At the end of 2022, President and owner Bob Hanstra officially hands the reins of Reliable to the 4th generation!
Bob got his start at Reliable when he was 25 years old. He was happy being a bicycle mechanic but his father and current owner Jim Hanstra convinced him that pest control was more of a career, and that it was! Under the wise instruction and example of his father, Bob helped develop the quality of technicians employed at Reliable and when termite inspections declined, created a residential preventative maintenance program in the 1990s which more than made up for the decline in termite work.
Bob had to develop his business leadership skills quickly after only seven years in the business when Jim died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1983. Bob and his mother Phyllis, now owners of Reliable, had one day to decide whether to sell or keep the company. Relying on faith and help from Dr. Gary Bennett and the Purdue Entomology Department, Reliable resumed operations. They met with the company’s accountant and were told to expect a definite decline in business after Jim’s passing due to his personal relationships with the customers. At the end of the next year, Bob and Phyllis met with the accountant again. He said, “I can’t believe this. The business didn’t even suffer a decline, but actually increased!” All thanks to the faithfulness of God!
Bob overcame many other challenges in his 47 years at Reliable and in the end still had a successful company with a great reputation to pass to his children. Bob says, “One of my main business goals has been to run an honest business that I could pass on to at least one of my kids. Andrea’s been in the business for 13 years now, and she and her husband Phil have really been managing things for at least the last 6 or 7 years. I’ve been coaching a little (not too much) from the sidelines. Tony came in 2 years ago to help out, so having 2 kids and a son-in-law take over is pretty hard to beat! Not too many businesses make it 4 generations. We have a lot to be thankful for!”
We are thankful for Bob Hanstra’s 47 years of leadership and congratulate him on his retirement at the end of this year. His daughter Andrea, her husband Philip, and also his son Tony will continue to lead Reliable with integrity and a commitment to our community.