RUSH Construction’s founder, Eduardo Rabel, immigrated to America from Cuba when he was just 16 years old, as a part of Operation Pedro Pan. Rabel says that he was “born twice”: First in Havana, Cuba, and later at a refugee camp in Miami, Florida, where he lived for 7 months before moving to a boy’s home in Kentucky. He later put himself through college, married his college sweetheart, and ultimately fulfilled what we know of as the American Dream.
Before starting RUSH Construction, Rabel spent 15 years working for other general contractors. These experiences inspired him to create a company that would be fun for the employees, and yet able to exceed a client’s expectations. Thus, in 1984, RUSH Construction was born.
For Ed, the most memorable moment in RUSH’s history (since 1984) is the company’s sabbatical in 1996. “This period helped define our corporate culture and vision for the future, including the employee ownership program which will celebrate 15 years on Sept. 7, 2015.” RUSH’s employee ownership program was designed to add an element of succession to the business model, “a foundation for the next generation.”
Outside of work (Ed is now semi-retired), he enjoys building “unusual things”, whether raised platforms and tree houses, bottle fountains, or elevated planters. With a son, a daughter, and two grandkids in town, Rabel enjoys family get-togethers and entertaining his grandkids. “Some friends believe I make the best mojitos,” says Ed. “The kids know I make the best mango milkshakes and root beer floats. My wife handles the healthy foods!”
For those interested in learning more or sharing information about Operation Pedro Pan, the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington D.C. works to archive and collect items regarding the exodus.