When Bill's wife Marjorie suggested he explore opening a Catholic preschool, Bill partnered with Marybeth Cody to found The Serra Preschool. Bill and Marybeth formed an unlikely team – the computer executive and the experienced teacher of young children. The school opened September 11 2001 in the basement of the Campbell's home and since moved and grown to fill converted officer quarters in the Presidio. The Serra School prepares 90 children for elementary school, using a platform of Catholic teaching and values delivered throughout the school day in a developmentally appropriate way.
The Campbells’ financial support of education comes primarily from their family foundation. But it was Bill's quick willingness to devote scores of volunteer hours that helped save Stuart Hall High School from a closure announced by the school's board in 2011. Bill also contributes his management and business skills in a number of capacities at St. Dominic’s parish in San Francisco, particularly in the development and use of the physical plant.
In his professional life, Bill worked with several colleagues to found The Application Group in 1977. The company focused on Human Resources Consulting and Information Technology staffing, and was sold in 1994. He then took responsibility for ADP’s Client Server business. Later, Bill was promoted to President, Administrative Solutions Group (ASG), a business that delivered human resource, benefits, and payroll solutions to large organizations. He left ADP in 1999.
Since leaving the corporate world, Bill has focused his attention on real estate development, philanthropy and supporting Catholic education. Bill and his wife Marjorie have three children: Carol (25), Will (21), and Liam (18). Skiing, cycling and reading are a few things Bill enjoys in his spare time.
Personal satisfaction and helping others are a few reasons why John Christian has served as an officer or director of a large number of not-for-profit, community-oriented organizations in San Francisco. These organizations have incuded St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco, the Arc-San Francisco, Order of Malta Oakland Clinic, and The Guardsmen, among others. About his experience with the Order of Malta, John said this:
Since my investiture as a Knight of Malta in 2000, I’ve made two pilgrimages to Lourdes, France taking malades (individuals who are ill and are praying for a miracle). Locally we sponsor a World Day of the Sick at the Cathedral of Christ the Light. I volunteer once per month at Mercy Retirement Center in Oakland; we serve meals at St. Mary’s Center in West Oakland and the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room. I have been involved in various other local charitable outreach; the Western Association, of which I’ve been a board member for six years, raises more than $1.5 million each year for our charitable activities, including the annual Spring Pilgrimage to Lourdes, and our local, “signature” charity, the Clinic. As Board President of the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California, we are stewards of an 1800 square foot medical clinic, located at the base of the Pilgrim’s Walk at the Cathedral, serving the uninsured since opening in September, 2008, staffed with volunteer doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners. We’ve had over 17,000 patient visits since the doors opened. Our Malta Clinic also sponsors a monthly podiatry clinic at the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Oakland.
Married 28 years to Mary L. van de Griendt, John Christian and his wife have two daughters: Claire (two degrees in engineering from USC) and Kate (Senior at Notre Dame, majoring in business with a minor in theology). Both daughters attended St. Ignatius College Prep.
Prior to joining the Tobin & Tobin law firm (now, Weintraub Tobin) in 1984, John served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Ira A. Brown, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, City and County of San Francisco, in 1983. He served on the Editorial Advisory Board for the first edition of California Causes of Action, published in 1998 by James Publishing, Inc. He is a member of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.