Pictured above: Grandpa Jordan aka "Dad" with Uncle Louie & Uncle Kenny
I am so grateful to not simply have history, but heritage. From the 92 acre Oregon homestead my grandparents raised 12 children. They raised these children showing them the value of hard work. From an early age my Mom would milk the cows, tend to the hogs, & somehow still manage to be a kid. These values: hard work, honesty, humility, & kindness, continue to provide a foundation for our company.
Raphael Hardwood Flooring began in 2001. It was a dusty garage & a long bed Chevy that helped to create what would eventually become the central valley's primary source for wood floors.
My love for installing & restoring antique floors began by working with Gary Rosene, owner & operator of Woodbridge Hardwood Co. in nearby Woodbridge, CA. From 1996-2000 Rosene took me on as an apprentice of where under his leadership we focused on high-end projects.
I remain indebted to Gary where through his role as my teacher and boss he instilled in me the ongoing need for excellence in every floor. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this is something I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed coming to work & likewise working with wood. With time, a dream was realized through the birth of Raphael Hardwood Flooring.
My Dad, Kenneth Robert Raphael remembers going to his neighborhood friends and telling them not to call him Tommy anymore because he had a new name, Kenny. The new name was the result of his adoption into Robert & Nell Raphael's family. He joined his sister, Sherry.
Nell Led the church choir and walked with God. She encouraged Ken in his musical and spiritual pursuits. Theirs was an extremely close relationship. She died of cancer at age 49. Bob, Ken's dad, was plant manager of Georgia Pacific Plywood in Toledo Oregon. He was an innovative inventor and very gifted with people and problem solving. He never knew a stranger. Under his leadership the mill rose to it's height.
Ken worked at the plant during summers off from college cleaning under the green chain, the dirtiest and lowliest job at the plant. There he gained character and skill. It also allowed him to find part time mill work during the school year at a mill in Valsetz, OR in proximity to Monmouth where he graduated with a music education degree from Oregon College of Education. He went on to receive a masters of divinity and two doctorates in counseling.
Along with working at the mill, he has taught in the public school system, led worship as a music pastor, founded & pastored Grace Community Church (Woodbridge, CA) and helped to rebuild many lives & marriages through The Raphael Center, a Christian counseling ministry. He is currently an adjunct faculty member of Trinity Theological Seminary. He is a man of highest character and intimacy with God and treats his wife with great love and care. His life testifies of God's grace in rescuing him from a filthy unkempt home and promiscuous alcoholic mother and absent father to a stable caring home.
my elementary school band teacher
At the age of 11 it was Bob Romans my 5th grade band teacher that sparked an excitment of participating in music. Through his music teaching in the Lodi Unified School District that I felt able to conquer most any task in front of me. It was these years that we had a blast with A night on Bald Mountain, Shalom Aleichem, The Pink Panther, & Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
When other schools were working on their 12th arrangment of Twinkle Twinkle we were being exposed and challenged to perform Andrew Lloyd Weber! Rather than approaching his job with the disdain that would naturally be attributed to musicians left to instruct children with little or no musical aptitude, Mr. Romans, a gifted jazz musician took a different route. Mr Romans took students aside specifically to encourage them, setting specific consistent goals and rewards.
Mr. Romans also encouraged his students to play as many instruments as possible. It was through this encouragement that I then explored the baritone & tenor saxaphone. And rather than remaining content with our weekly elementary school practice he brought me into the Jr. high band while still in elementary school to perform more challenging numbers. Mr. Romans was not content with good enough, but pushed his students.
I can rember one afternoon Mr. Romans remarking that he needed to speak to me after class. With trepidation I waited near the door outside the portable teaching room of our 7th grade band room. at Woodbridge Middle School. After each student passed he then enthusiasticly pressed me to explore the drum major position after my junior high school days with him were over. I can remember being blown away that someone believed in me that much!
He worked to develop muscianship not simply rehearse notes. It was through Mr. Romans that I developed a love of music appreciation that is sure to follow me throughout my life. Long after playing the saxaphone in middle school auditoriums has ended.