Cesar Valderrama Jr.: Out of the Office, Into the Field
By James Florence, Senior Writer
Before he became a full-time HVAC technician, Cesar Valderrama Jr. got to experience work from both sides of the desk. “I had two jobs during high school,” he explains. “During the week, I worked after school at a collection agency office, and on the weekends I helped my dad with his HVAC business. This allowed me to see the differences between working in an office and working in the field. It didn’t take long for me to find that I preferred the latter. In particular, I liked the fact that every day was different, with new challenges and new people to interact with.”
Despite his preference for working in the field, Cesar took a full-time job at a loan refinancing firm after he graduated high school. However, following the birth of his first child, he knew it was time to make a big decision. “After my daughter was born in 2004, I decided to become a full-time HVAC technician,” he says. “Even though I already had a lot of experience, I underwent formal training and completed the test to get certified. It’s funny, I thought I didn’t know much about the industry, but taking the class made me realize I knew a lot.”
Today, as a technician at Northwest Pacific, Cesar says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “To me, the HVAC business isn’t just replacing furnaces; it’s a customer service industry, which is why I’m all about treating customers with courtesy and respect. That’s something I pass on to my guys to ensure we’re all on the same page with providing top-notch customer service.”
A resident of Concord (where he lives with his wife, Silvia, and their two children), Cesar expresses his appreciation for the unmatched quality of Bay Area life. “I feel very blessed to be here. I love the fact that there’s a little bit of everything and it’s all really close. Whether you want to go to the mountains, the beach or the city, it’s just a short distance away.”
Outside of work, Cesar spends the bulk of his time with his family. “Since I work a lot, I like to spend as much of my free time as possible hanging out with my wife and kids,” he affirms. “We like to get out and about in the Bay Area, as well as take weekend trips to Southern California and go to Universal Studios or Disneyland. My daughter is really into the arts and takes piano and singing classes. Basically, I’ve built my life around my kids, so whatever they’re interested in, that’s what I’m doing.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Cesar simply replies that he wouldn’t. “I don’t think I could ever retire—I just don’t have that mindset. There are a lot of people who depend on me, even beyond my family, so retirement is something that, at least at this point, I don’t have the luxury to think about.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Parada in Walnut Creek.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: The Fourth of July.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: Neither—I prefer to live in the present.
Q: Do you have a favorite musician?
A: My all-time favorite singer is Michael Jackson.
Q: What was your first pet?
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A: Rocky, my pet hamster.