David Bluford grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from high school in 1968, he attended Occidental College for two years as an English major – so you know what that means. With no skills or job prospects under his belt, he enrolled at Los Angeles Trade Tech in the cabinetmaking department, where he learned that there were careers to be had in the theatrical and motion picture industries, where one could build scenery and make a reasonable living.
After attending LA Trade Tech Bluford moved to Chicago where he was hired to work for a fledgling video production company which produced TV commercials. While there he shared scenic shop space with an IATSE set carpenter, who in turn introduced Bluford to the world of union affiliated theatrical and film production work.
But when the 1974 oil embargo threw the Chicago economy into recession, David decided to return to the Bay Area, where he worked as a union stage carpenter for the San Francisco Opera from 1974 to 1980. At that point he became an apprentice in IATSE Local 16, and then was hired as a member of the American Conservatory Theatre stage crew. He remained there for ten years where he worked as a stage carpenter, electrician, prop man and sound technician.
David was elected treasurer of Local 16 in 1985, and in 1990 left ACT to work as a fulltime assistant business agent for Local 16 for the next five years.
Also during the 1980’s a colleague started a grip & lighting company (DTC Grip & Electric), and David was asked to do the bookkeeping for the new business, which grew significantly over the next decade and eventually became the largest business of its type in Northern California. In 1996 David became a co-owner of DTC and has served since that time as its chief financial officer.
In 2009 Bluford moved to Portland, OR to escape the congestion of the Bay Area and try out some greener pastures. He continued to work for DTC by way of the internet.
David met Don Rohrbacker in 2001 when Don opened the DTC Portland branch office, where Don worked until 2009, when he went to work for Gearhead Grip & Electric. Don proved to be a formidable competitor for DTC, so between that and an economic recession DTC decided to shut down its Portland branch office.
Don and David maintained their friendship over the years, so when Don left Gearhead in 2014, he suggested that they join forces in order to start a business together – PDXpendables LLC, which is a film, theatrical and expendables sales and rental company. (See PDXpendables.com)
Meanwhile David became involved with the Portland still photography community through the Portland Art Museum Photography Council. He served as a board member from 2011 to 2016, where he counted himself as a photography hobbyist compared with the wealth of talented people who belong to the council. As an owner of PDXpendables David showcased many of these fine photographers by displaying their work on the PDXpendables website and exhibiting their work at the company’s office in Lake Oswego.
In 2011 David was introduced by Phil Stockton, an old friend and colleague, to Carlos Chavez in order for David to get involved with Morpheus Youth Project, an organization that serves at risk youth in East Portland, and works with incarcerated youth at MacLaren Youth Detention Facility in Woodburn,Oregon. David signed on as fiscal manager of MYP and has worked with Phil and Carlos since that time in order to help develop the organization. David served as board president from 2014 to 2016.
In 2015 David trained with Financial Beginnings (Portland, Oregon) in order to teach money management skills to youthat high schools in and around Portland. In 2016 David taught these classes to youth who were incarcerated at MacLaren but were within one year of being released.
In 2016 David and his wife Vicky moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in order to be closer to Vicky’s mother and siblings. The Kaufman family lives in and around Newton, Kansas, with the exception of her brother Mitch, who lives in Prairie Village, Kansas. David continues to work with DTC and PDXpendables by way of the internet. Also he plays tennis at the Overland Park Racquet Club, takes jazz guitar lessons, supports the Rainbow Mennonite Church and belongs to Congregation B’nai Jehudah.
David would like to continue teaching financial literacy classes in the Kansas City metropolitan area with the assistance of the Financial Beginnings curriculum. He currently teaches classes at the Johnson County Juvenile Court Services Evening Reporting Class in Olathe (KS).
Currently, with the support of Melody Bell, the founder and CEO of Financial Beginnings, David is exploring the possibility of starting up a Financial Beginnings affiliate for the Kansas City metro area.
References and FICO score available upon request.