Custom Cedar Fences has a core of three owners, each bringing a unique set of skills and experiences to the enterprise. Each of us is fully capable of leading a team to visualize and create your unique project, but most often we work together to give you the full benefit of all of our capabilities. We all share a love and respect for what we do – and that cannot help but be reflected in the products and services that we co-create.
John Roberts is the founder and majority owner of the business. He retired from DaimlerChrysler in 2001 after 34 years of service growing from the engineering discipline. His work-life philosophy served Chrysler well and can be summed up in one simple thought – “its amazing what you can get done if you’re not worried about who gets the credit”. The results of this philosophy can be best observed in the team effort that produced the $1.6 Billion product development and headquarters complex in Auburn Hills, Michigan. One of a handful of individuals who helped sell the concept to Lee Iacocca, the author of the document that helped change the concept from a “move in kind” to “an opportunity to build a new car company” and acting as Program Manager to bring the world-class $850 million Scientific Test Facility from specification to final commissioning all grew from this philosophy.
John built his first cedar fence in 1975 to rigorous standards that were not part of the fence industry at that time. The reasons for these tighter specifications were rooted in physics and mathematics. The philosophy was simple – frame the fence such that the total life of the fence was maximized for the materials involved. That fence still stands in 2009 – still straight – still with the original posts - and still without sagging. Those construction standards are now incorporated in every offering from Custom Cedar Fences.
John has several outside interests including music (tenor soloist and/or music director for 30 years), amateur musical theater (various lead and support roles over 30 years) and history – particularly early Christian origins and spirituality. He tries to maintain a degree of computer literacy – as much of his professional career involved the evolution of computers, starting with the earliest applications of this technology into the testing environment. He is also an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.
Rick Beers has been part of Custom Cedar Fences since 2003 and his association with John goes back at least 20 years. He spent 25 years in the automotive and automotive support businesses. While at General Motors Rick worked in Purchasing, Materials Management and Manufacturing. While there, he was part of the teams that developed GM's Integrated Just in Time manufacturing process and International Logistics programs. After leaving GM, Rick worked in the Supplier Community helping them develop their JIT programs. During that time he was involved in many Specialty Vehicle programs including The Syclone, Typhoon and Natural Gas Vehicles.
Rick embraced the unique quality standards of Custom Cedar Fences from the onset. He was a Certified Facilitator for the Aubrey Daniels Corporation. This company provided executive training in Performance Management from a Quality Control Standpoint. His expertise in these areas help ensure that we produce the BEST product every time.
From a personal view, Rick has been married for 37 years, has 2 children and 3 grandchildren. He is proud of his 10 years of service in the US Marine Corps. Brandon, his son, continues service to our Country in the US Air Force. He is a Captain and is currently serving in the Space and Missile Command.
Rick has always loved working with kids. Besides coaching baseball, soccer and hockey he served as Youth Director at Community Congregational Church. He also shares a love of music, from a different standpoint. He was a drummer in some Rock and Roll bands.
Tom Roberts is the latest full-time addition to Custom Cedar Fences. He is John's son of 35 years. If it can be said that any of the 3 owners have the greatest commitment to quality, then that owner would be Tom. Tom also brings unique hands-on skills in carpentry, plumbing, wiring, welding, scale modeling, electronics and computer programming.
Each and every job that Tom has ever held has benefited from his unique ability to evaluate and improve processes. He has never been content to accept things “just because” and continually challenges us to reexamine and explain why we do what we do.
Toms outside interests are varied, but currently have their focus in the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is a society that emulates the medieval codes of chivalry. Tom competes in medieval martial arts, and holds the rank of Knight. Understandably, he particularly enjoys the demolition part of every job.