Raised in Buffalo, my parents eventually bought a farm the small town of Franklinville, New York: it was like I belonged there my whole life. I learned a lot in the country. It was on the farm at the age of 16 where I bought my first welder, and my dad helped me hook it up. We set it up in the barn, and I have been welding pretty much ever since.
When I graduated high school I went to Ohio Diesel. Technical Institute and studied diesel mechanics. Over the years I’ve had many jobs from farming, diesel mechanics, Harvestore silo service man, and even as a decommission operator at a nuclear fuel reprocessing power plant.
In 1988, I was looking for something different, and attempting to get away from the Great Lake effect cold, so I moved my family to Washington, Virginia, to manage a beef farm. There I was given the opportunity to do some welding for the farm, which is where I made my first iron gates, as well as for other farmers in the community. I really fell in love with the creativity welding had to offer.
After over 10 years of managing the farm, I opened Rick's Custom Welding, Inc. in 1999 and began welding full time.