By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany West news
COVINGTON – Charles Marsala has lived the kind of life that could easily make up the “bucket list” for many people.
–Danced with Cheryl Burke from “Dancing with the Stars.”
–Worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger on his Leadership Team.
–Climbed the face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
–Hosted events for CA Gov. Candidate Meg Whitman, Senator Vitter, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
–Worked with Rudy Giuliani in his Bay Area campaign in 2008.
–Owned an Internet supply company shipping to 45 states
–Owned part of three Copeland’s Restaurants
— Owned a Dun & Bradstreet Franchise
–Ran the 100th Boston Marathon.
–And oh yes, was the mayor of Atherton, CA during a 10-year political career that included time on the City Council.
While that has certainly been a lot of fun and great memories for Marsala, he is now using that experience in his current professional career as a financial advisor with Benchmark Investment Group in Covington.
Marsala gained valuable experience in the arena of sales when he was the top regional salesman for Lista International after working in the oil industry with Gearhart Industries.
“I have always had a passion for whatever I do,” Marsala said, now settled back down in Southeast Louisiana. He is drawing on experience from Silicon Valley, and utilizing that knowledge to manage portfolios for individuals, businesses, and pensions through Goldman Sachs, Loring-Ward, and other firms.
“It’s about providing a balanced “Core” portfolio, with a “Satellite” portion. That provides efficiency with your retirement planning,” Marsala said. “That’s what I bring to the table for the groups or individuals I help.”
Marsala’s belief in Asset Class Investing for portfolio design allowed him to be selected by Loring-Ward in San Jose to be one of approximately 2,000 representatives in the country to represent Dimensional Fund Advisors, a team of financial managers who manage over $330 billion in assets, and won a Nobel Prize for their strategies.
“I know that my experience in past careers is what helps so much with Benchmark,” he said. “I understand the products and patents in a portfolio of fifty Louisiana companies, and I promote investment in Louisiana. Louisiana has talent.”
My experience with Silicon Valley technology has proven to be very helpful and I provide software to track investments, assets, and expenditures.”
Marsala is originally from New Orleans, graduating from Jesuit High in 1978 as the Student Council President, while becoming an Eagle Scout in his younger days. With a degree as a Mechanical Engineer from Tulane, he went into the oil and gas industry with Gearhart Industries in California as a Measurement While Drilling Engineer working a dozen offshore wells.
Marsala moved into sales with Lista International, designing workspace and warehousing systems.
“If you think about it, almost every business needs organized storage,” he said. “So it’s really a great product to sell and I managed to do very well.”
Marsala was so successful that he was made regional sales manager over nine Western states and stayed with Lista for 21 years. He designed efficient workspace for hospitals, aircraft carriers, Boeing, Air Force bases, and even the telescopes on the volcanoes of Hawaii. During his travels, he became a wildlife photographer.
Living outside San Francisco in the suburb of Atherton, Marsala got involved with the arts committee to show his photography, was asked to head an Art Center project, and was named to the Parks & Recreation Commission by the mayor, who wanted Marsala to run for office.
He did that in 2000 and won a seat on the City Council, which led to a term as the mayor of the city. “It was a fantastic experience to be the mayor,” he said of the community with approximately 7,800 people. “It gave me the chance to work with many talented people. The highlight was building a 500 seat Performing Arts Center. ”
Marsala’s return to New Orleans, brings connections for Louisiana to Silicon Valley for Investing, Venture Capital, and Crowdfunding. He was recently a sponsor for New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, secured a scholarship for a Gretna startup to Draper University in San Mateo, and is instructing how Crowdfunding can provide capital to a Covington retail company to expand and a Baton Rouge company to acquire a commercial real estate.
The move back south has proven to be a rewarding one.
“I understand what it takes to achieve an efficient balance in your core portfolio of mutual funds, life insurance, and retirement plans.” Marsala said. “We are part of a national system with $380 Billion in Assets Under Management and access to the top brands and support.”
Marsala can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 650-333-8212. His phone app is “MyWealthPlanner”