Dean Knecht: Painting Heritage
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
MILLBRAE — Few professionals can trace their professional legacy back six generations, but Dean Knecht is one of them. “I’m a sixth-generation painter,” he affirms. “My family’s painting legacy began in Hamburg, Germany, and was carried over to the United States by my great-grandfather. His son—my grandfather—was a painting contractor, as was my father after him. I started working for my dad when I was 15 and later became his business partner. After about 18 years with my dad, I started my own business, which I’ve been running for almost 30 years.”
Today, as owner of Dean Knecht Painting, Inc., Dean says his favorite part of his job is the same as it was when he started. “From the beginning, I enjoyed the process of making houses look better. These days, I no longer do the actual painting, but I still enjoy seeing the results of our work, as well as meeting and talking with our customers.”
A resident of San Mateo County (where he lives with his wife, Deborah), Dean spends his time outside of work engaged in a variety of pastimes. “I enjoy working out at the gym and going hiking,” he details. “My wife and I own a cabin in the Sierras, so we like spending time up there as well.” Additionally, Dean enjoys following and supporting his favorite local sports teams. “I have season tickets for the 49ers, and I’m also a fan of the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors.” Furthermore, Dean likes keeping up with his and Deborah’s son and daughter, both of whom are grown up and pursuing their own professional paths.
When asked the secret to his success in business, Dean says he just keeps it simple. “Growing up, my dad taught me the basics: show up on time, do a good job, clean up after yourself and follow through with what you promised. Simple stuff, but important. Overall, I just try to provide exactly what I’d expect of someone who was doing work for me.”
When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Dean says he would spend more time in the mountains. “Right now, with running the business, my wife and I are limited in how much time we can spend at the cabin. If I was retired, I could stay there more than three or four days at a time. I’d stay for a couple of weeks and just relax, hike, and fish.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Original Joe’s Westlake in Daly City.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: I’ve always preferred music, but as I’m getting older, I’m enjoying talk radio more.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: As someone who’s very passionate about the environment, I’d go to the past so I could see what the forests and natural landscape looked like before civilization changed everything.
Q: Pancakes or waffles?
Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played football—I was a quarterback.