Ray Rice Jr., president and CEO, RB Products Inc.

Distribution & Manufacturing — Energy, Finalist

Ray Rice Jr. launched RB Products Inc., a petrochemical processing and distribution company, in 1996. Over the next 10 years, RB grew within the petrochemical industry, gaining a favorable reputation as a distributor focused on niche markets outside the sphere of the majors and for often producing an eco-friendly outcome. The company operated and grew without loans or lines of credit during that time.

In 2006, Rice, president and CEO, set in motion an ambitious expansion plan that included investing in an ethanol project in Louisiana, building a mobile chemical plant and hiring new salespeople. RB went on a growth spurt. In 2010, the company made its first major acquisition, acquiring an environmental company in Texas City, Texas. RB also formed a fabrication unit that year.

Rice continues to invest his own money in the company, and RB has also now started using debt for capital expansions. The company’s growth has come despite challenges. For example, the ethanol project never reached fruition, but the initial cash investments still had to be completely paid off by cash from operations.

RB Processing LLC was formed in 2008. RB Processing has designed, engineered, fabricated and installed modular chemical processing plants. The first of four planned RB chemical units is scheduled to start operating in 2012. The unit is a purification chemical plant with reactions that will turn fuel-type products into food-grade green oil products. The company’s initial target market is the replacement of fracking fluids and drilling fluids with high-quality green oils.

RB’s leaders believe the company’s future is bright and that it will continue to grow in an industry that has cyclical demand patterns and that relies on commodity prices.

How to reach: RB Products Inc., www.rbproductsinc.com