Jay Bosshardt was thirteen years old when he got his first job at Redmond. “My brother and I were in charge of watching the warehouse,” he says. “When a customer came, we would call home so my mom could run out to the salt yard to get my dad.”
The year was 1960, and Jay’s father, Lamar, and uncle, Milo, were working hard to create the company that would become Redmond, Inc. Jay worked with the company for years before enrolling at Brigham Young University, recognizing that Redmond could use some accounting help.
“I didn’t necessarily like accounting, but the company needed some help there,” Jay says. “Somebody had to do it, I guess, so I got the degree and headed back home.”
After taking a break from Redmond to teach elementary school for two years, Jay and his father agreed that the company had untapped potential. In 1980, Lamar convinced Jay to return to the family business and help strengthen the company’s culture.
“My education, and some books I was reading, convinced me that this family-owned business had the potential to become much more,” Jay says. “It wasn’t about becoming bigger financially, it was about being able to make the world around us better.” In 1986, Jay’s appetite for change and growth led the company to work with BYU’s MBA program. A few years later, Jay introduced the family to Rhett Roberts, then a recent MBA graduate, who would become the company’s CEO and principle owner.
“We had a common philosophy about how to run a business and how to make it great,” Jay says, “but Rhett had the skills we needed to make that vision a reality. After a while, the family agreed that we would be better off—and the world would be better off—if we sold the business.”
With customary humility, Jay hesitates to acknowledge his role in Redmond’s continuing success. Now semi-retired, he leads personal finance training sessions for the company and has played a major role in expanding Redmond’s involvement in humanitarian projects around the world.
“I’ve always gotten fulfillment out of helping others,” Jay says. “We’re looking for humanitarian projects for Redmond to get involved with, both locally and internationally, that will be an opportunity for associates and people in other countries to have meaningful interactions with each other.”
Jay devotes much of his time to finding opportunities like these. In six months he’s been to Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and the Philippines, sharing his resources and talents in new ways. “I didn’t dislike my work in accounting,” Jay says, “but I love the way I spend my time now.”