Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: South Carolina Gamecock’s now a winner in Sacramento business

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2013 - 6:48 am

Investment adviser David DeCamilla will be feted this weekend in Columbia, S.C., where from 1968 to 1970 he anchored the offensive line for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

His blocking and explosive moves earned him a spot on the first team of the All Atlantic Coast Conference back then – and now, induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame by the university’s Association of Lettermen.

Some might say the 65-year-old DeCamilla is off to relive his glory days, but since college, he coached football under such greats as Michigan State University’s Duffy Daugherty, he founded an investment advisory firm with more than $30 million in assets under management, he bought The Brickhouse Gallery & Arts Complex and Panama Pottery in Sacramento, and he started producing his Tehama Blend olive oil from the fruit of his orchard in Corning.

A football scholarship provided an upstate New York teen with an opportunity to see and do things that he might not otherwise have had. It paid for his bachelor’s degree in economics, and he gained coaching skills that helped to fund his master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from MSU. DeCamilla said he always strived to be a good citizen, a good student and a good athlete. He shares the mantra with kids when he gets a chance, though he amends the third item in the list to reflect the child’s passion.

“You’ve got to be balanced,” he said. “I mean, you see a lot of kids who are great athletes, and they are just troubled. You’ve got to have all three. ... A lot of times, they (parents) will say, ‘Well, if you don’t make the grades, you can’t do the sports.’ I think that’s wrong. I think you tell the youngsters, ‘The academics will help your sports, and here’s how you do it.’”

The nation’s athletic training has gotten better and better in schools, DeCamilla said, even as academic training has lagged. The nation’s challenge, he said, is to figure out how to provide rigorous academic training that engages kids as much as practicing their favorite pastime.

State of wine entries

The number of entries declined this year in the California State Fair’s commercial wine competition, but it was a setback encountered by a number of other contests judged in the first half of this year.

The State Fair received 2,625 entries, down by roughly 200 from last year. Entries slipped by 3 percent for both international contests in Los Angeles and the San Diego. The Winemaker Challenge, also an international competition, reported a 10 percent decline.

Mike Dunne, the co-chief judge for this year’s State Fair competition, told me that the decline might indicate just how well the wine industry fared last year.

“The wine industry pretty much got through the recession without being hurt,” he said. “Sales continued to increase and a lot of wineries are doing really, really well, and their inventories are down. They don’t have the wine to enter. They’re selling so much of it. And closely related to that, they’re selling so well that there’s not the impetus to enter competitions.”

U.S. winemakers sold a record $34.6 billion in wine in 2012, according to wine industry consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside, and nearly 60 percent of those sales were made by California vintners.

Wine Talk columnist Robert Whitley said he and several other competition directors saw entries drop in the first half of 2013 but that the second half is definitely looking up.

From mini to mega

Danny Johnson couldn’t let opportunity pass him by, so he went ahead and signed a lease to double the space for his mini-doughnut empire at 900 Second St. in Old Sacramento.

“It’s a big decision,” he said. “It’s a lot of rent to pay. It’s no joke now, but I had no choice. What option do I have – stay small and mediocre, or reach for the stars?”

So, in July, just one year after he doubled the size of Danny’s Mini Donuts to 600 square feet, Johnson inked a deal that gives him 1,200 square feet. Johnson said the space next to his shop had just become empty, and it had a door on busy Second Street. He feared that someone else would take the spot and he would lose the ability to expand in a location that sits right across from the California State Railroad Museum.

Call The Bee's Cathie Anderson, (916) 321-1193. Back columns, Follow her on Twitter @cathiea_sacbee.

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