I must confess, when I joined the Herra clan, I had no idea what it would mean to be a part of this VERY large and established Elburn family. I remember my first date with Brian fondly. He took me to Taco Bell (my request), and we spent much of the night discussing his family business. Looking back, I think it was Brian’s desperate attempt to break the ice. The funny thing is, it worked! He was in his element discussing the complex (and ever so electrifying) intricacies of the plumbing and heating world. The level of comfort, confidence, and enthusiasm that he lent to the conversation was contagious. In fact, he was comically annoyed that I was unaware of his family’s local business, a business that was evidently forty years in the making. From that moment forward, I was on the lookout. Sure enough, J & R Herra Inc. was everywhere! The fleet of Herra trucks not only riddled the streets, homes, and businesses of Kane County, but also popped up all over the Chicagoland area. Who was this guy, and why had I never noticed his world before?
Truthfully, it wasn’t the “riveting” content that wooed me over twelve years ago. Instead, it was the honest, passionate, and steadfastly loyal man that lured me into this family and a life of local, Elburn entrepreneurship. Over the last decade, I have had the privilege of discovering where those endearing character attributes were born. The Herra family is bonded and strong. The men and women I have acquired as in-laws, are truly exceptional human beings. Regardless of the situation, these folks were bread to work tirelessly and competitively for their family, friends, and community. You honestly won’t meet a group more devoted. I can say that because it wasn’t too long ago that I was an outsider looking in on (and sizing up) this crew.
Within the last five years, our small company has faced several personal hurdles. These private obstacles posed stress on our family and tested the strengths I have previously mentioned. From losing two Herra patriarchs (Jack and Rich) within the last five years, to watching our sister-in-law victoriously battle cancer, this family has shown no hesitation in the support and encouragement to make it through the good times and bad. Where these stressors appeared most prominently on a personal level, the strengths gained and relationships built carried over into the spheres of J & R Herra, Inc. If there is one thing that I have learned over the last decade, Herras are survivors. Herras grow from every situation. Herras stick by those they love. In the end, Herras are what it means to be family. That is what I want to leave our customers (past, present, and future) with. We are here for the long hall; we care about you and your family, just as we care about ours. Have a safe and happy summer.