Valerio Roberti was born in San Vito, Lucca, Italy. He came to America with his mother and father at the age of three. He moved to Portland Oregon, where he lived for eight years, then moved to Gilroy, California.
Val served two years in the Army during World War II. After he was discharged he returned to work for an Italian prune farmer. In 1947 his uncle, who lived in Castroville, sought Val out and convinced him to become a plumber and work for him at his place of business with a promise of becoming a partner. Val worked for him for 6½ years (1947-1953). The partnership promise did not materialize and his uncle was thinking of retiring.
In February of 1954 behind a blacksmith shop in Castroville Val started his own business, Val’s Plumbing. One year later Val’s brother joined him. In 1968 Val’s shop expanded to a crew of 10 employees. He purchased property on Front street and constructed a new building and expanded the business to include heating and air conditioning. In 1968 Val’s Plumbing became Val’s Plumbing & Heating Inc.
In 1986 Val was selected by the Plumbing & Heating National Association to be one of the delegates to represent our industry to our counter parts in Beijing, Wuhan, Chendu and Canton, China. In 1991 People To People (an organization started by President Eisenhower) invited Val and his wife Laura, to join a group from various businesses and occupations for three weeks to visit Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, and St. Petersburg Russia with industry leaders. In 2001, Val and Laura went to Cuba once again representing People to People. In 1987 Val received the construction person of the year award from the Salinas Valley Builders Exchange. In 1990, Val was awarded the business excellence award by the Salinas Chamber of Commerce. Val received the Medal of Honor for the Lecchesis of the World in Lucca, Italy. Val and Laura recently received the Hall of Fame award and Philanthropist of the Year from Notre Dame High School in Salinas. Val Roberti supports many local organizations, schools and churches. When the Pope came to visit the Monterey Bay Val installed water piping, drainage lines, and fabricated and installed drinking fountains for over 100,000 people at no cost.
Val’s recognizes that its employees are its largest asset and provides medical, dental, and vision insurance plans. Val’s has an outstanding profit sharing plan that we are proud and pleased to share with our nonunion employees. We contribute to the union pension and health plan for the union employees. Currently we have 100 employees and financially we are very solid. Domestic Engineering (Trade Magazine) has placed us in the top 150 mechanical contractors in the United States.
Customer satisfaction has been the catalyst for our growth. We have uncompromising ethical standards and make a conscientious effort at being fair. In 1980 Ray, joined the firm and in 1993, Val decided to retire and Ray Spear became manager. In 1999 Ray was given the honor of Contractor Of The Year by the Salinas Valley Builders Exchange. During this ceremony Val Roberti was given The Salinas Valley Builders Exchange Honorary Member Award. Val was the second person to ever get the Honorary Member award which is given out to outstanding members every thirty to forty years.
On April 28th, 2007, at the age of 81, Val Roberti passed away in the comfort of his home.