A San Francisco native, Katrine ‘Trinkie’ Watson spent her first seven years in Woodside, California. She lived in San Francisco until her move to Lake Tahoe in 1966. A descendant of the John Breuner family, her California heritage goes back four generations. Watson attended Harker’s School for Girls in Menlo Park, Grant School, Burke’s and Hamlin’s in San Francisco, The Branson School in Ross, Mill’s College, University of Wisconsin and University of California, Berkeley, from which she graduated. Education was very important to her family.
Watson’s bussiness career started as a receptionist with Standard Oil of California at the Bush Street headquarters in San Francisco. She matriculated to the travel department, where she routed auto trips on maps across the country. An opportunity to work for the 1964 Republican Convention took her to Milton Esberg’s public relation’s firm, where she worked on fundraisers for San Domenico school in Marin and the Republican Finance Committee for the Republican Ball.
In 1966, returning home from a trip to Aspen and Sun Valley, Idaho, with friends, Watson suggested a stop in Squaw Valley, where she ran into an old friend that had married and just acquired a vacation home there. Negotiating a rental agreement with them for residency to “try it” for a year, she ended up staying.
Her first job was as a tennis hostess at the Incline Village Racquet Club, then she went on to Alpine Meadows for the winter to man the information desk.
The following summer, Watson obtained her real estate license and worked as a fill-in secretary for John Reilly Jr. at the base of Alpine Meadows .The door opened as she became office manager for General American Development Company which brought to market Kingswood, Alpine Peaks, Brockway Springs, and Glenshire, after which, it was time to step to the plate and migrate to real estate sales.
She dipped her first toe in the water while handling rentals, during which time she learned to ride a motorcycle. A a motorcycle was more appealing than a used car, so, a bright orange 125 Kawasaki was her transportation of choice. A couple of closed deals enabled a new yellow Pinto with hatch back for her two German Shepherds, Baron and Nelson.
Watson then moved to Truckee and resided in a cabin on the river––or, a shack on the tracks, depending on which side of the 700-square-foot cottage you were standing. That move led to successful lot and home sales and a subsequent invitation to be the broker for Stillwater Cove in Crystal Bay, Nevada.
In 1985, another move to San Diego with friends in the art business seemed like a good idea along with taking a position with a small brokerage in Rancho Santa Fe. A stint with Mercedes Benz of San Diego provided some income but was not a starring role. After two years, the urge to return to Lake Tahoe motivated Watson’s return to Truckee, where she opened the California office of Chase International at the end of 1989.
In 1996, she opened a small Chase office in Tahoe City and added another small office in Homewood; then, in 2001, she combined the two offices into a larger space on West Lake Boulevard near Tahoe City. When Starbucks took up a space in the new Customs House, Watson moved the office there in January 2008. An additional office in the Truckee Hotel was established in 2005 and an office Squaw Valley was added in 2008.
Over the years, Watson has held many positions and awards, including president of the incline Village Board of Realtors®, president of the Tahoe Sierra MLS, president of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, board director of the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, and Realtor of the Year, along with many more.
Watson has established a strong reputation for successful marketing and sales of high-end properties, including lakefront homes, (over 80 lakefront properties in California and Nevada sold to date), estates, and Sierra Valley ranches.