Mr. Rooter co-owner leaves a lasting impression

Mr. Rooter co-owner leaves a lasting impression
The Mr. Rooter team wore pink during the month of October to honor Stacey Goertz.

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Roger Goertz and his wife, Stacey, purchased their Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchise in Houston, Texas, in 2003. Stacey was very involved with the company employees. Sadly, she passed away in 2011 after battling breast cancer for almost five years.

“The employees really liked her, respected her and thought a lot of her,” says Roger. “When she passed, every single employee came to the office and cleaned all 28 company vehicles for the memorial service. They all came in uniform to the service, sat in one section, and they each said something about her.”

Roger and the Mr. Rooter team decided to use October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as a way to honor Stacey. “I wanted to do something special,” says Roger. “So I personally invested in long-sleeve pink shirts with the Mr. Rooter logo, and pink booties. Technicians wore pink booties all month and the pink shirts on Fridays.”

When Roger suggested the idea to his team, he thought a few might not be thrilled with wearing pink. “Every single one said they would do it,” he says. “They insisted that we do it.”

During the four and a half years Stacey was fighting cancer, the technicians were kept informed of her status because the team is like a family. “The team members were concerned,” says Roger. “They had a lot of questions because it was something they didn’t understand. I encouraged them to tell their spouses, sisters and mothers to get checked. We talked about mammograms.”

Roger says the whole experience made the technicians more aware of breast cancer. “I’ve had two or three employees say they were thankful because their mother hadn’t had an exam in several years,” he says.

Technicians were pleased to wear pink into customers’ homes to honor Stacey. “It was amazing how the customers really took to it and reacted in a positive way, which made my technicians feel pretty proud,” says Roger.

Stacey helped in marketing and accounting with the Mr. Rooter franchise, which allowed Roger to focus on the operations side. At the time of her diagnosis, she was instrumental in the community. She was involved in the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

Stacey was a leading officer for Women of Vision, a group of women who work with high school girls from low-income backgrounds. The women teach the girls social skills, how to dress and what to do on job interviews after graduation.

In 2011, Stacey also became co-chairperson of In the Pink of Health for Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Woodlands area. The charity raised money for the hospital to buy a state-of-the-art 3D mammogram machine, and Stacey was selected to demonstrate it on the local news.

Honoring Stacey during breast cancer awareness month showed what a huge impression she left on those she touched. “It was kind of our Stacey month,” says Roger. “We are remembering her, remembering what she stood for, which was never give up, fight to the very end, always have a great outlook on life, and always give the customer better service than they expect.”

Read a full profile on Mr. Rooter of Houston.


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