The Legacy of Rich Wood

Rich K. Wood was born on April 14th, 1964. He grew up in Napa, CA, and attended Sacramento State between 1983 and 1987.

Rich Wood with his mom Caye Wood

Sometime between 1990 and 1994, he met Mark Rodgers. They worked sitting lined up next to each other with everyone else, much like a classroom. The formality and restrictiveness of the setup didn’t sit well with Rich and Mark.

They talked about starting their own company, somewhere different than other engineering firms.

In 1996, Rich had had enough. He started his firm called RK Wood and Associates (there weren’t any associates – but it sounded nice).

Rich rented a basement office on J Street in Sacramento and sold his boat to buy a plotter. He made his money by doing consulting work for other firms.

In 1997, Mark joined Rich. Together they formed a company called – Wood Rodgers! When Rich Wood and Mark Rodgers started Wood Rodgers, they knew there was a better way to run an engineering firm: one that focused on the work, the clients, and the dedicated employees who came through the doors each day.

A Sacramento Business Journal newspaper article from September 2000
“Rich was my friend. I honestly have never met a person like him that had the drive, foresight intensity, charisma, and absolutely no fear of being different or taking chances. Those qualities still ring loud and clear through our Company today.” -Mark Rodgers

Rich served as president of the company from 1997 to 2009. He was never satisfied with the status quo – his life was always full of fun, exercise, and good times.

In 2009, Rich left Wood Rodgers to pursue other interests, the recession was not an option for Rich.

On March 14, 2013, Rich passed away in an accident at his home in San Francisco.

Rich Wood

Rich was always poised on the ‘up’ arrow. He can be described as working hard and playing hard. He had an infectious grin. This stood out in how he created, formed, and led Wood Rodgers.

Rich Wood Day, celebrated on the Friday closest to his birthday (April 14), we acknowledge Rich’s contributions to our firm and remember all of the great things he and Mark started together.

Many of the things we value most here at Wood Rodgers, started when two men decided to make an engineering company that was different from the rest.

Rich Wood and his do Jay - Drawn by Leo Smiley
“One goal that I had when first starting the company was to create a special company. A company that was not like all the others. A company where you could wear shorts and flip-flops to work, while your suit was anxiously waiting, on a hangar behind the door. A company where things were casual, yet serious. Families, kids, and dogs were at the office all the time. The kitchen was better stocked than mine at home. We would have BBQs at lunch. We would work hard and play hard. Our office space would be comfortable, more like everyone's home. We would offer our employees freedom. How you got the job done was not as important as getting the job done. We would allow people to work from home. We would create a company of the future, not one like from the 1950’s. A company where everyone felt a little bit like an entrepreneur. The goal was to create a truly special company, different than all the rest!” — Rich Wood