Learn more about the people behind our local businesses!

José David Berdeja Guzman
Berdeja Painting Enterprises, LLC

José David Berdeja Guzman has always been an entrepreneurial self-starter. From a very young age, José worked to become a refrigeration technician in his native town of Coyuca de Benéitez, Guerrero. There, after years managing his family’s coconut farm, he diligently learned the HVAC trade and established his own small business, El Cooler. But it wasn’t until a desire to advance his family’s prospects, and years waiting to immigrate to America (including six years living on the Mexico-U.S. border during the bloody Calderón War) brought him to Rockport, Maine, where he decided to pivot toward the painting trade.

José’s innate resourcefulness kept him afloat, as he did what he could to learn the ropes. Steadily, he gained some skills. But it was a rocky start as rough as a Maine winter. “When you don’t know anything and you’re struggling, you’re always walking with fear and embarrassment,” José recalls. Even so, José kept at it. Job after job, he upskilled while working to support his family.

But he never got used to the brutal Maine winters. So in 2022, José and his family relocated to Oregon. His wife was instrumental in helping José gain his first Oregon painting jobs, and helping him find his way to GCAP (Oregon’s Government Contract Assistance Program), and ultimately, to PBDG. At José’s wife’s insistence, and after exploring PBDG for himself, José was hooked. “I’ve gotten a lot of advantages in such a short time,” José explains. “PBDG has taken me by the hand and taught me everything about being a contractor — about running a business, and running it smartly without missing something important.”

With the help of PBDG, José is also learning the importance of developing a vision that will guide the next several years of business development for his venture, Berdeja Painting Enterprises, LLC. He’s pinpointed clear short-, medium-, and long-term goals, which include: securing a warehouse where he can store his equipment; obtaining a true work-van to carry his equipment to his job sites; and hiring at least two employees in order to help him scale his business. In 10 years, José would even like to establish an additional business focused on HVAC and refrigeration — all while staying actively engaged with PBDG. “When I started my business, everything was very confusing. Now, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.”

As José eyes a professional future in which he may come full-circle, coming “home” to refrigeration, he knows first-hand there’s no feat too big when allies have your back. “For my future, PBDG’s help is very valuable,” he affirms, adding that regardless of his endeavor, he believes he’ll now thrive in the years to come. “I’ll be with PBDG until they chase me away.”

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