We had the good fortune of connecting with Roberto Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roberto, how do you think about risk?
I define risk as a leap of faith into the unknown. Pursuing something you do not have full control of but knowing that in the process, you’ll be encountering challenges that will push you to get out your comfort zone and upgrade your mind, attitude, and skills. No matter the outcome, there’s always one thing that is for sure when taking risks, and that is gaining experience! Which to me is a priceless perk that comes with taking risks. Without taking risks, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I used to be a professional baseball player. Although I only played pro for six years, I spent 15 yeas of my life dedicated to that career. In those years I developed the habits and work ethic that will always push me to the next level. After my baseball career ended I was completely lost, I didn’t know what else I was good at. I had been playing baseball since I was 8 years old so that was the only thing I knew how to do. I started working as warehouse associate, delivery driver, etc. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I did not want to be an employee. All the jobs had something in common: They all had a cap, limiting their workers’ potential. I remember being depressed for a few years because I couldn’t play baseball anymore and being unable to find something else I was passionate about. I tried going to school for computers, and other subjects and yet, I was not happy. After becoming an HGTV channel junkie I realized that I could shift my passion for baseball into remodeling houses. I learned that in the construction industry I wouldn’t have a cap, I could move up as high as I wanted to. That’s when I started my journey to have my own business. I started from the very bottom, delivering materials to job sites, picking up debris, doing demolition and other stuff, but I had a goal in mind. After my duties were done, I would stay at the last job site and watch the more experienced guys work and ask them millions of questions so I could learn. After a year of doing this I was able to start helping the lead guy on the jobs sites, until I gained enough skills to be in charge of the project. After this, I knew what the next level was: start my own business! I founded my first company in 2017 in Arizona. I had no clients, I just knew I had to start somewhere. A week later Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, so I took the risk of making the move to Houston to work on repairing the damaged homes. That company was open for three years, there I learned what I wanted to do in my business, basically a trial and error stage.
In January 2020 I founded my current company Ark Remodeling Services, a general contracting business that specializes in kitchens and bathroom remodels. I knew this company was going to face a lot of challenges in order to grow. So far the biggest challenge has been to let go and trust others to help me grow, trust others to manage and produce the jobs with the quality and service my clients deserve. I’m overcoming that challenge by doing something very simple; being honest and fair with others. By doing this it’s possible to have genuine connections with people, let them know that you truly want to help and lookout for their best interest. Once the connection is established, the results are amazing. This is how I go about my clients and the great men and women who are part of Ark Remodeling Services. That’s what sets us apart from others. We are truly passionate about what we do and we really want to help. Our priority is to create a relationship with our clients and our workers, everything else is just a perk.
I chose the name Ark after the Bible story of Noah’s Ark. In Houston, construction contractors have a very bad reputation which is very understandable. There are many contractors out there preying on the ones in need, so I wanted to choose a name that resembled security and trust, something you can count on in the middle of the storm. Today, I’m extremely proud to be part of the Houston community, to serve them and to bring happiness to my clients after remodeling their homes. I could not have gotten this far alone, I am very appreciative of everyone I work with for their hard work and dedication. I am blessed to have them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The great city of Houston has so many cool places to visit. I personally have many places that I haven’t visited yet, but my week tour with my friend would be filled with lots of food stops, Latin dancing and museum visits.
On Monday we would go to eat shrimp botanas and drink margaritas at Taqueria Arandas.
Tuesday afternoon go for a walk at the Memorial park. Then, stop by The Burger Joint to regain the calories we just burned.
On Wednesday we would go to the Marq-E and spend an hour at Escape It Houston and later have pizza at Russos or a Lobster sandwich at Maine-ly Sandwiches.
On Thursday visit Seismique and the museum of Natural Science.
Friday night we would go to Paisa Twins for some empanadas, and then get some pre-game drinks at La Tapatia restaurant on Ritchmond Av. to later hit the dance floor at Club Tropicana.
On Saturday night go out for some picanha and caipirinhas at Gauchos Do Sul.
On Sunday have brunch with mimosas at the Black Walnut, then go play at the Sunday baseball game.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have several people who deserve recognition in my story, but four of them stand out the most. I’ll count my parents as one: They taught me to never be just one more person in the crowd and to always do my best, no matter the obstacles or limitations.
My baseball coaches from my first years of professional baseball career in the Dominican Republic. With them is where I started pushing my body and mental limits in order to reach next levels in my starting career. With their patience and dedication, they helped me push through mental and physical barriers that would help shape my work ethic for the rest of my life.
Julio Guzmán. He is a General Contractor in Maryland and my Brother-in-law. With him is where I started my first job in the construction industry. He gave me the opportunity to be part of his house remodeling team knowing that I had no experience, which cost him to have to deal with a lot of my mistakes. Even though those mistakes would cost him money and delays in the job, he was always kind to me and taught me the lessons to better myself.
Lastly, David Allen, from a remodeling company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, named Travek. David was a Lead Carpenter and I was his helper. With him is when I first started remodeling full bathrooms and kitchens, and even build entire houses, just the two of us. He gave me the opportunity to perform all of the work-related duties on my own until my skills were sharpened and good enough to be able to move up to a Lead Carpenter position.
I received the advice, mentorship, and work ethics from the people mentioned above so I can later on have the aptitude skills and tools to become an entrepreneur.
Risa Tallent Jim Bettis Anita Bettis