Jim Fisher: Thicker Than Water
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SANTA ROSA — It’s often said that blood is thicker than water, but in Jim Fisher’s case, the two are more or less inseparable. “My grandfather started the Sonoma County franchise of Culligan Water in 1945, so I’m the third generation of my family to run it,” he explains. “My grandfather was always a big influence on me—I was named after him, and growing up, I loved him and thought he was the greatest. I started working at his store as a teenager, which is where I really got exposed to the business and grew to like it. I had a dream of becoming a pro golfer, but by age 18, it was pretty obvious that wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to stick with the family business.”
Today, as president of Culligan Water of Sonoma County, Jim enjoys being involved in all aspects of the company. “I wear a lot of different hats,” he affirms. “When you’re not limited to one particular subset, it makes for a pretty broad brush of what your workday looks like, and that’s something I really like.”
A resident of Santa Rosa (where he lives with his wife, Suzanne), Jim expresses his appreciation for his longtime hometown. “I feel very fortunate to be living in the same town where I was born and raised. Some people can’t wait to get out of their hometowns, but I think most of my friends who have moved away would love to be able to come back here.”
Outside of work, Jim engages in a variety of active pastimes, including playing and watching sports. “I love golf—I’ve been playing all my life and it’s still my number one pastime,” he says. “I also love basketball. I’ve been a Golden State Warriors season ticket holder since the early 1980s, so I’ve been with them all the way from their lowest points to their recent ascension to glory.” Jim also enjoys vacationing at tropical locales. “I love any place that has a beach, whether it’s Mexico, the Caribbean or Hawaii.” Additionally, Jim likes keeping in touch with his two grown children, Jonathon and Christina.
In regard to his professional career, Jim espouses the importance of fairness. “I think we have great empathy for our customers—after all, without them, we wouldn’t exist,” he explains. “That’s why we strive to deal fairly with customers in all aspects, from our pricing to our contracts. If there’s ever an issue, the customer doesn’t have to twist our arm to get us to make it right.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jim says he’d head to his favorite kind of destination. “I’d take a trip to Hawaii or some other tropical place. That’s definitely our go-to thing when traveling. You won’t find me at the glaciers in Alaska or in a cold region of Europe—I’ll always be where the weather is warm and there’s a sandy beach.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: The classic rock I grew up listening to in the 1970s.
Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Spending time with my grandfather on his property. He was the kind of guy who, when you hung out with him, your day was just filled with good stuff.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Phuket, Thailand. I have a lifelong friend who has lived there for the past 30 years and I still haven’t visited him.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Animal crackers.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
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A: The Fourth of July. For one, it takes place in summer, which is my favorite time of year. And since my son recently started his military service, it now has a bigger patriotic component for me as well.