Eric Isenberg: Painting the Town
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
ROHNERT PARK — It’s often said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but Eric Isenberg has no problem relaying the story of how his stint in the desert metropolis led to a painting career. “After high school, a friend of mine moved to Las Vegas and got a job at a car wash,” he remembers. “He told me the money was really good, so I moved out there and joined him.” When things slowed down at the car wash, Eric found work with a high-end home builder who later introduced him to the painting trade. “I started on the cleanup crew and moved up to doing drywall and painting. I caught on pretty quickly…it just came easy for me.” Later, Eric joined the union, which gave him a chance to further hone his skills as a painter. Eventually, he returned to his home of Sonoma County and started his own painting company.
Today, as owner of E.G.I Painting, Eric says his favorite part of his job is the transformation that takes place during the course of each job. “I really like the process of cleaning up and painting a house that looks dirty and worn-down. By the time you’re done, it looks like a new house and the customer is really happy, so it’s a satisfying end result.”
A resident of Rohnert Park, Eric expresses his appreciation for the diverse beauty of the Bay Area landscape. “I especially love the mornings here, when the fog is low and the sun is shining down over the valley. It really doesn’t matter where you go in the Bay Area—you’re bound to find some natural beauty.”
Outside of work, Eric likes to stay active. “I love going to the gym and training, going on hikes, and riding my mountain bike,” he affirms. “I also enjoy swimming, going on early morning walks with my dog and hanging out with my youngest son.” Additionally, Eric makes a point of staying in touch with his four older children, who are each pursuing their own lives and careers. “My kids get mad at me for calling them too much—especially my two daughters, because I like to keep tabs on my grandkids.”
In regard to his professional career, Eric espouses the importance of doing things right the first time. “I often hear that certain painting companies will get the final check but end up coming back to do touch-up work,” he explains. “That’s something I make sure to avoid. When a customer hands me a check at the end of the job, I want everything to be perfect, with all straight lines and no paint on the windows or doorknobs. There shouldn’t be anything left to do after that point.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Eric says he’d take a leisure trip at sea. “I would go on a two-week cruise. I’m not sure where I’d want to go…just as long as the ship has all the best amenities.”
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Cattlemens in Petaluma.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Australia. I’ve had a few friends from there, and they’re just the warmest people. Plus, it seems like a very diverse place—one side is desert, the other side is green. From what I hear, you can do anything from cliff diving and snorkeling to spelunking.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Ice cream.
Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: A Star Wars character. Almost every year during my childhood, I was Darth Vader, C-3PO or some other character from those movies.