Lor’ell Rademacher Leads Wisconsin Association
PHOTO: NORTH WOODS STUDIO, BOWLER, WI
The days at Hillside Salvage, LLC in Tigerton, Wis., can be hectic, and co-owner Lor’ell Rademacher admits that she occasionally wishes for a lifetime trip to a remote island.
“But then I get real,” said the 12-year industry veteran. “This industry gets under your skin. It gets in your soul … I can honestly say that I cannot see myself doing anything else.”
Rademacher and her husband, Joe, co-own Hillside Salvage, which was founded by Joe’s parents, Tom and Pat Rademacher, in 1987. The company started with one revamped old barn, a handful of cars and an “ancient mobile home” for an office, Rademacher said.
The company has steadily grown. Today, Hillside has two semis, seven semitrailers and two mobile cleanup trucks. The company offers container units for metal recycling to local industrial accounts and has expanded its market sales to processors across Wisconsin.
In the fall of 2007, Lor’ell and Joe were looking for more ways to bring the business up to date and decided to join their state association: Concerned Auto Recyclers (CARS) of Wisconsin.
“In the rural area that we are located, the purpose of salvage yards and their validity is fuzzy,” Rademacher explained. “One of the goals for our business since the beginning was to provide education to our community and create a welcoming environment for our customers. CARS has been an outstanding resource for collaborative ideas, educational forums, and just overall a great hub for industry outreach.”
Rademacher wanted to be as involved as she could with the association, so she served on the board of directors for two years before becoming president of the association in 2012.
She explained that her goals as president include strengthening educational resources, improving communication between the board and the association’s members, and opening more doors between auto recyclers and political representatives.
“I would love nothing more than when an environmental bill comes across the desk of our representatives that the first thing coming to their mind is ‘I wonder what CARS would say?’” she admitted.
While serving as the Wisconsin state association president can be challenging, Rademacher revealed that it has also enriched her, both personally and professionally.
“The best part about being president by far is being able to meet some of the most amazing people who are also, even though in similar businesses, so completely diverse and unique,” she said. “I love hearing stories of how other companies meet the challenge of helping their businesses and industries grow. The innovation of the people in the industry never ceases to amaze me.”
Rademacher is only the second female president in the history of the association; she assumed office just after past president Deanna Hart of Newville Auto Salvage in Edgerton, Wis.
“Although it is a predominantly masculine industry, the thought that I am a woman doesn’t really come into play in my opinion,” Rademacher said. “It’s more a matter of, ‘Can I do the job?’ I will say, though, that I have met many absolutely amazing women through CARS, ARA and other state associations that have a very strong role in the development of our industry. They bring so many positive things, so much knowledge, so much strength, I could not imagine our industry without them.”