Chris Morimoto: An Unexpected Transition
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
BENICIA — Having a good personality goes a long way, but for Chris Morimoto, it led to a totally unexpected career transition. “Back in 2001, I called a local HVAC company to get a consultation for replacing my furnace,” he recounts. “At the end of the appointment, the technician said, ‘You’re a pretty cool guy, you should meet my boss.’ At the time, I was interested in switching careers, so I decided to take his advice. I met with the boss and he hired me on the spot for a sales job. Over the next few years, I moved from sales to doing service and installation. In 2007, after getting my HVAC and general contractor’s licenses, I decided to strike out and start my own company.”
Today, as owner of Bay Area Home Services, Chris says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “I love meeting new people and getting to know them—that’s really what makes every day fun for me. Of course, I also enjoy seeing the finished products and seeing customers happy with our work.”
When he’s not working, Chris enjoys spending time outdoors. “I like getting out of the house and doing things like hiking, camping, and playing golf,” he details. “I did a lot of camping with my kids when they were growing up, and even though they’re both in college now, we still make time to do that. We also take annual trips to Hawaii, where I was born, and Donner Lake. My parents used to take me to Donner Lake ever summer during my childhood, so I’ve sort of carried on that tradition.”
In regard to a professional philosophy, Chris espouses the importance of doing right by the customer. “My main philosophy is to treat every customer fairly and honestly,” he affirms. “I think contractors tend to get a bad rap—whether it’s HVAC, plumbing or general construction, there’s this stigma that contractors are dishonest and take advantage of people. I’m doing my part to dispel that stigma by treating my customers right and providing honest, quality work for a fair price.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Chris says he’d take an extended vacation. “I’d take a month or so to travel a bit and see some new places. There are several countries I’d like to visit, including Spain, Italy and Costa Rica.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Got Plate Lunch in Benicia.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “The Walking Dead.”
Q: Do you have any nicknames?
A: Moto. In elementary school, my friends couldn’t pronounce my last name, so they just shortened it.
Q: Pancakes or waffles?
Q: What kinds of music do you like?
A: I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to music—I like everything. A couple of my favorite artists are Earth, Wind and Fire and Bob Marley.