Shawn Park: Made in the Shade
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN JOSE — After he graduated high school, Shawn Park could’ve pursued any career he wanted, but he ultimately chose to follow in his father’s footsteps. “My dad, Tony, has been painting in the Bay Area for about 20 years, and after high school, I started working for him full-time,” he says. “I’ve always found the trade to be pretty interesting, and I enjoy meeting different people every day. Plus, the hands-on training I’ve received from my dad is something I couldn’t get by going to school or doing an internship. Overall, I’ve found that learning a trade is difficult but also very rewarding.”
Today, as general manager of T & J Painting, Shawn says his favorite part of his job is furthering the company’s good reputation. “Unfortunately, our industry has its share of shady companies that mislead customers and let them down. That’s why I take a lot of pride in earning our customers’ trust, delivering on our promises and maintaining our positive reputation. Of course, I also love hearing customers tell me they’re happy with our work.”
A resident of San Jose, Shawn spends much of his time outside of work taking advantage of the diverse local landscape. “My generation grew up immersed in electronics, so I find that a lot of people my age don’t appreciate all the natural beauty and outdoor activities we have access to here in the Bay Area. Whenever I have the time, I try to get outdoors, whether it’s hiking at Alamere Falls or mountain biking and surfing in Santa Cruz.”
In his life and career, Shawn espouses the importance of maintaining a respectful attitude toward others. “I’ve found that if you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you, which is why I always make sure we do our part and deliver what’s in our contract,” he explains. “That’s pretty much how I live my life as well. Ultimately, I think it just comes down to doing your part and treating others with respect.”
When asked what he expects his personal and professional future to look like, Shawn says it’s yet to be determined. “My dad has a great success story: Originally from Korea, he came to the United States and found success by starting his own business. Other than following in his footsteps, I don’t really have my own story yet, so I have to make one. I guess I’d better make it interesting!”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.
Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: Climbing about 20 feet up a rock wall without any harnesses. It was the scariest thing I’ve done in my life—about halfway up, I was regretting it.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Kettle corn.
Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle and Lavell Crawford.
Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?