DOWNEY – Downey resident Rick Rodriguez was one of 13 people honored by Farmers & Merchants Bank at its “California’s Strongest People You Can Bank On” awards ceremony Nov. 13 at Parker’s Lighthouse in Long Beach. Rodriguez, owner of security firm RMI International and founder of the Living Tree Foundation, was presented the Gratitude Award for hiring nearly 200 U.S. veterans. Below is a brief biography of Rodriguez, provided by Farmers & Merchants Bank, which explains why he was chosen to receive the Gratitude Award:
“Rick Rodriguez is the proud father of two combat veterans. Before returning home, one of Rick’s sons said something that would change his life: “Dad, I have 42 soldiers under my command they’re all getting out. Little by little, I have to get them jobs.” He realized that the countless soldiers were returning from combat and needed to put their talents and energy to good use back home.
“Always a man of action, Rick addressed the issue head on. He began hiring veterans at his security firm RMI International and paying for their training and licensing. Word traveled fast about rick’s efforts to hire vets and soon the Long Beach office of the State Employment Department started sending job-seeking vets his way.
“Rick has now hired nearly 200 vets and they comprise more than 67 percent of his workforce. He trains them, equips them and has them job-ready within three weeks of their hire date.
“Rick also established the Living Tree Foundation, which collaborates with various nonprofit organizations to support vets and their families. Additionally, he has partnered with the Jonas Project to help a terminally ill marine take his family to Disneyland and volunteers as a chaplain with the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton.
“Millions of veterans just like Rick’s two sons have given selflessly to protect our freedom at home. Rick is showing his gratitude by giving of himself to help them when they return to civilian life.
“Farmers & Merchants Bank has been proudly doing business with Rick Rodriguez Sr. for one year.”
Published: Nov. 27, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 33