SUISUN CITY – Juan Caballero was a superintendent for a property developer when an economic recession left him unexpectedly out of a job. What he didn’t realize was that this seeming setback would open a door to an opportunity for greater professional success. “The construction industry was hit pretty hard by the economic recession in the late ’80s, which left me and a lot of others without work,” he remembers. “Since no one was hiring supervisors, I took the only position I could find: a garage door installer.” After an initial slow start, Juan quickly improved and became adept at his new livelihood. “On my first job, it took me five hours to install the door—really, really slow,” he recounts. “However, during the next year, I figured out some techniques and developed a system by which I could install a door in 45 minutes.”
Later, after getting injured on the job, Juan moved over to sales, where he gained experience in a totally different side of the industry. After the business he worked for was sold in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash, Juan took the opportunity to get licensed and started installing garage doors on his own.
Today, as owner of JC Garage Door Center, Juan says his favorite part of his job is taking care of his customers. “I take pride in providing an honest service. I don’t take advantage of people by recommending things that aren’t really needed; rather, I educate my customers and only do what’s necessary. That makes me feel good and lets me sleep really well at night.”
Originally from Mexico City, Juan came to the United States in 1979 and resides today in Suisun City, where he appreciates its small-town atmosphere. “After growing up in Mexico City and then living in San Jose, I’d grown pretty tired of city life,” he recounts. “When I was hired as a construction superintendent, the job was in Vallejo, so my wife, Martha, and I started looking for a nearby place to live. During our search, we drove through Suisun City and instantly fell in love with it. We’ve been living here happily ever since.”
Outside of work, Juan loves to get out and enjoy the diverse Bay Area landscape. “Martha and I go on a lot of weekend trips to places like national parks, beaches and the mountains,” he explains. “There’s so much to see and explore here, so it’s fun getting to know the area better.” Additionally, Juan enjoys spending time with his four grown children, all of whom are spread out along the West Coast. “Since our kids all live in different places, it’s hard to get everyone together at one time, but we try to do it on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
When asked about a personal philosophy, Juan espouses the virtues of a lifetime of learning. “I love to learn, which is why I read a lot and watch networks like History and Discovery,” he says. “I’m not the type of guy who has seen a few things and thinks he knows everything. Learning is a process, and there are new things to learn all the time. I probably learn something new every day.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Juan says he’d hit the road. “I’d take my wife, jump in our SUV and take a road trip through the United States. Before we start doing a lot of traveling overseas, I’d like to get to know all of this country.”