Tire Dealer of the Year: Bob and Juanita Purcell

Sept. 1, 2004

They are the top independent retreaders in the United States. They operate the third largest independent commercial tire dealership in the country.

Their dealership is North America´s 10th largest independent tire store chain with sales of $170 million to $200 million a year.

Through expert planning, innovation, a willingness to take chances and sheer hard work, they have turned what started out as a small operation into one of the industry´s most profitable tire dealerships, with more than 60 locations throughout 10 states and Mexico, plus seven retread plants.

They are universally respected within the tire industry -- not only for their vision, financial acumen and business success, but also for their impeccable integrity, trustworthiness and eagerness to share their bounty with others.

They are Bob and Juanita Purcell of Potosi, Mo.-based Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. And they are the winners of Modern Tire Dealer magazine´s 2004 Tire Dealer of the Year award, the first couple to receive the honor.

The value of hard work

Purcell Tire was founded by Bob´s father, Robert M. Purcell, in Washington, Mo., in 1935. He obtained a Goodyear franchise that same year. The elder Purcell borrowed money from two associates, Taylor Wells, a man he had previously worked for, and Ted Hiltz to start the company. The loan from Wells was sealed with a simple handshake.

Robert worked hard to build the business -- not an easy task during the Great Depression. "He never looked on the dark side of things," says Bob. "He was honest, sincere and a very hard worker."

Robert´s reputation for fairness preceded him in the small town of Washington. "During World War II, he was in charge of the local rationing board," says Juanita. Everything from salt to fuel fell under his jurisdiction. "People were trying to get favors, but he wouldn´t do it. He made sure everybody got the same thing."

Even more impressive were his quiet displays of generosity. After Ted Hiltz fell ill and became incapacitated, Robert took care of his affairs and kept him involved in the dealership. "Every Tuesday and Friday, he would pick Ted up and take him to the shop, just to keep his mind active," says Bob.

With his father as a role model, Bob learned the value of hard work at an early age. He worked part-time at the dealership during high school and also set pins at a local bowling alley.

Before that, at the age of 10, he sold watermelons door-to-door, transporting them three at a time in a hand-drawn wagon. "I´d sell three and then go back and pick up three more." He charged from a nickel to seven cents per melon. Margins weren´t bad, jokes Bob, "but it was the idea of walking around and talking to people and asking, ´Would you like a watermelon?´" that really appealed to him.

Bob displayed uncanny business savvy, even at that early age. A potential customer once demanded to poke a hole in a melon to check its freshness, a common practice in those days. Without missing a beat, Bob fired back, "If you do that, how am I gonna sell it?"

Juanita also entered the working world at a young age -- eight years old! Her first job was in the kitchen of a local restaurant. By the age of 12, her mother was coming to her for advice about household matters (Juanita´s father passed away when she was three years old.) "Mom would ask, ´Do you think we should do this? Should we do that?´"

Juanita´s mother turned out to be a successful entrepreneur in her own right, buying a restaurant/tavern well after the age of 50. "Bob and I helped her with her permit and books and things like that. She made money her first year!"

Triumphs and setbacks

Bob learned the nuts and bolts of the tire business while working for his dad in high school. "Everybody at the store learned how to sell and change tires," he says.

After graduating from high school in 1952, Bob spent two years in the Navy. He enrolled in the University of Missouri in 1954, where he delivered milk and sold insurance on the side.

Bob met Juanita -- who was working as a shoe model for a footwear manufacturer at the time -- between his freshman and sophomore years. "My brother and I had gone to this nightclub in Washington," says Juanita. Bob -- who was there with some friends -- introduced himself to her.

"I got a date with her and took her out," he says. "Once I met her, I wasn´t interested in anyone else." They married in September 1955.

After getting his business degree in 1958, Bob went to work for Goodyear as a trainee in St. Louis. The following year, he took a job with General Tire & Rubber Co. and the couple relocated to Nashville, Tenn.

In 1964, Bob´s dad invited them to join him in running Purcell Tire, which was growing. They moved back to Missouri and assumed management of the dealership´s recently acquired tire store and retread plant in DeSoto, Mo.

"The company was in good financial shape with a good customer base and a good reputation," says Bob. "Just because my dad didn´t have a formal education didn´t mean he wasn´t a good businessman. The business was rock-solid."

Then tragedy struck.

