Jim Adkins: Finishing Strong
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
REDWOOD CITY – While he’s since made a successful career for himself, Jim Adkins’ involvement in the construction industry began with a rude awakening. “I started out as a teenager, working summers for my grandfather, Walter Springs Sr.,” he recalls. “I remember coming to work the first day and thinking I was going to do something easy like drive around in a truck or backhoe. When I walked into my grandfather’s office, he pointed to a brand new shovel in the corner and told me that when I learned how to use that tool, he’d give me the next one. Basically, I started my career making blisters!”
Despite a less-than-idyllic start, Jim went on to become well-versed in all aspects of construction and eventually earned his certification as a master finish carpenter. Today, as president of Springs Construction, Jim says he enjoys building relationships with clients as much as he does building their homes. “I always tell people that my favorite part of the job is handing the keys to the clients and telling them, ‘Here’s your new home!’ The whole process is very rewarding.”
A native of Northern California, Jim lived in various parts of the San Francisco area before finally settling in San Jose, where he lives with his wife, Chris, and their children, Laurel and Bryce. He says his favorite part about living and working in the Bay Area is its natural diversity. “You drive 45 minutes west and you’re at the ocean, and you drive four hours northeast and you’re in the snow. Essentially, you could go surfing and skiing in the same day if you wanted. Not a lot of places can boast that kind of versatility. The more I travel, the more I realize that I have a pretty good place to live.”
While he’s passionate about construction work, Jim’s other love is motorsports. “I watch drag racing and Formula One religiously, and I also follow Motocross and Supercross,” he says. “Whenever there’s a race in town, my son and I are there to see it.”
In both his life and career, Jim attributes his personal success in part to an ongoing process of self-improvement. “I just try to do a little better every day,” he explains. “Whether it’s my performance in the field or my role as a husband and father, my goal is to do things better today than I did them yesterday. I think that attitude has motivated me and helped bring me to where I am today.”
Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: I’m a big motorsports fan. In NASCAR, I root for Jeff Gordon; in drag racing, I really like John Force; and in Formula One, my favorite driver is Kimi Räikkönen, who drives for Ferrari.
Q: What was your first concert?
A: Eddie Money at the Cow Palace, when I was 16 years old.
Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A: Pepperoni and extra cheese.
Q: If someone was making a movie about your life, what actor would you choose to play you?
A: Brad Pitt, because I’m extremely handsome! (Laughs)
Q: What Seinfeld character do you identify most with?
A: Kramer. He’s just a happy-go-lucky person—he has his friends and his ideas, and that’s about all he needs.
Q: What’s the best gift you ever received?
A: When I was 12 years old, I wanted a radio-controlled car called a Baja Buggy for Christmas. I was sure my parents got it for me, but Christmas morning came and there was no Baja Buggy. I was disappointed, but I was old enough to understand that my parents probably weren’t able to afford it, so I let it go. Later that afternoon, after some family members had come over, my dad said to me, “Hey, go open the drapes on that sliding door and let in some light.” I pulled back the drapes and there was the Baja Buggy!