been an inspiration professionally and personally. One of the first memories I have of Ramon is he and my father discussing a book that Ramon had lent to my father about positive thinking. Over the years my dad would share these books and audio tapes with me. There is no doubt this had a huge impact on my upbringing. Introducing my dad and me to so many motivational and positive materials has added so much to our entire family. Ramon is one of those special types of people that whenever I spend time with him, I always leave feeling more inspired, motivated and grateful, with a better appreciation for all the blessings we have in our lives. Ramon has been a personal and professional mentor. Rarely have I come to Ramon with a challenge that he hasn’t already come across. Most times he has a solution or a way to address the obstacle that is both logical and effective; and often seems so blatantly obvious after he mentions it. I also know Ramon to be a man of integrity in good times and when faced with adversity. I am proud to call Ramon one of my truest friends who has been a role model both by example and teaching. One of the most practical and useful things I learned from Ramon is one I am reminded of daily. Whenever I am faced with a seemingly insurmountable goal or project, I hear a quote that Ramon has said to me so many times “A little bit at a time.” Ramon has and continues to be both a great friend and a mentor that I admire and am grateful to have in my life.
76: DR. SHIVA LALEZAR | Ramon is an angel on earth. Ramon came to me as a patient seven years ago at the Whitaker Wellness Institute. Meeting him and his lovely wife, Patty, was such an opening for me. We talked about life, relationships, business, health, and humanity. I knew right away that this man makes his impact on people not in a life time but in a moment. His presence, his love, and his insights were so profound that just by meeting him you can get what his essence is all about. I had the pleasure of talking to Ramon about spirituality and the power of manifestation years ago. At that time I was single and hopeless in the dating scene and had no idea how I could manifest a good man in my life. I loved how Ramon and his wife were interacting with each other. I was always fascinated about their relationship and how their birthdays were so close to each other. They were both born in July and just like me their astrological sign was Cancer! Few days after our conversation about manifestation I received a big box full of inspirational books and a typed out letter suggesting the order in which I should read these books. I had tears in my eyes thinking how I have been touched by an angel. Ramon and I kept in touch and when I opened my practice in Brentwood, he was one my first patients in the new practice. He continued to give me encouragement and inspiration and telling me how great it was for me to start my own practice. He told me any new business will be slow at first but I should just plow through and continue building it. He told me about the importance of good staff. Within one year my practice blossomed with great patients and staff. | "You have to love yourself before you could love others"
77: (Dr. Shiva Lalezar continued) Amongst all the lessons I learned from Ramon, what inspired me the most was his strength and spirit during the economic crash in 2009! He was as happy being close to losing all his assets as he was a billionaire. What a lesson!!!! This man is content no matter what. He set an example for me that rich or poor our state of consciousness is what determines the happiness we experience in life. In 2011 I was so proud and happy to tell Ramon and Patty that I met the love of my life. The ironic thing was that my husband’s birthday was only 3 days apart and the dream of marrying a Cancer came true as well. I was thrilled to tell Ramon about this. One day I received a beautiful box at the office again. In it I found two pairs of white leather shoes at the bottom of which had the names of my twin girls Leyla and Raya. Ramon and Patty have always been there for me and their acts of kindness will remain with me forever. Dear Ramon, thank you so much for being such a positive and powerful influence in my life.
78: GIL ESCOBEDO | I remember the first time we talked, by phone. I received a returned phone call from you two weeks after I had left a message for you. In our conversation, first, I was a little confused because I did not remember leaving the message and I know that you immediately picked up on my confusion and kindly introduced yourself and said this “ my name is Ramon and I always return my calls”. Little did I know that I just received my first couple of lessons on ‘the art of doing business—with Ramon’ that included always returning ALL calls, always being kind, always being generous and always being a teacher. The next remembrance of one of those unique times together, was THAT night that I believe was a MAJOR crossroad for us in our relationship. It happened shortly after my July wedding of 1984. You and me were about to have our first dinner together. On the road to Beverly Hills (to your restaurant in your new Rolls) we decided, last minute to have dinner closer to Downtown L.A. Earlier in the day a business associate recommended a fine dining restaurant in the Silver Lake Area of L.A. He remarked that the food was excellent, service great and that it was gay and friendly. Little did I know that I was about to take you, Mr. Successful, Mr. Conservative, and Mr. Reputation into an ALL gay restaurant. We’ve told the story many times but the real story behind the story is that, once again, the kind person that you are (and yes, the jokester that you are) took a young businessman by the hand (not literally, silly) that was thoroughly embarrassed, bewildered and flabbergasted, and turned a very, very difficult situation into an evening that I will remember for the rest of my life, ‘PARTNERS’ forever. thank you!
