Mike Patterson: Appliance Ace
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN RAFAEL — Mike Patterson was pursuing a career in the wine industry when a series of casual interactions led him to an entirely different profession. “Many years ago, I was part of a group of guys that met regularly for breakfast,” he recounts. “One of these gentlemen owned a small appliance business and kept trying to convince me to work for him. He wanted to train me in the business so I could take over after he retired—I guess he saw something in me that impressed him.” After much persuasion, Mike decided to accept the offer and soon made a new career for himself in the appliance industry. “I found that I really liked working with appliances, from dealing with different challenges to helping customers find the right products for their needs.”
Having previously owned three separate appliance businesses, Mike now works in a part-time sales position at Martin & Harris Appliances. “It’s kind of refreshing to be an ordinary employee again,” he says. “There’s definitely less pressure than when I was an owner.” When asked his favorite part of his job, Mike says he simply enjoys making customers happy. “I truly take each of my customers to heart, and I love to see the smiles on their faces when they get the kitchens they’ve always wanted. That’s the reason I continue to do what I do.”
A longtime resident of San Rafael, Mike expresses his appreciation for the diverse character of both work and life in the Bay Area. “My favorite part about being in the Bay Area is the sheer variety of things to do and see. I don’t think you could do it all in a single lifetime! The same goes for working here—it’s never routine; it’s different every day.”
Outside of work, Mike engages in a number of pastimes, from relaxing at his lake house to volunteering his time to charitable events. “I spend as much time as I can up at my lake house, boating around the lake and just kicking back and relaxing,” he says. “I’m also a member of the Elks, and I enjoy helping out with fundraisers and other events they put on. Next to the federal government, the Elks are the largest contributor to educational scholarships, and they’re also very big with the veterans, so I like being part of that.”
In his life and career, Mike believes it’s important to find a balance between living in the present and saving for the future. “My grandfather, who was the second most important man in my life, used to say, ‘You should live your life for today, because tomorrow is promised to no one; however, you should save a little something for tomorrow, too.’ As a young man, that had me scratching my head, but after all these years, I think I’ve finally figured it out.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he retired tomorrow, Mike gives a two-tiered response. “The first thing I’d do is take my boss out to lunch and wish him well in his continued business ventures. Then, I’d take a trip to Italy, because I love it there and haven’t been in a long time.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Coffee or tea?
Q: What’s your favorite local winery?
A: I have two: Whitehall Lane Winery and Stags’ Leap, both of which are in Napa.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: If I don’t have anything going on, I like to just crack the window open and listen to the rain.
Q: The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
A: The Beatles.
Q: How do you like your eggs?