Business Leader of the Year It starts with fish and one house.
Gordon Rush, an Enumclaw native raised in Tacoma, spent his younger summers aboard a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. With the money, he bought a house.
“My wife and I bought one house in 1985,” he said. “Then we bought two.”
He fished the waters of Bristol Bay, then, come winter, he built houses.
And he has built his business to include divisions focusing on residential properties, commercial properties, property management, design and development.
“This company was built on salmon,” he said.
The growth was “organic.” One house, two houses, four then more.
He is driven, he said, by a fear of failure. He does not measure his success by wealth.
“I don’t care about being rich,” he said. “When I was fishing, I wanted to be a great fisherman. I’m a blue-collar guy, through and through.”
His primary goal is the success of people around him, “the subcontractors, partners, employees, investors. I don’t want success to be at the expense of anyone. People helped us during the recession. I had employees wanting to lend us money. You have to take care of people, and people will take care of you.”
Having survived where many builders did not, Rush said the company is expanding with projects in King and Thurston counties.
“My job for the rest of my life is to make this company be successful and help make my children successful,” he said.
And at 51, with a home on an island near Sitka, he continues to fish.
Though not for email@example.com