Chris Burd: Demolition Man
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN RAMON — After working in the volatile construction industry for many years, Chris Burd began looking for a career opportunity that would provide greater stability. Ironically, he found it by purchasing a company that specialized in the destabilization of unsound structures—or, more precisely, demolition. “During my former career as a carpenter, I kept getting laid off due to the poor economy,” he recounts. “I reached a point where I wanted to start a family, so I knew I was going to need a more secure professional situation. I started looking into purchasing a company, and when I came across Dig & Demo, it seemed like an ideal scenario—not only was it a well-established business, but with my carpentry background, I felt my skillset was perfect for the demolition industry. Fortunately, everything worked out and I was able to take over the company.”
Today, as president of Dig & Demo, Chris says he enjoys the inherent variety of demolition work. “I can’t stand being stuck in an office, so I like the fact that we’re constantly working at different locations and facing new challenges. Plus, as an avid problem-solver, I really enjoy finding solutions to the issues we encounter on the job.”
A resident of Danville (where he lives with his wife, Elaine, and their young son, Justin), Chris says he appreciates the town’s family-oriented atmosphere. “Danville is a great place to raise a family: the schools are excellent, and the neighborhood we live in is quiet and safe. There are certainly cheaper areas to live, but we feel the quality of life here is worth the additional expense.”
Outside of work, Chris spends most of his time practicing his recently assumed role as a father. “Our son is less than a year old, so he’s the focal point of our lives right now,” he affirms. “Fortunately, one of the benefits of owning a business is it allows me a little more flexibility with my time, which is pretty important at this stage.” When he gets a chance, however, Chris takes the opportunity pursue his favorite hobby of snowboarding. “Snowboarding is my passion. My brother lives in Lake Tahoe, so I go up there a few times a year to hit the slopes.”
In regard to his professional career, Chris believes in the importance of having his priorities together. “The goal of many business owners is to increase profits, but my company and I are focused foremost on customer satisfaction. I believe that as long as you have a sustainable process and can continuously please your customers, it will translate into more business in the future and create greater financial stability. That’s why it’s important to take care of the customer first and worry about the financial aspects second.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Chris says he’d spend some time traveling before shifting into another professional livelihood. “I still have a passion for the quality and craftsmanship that goes into carpentry, so if I retired from this line of work, I could see myself jumping back into that field—specifically finish carpentry.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Winter—it’s when I get to go snowboarding.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Piatti in Danville.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My wood blocks.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Snowboards—I have six of them.
Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: My son.