David’s Life Story
David Ray Madera, was born in 1959, in Heidelberg, Germany. The middle child, of three siblings, he had an older brother and younger sister. His father was a master sergeant in the army, his mother a housewife. The family lived in various locales, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Hawaii and Maryland before returning to Germany in 1976 where David graduated from Heidelberg High school.
David’s “fitness constitution” was formed at an early age being voted “Athlete of the Year” as a high school senior and participating on the wrestling team in Germany. Later he would take this fitness quest to many iron man contests on the West coast swimming to Alcatraz and often completing a hundred mile bike ride before breakfast. Prior to settling on the West coast, David lived in Fairfax, VA and attended George Mason University, working as a waiter in various places, including the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. A sacred place to him, he would later return to buy a cottage in Virginia Beach and eventually make it a place of choice for the scattering of his ashes in a private ceremony, August 4, 2012 with close friends from the region.
Moving to California in the early 80’s, he completed his education at San Diego State University and ended up working in the loan department of Homestead Savings bank south of San Francisco. The consummate entrepreneur, he purchased a bicycle shop in Foster City, adding two more locations before selling the enterprise a decade later. He inventoried parts and shipped them all over the country, an unusual offering at the time.
Moving to LA to take up acting, with the assistance of an acting coach he landed several commercials,
a couple of Oscar Wilde plays and discovered his enjoyment behind the camera, both filming and utilizing his creative talent in writing screen plays.
David “discovered” Venice Beach in the mid 90’s, settling into what was to become his true gift, developing and designing apartments that he owned and managed. It was during this time he met Greg Flavall, a general contractor and future business partner with whom he later formed Hemp Technologies. After liquidating most of his real estate in Venice Beach, and the death of his special dog, Quinn, he bought a sailboat named WonderLust and set sail for Mexico, an 18 month long adventure.
Drawn to Asheville for the mountains, and the river that ran through them David came in 2007, enjoying the biking, hiking, camping and rafting opportunities as well as the many close friendships he developed. Fortunate or synergistic, his family who had lived in various places around the country also settled in Asheville during this time. David’s sister, Kathi, and brother Brad, both worked with him in his business ventures.
His larger vision was to utilize his life skills and build on the returns from his previous real estate success, in the development of a downtown boutique hotel and a mixed use property on the river. His initial work was engaging with the local arts community and craftsmen to celebrate their contribution to the Asheville “vibe”. He planned to showcase their work and talents in the Hotel Windsor, but the dream was never fully realized in the economic downturn that began in 2008. However, Hemp Technologies has been successful in creating a market and strong brand recognition for building with Hemp and Lime by:
- Building the first Platinum LEED and PassivHaus Certified hemp house in the world
- Completing 2 other Hemp houses in Asheville, NC
- Building a hemp office for Hemp Oil Canada
- Building a French Colonial masterpiece in Waynesville, NC
- Organizing the collaboration of Hemp Farmers across Canada for consistent supply of materials
- Helping to formulate less expensive lime binders for use in building
- Co-ordinating the testing of different hemp/lime mixes at the University of Manitoba
- Designing a passive solar hemp home for the Ministry of Housing in Winnipeg
- Plans for an expansive Virgina Beach residence to start construction early 2013
- Tireless educational workshops for DIY hemp building
- Priceless consulting with people wanting to know more about Hemp building
He enjoyed people fully, understanding them, assisting their growth as he saw opportunities. Many speak of how he touched them with his spiritual nature, spreading Eckhart Tolle’s “being” philosophy or “A Course in Miracles” readings. He was an accomplished Yoga practitioner, and a creator on every level from building design, writing, gardening, cooking and the watercolor and acrylic mediums, he took up in the last months of his life.
David passed on July 22, 2012 after a valiant battle with Melanoma, complicated with a heart condition that had been diagnosed in 2004. Traveling to Peru to practice with shaman in the Amazon, to radical altering of his diet he was diligent in working an integrated practice of both Eastern and Western methodologies to release his body from the grip of chronic illness. He rarely complained, always offered a positive attitude, mischievous grin and a contagious laugh as he touched countless lives on his time on the earth plane. He will be missed but his carefree, carpe diem approach to living life will survive in the hearts of all those who had the pleasure of spending time in his light.
David, we’ll miss you mate