| Don & DeeDee Sodaro
Don and Deedee Sodaro founded Sodaro Estate Winery in 1998, driven by a passion for great wine and the beauty of Napa Valley. In their world-wide travels, the Sodaros were able to experience first-hand the gracious design and architecture of France and Italy and to bring some of those elements to their Napa Valley property.
The site of their Coombsville Appellation estate formerly held only a run-down house and a defunct chardonnay vineyard. The Sodaros envisioned the place it is today with its beautifully proportioned home, sweeping vineyards and an underground winery cave.
That sort of vision is characteristic of the Sodaros. In 1969, Don created Sixpence Inns of America, taking the popular Motel 6 concept and improving upon it. The chain eventually grew to six states and some 20 years later was sold to its rival, Motel 6. Sodaro then joined the corporation’s board of directors and served on its Audit and Site Acquisition Committee until 1991. Not content to rest on his accomplishments, Don founded and is currently a partner in Hanford Hotels, a company that owns hotels throughout California.
For 25 years, Don has been on the Chapman University board of trustees, 11 of which as chairman. He remains on the board and is chairman emeritus.