Richard Gallardo: Higher Education
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
GILROY — Growing up, Richard Gallardo struggled to succeed in the conventional school setting, but after beginning a career in construction, he found an educational environment in which he could thrive. “High school was difficult for me, so I ended up leaving when I was 17 and going to work in the construction industry,” he remembers. “After spending five years as an apprentice carpenter, I worked my way up to journeyman status, and by my 10th year, I was running jobs as a lead for general contractors. In 1995, I started my own contracting business and I’m still running it today. All in all, it’s been a good education. Despite my struggles in school, I ended up becoming a much better businessman than a lot of conventionally educated people, so it’s kind of funny the way things work out.”
Today, as owner of RG Builders, Richard says his favorite part of his job is interacting with his “exceptional” clientele. “There’s nothing better than finding a great client to work for. It really makes my job easy—all I have to do is show up and do good work. Being based in San Jose, I consider myself very fortunate to have a clientele that consists of such gracious, genuine and well-educated people.”
A Bay Area native, Richard resides today in Gilroy with his wife, Ann, and their three children. Outside of work, he spends the bulk of his free time hanging out with family and relaxing. “I regularly work 12-hour days, so on my days off, I try to rest as much as possible,” he affirms. “All my kids are involved in sports, so I spend a lot of time attending their events, and when we get a chance, we like to do something fun like go camping or explore San Francisco.”
In his life and career, Richard espouses the virtues of continuous personal and professional development. “A lot of people dread their birthdays because they don’t like getting older, but I look forward to mine because I use the previous year as a gauge for my performance,” he explains. “Did I do better than I did the year before? Did I take advantage of every opportunity? Could I have worked harder? For me, it’s not about trying to hold on to my youth—it’s about getting better with age.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Richard says he wouldn’t. “I’d like to keep doing this as long as I can. After all these years in the business, my best friend and I have just recently started working together, so I’m looking forward to more of that. If I can spend the next decade working alongside my best friend, I’d call that a good career.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “The Amazing Race.”
Q: If you were a professional athlete, what number would you wear on your jersey?
A: It would have to be 8, 13 or 88 because those are my kids’ jersey numbers.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio. I’m a big KQED fan.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
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