Member Spotlight: Gary Poon

Gary Poon in NepalI was born in Hong Kong where it was fashionable to have a piano in the living room. My first piano teacher was terrible. He used to put a rock underneath my palms to teach me how to curve my fingers properly over the keys, but if I didn’t do it right, rapped me on the knuckles with it. That may explain why I have stage fright. I continued studying the piano when I came to the U.S. as an 8-year-old and had a sweetheart of a teacher. He let me play whatever I wanted, which meant top 40 hits. That explains why I didn’t learn many classical pieces. I quit as a teenager, because there were “more important” things to do than sit inside on a sunny afternoon and practice the piano. I returned to the piano at age 25 and have been playing catchup ever since, although I still don’t practice enough. I occasionally compose short pieces and silly little rhymes.

I am an avid golfer, having once achieved a 4-handicap. I can sometimes be seen at Torrey Pines looking for lost balls. I am also a tennis fanatic and compete regularly in the USTA and San Diego 4.5 leagues. I once achieved a national ranking in the Men’s 45+ age group and hope to reach #1 by being the only one left standing in the 100+ age category.

I jog to stay in shape and hike to admire the beauty of the surroundings. I have gone trekking in the Himalayas, reaching an elevation of 14,800 feet. I am pictured here in Nepal with Mount Everest way in the background.

I am a lawyer, business adviser, and mediator. I authored The Corporate Counsel’s Guide to Mediation, published by the American Bar Association in 2010. The book was translated into Russian in 2012, although I have no idea whether the translation is accurate. I graduated from Williams College in 1981. I received my law degree from Boston University in 1984 and Masters of Law in 1985. I speak Cantonese fluently and have four children: Lauren (26), Catherine (24), Alex (22), and Stephen (19) (“Fight On!”).

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