Desi McGibbon: A Lifelong Builder
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN RAFAEL — If Desi McGibbon can’t imagine doing anything other than building, it’s probably because he’s been doing it for as long as he can remember. “I’ve been building all my life,” he affirms. “My father and uncles were all contractors, so I was basically raised in the industry. As a kid, I’d be carrying buckets of cement and doing whatever other grunt work was needed, but as I grew older, I started to learn the trades in greater detail. Even after going to college and earning a degree in business, I eventually returned to building. It’s just what I know.”
Originally from Ireland, Desi recounts how he came to live in the United States. “In 2005, I came to visit a friend and just fell in love with California. In particular, the coastline appealed to me, as I’ve always been into water sports. I wasn’t back in Ireland long before I returned to the States, where I sorted out my temporary visas and started working for a construction firm. Once I got a feel for the local building industry, I decided to branch out and start my own company.”
Today, as owner of McGibbon Construction, Desi says his favorite part of his job is transforming outdoor spaces. “We’re very well-versed in outdoor construction, especially deck building. When I see a yard that has been neglected, I don’t see it as a mess—I see it as a blank canvas. It’s really rewarding to turn an unkempt outdoor space into something beautiful.”
A resident of San Rafael (where he lives with his wife, Regina, and their two daughters), Desi spends his time outside of work on a variety of pastimes. “I’ve always been a very active person, so I enjoy water sports, cycling and working out,” he details. “I’m actually planning to participate in the 2018 Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco, so I have a lot of training ahead of me.” Desi also enjoys spending time with family and friends. “As a father of two young daughters, family is obviously number one for me. Regina and I also like having friends and family over for dinner and get-togethers.”
When asked what he would do if he were to retire tomorrow, Desi says he’d devote more time to fatherhood. “Sitting on the beach with a drink sounds nice, but with two young children, that’s not where I’m at right now,” he laughs. “I would probably buy a nice house and be more involved in raising my girls. We’d spend more time cycling, going to the park, taking trips to the beach—all that fun stuff.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: I’m a night owl by nature, but by force of life I have to be an early bird.
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: I like the San Francisco 49ers and Liverpool F.C.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Nepal, because my wife is from there and we’ve been meaning to go back and visit her family.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: I have three, actually: Il Davide in San Rafael, R’Noh Thai in Greenbrae, and Tommy’s Asian Bistro and Grill in San Rafael.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Bikes. I have a few and I’m currently in the market for another.