79: (Gil Escobedo continued) Two quick final memories; we were going through a difficult time in our relationship. You invited me to the ranch for the day; after several hours of talking things out (and listening to your plans for your new ranch home); we walked towards the front of what was to be the swimming pool, there, were these HUGE boulders. We ended our day together, sitting on top of those boulders, as if we were two young boys, gazing at the world around usand yes at that moment in time, I knew everything was going to be okay.thank you. And finally, but not least, because of your kindness and your generosity (Patty’s too), not only am I alive, but I am living a very ‘normal’ life.thank you! To be continued thank you!!
80: HELEN WONG | The first time I went to Dynamic Builders for a meeting, the office was just like a regular building, nothing extraordinary. But when I set foot in Ramon's office, I was taken aback. I thought I was transported to the Roman Empire through a time machine. It has high columns and just like a Roman palace we saw in movies. Before Ramon came in, I was expecting to see a serious looking man, wearing a toga with a laurel on his head, followed by several beautiful girls feeding him grapes. But I was wrong again. He's a funny looking man, oops, I mean, a funny man wearing a western suit. He immediately put me at ease with his jokes. Ramon is one of the kindest men I have ever known.He shows his kindness not only by words but also by action. When I was diagnosed with some illness, he took off work and drove me all the way to Orange County to see his doctor, having faith this doctor would heal me. I was very touched he did that for me. I haven't seen Ramon in a long time but I always remember his kindness, his laughter and his reincarnation story of him being a Roman high official in his previous life.
81: KATE BARTOLO | I first met Ramon when I was trying to sell him something. I was a commercial broker who hoped to engage him as a client to handle property sales or purchases. What I got instead was something infinitely more valuable: a thirty year mentorship and friendship. What strikes everyone when they first meet Ramon is the degree to which he engages with you purposefully, personally. He is, in today’s “me first” society, a phenomenon: a business titan who always takes time to help people. And so was then with me. We met, we talked and I came away deeply inspired, by his life story and by his encouragement of me. There have been intermittent periods where we have not seen or spoken to one another. And this has been one of those periods, longer than it should be, as we all focus so on meeting today’s economic challenges. But I know one thing for certain: when I see Ramon again, we will immediately fall into sync as if no time had passed. In these fast fleeting three decades, there has always been one constant in my relationship with Ramon. There has never been a time in which, after we met, that I did not come away thinking, “If only we could get Ramon in front of students. If only we could bottle the essence that is Ramon--his transformative qualities, his basic decency, his ethics--and portion it out to those who burn with ambition, but lack the framework for success. If only” We are all better for having known Ramon Bonin. I know that I am. | "Great people make other people feel great"
82: I have been Ramon's accountant and tax consultant for 40+ years. I have found him to be more than an honest businessperson. He is so honest that you probably would never need a written contract with him, his word is his bond and he will go well beyond to accommodate a business relationship and completing a project on schedule and on target. I have actually have seen him do work at no extra cost to the client, since he felt responsible for overlooking a problem. Few if any contractors I know have ever done that. In addition to having a business relationship with Ramón, I am one of the few people lucky enough to be his friend. When I think of our friendship, I know that, as they say “He would give you the shirt off of his back.” Ramon cares so much for his friends and has always been there for them with a smile in his voice. Ramon is a true friend, unconditionally. He is one of those rare persons in the world whose friendship will never die. I cannot say anything more about Ramon other than as a friend, I could never ask for anyone better. Ramon and Patty attended my wedding in 2002 to my second wife. The wedding was held at my home in Rancho Santa Fe , California. The party was outside and we had over two Hundred Guests. About five minutes before the ceremony was to start, Ramon came inside saw my wife, in her white gown, standing on the steps leading down from the dressing area and said, “hi are you the bride,” my wife who had never met Ramon before, new from my stories about him answered yes! are you Ramon. Then he went on to ask her “to wait a few minutes so he could go to the rest room and get back outside, so he would not miss her entrance.” As always, he got his way. When in a group should a conversation come up about our wedding or Ramon we always seem to tell that story. Ramon.. there is no one any better... | Richard Shaw
