Jim Vaccarezza: Breaking into the Business
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN FRANCISCO — To describe how Jim Vaccarezza became a professional in the glass industry, one might say he broke into the business…literally. “When I was 13, I broke a window while practicing my golf swing,” he explains. “While the repairman was replacing the glass, my mom suggested he take me on as a helper for the rest of the summer, to which he agreed. After helping him for a while, I came to like the glass trade and decided to keep at it, with the goal of becoming a union glazier. Following high school, I worked in the union for a few years, then went back to school for construction management and got my contractor’s license.”
Today, as president of Vaccarezza Glass, Inc., Jim says his favorite part of his job is the creative challenges. “We’re constantly encountering different projects and challenges, and we have to get pretty creative at times to pull them off. It can be very fun and exciting. One thing’s for sure: it never gets boring.”
A resident of Pacifica, Jim expresses his appreciation for the diverse character of the San Francisco Bay Area. “Besides the healthy economy, it’s neat living in a place that has so many different people and things to experience. It’s anything but a homogenous culture here, so there’s always something new to be found.”
Outside of work, Jim spends his free time engaged in a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy playing golf, going camping and spending time with my daughter, Shannon,” he says. “I also like doing home improvement projects at my house—that’s actually one of my favorite things to do for fun.”
When it comes to a professional philosophy, Jim says it’s all about the basics. “If you simply show up, do your best and deal honestly with your customers, you’re probably going to be successful. At Vaccarezza Glass, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel—we just stick to the basics and offer customers our very best, and that has been working out great for us.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jim says he’d hit the road. “I’d probably do some traveling and see some of the iconic destinations across the country. I’ve always wanted to see the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., so maybe I’d start with a trip to the East Coast.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.
Q: If you could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future. The past was pretty scary—no penicillin, Novocain or ibuprofen. I’d rather go forward, where maybe we have the holodeck and can just enjoy ourselves.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My water pump rocket. I would pump it up, pull the trigger and that thing would go flying with a jet of water shooting behind it. It was a lot of fun…until the day it went down a neighbor’s chimney.
Q: How do you like your eggs?
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
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A: Thanksgiving. No presents or decorating—all you have to do is show up, sit down and eat. Plus, you get a four-day weekend.