Michal Gerard: A Bigger Wave
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SOQUEL — While many contractors first get involved with the trade because of an interest in the work or to follow in their parents’ footsteps, Michal Gerard says his initial motivation was to fund his primary passion: surfing. “As a young man in my 20s, the only place I wanted to be was out catching waves,” he remembers. “I figured construction work would be seasonal and allow me plenty of time off to go surfing. It didn’t quite work out the way I had it in my head—instead, I got busy and stayed busy!”
Today, as owner of Michal Gerard Construction, Michal says one of his favorite parts of the job is taking on daily challenges. “I enjoy solving the various problems that come up every day with construction work, as well as the challenges that come with maintaining relationships with my clients. Between the actual work and the customer service end, my line of work is never boring.”
A lifetime resident of the Monterey area, Michal grew up in Watsonville before later settling in Soquel, where he says he enjoys the weather, the environment and, of course, the close proximity to the ocean. While he doesn’t surf as much as he did in his younger years, Michal still engages in plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking at Nisene Marks State Park and canoeing in the Monterey Bay. He also appreciates the variety of local culture. “I enjoy the range of options we have here in terms of food and entertainment. There are a lot of world class performers who come through, so it’s just a fun place to be.”
In reference to a professional philosophy, Michal says performing quality workmanship furnishes its own rewards. “I don’t do this just to make a living—I do it because I get a lot back on many different levels. The main reward I get is the satisfaction of a job well done. That’s why, whenever I build something, I’m equally concerned with the structural details as I am with the way it looks on the outside.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Michal says he’d pursue his dream of being a sustainable farmer. “I’d like to live a more ‘close to earth’ existence. I enjoy living outside of mainstream consumer society as much as possible, and I think being more self-sustaining by growing my own food would enable me to take things to the next level.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: Surfing off the coast of Mexico during a big swell.
Q: What was your first pet?
A: A terrier named Annie.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Sunrise Cafe in Soquel.
Q: What’s your favorite smell?
A: Star jasmine—it’s a large vine with aromatic flowers.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
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