83: BILL VERA | I consider Ramon a dear friend, and even more, my “Big Brother””. I have known him since 1980; a period when I was “discovering” myself. I immediately “bonded” with him on an intellectual and spiritual level, and took his advice on how to improve myself in both business and personal matters. I owe him so much, and will always be thankful for the special interest he took in me. On a more personal note, I also thank him for advising me to marry my wife Anna the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank you so much, Ramon!!!! | "Focus on what you have instead of what you don't have"
84: JIM BULLOCK | My earliest memory of Ramon was though another illustrator who worked for Dynamic builders, Hank Hockenburger. The year was 1984; fortunately for me Hank had gotten a full time job with an architecture company in Santa Monica and could longer take care of Dynamic’s illustrations. He recommended me to Ramon and Barry Green, (Dynamic’s architect at the time). Hank had told me I would have never met anyone quite like Ramon so be prepared for quite an experience, well that phrase is still true today. I remember meeting Ramon for the first time upstairs in the design room to go over the first illustration I had brought for his review, I remember the smile and the immediate source of positive energy I felt coming from him. He invited me downstairs into his office which of course blew me away at the time and was also filled with this same positive energy. (By the way that energy is still alive in the dynamic builders building twenty eight years later). He invited me back many times to go over designs, before long he had me sketching in front of him and gave me a chance to participate in the unique buildings that are Dynamic Builders. We talked about religion and philosophy maybe more then design most times, his interest in what I believed and why were always of utmost importance to him. At the time I was of the fundamental Christian belief (Southern Baptist to be exact) and very convinced of it. He asked me why I was interested in architectural illustration and what things had happened that had helped me get to where I was at that moment. Of course I said “the Lord got me here”, and he smiled and said “what has the lord brought you that got you here”? “My love of the geometry of two and three point perspective, the ability to use visible math to pick a point on a site plan and generate an accurate image of what this design will look like in perspective, I never get tired of it” I said. He said “do you know you were part of the group that developed this method?” and I said it was developed in the 1500’s during the renaissance how could that be? Later he threw in the conversation that I was a Christian then as well and we had worked together at that time.
85: (Jim Bullock continued) That was my first discussion related to reincarnation with Ramon, it began to open my mind. I believe in eternal life and Jesus promises eternal life why not reincarnation? Why are we born with certain interests, abilities, attractions and talents? All through 1985 Ramon was my biggest client and helped me get a foot hold on staying in business while I sought out a client base. When my work got slow I would call Ramon and he would find something for me to do. Often times he had me do renderings he really did not need but he would commission them and then give them as a gift to the client he had built the building for all the while talking to me about the flow and how generosity comes back to him in many different ways. (We reap what we sow). By the end of 1985 Dynamic was going through “a rough patch” and he told that he may not be doing as many renderings in 1986 and he wanted me to have time to continue to pursue additional clients in case his work flow fell off. I walked into his office one day in early 1986 and he told me that dynamic was indeed going through a difficult time but he was visualizing the solution and he was staying focused on the solution and letting the universe resolve it without worrying about how the universe would resolve it. I saw contemplation in his manner never worry and I saw confidence in the unknown. (Blessed are those who believe without seeing). If my memory is correct I believe this rough patch was short lived and Dynamic grew out of it better then ever, by the end of 1986 Ramon was on a roll.
