David Huboi draws on life, latest endeavor as TV host

David Huboi has designed and built many things here in Hollister, the welcome sign is one of those. Photo by Nick Lovejoy

Longtime Hollister resident David Huboi has a number of titles, both official and unofficial. Chairman of the City of Hollister Planning Commission. Member of the Board of Directors of the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce. Chairman of the Green Business Committee.
Architect. Environmentalist. Father. Musician. Christian. The 2015 San Benito County Chamber of Commerce man of the year. Co-host of Going Green, a TV show on CMAP. Advocate for the homeless, the mentally ill, low-income housing and green-certified businesses.
The 66-year-old Huboi has made an impact in all of these areas, a byproduct of the lessons his father, Carl, taught him growing up.
“What he taught me as a kid was the golden rule—doing unto others as you would do to yourself,” Huboi said. “Society should be based on altruism and humanity.”
Before Carl died from colon cancer at age 76 in 1993, Huboi was able to enjoy some great interactions with his dad, who was also an architect. In the last couple of years of Carl’s life, the two worked together at an office in Campbell on a residential project. Huboi vividly recalls a conversation they had that captured the essence of who their relationship and fondness for one another.
Huboi: “Dad, we’ve got a deadline coming up. Can you work on some framing sections so I can show them to the client?”
Carl, in a gruff voice: “The foundation plan comes first.”
The most important component of a building, of course, is the foundation. Huboi has designed some of San Benito County’s most iconic structures, such as the Welcome to Hollister and San Juan Bautista Welcome to History signs. In Carl and David’s situation, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Huboi remembers hearing the pencil sharpener go off in the wee morning hours, knowing it was his dad who was grinding away working on another job.
“I try to model my life after him because he taught me the foundation of living,” said Huboi, who made it a point to say he has plenty of shortcomings. “I try to be the person who my dad wanted me to be.”
Driven to help others, Huboi talks about important environmental issues on Going Green, a show he co-hosts with Shawn Novak, who is the water conservation program manager for the Water Resources Association of San Benito County. Huboi and Novak complement each other well, and they provide plenty of hard-hitting information in a style that makes their discussions lively and relevant.
“What’s great about Shawn is he does a good job of promoting conservation,” Huboi said. “You can tell he’s very serious about it. That garners my respect. He’s a cool, laid-back guy who likes to joke around and is easy to get along with. He’s a real cool personality and has a dry sense of humor. We have a certain chemistry, and we want things to be positive and upbeat.”
Some of the topics that have been discussed on Going Green include Measure P, the local cannabis ordinance, sustainable transportation, a “Tiny Home” concept for homelessness, and the San Benito County regional park river and parkway plan.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do with the show,” Huboi said.
Going Green has been on the air for 4 ½ years.
“We talk about serious issues, and that means it can get contentious at times. But we try to get both sides of the story and let viewers decide themselves unless the Chamber of Commerce takes a certain stance or issue on a certain topic.”
Huboi usually begins every show with a slogan: “Our mission is economic vitality along with environmental stability for future generations.”
Huboi has always loved being in nature, a byproduct of going on family camping trips while growing up in Wisconsin.
“My dad had gotten me and my two older brothers into the Boy Scouts,” he said. “We were really active in that and got to really appreciate the environment. Later on I started reading John Muir, and his message is that nature is a gift from above. It’s a spiritual message. If you treat nature like a gift, you’ll treat it with respect. But if you treat it as a finite resource, you better be careful because technology needs science to save us from science. When I get up to nature, I see it as a gift and I don’t take anything for granted. Deep inside, that is what moves me and is my inspiration.”
Huboi combines a passion for environmentalism and the need for development with a pragmatic approach.
“There needs to be a balance on regulation and the environment,” he said. “We need to embrace development, but we also need to embrace the environment. I think we have enough on the books to protect our environment, and we need to find ways to make it lucrative in terms of green businesses and making it more affordable.”
Huboi said affordability is key, and that governments should help promote businesses that work on retrofitting buildings with solar panels and high-efficiency systems. Huboi has a deep passion for many things, including music. He plays the lead guitar for the “Architectural” who perform annually at the Music in the Park series at Dunne Park. Huboi also plays at the Wednesday Downtown Hollister Certified Farmers’ Market.
Huboi said his faith has gotten him through some tough times. Huboi has experienced the loss of close loved ones, including his dad, mom, Carol Jeanne, and oldest brother, Daniel. His mother died from natural causes April 6, and Daniel died on April 11, 1983, after being hit by a truck.
Huboi had a great moment with his mom before she died. Four days before Carol’s passing, Huboi gave her a piece of driftwood he had recently found on a beach. The gesture wasn’t lost on Carol, who couldn’t help but smile even though she was in a lot of physical pain. Growing up, Huboi often gave his mom driftwood whenever the family went on a camping trip.
“It put a smile on her face,” he said. “That was a precious moment we shared.”
Every time Huboi lost a loved one, he rebounded. However, some losses were particularly traumatic. Daniel’s death was tragic for many reasons. He had a history of mental illness, and the two brothers were like best friends.
“They say he took his own life, but I can’t really tell you for sure,” Huboi said. “That one was a tough one, and it did a number on me.”
Huboi’s faith helped him get through every major ordeal in his life.
“If I didn’t have a church or a faith I could rely on, who knows, I might not even be alive today,” he said.
Huboi has been married to Ravena for 27 years. They’re also business partners, as Ravena is a designer and project manager. They have one daughter, Carmen, a 21-year-old studying at UC Davis. Huboi also has a daughter from a previous marriage named Rayne, 41, who lives in Bend, Ore.
The ultra-talented Ravena did most of the design for Mayor Ignacio Velazquez’s Tiny Home project and she also designed the kitchen for the chancellor of UC Santa Cruz. Most of all, Huboi is grateful for Ravena’s grace and love.
“When she found me, I was in a den of iniquity,” he said.
The couple experienced a tremendous blessing and gift in regards to Carmen. About a week after Carl died, Huboi had a dream about his dad. The next day, Ravena was pregnant. The couple had been trying to conceive on and off for the previous four years. Ravena had bouts with cysts and endometriosis, contributing to fertility problems.
A week after his dad’s passing, Huboi was in utter elation.
“In my dream, I saw him, clear as a bell,” Huboi said. “He was just smiling and looking at me. The next day, Ravena was pregnant and in the hospital.”
In death came life. It was a fitting moment for Huboi, who views each day as an opportunity to make an impact.
“You want to make the most of each day,” he said, “because each day is a gift to cherish.”

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