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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Paving Stones CATEGORY

Carlos Barbosa is sales manager of Brasmerica Pavers System, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 879-8949 or by email.

Carlos Barbosa

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Carlos Barbosa: Paver Protégé

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PINOLE — When asked about the origin of his career in the paver industry, Carlos Barbosa says it all started with a casual friendship. “Before I started working with pavers, I worked for my dad doing excavation and debris hauling. In 2009, I met Alberto Lisboa, who was installing pavers as a subcontractor on a jobsite I was on, and we became friends. A few years later, Alberto started his own paver business and told me I should come work for him—an opportunity I gladly accepted. He thought I’d be good at sales but felt I first needed to get an education in the industry. For the next three years, I worked alongside Alberto and he taught me everything I needed to know. Finally, after acquiring the requisite knowledge and experience, I moved into the sales department.”

Today, as sales manager of Brasmerica Pavers System, Carlos says his favorite part of his job is seeing the end result of each project. “I enjoy every step of the process, from meeting with clients to helping them with designs. However, my favorite part is actually seeing the design come into being, because that’s when you know you’ve accomplished your goal.”

A resident of Pinole (where he lives with his wife, Sandra, and their two children), Carlos spends his free time on a variety of pastimes. “I enjoy watching sports, especially soccer, hanging out with friends and family, and traveling,” he details. “Due to the demands of work, I don’t go on a lot of long trips, but I do take two or three mini-vacations each year. I like going to Las Vegas, South Lake Tahoe and other destinations that are near enough to make a short visit worthwhile.”

In his life and career, Carlos espouses the value of a respectful attitude. “Respecting others is the most important thing to me,” he affirms. “In regard to my job, this means being respectful of my clients and their homes. When you go into someone’s home and work on their property, you have to respect their space. You also have to remember it’s their project, and they’re entitled to a good value for the money they’re paying you. I show each client respect by making sure they’re served well and receive a high-quality final product.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Carlos says he’d pay a visit to his home country. “I would take a trip to Brazil, which is where I’m from. I’d probably spend a month or so just visiting the family and friends I have there.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: Brasas Do Brazil in Concord.

Q: What was your first job?

A: When I was 11, I got a job cleaning floors and doing deliveries for a supermarket near my neighborhood.

Q: What are your favorite soccer teams?

A: FC Barcelona and the Brazilian national football team.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Dubai.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?

A: Christmas.

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An Important Credential for Paver Contractors

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PINOLE — One of the most important steps of hiring a contractor is verifying their credentials, including proper licensing and insurance. If you’re hiring for a paver project, one important credential to look for is certification with the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Polymeric Joint Sand for Pavers

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PINOLE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When installing a new paver feature on your property, there’s one feature that’s worth the additional investment. Today we’re in Pinole with Diamond… Read more

Hayley Johnson is a veteran of the paving stones industry and owner of The Legacy Paver Group, a Diamond Certified company since 2013. She can be reached at (415) 886-2903 or by email.

Hayley Johnson

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Hayley Johnson: Paving a New Pathway

By James Florence, Senior Writer

SANTA ROSA — Hayley Johnson used to do PR and marketing for a high-tech firm, but after she became a mother, she realized it was time to pave a new professional pathway. “In 2001, I had my first daughter and took some time off of work,” she recounts. “While I was off, I decided to help my dad with his paver business and found that I liked it a lot, from the hands-on creativity to the direct client involvement…not to mention getting to work outside. My marketing career involved long hours and travel, so I knew if I went back, I would have to put my daughter in daycare. Ultimately, I decided to join my father in the paver business. When he retired in 2003, I bought him out and took it over.”
Today, as owner of The Legacy Paver Group, Hayley says her favorite part of her job is the endless creative possibilities. “Every project we do is a blank canvas—we’re not stuck to a single design, so there’s plenty of room for creativity, which makes it a lot of fun. I enjoy working with clients throughout their projects, translating their visions into custom designs and fine-tuning them as we go along.”
A resident of Santa Rosa (where she lives with her husband and business partner, Sean, and their two daughters), Hayley expresses her appreciation for life in the North Bay. “Compared to other regions of the Bay Area, Marin and Sonoma have more scenic, rural beauty, with lots of farmland and vineyards. I’m originally from the United Kingdom, and some parts of this area remind me of being in Wales—except with much better weather!”
Outside of work, Hayley spends her time on a variety of interests and pastimes. “I enjoy photography, reading, playing soccer and working out—basically, anything active or creative,” she says. “I also like hanging out by the pool with my family and hosting barbeques at our house.” Additionally, Hayley and her family like to travel as much as possible. “Besides visiting family in England, we like to see and experience new places. We’ve been to Africa, Cuba and all over Europe, so I would definitely say travel is our favorite activity.”
In her life and career, Hayley espouses the importance of having goals. “I’m a very goal-oriented person,” she explains. “Whether with my business or in my personal life, I find that having a goal to work toward helps me stay motivated, focused and engaged. Having goals also gives you a basis for structure and organization, which leads to more positive outcomes, so I think it’s a big key to success in work and life.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Hayley says she’d take her family on a trip. “Honestly, I don’t think about retirement—I enjoy running my business and could see myself doing it into my 70s and beyond. However, if I did retire, I would definitely do more traveling. Maybe I’d jump on a river cruise down the Danube. That would be a good way to kick things off.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?
A: I like everything from biographies and historical novels to chick lit. Basically, if something captures my interest, I’ll read it to death.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: South America. Brazil would be my first stop. I work with a lot of Brazilians and they’re a lot of fun. Plus, it’s a huge country, so I could spend a lot of time there.

