Brad McCarthy

Brad McCarthy: An Unexpected Achievement

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAMON — Sometimes in life, even the most disheartening of setbacks can eventually reveal a silver lining. For Brad McCarthy, this came in the form of losing his job as an airline mechanic. While devastating at the time, this twist of fate would put him on the path toward a professional achievement beyond his wildest dreams. “In the wake of September 11th, there were mass layoffs throughout the airline industry and I lost my job,” he recounts. “No one was hiring airline mechanics at the time, so I had to look for another line of work. I had a friend who owned a cabinet business, so I asked if they were hiring salespeople. He told me they weren’t, but they were hiring installers. Given that I had worked on airplanes, I was pretty confident I could handle cabinets, so I took the job.”

Not long after starting, Brad found that the cabinet industry held more opportunities than he’d initially assumed. “I started getting installation jobs on the side through friends and relatives, and I soon realized what a lucrative business it could be if done right. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak, so I felt inspired to open my own company, and that’s how The Cabinet Center was born. Nearly two decades later, we’re one of the largest cabinet designers in the United States. It’s hard to believe that the company I started out of the back of a pickup truck has now grown into a multimillion-dollar business!”

Today, Brad says his favorite part of his job is the variety. “One thing I’ve always loved about cabinet design is that every project is different. Even though we’re dealing with kitchens and bathrooms, each space is unique and provides new possibilities for design, which keeps things interesting.”

A resident of the Bay Area, Brad spends the bulk of his free time with his wife, Gina, and their daughter. “We just finished remodeling our backyard, which was a massive project, so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time just hanging out and enjoying the space,” he details. “We also enjoy attending our daughter’s soccer matches, as well as traveling to places like Tahoe and Hawaii for vacation.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Brad espouses the importance of staying true to your word. “I’m a very ethical person and I always try to do the right thing,” he affirms. “I tell our customers that we’re not 100 percent perfect, but we are 100 percent accountable. We do up to 30 renovations per month, and when you’re dealing with that kind of volume, issues are bound to come up. However, regardless of what kinds of situations may arise, we stand by our promises to our customers and do our best to ensure they’re satisfied at the end of their projects.”

When asked how his lifestyle might change if he were to retire tomorrow, Brad says it likely wouldn’t look much different. “I’d probably do a little more traveling, but I’d continue to be involved in my business ventures. I really enjoy the process of creating something out of nothing. That’s why I got into commercial development—it’s very exciting and rewarding to transform raw land into something amazing that people couldn’t have imagined beforehand. So, I don’t see myself just sitting down and relaxing through my retirement. I’d still want to pursue the things that ignite my passion.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first job?

A: I worked at Pizza Hut. I started when I was 15 and three years later I was managing the store.

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

A: Doughnuts.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

A: I would probably go to the future. We’ve progressed so much in the last 100 years, I’m curious to see how far we’ll come in the next 100.

Q: Music or talk radio?

A: Music.

Q: What types of music do you like?

A: I’m all over the map. I like everything from ’90s rock to today’s music.