Myron and Jo-Ann Chlavin
SHARING THEIR LUCK WITH CAMPAIGN EISENHOWERBy: BETTY WOLF
A native of Los Angeles, Myron Chlavin has lived in the Coachella Valley for more than 20 years. He met his wife Jo-Ann at Canyon Country Club, where she was working at the time. Like Myron, Jo-Ann came to the desert from Los Angeles.
“Now, I don’t know why anyone would live anywhere else,” Jo-Ann says. “We have everything you could possibly want right here, including the best doctors in the world.”
Myron Chlavin moved to the desert after retiring as Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles-based Desser Tire and Rubber Company, the country’s largest independent supplier of tires to the aircraft industry. The family-owned company was founded by Chlavin’s uncle, and is now run by one of his sons. Myron joined the firm after a three-year stint in the Coast Guard, and built Desser into a multi-national company that is now a market leader, providing more than 100,000 aircraft tires and tubes annually in more than 85 countries. Myron is particularly proud of one of the company’s specialties—tires for classic World War II-era aircraft, which are eagerly sought after by museums, collectors and the military.
Today, Myron and Jo-Ann live on their ranch in Rancho Mirage with six shih tzus, two horses, a pot-bellied pig named “Pork Chop,” and an untold number of cats. Between them they have six children and 12 grandchildren, most of them living in the Los Angeles area and New Jersey. They are fortunate to have one of their sons and a granddaughter living with them on the ranch. The Chlavins have been active in the community ever since they arrived in the Coachella Valley. They are regular supporters of the Mission Hills Country Club Scholarship Fund, which provides college funds for children of Country Club employees, and the Palm Springs Air Museum. They first became involved with Eisenhower when Myron was searching for a place that could provide the comprehensive health care he realized he needed. He had been treated at other facilities in Los Angeles and the Valley, but had been disappointed in the care he received.
“I first came to Eisenhower when I had to be hospitalized and then required extensive follow up care,”Myron says. “What I found at Eisenhower was a level of personal attention that I had not received anywhere else. You are more than a patient here, you are part of a community. It is an amazing organization, and I feel very fortunate to live in a place that has a resource like Eisenhower.” Myron utilizes the Eisenhower Renker Wellness Center on a regular basis. He sees a trainer five days week, and during the course of his visits he realized the Center could use some new fitness equipment. That was the first step in his support of Eisenhower and the Renker Wellness Center which benefits many patients and staff.“I’ve certainly been very lucky in my life, and now I just hope I can share some of that luck with my friends at Eisenhower.”—Myron Chlavin
“I started buying new equipment for the wellness center, and have donated 10 or 12 pieces over the past few years,”Myron says. “Then, the more time I spent at the Center, the more I decided to get involved. I am amazed at how the Center has expanded. The new facility, the best equipment, the latest technology—Jo-Ann and I are thrilled to be a part of it,”Myron says.
Later, Myron and Jo-Ann provided a magnificent $2 million donation to Campaign Eisenhower—Eisenhower’s capital campaign. To honor and recognize their gift, the lobby of the new Greg and Stacey Renker Pavilion was named for Myron and Jo-Ann Chlavin.
“Myron and Jo-Ann are such great supporters,” says Michael Landes, President of the Eisenhower Medical Center Foundation.
“They always take the time to personally encourage all of us, and to push Eisenhower to be better and better.”
Jo-Ann says that having Eisenhower close by is one of the principle reasons they live in the Coachella Valley, and she is proud that she and Myron are in a position to give back to the organization that has done so much for them.
“I know that when Myron is at Eisenhower, he is getting the best care in the world,” she says. “I feel completely comfortable when he is there. I hope our support will enable other families to have the same experience we do.”
Despite his health problems, Myron treasures the life he and Jo-Ann have built together at their ranch. They are surrounded by friends and family who enjoy Myron and Jo-Ann’s lively sense of humor and passion for fun. Myron is an avid collector, and according to Jo-Ann, United Parcel Service is a regular visitor to the ranch.
“If you can buy it, my husband collects it,” Jo-Ann jokes. Myron says the collections he enjoys most are his coins, and his collection of elephant figurines from all over the world, which he displays throughout their home.
“But I only collect elephants whose trunks are pointing up because tradition says they bring good luck,” Myron says. “I think we can all use a little luck in our lives. I’ve certainly been very lucky in my life, and now I just hope I can share some of that luck with my friends at Eisenhower. It is the least Jo-Ann and I can do given all that Eisenhower has done for us.”