Kevin Gundry: Customizing Success
By James Florence, Senior Writer
PLEASANTON — After nearly a decade in the home improvement industry, Kevin Gundry took a seminal step to customize his professional destiny. “I got into selling home improvements back in 1989,” he recounts. “After working for a couple of different companies, I partnered with my friend, Jeff Kendall, to found Custom Exteriors in 1997. At first, we were basically going door to door, throwing flyers onto driveways and cold-calling past contacts. We grew substantially during the following decade, nearly doubling our business each year. When the 2008 crash hit, we had to weather some hard times, but we hung in there and have since been on the rise.”
Today, as CFO of Custom Exteriors, Inc., Kevin says his favorite part of his job is transforming people’s homes with exterior upgrades. “It’s amazing how something as simple as replacing windows can make a home look so much better. It’s really neat to see the impact of our work and get positive feedback from customers who have seen an improvement in their homes’ look and performance.”
A resident of Danville (where he lives with wife, Bianca, and their children), Kevin expresses his appreciation for life in the Bay Area. “I think the Bay Area is one of the best places in the world. With five kids, my wife and I don’t get to travel much, so it’s nice that we at least get to live in such a beautiful and diverse place.”
When he’s not working, Kevin likes to spend as much time as possible outdoors. “I’m a big backpacker—I probably backpack 100 miles every summer,” he details. “My goal is to backpack along the entire Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Oregon, and every year I do another chunk of it.” Besides backpacking, Kevin enjoys fishing, camping and spending time with his family.
In regard to his career, Kevin espouses the importance of quality over quantity. “While we’re happy to see our company growing again, we don’t want to grow just for growth’s sake,” he explains. “After all, you can be a huge company, but if you aren’t making your customers happy, what good is it? That’s why we pay close attention to efficient management and customer satisfaction, with the goal of continually improving the way we run our business. By staying focused on what matters most, we hope to continue growing in both size and excellence.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Kevin says he’d do some long-deferred traveling. “I’d visit some countries I’ve never been to, which at this point is most of them,” he laughs. “The truth is, I’ve only been to Canada and Mexico, so there’s a whole lot more world for me to see. Of course, I would also spend more quality time with my family.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “The Walking Dead.”
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio—mostly sports.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
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A: Chocolate ice cream.