Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Adam Hunt (left) and Kirk Bathke fit a K Series Clearview Lift into a client's Ford Econoline van Nov. 13 at R & J Mobility Service Inc. in Independence. The business recently expanded into Medford.
November 26, 2013
INDEPENDENCE — It's been a good year for R & J Mobility Service Inc.; so good in fact, that the Independence-based company has expanded operations to Medford.
Earlier this month, R & J bought Medford-based Mobility Access Options from owners Rodger and Janet McKeehan.
When Ronald Rowland Sr. opened R & J in 1979, the idea was just a simple family-owned business.
"We never did envision that we would expand," owner Kevin Rowland said. "There were always hopes to be able to do that, but we never did really look at it hard."
This new venture keeps the company competitive in the industry and allows it to reach more customers where they are, Rowland said.
When the McKeehans decided to retire, their first call was to the Rowlands.
The two families worked together several times over that decade and had a mutual respect for each other.
"He (Rodger) wanted to know if we were interested in purchasing the business," said Gayle Rowland, Kevin's wife and office manager. "We thought about it for about two minutes and said 'yes.'"
R & J is the oldest mobility service provider in Oregon, but it's not alone.
Performance Mobility has three locations in the state — two in Portland and one in Eugene. Advanced Mobility of Bend is the only location serving Central and Eastern Oregon.
With the new Medford location, R & J is now able to further their reach in the state.
"We have a lot of customers all over Oregon, especially the southern coast," Gayle said. "This will help us serve them better."
The Rowlands will be commuting down to the new branch a few days a week to help smooth the transition during the first few months.
For now, this is all the expansion the Rowlands have planned. But to stay competitive, future branches aren't out of the question.
"With a business like this, you can't expand 15 minutes down the road," Kevin said. "There are always hopes to grow, but I don't like to talk about it if I do think about it."