Expert Reports From Local Top Rated Companies

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS HUB
Diamond Certified Expert Contributors

Alex Figueroa is owner of Marin Carpet Care and Cleaning Services, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 846-4631 or by email.

Shares

Alex Figueroa: Customer-Oriented

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — When Alex Figueroa started working part-time as a carpet cleaner, the last thing he expected was to be running the company one day. “I started working at Marin Carpet Care and Cleaning Services seven years ago,” he recounts. “I came on part-time to help my friend, Mark, who owned the business. In 2015, Mark passed away and left the company to his wife. Since we were good friends, I agreed to partner with her in running the business and eventually transition to becoming the owner. I’ve been running the company myself since June 2016.”

Today, Alex says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. Read more

Expert tip
When (and When Not) to Use Organic Carpet Cleaning Products
SAN RAFAEL — Organic, all-natural cleaning products are very popular nowadays, and carpet cleaning products are no exception. Unlike standard carpet cleaning products, organic products don’t contain any of the toxic chemicals traditionally used to eliminate dirt and stains. For… Read more

Luis Baltodano is owner of Baltodano’s Drywall, a Diamond Certified company since 2015. He can be reached at (925) 233-6250 or by email.

Shares

Luis Baltodano: Stepping Toward Success

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BRENTWOOD — When Luis Baltodano got his first job out of high school, he didn’t know he was taking his first step toward a long-term career. “After high school, I needed a job, so I just started calling around to different companies in the Bay Area,” he recounts. “Eventually, I found work with a small drywall company in the East Bay. I started as a laborer, worked my way up to being a taper and eventually became a journeyman drywall finisher. After working for a couple of different companies, I decided I was ready to do my own thing and started my own drywall business.”

Today, Read more

Expert tip
Tips for Drywall Repair
BRENTWOOD — From relocated electrical outlets to damage caused while moving furniture, there are many scenarios that require drywall repair. If you’re planning to patch an area of drywall in your home, you’ll need to make sure you’re… Read more

Mike Mari is owner of Above All Smog, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 456-4964 or by email.

Shares

Mike Mari: Smog Star

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAMON — Mike Mari was always driven to succeed, but after partnering with his brother in the smog testing industry, his career went into overdrive. “Growing up, my brother, Chris, and I both loved cars, and each of us ended up working in the automotive industry,” he recounts. “After Chris got involved in smog testing, I started to look into it as well. I was interested in the technology, as well as the important role smog testing plays in maintaining air quality in California. Pretty soon, I decided to get into the smog testing field myself. A couple of years later, Read more

Expert tip
Understanding Smog Testing Methods
SAN RAMON — When it comes to smog testing a vehicle, the method of testing varies depending on the vehicle’s age. To know what your upcoming smog test will involve (as well as some ways to prepare), read… Read more

Jake Newman Jr. is HVAC Service Manager of Burkell Plumbing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 690-7905 or by email.

Shares

Jake Newman Jr.: The Next Generation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAUSALITO — As a second-generation participant in his family’s plumbing and heating business, Jake Newman Jr. was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. “My dad has been with Burkell Plumbing for almost 40 years and became the owner when I was in my early 20s,” he explains. “I’d started helping out with the business a couple of years prior, doing things like cleaning the shop, delivering parts and helping with paperwork in the office. When I turned 21, I enrolled in an HVAC certification program at Specialty A/C Institute in Benicia, where, in addition to classroom education, Read more

Expert tip
How to Troubleshoot Your Thermostat
SAUSALITO — If your thermostat stops working, there are a couple of things you should check before calling a professional. The first is simple: make sure it has batteries. Locate the battery compartment either by taking the thermostat off the… Read more

Jeremy Ke is operations manager of All Seasons Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 652-2221 or by email.

Shares

Jeremy Ke: Up to the Task

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — By 2017, Jeremy Ke had acquired a wealth of construction management experience, so when the opportunity arose to manage a long-time acquaintance’s company, he was up to the task. “I’ve spent most of my career managing operations and logistics for various companies,” he affirms. “My first experience with the construction industry was as a project manager for a water and fire restoration company. I’ve known Mark [Corrallo], the owner of All Seasons Construction, for a long time, and as his business continued to grow, he was in need of further management assistance. He knew I had a lot experience, Read more

Expert tip
Identifying Groundwater Issues on Your Property
OAKLAND — Groundwater issues are a major concern in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Following heavy rains, the water that saturates the hills starts to move downward, eventually making its way toward the bay. As it travels, this water encounters a lot… Read more

Chris Donzelli is owner of Perfect Star Heating and Air Conditioning, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 244-4356 or by email.

