Double Talk

We separated two sets of HWS twins and asked them the same questions. Their remarkably analogous answers are below.

Rob Desino ’94 and Chris Desino ’94

As the principles of Ocala Horse Properties, twin brothers Chris Desino ’94 and Rob Desino ’94 have earned their place as the leading real estate company selling horse farms throughout Ocala and Marion County, Fla. They also own Wellington Equestrian Realty, and between the two companies represent the largest portfolio of premier horse properties in the world.

Was attending college together a priority?
Chris: We never said that we had to go to the same college, but from my perspective I didn’t know any different.
Rob: If we are completely honest with each other, yes it was. It never occurred to us that we would go separate ways.

How did your relationship evolve on campus?
Chris: It was the first time that we found a sport that not only we loved but that we knew we could be very competitive with together. Rowing brought us closer and pushed us to the limits, especially when we rowed the pair together. Prior to that, if one of us lagged behind, the other could make up the difference. In rowing, you cannot do that.
Rob: We did not want to be roommates our first year; we were afraid we would not venture out and make our own friends. Well, once we started rowing the first fall, we were together all the time anyway. Finally, by the third year, we gave up and realized that we might as well live together. We are best friends and finally had the confidence to say that.

What is it like being business partners?
Chris: Our business partnership is based on pure trust. I don’t think we have ever had a fight in business. Any time we have started a business, we never set up roles…we naturally just land into the roles where we perceive our strengths to be.
Rob: In business, our relationship from my point of view is perfect. We never argue. Chris is more the visionary for the future and the “big picture guy.” I am more the details and go-to-one for anything needed on a daily basis with our employees and clients. We have total trust in each other.

Do you have a secret language?
Chris: I would love to say yes, but honestly we don’t. All it takes is one look and we know what we are thinking and what has to be done. That has come in very handy.
Rob: No secret language. Of course spending our entire lives together, he can say one word and I know exactly what mood he is in and how to approach him.

Shayna Times ‘08, MAT ‘09 and Shannon Times ‘08, MAT ‘09

Twin sisters Shannon Times '08, MAT '09 and Shayna Times '08, MAT '09 are both math teachers; Shannon with Victor Central Schools in Victor, N.Y., and Shayna with Gwinnett County Public Schools in the greater Atlanta, Ga., area.

Was attending college together a priority?
Shayna: I’m not sure I’d say it was a “priority,” but we only applied to the same colleges, so I think it was definitely an unspoken intent.
Shannon: Not a “priority” per say, but I definitely thought going to college with my best friend would be fun!

How did your relationship evolve on campus?
Shayna: Being on campus together, there were some good moments and not so good moments, but it was definitely an experience that made our relationship as sisters and best friends even stronger. We still remained “Shayna and Shannon,” but we each began to figure out our individual likes and dislikes, interests and goals.
Shannon: There were certainly ups and downs, but I can honestly say that we grew even closer and stronger as sisters and friends. Even though we tended to look and do more and more alike as we continued through college, even with our similarities, we felt empowered and comfortable to explore our own independences and identities.

What is it like being in the same career field?
Shayna: It’s like having a built-in resource if I have a question or need help brainstorming. I knew education was going to be my focus. Our older sister, Takisha Times ’97, is also a math teacher, so she has definitely been a huge inspiration in choosing to pursue math education.
Shannon: I guess you can say it runs in the family. All of us being in education is such a gift because we can borrow ideas from each other and ask advice of one another.

Do you have a secret language?
Shayna: We can definitely read each other’s emotions and body language without uttering a word. Not sure what it’s all about, but more times than not, we can discern when the other has an achy stomach.
Shannon: It’s more like we have these looks or feelings that just “say it all” with each other. We also have this interesting connection with stomach aches. I know something isn’t quite right when my stomach is uneasy, so I’ll call Shayna and nine times out of ten, she’ll tell me she’s not feeling well or something happened.


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