Enterprises we've created:
In 1989, as the big-box home improvement market was rapidly evolving with the emergence of chains such as Home Depot and Lowes yielding significant buying power, as well as Asian imports crowding the bath products space, Ron Simon founded RSI Home Products. But Simon’s vision was to create a different type of company, one that was a focused, low-cost US-based manufacturer of bath products, namely medicine and vanity cabinets, with prices that rivaled the Asian imports, and were 40% below US competitors.
To make this strategy effective, it required a very strong operating company culture and an innovative approach to manufacturing and marketing not yet recognized in the cabinet industry. With a laser focus on innovation, quality, cost, and delivery, Simon and his team embraced this strategy and the startup company began to grow rapidly, taking market share from weaker US players and importers. In 1991, Alex Calabrese joined RSI, and together with Simon, they began to expand management talent and manufacturing innovation through vertical integration, further lowering costs and creating an even bigger gap between RSI and its competitors.
RSI continued to build upon its entrepreneurial culture by never being satisfied with the status quo and by embracing an obsession with improvement in every detail of its business. The company embraced a belief and conviction that it could get “Better Every Day”, and it did. The word “VI-CO” was created and lived by, standing for “Value-In and Cost-Out.” This was the essence of RSI’s strategy: to improve and create value in a product for the betterment of its customers, and to do so by removing unnecessary waste and costs. The company enjoyed rapid organic growth and made key strategic acquisitions along the way, mainly gaining key market share from weaker competitors and successfully integrating those acquisitions into the strong RSI operating culture. Its product categories grew to include medicine and bath storage cabinets, vanity cabinets, bath counter tops, kitchen cabinets, and home organization cabinets.
RSI grew to become the largest national cabinet company (units produced) and the industry’s lowest-cost producer, with the highest operating margins. By 2014, RSI grew to become The Home Depot’s largest supplier of cabinets in North America, and its operating platform grew to over 3.5M ft² with manufacturing and distribution locations in California, Texas, North Carolina, Mexico, Sourcing Offices in Asia, and over 4000 associates. The company was sold to American Woodmark in 2017 for over $1B.
RSI COMMUNITIES —
HOUSES GET BUILT
Ron Simon believed that there was a better way to build houses. He and his team’s vision was that new house construction could be approached just like any other consumer product, and that homes should be engineered and built with the same manufacturing disciplines, controls, and consistency of other factory-made products. In fact, many parts of homes originate in a factory with engineered design and precision manufacturing methods, and then delivered and assembled at the building site. In 2008, this innovative approach was first proven and used at RSI Homes, where production single family homes were constructed and sold in a fraction of the time versus traditional home building methods.
At the community level, this successful methodology enabled the redevelopment of entire neighborhoods, in which existing and aged housing would undergo demolition, land preparation, and construction completed in less than 90 days, a timeframe previously unheard of in the building industry.
In 2015, RSI Communities was formed through a partnership with RSI and Todd Palmaer, a home building veteran, where some of these unique techniques were deployed, along with innovative marketing programs focused on simplifying the home buying experience and bringing greater value to entry-level production of home sites in California and Texas. By 2017, RSI Communities had developed and controlled significant land positions and operations in these states. In 2018, within 3 years of its formation, the company was sold to William Lyon Homes for approximately $500M.
Established in 2002, the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing offers life-changing opportunities and lasting personal growth to promising youth dealing with adverse economic circumstances.
Its flagship program, the Simon Scholars Program, has given over 1000 deserving yet underserved students the drive and direction to achieve their dreams. Far more than a scholarship, Simon Scholars enter a 6-year program as juniors in high school, receiving financial aid, leadership training courses, life skills coaching, and more, totaling over $30,000 but with value that far exceeds the money. This life-changing program currently serves approximately 150 students per year, and continues to grow. The overwhelming majority of program graduates go on to volunteer and mentor for the program, becoming Simon Scholars for life.
The Simon Scholars’ dedication to results has meant that 93% of its alumni are college graduates—an unprecedented success rate.Learn More