Shares

Chris Donzelli: HVAC Star

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — Chris Donzelli was in between jobs when he decided to start from scratch and enter a new professional field. “It all started when I answered a newspaper ad placed by a local HVAC company,” he remembers. “I knew nothing about the field, but I was willing to learn, so they gave me a shot. During the next few years, I learned how to service and install residential heating and cooling equipment. Today, after 16 years in the industry, I own my own company. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you put all your effort toward a goal.”

As owner of Perfect Star Heating and Air Conditioning, Read more

Expert tip
The Importance of HVAC Unit Maintenance
CONCORD — If you can’t remember the last time your heating and air conditioning system was professionally serviced, chances are it’s overdue for maintenance. Much like your car, your home’s HVAC system needs regular tune-ups to maintain optimal… Read more

Fabricio Lunardi is owner of Lunardi Moving Services, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 620-4970 or by email.

Shares

Fabricio Lunardi: On the Move

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — After working several jobs set in static locations, Fabricio Lunardi found professional fulfilment with a more itinerant livelihood. “After college, I tried a number of different careers,” he recounts. “I sold insurance, worked at a restaurant and eventually got a job as a bank teller. However, all of these jobs had one thing in common: they took place in a single location, which I didn’t like. I’m not the type to be confined to four walls—I like to be out and on the move.”

Fabricio’s penchant for being on the move makes sense when you consider the professional environment he was raised in. Read more

Expert tip
How to Avoid Hiring an Illicit Moving Company
SAN JOSE — One of the biggest issues plaguing the moving industry today is unlicensed movers. Typically, these are individuals with little prior training or experience who simply buy a truck and start advertising their services to the… Read more

Issic Ayesh is owner of Bayside Locksmith Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2012. He can be reached at (510) 264-1214 or by email.

Shares

Issic Ayesh: Locked on a Livelihood

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

HAYWARD — Issic Ayesh initially got into the locksmith trade as a summer job, but it wasn’t long before he decided to pursue it as a long-term livelihood. “As a teenager, I got a summer job working for my uncle, who owned a locksmith shop in San Francisco,” he remembers. “I loved it right away and continued to work there part-time for the rest of high school. I had planned to go to college and become a doctor, but after realizing I could make a good living as a locksmith, I decided to stick with it. In 2000, Read more

Expert tip
How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock
HAYWARD — If you’re having trouble with your house key getting stuck in your front door’s keyhole, you might think you need a new lock. Fortunately, there’s a much simpler solution to this issue: all you need to… Read more

Luis Aviles is owner of Moving Forward, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 754-3925 or by email.

Shares

Luis Aviles: Moving Forward

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — For most people, the loss of a job would be considered a setback, but for Luis Aviles, it was just the nudge he needed to move his career forward. “I had been working for a local moving company for about a year when I was unexpectedly let go,” he recounts. “Instead of being discouraged, I actually felt empowered to go out on my own as an independent mover. I’d only been working in the industry for a year, but I’m a fast learner and felt I could definitely succeed. After doing some research about starting a business, Read more

Expert tip
3 Tips for Moving in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — Moving is often a stressful undertaking, but when it comes to moving in San Francisco, the level of stress can be amplified. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case: with proactive preparation, you can facilitate a… Read more

Darrell Wise is owner of Tree Wise, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 838-8733 or by email.

Shares

Darrell Wise: Out on a Limb

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

DANVILLE — Disenchanted by his job as a delivery driver, Darrell Wise finally found the professional fulfillment he sought by going out on a limb. “Basically, I hated my job, so my wife suggested that I go back to school,” he explains. “That had been the plan when we first got married, but once we had kids and a mortgage, it seemed a lot less plausible. Eventually, I took her advice and enrolled at a local college. I decided to study horticulture, mainly because it sounded easy and interesting. It ended up being a lot more challenging than I expected, Read more

Expert tip
The Truth about Transplanting
DANVILLE — If you have a tree on your property that’s overgrown or in the way, you may have considered transplanting it. However, few people realize that tree transplanting is rarely successful—in most cases, it’s just an expensive way… Read more