Chris Bennett: All Wired Up
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CROCKETT — In light of his family’s professional heritage, Chris Bennett seemed destined for a career in the plumbing industry. However, he gradually realized he preferred connecting wires to soldering pipes. “My dad and my grandpa were both plumbers,” he explains. “One summer, when I was about six years old, I went out on a job with them where they were replacing a septic tank. It was 100 degrees out and you couldn’t get away from the smell. At that point, I pretty much knew I didn’t want to be a plumber.” As he grew older, Chris found himself gravitating more and more toward the electrical field. “Besides being cleaner work than plumbing, I liked that electricians got to see the results of their work after the fact. Rather than having it hidden behind a wall, they got to see it light up the space.”
After completing a five-year apprenticeship program at Construction Craft Training Center, Chris got a job doing solar installations for swimming pools before being hired at Mulder Electric, a local electrical service company. Thirteen years later, when owner Matt Mulder retired, Chris took over the business and changed its name to Bennett Electric, Inc.
A resident of Crockett (where he lives with his wife, Kristen, and their daughter, Dahlia), Chris expresses his appreciation for the mellow atmosphere of his sparsely populated locale. “I like the fact that Crockett is kind of a sleepy little town situated amidst the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area,” he says. “It’s close to everything that’s going on but far enough away that you don’t have to deal with all the craziness. Plus, since I hate traffic, I love that there’s only one stoplight in the middle of town!”
Outside of work, Chris devotes the bulk of his time to his alternate career as a full-time family man. “My daughter is about to turn 2, so she keeps me and her mom pretty busy,” he says. “She’s really into animals right now, so we spend a lot of time at the Oakland Zoo, as well as checking out the cows and horses at local farms.” On rare occasions when he’s not occupied with work or family, Chris can usually be found in his garage working on a vintage car. “I have a passion for old Japanese cars, and I always have a few restoration projects going. I love working on my stuff and then beating the heck out of it when it’s done!”
In regard to his professional career, Chris espouses the importance of fulfilling obligations. “As a business owner, I feel obliged to serve my customers and get things done for them in a reasonable time and manner,” he explains. “Having a sense of professional obligation is important to me. Some people might feel like it’s a burden, but for me, it’s a source of motivation.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Chris says he’d head out to the garage. “I’d get back to working on my cars. I have five old Datsuns sitting around on my property, so if I suddenly had some extra time, I’d really go hard on finishing those restorations.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland A’s.
Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1966 Volkswagen Beetle.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: A 1971 Nissan Skyline.
Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: Diving off the McLeod River Bridge at Lake Shasta.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?