Rabine Group History
The Rabine Group is a story of the American Dream.
This is a story of the American Dream. A man and his son turn a local sole proprietorship targeting consumers into one of the area’s fastest growing B2B companies—a multi-million dollar construction services business. At its core, the company retains the same values and customer orientation that sparked its initial success.
Gary Rabine and Sons was established as a sole proprietorship in the early 1960s to provide light grading, excavating, tree removal, sand, gravel and topsoil delivery services for residential customers in Northern Illinois. Gary L. Rabine was the only full-time employee and his workforce consisted of his four daughters, two sons and several part-time employees.
Gary Rabine enjoyed laboring with his dad and running small equipment. His specialty became grading yards and driveways. In 1976, Gary was hired for $5 per hour to work for the paving company owned by a family friend. The experience led Gary to realize his passion was paving. Not only did he love the activity of sealing, paving and coating roads, lots and driveways, but he also was fascinated by the materials, the machinery and the science behind the work.
Upon graduating from high school, Gary continued working for his father’s business, concentrating on paving services, and ultimately entered into a partnership with him. From 1981-1991, paving services grew to represent over 90% of the small company, and by the end of 1993, the business had reached almost $2 million in sales. In May of 1994, Gary bought his father’s share.
By 2000, under Gary’s leadership, the firm had doubled its geographic service area, tripled gross revenues and grown to 40 people. Business results made it possible to achieve further growth in accelerated fashion through acquisition of six hot mix plants and three companies between 2001 and 2005. The firm also launched several new locations. Taking these steps resulted in 500+% growth to more than $33 million in total sales and a workforce of more than 250 people.
In 2006 and 2007, The Rabine Group continued to thrive despite challenging economic conditions: two additional companies—Rabine Paving America and UltraLot—were launched with great success. In 2008, Palatine Oil Company was acquired and Roofing Solutions and Roofing Solutions America were introduced. By 2011, the team had expanded to more than 350 people with annual total revenues topping $190 million.
With 2000% growth in the past decade, The Rabine Group has been recognized by Crain’s as one of Chicago’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and is one of INC 500’s top privately held companies for 2011. Behind it all is the passion Gary Rabine has for the science of facility services and a burning determination to deliver the very best quality services for customers. In 2012, he was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year ® Award, and was inducted into the UIC Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Says the architect of The Rabine Group: “Growth for the sake of growth is not our objective. Our objective is to provide cutting edge service and the technology to our customers and constant opportunity for our company’s future leaders.”