Steve Daddario: Up on the Roof
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CAPITOLA — After taking a break from college to focus on saving money, Steve Daddario figured he’d be back the following year. However, it wasn’t long before he encountered a totally different form of higher education. “At age 22, I was married and attending college with plans to become a minister,” he recounts. “When my wife and I found out we were expecting, I decided to take a year off from school to prepare for our upcoming expenses. A friend of mine was a roofer, and he offered to train me and give me some work, so I took him up on it.”
It didn’t take Steve long to realize he’d found his true calling up on the roof. “Once I got into the trade, I never looked back,” he says. “I really enjoyed being outside and working with my hands. I stuck with it and was contracting by the time I was 28. In 1982, I started life as a roofing contractor, and more than 30 years later, I’m still at it. It’s been quite a ride!”
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Steve resides today in Santa Cruz with his wife, Dawn, where he appreciates the laid-back atmosphere. “I enjoy living in Santa Cruz; it has a really mellow, small-town feel, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of San Jose, where I previously lived for about 20 years. Plus, I love to surf, so it’s really a perfect place for me.”
When he’s not out catching waves, Steve spends most of his time outside of work fishing, playing music and hanging out with family. “Dawn and I have three adult children and two grandsons, all of whom live in the Bay Area, so we get together pretty often for birthdays and holidays. I also love to go fly fishing when I get a chance, as well as play bass guitar for our church worship team. I was in a Christian band for about 10 years that did prison ministry, performing for inmates throughout Central and Northern California, so music has been a pretty important part of my life.”
In regard to his life and career, Steve espouses the importance of treating others well. “Early in my career, I promised myself that if I ever went into business, I would regard people as more important than profits,” he explains. “That continues to be a core value for me, which I think is why our company feels more like a family than a business. I find when you treat people with respect and reward them—both tangibly with money and intangibly with praise—they develop a sense of pride and ownership, which results in better morale and performance.”
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Steve says he’ll have no trouble finding uses for the extra time. “I’d like to do some more traveling, surfing and fishing. I’ll also invest more time toward people, whether in my personal friendships, my church or charitable activities.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Do you have a favorite band or musician?
A: A few of my favorites are Tower of Power, James Taylor and Weather Report.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Work out and read a good book.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Easter, because of its religious significance.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: The Crow’s Nest Restaurant in Santa Cruz.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
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A: Fall. Things get less crowded in town, but the weather is still good, as are the waves.