John and Tiffany Moffatt may be low profile in Lodi, but they've enjoyed rather successful careers — both worked closely with former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Governator's office.
John Moffatt, 34, was chief deputy legislative secretary and directly involved in the tense budget negotiations with the so-called Big 5, consisting of Schwarzenegger and the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Assembly and State Senate.
Meanwhile, his wife, Tiffany, was Schwarzenegger's communications director, organizing as many as three press events per day and keeping the governor informed aboutthe main issues for particular groups he visited.
"He's a nice man," John Moffatt said of Schwarzenegger. "He's a big thinker, very much a bit-picture kind of guy. A lot of all-nighters were spent on negotiating and putting things together.
"He cared," he added. "Lots of times, there were cuts he didn't want to make. He knew it impacted people."
Tiffany Moffatt recalls the governor being sensitive to her being a young mother. She joined his team shortly after their daughter, Abby, was born.
"He always called after an event and said how much he appreciated the work I did," she said.
"It was definitely one of the best experiences we ever had," John Moffatt said.
Now that Schwarzenegger is out of office, John Moffatt is an attorney representing agricultural, environmental, utility and water clients at the State Capitol. He can see the Capitol dome from his 12th-story office window.
And Tiffany works in communications for Wal-Mart, Inc. stores west of the Mississippi River.
The Moffatts met through the Future Farmers of America. John, who grew up in Kern County, was state FFA president the year after he graduated from high school, while Tiffany, a Galt High graduate, was a state FFA officer the previous year. Then they worked together setting up FFA leadership conferences and talked to younger students about possible careers.
"She's amazing," he said. "She's been very successful professionally and, quite frankly, does most of the work at home."
Both credit their involvement in FFA for their successful careers. Tiffany credits her former Galt High agriculture teacher, Hugh Mooney, with motivating her. Mooney saw that she was somewhat quiet in class and said, "Why don't I get you into speech and debate?"
Next thing she knew, she was debating competitively about NAFTA and learned a lot about free trade with other countries.
"I was probably a student who would have coasted, but the FFA pushed me," Tiffany said.
Mooney said that Tiffany Moffatt gave him way too much credit.
"I definitely could see she had the ability to do those things, and I certainly encouraged her to get involved," said Mooney, now an education programs consultant for the California Agricultural Education office.
John Moffatt had similar comments about the FFA preparing him for life.
"If it weren't for the FFA, I don't think I'd be where I am today," he said. "I learned public speaking, communication and applying critical thought to public policy issues and issues impacting agriculture."
After a year and a half in Schwarzenegger's office, Tiffany Moffatt joined Wa-Mart, Inc. in the spring of 2007.
"It's a very humble company; it's a wonderful company to work for," she said.
Despite the positions they've held, the Moffatts aren't well-known among community leaders in Lodi. That's because they prefer to be low profile, spending most of their time to their careers and raising their two small children, Tiffany Moffatt said.
John grew up in Kern County and moved north because his work was in Sacramento. Tiffany is a little better known. Her father, Greg Rausser, owns a trucking company on Liberty Road, and she attended Galt High School. She expects to become more active in the community when her children begin attending school.
"I like the feel of (Lodi)," John said. "It has many of the big-city conveniences, but it feels homey and feels like a community. I feel comfortable taking my kids to the park. We like going downtown to the Farmers Market."
Mooney knows the couple quite well.
"Both John and Tiffany are very articulate, very intelligent and good listeners," Mooney said. "I enjoy every chance I get to run into them."