In 1969, a fire broke out at Purcell Tire´s DeSoto retread shop as the result of an industrial accident. The facility was the company´s only retread plant and a primary source of income. It was completely destroyed. "I was at a nearby park with the kids (Jackie and Patti) and looked up and saw the black smoke," says Juanita.

Fortunately, nobody was injured in the blaze. However, the plant and its equipment were uninsured. "After the fire, we weren´t sure if we were going to go back into business," says Bob. "It could have gone in either direction."

The Purcells decided to stick with it and located a parcel of land with a vacated factory building some 25 miles down the road in Potosi, Mo. They bought the property and started retreading again within several months.

Purcell Tire manufactured passenger, medium truck and OTR retreads. "At the time we sold passenger retreads for $5.95 apiece," recalls Bob.

"Snow tires also were big," says Juanita. "We´d keep our DeSoto store open all night and we´d work around the clock putting snow tires on."

Unfortunately, Bob´s father developed a heart condition and had to reduce his involvement in the business. "But right up until that time, he sold, moved and changed tires," says Bob.

He died in 1970, and Bob and Juanita took over the whole company, which consisted of the Potosi plant and three outlets. "We just continued what he had built," says Bob.

How to enlarge a business

The Purcells maintained their focus on retreading. The local market was extremely competitive, and most of their rivals "were also good friends of ours," says Bob. "In fact, there used to be more people in the business than there are now."

Purcell Tire sold to several lead mines in the area, which was part of "The Lead Belt."

OTR retreading could be a tough sell at times, according to Bob. "A mine just west of here had a front-end loader and wanted me to come out and look at it. They didn´t think I could retread it because the load (that the tires carried) was so heavy and the service was so severe."

The size was 14.00x24, which was considered mammoth at the time. ("We´re successfully retreading 57-inch tires now!") Bob took the tire back to his shop and recapped it, to the customer´s amazement.

Other mining companies were impressed with Purcell Tire as well. Some even sent letters to the Purcells saying that the dealership´s retreads were outperforming new tires. "We´d guarantee the same service hours as a new tire," says Juanita.

As Purcell Tire´s customers expanded their operations, the dealership bought new molds and equipment. The Purcells even began creating custom tread designs and compounds with help from suppliers -- two unusual practices for a small independent.

"They stayed ahead on technology," says Jack Woodland, chairman of Marangoni Tread North America Inc. Woodland met the Purcells nearly 25 years ago, when he was CEO of Oliver Rubber Co. and they were Oliver customers. "Their technology in OTR has always been ahead of even the majors!"

Missouri´s sharp, rocky topography helped as well. "We cut our teeth on severe applications and surfaces," says Bob. "Our product was really good."

Retreading -- particularly large OTR tires -- led to other things. "It was so capital intensive, we had to find other uses for the equipment." The company began wholesaling tires in order to spread its cost over more units.

The 1970s saw Purcell Tire expand into other states. In 1972, the dealership opened a location in Henderson, Ky. Two years later, it added a retread plant in Murray, Utah, plus sales/service locations in St. Louis, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and DuQuoin, Ill. If there was a mine to be serviced, the Purcells wanted to be there.

Bob was on the road constantly, while Juanita ran things from company headquarters in Potosi. "He had to buy equipment, he had to buy service trucks, he was the only salesman," she says. "He´d leave Sunday night and come back on Saturday."

Being a woman in the tire industry in the early 1970s wasn´t always easy. "Bob would be gone and customers would call and say, ´I want to talk to a salesman.´ And I´d tell them, ´You have to talk to me."

They´d back off a bit, but would warm up to her once she demonstrated how knowledgeable she was. "Then they´d want to talk to me eight hours a day!"

"Once they found out she had the answers they wanted -- that´s what really mattered," says Bob.

"I never really thought of this as a man´s profession," says Juanita.

The Purcells credit Marvin Bozarth, who came to work for Purcell Tire in 1970, as a tremendous help during that time. "He´s a great technical person," says Juanita. Bozarth spent 19 years with Purcell Tire before taking a job with the old American Retreaders Association (later called the International Tire & Rubber Association), where he rose to the position of executive director.

"It was a slow start, getting everything going," says Bozarth, who now owns Bozarth Tire Industry Consultants and also serves as senior technical consultant to the Tire Industry Association (TIA). "We used a lot of old equipment, we rebuilt a lot of equipment.