Q: Do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person?
A: I have both, so I don’t really have a preference, but overall I’m probably more of a cat person…just don’t tell my dog.

Q: If someone was making a movie about your life, what actress would you choose to play yourself?
A: No one—I’d have it be a documentary.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My bike.

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Important Choices for a Paver Feature

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SANTA ROSA — If you’ve decided to go with pavers for your new driveway, walkway or patio, congratulations—you’ve made a great choice! However, while you may have made one big decision, you now have a lot more of them ahead of you.… Read more

Technical Aspects of a Paver Installation

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SANTA ROSA — When installing a concrete paver driveway or patio, it’s easy to get preoccupied with the aesthetic design, but it’s also important to consider the technical aspects. After all, while thinking about soil compaction may not be as… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Professional Guidance With Paver Selection

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SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to finding the right paver product for your home and landscape, there’s no substitute for a professional’s guidance. Today… Read more

Jorge Neukirchen is vice president of Viking Pavers, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (877) 296-0817 or by email.

Jorge Neukirchen

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Jorge Neukirchen: Interlocking Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RICHMOND — Some people find professional success independently, but for Jorge Neukirchen, it resulted when he and his best friend interlocked their respective skills. “Prior to getting into the paver business, I was a mortgage broker,” he recounts. “My best friend, Mauro, had been in the interlocking paver industry for about five years, and he asked if I wanted to partner with him to start a business. With his hands-on knowledge of pavers and my business expertise, I knew it would be a winning combination, so I came aboard and never looked back.”

Today, as vice president of Viking Pavers, Jorge says his favorite part of his job is making his customers happy. “Unlike the mortgage industry, where clients were often disappointed with the outcomes they received, I have yet to see one face that isn’t smiling at the end of a paver project. When you know you’re building something the customer is going to enjoy for years, it’s an exciting and fulfilling thing to be a part of.”

Originally from Brazil, Jorge resides today in Contra Costa, where he appreciates the many positive traits of Bay Area life. “I don’t think there’s any place in the world that’s as beautiful as the Bay Area—any direction you look, you’re bound to get a scenic view. I also enjoy the diversity of population, which I feel is quite unique.”

Outside of work, Jorge spends his free time on a variety of active pastimes. “I’m a very family-oriented guy, so I enjoy spending time with my wife, Cinara, and our daughters,” he shares. “We like to go out on the weekends and spend time at the beach or in the city. I’m also a big fan of the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors, and I like fishing as well.”

In regard to his professional career, Jorge espouses the importance of treating others fairly. “I believe in treating people the way I’d like to be treated,” he affirms. “With every project we take on, our goal is to add something positive to the customer’s life. If we do the best job we can and treat the customer fairly, I think only good can come out of that.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first job?
A: Helping out in my dad’s bakery back in Brazil.

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Francisco.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Rome, Italy.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Watch a movie.

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Why Interlocking Pavers are a Smart Choice in the Bay Area

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RICHMOND — Here in the Bay Area, we have a lot of soil movement. One reason for this is the high amounts of clay found in much of the native soil. Since clay is prone to absorb and retain water, this causes… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Benefits of Interlocking Pavers

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RICHMOND — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to installing a new driveway, walkway or patio, interlocking pavers offer several advantages over poured concrete. Today we’re in… Read more

Glayston Soares is owner of Mr. Pavers Contractor Services, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-6065 or by email.

