Nearly two decades after graduating from high school, Dustin Beardsley has found success as the Chief Executive Officer of Rochester Davis-Fetch Corp (RDF). As a former student of the Building Trades program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, Beardsley attributes some of his success to the principles he learned in high school.
The 1999 Pavilion Central graduate enrolled in the Building Trades program because he liked working with his hands, and he knew from a young age that his career would include the building trades. Beardsley found his time at the Batavia CTE Center beneficial because construction work felt like an actual job.
“You had to be on time and put in the effort. The teaching was top-notch, the same that you’d get at the college level,” he said. “They taught us how to build a house from start to finish, even the finish work. The encouragement that the teachers gave me was what it was all about.”
After graduating from high school, Beardsley enrolled in the two-year Building Trades program at Alfred State College. Following college, Beardsley was placed in a four-year apprenticeship program at RDF through the Carpenters Local 85 (now 276). The company specializes in interior and exterior finishes. His role at RDF was managing site projects at schools, hospitals, and other locations. Beardsley eventually moved into the RDF office and became a project manager/estimator.
“I came to RDF because I didn’t want to work on the residential end of the construction business, and I knew I wanted to work on the commercial side. I wanted to be in the union, so I went and took the test at the Carpenters Union Hall. On the commercial end, the jobs are a lot larger and that’s what I was looking for.”
Beardsley eventually became the Vice President of Sales and coordinated projects for all the company’s estimators. When he moved into the Executive Vice President role, Beardsley took on more of the daily tasks of running the $40 million company. He now serves as the RDF CEO and makes the day-to-day decisions for the company. His goal is to make RDF into a $50 million company over the next several years.
“As the CEO, I run the business not only on the money side, but also what projects we pursue, what tools we purchase to make sure we are ahead of the curve, the company’s finances, and manpower,” he said.
Beardsley has made his former Building Trades Instructor, Rich Monroe, extremely proud. Not only has he worked to build a successful career for himself, but Monroe is impressed with Beardsley’s dedication to giving back to the people and programs that helped him on his journey.
“Dustin hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He’s a guy who put his head down, worked hard, and gained the respect of his colleagues and company,” said Monroe.
Through Beardsley, RDF was a sponsor for this year’s Camp Hard Hat, which is organized by the Wyoming County Business Education Council, and Monroe is one of the Instructors. It gives middle school students the opportunity to learn about the building trades during a week over summer break. Monroe said that Beardsley has also employed several former students of the Building Trades program.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Dustin. All of my former students are my ‘kids’. Some of them are old enough now that they are starting to give back to the program that gave them so much,” said Monroe. “Our students are taught that they are part of a family. Dustin is the perfect example of how you want your kid to grow up.”
While working on RDF’s multi-million-dollar projects throughout New York and some of Pennsylvania, Beardsley has met many different people. It’s the projects and the people that make his job not only enjoyable but challenging. What he suggests to those high school students who are looking to follow a similar path as his – put in the work.
“Start young and make a goal. The effort that you put in is what will make you succeed,” Beardsley said. “Do not just put in 100 percent, put in 110 percent, and always be on time. The first thing that any employer notices is your effort, and whether you give them everything to the best of your ability,” he said. “If so, you will be with them a long time. The job itself can be taught, but a good work ethic cannot be taught.”