Gil Medrano: All-Weather Man
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
VACAVILLE — When Gil Medrano’s first job out of high school didn’t pan out, he didn’t realize it would free him up for a much bigger opportunity. “I had just quit my landscaping job because the business owner couldn’t pay us,” he remembers. “That very same day, I was telling my friend about what happened and he asked me if I was interested in working with him in the HVAC field. I took him up on the offer, and after doing it for a while, I decided I liked the trade and was going to stick with it.”
It was a long road to reach his desired professional destination, but Gil says it was the best route he could’ve taken. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and I considered going for it a couple of times early in my career. However, in hindsight, I can see that I wasn’t ready. Later, I went back to school and got my bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering, which advanced me in the field and equipped me with a lot of valuable knowledge.” In 2000, Gil obtained his contractor’s license and soon thereafter achieved his dream of business ownership.
Today, as owner of All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., Gil says that while most of his time is spent in the office, he still prefers working in the field. “These days, I spend more time working on the business than for the business, but when things get really busy, I get to go out and do hands-on work. I still enjoy diagnosing and repairing HVAC problems, but what I like most of all is meeting and interacting with our customers.”
A resident of Vacaville (where he lives with his wife and business partner, Caroline), Gil expresses his fond feeling toward his long-time locale. “I was born in Hayward but I moved to Vacaville when I was a boy, so I consider it my hometown,” he says. “We raised our five kids here, and now we have grandkids, so you might say we’ve established some pretty hardy roots.”
Outside of work, Gil spends the bulk of his free time engaged in outdoor activities. “Our kids and their families are all local, so we like doing family camping trips and going boating at Lake Berryessa and Lake Shasta,” he says. “I also do some off-road racing with my modified Volkswagen Beetle. In addition to racing locally, this will be the third year I’ve competed in the Baja 1000.”
In regard to his professional career, Gil says being a business owner is a 24/7 gig. “I think some people get the impression that running a business is easy, but it’s anything but. There’s really no time off, so you have to be willing to put in the time, even when you don’t want to. It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work and a serious commitment.”
Not surprisingly, when asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Gil says he’d take a vacation. “Even when I’m on vacation, I still have to deal with work in one way or another, so if I were to retire tomorrow, I’d take a long, relaxing trip with no phone calls. I have a good friend in North Carolina who I haven’t seen in a long time, so I might go hang out with him for a while.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.
Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Rock and roll.
Q: What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
A: Escargot. We were on a cruise and they brought some out, so I decided to try it. It was pretty good.
Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Over easy.
Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
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A: I’m a huge fan of the “Star Wars” movies.