Ray Ramirez: A Pipeline of Opportunity
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
ANTIOCH — After several years in the restaurant business, Ray Ramirez was longing for a change of pace, so when an opportunity arose to enter a new vocation, he didn’t take it lightly. “I was working in a restaurant and wasn’t really happy,” he remembers. “I wanted to get into a trade like HVAC or electrical, but I was having a hard time finding a company that would take me on. Finally, I was given an opportunity to apprentice with a plumbing company, which is what led me to where I am today.”
As president of General Plumbing and Rooter, Ray embraces multiple aspects of his career. “I never liked being stuck in one place, so I appreciate that plumbing allows me to go to different places throughout the day,” he says. “I’m also very interested in the technological aspects of the job, and I enjoy staying up-to-date with the latest industry innovations.”
Originally from Mexico, Ray came to the United States at the age of 18. Today, as a resident of Pleasant Hill (where he lives with his wife, Alicia, and their children, Anahi and Eric), he says he appreciates the central proximity of his adopted hometown. “My family and I like going on short trips to nearby places like San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Reno.” Ray also enjoys staying active with hobbies like soccer and auto restoration. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was a kid, and I still play two or three times a week, which helps keep me in shape,” he says. “Another hobby that I recently started with my son is restoring old cars. Our first project is a ’64 Chevy pickup, which is currently in pieces. I’m not sure how we’re going to get it back together, but I guess that’s why we have the Internet!”
In regard to his professional career, Ray espouses the importance of deriving satisfaction from his livelihood. “If you’re not happy in your work, you’re basically wasting time and energy, so it’s important to make an effort to improve your situation,” he says. “I’ve been there myself—I was very unhappy while working in the restaurant business, but now that I’ve found something I enjoy, it gives me a feeling of satisfaction and purpose.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Ray says he’d do some volunteer work, as well as spend more time on his recently acquired hobby. “I’d do some volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and other organizations that benefit those in need. I’d also like to get more involved in buying and restoring old cars.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Mexico. Even though I’m from there, there are so many parts of it I’d like to see.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Chili’s in Pleasant Hill.
Q: What’s a website you visit on a daily basis?
A: Craigslist. It’s a good place to browse classic cars and find parts.
Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Over medium.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My soccer ball.
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