I was born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio. At the time, this small town was populated by 46,000 people and was voted the best place in America to raise a family. My father worked for B&O Railroad and my mom was a housewife. She took me to church every day, and afterwards we would always stop at the L&K for a roll and coffee. I was in the boy scouts as well, went to Washington elementary and West junior high school.
I started working at an early age delivering the Grit magazine, mowing lawns, shoveling snow – I basically had my own small business! At age 16, I started working at a factory called Quincy Doors. That’s where I got my nickname “Rooster.” A guy I worked with couldn't pronounce my last name and would call me “Roostifer” instead of Rutherford. Soon, it just shrunk down to “Rooster.” When they hired another kid from my school, word got around quickly. To this day everyone in my hometown calls me “Rooster”!
When I was 21 I started a business venture with my neighbor who was 18. We opened the doors to our pizza shop in 1976, and grew the business nicely. In 1982 I sold my share of the business to my partner so I could move with my two sons and my wife to Sarasota, Florida.
Since then, I’ve had a few business ventures, and eventually decided to get my first “real” job in over 20 years selling Cadillacs and then Fords in St. Augustine, Florida. In 2009 I returned to Sarasota to work at Sarasota Ford, where I met my current boss at Lazydays. He asked if I could drive to Tampa and work at Lazydays where he worked in sales at the time. I asked if it was a furniture store and he laughed. I initially started working at Lazydays in 2003, but my wife got sick, so I took a few years off to take care of her. I returned in September 2011, and it feels great to be back and see all my old friends! Lazydays is just like home to me. I feel like I’ve never left. There is so much integrity here and all the support you need. From the employees to the customers, we’re all family.