Glayston Soares

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Glayston Soares: From Parcels to Pavers

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RODEO — After years working in the shipping industry, when Glayston Soares saw an opportunity to get into the paver business, he was confident he could deliver. “I used to be a contractor for FedEx—I had eight trucks and covered a couple of routes for them,” he recounts. “I actually got into pavers through my brother, who at the time was a paver contractor in Florida. He was having some difficulties with his business, so I told him he should move to California and start a company with me. With his industry knowledge and my administrative skills, I knew we’d make a good team. We started as subcontractors for System Pavers, and a couple of years later, we started our own business.”

Today, as owner of Mr. Pavers Contractor Services, Inc., Glayston says his favorite part of his job is wowing his customers. “With the work we do, we’re able to totally transform the look of a home in a matter of days. I love seeing our customers excited and happy with the final products.”

Originally from Brazil, Glayston resides today in Rodeo with his wife, Rosanna, and their children. Outside of work, he likes spending his free time on outdoor activities. “I enjoy going camping and RVing with my family whenever I get the chance,” he details. “I also like barbecuing and hanging out with friends on the weekends.”

When asked about a professional philosophy, Glayston says he’s all about building trust. “I try to put our customers at ease by setting firm expectations and communicating with them throughout the process. I always follow up with them, and if a problem arises, I try to resolve it as quickly as I can. By building trust in these ways, I give my customers confidence that we’ll deliver on what we’ve promised.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Glayston says he’d simply relax. “I would probably buy a lakeside property and enjoy a peaceful, relaxing life watching my kids grow up. I’d probably do a little bit of traveling as well.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: A night owl.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?

A: Va de Vi in Walnut Creek.

Q: What was your first job?

A: I was a pizza maker.

Q: Coffee or tea?

A: Coffee.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Italy.

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A Critical Aspect of Paver Installation

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RODEO — With the high amount of soil movement and seismic activity that occurs in California, it’s crucial for paver features like driveways and patios to have a solid base. Proper base preparation consists of several steps, including excavation, laying down geotextile… Read more

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Video: Base Preparation for a Paver Feature

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RODEO — Host, Sarah Rutan: When installing a paver driveway or patio, there’s one phase that requires especially close attention. Today we’re in Rodeo with Diamond Certified Expert… Read more

Renato do Carmo is president of D’Carmo Interlocking Pavers, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 972-4977 or by email.

Renato do Carmo

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Renato do Carmo: Piecing it All Together

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RICHMOND — For Renato do Carmo, progressing from trainee to expert in the paver industry was simply a matter of piecing it all together. “I got into the paver industry through friends,” he recounts. “I started as a helper and gradually learned the trade until I became an installer. After working for a couple of companies, I began working as a subcontractor as part of a partnership I formed with some other industry professionals. When the partnership ended in 2017, I decided to take the years of experience I’d accumulated and start my own paver installation company.”

Today, as owner of D’Carmo Interlocking Pavers, Inc., Renato says his favorite part of his job is bringing his clients’ dreams to life. “I enjoy taking a customer’s vision for their project and turning it into reality. There’s nothing like delivering the final product to the customer and seeing the smile on their face. It makes me feel very proud.”

Originally from Brazil, Renato came to the United States in 2009 and resides today in Richmond. Outside of work, he spends the bulk of his free time relaxing. “I work a lot, so when I’m off, I like to relax at home. My main hobby is playing video games—it’s a great way to unwind and detach from the stresses of work. Occasionally, I like to go out with friends, but I’m really more of a homebody.” Renato also takes semi-regular trips to Brazil to visit family and friends.

In regard to his professional career, Renato espouses the value of having a strong, unified team. “I don’t see this business as me, the owner, and my employees—I see it as a team,” he affirms. “When you work as a team, everyone is on the same page and working toward a common goal, which results in a great outcome. That’s why I do my best to keep my employees happy and maintain a consistent staff. After all, if we have a good thing, why should we change it?”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your all-time favorite video game?

A: “God of War.”

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?

A: Ice cream.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

A: The one that stands out for me is “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze. I saw it when I was young and it marked a point where I really started to appreciate movies.

Q: Do you collect anything?

A: I collect action figures of video game characters.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: A night owl.

