Jack Ruscilli ’66 returned to Findlay for homecoming to participate in his class reunion and spoke with senior journalism/digital media major Sarah Stubbs about the construction of the new Center for Student Life and College of Business. The UF alumnus is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Ruscilli Construction Company, contracted for the new building and one of the largest full-service construction companies in the Midwest. The business is serving as the general contractor for the Center, and in the 1980s built the Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex. He discussed his career successes, which he partially credited to the time he spent at Findlay.
Ruscilli is proud of the work he and his company have provided to the University. “I take great pride in being able to use the talents that Findlay helped develop, and in helping Findlay continue to grow,” said Ruscilli. “It’s very exciting. This project is going to attract a lot of students just like Kohler did.”
When Ruscilli first started working at Ruscilli Construction Company, it was very small and not too many people knew about it. With his background in business and marketing, he started in sales and wanted to find ways to expand awareness of the company. He started looking at advertisement as a source of growth. “It was something construction companies didn’t do,” said Ruscilli. “It was highly irregular.”
In addition to providing advertisements that helped boost sales, Ruscilli also came up with Ruscilli Reports. Through these reports, the company published project renderings in newspapers to provide visuals for what the finished buildings would look like. The company had groundbreakings and provided updates when the walls and structures went up. At the end of construction, a final image would run in the papers, accompanied with a quote from the owner. The reports and advertisements proved to be a success. The company “grew like a weed,” Ruscilli said and is still growing today.
The personal attention that Ruscilli received at UF has also been mirrored in his own career and the rest of his life. He found faculty at Findlay College took the time to learn his name and provided him with all the attention he needed. It was a welcomed difference from the auditorium-sized classrooms and student teachers he experienced while briefly attending a larger state university. Since graduation, he has paid that consideration forward and backward by providing special attention to his customers, including the University.
When asked what advice he had for current students at UF, Ruscilli spoke of finding something that excites them. “Go for it! Give it a try,” he said. “If it excites you, you’ll find you’re going to be much more successful.”
See Sarah Stubbs interview with Ruscilli below.