In this 2005 interview, host Ed Sutkowski interviews Bob Parsons, founder of Parsons Manufacturing. The Roanoke plant—destroyed by a tornado in July 2004 as employees remained safe in the company’s storm shelters—has been rebuilt and is back to full production.
“Farm boy,” Bob, with a penchant for “building things” first became a U.S. Navy ship fitter, then a welder in 1972, and then a self-taught engineer and custom parts manufacturer. He grew his business from a one-man single-stall-garage operation to a 260,000 square foot facility; in early 2004, Parsons Company, Inc. employed more than 180 people. An F-5 level 200-mile-an-hour tornado “pancaked” the facility in July of 2004. Thankfully, no one was injured and it was rebuilt and fully-operational within 12 months. In this conversation, see, hear and feel Bob Parsons’ definition of “character” as well as his view of the world and his place in it!