Resident Feature

Meet the Held Family

Bringing “Minnesota Nice” to NorthgateBringing Northgate

Chris Held grew up in Minnesota, enjoying the outdoors and becoming a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan. He describes Minnesotans as a blend between Southern Hospitality and Canadian Politeness… Minnesota Nice. He and his wife, Roxanne, and son, Kelly, embody these values, connecting with their neighbors in Diablo Shadow and the community.

Chris and Roxanne met at a backyard BBQ through friends of friends. “Roxanne was actually there to meet someone else when the universe brought us together,” says Chris. Roxanne grew up in Guam and has a love of the islands. So, it made sense that when they married in 2007 it would be on the beach in Honolulu.

They both attended San Francisco State University. Roxanne earned a BA in Speech Communications and is a Senior Marketing Director at AT&T. Chris earned a BS in Finance and is also a Certified Financial Planner. He is the managing partner of Element Wealth Management LLC with a new office downtown on Newell Ave. He began his career 19 years ago working for Wells Fargo Advisors and Morgan Stanley before opening his own firm three years ago. He is a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist and holds a California Insurance license as well. He loves making a difference in people’s lives through financial security.

Chris believes in giving back to the community and is on the Board of Directors for the non-profit drumline Rhythm Cadets that enriches the lives of youth through performing arts. He has also volunteered as a Little League coach and scout leader. He loves cars and has a 1949 Ford pickup that he bought while in high school and had restored recently.

Kelly, age 12, attends Foothill Middle School, plays water polo for Contra Costa United and swims for Rancho San Miguel during the summer.

The entire Held family are big fans of the San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Vikings, and Father William at St. John Vianney where they attend church. Their Goldendoodle puppy, Bear, so named because he looks like a big teddy bear, loves visiting dog parks to meet new friends and burn off energy.

In 2013 the Helds made the move to Northgate from Concord. They bought a house that was in need of major repairs and spent six months fixing it up, mostly doing the work themselves, before moving in. They had always loved this neighborhood and were thrilled to find their fixer upper. It turned out they also found great neighbors that sometimes celebrate holidays together and can often be found gathering on the driveway for impromptu wine and social time.

The Helds, not surprisingly, love to travel to Hawaii annually. They are also quite adventurous, traveling to Japan and Europe without much planning and on a shoestring budget. As Chris relayed, “For Instance, when flying to Italy, we booked the tickets 8 days before we left ($500 roundtrip) and had no idea where we were staying once we landed. We found a last minute AirBNB that led us to a local bakery where we had to pick up the key from the property owner and wander down the street to find a small door that led us through to an apartment complex where we eventually found our room on the third floor. By that time, it was 8:00 at night.” Closer to home, they enjoy the benefits of Northgate’s proximity to stores, golfing and lots of restaurants. 

Northgate is a community filled with families from all over, some with deep roots here, others newly established, and everything in between. Like the Helds, all come here and stay here for the same reasons – the people, the open spaces, the schools, and the tranquility. We’d love to share your story next! 

Do you know a neighbor who has a story to share? Nominate your neighbor to be featured in one of our upcoming issues! Contact us at 

By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991 | Photo Credit: Courtesy of Held familyBy family