WEST SACRAMENTO – Like many software engineers, Michael Easley’s career path was thrown off track when the late ’90s dot-com bubble unexpectedly burst. Fortunately, he was able to find a second livelihood that actually improved upon his first. “When I lost my job as a software engineer, it left me wondering what to do next,” he remembers. “On a whim, I answered a Craigslist ad for an HVAC company, which, as it turned out, was located right near where I lived. I ended up getting hired, and over the next few years, the owner taught me everything there was to know about the heating and air conditioning industry. That’s where it all started for me.”
Michael went on to work for a number of businesses and contractors, during which time he made several professional acquaintances, one of which led to a major opportunity. “At one point, I met Dmitriy Vakulchik, who was doing window installations, and was impressed by his enthusiasm, work ethic, and humble attitude,” he recounts. “About five years into our professional relationship, he told me he was looking to take his company to the next level, so I offered to partner with him and help make it happen.”
Today, as sales director of Smart Energy Solutions, Michael says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers and solving their energy efficiency problems. “I like meeting people and finding solutions to their problems. Sometimes, I’ll crawl around and investigate places where no one has ever been, just to figure out what’s causing a particular issue. It’s very rewarding work and I love what I do.”
Born and raised in San Jose, Michael currently resides in Antioch with his wife, Evelyn, and their two daughters, Brianna and Bridgette. When he’s not working, he enjoys taking advantage of the lush and diverse Bay Area landscape. “I like getting out and exploring the Bay Area, especially hiking on different nature trails.” Michael also enjoys relaxing at home and spending time with his family.
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Michael says he’d head for a tropical locale. “I’d probably take my family on a trip to someplace we haven’t been before—preferably somewhere with a beach where I could sit and relax.”