Chad Wolffe: A Fitting Career
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN JOSE — When Chad Wolffe first looked into becoming a garage door technician, he found it was a good fit in more ways than one. “Before I got into garage door service, I was a technician for DirecTV,” he recounts. “One thing I didn’t like about my job was that I always had to access hard-to-reach places. If I wasn’t up on a 40-foot ladder, I was squeezing into a tight crawl space or attic. Being a larger guy, this was a constant struggle. Eventually, I decided to look for a different line of work and put my resume online. Soon after, I was contacted by a garage door service company and agreed to go on a ride-along. I immediately liked it—not only was it a good fit for my skill set, it didn’t require any tall ladders or crawl spaces!”
From that point, Chad’s professional path took several turns, from starting his own garage door business to joining the police force. “When my garage door business slowed down, I decided to switch gears and follow my lifelong dream of becoming a police officer,” he says. “After about two years on the force, I decided it wasn’t for me, so I went back to doing what I knew best.” A few years later, Chad joined forces with his friend/co-worker, Cory Wikstrom, and their former manager, Mike Fahey, to start an independent garage door service company.
Today, as CFO of Vulcan Garage Services Inc., Chad says his favorite part of his job is watching his employees grow. “When we started, rather than hiring seasoned technicians, we intentionally hired people with no prior industry experience. That way, we wouldn’t get technicians who had already developed bad habits—we could teach them the right way from the start. It has been very rewarding to watch our guys go from knowing nothing to being successful and loving their trade.”
A resident of San Jose (where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, and son, Brandon) Chad spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “Being a mechanically inclined person, I enjoy working on automobiles,” he details. “I also love standup comedy and spending time with my family. My wife and I like going on walks and hikes together, and my son is an avid rugby player, so I enjoy being involved with that.”
In his life and career, Chad espouses the importance of happiness. “The way I see it, if I’m not happy in my work, I’m not doing myself or anyone else any favors,” he explains. “The same goes for my employees. Their happiness is important—after all, they’re out there interacting with clients and representing the business. By treating our guys right and keeping them happy, we know our customers will be treated right and kept happy, so it’s a win-win.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first job?
A: During my sophomore year of high school, I got hired as an apprentice technician at a Chevron gas station.
Q: Who’s your favorite comedian?
A: Sebastian Maniscalco.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Vic Stewart’s in Brentwood.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would go back to a time before the internet and cellphones, when life was simpler.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas. There are about 60 people in my extended family and we always have a fun time getting together.
Read moreRead less