Fate, fit and faith. These are principles that have shaped the lives of Todd and Catherine Gerch.
By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen :: Photography by Mark Humphries
Not unlike one of those sweet Hallmark Channel movies, the couple met in a delightful, twist of fate. Todd attended Notre Dame, earning his undergraduate degree in Finance. There he became friends with fellow students, Anthony Rossmiller and Anthony’s girlfriend Christine Holmberg. When the two friends wed, Todd traveled from Pennsylvania to serve as a groomsman, while Catherine flew in from her native California to be the maid of honor for her sister, the bride, Christine. That’s how it all started; at the wedding. As Todd finished up graduate business school at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Catherine began her teaching career after obtaining her Master’s degree in Education from Stanford. After a year of long distance dating, Todd finished school and the couple set out for a full summer of travel. The travel included a continent-wide road trip, an Alaskan Cruise and two weeks in Hawaii. “It was an amazing three months. We truly appreciated how special it was and that it would never happen again,” says Catherine who has had a great affection for Hawaii after traveling there multiple times each year to compete in water polo and open water swimming in college.
Two years after meeting, they wed in Hawaii, a place so special to them that they purchased a Kauai villa that they would frequent four times a year. Their home base at the time was Los Angeles and it was there that Catherine obtained a second Master’s degree from California State University-Los Angeles, this time in Applied Linguistics with an emphasis in curriculum design. While she worked developing curriculum for the California State University-Los Angeles and teaching English as a second language courses at Santa Monica College, Todd continued his work in private equity. They traveled often with visits to Ireland, Australia, Mexico, France and all over the U.S., always marking their New Year’s wedding anniversary with a celebratory trip.
The birth of first child, Allison, in 2009 prompted Catherine to become a stay-at-home mom. With the impending arrival of second daughter, Charlotte, the young family moved to a larger home in Manhattan Beach. The property in Hawaii became a delightful escape where Catherine and their young daughters would spend the summers with Todd visiting as he was able.
It wasn’t long before the couple began making a conscious decision to leave the California life behind. “We began planning an exit strategy so we could reprioritize faith and family,” says Catherine. Todd adds, “Los Angeles was not where we wanted to raise our kids. We wanted a caring neighborhood, a place to move that would create good memories for our children growing up in a community.” There was a void in the golden state, says Todd, “We didn’t even know our next door neighbors. It’s just a different environment.”
A grad school roommate who was from Seguin had always spoken highly of Texas, something Todd never forgot. Intrigued by the many Texans they knew in their circle of friends in California, many from Houston who all wanted to return to the Lone Star state, Todd and Catherine decided to explore their options and quickly realized there was great potential. There were a couple of strong draws in their minds, “It isn’t cold in Texas and there’s no state income tax,” says Todd. With that focus, they used the internet to determine their target visits, which would span nine months. Todd and Catherine visited Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and Houston in succession. While they enjoyed aspects of each city, they could not envision themselves raising a family and living there. But they knew in their hearts that Texas was the place they wanted to be and refused to give up the search.
“We couldn’t even pronounce it,” Todd chagrins about chancing upon Boerne. In fact, they had never heard of the Hill Country. After a visit, they found they loved the town. They made their way to Cordillera Ranch and were besotted. “It looked like everything we were looking for. It had the luxury club environment, and there’s nothing else really like it,” says Todd. Catherine agrees, “Cordillera Ranch is so pretty and friendly. We bought a lot on the spot before we headed back to California. It absolutely felt right. A perfect fit.”
In quick step, Todd resigned from his private equity investing firm, they sold their home and their Hawaiian villa, and the family moved to a rental home in Cordillera Ranch six months later. While living there, Catherine felt drawn to another lot in Clubs Village, and in 2015 they moved into their newly constructed home.
That wasn’t the only big change for the family that year. On a July 4th visit to see Todd’s family and grandmother in Nebraska, the couple found themselves enjoying outstanding coffee at Scooter’s Coffee. Catherine, so enchanted by the brew, pondered how great it would be to have the Nebraska-based brand in Texas. “It was totally a ‘God thing’,” she says. They signed a franchise deal for five stores. “Just two years later we opened our first one in Bergheim.” A second location opened in September of 2017 in San Antonio. With Todd multi-tasking as a stay-at-home dad and day trader, it allows Catherine to be at the helm of the businesses. “She’s the boss, doing all the site selections, construction oversight, the hiring — she runs everything. I help out where I can with support and monthly accounting,” says Todd. A third location site has been selected and is slated to open in 2019.
The family is faith centered. “It was part of the draw to Cordillera Ranch. There’s a majority of Christian supportive residents. We knew it would help us grow in that way,” says Catherine. “Our goal in moving to Texas was to lead Christ-centered, focused lives.” Being a lover of language and a student of Latin, Catherine liked the word Credimus and the couple chose it as their family motto. The word, meaning “we believe,” is front and center in their home. “We chose to display this in the center of our house for a number of reasons. First, it is important to us that our house and our decor accurately reflect our personalities and our beliefs. It’s the very first thing that any guest who walks through our front door sees. It is a bold statement and one that we spent many years pushing aside. Having ‘Credimus’ as a focal point in our house serves as a daily reminder to us and everyone who is in our house that we are here to serve the Lord first. We specifically picked this uncommon phase so that we would have a talking point about our beliefs with our guests as well as having a constant reminder about our faith in our house.”
That faith came knocking quickly when their next door neighbors Randy and Rozanne Frazee invited them to dinner. “It was an answered prayer,” says Catherine. The couple invited the new residents to attend the church were Randy served as Senior Minister.
The couple have developed many other connections in the neighborhood. Todd says, “We’ve found lots of families in their 30’s to 50’s with young children. The Kids Club is amazing. It allows us to order food for the kids, they get to play with their friends and have fun while we enjoy dinner with the other parents at The Club.”
Their children enjoy the Equestrian Center, martial arts and tennis. “There’s great program involvement, and we’re looking forward to getting them more active,” says Catherine about their daughters. “We are also very active. Before we had our pool, we would spend every day at The Club pool and we met great friends there.” Todd, who is a regular early morning gym user and has his workout buddies he sees every day, agrees, “We use every amenity here; we’ve also rafted and kayaked.”
Those friendships are celebrated often with informal and impromptu entertaining in the Gerch home. “At the last minute, we like to invite friends over for dinner while the kids run around and play,” says Todd. “Cordillera residents are the most giving people; everyone brings things,” marvels Catherine. “This community! It leaves me speechless. We love it!