I have lived in the Chicago area my entire life, growing up on the northwest side of Chicago in the Portage Park area. Introduced to blue-collar work at an early age, I began at the age of 6 helping my father with maintenance work around several buildings by doing things such as vacuuming, sweeping, and shoveling coal into the old coal-fired furnaces in the area. After turning down a college scholarship to Illinois Benedictine in order to get into the working world and make money, I began training under a Master Plasterer, and worked as a labor foreman doing housing rehabs in the Hyde Park area. I joined SEIU #1 and began managing and maintaining buildings throughout the Lincoln Park area for approximately 10 years, and another five years in other areas throughout the city.
Wanting to try something different, I then spent approximately 15 years in the telecommunications industry doing infrastructure maintenance as a cable splicing technician networking computers, and as a general troubleshooter of telephone line systems. I also spent a six-year stint installing appliances for Sears, which utilized my plumbing, electrical and carpentry skills.
I also needed a creative outlet and expressed my artistic talent by blowing glass and producing neon signs for business owners in the area, while also creating mixed-media art pieces, and building furniture patterned after the popular 1980s Memphis style.
One day, a home inspector showed up to inspect my family home, and I realized that I knew more about the systems and components of homes than the inspector did, which gave me the idea to start the business I have today. I believe that a well-rounded background is what's needed to be a generalist, such as a home inspector. If this is true, then I qualify!
The constant change of work locations, along with the challenge of the continual need to keep up to date with changes in code and building practices, as well as the fun of marketing, keep me wanting to continue in this exciting and challenging field. Going on the InterNACHI forum on a daily basis has helped keep me on my toes, and done much to increase my writing skills along with helping fellow inspectors.