Paul Parker: Reaching for the Stars
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CONCORD – Paul Parker didn’t expect to encounter famous people when he first became an electrician, but during his years working in Beverly Hills, brushing elbows with magnates and celebrities became part of his everyday routine. “I ended up in the right place at the right time and had a good professional reputation, which gave me the opportunity to do a lot of work for people like Sylvester Stallone, Carol Burnett and Bruce Springsteen, as well as several billionaire tycoons,” he remembers. “Being ‘Electrician to the Stars’ was certainly an interesting experience!”
In contrast to his star-studded stint in Beverly Hills, Paul’s origins are comparatively modest. The son of career restaurateurs, he was born and raised just outside of Denver, Colorado, and it was in the milieu of his parents’ livelihood that he was first introduced to electrical work. “I would always end up fixing things at their restaurant, and that included dealing with a lot of electrical problems,” he explains. “My dad used to tell me I would grow up to be an electrician, and sure enough, he was right.” Following high school, Paul enlisted in the military, which gave him an opportunity to further improve his electrical skills. After the military, he attended college and earned a business degree before heading west.
When his stint as “Electrician to the Stars” was over, Paul migrated north to take a job as a street and traffic lighting planner for the City of Oakland—a position that served to further increase the range of his expertise. Eventually, Paul felt a desire to return to his original line of work and founded his own company, Alive Electric, in 2002. The business has since become a franchise of nationwide electric company Mister Sparky, but even though the name and logo have changed, Paul says its commitment to quality work and customer service remains as steady as ever.
One of Paul’s favorite aspects of working in the Bay Area is the prevalence of older architecture in residential homes. “I enjoy the challenge of updating the electricity in an older house without compromising the original architectural structure,” he says. Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife, Tanya, and his seven children. “I’ve always loved being a dad and doing things with my kids, from outdoor athletic activities to small building projects. I also like driving my custom Skyline sports car. Motorsports are in my blood—my mother’s side of the family is named Roush, as in Roush Fenway Racing.”
Paul credits much of his personal and professional success to his continuous drive for self-improvement. “I’ve always believed that whatever you do, you should try to be in the top 10 percentile of your field,” he says. “That’s what I’ve applied to my life and career, and it’s also what I’ve taught my kids. I’m always reading and gaining new knowledge in order to stay at the top of my game, and I’m always looking for new ideas and technology that will bring more value to my customers.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you had a theme song what would it be?
A: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. It sort of sums up the way I live my life.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: I’ve been an Oakland Raiders fan for many years.
Q: Where would you prefer to live, the country or the city?
A: I’m a city guy. I like being around people, restaurants and culture.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas. It’s a fun time for my family—we really get into all the traditional stuff like decorating the tree and hanging stockings.
Q: What’s your favorite movie monster?
A: I’ve always been fascinated by The Blob.
Q: What’s your favorite board game?
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A: My family and I enjoy playing The Game of Life.