When Rea King met Kaci Buchenroth at their county fair years ago, he didn’t know that fateful introduction to Kaci would eventually lead to running West Ohio Tool’s day-to-day operations.
Raised on a cattle farm near Bellefontaine, Ohio, Rea was independent and was happy helping with the Buchenroth family business after he married Kaci. He sharpened saw blades and made deliveries for his in-laws and founders, Kerry and Kim Buchenroth, jumped in on big jobs, and made repairs here and there for the growing enterprise. Early on though, Rea followed his own path in construction, working the heavy truck industry and, of course, taking care of the farm.
Three years ago, however, Kerry and Kaci convinced Rea to take an active role in company management, and he joined West Ohio Tool full-time as vice-president; later moving to President after Kerry passed a couple of years following. Rea took in everything about operations during his first year, getting to know what worked well and why. With previous management experience and solid people skills, Rea quickly began building the team at West Ohio Tool to move the organization forward and into the future.
The results of his efforts recently came into focus as West Ohio Tool took its first dive into the world of national trade shows, traveling to Las Vegas for SHOT Show 2023, the nation’s largest shooting, hunting and outdoor trade show of its type. As a life-long outdoor advocate – a passion he shares with wife and West Ohio Tool CEO Kaci – the SHOT Show was an ideal showcase for Rea’s hunting and firearms experience.
The expo became much more than networking with like-minded enthusiasts though.
“Being there was a huge eye-opener for people and potential partners attending the show,” Rea said. “We were able to show that West Ohio Tool has the knowledge and expertise to help them out.”
West Ohio Tool is known as a seasoned and respected manufacturer in the toolmaking industry currently supplying customers throughout more than half of the US as well as Mexico. Based on the response at the SHOT Show, customers coast-to-coast are ready to benefit from the company’s 30-year reputation for cost-saving custom tools and personal service.
For instance, the show’s roster of defense contractors is a prime opportunity for West Ohio Tool, especially given the company’s State of Ohio Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification and pending federal certifications for Women-owned Small Business (WOSB) as Small Business certifications.
Ultimately, Rea’s biggest motivation is sharing a mission and common purpose with his wife Kaci. “We know West Ohio Tool will grow and be a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “We have the people and the equipment. We’re in it for the long haul. And at the end of the day, we get very excited to help people solve problems.”