SAN FRANCISCO – When it came to finding a career, Joe Velasquez did what many have done and followed in his father’s footsteps. However, he also achieved something that’s comparatively rare: He improved upon the legacy that was handed down to him. “My father had a janitorial business, and I started cleaning windows pretty much as soon as I was old enough to walk,” he remembers. Joe eventually joined the Window Cleaners Union, where he spent 17 years working his way up from apprentice to journeyman. By the time he struck out on his own and founded Crystal Clear Window Cleaning, LLC in 2005, he’d acquired the requisite knowledge and experience to take things to the next level. “My father’s business mainly handled homes and smaller buildings, but I wanted to go bigger,” he explains. “So, I expanded my company’s capabilities to encompass high rises and tall buildings.”
Joe was born and raised in San Francisco, where he continues to reside with Sandy, his wife of 28 years. As a father of four and grandfather of nine, much of his free time is devoted to family. “My grandkids range in age from three months to 17 years, and we’re very fortunate to have them all living within the Greater Bay Area,” he says.
Outside of work and family, Joe’s primary interests are traveling and cars. “My wife and I travel regularly and have been to several parts of Europe, including Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Spain,” he says. “I’m also an automobile enthusiast—I go to all the car shows, and I’m hoping to acquire a classic muscle car in the near future.”
As a business owner, Joe believes it’s important to interact with people on a personal level. “When I worked for the Union, all they knew was your name—there wasn’t much regard for the individual,” he explains. “That’s why I like to be a little more personal and genuine with my employees and customers. I treat them fairly and make them feel appreciated.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Joe says he’d hit the open road for an extended tour of the United States. “I’ve already been to Europe and other far-off places, so I’d like to buy an RV and see more of this country after I retire.”