"But Bob was a heck of a salesman. He´d go anywhere and call on anyone to make a sale -- early in the morning, late at night, whatever it took. Juanita took care of office procedures. They were very hands-on people."

Ideas flowed freely at Purcell Tire, according to Bozarth. "An idea would pop into someone´s head at lunch time and early in the afternoon it would be, ´When are we going to get started?´ It was unpredictable sometimes."

"Years ago, we used to meet every Saturday morning at a local restaurant," says Juanita. "There would be five of us, including Marvin. Once a discussion was going on and I was on one side of the issue while Bob was on the other side. And I said, ´Let´s just take a vote.´ Marvin spoke up and said, ´Can it be a secret ballot?´" To this day, the Purcells say Bozarth "ranks high on our list."

The Purcells were unafraid to make adjustments when needed. With trademark foresight, they stopped retreading passenger tires in the mid-´70s. "Sometimes I think it might be a good idea to get back into it, but Juanita brings me to my senses," Bob jokes.

The national economy took a turn for the worse in the early ´80s and Purcell Tire felt the impact. "OTR, in particular, was very depressed," he says. "So we went into truck tires in a big way and it turned out to be a savior for us. We developed the truck tire end to a great degree." The company´s experience in OTR helped them make the transition.

"That´s why I call Bob our visionary," says Juanita. "He came in and said, ´We have to start diversifying.´"

Meanwhile, they continued the company´s expansion by acquiring Phoenix, Ariz.-based Western States Tire in 1983. Western States, a longtime fixture in the Southwest, sold and serviced OTR, medium truck and passenger tires; produced truck tire retreads; and operated a thriving wholesale division. The purchase brought Bob and Juanita new business and personnel, including Western States vice president Al Chicago, who currently serves as Purcell Tire senior vice president.

The acquisition of Western States sparked a major growth phase for Purcell Tire. The company added nearly 20 locations throughout the rest of the ´80s and continued adding locations during the ´90s and beyond. Most of the additions were new outlets. "I can´t say (expansion) has happened haphazardly, but I also wouldn´t say there was a very structured plan," says Bob.

The road hasn´t always been smooth. Once, Purcell Tire had been sharing a major account with Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and "we lost the bid," says Juanita. "It just killed us. So I went down to talk to the (customer´s) general manager. He called in their purchasing department and they said, ´You´re $300 a tire higher than Firestone.´

"That was a harrowing experience for me. I wasn´t used to being told ´No.´ And we lost that business for one year. But we got the business back the next year and we´ve had it ever since," due in part, she says, to the customer remembering how well Purcell Tire treated them in the past.

In recent years, Purcell Tire has focused on developing its network of retail stores in the Sun Belt area, particularly Arizona. Retail has been highly profitable, according to Bob. "It´s not as capital intensive as a truck center. You put a truck center in and you need a much larger inventory, plus service trucks."

Giving back

Purcell Tire is one of the largest tire dealerships in the world. Its Purcell West division employs more than 400 people; its Purcell East division employs nearly 500.

Bob and Juanita attribute much of the company´s success to the people who work for them. But a lot of it also is due to their management philosophy.

The Purcells give their employees a tremendous amount of autonomy, according to John Yost, a region manager for Purcell West. "We´re not all stuffed into a box and told to do things a certain way. We´re free to run the business as we see fit."

Yost joined Purcell Tire in 1996 after 25 years with Bridgestone/Firestone. Factors that drew him to the dealership included "the opportunity to be myself, the freedom to do what I knew how to do, and knowing that Bob and Juanita had the resources I needed to be successful.

"I felt like I had more to accomplish and Purcell Tire gave me that opportunity."

"If you keep your employees happy, they keep your customers happy," says Juanita. "Our employees are number one. ´You´re the best of the best!´ That´s what Bob tells them."

Two years ago, the Purcells transferred 100% ownership of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The program is administered through an employee trust. "The driving goal was to reward some of the people who had been with us a long time and deserved credit for getting our company where it is today," says Bob. He and Juanita even financed the first portion of the ESOP (the second part was financed through bonds they bought from Morgan Stanley).

Purcell Tire´s ESOP is unique in several ways, according to the couple. First, employees own 100% of the company´s stock, while many ESOPs involve smaller percentages. Second, new hires are enrolled in the program the day they start and are totally vested within five years. Some ESOPs, say the Purcells, won´t admit new members until they´ve put in at least a couple of years.

