DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Terry Barkai is Business Operations Manager of 911 Remediation LLC dba 911 Restoration, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 750-8660 or by email.

Shares

Terry Barkai: A Restorative Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RICHMOND — Terry Barkai used to build new structures for a living, but today his career is all about restoring damaged ones. “Before working in the restoration industry, I was in general construction,” he affirms. “I met Erez Gilad, the owner of 911 Restoration, and we had a good connection. Not long after, I went to work for him. With all that was happening with the wildfires in California, fire damage restoration really interested me, much more so than general construction. I figured I could really excel in an industry that interested me, so I decided to give it a shot.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
Fire Damage Restoration Procedure
RICHMOND — During the past few years, wildfires have become an increasing concern in California. In 2020 alone, more than four million acres were burned statewide, along with more than 10,000 structures. If your home was affected by… Read more

Steven Romero is owner of Terranova Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-5726 or by email.

Shares

Steven Romero: Determined to Succeed

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NOVATO — Steven Romero started a contracting firm at an age when most construction professionals are still cutting their teeth. While at times he worried he was in over his head, he stayed the course and was met with success. “I’ve been in construction since I was 18,” he explains. “My dad used to be a contractor, so I started out working for him. In 2010, I started Terranova Construction. I was only 23 at the time, so it was a lot to take on at such a young age. However, I was determined to succeed, so I met the challenges, Read more

Expert tip
A Worthwhile Investment for Bathroom Retiling
NOVATO — If you’re retiling your bathroom, consider installing an underlayment such as Schluter®-DITRA waterproofing membrane. This orange-colored polyurethane sheeting is installed beneath the tilework to protect the subfloor from moisture intrusion. When moisture is able to penetrate… Read more

Faren Reyes is owner of Discover Plumbing & Rooter, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 898-7933 or by email.

Shares

Faren Reyes: Discovering a New Livelihood

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Faren Reyes never planned on becoming a plumber, but after taking an opportunity to work in the field, he discovered a whole new livelihood. “About a year after moving from L.A. to San Francisco, my cousin got his plumbing license and invited me to come work for him. After a year of working as a laborer, I became a plumber. I worked for my cousin for seven years, after which I partnered with another plumber for about five years. Finally, in 2018, I went out on my own and founded Discover Plumbing & Rooter.”

Despite being the company owner, Read more

Expert tip
How to Maintain Outdated Sewer and Drain Pipes
SAN FRANCISCO — If you live in an older home or building, you may have an outdated plumbing system. Ideally, you should replace the outdated components of your system with new ones. These may include sewer and drain… Read more

Merlyn DeLeon is office Manager of AMS Construction, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (415) 801-4053 or by email.

Shares

Merlyn DeLeon: A Constructive Role

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — While she may not wear a toolbelt to work, Merlyn DeLeon nonetheless plays a constructive role in daily operations at AMS Construction. “As the office manager, I get pretty involved with the process of planning and executing our clients’ projects,” she explains. “Besides communicating with clients and handling all the invoicing, I order the materials and products for each job we take on.”

Prior to coming to work for AMS Construction, Merlyn already had 15 years of experience managing a contractor’s office. “I’ve been friends with Manuel [Alonso, owner] for my entire life, so when he needed some help in the office a few years ago, Read more

Expert tip
Choosing Products and Materials for a Remodel
SAN FRANCISCO — When starting a home remodeling project, one of the most important things you can do is choose your materials and products early. For example, with kitchen remodeling, picking out cabinets is crucial. Cabinets take approximately… Read more

Justin Pounds is manager of Sleep City Mattress Centers – Santa Rosa East, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 786-3995 or by email.

Shares

Justin Pounds: An Interactive Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — If there’s one thing Justin Pounds has learned during his 16 years in mattress sales, it’s the nuances of human interaction. “Whether or not you’re a ‘people person,’ when your job entails being around and interacting with people every day, you pick up on a lot of things,” he explains. “As a result, when you interact with people outside of work, you’re able to read into body language and psychology more than the average person. So, it’s kind of an interesting skill that I’ve developed during the course of my career.”

As manager of Sleep City Mattress Centers – Read more

Expert tip
The Importance of Mattress Shopping in Person
SANTA ROSA — These days, a lot of people research and even purchase mattresses online. However, this practice overlooks one of the most important aspects of buying a mattress: the in-person experience. Buying a mattress isn’t like buying… Read more

Daniel Basich is manager of Sleep City Mattress Centers – Windsor, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 408-2966 or by email.

