Frans Cartwright: Recapturing Fulfillment
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN JOSE — After finding himself at a professional impasse, Frans Cartwright was considering his options when inspiration came from an unlikely source. “After several years as an engineer in the tech field, I started to feel unsatisfied with my work and was figuring out what I wanted to do,” he remembers. “One day, we had a plumber come out to replace our water heater, and I was struck with the notion that I could do water heater installation as a small business venture. After doing a little research, I decided to go to work for a local plumbing company, which enabled me to gain experience while I studied to get my plumbing license. Within a couple of years, I was ready to launch my own water heater installation company.”
Since founding Better Water Heaters in 2003, Frans says he’s recaptured the sense of fulfillment that had been missing from his prior occupation. “I really enjoy the problem-solving aspect of the trade because it allows me to exercise my engineering skills. However, I also appreciate the opportunity to interact with and take care of my customers, which is something that had never been a part of my former career. Altogether, it’s been a very satisfying experience.”
Originally from Southern California, Frans moved to San Jose in 1996, where he currently lives with his wife, Melinda, and their five children. “San Jose is a great place to raise a family, with a lot to do locally and many nearby national parks for spending time in nature,” he says. “In addition to attending different local events and festivals, we enjoy going camping at places like Yosemite and Big Sur, as well as skiing at Lake Tahoe.”
In keeping with his values as a devoted family man, Frans has made it a point to create a family-centered culture at Better Water Heaters. “I’m all about family, and that’s the type of environment we foster here,” he affirms. “A lot of my employees have kids, so I try to be accommodating with scheduling so they can take time off for family things. Obviously, making a living is important, but I think being there for your family is an equal priority.”
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Frans says it will hopefully involve plenty of exotic locales and fine foods. “My wife and I are foodies, and we also love to travel, so that will probably be the focal point of our post-retirement ventures. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve been to Europe, so we’d probably kick things off with a trip to France or Germany.”
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: “The Usual Suspects.”
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Sen Dai Sushi in Milpitas.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: Early bird.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Marbles. I still have a bunch of them from when I was a kid.
Q: What’s your favorite newspaper comic strip?