Ridgeback Continues Expanding Its Services, Serving Central Florida and Beyond
A leader in Polk’s Mechanical Engineering industry, Ridgeback strives to bring more value to its customers and employees.
Brannon “Bo” Patzer grew up working for his father in the mechanical industry until his father sold the business and retired in 1997. A decade later, on Aug. 15, 2007, he and his wife, Mieka, were presented with an opportunity to start their own business, Ridgeback.
“Mieka got busy forming the company and I got to work,” he said, adding that the decision wasn’t hard. “I wanted to create a work environment where people like to come to work. Working all my life, everyone was just a number. I wanted to bring more value to our employees and our customers.”
Ridgeback is a “certified mechanical contractor that specializes in installations, repairs, and maintenance of industrial and process-related mechanical equipment,” according to its website. It provides unique solutions while prioritizing safety in four service areas: mechanical, industrial, fabrication and emergency.
The company employs 20 people from its Lakeland office, and much of its work is in Central Florida, although, Patzer said, “We have traveled to work in Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Texas, North Carolina and Maryland.”
Patzer said the company’s industrial side includes many services. “We do a lot of welding and fabrication.”
In 2022, which Patzer said was a good year, “We got our R Stamp to perform code repairs on pressure vessels, boilers, etc. We do try to expand in some way every year.”
The ‘R’ stamp, issued by The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, helps ensure work on such equipment is completed by capable fabricators who meet the requirements of the code.
This year has been “amazing,” Patzer said, “and it’s not over yet. We have been working on building an amazing team, we rebranded, added a couple service vehicles and gained some amazing new customers.”
The company plans to keep growing in 2024. “We have been blessed with many opportunities and pray they continue to come our way. We try to meet every need of our customers no matter how big or small.”
Patzer cares about the people who work for him. “I want to build a business that people can retire from, not just work for. Employees are what make a business and we want ours to come to work with a great attitude and feel appreciated.”
He lives by his mottos of honesty and integrity, and “treat everyone as an equal.”
Hiring has been challenging in a tight labor market, he said, especially “finding employees that fit our vision for growth and take pride in their trade.”
RIDGEBACK PAYING IT FORWARD
Patzer said Ridgeback plans to keep getting more involved with the community.
“We have sponsored the Coastal Conservation Association of Polk County since 2015, and 2023 will be our third year sponsoring the Breast Cancer Foundation of Central Florida.”
It also sponsored the National Wild Turkey Foundation event in 2023 and donates to school fundraisers like the Future Farmers of America and athletics.