Beyond the Boardroom
Stephen Cuddy

MCA Architecture president and principal architect Stephen Cuddy is a true citizen of the world. “My mother was Japanese, and I have many cousins—and now, their children—who live in Japan. I’ve taken my children a few times to visit family there, and they’ve traveled here to visit with us,” he explains. “My wife’s mother was from Mexico City, and members of her family have moved abroad. We recently visited a cousin on my wife’s side as well as some friends who live in Zurich, Switzerland. We’ll be spending some of our Christmas holiday this year in Mexico City.” Furthering the multicultural blend, Cuddy and his wife, Rocio Beatriz Yniguez-Cuddy, have two children, Kyle (age 14) and Danielle (age 12), both adopted at birth from Korea.btb.jpgDo you play a sport?
I played competitive baseball when returning to Sacramento from college [Cal Poly SLO, class of 1976], and I still play in three to four tournaments a year. I’ve been attending Giants Fantasy Camp for the past few years and I intend to participate in 2008 as well.
What was your favorite childhood snack or candy?
I remember really enjoying Japanese rice balls with a slightly sweet vinegar flavor as a child. And we would occasionally get rice candy, which was a soft, sticky gel candy wrapped in a clear, edible rice paper.
How many times have you really been in love?I have three loves in my life: my wife, my son and my daughter. I’ve been married to my wife for 31 years; we’re best of friends and love to travel together. During our 30s, when we decided to bring children into our lives, we came to realize that having children was about child rearing not child bearing, so we adopted.
When did you first become interested in architecture?
I learned my calling was architecture at the age of 12, when I helped my mother design and build some stepped brick planters in our sloping front yard and all the neighbors were impressed. My mother told me many years later (after I had graduated with my degree in architecture) that, as a schoolgirl, she dreamed of being an architect. 
What do you like most about living in Wine Country?

We were fortunate when a friend told us about this couple of acres with a home that needed a lot of TLC. We’ve spent the last several years slowly upgrading and enjoying the property. We enjoy the beauty of the valley and the close proximity to both San Francisco and our original hometown of Sacramento.
If you could have any music group past or present play at your birthday party,
who would it be?
If I could bring the group back from the time when they were performing at their best, I’d choose Rockpile, which included Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Bill Bremner and Terry Williams. These three guitarists and their drummer could make a wall of sound that would light up any concert hall.
If you were given $5,000 to spend in one store in the world, where would you do your shopping?
I’d spend the money in the famous district of Akihabara in Tokyo, Japan, where the latest electronic gismos and gadgets—music, photography, computers, you name it—can be found.
If you were offered free cosmetic surgery by the best plastic surgeons in the world, would you take it?
If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said no way. But, in the past few years since turning 50, age and gravity have started to take their toll. When my wife and I were on a relaxing spa vacation recently, we laughed about it—but given the chance, we’d probably go for it!
If you could turn into an animal at will, which one would you choose?
I have two favorite animals I’ve dreamed of being: the lion and the eagle. I would probably choose the lion first, because he’s the king of the jungle, and then the eagle to be able to soar in the clouds above.
What’s the best way to earn another person’s respect?There’s an Asian saying in regard to giving: “The more you give without any expectations to receive—unconditionally to the world and others—you will be rewarded in abundance.”
If you were given a racehorse, what would you name it?
Lucky Star.