MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Learn more about the people behind our local businesses!

Jesse Zamudio
Plumbing Concepts, Inc.

Jesse Zamudio is not a man who boasts about himself or his accomplishments. But those who know him might rightly call him a mechanical ace. Even as a kid, Jesse was gifted with a keen talent for anything mechanical. From carpentry to cars, Jesse loved building and fixing things (and his mother smartly put those talents to use around the house). Raised in Northern California by parents who hailed from Sinaloa and Michocéan, Mexico, Jesse attended high school in the Bay Area. “I studied architecture and electronics, and I loved it,” he revealed. Jesse soon realized his visual imagination allowed him to understand blueprints and mechanical drawings easily. A skill he relies on to this day. But it was a high-school instructor who ignited Jesse’s core passion. “My electronics teacher taught me how to problem-solve. He taught troubleshooting as a mindset,” Jesse explained. And with that, Jesse discovered his true calling.

After high school, Jesse explored his love of problem-solving in the trades, apprenticing and quickly rising through the ranks due to his abilities. While still in California, he worked for a service company, a commercial plumbing company, and then a high-end residential firm that built multi-million-dollar homes. “I had to learn the skills necessary to handle and correctly install very expensive fixtures in very demanding contexts.” But what Jesse loved most were the challenges. Things like “How in the heck are we going to get the drain to that one particular spot,” given the constraints of space and materials? This was the work he absolutely enjoyed. 

By 1993, Jesse had moved to Oregon and started his own business, Plumbing Concepts, Inc. Licensed, COBID-certified, and based in Clackamas, Plumbing Concepts, Inc. initially served clients in Seattle, Washington; Bend; Eugene; and the Portland metro region. But Jesse soon realized bigger wasn’t better, whether in terms of team or region. So he consciously scaled things back to keep them tight and right. “The one thing I don’t like fixing,” Jesse confessed, “is avoidable mistakes made by my own team. So I’ve gotten selective, very selective about who I hire.” Once a hire is made, Jesse goes to work teaching his apprentices not just the how of the work, but the why. “I teach them why we do things so they understand the larger perspectives of a project, because no two projects are alike. You have to think beyond what’s obvious. You have to anticipate and respond to problems. You have to adapt on-the-fly.” This remains Jesse’s favorite part of the work. It’s also why he’s become the go-to plumbing outfit for large commercial properties like Portland’s Lloyd Center.

By maintaining a smaller shop, Jesse stays hands-on with his business and projects, guarding the high standards for quality-work he upholds. He also sets a strong tone for collaboration, cooperation, trust, and integrity. “When everyone engages in what I call ‘3D thinking,’ or ‘why thinking,’ and when everyone has each other’s best interests in mind, that changes everything,” Jesse explained. “That changes the quality of the work, the end result, and the experience.” It also means Jesse can deliver lasting solutions rooted in ethics, responsibility, and honor — professional tenets he feels are non-negotiable. 

“The more I help people get good at the larger why, the better they are at solving things smartly on their own, and the better work we do for our clients,” Jesse insisted. “My heroes in construction are people like PBDG co-founder and Board member Maurice Rahming of O’Neill Construction Group, and PBDG mentor and ally Afton Walsh of Walsh Construction Company. Like them, I’m in it for the people. I’m in it to help people.” It seems the perfect driver for this dedicated, committed, solutions-oriented small business.

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