Seventy-five-percent of the ESOP is based on salary; the rest is based on seniority. That formula determines how much stock each employee gets. "Most ESOPs are based on salary alone," says Juanita.

The program is, in essence, a retirement plan, according to Juanita. Employees are eligible for payment when they turn 65. Employees who wish to stay on beyond that age can start taking payments at 65 if they choose or let the money sit until they finally retire.

It was an easy sell to their employees. "The day after we announced it, our manager in Springfield, Mo., who is on our communications committee, called and said, ´Bob and Juanita, I think this is just wonderful!´" recalls Juanita. "And I said, ´Well, we´ll have to go around and explain it to everybody.´ He replied, ´What´s to explain? It´s free!"

The ESOP also represented a shift of power within the company. Prior to the ESOP, the Purcells had final say in all of the dealership´s affairs. Now major decisions -- like property purchases, for example -- must be approved by the company´s board of directors, which includes Bob and Juanita, plus Jim Barnett, dean of the University of Akron´s Business School (in Ohio) and Shawn Hayes, CEO of National City Bank in the St. Louis region. If the board grants approval, the decision then goes to Purcell Tire´s ESOP trustee, John Grider, who is employed by the dealership. "We´d have to prove return on investment, our plan to turn (the property) around, return on the bottom line, etc. In some cases, if the trustee can´t justify it, he won´t approve it.

"Our plans are much more formal now," says Juanita. "It´s not just Bob and I deciding ´We´re going to do this´ as opportunities present themselves."

Purcell Tire´s ESOP has improved employee productivity, according to the Purcells. It also has become an excellent recruitment tool.

With the ESOP in place, the couple easily could have slowed down, but fate had other plans. Shortly after the program was established, Purcell Tire lost three key accounts. "Bob and I said, ´We have to go back and work harder,´ and that´s what we did. We´ve since overcome those problems and we want to make sure the ESOP does well."

"They could have sold the company to a competitor and walked away with pockets full of money," says Purcell Tire Region Manager Bill Guttery. Employees now have "a real sense of ownership. Each of us feels like this is our own company."

Different talents

Professionally, the Purcells approach their business from different perspectives.

"I´m the big picture guy," says Bob. "Juanita likes to dot the i´s and cross the t´s."

"Bob watches the sales line and I watch the bottom line," Juanita jokes.

Bob is the company´s "thinker," she says. "He lets everyone do their planning and then comes in and critiques it. As we finish the P&Ls every month, I scan them and approve them before they get e-mailed to each location. I look at each one. Bob waits until all of them are done, and then he looks at the consolidated (number)."

Juanita enjoys the financial aspects of running the dealership. "I take problems apart; it´s fun!"

"She´s uncanny about finding and solving problems," says Chicago. "We always ask, ´How could she pick that (problem) out?´ While Bob is talking to our managers, she´s on the paper side, checking bills and making sure credit is right."

"Bob is the visionary who is unafraid to take risks," says Yost. "He´s out there doing things, and Juanita is right behind him, making the whole thing work.

"I´ve learned a lot from them, especially by observing their ability to build relationships and work with vendors. When you´re the size we are, you need to have trust with your vendors. They´ve worked hard at that over the years, right up to the level of senior management."

Joe Jackson, who supervises all of Purcell Tire´s sales and activities in the East, joined the company 16 years ago after Bob and Juanita invited him to work for them. "I love Purcell Tire because it´s straight-line management," he says. "We´re lean and mean. If you have an issue, it gets resolved today. What makes it so neat is the ability to get answers, put them in place and see the results."

Work is number one

Bob and Juanita Purcell make no excuses about where Purcell Tire resides on their list of priorities. "We talk about the business all the time -- on the way to work, on the way home from work, at the dinner table, and everywhere else," says Juanita.

"When we go to sleep we sometimes take a break from it," says Bob with a wink. "A lot of times we´ll talk business when we´re brushing our teeth."

"We never, ever turn the business off," says Juanita. "The problem is, you find yourself only talking about problems, when there are so many good things.

"A lot of people who have been married for as long as Bob and I don´t have anything to talk about. They don´t have anything in common. We definitely have something in common!"

Both admit that their round-the-clock focus on business isn´t for everybody. "It bothers some people," admits Juanita.

