Innovation in the HVACR Workplace
A look into the lives of RGF employees
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Amanda Jasper has worked in the HVACR manufacturing industry a mere seven months, yet seems a seasoned veteran of marketing innovation. The teacher-turned-innovation-junkie is the marketing coordinator at RGF® Environmental Group Inc., located in the balmy sunshine and palm trees of an industrial neighborhood in Riviera Beach. Stepping into the factory, one is immediately impressed with the bright white interior lighting; polished floors; and the plethora of more than 500 tropical plants, flowers, and trees to help with IAQ and a general feeling of well-being.
“We believe a happy team member is a safety-, quality-, and productive-minded employee,” Jasper said. “Our company goal is to be totally vertical. Doing all work in-house gives us the ability to control quality, reduce cost, and reduce lead time.”
The company reached its initial vertical goal in 2015 but still continues examining processes and procedures in an effort to improve all aspects of business. Having earned, and continuing to maintain ISO 9001:2015 certification, RGF has proven itself to be an establishment that prioritizes quality. The company produces more than 500 products — all designed and produced by employees in the Riviera Beach factory. Everything down to the labels on the units is created in the graphics and printing department, where print and laminate wraps for billboards, trucks, trade show booths, and pop-ups are produced.
Back in 1985, RGF Founder and CEO Ron Fink wanted to invent a water recycling product that was not dependent upon chemical technologies, which is how the company came to be. Today, the goal is still to provide the world with the safest air, water, and food without the use of chemicals.
RGF is composed of six divisions. RGF Environmental Systems produces air purification for homes, commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, food processors, and more. The division also produces waste water recycling and discharge systems for commercial and industrial uses, and produces non-chemical systems for purification in the food processing and restaurant industries. The AFL division makes oil spill containment and oil water separators; the Element Air™ Division makes a line of purpose-specific products developed for indoor agriculture and cannabis operations; and RGF-BioControls™ produces FDA 510(k)-compliant air-purification products for hospital and health care facilities, as well as commercial applications for treating vehicle exhaust. The Marine Environmental Technologies and China divisions round out the company’s broad reach.
The China representative office serves as a distribution point for air-purification products exported from the U.S.
“The American flag icon and ‘Made in America’ is a major marketing plus in China,” said Jasper. “Chinese consumers understand there is a level of quality expected to be found in a product manufactured in America.”
RGF environmental systems can be found in a total of 57 countries around the world.
A UNIQUE WORKPLACE
The objective of the company has always been to maintain the integrity of its social responsibilities through its products. It maintains a high level of employee engagement by providing many benefits that are mostly unheard of in manufacturing facilities.
The home office and factory is part of a 7.5-acre complex with a 2-acre stocked lake and a ¾-mile nature trail. More than 60 pieces of artwork adorn the plant, and RGF’s sound suppression system creates a soothing work environment. As an example of more unusual features in a manufacturing facility consider these: a landscaping office with a horticulturist and a brand-new 200-square-foot vertical garden; a fitness center; a lobby with an aquarium and a waterfall; a koi pond; washrooms modeled after Ritz Carlton designs; an atmospheric employee café; an employee micro-market for breakfast and lunch items; and a mini-jungle known as EnvisionLand that is home to peacocks, macaws, iguanas, turtles, and golden pheasants. Some ducks and pelicans show up occasionally, vying for space among the kayakers on the lake. Beyond the natural elements, EnvisionLand features a putting green, pingpong, basketball, horseshoes, a walking trail, and ring toss, all utilized by employees as a way to shift gears, reconnect, and reset throughout their days.
In 2003, RGF purchased a 100-foot mega-yacht and renamed it “Envision.” The yacht serves as a marine research and development (R&D) lab, a product showroom, a perk for high-producing salespeople, as well as for parties, client sales events, and charitable events. RGF engineers and craftsmen undertook a massive retrofit that required more than 13 months to complete, making it “the world’s first environmentally friendly mega-yacht.” The Envision only burns 46 gallons of diesel per hour at 16 knots, when most boats this size would burn 60 to 100 gph. The superstructure of the boat was overhauled, and 10 feet were added, bringing it to a 110-foot, 155,000-pound vessel. In addition to rebuilding the hull and gutting the entire boat, 50 RGF Marine Divison systems were installed onboard.
For the nerdy scientific types, there is an Electro-Mechanical Museum down the hall. The museum, curated by RGF’s very own R&D specialist Jeff Behary, contains more than 642 artifacts dating from the 1700s to the early 1900s by world-renowned inventors, including Nikola Tesla, Benjamin Franklin, George Westinghouse, and Thomas Kinraide. These artifacts have been featured on the History Channel, the Travel Channel, and National Geographic’s “American Genius” as well as many other documentaries around the world. The purpose of the museum is to preserve these rare early technologies and inspire future generations of innovators.
Not enough? There is a Lambogreenie (you’d be shocked) and a Germinator, both enviro-friendly electric vehicles that were engineered, designed, and built in-house by RGF engineers, technicians, and craftsmen. There is something for everyone at RGF Environmental, and for everyone outside of RGF, there is social responsibility. The American Cancer Society, Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, Habitat for Humanity, YWCA, U.S. Navy Seals, and a Puerto Rico hurricane relief effort, among others, have all benefitted from the generosity of a company that believes in improving the quality of lives worldwide.
RGF EnvironmentalEmployee Benefits
- Company-paid vacation
- Company-paid holidays
- Casual dress code
- Continuing education reimbursement
- 401(k) with matching funds
- Bonus program
- Recreational amenities — EnvisionLand, three fitness centers, biking, boating, etc.
- Medical and dental insurance (RGF pays 75 percent of premium)
- Holiday parties
- Salaried employees honor system (no time sheets)
- Factory uniforms for plant employees
- Executive vacation program
- Use of corporate yacht for social events/holiday parties
- Use of the Shark Tank Café, for all employees
For more information, visit www.rgf.com.
Publication date: 4/22/2019