Rockwerx Company Profile
Rockwerx is a major climbing wall manufacturer with offices in central Massachusetts and Baltimore, Maryland. Led by CEO Cort Gariepy, the company has evolved from his own experience building and operating a climbing wall in southern California in the early 1990’s, to become a leading builder of hundreds of commercial and recreational climbing walls across the US. Rockwerx has helped create some of the most successful climbing businesses in the country in recent years, such as Metrorock, The Rock Club, and The Enclosure, with its primary commercial climbing wall product, Gym Rock. In addition to making the highest quality seamless textured walls, Rockwerx has grown its business with its Natural Rock and Modular Systems, and is constantly working to offer the best and most innovative products such as new flooring systems, handholds, playground boulders, as well as top-end consulting, routesetting and training services.
Rockwerx is a leading climbing wall manufacturer in the US, with a diverse history that began with Cort Gariepy, our founder and CEO, building a garage wall in Southern California. Almost two decades, and a few business iterations later, Rockwerx has a permanent 14,500 square foot fabrication headquarters in the rural woods of central Massachusetts, a sales office in Maryland, a full line of climbing wall products and accessories, and hundreds of walls built.
Rockwerx’s earliest incarnation, Solid Rock Wall Systems, was a partnership between climber Cort Gariepy and builder Scott Hansen, who together started one of the early climbing wall businesses in the country, Solid Rock Gym in San Diego, California. In the early 90’s, as indoor climbing began it’s fast-paced growth, Solid Rock grew as well, beginning with wall construction projects on the west coast, and expanding quickly to become a leading builder with dozens of projects throughout the country.
In 2000, Cort brought climbing wall manufacturing to his hometown in Barre, Massachusetts and Rockwerx came into form. In the years that have followed, Rockwerx has continued to design and build the largest and highest quality commercial and recreational climbing wall projects in the US.
The Rockwerx Team
At Rockwerx, we’ve got a diverse and enthusiastic team of professionals. We work hard building walls and take pride in our construction. Our goal is the same as it’s been from the start - to always be building really cool climbing walls and having a great time doing it. To that end, we work harder and faster than probably anyone in the business, but we also enjoy the finer things, like racing mini-bikes on our massive dirt track built just outside our headquarters.
It’s been said a day in the life at Rockwerx would make for very entertaining reality TV. Check out our cast of characters…
Cort Gariepy: CEO
Cort Gariepy got his start in the climbing wall industry early on in it’s history and has been a leader in the indoor climbing market ever since. Cort began rock climbing in 1983 in Southern California and developed his climbing while at San Diego State University, where he was soon guiding SDSU Recreational Department climbing trips to the best crags on the west coast, and led the SDSU program in the design and development of one of the first indoor climbing facilities at a University or College program.
From his first wall project with a few friends in a garage, in 1991, Cort went on to build one of the first National scale competition walls for the US Indoor Climbing Championships in Delmar, California. Soon after, he and a partner founded SolidRock Wall Systems. SolidRock was one of the first professional climbing wall builders in the country, constructing the first commercial climbing center in Southern California, SolidRock Gym, and dozens of projects to follow.
Kira Bryant (aka Black Beauty): Operations Manager
Kira is Cort’s cousin, and has been a part of the family affair that is Rockwerx for over a couple years now. Kira does a little bit of everything, from finalizing design aspects with Cort, to off-site project management, and other logistics. That is, when she is not occupied dying her hair, which she does more frequently than some people change their underwear... Kira has 3 horses and a 3lb. Chihuahua who is a bit of a local celebrity. Like all of us at Rockwerx, she works incredibly hard to make amazing things happen, and is proud of the fact that her and Nancy keep Rockwerx on track: “Do you want to talk to the men in charge, or the women who know what is going on?!”
Nancy Lindquist: Bookkeeper (aka Financial Dictator)
Nancy has been with Rockwerx for over 4 years, and manages all things financial for the company. Our friendly, laid back atmosphere is Nancy’s favorite part of the job and of course, since Nancy works for a climbing wall company, she is categorically not afraid of heights. Definitely not.
