SUNNYVALE − Not many people would equate house painting with rocket science, but for Ken Slosarik, the connection isn’t all that distant. “My dad was a rocket engineer, so he was always building complicated things, which definitely had an influence on me and my older brother,” he explains. “However, we lacked the patience for the level of complexity he was dealing with—we were more results-driven, which is why we gravitated toward the construction field. Years later, I helped my brother when he started a painting business and eventually got involved in other aspects of construction.”
While Ken spent most of his early career doing hands-on work, it was an opportunity to enter the sales side of the industry that led him to where he is today. “I knew the owner of a local painting company who was in need of a sales representative, and I offered to fill the position,” he recounts. “Over time, I moved up through the ranks and became his right-hand man. After he passed away, I took over ownership of the business.”
Twenty-five years later, as owner of El Gato Painting & Restoration, Inc., Ken says he continues to derive fulfillment from seeing the results of his work. “I find it very satisfying to watch our company operating smoothly and doing great work. When a customer is happy with the final product and tells me what a great job our guys did, that confirms we’re doing things right, which makes me feels good.”
A longtime resident of the South Bay, Ken expresses his appreciation for the cutting-edge character of the Silicon Valley milieu. “San Jose is one of the great economic engines of the world,” he says. “It seems that no matter what’s going on in the world or the economy, the people here continue to innovate and make things happen. Plus, when new technologies emerge, we’re the first to get them, so it’s just an exciting place to live.”
Outside of work, Ken engages in active pastimes like fitness and outdoor exploration. “I try to do some sort of exercise every day, whether it’s running, swimming or light weightlifting,” he says. “I’m also very big into backpacking—I take three or four trips a year to places like Yosemite and the Sierras.” Ken also enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Andrea, his daughters, Sydney and Sonya, and his stepdaughters, Sabrina and Samantha.
In his life and career, Ken espouses the importance of continually broadening his horizons. “I’m always striving to improve,” he says. “I like learning new things and growing, whether by attending industry seminars, reading books or doing online research. I also make it a point to expose my kids to new things and give them opportunities to have their own experiences.”
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Ken says he’d continue to keep a hand in his professional field. “I can see myself backing off a bit from the day-to-day stuff, but I don’t see myself fully retiring. These days, I’m doing a lot of real estate rehabs, which is really fun, so I’ll probably put more effort into that. Of course, I’d also like to do some more traveling.”