Gary Kluck: On the Upbeat
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CITRUS HEIGHTS – Gary Kluck has a lot on his plate. Between managing a home improvement company with more than 180 employees to singlehandedly running a household, it’s easy to think the stress might get to him now and then. However, Gary says maintaining a positive outlook goes a long way toward achieving both inner peace and outward success. “I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy. I have a very upbeat personality, so when I do get stressed, I just stay calm and look at the positives of the situation, and pretty soon I’m back to normal.”
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Gary got his start in the construction industry at an early age. “I began working for my father when I was about 12 years old,” he remembers. “He was in home improvement and did a lot of concrete work and rough framing. I started out doing mostly grunt work, but I continued to learn and develop my skills, and I’ve been immersed in it ever since.”
Gary’s westward migration began in the early 1980s and included a five-year stint working in Colorado before he eventually reached Northern California. When the company he had been working for went bankrupt following a change of ownership, Gary reached out for advice on his next move. “I called the original owner of the business and asked him what I should do next,” he recalls. “He said, ‘Go do your own thing.’ I took his advice and started my own company, and it was the best decision I ever made.” Today, nearly a decade later, Quality First Home Improvement, Inc. is going strong with Gary at the helm.
In addition to running a business, Gary is employed as a full-time father and homemaker, raising his youngest of four daughters while his wife, Tamara, is pursuing her own career out-of-state. “A few years back, my wife decided to go to medical school to become a physician,” he explains. “She’s actually in Pennsylvania doing her residency right now, so I’m kind of like Mr. Mom for the next couple years.” Though his responsibilities keep him busy, Gary does find time to play golf with his friends on a regular basis. He also takes advantage of the occasional opportunity to get away from it all. “We have a cabin up at Eagle Lake, and we like to go out there to do some boating and fishing and just enjoy the peacefulness of nature.”
Gary attributes much of his personal and professional success to the power of positive thinking. “We attract what we think and feel, so it’s important to feel great and think great,” he says. “That’s what I tell all my employees, and it’s really how I built the company. When we started, there were four of us; now, there are 181. By putting out positive energy, we’ve been able to attract positive people who want to do good things.”
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: Green Bay Packers.
Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Digging up worms in the garden when I was three or four years old.
Q: Do you do any celebrity impersonations?
A: I used to do a pretty good Humphrey Bogart, but it’s been a while.
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Playing basketball. I could really jump—as a 6’1” forward, I could out-jump our 6’4” center!
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Sit by the fire.
Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.