Overcoming Adversity – Committed to Results
By all accounts Geoff Rizzo lived the American dream as a child. Raised by a loving family in the idyllic neighborhood of Southwood, he enjoyed scouting and sports and participating in his family’s parish. But at the age of 19 he lost his father to illness. A year later his mother faced a debilitating health crisis.
Geoff was determined to rise above the tragedy his family faced. He remained in his childhood home to care for his mother while working, attending night school, and pursuing his dream of working with the Torrance Police Department. In 1981 his dream became a reality and he proudly built a 30-year career with the Department, retiring as Lieutenant in 2010.
Throughout his career in law enforcement Geoff continued his post-secondary education, advancing to earn a master’s degree in public administration. His work with the Torrance Police Department allowed him to gain a first-hand understanding of the inner workings of city government. Upon retiring, he accepted an appointment to the Torrance City Planning Commission, where he currently serves as chair.
Geoff’s experiences and education have led him to realize that Torrance needs leaders like him, visionaries who have a deeply rooted, lifelong passion for the city and its people, advocates, who know how to listen and how important it is to push on and deliver results.
Geoff and his wife Donna, happily married for over 25 years, have proudly raised their two children, Rosemarie and Anthony, in Geoff’s childhood home in Southwood. He currently holds a position as adjunct professor at his alma mater, El Camino College, where he teaches courses in homeland security.