The couple tries to leave as many frustrations as possible at the office. "Juanita doesn´t have stress; she gives stress!" jokes Bob.

"Look who´s talking!" Juanita replies.

The couple´s close rapport keeps them grounded when problems do arise. In March 2002, Juanita´s doctors discovered that she had a heart problem, which called for immediate valve replacement surgery. "We were lucky because we had one of the best artery specialists," she says. Her recovery was slower than originally anticipated, but now she feels as good as new.

Over the years, Bob and Juanita have learned that the principles that build solid marriages can be applied to business. "You have to be sincere," says Juanita. "We need each other; what´s the difference if it´s business or personal? If I make a decision, Bob backs me up, and if he makes a decision, I back him up.

"He makes all the big decisions anyway, like what we´re going to do in Iraq," she jokes. (Bob likes to keep up on current events.)

"And Juanita makes all the small decisions, like what kind of car we´re going to drive," he says. "That´s our standard joke."

The Purcells are deeply involved in various tire industry functions. Bob, in particular, has volunteered countless hours to both TIA and the Missouri Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association. He also is one of the most active contributors to TIA´s annual OTR Tire Conference.

"Our friends are the people within this industry," says Juanita. "We want them to do well. Whenever I hear somebody say, ´Oh, so-and-so is a terrible retreader,´ I just hate it because it gives everybody a black eye."

"Larry Morgan (Morgan Tire & Auto Inc. founder and current TIA president) is a dynamic leader," says Bob. "We never felt threatened by him; we tried to learn from him. The same goes for Brad Ragan Sr. (the late OTR retread pioneer and Brad Ragan Inc. founder) and Les Schwab (Les Schwab Tire Centers founder)."
Other dealerships, in turn, now look to Purcell Tire for inspiration.

In November 2002, Bob was inducted into TIA´s Tire Industry Hall of Fame, along with Jack Woodland. "It was one of the greatest awards I´d ever received. To go through life, doing what you want to do, and to get an award for it?" He remains humbled by the honor. "It´s kind of strange to be in the company of people like Charles Goodyear and Harvey Firestone."

Ahead of the curve

The tire industry is much different than it was when Bob and Juanita moved back to Missouri to help run Purcell Tire 40 years ago. "The changes have been amazing," says Juanita.

The scope of customers´ operations, including the capacity of their equipment, has increased. At mine sites, 350-ton trucks have become commonplace. "Thirty years ago, there wasn´t anything like that," says Bob.

Tire size proliferation has developed into an on-going challenge. "Just to have all sizes of OTR tires available, for example, takes more money than it did years ago. Designs and types have changed and there are a lot more of them. Availability is a big item."

Computerization, which the Purcells have wholeheartedly embraced, has made doing business easier. The couple can track sales and stock throughout the entire company from corporate headquarters in Potosi. "I remember working on the inventory book late one night at the first store we had," says Juanita. "Someone walked by and knocked the book over. It fell apart and I almost cried. Now you can punch a key on your computer and see what your inventory is."

Consolidation has reduced the number of dealerships in the OTR and truck tire arenas, according to Bob. And those who have survived find themselves competing at more intense levels with their own suppliers. "To compete, you try to do the same things that got you where you are," he says. "You try to be honest, truthful and sincere."

Customers expect more brands. "For qa long time, we were 100% Goodyear," says Juanita. Purcell Tire sells Goodyear, Michelin, Yokohama, Toyo, General and Hankook brand tires, plus tires imported by China Manufacturers Alliance LLC.

Finding a profitable niche doesn´t hurt either. "There are lots of people who sell tires, but we´ve gone a step further. Not only can we sell a tire, we can remanufacture a tire, which really lowers the (customers´) price in the right application."

Purcell Tire´s truck tire retread processes include precure, Goodyear Unicircle and mold cure (using CIMA equipment). For OTR retreading the company uses mold cure and segmented mold cure, its Flex Cure system (for radial OTR tires), and Precision Cuts.

"One thing we watch closely is service. If you do service and aren´t billing for it, you´re giving it away. We did $250,000 a month in service at one truck tire center in Phoenix. Our Little Rock, Ark., and Salt Lake City (truck tire) locations aren´t far behind."

On the downside, price has become a bigger consideration among customers. "I still think people do business with people, so we try to stay in contact with our customers," she says. "But it´s gotten harder; they´re busier, we´re busier. You don´t have that personal feel like you used to."

