Jim Humphrey: Trading Up
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
CAMPBELL — Jim Humphrey began his professional life in an office, but when he found himself growing increasingly dissatisfied, he decided to trade in his tie for a tool belt. “I’ve always had an interest in construction, especially after I took machine and wood shop back in high school,” he says. “Later in life, I found myself in a management position at Hewlett-Packard, but I eventually grew weary of that type of work. I really wanted to learn a trade, so I left HP and started doing finish carpentry with a friend. After four years as a journeyman, I got my contractor’s license in 1991 and started trimming houses before branching off into kitchen and bathroom remodeling.”
Today, as owner of JH Construction & Remodeling LLC, Jim says he enjoys the sense of satisfaction his job gives him, especially when given the chance to work on historic properties. “I grew up in the William Wright Ranch House, which is the oldest house in Sunnyvale, and that gave me a real passion for older architecture. I’ve been very blessed with the opportunity to work on several older properties, including turn-of-the-century Victorian homes.”
As a lifetime resident of the Bay Area, Jim expresses his appreciation for the local climate. “I’ve been everywhere from the Midwest to Southeast Asia, so I know what humidity is all about,” he says. “Based on my traveling experience, I would say we have some of the best weather in the world. In addition to the climate, I like the old architecture we have in San Jose and San Francisco.”
Outside of work, Jim enjoys spending time with his significant other, Philippa, and daughter, Gina. He also takes advantage of any opportunity to pursue his other passion: fishing. “I take a trip to Costa Rica every year and go sport fishing,” he says. “Over three to four days of fishing, we average about 25 fish, all of which are 8 to 9 feet long. It’s really exciting down there—you never know if you’re going to hook a marlin, a 50-pound wahoo or an 80-pound dorado.”
In regard to a life philosophy, Jim espouses the benefits of having an appreciative attitude. “When I was a kid, my mom always told me to count my blessings, and that’s something I still do today,” he says. “I think it’s important to be grateful for what you have and how you’ve been blessed—and I’ve truly been blessed!”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jim says he would head to his favorite fishing location. “If I won the lottery or something, I would probably buy a boat, go down to Costa Rica and fish 60 days out of the year. I’d absolutely love to be down there more often.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Deadliest Catch.”
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Pezzella’s Villa Napoli in Sunnyvale.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Philippa’s chicken enchiladas with some eggs and avocado.
Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Classic rock.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
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A: New Zealand or Australia.