SAN JOSE – Born and raised in Vietnam, Tu Dang utilized his dual citizenship to seek professional opportunity in the United States. “My mother is Vietnamese and my father is American, so that gave me a big advantage when I decided to move to the U.S. in my early 20s,” he explains. “I spent the first 10 years on the East Coast, first in Maryland and then in Florida and New Jersey. In Florida, I worked in a lumber yard, which was my first experience working with wood. When I got to New Jersey, a friend got me a job in the hardwood flooring industry. I enjoyed the work and the pay was good, so I stuck with it. About eight years later, I moved to the Bay Area, where I continued in the hardwood flooring industry until eventually getting my license and starting my own company.”
Today, as owner of All Bay Hardwood Floors, Tu says his favorite part of his job is transforming his customers’ floors. “From installation to refinishing, I really enjoy my job. Most of all, I like the process of taking an old floor and making it look new again.”
A resident of San Jose (where he lives with his wife and two grown children), Tu appreciates the temperate climate of the Bay Area. “The weather here is perfect—not too hot, not too cold. It’s just one of the many things I love about living here.” When he’s not working, Tu can usually be found enjoying one of his two favorite hobbies: playing soccer with friends and hanging out with his family.
In regard to his life and career, Tu says an important aspect of self-improvement is learning from your mistakes. “Ever since I started in hardwood flooring, I’ve been continually learning. Of course, when you start out with something, you make plenty of mistakes, but with every mistake I made, I learned and improved upon it. Now, after doing this for more than 20 years, I seldom make mistakes, but I’m still always learning and striving to be better at what I do.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Tu says he’d do some traveling. “First, I’d disconnect the phone,” he laughs. “But seriously, I’d probably take my family on a vacation. I haven’t done much traveling besides the U.S. and visiting family in Vietnam, and I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, especially France, Germany and Spain.”