Woodard Receives Family Business Award 2016

Woodard is honored to be one of several companies recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal for our business’ longevity, entrepreneurship, perseverance, creativity, and community involvement.

This is the first year that the St. Louis Business Journal has presented this award. They received over 65 nominations, of which only seven companies received this recognition (via bizjournals.com). There were three categories in which a business could win; each business was placed into its designed category based on the generation currently running the business. Woodard was the recipient of the 3rd generation award along with two other local businesses. Our company President, Justin Woodard, is the grandson of Woodard’s founder and WWII veteran, Earl Woodard, and the son of Charlie Woodard, CEO.

The story behind Woodard’s founding is certainly a unique one. During WWII, Earl was aboard a Boeing B-17 and as they flew over Nazi occupied Germany in northern France, the plane was hit with massive flak completely damaging the plane. The captain immediately ordered everyone to evacuate the plane; half of the men were immediately captured by the Nazis and the other half (including Earl) were rescued by the members of the French Resistance. Over the course of the next two months, he was smuggled through France walking through the Pyrenees Mountains to get to Spain. A variety of people helped Earl evade capture from the Germans. He was provided fake papers from Paris in order to make his way past German guards and onto Spain, ending up in a Spanish prison. A negotiation was made allowing Earl to return to the United States.

Upon Earl’s return home, he met his soon-to-be-wife, Nancy, on a train headed to St. Louis. After three months they were married and started an in-home carpeting cleaning company operating out of the family car. Nancy’s family, specifically her father, educated Earl on the newly evolving technology of in-home cleaning. Then, in 1950, Earl and Nancy opened a rug cleaning plant in Rock Hill, MO. Today the plant is known as Woodard’s Rug Care Center which houses the only MORTM Rug Cleaning Machine located in the Midwest.

“I believe that was one of my parent’s better decisions. At the time, traditional rug cleaning plants were down in the city, which was not convenient for the folks located in St. Louis County.” – Charlie Woodard, CEO and Earl & Nancy’s son

In 1985, Woodard expanded the company from cleaning services only to fire and water restoration. As the company grew, our facilities needed to as well. In the early 2000s the ContentCare CenterTM was built to house and process all items that were affected by a fire in a customer’s home. We also run a warehouse that contains all of our water restoration and cleaning equipment, located across from our Rug Care Center on Manchester Road. Most recently, in 2014, Woodard consolidated three of their office spaces into one building known at the Customer Response Center.

Today, Woodard has four facilities, 200 employees, and projects close to $23 million dollars in revenue. As President, Justin hopes to drive the company to be a $25 million dollar company and help 1 million people get back to their lives.

“I am incredibly proud of the company that my grandfather and father have built over the last 70 years. It is truly an honor to be able to continue my family’s legacy. To ensure our success, we encourage our employees to live out the Woodard Way in their daily lives – Do What’s Right, Learn Every Day, and Serve Others. Through these core values, we will achieve our goal of helping people get back to their lives.” – President, Justin Woodard