Ralph Rogers (Nunez): Director of Operations
Originally hired as a construction babysitter of sorts, for about 7 years Ralph has been the all around go-to-guy at Rockwerx. He’s been in construction all his life, worked on the road for us, and now in the shop where we give him all the creative jobs. We think it’s important to have fun at Rockwerx, give people the ability to make their own schedules, and while on the road, Ralph was psyched to ride dirt bikes and snowmobiles all over the country. He is also a semi pro disc golfer, and wanna-be Rock Star… oh, and as of January 2008 – Ralph has a driver’s license.
Joe Hamilton: Shop Foreman
Ralph hired Joe way back in the day, and for almost as long as Ralph’s been here, Joe has been welding steel and building walls. He manages construction in the shop and does project management, ensuring everything comes together correctly and gets out the door on time. In his spare time in the shop, Joe keeps the guys busy and motivated, and in his spare time not in the shop, he likes to dirt bike, sky dive, and blow glass.
Andrew Gariepy: Road Crew Foreman
Andrew loves traveling so being on the road managing wall construction is what we have him doing most of the time. In his words, “I pack the trailer and drive it to the job, build the wall, and come home. He has been with us for 6 years, and got his start when Ralph knocked oh his door and asked if he knew how to mow lawns. He said yes. Andrew always deserves a raise – even when he’s on vacation.
Charles Brink (aka The Man.. The Closer): Road Crew Foreman
Charles has been with Rockwerx for 5 + years, having come to the job with 15 years construction experience. He’s worked on a number of projects, including the massive construction of our company HQ. Like most people at Rockwerx, Charles does a bit of everything, but loves the road life overall. Specifically being on the road (therefore not paying rent…), working on challenging, diverse projects with a fun crew, and hotels in close proximity to the job site… with Jacuzzis. Charles enjoys the highly corporate atmosphere we invigorate here at Rockwerx - like company snowmobiling. Get R Done!
Michael Brewster: Shop Crew (Coat Checker/Valet/Missionary/Good Will Ambassador)
Ralph hired Michael about 4 years ago when he was looking for a job and wanted to learn to weld… he’s been with us ever since, and does fabrication in the shop and numerous other odd jobs. Among others on our crew, Michael worked on the “goat disposal” project. He is an outdoorsman who likes snowmobiles, bass fishing, kayaking, beer drinking, and yes – he has six toes on his right foot.
J.D. Scott (aka Cru Jones): Road Crew
J.D. came on board with Rockwerx about 3 years ago, with a resume of riding dirt bikes with Cort. J.D. builds walls with the road crew and has experience with commercial and home construction. He lives most of the time in Vermont, when not on the road, and enjoys the finer things in life – snowboarding, ladies, and… what’s the word? Partying…
Christopher Alexandrovich: Shop Crew
Chris has been with us for a little over a year and happy to have what he calls a challenging and exhilarating job at Rockwerx, working on whatever it takes in the shop to get things done. Chris is excited to be working here in our beautiful central Massachusetts hamlet of Barre, when he’s not living his alter ego life as a Rock Star.
John LaFleur (John John): Shop Crew (Kick Ass Hard Worker)
John as been with Rockwerx a bit less than a year, but works on anything and everything, and is psyched to be a part of our kick ass, hardworking team, where we get things done fast and right, and make time for John to smoking butts too... John says Rockwerx kicks ass.
Shane Canney: Road/Shop Crew
Shane’s one of our newer crew guys, but he’s already been on a bunch of road jobs in less than a year, and worked in the shop when not on the road. Shane plays poker.
Rob Berthoud: Shop Crew
Rob has been with us for a few months and has worked on rebuilding the Mill, and does metal work, carpentry, and maintenance around the shop. He enjoys working at Rockwerx because the work is always different and our cast of characters keeps him entertained.
Brian Fecteau: Shop Crew
Brian is our newest shop employee and excited to be a part of the rock climbing construction industry. He comes from a couple years in residential construction, is into music and sports, and has a dog named Pup. Brian’s still getting his feet wet in the Rockwerx world, but we’re trying to live up to the reputation Brian had heard about Rockwerx – we care a lot about our team.