Grayeagle Porter: An Unforeseen Trajectory
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
PLEASANTON — As a young man, Grayeagle Porter could never have foreseen the unique course his professional path would take. One thing is for sure: he wouldn’t change a thing about it. “I actually began my career in the theater,” he recounts. “I got my degree in dramatic arts and acted professionally for about 10 years. After getting married, I needed higher-paying work, so I got into the hospitality industry and worked in hotels and restaurants. During this time, I was approached by the owner of a window company, who told me I’d be really good at selling windows. It seemed like a good opportunity, so I got trained and started doing it. Later, in 2000, I was hired at Custom Exteriors and I’ve been here ever since.”
As a design consultant at Custom Exteriors, Inc., Grayeagle says he takes pride in having a specific area of expertise. “After coming on at Custom Exteriors, I found myself drawn to wood windows and completely immersed myself in that aspect of the industry. I toured factories throughout the country and took every opportunity to learn more. As a result, over the years, I’ve carved a niche for myself as a leading wood window expert in the Bay Area.”
Born on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation in New York and raised in Niagara Falls, Grayeagle came to California as a teenager. “I basically ran away from home, came out here and roughed it,” he says. “I put myself through school and all of that. However, I’ve always kept close ties with my family back east, and I still visit them regularly.”
Outside of work, Grayeagle’s primary pastimes include performing with his band and traveling. “I’m the male lead singer of Site6, a local band that plays ’70s and ’80s pop, rock, and blues covers,” he details. “It’s a very fun, close-knit group, and we’re highly sought after. I also love to travel. Besides visiting family back east, I take lots of trips to visit the friends I’ve made throughout the U.S. and the world.”
In his life and career, Grayeagle measures his success by the quality (and quantity) of his relationships. “To me, the most important thing is considering others—to be kind, helpful and nurturing. As a professional, I never mislead my customers; rather, I try to lead them where they want to go. I’m very blessed. I have many friends and many people who love me, so I’m a living success.”
When asked what he’d do if he retired tomorrow, Grayeagle says he’d probably move to Canada. “Since I was raised in Niagara Falls, I have dual citizenship, and I still have family there. The people in Canada are nice and it’s not nearly as crowded as it is here. The main thing I’d have to give up here is the weather, but it’d be worth it to be closer to my family.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first job?
A: I got a job as a roofer when I was 14. I was so excited to be making $2.35 an hour!
Q: Do you have a favorite band or musician?
A: My absolute favorite artists to sing are Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones. If it were my choice, I’d be a Michael Bublé-type performer.
Q: If you could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The past. I would probably go back to America about 800 years ago when there was nobody here but us natives.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: I like to read, go over music or go to the movies.
Q: Do you collect anything?
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A: I collect things from my children, godchildren and grandchildren. I taught my kids that the greatest gift you can give is something you’ve made yourself, so I have all kinds of drawings, collages and other art pieces they’ve made.