Shares

Daniel Basich: Mattress Maven

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

WINDSOR — In transitioning from restaurant management to mattress sales, Daniel Basich didn’t know if he would sink or bounce. Fortunately, his career move turned out to be a firm success. “I was working as a restaurant manager when a friend who worked for Sleep City told me they were hiring sales reps,” he recounts. “It seemed like a good opportunity to try something new. Restaurant management entailed long hours, so a change of pace sounded nice. Plus, I’ve always been told I have the gift of gab, so sales seemed like a good fit.”

After landing the job, Read more

Expert tip
Advice for Couples Choosing a Mattress
WINDSOR — Choosing a new mattress can be tough, but it can be especially difficult for couples. While some couples share the same comfort preferences, most don’t, which can make it hard to find a solution that pleases… Read more

Sandy Willis is president of Molly Maid of S. Silicon Valley, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (408) 763-3556 or by email.

Shares

Sandy Willis: Entrepreneurial Aptitude

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — Sandy Willis has always had a penchant for entrepreneurship. Even in the midst of an economic recession, she was able to find a diamond in the rough. “Back in 2009, my husband, Bill, and I were looking to buy a business that had positive cash flow,” she recounts. “We’ve been entrepreneurs for quite some time—prior to that point, we’d owned three different coffee shops and sold them. We came across a Molly Maid franchise in San Jose and it met our criteria, so we bought it. About three years later, the owner of the neighboring franchise in Cupertino/Saratoga wanted to sell, Read more

Expert tip
How to Properly Disinfect a Surface
SAN JOSE — When disinfecting surfaces inside the home, many people simply spray a disinfectant product on the surfaces and wipe them with a cloth. However, this neglects an important part of the process. Before applying disinfectant to… Read more

David Liu is office manager of Anita’s Housekeeping Referral Agency, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (831) 296-2832 or by email.

Shares

David Liu: The Matchmaker

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

APTOS — David Liu has been working in the house cleaning industry for some time, but it was only recently that he discovered a better way to match clients with the services they need. “While working for a house cleaning company, I saw a demand in the marketplace from clients looking for more customized services,” he recounts. “Most cleaning companies have a lot of do’s and don’ts—for example, some don’t do laundry or dishes. This makes it hard to find a one-size-fits-all solution for every client’s needs and expectations. So, when I came across Anita’s Housekeeping Referral Agency, I was impressed by their approach. Read more

Expert tip
Setting Your Housekeeper Up for Success
APTOS — When a homeowner is dissatisfied with their house cleaning service, it’s often due to a lack of communication. That’s why, after you decide on a new housekeeper, we recommend taking the time to set clear expectations… Read more

Savi Singh is general manager of Auto Collision Experts, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 758-5704 or by email.

Shares

Savi Singh: Career Cultivation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SUNNYVALE — Growing up in Punjab, India, Savi Singh was always interested in working on cars. However, it wasn’t until he immigrated to the United States that he cultivated that interest into a full-fledged career. “I immigrated to the U.S. in 2003, just before my 18th birthday,” he remembers. “My father had already immigrated a couple of years prior and applied for my mom, my brothers, and I to come join him. I couldn’t attend college during that first year because I hadn’t yet received my green card. So, I started helping my father, who had just opened an auto body shop in Hayward called ASM Auto Body. Read more

Expert tip
Reviewing Your Auto Insurance Coverage Options
SUNNYVALE — One mistake many vehicle owners make is overlooking their auto insurance coverage options. A lot of people just go with the most basic coverage, but there are several additional options that can benefit policy holders. One… Read more

Steve Daniel is president of Steve Daniel Construction Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (916) 229-9554 or by email.

Shares

Steve Daniel: Born to Build

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SACRAMENTO — Raised in the construction trades, Steve Daniel was all but destined to become a builder like his forefathers. “My dad was a contractor and so was my grandfather, so it’s in my blood whether I like it or not,” he laughs. “By the time I was 13, my dad was taking me out on jobs regularly. He worked all the time and always needed help, and who do you think he was going to call to help him? That strapping young man sitting on the couch watching cartoons, that’s who!”

Following high school, Steve attended college, Read more

Expert tip
Having the Right Motivation With Remodeling
SACRAMENTO — When planning for a home remodeling project, it’s important to reflect on your motivation. Otherwise, you may end up making decisions that you later regret. For example, a lot of homeowners get caught up in following… Read more