DOWNEY - Community philanthropist Dr. Mary Stauffer headlines this year's class of inductees into the Downey High School Hall of Fame.The full list of inductees, along with a short bio, follows: John Peter "Jack" Mahlstede III (Class of 1956): John Peter "Jack" Mahlstede III graduated from Long Beach State with his B.A. and earned an M.A. from Azusa Pacific. He has spent the last 34 years coaching football. He's coached at several high schools and led his teams to 17 league championships, qualifying for the CIF playoffs 20 of the last 21 years. His win-loss record stands at an impressive 232-138-4. His coaching successes have brought him recognition from the Del Rio League, where he has earned Coach of the Year honor several times. He has also coached the 605 All Star game five times and has been inducted into their Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized by the cities of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs (where he works summers in the Parks and Recreation Department, organizing summer sports and activities), and by the Whittier Union High School District and the Boy Scouts. He was inducted into the Southern California Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011. He has been married 52 years and has coached his sons and grandsons. Arthur J. Ochoa (Class of 1986): Ochoa graduated cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) with a bachelor's degree in history from USC in 1990. After graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C. and for two years managed a public policy working group at Youth Service America, an organization advocating for national and community service for young people. He went on to attend Yale Law School, graduating in 1995. Ochoa joined Cedar-Sinai Healthy System in 2001 as director of planned giving and in 2004 became senior vice president for community relations and development. In 2005, Ochoa launched a historic seven-year, $350 million endowment campaign for Cedars-Sinai, which concluded successfully in 2010, two years ahead of schedule and $7 million over the ambitious $350 million goal. Ochoa is involved in numerous community activities and serves on boards of several charitable organizations. He is also a frequent speaker at professional conferences and seminars. He is a former adjunct faculty member in the MBA program at the American Jewish University. Ochoa is married to Daniele Worth-Ochoa, a graphic designer. They have two daughters, Maddie and Eloise, and live in Benedict Canyon. Doug Rittenhouse (Class of 1979): While at Downey High, Rittenhouse applied his musical talents to the Viking Band, the Jazz Rock Band, the drumline and Concert Band. Needless to say, he was headed for a career that would involve his love for music and people. He has directed music videos, produced rock music tours, live events and several short films. He also has many years of experience in television. He was West Coast bureau chief for "Inside Edition" and "American Journal," producer of "Behind Bars," a nationally syndicated reality series, producer and assignment desk editor for NBC News and a writer/producer for "On Thin Ice." In 1999, he founded Minaret Productions, which travels to remote areas of China to conduct first-hand interviews with pastors who had been beaten and tortured in Chinese prisons. Other projects include missions and reality documentaries produced in Africa, Russia, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. His efforts have garnered him more than 20 Emmy nominations, three Emmys, two Golden Mics and 13 Tellys. Dr. Mary Stauffer (Special Honoree): Longtime Downey resident Dr. Mary Stauffer began her career as a physician in the area of obstetrics and gynecology in 1954, serving Downey until she retired from her practice in 1997. She delivered countless babies during her career and was also on staff at several area hospitals, including Downey Regional. During her long career, she was able to raise five children and, in her words, "was a PTA member for 25 years." Her children all graduated from Warren High School. Five years before she retired, she created the Stauffer Foundation whose main focus was, and remains, community philanthropy. The foundation has contributed millions of dollars towards projects, grants and scholarships across all educational grade levels. Projects such as the science building at Downey High, emergency electric carts for security, and a Cyberobics lab are just a few of the projects her foundation has funded. Teachers have also received grants from the foundation for innovative projects and students have received college scholarships. To say that Dr. Stauffer has been an active part of the Downey community over the last 70 years would be an understatement. She is the type of individual that makes community service part of her life every day and Downey residents have been the direct recipients of her generosity for many years.
********** Published: May 24, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 06