A LETTER FROM BILL RODENHISER
My grandfather, Richard Rodenhiser, started our family’s long tradition in the service business in 1928. He owned and operated Stadium Plumbing & Supply in Allston MA. My grandfather introduced one of the first electrical drain cleaning machines and broke new ground by diversifying into the cesspool cleaning business with the area’s first vacuum pumping unit. My dad, Alton, began working for his father when he returned from the army in the late fifty’s. My grandfather passed away in 1971 and my father continued on with the pumping and drain cleaning business. My father serviced the North and South Shore and traveled west, all the way to Worcester. He perfected the concept of high-pressure drain cleaning utilizing water. His new tool was trademarked the “Water Jet”. We still use an advanced model of this tool today. My dad became well known for his trademark phrase “We succeed where others fail.” I take this phrase seriously and have always attempted to groom those around me to comprehend the importance of task related commitment and diligence.
I was involved in the family business at the young age of 7. I learned to work hard, treat customers right, and reap the benefits. In 1988, while attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I decided that being in business was what I wanted. I left school and dedicated myself to the family business. I pushed my father to diversify into septic installation. My father was nervous and resisted.
In 1991 it became clear that if I wanted to follow my heart I would have to do it on my own. I had already learned a great deal the hard way. In most instances I taught myself. This includes heavy equipment operation, blueprint reading, and elevation control. In 1992 I had $5,000.00 saved and put it down on the purchase of my first excavator. The machine was $130,000.00 and, without a track record, I had to pay $6,000.00 per month for six months, before I would be approved for financing. I did not fail. I found the work; I kept the machine busy and used the income to purchase additional components critical to my growth.
For many years I also did the banking and office work. It became clear early on that I needed an office support staff to allow me to be in the field doing what I did best. My dad’s business had employed an older gentleman as a consultant. He decided he would work with me also and his guidance and experience as a former Howard Johnson’s CEO proved invaluable. Involving Bill was one of the earliest decisions that taught me the importance of acquiring the right type of people, putting them in independent roles and trusting their judgment. Today the people in our organization are unquestionably its strength.
We continue to strengthen ourselves through diversification. We added a septic division; this group operates our pump trucks, sewer trailers, a high-pressure water jet, pipe video equipment, and full service, septic repair and inspection trucks to our site division that operates over four million dollars of heavy equipment and trucks. In 2000 we added concrete formwork to our repertoire, and then most recently we added modular home construction as a perfect complement to our site work. We are now independent builders of Epoch Modular Homes under the name Rex Development.
I have been involved in the construction of at least eighty homes, and completed multiple additions and remodeling projects; in 2002 we handled the construction and management for a 5,000 square foot commercial building in Holliston. Last year we built a 3,500 square foot custom home in Hopkinton and are now managing the construction of our own 12,000 square foot facility in Holliston’s New Englander Industrial Park. We are excited about our early fall move in date.