Growing with the country
In 1919, one year after the Virginia General Assembly approved the establishment of the first state highway system, R.D. Kirkpatrick and W.S. White founded the Richmond Machinery & Equipment Company (RM&E). They must have sensed the road ahead.
In the ensuing years the Virginia road network grew from 4002 miles in 1918 to over 66,000 in the year 2000. In 1910 it is recorded that there were 2705 vehicles registered in the state, by 2000 the number had exploded to over six million.
Changing with the times
RM&E’s C.E.O., J. Bonnie Colley, joined the firm in 1955 as manager of the parts department, worked as a sales representative, and later served as sales manager. In 1977 he was named a vice president and in 1982 president.
Much of the company’s growth has come under Colley’s direction. New lines have been added in response to changing business and economic conditions, and new markets. The size of the staff has also grown along with the depth of our client list and to keep pace with sales.
Since the company moved to its present location at 1701 Roseneath Road, just off the Boulevard in midtown Richmond, we have purchased adjacent lots and expanded our facilities to cover an entire half of a city block.
“You have to be willing to change with the times,” says J.B. Colley. “You have to try new things and adjust as needed.”
RM&E’s President, Mike Colley, started full time with the company after graduating from Emory & Henry in 1982. He began in the parts department as a counter man, worked his way up to ordering parts and pricing, served a stint in the service end of the business, and ultimately took on a role in outside sales.
As President, Colley’s primary roles are in management and inside sales, but he still spends time on the road representing many of RM&E’s many product lines. “I love getting into my car and driving to the job site,” Mike Colley explains. “Understanding the intricacies of the work our customers are doing, helps us pinpoint systems and equipment that maximize their productivity and profits.”
Investing in people
RM&E is a small, close-knit business. The fact that many of the folks who work here come and stay long-term tells you two things: First that we enjoy and believe in what we’re doing. And second, that we are invested in creating real, solid relationships with our clients.
Our Virginia, regional sales team includes Vice President, Glenn Muse who serves Richmond and the Valley, Gerald Nash who serves southwestern Virginia, Mitch Colley in Northern Virginia, and Denys Bendall in Tidewater.
Other team members include John Gorman, parts manager, Jamie Harley and Joe Carter, parts staff, Donna Smith, inventory control, Kathy Hancock and Dottie Shook, administrative assistants, and Jennifer Carter, treasurer.
In product support is Duck Seay and his staff including technicians Harry Gilbert, Heath Elliott, Billy Brooks, Wallace Coe, Avery Walker, T.D. Durrette, Craig Newcomb, and Joe Ender.
Staying ahead of the curve
“We’re always looking for ways to improve all aspects of our business,” says Mike Colley. “Ideas contributed by contractors, manufacturers, buyers, and our own team keep RM&E vibrant and ahead of the curve.”
“We take great pride in what we do,” says Colley. “Our equipment has paved countless miles of Virginia’s asphalt—from driveways to superhighways—every job we are involved in, every customer we do business with, is important.
RM&E caters to everyone in the road construction and maintenance business, from the veteran contractor to those just getting started. We establish relationships with the hope to serve and grow with a customer as they grow. It is those long-term, close relationships that have made RM&E so successful.
“We like to say we work for a living,” explains Mike Colley. “That means we do whatever it takes. Whether its researching a need, finding a way to finance a new purchase, or locating a hard to find part—we’re here to serve individual people, 24/7. That’s the way you stay in a competitive business like this for close to a century.”