Owner, operator of multiple companies, chairman of the board of Builders Care, third vice president of NEFBA’s Executive Committee, active in his church and perhaps most important of all grandfather of three, Gene Rover is a busy man.
He is happy about that. He enjoys all those roles and thrives on being involved.
A Jacksonville native, Rover is an Englewood High School graduate. After graduation, he worked for a couple of local plumbing companies where he met Bob Olson. In 1978, he and Olson started B&G Plumbing Co. Olson opted to retire in 1986.
Rover credits his employees for his company’s success. Of his 40 employees, he said the majority have been with him 10 years or longer.
“Terry McGill, our vice president, has been here 35 years,” Rover said. “Dennis Schultz, field superintendent, has been here 27 years and Julie Longo, purchasing agent, has been here 18 years. This is a family business, and our family includes the people who have been loyal, dedicated employees.”
Rover’s wife Debbie has worked with B&G Plumbing since 1988 primarily responsible for payroll and employee benefits.
About five years ago, Rover had an encounter with a heating and air-conditioning company that prompted him to enlarge his business.
“I wasn’t happy about what happened to me, and thought I could do a better job especially on the customer service end of the business,” he said. “I contacted Scott Martin who had sold his heating and air company and approached him about incorporating the heating and air with plumbing to better serve our customers in Northeast Florida.”
B&G Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC was incorporated in 2010. In 2011 the company was recognized by Bryant as a Top Business Partner and received the Bryant Florida Leadership Award.
Rover became involved with NEFBA’s Builders Care in 2006 when then-executive director Bill Wilson and chairman of the board Ken Kuester asked him to join them in the effort to eradicate substandard housing in Northeast Florida.
“I fell in love with the mission of Builders Care,” Rover said. “And, I was proud to serve as second chair working with Bill and Ken during those early years.”
Rover continues to work with Builders Care and now serves as the chairman of its board of directors.
Rover serves on NEFBA’s Executive Committee and was recently invited to serve on the Florida Home Builder Association’s Associate Members/Trades Council by FHBA President Jerry Linder, former NEFBA president. He looks forward to an active role because NEFBA has been an important factor in the development and success of his professional life.
“NEFBA offers huge networking opportunities,” he said. “It’s been important to me for providing updates on the changing regulatory environment, information about new products and a chance to meet new vendors. I value the fellowship, too, and have found members to be ethical men and women, people I trust.”
The staff at NEFBA earns high praise from Rover, as well.
“We have a gem in Corey Deal,” Rover said. “We were very fortunate Corey was available to take the executive director’s position when Daniel Davis left to become president of the JAX Chamber. Corey had been NEFBA’s government affairs director so had made some strong, important connections and he certainly has the business acumen to lead the association. Most important, he has a heart for people and for bringing the association together and making it even stronger.”
NEFBA’s executive director has the same level of admiration for Rover.
“Gene is an excellent addition to the Executive Committee,” Deal said. “I know I can count on him to grasp the complexities of the issue and to be direct and insightful in solving problems and developing solutions. He has a deep understanding of the association’s purpose and goals and is willing to give 100 percent to help us reach those goals. His passion for Builders Care shows his commitment to helping those in need and his compassion for the less fortunate and underserved in our community.”
Rover puts his business expertise to good use on the finance committee at Holy Spirit Catholic Church where he is also a member of the men’s club.
The Rovers have two children: Amanda Caruso is a corporate lawyer in Orlando, and Brandon is a public defender here in Jacksonville. Amanda and her husband Jimmy have three children: Reece (4), James (2) and Cooper (2 months) who keep them on the road to Orlando often.
The Rover and Caruso families are avid Seminole fans and often travel in support of their beloved Noles.
When time permits, the Rovers have a get-away in Welaka where they like to fish, boat and relax with friends, many from Jacksonville.