Jason Schlunt: Part of the Family
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SANTA CRUZ — Even though Jason Schlunt is co-owner of a family business, he hasn’t always been part of the family. “I got started in the plumbing and HVAC trades when I went into business with my father-in-law, Greg, who was just my girlfriend’s dad at the time,” he explains. “Prior to that, I did some consulting and worked a little in television. I knew I wanted to run my own business one day, so when Greg offered me the opportunity to partner with him, I accepted. Soon after, I married his daughter, so now I’m part of both the family and the family business.”
Today, as co-owner of Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, Inc., Jason lists several aspects he enjoys about his adopted career. “It’s a good business to be in—it’s challenging, technical, and we get to help people make their homes more comfortable. Overall, it’s very satisfying in terms of what you come away with at the end of the day.”
A resident of Marin (where he lives with his wife, Chelsea, and their daughters, Brooklyn and Hazel), Jason expresses his appreciation for living and working in the North Bay Area. “As someone who enjoys the outdoors, I love being in a place with so much natural beauty that’s close to both the mountains and the ocean. From a business standpoint, there’s a good economy here. There are a lot of homeowners who are concerned about maintaining their homes, so that keeps us busy.”
Outside of work, Jason engages in a variety of active pastimes, both at home and abroad. “We like to travel, and we’ve been all over the world with the kids,” he says. “We also enjoy outdoor activities like biking and camping. Personally, I love surfing, which is one of the reasons Chelsea and I wanted to live somewhere close to the beach.” In addition to his nuclear family unit, Jason says he enjoys hanging out with his extensive extended family. “We have a huge family, with relatives spread all throughout the Bay Area, so there are a lot of get-togethers and activities. It seems like we’re doing something with someone almost every weekend.”
In regard to a professional philosophy, Jason says his primary goal is earning the loyalty of his customers. “There’s no greater value for a business than having long-term customers. If all your customers are just one-timers who don’t ever return, it’s very hard to grow and succeed. That’s why I’ve always stressed the importance of customer service and satisfaction, because we want to have customers for life.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jason says he would find ways to keep himself occupied. “Even though I enjoy my free time because I get to travel and go biking, I like to stay busy as well, so I would probably get involved with a trade or business. I just don’t think I could sit still.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Watch a movie.
Q: Coffee or tea?
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: I love Asian-style soups like ramen and pho.
Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
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A: My family.