Jake Newman Jr.: The Next Generation
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAUSALITO — As a second-generation participant in his family’s plumbing and heating business, Jake Newman Jr. was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. “My dad has been with Burkell Plumbing for almost 40 years and became the owner when I was in my early 20s,” he explains. “I’d started helping out with the business a couple of years prior, doing things like cleaning the shop, delivering parts and helping with paperwork in the office. When I turned 21, I enrolled in an HVAC certification program at Specialty A/C Institute in Benicia, where, in addition to classroom education, I received hands-on training in their warehouse. After graduating, I returned to Burkell Plumbing, and I’ve spent the last few years managing the HVAC side of the business.”
Today, Jake says his favorite part about being an HVAC service manager is helping people in his community by keeping them comfortable in their homes. “I also like being out and about every day. No two days are the same, which keeps things interesting.”
A resident of Marin County, Jake expresses his appreciation for the area’s aesthetically pleasing character. “Besides having a lot of great people, Marin County has some of the most beautiful scenery around. Between Mt. Tam overlooking us and the ocean surrounding us, it’s a very picturesque setting.”
Outside of work, Jake partakes in a variety of pastimes that vary from season to season. “In summer, I like being outdoors, whether hiking on Mt. Tam or going to the beach or a local lake for some fun in the sun,” he details. “In winter, I like going to Reno or Tahoe to see the snow, or just staying in and relaxing by the fire.”
In regard to his professional career, Jake believes good leadership requires a subtle balance. “I follow in my dad’s footsteps a lot—not just in how he lives his life but how he runs his company. He has created a work environment that’s fun and laid-back, but at the same time we’re very serious about maintaining a high standard of quality work and service. I think our employees respond well to that balance. It enables them to enjoy their jobs but also keeps them focused on doing their best. When a business’ staff is both happy in their work and devoted to a high standard of quality, that’s a recipe for success.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jake says he’d head to a tropical locale. “First, I’d sleep in. Then I’d probably take a vacation to someplace hot, sandy and happening. Miami, Bali, Mexico, the Bahamas…any of those would work just fine.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.
Q: What kinds of music do you like?
A: Hip-hop, R&B, and even a little country and alternative—I like it all.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: I’m a little of each. Usually, I can’t go to sleep before 11pm, but I have a natural body clock that wakes me up before 7am.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Corn dogs, pizza bites, egg rolls—anything I can eat without silverware.