Don Zech grew up in Escondido idolizing UCLA Coach Wooden and his championship basketball teams. After graduating from the University of San Diego with a degree in business administration, he worked at General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) as an engineering documentation analyst and supervisor for space programs.
In 1984, he joined the Escondido office of John Burnham & Co. as an associate vice president of commercial real estate. During his 12-year tenure there, he gained tremendous experience and accumulated many industry accolades, including Rookie of the Year in '86 and Salesperson of the Year in '92.
But when the real estate market experienced a downturn in the early '90s, Burnham consolidated offices and closed its inland North County office, "leaving a huge need for a professional commercial real estate broker in the Escondido area."
In 1996, Zech left Burnham and founded his own firm of CDC Commercial, a boutique brokerage whose initials stand for wife Candy, Don and children.