Blaine Cristando: Pumped
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
HEALDSBURG — After a decade in the waste removal business, Blaine Cristando had grown tired of working for big companies that didn’t care about customer service. So, when a friend suggested they go into business together, he was pumped about the idea. “My business partner, Eric, and I met while working for Waste Management,” he recounts. “Later, after we’d both moved on to other companies, he approached me about starting our own business. In an industry dominated by large corporations, we knew there was potential for a smaller company that provided quality work and customer service, so we founded Environmental Pump Services in 2008.”
Blaine and Eric started out small, but with steady effort, they were able to build a positive reputation and a loyal customer base. “We grew the grease trap side of our business by going door-to-door to restaurants and grocery stores, and we relied on phone book advertising and word of mouth for the residential septic side,” explains Blaine. “Ultimately, I think it was our commitment to quality service that drove our business to where it is today.”
Today, as owner of Environmental Pump Services, Inc., Blaine says his favorite part of his job is educating his customers. “One thing we do that our competitors don’t is explain to our clients how their systems work. Whether it’s a septic system or grease trap, we tell them all the do’s and don’ts so they can avoid problems in the future. It makes me feel good to leave our customers feeling cared for and better informed.”
A resident of Healdsburg (where he lives with his wife, Cindy), Blaine expresses his appreciation for life in Sonoma County. “The way I look at it, we live in paradise,” he says. “We have the best weather you could ask for; there’s always something going on in the community; and we’re just a short drive away from the ocean, the mountains, and San Francisco.”
Outside of work, Blaine spends the bulk of his time with his family, which includes his and Cindy’s sons Tanner (20) and Austin (18). “Being a small business owner, a lot of my time goes to my business, so when I’m not working, I’m usually with my family,” he says. “We’re all very active and enjoy sports, as well as going to San Francisco to hang out and explore.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Blaine says he’d go on an extended vacation. “It’s hard to imagine myself retired, but I suppose I’d start by doing some traveling. I’m Italian, so maybe I’d go to Italy and try to trace some of my ancestry.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.
Q: Music or talk radio?
Q: What was your first concert?
A: Bryan Adams, during his 1984 “Reckless” tour.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Potato chips.
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Playing nose guard and defensive tackle on the football team.