Eloy Baeza: Making His Mark
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
GILROY — When Eloy Baeza started doing plumbing work as a young man, he didn’t realize he was preparing for a lifelong career. “My brother-in-law was a plumber, and as a teenager, I would sometimes go out and help him on jobs,” he remembers. “I learned a lot from him, which ended up coming in handy later in life.”
After high school, Eloy joined the military, but midway through his enlistment, an injury sent him back home. Fortunately, his prior experience in plumbing gave him something to fall back on. “I finished the last year of my enlistment with the National Guard,” he explains. “Since it didn’t require a huge time commitment, I started working with my brother-in-law on the side, and after my term was up, I went to work with him full-time. Over the next several years, I worked for a couple of different companies and made my way up from journeyman to crew leader to project manager and, finally, general manager. In 2012, I made the long-overdue move to start my own company.”
Today, as owner of Baeza Plumbing Service, Eloy says his favorite part of his job is being out and about. “I like the fact that I’m a hands-on owner and not just sitting in an office all day. When I was in a management position, I spent my days at a desk doing paperwork and it just about drove me nuts. I’d rather be out in the field, meeting people and helping them with their plumbing problems.”
A lifelong resident of Gilroy (where he lives with his wife, Arlene), Eloy spends his free time visiting with family and enjoying the splendor of the Bay Area milieu. “Arlene and I have four children and two grandchildren, and we’re very family-oriented,” he says. “We also like to go out to dinner and go for drives to the coast—we love the ocean.”
In his life and career, Eloy says his ultimate professional goal is to leave a legacy. “My main motivation in running my business is to establish a strong company that will be here long after I’m gone. I have family members and close friends who work with me, and I want to leave something behind that will provide opportunities for future generations. Basically, this is my way of making a mark.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Eloy says he wouldn’t—not completely, at least. “I don’t think I can retire, but maybe I could semi-retire. I’d definitely like to travel and go to Italy with my wife. But I wouldn’t be able to leave the company completely. After all, it’s my baby.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: FireFish Grill in Santa Cruz.
Q: Would you rather live in the city or the country?
A: The country. One of my dreams is to have a small ranch—maybe a couple of acres.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: PayDay candy bars.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: The Vatican in Rome. I love art, so to see the Sistine Chapel and all that art would be a dream.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Diecast model cars.
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