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Home | SAN ANTONIO | Spotlight | Spotlight - Jerry Rentz, Rentz Electric

Spotlight - Jerry Rentz, Rentz Electric

image Jerry Rentz, President, Rentz Electric, San Antonio, TX

SAN ANTONIO - Growing up in a small town has fond memories for Jerry as evident by the twinkle in his eyes. So much so that he knew early on the small town he grew up in would be home his entire life and that is where he would remain to raise his family.





    Following his father’s footsteps, Jerry continues the work his father started and much like his dad, he shares the same passions for family, hunting, fishing, golfing and development.

Where did you grown up?

    I grew up in Boerne, TX. 

What was it like growing up in Boerne?
    A lot has changed since I moved to Boerne 42 years ago. Growing up in a small town taught me the value of family, friends and neighbors. Back in the day, everyone knew each other and did what you could to help each other out.  I graduated the Class of 1979 from Boerne High School, together with 99 of my fellow classmates.

What did you do after graduation?

    After graduation, I went to San Angelo State on a football scholarship and played for two years.  Due to an injury, I was forced to quit football and made the decision to come home and work.

Did you get your degree?
    No, I never did get my degree.

Did you start Rentz Electric?

    My dad, Jerry Rentz Sr., started the company in 1961.  My brother Kirk and I took over the business in 1996.

How long have you been doing electrical work?

    During my high school years, I worked under my dad, in the field for three summers.  After coming home from college, I worked full time alongside the men in the field.  Subsequently, following a five-year period of time, I acquired my Journeyman’s license.  It was then that my dad brought me into the office to start learning estimation. Up until then, dad estimated on his “Big Chief” tablet and ultimately decided to send me to school to learn electronic estimating.  To answer your question, I am going on 41 years in the electrical trade.

When did you take over the business?
    I started working full time in 1982 and trained under my dad’s guidance until 1996 when my brother, Kirk, and I took over Rentz Electric.

What do you like most about electrical work?

    I actually like the design stage of the job and overseeing the project to its completion. I also enjoy the camaraderie that has resulted from the relationships with contractors over the years. The least favorite part of my job would be the constant changing of rules and regulations.  It is difficult to keep my men educated with the newest code and directives made mandatory by state and local agencies. Rentz Electric’s continued commitment to our owners, contractors and employees are crucial to the success of our business. However, the ongoing changes in policies continue to put a huge burden on the management, training and financial aspect of the business.   

Are you married?

    Yes, I have been married to my wife Lisa for 28 years.
How many children do you and Lisa have?

    We have two boys, Austin who is 27 and Devin who is 24.

Are they involved in the company?
    Yes, both boys are working for the company, together with my brother’s boys, Reagan and Carter.  They are all licensed journeyman electricians.  Carter just graduated from college and will be joining the team this year.

What role are your boys playing in the company?

    Austin is an estimator and in project management.  Devin is responsible for ordering material, accounts receivable and payables.

Are you grooming them to take over the company?

    Absolutely.  My brother and myself are training the boys in all areas of the business.

Was the transition difficult in taking over the business?
    I thought it might be, but it wasn’t.  My brother and I were working together with my mom and dad for several years, before the transition occurred.  We were extremely fortunate to have had a heavy workload during that time and, even though my parents were officially retired, we knew they would always be there to support us.

Is your father still around?
    No, we lost our dad 11 years ago.  His death was the toughest time in my life.  He was an amazing man and mentor.

How has the business changed since you and Kirk took over?
    When my dad was in charge, Rentz Electric worked primarily on residential and small commercial projects.  When I started estimating, the company began transitioning into more of a commercial operation.  By the time Kirk and I took over, we had transitioned solely into a large commercial company.

Did you ever have a desire to do anything besides electrical?

    Other than my hobbies, I love the electrical trade.  The labor side of the business is demanding and you have to stay on top of it every day, but other than that, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What kind of hobbies do you have?
    My first love is hunting and fishing with my family.  I also do some small real estate investing and development.

Does your wife hunt, too?

    She is always with me, but isn’t as excited about “pulling the trigger” any more.  The boys have taken over in that respect.

Do you just hunt domestic or do you hunt exotics as well?

    We primarily hunt domestics, but we hunted Africa once before.  It was an amazing experience, but now have choosen to stay closer to home where we can hunt together as a family.  We also spend a lot of time in Rockport where my parents retired.  As a kid, we spent lots of weekends there fishing as well.

Any plans for retirement?

    Yes.  As soon as the boys learn the business, I will retire.

How long do you think that will take?
    Probably another three-five years.  The boys are doing a great job learning the business, but experience can’t be rushed.  I can tell you that I will be ready to pass the torch, just as my dad did for me. –cmw

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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net