Tom Cortez: Taking the Field
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
PLEASANTON — Even though Tom Cortez never reached professional status as a football player, he found success after applying his experience on—or rather, in—another field. As he recounts, it all started with the dual fraternal influences that shaped his childhood aspirations. “Growing up, my two older brothers were my primary role models,” he says. “One of them coached football and the other was a plumber, so I got involved with both the sport and the trade. When I didn’t get drafted to the pros after playing football in college, I decided to join the plumbers union. I really enjoyed working with my hands and solving problems, so it turned out to be a great career for me.”
Tom began his plumbing career working in institutional settings like hospitals, prisons and research facilities, but when he established his own business in 2000, he shifted his focus toward the residential and commercial sectors. Today, as owner of Savior Plumbing, Inc., Tom explains the ethos behind his company’s name. “We’re not the Savior; we’re just here to fix the plumbing,” he laughs. “My faith permeates everything I do, and I think the best way for me to live that out is by operating with integrity and treating others fairly and honestly.”
Born and raised in Hayward, Tom resides today in Pleasanton with his wife and business partner, Tammy. An avid outdoorsman, he appreciates the many opportunities the lush Bay Area setting affords. “I love bicycling, camping and getting out into the wilderness, and this is a prime place to enjoy those things.” Besides cycling for fun, Tom likes doing it competitively—especially when there’s a charitable cause involved. “I participated in AIDS/LifeCycle this past year,” he says. “It’s a 600-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and the proceeds go toward funding AIDS research.” When he’s not on his bike, Tom enjoys spending time with his family, including his and Tammy’s three grown children and granddaughter, Anna.
In regard to his life and career, Tom says being a plumber entails a greater responsibility than most people realize. “When I first started in this industry, I was taught that plumbers are responsible for the health of the nation. In servicing the sewer, water, and gas piping in homes and businesses, we’re accountable for making sure things are operating safely and efficiently. I take pride in being responsible for maintaining my customers’ plumbing systems.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Tom says he’d jump on his bike. “I guess I’d go for a long bicycle ride, but to be honest, I don’t plan to ever retire—I want to continue running my business for as long as I can. I would like to do a little more traveling, though.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Being an athlete. I was the quarterback of our football team.
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The USC Trojans, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland A’s.
Q: Music or talk radio?
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Los Compadres Mexican Restaurant in Hayward.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
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A: “American Idol.”