That hasn´t prevented Purcell Tire from earning contracts with some of the world´s leading mines, including Magna, Utah-based Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.; Phoenix-based Phelps Dodge Corp., one of the biggest copper mining outfits on the planet; and Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc., among others.

Sharing their blessings

Neither Purcell has plans to slow down in the near term. Both still work five-and-a-half days a week and spend two weeks at the company´s Phoenix and Las Vegas offices each month.

Maintaining forward momentum remains a goal. While some tire dealerships struggle with managing their growth, Bob and Juanita say expansion is easier than ever now that Purcell Tire is so large. "Right now we´ve moved our retread plant in Phoenix and are selling the old one," says Juanita. "We´ll simply take the money (from the sale) and roll it into a new plant."

Growing Purcell Tire´s ESOP is another priority. "We want to create a lot of wealthy people" within the organization, says Bob.

The Purcells´ participation in a wide variety of charities also keeps them busy. For the past 10 years they have been involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that enables children with life-threatening medical conditions to fulfill their dreams. Purcell Tire has hosted golf tournaments in various cities to raise money for the group; one tournament raised $10,000 for the charity. Juanita, an avid golfer, hit the links with employees, suppliers, customers and other guests, while Bob, a non-golfer, sold sell hot dogs and beer at the concession stand!

The couple donates money to Habitat for Humanity, the Boy Scouts of America, various diabetes groups and the Salvation Army. They also provide money for high school scholarships in Washington County, Mo., which is plagued by high unemployment.

At the top of their list is Pony Bird Inc., a Mapaville, Mo.-based organization that provides residential, recreational, educational and adult day programming services to individuals with severe physical and mental disabilities. The Purcells were introduced to Pony Bird years ago through their relationship with an associate whose son was a resident there. They´ve enthusiastically supported the cause ever since.

Bob and Juanita´s reputation for selflessness even crosses national boundaries. A nun from Canada once had a loader grader owned by the parish where she lived, says Juanita. "She couldn´t get tires for it anywhere else, so she´d call Bob every year. And Bob would duck her and say, ´Tell her I´ll call her back!´"

Bob, who attended parochial school as a child, eventually allowed his conscience to get the better of him and called her back. "She´d send a truck down here from Canada, and we´d retread those tires for free!" To this day, the Purcells aren´t sure how the nun found out about them; Juanita suspects she was referred to them by one of Purcell Tire´s competitors.

The Purcells receive requests for help from various charities each week. The letters don´t go unanswered -- thanks, in part, to a blessing that the couple still remembers after 30 years. After Purcell Tire´s DeSoto retread plant burned down in 1969, Juanita prayed fervently for snow. "This was late October," she recalls, "and it snowed!" As a result, the company was able to get by on winter tire sales. "I´ll never forget it," she says. "That´s why every request gets some money.

"Our needs are met. Our grandson used to say, "I need candy,´ and I´d say, ´No, you want some candy.´ Our wants are few. We´ll never go hungry, we´ll never starve."

Forward momentum

While Bob and Jaunita are quick to shower others with accolades, they also are fiercely proud of their own hard work, perseverance and the sacrifices they have made for one another and their business.

"We always did what was necessary," says Juanita. "Even when Bob worked at General Tire, he´d bring a customer in after having driven a long way. They´d get in at midnight and I´d get up and fix breakfast for them."

While Bob was on the road building Purcell Tire´s client list, it wasn´t unusual for him to land at an airport at 4 a.m., then turn around and put in a full day at the office. "Anybody who is willing to sacrifice and work hard will be successful," he says. "You can be smart and not be successful. Of course, you´ll always run into that one person who has talent and is willing to work; there are occasions when lightning strikes..."

"...or you win the lottery," says Juanita.

"But you have to be willing to work," he says.

Money isn´t always the driving factor, according to Bob. "At the end of the year, we want to have something to show for our efforts. But as far as daily or hourly, I don´t know if that´s the only thing that inspires us to do the right job for our customers.

"Each and every minute of each and every day isn´t always enjoyable. But every morning we want to get up and go to work. I don´t think that´s going to change."

"I once told Bob, ´I´m going to retire,´" says Juanita. "And he said, ´If you´re going to retire, then I want to work forever!´ But then he said, ´If you walk out that door, I´m walking with you.´ I consider that a compliment. And here we are!"