Greg Sutliff: A Light in the Attic
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SACRAMENTO — While he enjoys both the hands-on and operational aspects of the construction trade, Greg Sutliff says what he loves most about his job at Alcal Specialty Contracting, Inc. is his ability to make a positive impact on the environment. “I tell people I’m saving the world one attic at a time. A big part of what we do is helping people reduce their energy usage by implementing energy-efficient methods and products. I find satisfaction in simply knowing that a homeowner who previously used 20 kilowatts of energy will only use 15 after we’ve completed our work.”
Long before he was saving the world, Greg got started in the industry by sweeping up jobsites after class in middle school. “As a seventh grader making $3 an hour, I was pretty happy,” he laughs. “Over time, I worked my way up to cutting wood and hammering nails, and I eventually became a skilled laborer.” Following college, Greg went to work for a window company, where he gained a working knowledge of the administrative side of the business. Later, after earning his MBA in Finance and Marketing Communication, he sought employment that would incorporate his industry experience and formal education—an opportunity he eventually found with Alcal Specialty Contracting, where he currently serves as Home Services Division Manager.
Greg was born in San Francisco and raised in Corte Madera, but today, he lives in Sacramento with his wife, Liz, and their two children, Emerson and Ellie. As a lifelong Bay Area resident, he says he values the progressive mindset that characterizes the region. “There’s a great appreciation for quality of life and social equality here, and yet there’s also a strong work ethic that rewards those who are diligent and have good ideas. In terms of ideology, it’s the best of both worlds.”
Outside of work, Greg prefers to spend the bulk of his free time outdoors. “My family and I love going hiking and camping at places like Lake Tahoe,” he says. “I also go backpacking with friends a couple times a year through areas like Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Almost all of California’s 14,000-foot mountains are located in that area, which makes for some pretty spectacular views.”
In his professional life, Greg says a crucial part of his success has been his ability to make things right after they’ve gone wrong. “Anyone who’s in construction understands that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but at the end of the day, those things need to be corrected. At Alcal, our motto is, ‘Good people making things right,’ which means we not only strive to do things correctly the first time, but if things don’t go as planned, we won’t leave until we’ve made it acceptable to the customer.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Greg says he wouldn’t change a thing. “This is an exciting time in my career, and I really enjoy working for this company. If I had to retire tomorrow, I’d probably continue showing up at work and doing what I’m doing.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.
Q: Have you ever read a book more than once?
A: The Harry Potter series. I read all the books when they first came out, and now I’m reading them to my kids.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento.
Q: If you could be transported to any fictional world, where would you go?
A: Either the Star Trek or Star Wars galaxy—one of those complex, panoptical multiverses.
Q: Captain Kirk or Captain Picard?
Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A: Olives, sausage, peppers, tomatoes, cheese and red sauce.