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Meet Gerald Marino of Marino Design Consulting in Mission Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gerald Marino.

Gerald, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
While attending college, I landed my first “Engineering” job. I was hired for a drafting position at Van Buuren and Associates in San Diego. This was Pre-CAD. All hand drafting. VBA was a mechanical and electrical design firm. I had been hired to directly assist the mechanical engineering division (HVAC).

Soon after I started, the company split up their divisions and I ended up leaving to join a company with the former VBA mechanical engineer. I proved to be a quick learner and over a short period of time, I was able to handle drafting assignments from 5 different experienced engineers. To keep myself busy, I began requesting engineering tasks. Soon, I was capable of designing and engineering small projects on my own. I focused on learning both HVAC and Plumbing system design. This was key. I quickly realized I had a great advantage by becoming proficient in both HVAC and Plumbing design. I ended up working for 2 more engineering firms over a 20 year period in which I had advanced to Project Manager and eventually Director of Engineering.

In 2007 I realized that I needed to make a major change. I had to venture out on my own focusing on a company that instills my values and work ethics. No CEO or President of a company can accomplish success and growth on their own. It takes a small team of key personnel. These key team members should be recognized, valued and appreciated. This is still my philosophy today.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Mechanical Engineering is a broad-based subject and has many facets. Our office spends a lot of time and money mentoring newly graduated engineers in hopes that they grasp things quickly and become fairly self-sufficient in a short period of time.

One of the biggest challenges to date has been finding the right people that fit our fast-paced workload. We tend to hire graduates fresh out of school in hopes that they are willing to start at the ground level and grow steadily with the company as they gain engineering experience. We did have had one hiccup on the road to success. The 2008/2009 stock market crash had an immediate effect on our business. We struggled for about 6 months until the market gradually recovered. It did halter our growth at the time, changed the way we view the market and confirmed how volatile it can be.

Since then, we have benefited from approximately 20%-25% growth each year.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
MDC, Inc. specializes in providing quality consulting mechanical engineering services for architects, contractors, and building owners. We design heating ventilating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) for buildings as well as plumbing and process piping systems.We have experience with various types of building designs including Offices, Medical Clinics, Biotech Facilities, Movie Theaters, Libraries, Restaurants. Breweries, Military Facilities, Industrial and Manufacturing Facilities, Yoga Studios, Fitness Centers, Museums, Apartment Complexes, Central Plants, Hotels, and Motels.

I’m proud of our dedicated MDC team as well as the clientele that we have been fortunate enough to continue to work closely with for many years. Companies like Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Qualcomm, Inc., AleSmith, Ballast Point, Hoehn Audi, to name a few. We are also proud of our award-winning projects such as Skyline Hills Library, Audi Carlsbad, Angelika Film Center, Best Western Bayside Hotel.

I believe what sets us apart from other firms is that we prioritize responsiveness. We respond back to our clients in a timely fashion. I frequently receive comments such as… “Thanks for calling me back right away” or “I appreciate the quick response.”. Our primary focus is designing HVAC systems that provide a comfortable work environment for our clients.  I tell my staff to imagine themselves having to work within the building that they are designing. We also pride ourselves on meeting deadlines, some of which can tend to be pretty unrealistic!

We offer quite a few office outings during the year. Many include our clients, such as the Aztec Game/KGB Skyshow, Padre Games and company anniversary parties. Our last party celebrated our 10 year anniversary. A beach party themed event with a street taco stand, hosted bar, DJ as well as music from a local rock band,

What were you like growing up?
I am a San Diego native. I grew up in an Italian/American family. The oldest of three boys. My family holds much history in San Diego. We are proud of our City.

At 9 years old, I would help my father sketch and design custom 1/4 scale airplanes in our garage. It was then, that I realized my fascination and passion for designing and drafting. I would help my father precisely draw each part of the plane, at full scale, prior to building and cutting the sections out of balsa wood.

I was a shy kid growing up with a quit witted sense of humor. I did well in school and enjoyed playing sports. I played Pop Warner football, little league baseball until I was 15 and water polo in high school.

Music was a large part of growing up in my family. My father played piano. I took piano lessons for a while. We would listen to stacks of LP records nearly every weekend. Everything from Sinatra, Dean Martin, Frankie Lane, Glen Miller Orchestra to Elvis and the Everly Brothers. Ultimately, guitar would end up being my instrument of choice. The love of music has been filtered down to my son as well. He is a phenomenal drummer.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2615 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 402
  • Website:
  • Phone: 619-550-2615
  • Email:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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