#ThrowbackThursday: Growing Up Penhall

By: Pete Gonzales

Penhall has no shortage of loyal employees with many years under their belts. However, very few can say that they literally grew up with Penhall. Although I joined Penhall April of 1994, I have been part of the Penhall family for much longer.

Pete Gonzales

My Uncle, John Frank, was the first in my family to start at Penhall, in 1972. Three years later he hired my father, Peter Gonzales Sr. as a compressor operator to work in the field. From there, Penhall became part of my life and all its employees were like family to me. From barbeques, to pool parties each weekend was spent with family who worked in the field. I grew up knowing the hard-working, family culture of Penhall.

When I was in my teens, my father told me that I needed a summer job and so I began washing the big red and gray Penhall trucks with my cousin, John Frank Jr. We would come on Saturdays and Sundays in the heat of summer and spend all day with a few other guys shining up the trucks in the yard.

I went back to school for a few years and then decided that it was time to start my career. I of course pursued a job at Penhall, and in April of 1994 was hired into the field. I worked for 5 years as a laborer saw cutting and core drilling. While I loved working in the field, I desired to grow within the company and make a lasting impact on Penhall, as my other family members had.

My first office job with Penhall was in sales in the old Riverside office. I was responsible for Riverside County (which spanned from Blythe, to Palm Springs, to Temecula). I did this for a few years and then was transferred from Irvine to Anaheim to Gardena and back to Anaheim to work as an assistant manager to Rick Viefhaus.

After I worked under Rick and trained with him, I was moved to run the Burbank office as a manager. I was named a branch manager for Gardena in April of 2011 and worked in that office until January 1, 2014, when I was asked to be the Division Manager of both the Anaheim and Riverside office.

Although I have come a long way from washing the Penhall trucks, the positive impact that Penhall has had on me has never faded. To me, I quite literally grew up Penhall, and Penhall is my family. I am so happy to have dedicated my career to such a strong and well-established company which was created through a family culture that I have enjoyed for many years.