Richard Reppert – R.L. Reppert
Working for a family business that has been established for over 50 years certainly presents its unique challenges. While a strong sense of history and tradition may be associated with such businesses, there can also be considerable family dynamics and complexities to navigate. Additionally, expectations and responsibilities may be heightened due to the long-standing reputation of the business.
Balancing familial relationships, maintaining a professional environment, and adapting to changing market conditions can all be demanding tasks for employees of such companies. Navigating those challenges is part of the job for Richard Reppert, president of R.L. Reppert.
“We have been a prominent commercial wall and ceiling contractor for over half a century,” Reppert says. “I’ve been with the company for nearly 30 years but have worked within the company since I was a young child. Summers as a young child, I worked in our warehouse, helping wherever I could. It was not the most ideal summer for a child but built the work ethic and commitment I have today.”
R.L. Reppert strongly emphasizes family values and quality work. Reppert expresses his commitment to these principles and says having a family-owned business that treats its employees like family has been a big reason for its continued success.
“Family values and quality work has got our company this far in over 50 years, and those same traits will keep us going for another 50 plus years,” Reppert says.
This commitment is evident in the company’s projects and its approach to employee appreciation and celebrations.
Commitment to the work
Reppert’s leadership skills, characterized by problem-solving and collaborative efforts with employees, have been instrumental in the success of numerous projects. One noteworthy achievement was the ground-up project at Grace Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The project involved exterior structural walls and structural framing of interior partitions and trusses, earning R.L. Reppert the Project of the Year award at the Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Awards for the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter.
In his role as a second set of eyes behind estimators and project managers, Reppert helped contribute to the project’s success but with significant success coming from the management team and the employees who worked on the project. They are those who make the jobs turn out the way they always do. This collaborative approach reflects the company’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail.
”Our team worked effectively together on this project to ensure that not only did we deliver a high-quality project as we always do, but a project that is award-winning and one we are proud to be a part of.” Reppert says.”
With approximately 65 employees—up to around 90 during peak times—R.L. Reppert strongly emphasizes employee appreciation. The company’s 50th-anniversary celebration was a testament to this commitment. Instead of a traditional company picnic, they hosted a carnival-type event at their office, extending invitations to past employees, retirees, and even the spouses of former employees who have passed away.
Reppert played a central role in organizing the celebration, demonstrating his hands-on approach and dedication to maintaining connections with former staff. The inclusivity and appreciation displayed during this event underscores the company’s unique culture.
As R.L. Reppert celebrated its 50th anniversary, Reppert envisions its future by focusing on its employees and well-being. Retaining dedicated employees, maintaining a commitment to quality, and adapting to industry changes remain key priorities.
“My goal is for the company’s culture and reputation to endure for the next 50 years, culminating in a centennial celebration marked by continued success and employee satisfaction,” he says.
A bright future
Looking ahead to 2024, R.L. Reppert is set to undertake various projects focusing on medical facilities. The company’s commitment to quality and service differentiates it from competitors. Rather than pursuing size or scale, R.L. Reppert prioritizes its employees and their well-being, fostering lasting relationships that extend beyond the workplace.
The biggest challenge in Reppert’s career has been adapting to workforce and industry changes. Embracing technology and staying adaptable have been crucial in overcoming these challenges. As for succession planning, Reppert and his sisters are already working towards setting up the company for continued success, with family members actively involved in various roles.
“With huge workforce shortages plaguing the construction field, technology is a successful and innovative way to fill those missing shortages and continue with the same quality and service our company is expected to uphold. We have been embracing these changes and advancements to continue to fill the workforce shortages and streamline how we complete our quality work,” Reppert says.
Reppert says his leadership reflects a commitment to quality, family values, and employee appreciation. As the company looks towards its next 50 years, it does so with a leader dedicated to ensuring continued success, growth, and a positive work culture.
The family business
In 1973, Richard L. Reppert, Sr., fondly known as Rick Sr., laid the foundation for a business that would weather the tides of industry evolution. Fast forward to 2016, and the reins of leadership seamlessly transitioned to Rick Sr.’s son and two daughters. Reppert, a torchbearer of family values and a commitment to quality work, has now devoted almost 30 years to the company. The legacy initiated by Rick Sr. now rests firmly in capable hands, with Reppert embodying the ethos that has propelled R.L. Reppert to where it is today.
Reppert’s interest in the construction industry stems from growing up and witnessing his father’s commitment to the company. His involvement from a young age allowed him to learn every aspect of the business. Beyond work, Reppert enjoys spending time with family, engaging in activities like snowmobiling, and exploring historical locations. His commitment extends beyond the company, evidenced by his role as chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter in 2023, chairman of the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute’s carpentry Occupational Advisory Committee, involvement in SkillsUSA, and other local community involvement Reppert volunteers his time to.
“We set our standards high and strive to provide the highest quality projects for each project we are involved in. While not everyone we work for is looking for this quality, our company remains highly focused on this, as it is important to always be proud of the projects we construct,” Reppert says. “This ensures our reputation remains the same as it has been for the past 50 years and that we are known as a quality contractor who truly cares about the project.”
View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. II 2024 Edition here.
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