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Paver Restoration: A Cost-Effective Alternative to Replacement

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RICHMOND — If your paver patio or driveway is showing signs of age, you probably assume you need to have it replaced. However, did you know there’s an alternative option that can restore the beauty of your paver feature for a fraction… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Preparing for a Paver Project

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RICHMOND — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning for a paver project, a simple preliminary step can help you start off on the right foot. Today we’re in Richmond… Read more

Jay Magstadt is operations manager of CastleLite Block, LLC, a Diamond Certified company since 2012. He can be reached at (650) 397-2044 or by email.

Jay Magstadt

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Jay Magstadt: Building Blocks

By James Florence, Senior Writer

SOLANO — Following an accomplished career as a civil engineer, Jay Magstadt decided to alter his professional focus from modern infrastructure to a more classical form of construction. “After earning my BS in civil engineering from South Dakota State University, I spent 25 years managing freeway and bridge construction projects throughout the western United States,” he recounts. “Toward the end of this timeframe, I was involved in building masonry sound walls along freeways throughout the Bay Area. Soon after, an opportunity came along to buy a masonry manufacturing facility, and I decided to give it a shot. That was 2006, and I’ve been manufacturing and installing masonry and concrete paving products ever since.”
Today, as operations manager of CastleLite Block, LLC, Jay appreciates multiple aspects of his second career. “I enjoy managing personnel and overseeing things on both the production and installation sides,” he says. “As a manufacturer-installer, we’re able to control our products from beginning to end, which allows us to maintain excellent customer satisfaction.”
Originally from South Dakota, Jay resides in Danville, where he appreciates the natural beauty and community involvement. “In general, I enjoy the beauty of Northern California and its many iconic sites, from Yosemite to the Golden Gate Bridge. Danville in particular is a great area to raise children—the schools are fantastic and the whole community is invested in providing our students with a great education.”
Outside of work, Jay spends his time engaged in a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy fishing, cooking and sports,” he says. “Besides following professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Boston Celtics, I play bocce ball in the local city league.” Additionally, Jay enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristie, and their daughter, Amanda, who is currently attending Washington State University.
When asked how his life would be different if he were to retire tomorrow, Jay says he’d spend more time communing with nature. “If I retired tomorrow, I’d buy a cabin on a lake and spend my days fishing and enjoying the outdoors.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite Bay Area restaurant?
A: La Taqueria in San Francisco.

Q: What kinds of music do you like?
A: Mostly ’80s and ’90s music.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Santorini, Greece. I went there 25 years ago and it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: A night owl.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Peanut M&M’s.

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Two Tips for Paver Installation

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SOLANO — A concrete paver installation involves several substantial aspects, including soil engineering and aesthetic design. However, there are also smaller details that, while comparatively minor, can have a noticeable impact on the installation’s performance. One such detail is the… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Through-Mix vs. Face-Mix Pavers

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SOLANO — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning for a concrete paver installation, you’ll need to decide whether to use face-mix or through-mix pavers. Today we’re in Dixon… Read more

Andrew Headington is sales manager of System Pavers, a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (877) 303-8236 or by email.

Andrew Headington

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Andrew Headington: A Twofold Fulfillment

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

UNION CITY — As a lover of the arts and the outdoors, Andrew Headington feels fortunate to have found a job that fulfills his dual passions. “I’ve always had a passion for the arts, but at the same time, I’ve always been a very outdoorsy person, so when I heard about landscape architecture in college, it seemed like a good fit for me,” he explains. “I ended up getting my B.S. in landscape architecture from the University of Connecticut, and I’ve been in the field ever since.”

Today, as sales manager for System Pavers, Andrew says his favorite part of his job is the daily challenges it entails. “I love meeting new people and helping them solve their landscape and hardscape problems. Every day is a new challenge, which keeps things exciting.”

A resident of Marin (where he lives with his wife, Laurie), Andrew expresses his appreciation for the Bay Area’s temperate climate and lush landscape. “I have no complaints about the weather in Marin. It’s absolutely gorgeous up here. The best part is you can take part in outdoor activities basically year-round.”

Outside of work, Andrew can often be found pursuing one of his three main hobbies. “First off, I brew my own beer, which I’ve been doing for about 15 years,” he explains. “Secondly, I play guitar in a local band called Polkalicious that gigs around San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Basically, we take hits from the ’80s, ’90s, and today and turn them into polka songs. Thirdly, I’m an avid kiteboarder. Kiteboarding is like surfing, but you have a giant kite attached to your surfboard and use the wind to navigate your way around.” In addition to these pastimes, Andrew enjoys working on his house, hiking and snowboarding.

