Dennis Thompson: Hometown Glory
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
HEALDSBURG — A lifetime resident of Healdsburg, Dennis Thompson values the personal benefits that come with living and working in the same town where he was born and raised. “There’s a lot of history here for me, and a lot of good feelings that go along with it,” he says. “I had the fortunate opportunity to purchase a property close to where I grew up, and that’s where I built my house. There’s a dirt road that runs beside it where I used to ride my bike as a kid—I can even point out the spot where I first took off my training wheels!”
Dennis’ local roots run deep on a professional level as well. More than 30 years since he began his construction career, he recounts how it all started: “I was working as a machinist with Hewlett-Packard in Santa Rosa, and I just got tired of all the oil in my hair! I had a friend in the construction business, so I took a two-week vacation and went to work with him just to see what it was like. I immediately fell in love with the trade, so I gave my notice and joined the local carpenters union.” After earning his journeyman status, Dennis continued to excel in the industry and eventually struck out on his own, founding Thompson Construction in 1985.
Today, Dennis says he appreciates the rewards that the construction trade naturally provides, from the satisfaction of a job well done to positive relationships with customers. “It’s very fulfilling to stand back and look at something you’ve accomplished, which is something I enjoy to this day. I also value the connections I make with my clients. In many cases, they become good friends and stay in touch long after their projects are completed.”
Outside of work, Dennis devotes much of his time to being with family. “My wife, Brenda, and I both come from large families with a lot of traditions, and we all get together fairly often for holidays and birthdays, which is always a fun time.” In addition to large family gatherings, Dennis enjoys playing golf and attending baseball games with his three grown sons—Nicholas, Kyle and Chris—all of whom reside locally.
In his professional career, Dennis espouses the importance of quality workmanship. “People often say, ‘No one will ever see this, so you don’t need to make it look nice,’ but I think it’s important to do good work in every aspect of the job,” he says. “Even if no one can see it now, someone will likely take apart my work one day, and I want it to reflect the level of quality I adhere to.”
When asked about his future retirement, Dennis says he has no plans to slow down. “Other than visit some parts of the United States I haven’t seen yet, I’ll probably keep myself busy with home projects. We live on three quarters of an acre, and there’s always something to do. It’s kind of like the Golden Gate Bridge: Once you’ve finally finished everything that needs to be done, it’s time to start over again!”
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.
Q: The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
A: The Beatles.
Q: What’s your favorite smell?
A: Freshly cut grass.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Socorro’s Mexican Restaurant in Windsor.
Q: Did you play any high school sports?
A: I wrestled, played football and ran track.
Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
A: Anything chocolate—it’s one of my few weaknesses.