Jack Benning: Granite Ambition
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CONCORD — With his background in general construction, Jack Benning says his transition into selling and installing stone products was a gradual process. “Granite really came into its own as a home remodeling product back in the early ’90s. A friend of mine was involved in it and I was intrigued, so I started helping him out on the side. It wasn’t long before it became my full-time career.”
Today, as owner of Golden State Granite, Jack says his favorite aspect of his job is the versatile nature of his chosen trade. “When you’re working with natural stone, every project is different and poses a unique set of challenges. It’s not a cookie-cutter business, which can certainly make things more complicated, but it also keeps things interesting.”
A lifetime resident of the Bay Area, Jack resides in Clayton with his wife, Michelle, where he says he appreciates the close proximity to a more rural environment. “We live right at the base of Mount Diablo, which makes it easy to get away from it all. After about a two-minute walk from my house, you’d never think there was a house within a million miles!”
Outside of work, Jack engages in a variety of hobbies, from restoring vintage cars to fishing at local reservoirs. An avid sports fan, he also enjoys following local teams, particularly the San Francisco Giants and the Cal Bears. “I’ll root for just about any Bay Area team, as long as it doesn’t affect my Bears or Giants,” he laughs. In addition, Jack likes cooking at home and taking short trips in his RV. When he’s not pursuing one of his personal hobbies, he keeps up with his and Michelle’s two grown daughters, Amanda and Meagan.
In regard to his career, Jack says when it comes to ensuring quality, cutting corners is never an option. “One of my mottos is, ‘We don’t do it the easy way, we do it the right way.’ Sometimes the easiest way may in fact be the best way; other times, it’s not. In any case, I don’t care what’s easiest—I just want to do things correctly the first time.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Jack says he’d embark on an extended road trip. “I’d do some traveling in my RV. I’ve only been to about six states, so I would definitely like to spend some time seeing more of the country.”
Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Iced tea.
Q: What was your first car?
A: A Triumph TR4A.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Fall. It’s not too hot and not too cold, plus I love the rain…provided it doesn’t affect our work!
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Watch golf.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.