SAN RAFAEL – After more than four decades in the electrical industry, Rory Ward traces his professional roots back to a childhood fascination. “I started playing with electricity when I was about four years old—I guess I was just interested in what made the lights go on,” he remembers. “By age 12, I had started a small appliance repair business and would spend my summers working for an electrical engineer, crawling under houses and rewiring them. After graduating from high school, I started my own electrical business and haven’t looked back.”
Today, as owner of Rortech Electric, Rory says his favorite part of his job is taking on technically challenging projects. “In Marin County, we get a lot of high-end, large-scale jobs, both in the commercial and residential sectors. At this point in my career, I’ve pretty much seen and done everything, so I like projects that present an opportunity to do something fresh and innovative.”
Outside of work, Rory engages in a variety of active pastimes. “I like to go out on the lake with my wave runner—it’s like dancing on the water,” he says. “I also enjoy hiking and just being in nature, whether at the beach or one of the local state parks.” Rory also likes to watch movies, conduct online research about his industry and keep up with his son (also named Rory), who is a professor at Harvard University.
In regard to his professional career, Rory espouses the importance of quality workmanship. “When it comes to electrical work, the two things that matter most are safety and quality,” he explains. “I rarely get a call back, and I hate it when I do, so I’m always careful to do things right the first time. I think this mindset has been a big part of my success.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Rory says he’d reconnect with his birthplace. “I was actually born in Hawaii, and I moved to the Bay Area when I was two years old. I’d love to go back there and live for a while. It would be a great opportunity to just relax, de-stress and get balanced.”