86: (Jim Bullock continued) For me the end of 1986 had been a difficult time, not in business it was a great year for me but my marriage had fallen apart and I was very distressed about it. I had an appointment with Ramon and I tried to cancel it a couple of hours prior to the meeting. I forget the receptionists name at the time but I had talked to her and let her know I would not be able to make it. A short time later Ramon called me and said how inappropriate and unprofessional I was behaving and that I would indeed be at his office at the agreed time if I hoped to continue to work with him. I showed up on time and unbeknownst to me Ramon had moved his later meetings around so he could spend the next two to three hours with me. He took me to lunch and talked about my pending divorce and what I had power over and what I did not have power over. He talked to me about my relationship with the universe and eternity, not just my disappointment in my failed marriage. I did not really want to hear that free will has its down side. We really can’t control other people or their thoughts or actions and judging those actions just hurts us. “Let her go” was Ramon’s advice and get on with your own evolution. So in 1987 I went back to school and finished my A.A. degree at Cerritos college and went on to Art Center in Pasadena which is what I had planned to do and where I had hoped to go before I got married in 1979. I continued to work for Ramon in 1986 and 87, now being a single parent I occasionally had one or both of my young children in tow, Kati was six or seven then and Jacob was four or five. When I would arrive for a meeting with Ramon and my children were with me his focus went immediately to them and his conversation was directed at them. The art work was pushed off to the side and first came my children. I remember Ramon teaching Jacob how to shake hands; Jacob had inadvertently allowed his eyes to roam while in Ramon’s grasp, Ramon held on tighter and when Jacob’s gaze returned he told him how important it was to look a man in the eyes when you shake hands. Jacob still remembers that. I always said the few dollar bills Ramon gave him helped his memory! From that point on I was very conscious of how other clients treated my bringing one of my kids along. I never abused it and it probably only happened a couple of times a year but I stopped working with people that did not embrace my children and have since treated other peoples children the same as I learned from Ramon when they are in my office.
87: (Jim Bullock continued) Ramon has always embraced other people’s beliefs and has helped me to do the same. Always improving is the goal and what ever path a person chooses should be their choice, we don’t have to change our beliefs we just need to accept theirs as theirs. The next lesson was affirmations. Ramon recommended Norman Vincent Peale knowing he also was of the Christian faith and too many considered to be the father of positive thinking. He told me of the damage most of us carry around not even being aware of it that effects our confidence to move forward with what we really want to do in life. One of Norman’s stories that Ramon told me was of the glass of dirty water which represents our negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. If you take a glass of dirty water and set it under a faucet and let the clean water drip in one drop at a time eventually the dirty water is displaced and the glass is now full of clean water. Well that is how affirmations work, by giving ourselves positive affirmations day by day week by week and so on we eventually displace the negative thoughts and feelings freeing us to pursue our hopes and dreams with more confidence and faith. I had never heard anything like this before and that started another round of mind opening experiences. Ramon gave me examples of his own affirmations, one of which is “I will not associate with anyone that does not add to the quality of my life”. To be honest I struggled for years with this one, (not anymore I’m happy to say) but I believed I was supposed to let anyone and everyone into my life, isn’t that the Christian way? No it’s not but it took me quite awhile to figure that out. Ramon never stopped reminding me of that affirmation until I got it. From 1987 through most of 1991 I was at Art Center and did not see Ramon much more then once a year, but after I graduated he brought me in as much as possible. Even back in 1985 we were working on Ramon’s dream home but he ended up buying the “Chateau” in the late eighties on the same street he had purchased property to build the house we had designed conceptually to build. By 1991 we were back on the path of visualization, this time for the ranch in Hemet. It was a tremendous lesson to me to see how easily Ramon believes in what he wants to achieve and then come up with the means to manifest the idea into reality.
88: (Jim Bullock continued) This is true of the house on the ranch in Hemet. He and I would meet and talk about the house and we would tour houses he liked and after a few years of research and about eight months of sketches we had a pretty good design for the floor plans, we were both happy with the layout but there was still something missing Ramon felt. At that time we were also touring the ranch for the best location to place the house, after great thought and a few alternate ideas Ramon settled on what is undoubtedly the best area to build. I remember him calling me one day and saying that he had a new vision for the floor plan pictured in his mind and had sketched it out on a piece of paper. I met with him and believed the concept was genius. It is basically two private houses with a connecting hallway that allows for the additional bedrooms to be used from either of the sides. Once we added the second story in the hall area it really became three separate private areas to allow space for his son and daughter and their families. He looked at me and said this is the floor plan now show me what it looks like. Giving me free rein to design the elevations and bring him back the views for his approval. By that time we had worked on so many different projects I knew what Ramon likes to see. He likes a flow to the heights and balance in the design which of course philosophically is what we want in life, balance and flow. I’m happy to say Ramon and I are both very pleased with that house from every angle. Throughout my time with Ramon he has either given me books or recommended books to me, (mostly given me books). In the early ninety’s it was Brian Weiss and the studies of past life regression and life between lives. Raymond Moody and stories of near death experiences has also been a topic we discussed often. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman was another great reading and learning experience. I remarried in 1993 and Kim and I have both benefited from Ramon’s recommendations. Some time in 1995 we both went to a hypnotist for the purpose of past life regression that was recommended by Ramon. Kim and I both went at least four times and the results were amazing. Not that the lives we lived were that amazing but the knowledge that came in understanding ourselves was of great interest and value for who we are today.
