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Interview with David Pizer
by Jonathan Despres. Go to the Interviews.
What's the major milestones in the life of Mr. Pizer, the stuff he is proud presently?
He is most proud of his involvement in Alcor and cryonics. He was an officer and director for Alcor for 11 years. Several of the Alcor things he is most proud of in that area are: His involvement in the Dora Kent matter. He was there when the bureaucrats tried to take Dora Kent's head from them. During midmorning He was outside the facility when the officer told him to put away his camera and quit taking pictures (Mike Perry was with him). When the guy left they kept taking pictures. The police came back and arrested Mike and David and they went to jail. (They got the camera put in the trunk of David's car before they took them off).
Later at a court hearing one of the police leaders, Mike Worthington, told the court under oath that he was not even present at the raid. The pictures Mike and he took showed the guy was there and impeached his testimony and everything else he said. Alcor won and Mr. Pizer believes that if Mike and he had not continued to take the pictures used to impeach officer Worthington Alcor would have lost. Also at that time, the County of Riverside was trying to shut Alcor down during the Dora Kent matter and put Alcor completely out of business. They needed a way to fight back. When he had been arrested with Mike so were 4 other very brave Alcor people. David suggested that they file a lawsuit against Riverside for arresting them. The other 5 people did not want to. The lawyer wanted a retainer and there was the risk that if they filed they would counter sue each of them. So David put up all the money to the lawyer and filed the suit himself on behalf of all six of them. It was called "Pizer vs. Riverside". He took the risk himself if they would have counter sued. They won and they got $90,000. At the same time Alcor member Keith Henson lead a suit for some email charges and won another $30,000 from them. These money awards along with a lot of hard and smart work by other Alcor activists helped to get them to lay off us for a while.
When things did get worse for Alcor with more burecrats filing charges and taking actions against them in California they suggested that Alcor move to Arizona. Mr. Pizer did some checking with officials and was convinced that the political climate in Arizona would be much better. The rest of the board was not for the idea it was a battle to convince them. It took him a long time to convince them, but when they finally moved to Scottsdale. The first thing the mayor of Scottsdale did was invite Alcor's president to his office and give him the key to the city. Back home in California the mayor of Riverside wanted to tar and feather him.
When they did decide to move to Arizona the board asked to David to find them a building. He found a really good deal on one and put a deposit on it in Alcor's name to hold it. The rest of the board who did not have experience in real estate was afraid to close the deal. They argued and debated so long that the time ran out and the owner gave the deposit back and sold the building to someone else. The new owner immediately resold it for $100,000 more. We lost a good deal.
David found another good deal several months later. This time he opened the escrow in his own name. If Alcor directors could not make up their mind, he would take the building himself and hold it for them until they could. He did not want Alcor to lose another good deal. Well on the last day of their option to buy, Alcor decided to take the building and he gave them his position in the building and they closed on it and it is now theirs. David thinks this may be the single biggest financial benefit ever to Alcor and he take a lot of pride that it was his idea and his hard work that helps Alcor profit so much. Once they were in Arizona he took a more active role in helping manage Alcor in the dailey activities. He puted in systems of employee weekly meetings, set goals and used his business experience to help Alcor grow and prosper. He got Alcor a lot of good publicity to replace all the bad stuff they got when they were in California.
When the Cryowars broke out, and Alcor members were leaving to join CryoCare he was not confident that CryoCare could last. CryoCare had a good idea in that their business plan that allowed them to use several suspension service providers. They had a lot of other good ideas too. But his business instincts caused him to look more closely. Even though they had the right to use more than one suspension service provider there was only one existing person that could do the work that was not working for Alcor. So when Alcor members would tell them they were leaving I volunteered to call them and try to get them back, he did not want them to make a mistake. He convinced quite a few to come back to Alcor. Later on CryoCare did loose their only service provider and they went out of business. A lot of old members thanked me for convincing them not to leave.
Also during that time David did a lot of work on fund raising for Alcor. The immediate results were OK but he also helped some members plan to leave bequests to Alcor when they died. Years after he left some of those members did die and Alcor received a lot of money.
He really enjoyed doing things for Alcor, he could go on for many pages talking about the good things that he think he was responsible for. He think his best help for Alcor was just being there everyday in the day to day business decisions. With his business experience he was able to spot lots of potential problems while they were small and before they became disasters. Now that he is gone he hears of a lot of things that he feel could have been prevented if they had someone there with extensive business experience.
His current work?
Currently he is a real estate investor and he owns a resort in the north part of Arizona. Most of his life David owned a seat cover factory, a wholesale distributing company, and a chain of retail seat cover stores in the Phoenix area. He franchised the retail stores to independent owners. This gave him a wide and varied history of watching over other businesses from a unique vantage point. When he sold a franchise David would help mentor the new owner for years after. He got so he could compare mistakes, problems and successes in many similar type stores at one time. This allowed him to be able to "sense" good and bad things in business far in advance.
The vision of his future?
He wants to continue to own his resort. He has really good management there that he get along with and respect. He have trained them well and they do a good job for him and he like them personally. His main manager, Mark Plus, is an Alcor member and they have a lot in common. He also like selling real estate, mostly he like to buy and sell things for himself. Sometimes when he is bored he will take listings and help other people sell their real estate. He advertise that, David handle "problem" properties. That way it is more challenging and exciting he said.
What kind of jobs he did when he were younger and what is the important things he learned about it?
He started before hi first job with a business education at home. Hi father was in business and every night around the dinner table he would listen to him talk business problems with his mother. He went to work for him when he was 17. He worked for him for a few years. Then he left. He sold cars for a few years. He quickly worked his way up to manager at a few new car agencies. That taught him selling techniques and advertising methods. He also had his own sales agency and he traveled several states as a manufactures representative for several factors. He was president of the American Institute of Broadcasting and Electrons for a while. They taught people how to be broadcasters. When his father died around 1970, he bought the business from his mother and went back into the seat cover business. At that time it was just one small shop. He built the business up into the largest business in the world of its kind. When the real estate the stores sat on because so valuable he sold out.
All the time David was working or building his business he was taking classes at night at college. In his younger days he took classes on business subjects. He had enough education to have MBA but he never formalized that. In mid life he took classes in Political Science. David earned a BS in Policital Science. In later life he took classes in philosophy. His favorite subject was logic. He was in Graduate School at Arizona State University when he finally quit taking classes a few years ago. David was active in the Big Brother organization and mentored two little brothers. He was active in the Optimist Clubs in Arizona for many years. They helped children and underprivileged families. He was president of the local club and the secretary for the Arizona District. He have been married to his high school sweetheart for 49 years. They have a wonderful marriage.
Does David believes in cryonics?
He believe that cryonics can suceed, that it won't fail because it is impossible. People might fail to get revived because of other reasons, but not because it is impossile to freeze people and then revive them later. If the human race survives for several hundred years we should have very powerful technology by then that can revive even the most damaged patient put into suspension today. The real threats to cryonics are the people who run the companies - several have already gone out of business, the government, people who don't understand us, natural disasters and things like that.
Why isn't the science of cryonics progressing at a rate commensurate to other sciences? According to him.
Government concerns about safety fair treatment to people and animals slow down an lot of experiments. We have to be ethical and careful. Also most people in cryonics tend to not know how to estimate how long things should take. They figure that they should take less time then is really needed. So there is no slow down, the people just guessed wrong about the expected completion date in the first place.