After 26 years together and living in multiple countries, states and cities, Giovanni and Lily De Choudens always find ways to fill their lives with adventure and fun. The couple met in Puerto Rico in 1994. “I knew Gio’s sister, and one evening she invited me to the bar where he used to bartend while going to college. That evening after his shift was over he asked me to dance, and we immediately hit it off,” says Lily. After two years of dating, Gio proposed to Lily, and they were married shortly after that. After about a year of marriage, they welcomed daughter Gia to the family, and two years later came a second daughter, Valeria.
Both born and primarily raised in Puerto Rico, it was a career opportunity for Gio that launched their first move to the states. “I had never lived outside our beautiful island until 2000 when we decided to move to Fayetteville, Arkansas as Gio was offered a role with the Procter & Gamble team that is responsible for the Walmart business,” shares Lily. Gio grew up spending part of his childhood in Puerto Rico but also lived in Ecuador and Florida. The move to Arkansas ended up leading to multiple relocations for the family including living in Mexico, Kansas and of course, California. “We first lived in the East Bay when we moved to Livermore in 2004. After returning to California in 2009 and again in 2016, we knew we wanted to be in Danville as we simply love the small town feeling with big city amenities as well as the sense of community,” says Gio.
Gio studied marketing, but his career has been in sales and business development. He has worked for large corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Electronic Arts and Samsung, as well as start-ups primarily focused on telecommunications and tech. He is currently the Vice President of Alliances for Charter Communications.
Lily worked for her family’s business in Puerto Rico until their first daughter was born in 1999. She was a stay-at-home mom until just recently, when she decided to open a business in the local community. “After a lot of research and exploring, we decided to open Shred415 San Ramon, a high intensity interval training boutique gym that is focused on community building and being more than a workout. The past two years have been a lot of hard work, but we have also met a ton of great people that are now part of our extended family. While recent events have certainly created a lot of uncertainty, I am so happy to be able to do something I am passionate about on a daily basis and can’t wait to reopen and welcome everyone back soon!” says Lily. As a family, The De Choudens are passionate about fitness. “We always wanted to bring a new concept to the area and one that the whole family could get involved in. When Gio isn’t at work, you can always find him at Shred415. Both of our daughters are also involved. Valeria is an instructor and Gia helps with our social media and marketing,” adds Lily.
Both Gia and Valeria graduated from Monte Vista High School in Danville and are currently attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Gia will graduate this year with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Political Science while Valeria is in her second year in Graphic Communication and Journalism. Both daughters danced competitively throughout their childhood since they were toddlers. Valeria also sang with the Monte Vista choir throughout high school. They are currently focused on their education as well as being active in social justice causes.
Two dogs complete the De Choudens family. Migo is a 10-year-old rescue Poodle and Bichon mix. “Despite being only 10 pounds, he runs the house. We recently got a Bernedoodle puppy named Koda who is now 7-months-old. She is a very loving and affectionate dog. After we unexpectedly lost our Bella, our Cavalier King Charles, in December 2019 at age 11, we could not have found a better dog to join our family,” says Lily.
Some of the family’s favorite pastimes include traveling to tropical locations. “We love to travel as a family, particularly to tropical places with beautiful beaches as well as places that have a rich history and new adventures to explore. As a family we also love all things Disney and spending long days at the park. I have to admit that we prefer Disney World over Disneyland,” adds Gio.
No matter where they travel, Gio and Lily say they love being able to come home to Blackhawk, “One of our neighbors came over with a bottle of wine as a housewarming gift the day our moving truck was unloading. Needless to say, I knew at that moment we had found the right place as we certainly enjoy a nice glass of wine. We feel fortunate to be able to live in this great and safe community. There are so many opportunities to be as engaged and active as you’d like. While our current schedules do not allow us to take full advantage of the many options that Blackhawk has to offer, we value having them available and know that we will benefit from it in the future.”
By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010
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