Ricardo Valderrama: Imported Expertise
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
SAN MATEO — Ricardo Valderrama was raised in the heating and cooling industry, so it didn’t take long for him to take up his family’s trade—an enterprise he began in his native country of Peru before fully realizing it in the United States. “Growing up, my family had a commercial heating and air conditioning business, so I decided to follow that path and went to university to study industrial engineering,” he remembers. “During that time, my grandmother brought me with her on vacation to San Francisco, and I quickly fell in love with the city.” Upon completing his university term in Peru, Ricardo returned to the U.S. to attend trade school before going to work for a San Francisco HVAC contractor. Five years later, he struck out on his own and founded Bayhill Heat & Air.
More than 30 years later, Ricardo says his favorite part of his job is the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people. “I enjoy meeting and, in many cases, becoming friends with people from all different backgrounds. Living and working in the Bay Area, I’ve probably met someone from every country, which has been very rewarding and given me a more comprehensive perspective of the world.”
Outside of work, Ricardo engages in a variety of pastimes, from gardening at his San Mateo home to savoring the fruits of the Wine Country. “I enjoy going to the Napa Valley with friends and family to enjoy good wine and the beautiful countryside,” he says. Additionally, since he has family spread across the Western United States, Ricardo does a fair amount of traveling to visit his children and grandchildren. “I have a son in Texas, two daughters in Utah and one daughter here in San Mateo. I actually just got back from Austin, where I attended my grandson’s third birthday party.”
In his professional career, Ricardo espouses the importance of providing value for his clients. “My primary goal is to give my clients the most for their money,” he affirms. “With every installation, rather than trying to sell the most expensive equipment, I help the customer choose a system that best fits their needs. Basically, it comes down to being honest and giving them a product that will provide a good long-term investment.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Ricardo says he’d go on an Alaskan cruise. “That’s one of the top things on my bucket list. Other than that, I’d just spend more time doing the things I currently enjoy, like winetasting, gardening, and visiting with friends and family.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future, just to see what it’s going to be like. I already know about the old stuff; I want to know what’s coming.
Q: What’s your favorite type of food?
A: I love Asian cuisine, particularly Japanese fresh leaf sushi.
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
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A: Being a funny guy. Not a class clown, just generally funny and able to make light of things.