89: (Jim Bullock continued) As Kim and I began to build our business Ramon has always been there to give advice if I asked his opinion and another great source of information came from John Randolph Price, understanding that money is a spiritual matter and not just a physical tool to buy things, an affirmation I still use today is another one of Ramon’s through Mr. Price, “I have a (very) large steady dependable income consistent with integrity that benefits myself and others!” Our business started moving in a positive way around 2002 and from 2002 through 2005 our business doubled every year. In 2002 Ramon asked me if I believed our business could hit $1,000,000.00 dollars and I remember how foreign that thought was to me but I listened and thought about it, at the time a good month was about $60,000.00. Ramon said if you can hit $60,000.00 you can get $85,000.00 and if you can get over a $1,000,000.00 in your thoughts and belief there will be nothing to stop you. Well Kim and I began to believe and the right people and circumstances began to develop and sure enough in 2003 we hit a little over $1,000,000.00 in sales, 2004 we hit $2,200,000.00 in sales and in 2005 we hit about $4,500,000.00 in sales followed by around the same in 2006. What a ride! The lessons learned in that time are too many to list here. At the same time Dynamic was reaching goals well beyond anything even Ramon had believed possible when he and Patty first started Dynamic Builders back in the sixties! All the while Ramon was telling me as great as all of this is we can never lose sight of the fact that all of this material wealth is on loan to us, he said to me “all this shit stays here” with a smile only Ramon can emanate. Well we all know what has taken place with the economy since 2008 and we have all surely taken some losses but even in the mist of this trying time I have never seen Ramon more convinced of his principles and beliefs. Where others would take a negative path Ramon continues to take the high road once again proving to me and God and the universe his faith continues to set him free and his faith continues to inspire me to do the same.
90: (Jim Bullock continued) Now that I have been able to share some of the many great experiences with my friend Ramon I’m better set to describe in a “paragraph or a page” on how I feel about my time with this old soul we call Ramon Bonin. I’ve been blessed with a large Sicilian family on my mother’s side and a large “Southern” family on my father’s side. I have had the benefit of growing up with many uncles and older cousins on both sides of my family that are proud, honorable and respectable men including my own father. I love and appreciate them all very much but I have never met any man on this planet that has impacted my life with greater example, knowledge and positive energy then my friend Ramon Bonin. I have a great love of metaphysical thinking, taking personal responsibility for my actions, always looking for and expecting a resolution to any and every issue, never under estimating a coincidence, always choosing the high road even when it is most difficult, listening to other peoples beliefs, never losing sight of this life being temporary but my life itself being eternal, staying in the flow of positive thoughts and energy, sharing abundance with others responsibly never doing for them what they can do for themselves, lead people to the truth of faith, visualize what you want and believe you already have it, not just believe you already have it but “feel” that you already have it, allow the vibration of the truth of what you want to take shape, never tell God how do to his work, use time wisely it is more important then money, wisdom, patience and good use of time will bring me money, never associate with anyone that does not add to the quality of my life, take time with family and friends, be interested in what others have to say, listen to your inner voice it is direct communication from God, it is okay to be rich and live an abundant life, you can’t out spend God in generosity, be grateful for everything that you have, you can’t control circumstances but you can control how you react to them, all of these statements are examples of lessons and truths I have learned from and through my time with Ramon.
