Fran Inman describes her hometown of Fullerton in Orange County as being straight out of an "Ozzie and Harriet" episode. But she recalls her childhood as unconventional.
"Oh, I was definitely a tomboy," Inman said. "I climbed trees, rode my bike and just loved being outside."
She quickly realized that her life was not on any particular path and she was open to whatever came her way. That openness would extend into her business life.
"I always had this huge curiosity, so I never landed on one thing," Inman said. "I had clues I was going to end up in project development, but that was just the pathway that was available to me."
Today, she is a senior vice president of corporate development for Majestic Realty Co. in the City of Industry, president of the Majestic Realty Foundation and was recently named chairwoman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Inman singles out her work with the foundation, the philanthropic arm of the real estate developer, as being particularly satisfying.
"To have our sleeves rolled up in the community is the way it should be," she said.
Inman prepared for her business career by attending Cal State Fullerton, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in finance. She worked her way through college, and one of her first jobs was at Knott's Berry Farm, working in Mrs. Knott's Chicken restaurant. It was there she met her husband, Ron. By the time Inman received her B.A. in 1976, she had two kids. A third came by the time she earned her master's in 1981.
After graduating, Inman embraced nearly every opportunity that came her way. She has owned her own consulting business in the entertainment business. From 1998 to 2001, Inman was the executive vice president of Silverton Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Inman was also part of Ed Roski's development team for the Staples Center, which she recalled as a career highlight.
"I'll never forget the day we got council approval to do the Staples Center," she said. "It was our initial vision of what downtown Los Angeles could be."
Inman said her biggest joy is the wide variety of opportunities she's had.
"One of the things you learn in life is not to be that surprised about opportunities and how you can fit in them and make a difference," said Inman.
Inman lives in the Lemon Heights neighborhood of Santa Ana with her husband, Ron. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and canoeing at a family home in the Colorado mountains.
Lauren Alicia Mendoza
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.