In regard to his professional career, Andrew espouses the importance of honesty. “It may sound a bit generic, but the phrase, ‘Honesty is the best policy’ is absolutely true, especially from a sales standpoint,” he says. “That’s why I always make it a point to be honest with customers, and I do my best to subvert the ‘used car salesman’ stereotype. I also try to be a good leader and have a positive impact on my coworkers.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Andrew says he would see the world. “I would definitely travel. In particular, I’d like to visit Southeast Asia. There’s some incredible development happening over there, with some really interesting designs and just a totally different way of life, so it’d be neat to experience that.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Bananas.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Sol Food in San Rafael.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I’d go to the past to uncover some of the mysteries of ancient times. For example, I would love to go back and see how the Egyptians built the pyramids.

Q: What’s your favorite Bay Area brewery?
A: Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa.

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The banjo that’s hanging on my wall. Maybe I’d start a bluegrass band in addition to my polka band.

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Benefits of a Dedicated Pedestrian Walkway

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UNION CITY — One aspect of home design that often gets overlooked is pedestrian access to the front door from the sidewalk or driveway. In these cases, getting to the front door can be an awkward ordeal, whether you have to… Read more

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Video: Benefits of a Dedicated Walkway

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UNION CITY — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to investing in home upgrades, one exterior improvement can increase both functionality and curb appeal. Today we’re in… Read more

Itamar M. Junior is co-owner of Atlas Pavers Co., a Diamond Certified company since 2016. He can be reached at (650) 469-3960 or by email.

Itamar M. Junior

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Itamar M. Junior: Paving a Livelihood

By James Florence, Senior Writer

After coming to the United States from his home country of Brazil, Itamar M. Junior immediately set to work paving a professional livelihood for himself. “I started out as a laborer for a large paving company, and from there I developed a passion for paver design and installation,” he recounts. “During the next several years, I did many projects and gained valuable experience in the trade. I also learned a lot about customer service. Eventually, I decided to take the knowledge and experience I’d accumulated and start an independent paver business, which I did with my partner, Candido Silva, in 2012.”

Today, as co-owner of Atlas Pavers Co., Itamar says his favorite part of his job is working with customers. “I like interacting with our clients and delivering exactly what they’re looking for. With each project, I take time to get to know the customer’s needs and expectations, which helps me ensure those expectations are met in the end.”

A resident of El Cerrito, Itamar spends most of his time outside of work with his family, consisting of his wife, Jenny, a 16-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. “I like hanging out with family, whether we’re going to the movies or swimming and barbequing at home,” he details. “We also get involved in charity events with the Masons of California, of which I’m a member.” In addition to family time, Itamar enjoys practicing martial arts (“I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu my whole life.”) and reading motivational books.

In regard to a professional philosophy, Itamar espouses the importance of achieving a balance between work and life. “As a business owner, I have to devote most of my day to my work, but I also realize the importance of family time,” he explains. “Even after I get home in the afternoon, I often still have work to do—phone calls, scheduling and organizing for the following day. However, I’ve made it a rule that at 8pm, I have to stop what I’m doing and focus on my family. I find that setting aside that time helps me maintain a healthy balance in my life.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Itamar says he’d do some globetrotting. “I would take my family and go explore the world. My first trip would probably be to Italy. I’ve always wanted to see Venice and ride on the gondoliers. And, of course, the wine is always good.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Pretzels.

Q: Is there a book that has been particularly influential for you?
A: “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jack Canfield.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of food?
A: Brazilian.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving. It’s a good time to give thanks for everything we have and share some of that with those who are less fortunate.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?
A: Waffles.

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Dealing With Clay Soil for Paver Installation

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CONCORD— One thing every concrete paver feature requires is a firm foundation beneath it. This includes not only elements like geotextile fabric and base rock, but soil that won’t shift or expand/contract over time. Unfortunately, much of the Bay Area has… Read more

Geotextile Fabric in Paver Installation

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CONCORD — A crucial component for installing a paver driveway is geotextile fabric, a permeable material typically made from polypropylene or polyester. Following the demolition phase, this fabric is laid over the soil and the pavers are placed on top… Read more

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Video: The Role of Geotextile Fabric

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CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: When installing pavers, the application of geotextile fabric will help ensure a firm foundation. To learn more, we’re in Mill Valley with Diamond… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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