91: (Jim Bullock continued) I’m sure there are more not written here that I’ve learned from Ramon along the way but it all probably boils down to this, life is eternal, life is sacred, look for the universal truth in everything, God is pure positive source energy and only good comes through our continued connection to this source so staying connected is our most valuable resource, the way to stay connected is by guarding our thoughts and words. As much as possible think only positive thoughts that way we are always manifesting only positive circumstances in our life, (the faith of a mustard seed.)! Thank you again Ariel for including me in this gift to Ramon and Ramon “Thank you” for being such a great teacher, mentor and example to me and my family. Words cannot express the deep admiration and love I have for you! My life would clearly not be the same had our paths never crossed. I’ll end this tribute with what my grandson Manny said at the ranch one day, “this is the best day of my life and it isn’t even noon yet!” That phrase best describes the energy you give to others! May we share many more moments like these in the future my friend, “all is well, we are loved”
92: ARIEL TRINIDAD | Mr. Bonin, “There are no accidents”, this is one of the many things that I’ve learned from you. You came into my life to teach me how to have a good quality life. It all started back in February of 1994, I was having lunch at my previous employer and reading the L.A. Times and somehow, I decided to check out the employment ad. I was just curious at that time what the market for bookkeeper looks like. I saw your ad and decided to call the number and surprisingly, I got an interview scheduled that day. I was not really looking for a job but I went to see you anyways. There was a little drama where I turn down your offer but I’m glad that I took the job. Eighteen years later, I still have a wonderful job and gained my second father and my second family. I have changed a lot since I’ve worked at Dynamic Builders. I thought I was a good person but you made me a better one. You’ve believed in me and showed me respect. I used to be shy and you’ve taught me how to become more assertive and respectful at the same time. Sometimes I get embarrassed when you bragged about how I walked on water. That gives me the confidence and the motivation for me to do my job better. You have taught me how to have a sense of humor. It is funny how I love to tell jokes now. You have shown me how to treat everyone with respect. I have learned from you the proper way to shake hands. To look them in the eye as you extend your arm and giving the proper grip. Lastly, the most important thing that you changed in me is you made me read. You have given me so many books, tapes and CD's that made me who I am right now.
93: The very first cd set that you gave me was “Beyond Positive Thinking” by Dr. Robert Anthony. It was one of those moments that made me aware how powerful our mind is. Knowing that we have the power to control our thoughts and our emotions. You have given me so many books of similar topics that basically reinforces that we control our destiny through our thoughts. I have been through a lot with my family, my friends, co-workers, my marriage, my new relationship and now with my son. I am so grateful that I have learned this "Secret". Knowing the “Secret” made it easier for me to deal with anything that comes my way. You always say, it is all about your attitude that will determine any situations. Mr. Bonin, I have so much to thank you for. Thank you for financially blessing me. Through you, I was able to purchase my first house. I was able to travel to so many places. I was able to help my family. Thank you for helping me get my Business Management degree at Pepperdine University. It was one of my life’s goal that you helped me accomplished. Because of that, I feel more confident with my position and feel good about my career. Thank you for so many life lesson’s that you have shared with me. It will always be in my mind and in my heart. I use it a lot for myself and sometimes, I sound like you when I share it to other people. One of the many things that I practice daily is to always be happy no matter what. We have a choice, as you say it. Thank you for your time. May it be a teaching moment or a visiting moment, I cherish every minute I am with you. I compare our relationship to the book, “Tuesdays with Morrie”. We always talk late in the afternoon at your office before you go on the road. You ask about me, my family and my work. You always give your undivided attention. You are always respectful and sensitive to my feelings. We talk about life. We laugh a lot and sometimes, I cry. For that, I just want you to know that you are the most influential person in my adult life. Thank you for being my second father and my friend. You know me so well that you could sense how I feel. During the time when I was going through my marriage problem with Nina, you and Blaise were there for me. Thank you for telling me that “People Change”. Those two words helped me to easily accept my situation and to move on with my life. You taught me how to date after that. You taught me so well that I ended up with the most precious gift of my life, Renzo. Thank you for allowing me to be free.
94: In 2003, you allowed me to leave the company for me to get some rest and eventually, realize what I had at Dynamic Builders. You allowed me to take so many time offs when I became single. You knew that I needed that to restore my being. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. It was chaotic but fun. Lastly, I just want to thank God that you came into my life. Of all the people that contributed in this book, I think I am the luckiest one. I am the one that got to see you almost everyday and spend a lot of time with in person or talking on the phone. I know that one of your life’s goal is to write a book about everything that you’ve learned in life. I think this book tells almost everything that you know coming from people that you have touched and made a difference in their lives. I am saddened with what happened to you, but I know deep inside my heart that you are still the same happy person that I know. I love you and I miss you, Mr. Bonin! Ariel Your Other Good Looking Son!
95: If we don't model what we teach, we are teaching something else.