Ann Navarra, a second-generation Italian American in San Diego, shares many memories of her Sicilian heritage of family living in Little Italy, marching in processions with Our Lady of the Rosary Church parishioners for the blessing of the tuna boats, spaghetti dinners in the parish hall, and many good times with all her cousins.
Ann attended St. Vincent’s School in Mission Hills and the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego. She earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and a lifetime teaching credential. Her teaching career for five years was at Marshall Elementary School in San Diego. In 1974, she returned to the family business, Jerome’s Furniture. She retired from Jerome’s Furniture in 2008 as vice president of finance. In 1979, she served as president of the San Diego Home Furnishings Association and has since served on the boards of the National Home Furnishings Association and the Western Home Furnishings Association. She was honored by the City of Hope in 2001, representing the home furnishings industry.
Ann has maintained her interest in education. In 1980, she was elected to the board of the San Diego County Office of Education, where she served for three terms. She chaired the first board of AVID, now a globally recognized model of outstanding education, and she is currently honored as a director emeritus. Ann also served as chair of the board of the Academy of Our Lady of Peace and is currently a Board Trustee at the University of San Diego.
Ann is an active supporter of numerous local organizations including the San Diego History Center and the Sulpizio Hospital at UCSD. She divides her time between her homes in La Jolla and Provence, France.