Cindy Faulkner: A Natural Transition
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN JOSE — After 11 years as president of Valley Heating, Cooling and Electrical, Cindy Faulkner looks back on her accession to ownership as a natural transition. “For more than a decade prior, I was basically running an HVAC company for someone else, and there were many things I would’ve done differently if I were the owner,” she remembers. “After the company was sold, I felt it was time to strike out on my own, so when the opportunity arose to purchase Valley Heating, Cooling and Electrical, I jumped at it. The transition from employee to owner felt natural, not only because of my prior industry experience, but also because I came here knowing what I wanted to do.”
Originally from the Midwest, Cindy moved to the West Coast in 1990, where she found work as an installation coordinator for a local HVAC contractor. Later, she was promoted to company vice president, and soon after she met her husband, Jeff. “I actually hired him as a service manager,” she laughs. “We’re still working together—he oversees the technical side and I handle the operations. We make a great team!”
After 24 years living in San Jose, Cindy says she enjoys being part of the local business community, citing the local Rotary Club as a key connecting point. “Since I’m from out-of-state, getting involved with Rotary was the best thing I could’ve done. When I first came here, I didn’t have any local connections—now I feel like I have 450 friends! In addition to being beneficial from a networking standpoint, it feels great to be part of a club that gives so much back to the local community.”
When she’s not working, Cindy engages in a variety of activities, from skiing and boating at Lake Tahoe to wine tasting in the Napa Valley. Additionally, she and Jeff enjoy traveling. “My family is in Colorado and my best friend is in Orange County, so we make it a point to visit them regularly,” she says. “Also, my husband is a big racing fan, so we attend a lot of the major racing events, including the Indianapolis 500.”
In her life and career, Cindy espouses the value of positive thinking. “The quote I always tell everyone is, ‘Life is too short not to be happy.’ In addition to doing what you love, I think it’s important to keep a positive outlook, because it really affects everything and everyone around you.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Cindy says she’d head straight to her lake house. “If I retired, I know I would have one,” she laughs. “That’s the goal. As soon as I’m able to buy a lake house, I’ll know I’ve made it and then I can retire.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite Bay Area winery?
A: It’s a tie between Rombauer Vineyards in Napa and Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards in Saratoga.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: I was voted “Best Hair” in the yearbook.
Q: If someone was making a movie about your life, what actress would you choose to play you?
A: Julia Roberts.
Q: Who would play your husband?
A: Hugh Grant.
Q: Which of the Golden Girls do you identify with most?
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A: Betty White’s character, Rose.