Michael Pinnock: From Software to Hardwood
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
PALO ALTO — Michael Pinnock used to be a successful software engineer, but after 25 years in the tech field, he decided to switch to a more hands-on livelihood. “I’ve always liked building things, and I’ve even done some small projects at my home, so I wanted to find a business opportunity where I could do more of that,” he says. “I started looking at different franchises, which appeared to be the right route to go, and ended up opening a hardwood flooring franchise. After five years, my company moved away from the franchise model and now operates as an independent business.”
Today, as owner of Baila Floors, Michael says his favorite part of his job is seeing the results of his work. “I rarely got the chance to see a completed project when I was working in high tech, so that’s something I really love about installing floors. I also enjoy working with clients, helping them figure out what they want and seeing how happy they are with the final products.”
Born in Jamaica, Michael grew up in Canada before coming to the Silicon Valley to work in the tech field. Still a resident of the South Bay, he expresses his appreciation for the positive attributes of his locale. “Having grown up in Canada, where it seems like there’s snow 10 months out of the year, I love the weather here. I also enjoy the lifestyle—the sheer variety of things to do and all the outdoor opportunities are great.”
Outside of work, Michael engages in a variety of hobbies and activities. “I’m a longtime golf fanatic, and in the last couple of years, I’ve also picked up road cycling. I ride as much as I can on the weekends—my goal is to do seven 100-mile rides this year.” Michael also enjoys wine tasting in the Napa Valley and following professional sports.
In his life and career, Michael espouses the significance of integrity. “My grandfather instilled in me the importance of sticking to your word, which is something I’ve carried over into my career,” he explains. “Also, I’m generally just a stickler for quality, so I always want that to be a mainstay of what I do. I would much rather lose money by doing something properly than try to cut corners on a job.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Michael says he’d take some of his favorite pastimes to an international setting. “I’d probably get on a plane to Europe and take a long cycling trip, as well as do some wine tasting in France and Italy.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: I have a few. Being a Toronto kid, the Blue Jays are still my favorite baseball team. In football, it’s the Dallas Cowboys, and in basketball, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers.
Q: Do you listen to any podcasts?
A: Yes. One of my regular favorites is Fresh Air on NPR. I also love anything to do with outer space, so there are a couple of NASA podcasts I really enjoy.
Q: What’s your favorite Bay Area winery?
A: It’s a tie between Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa and Tamber Bey Vineyards in Calistoga.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Relax and watch old movies. I’m a big fan of John Wayne westerns, as well as the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles.
Q: What’s one website you visit on a daily basis?
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A: SFGate.com. I’m a bit of a news junkie, so I generally start my day by catching up with current events.