RP Power: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
These days, the reassuring hum of a backup generator can be heard near and far, echoing throughout neighborhoods all over a community in the wake of a storm. But when John Ronza, president and CEO, co-founded RP Power in 1998 it was a very different world, indeed.
RP Power, a distributor of Kohler emergency standby, prime, and mobile generators, is in the business of saving lives and protecting businesses from interruptions due to power loss. More recently, the company has direct-ed its products and expertise toward keeping homes lit and warm, no mat-ter the weather.
“Keep in mind, the need for emergency power has changed dramatically since I started in this business almost 40 years ago,” he said. “When I started, the vast majority of generators were purchased because some life safety code required it. A wastewater treatment plant, or a downtown build-ing exceeding eight stories, required a generator. Buildings had to have emergency lights and egress throughout the building. Hospitals, for their surgery center and things of that sort, required generators by code.”
“60 to 80 percent of the generators we sell today are not required by code. They are purchased to either protect revenue or provide peace of mind.”
The primary catalyst for this change is technology, which over those same four decades has seeped into every corner of daily life. Technology has made buildings safer and allowed factories, businesses and manufacturing facilities to be more productive and more efficient than at any other time. But all technology has the same Achilles heel – eventually, all of it has to be plugged in or recharged to work.
“Think about what business was like 40 years ago,” said Ronza. “The power goes out at an accounting firm, the guy would open his blinds, sharpen his pencil and get back to work. The phones even worked during a power outage. Those days are over. Nobody works without a computer anymore. And nothing works in your building without power.”
Ronza and his team take seriously the responsibility of providing products that help communities function in the aftermath of Mother Nature’s fury. Seemingly everyone you meet at the company headquarters has an engineering degree, including the sales personnel, something unheard-of among the company’s competitors.
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