Al and Maria Bubion Express their Appreciation to Hoag Nurses with a Major Gift
Al and Maria Bubion have a service technician at a car dealership to thank for having the foresight to see that these two “opposites” would attract. Upon her insistence, the pair had a phone conversation that was the beginning of what would become their courtship and marriage over 10 years ago. Quick to smile and disarmingly straightforward, Al believes in the power of hard work and pulling his own weight. Italian - born Maria is gracious and charming with a deep belief in the importance of family.
They each have three grown children from earlier marriages and between them they have eight grandchildren. Although their life stories are completely different, Al and Maria have both spent their lives facing obstacles with grace and determination.
American Success Story
Al is an old-school, roll-up-your sleeves self starter who began working in heavy construction at age 15. The oldest of nine children, he was born and raised in East Los Angeles with very little means. At 17 he enlisted in the Air force and married his first wife while overseas. When he returned home he went back to the work he knew best to support his family.
Starting at the bottom, Al’s work ethic quickly led to his being promoted to foreman, the youngest in the history of the construction company where he worked. His talent for walking a job site and visualizing the big picture earned him the superintendent role - the only non-engineer to achieve that status. Although he spent many years attending night school, he credits his on-the-job experiences for much of what would lead to his later success.
When he turned 40 he decided to go into business for himself. Learning from the mistakes made by his former employer, Al grew his business from a small start up to a to one of the largest post tensioning and reinforcing companies in the U.S. When he sold the company two years ago it boasted 1500 employees, multiple offices and hundreds high-profile projects to its credit such as the San Francisco Airport, LA Music Center, the Alameda corridor and the Bay Bridge in Oakland. After 30 years of running his business, Al’s next challenge is learning to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Maria moved from her native Italy to South America when she was just four years old. Raised in a loving home in Venezuela, she remains devoted to her immediate and extended family. The now tri-lingual Maria came to the United States to open a restaurant with her uncle. At the time, she spoke only Spanish and Italian with very little English. The fearless Maria didn’t let that stop her from becoming the proprietress of the very successful Amelia’s, an Italian trattoria on First Street in Santa Ana. Although she’s become proficient at English, she still delights Al with her occasional twist on common expressions.
After 13 years Maria was forced to close the restaurant when one of her three beloved daughters became gravely ill and spent a year in Hoag Hospital. Never leaving her side, Maria spent many nights sleeping in the chair beside her daughter’s bed. She credits her unshakable faith in God and the wonderful physicians and nurses at Hoag with her daughter’s eventual stabilization and recovery.
It’s ironic then that, many years later, her dear mother would spend an extended stay on the sixth floor of Hoag. In fact, Maria and Al were so impressed with the wonderful care her mother received, they decided to show their appreciation in a big way by presenting Hoag with a benefactor-level gift to support nursing professorships through Choose Nursing, Choose Hoag.
What has struck Maria in recent years is the devotion consistently demonstrated by medical staff at Hoag and other facilities she’s experienced. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas Eve or 2 a.m., when you go to the emergency room, someone is waiting there to take care of you,” explains Maria. “The nurses work so hard to give good care I wanted to do something to help.”
In gratitude Maria has often stopped by with candy or treats for the nursing staff but was inspired to do more after this last experience with the compassionate nurses at Hoag. Although it was Maria’s idea to make the gift, Al was quickly on board. “Maria suggested it and she was right,” smiles Al. “This is a good thing to do and I’m very glad to support Hoag.”