Mike Rebholtz: Expert Contributor Profile
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
MENLO PARK — Following a year spent living abroad, Mike Rebholtz returned home and started working in a trade that would furnish him with a lifelong career. “I had a buddy whose family lived in Aviano, Italy, right at the foot of the Alps,” he explains. “After I graduated high school, I sold everything I had and went to live there and ski, which lasted a year. After I got back, I needed a real job, so I joined the trade union and started working in HVAC.” As a mechanically inclined individual, Mike says he quickly took to the trade. “I’ve always been good with my hands and liked building things, so working with sheet metal and manufacturing ductwork was something I enjoyed right off the bat.”
In 1985, Mike founded Rebholtz Mechanical, which functioned as a unionized HVAC contracting firm for more than 20 years before closing its doors amid the economic downturn of 2008. In 2011, Mike re-emerged on the professional scene with Alternative Heating & Air Conditioning Solutions, Inc. As his first non-union business venture, Mike says he’s enjoyed the refreshing change of pace. “We’re able to do a lot of things we couldn’t under union constraints, like bringing in plumbers and electricians, which allows us to provide our customers with more options. It’s been really fun to get a fresh start after so many years in the industry.”
Originally from the Sacramento region, Mike resides today in Redwood Shores with his wife, Julie. When asked his favorite part of living and working in the Bay Area, he says he appreciates the diversity of the population. “I originally planned to move up to Oregon and live in the country, but I’ve grown to like the diversity we have here. Overall, I find that consumers in the Bay Area tend to be very educated and open-minded.”
Outside of work, Mike engages in a wide variety of active pastimes. “I can’t get enough of the outdoors, whether it’s riding my motorcycle, fishing or backpacking in the Sierras,” he says. As a licensed pilot, Mike says he and Julie also enjoy flying to nearby destinations for weekend trips. Additionally, he likes spending time with his children.
In regard to his professional career, Mike espouses the importance of doing the right thing. “The main things are to be fair and honest, see things from the customer’s perspective, and give them what they want,” he says. “If a customer wants something that’s not in the contract, I’ll usually tell my guys to include it anyway, because I’m less concerned about who’s right than I am about making sure my customers are happy.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Mike says he’d head out on a long trip. “I’d probably take Julie and the kids and shoot up to Alaska for a few weeks, which is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Ideally, I’d like to fly there and stop in Oregon and Washington along the way to visit friends and family.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Would you ever go sky diving?
A: Yes, that’s actually on my bucket list.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: The Mountain House Restaurant in Woodside.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Read a book.
Q: What kind of books do you like to read?
A: I like everything from mystery novels to self-improvement books. As a pilot, I’m also fascinated by World War II stories, so I love any book that has to do with that era.
: How do you like your eggs?
A: Over easy.
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