Women-owned hose business celebrates centennial

Amazon Hose & Rubber Company—a women-owned hose company—is celebrating 100 years in the business.

The company was founded on July 1, 1919, in Chicago, Illinois by Harry E. Jacoby. The humble beginnings of the company included a 5,000 square foot warehouse, which was formerly a bowling alley. Today the company has four locations in Florida—in Orlando, South Orlando, Miami, and Tampa—and has a combined space of 126,000 square feet for production.

The company stated that the name “Amazon Hose & Rubber Company” was adopted from the Amazon River Basin which was the original source for quality gum rubber. The rubber hoses made in the 1990s were comprised of natural rubber latex tapped from Amazonian trees, which grows to more than 100 feet in the wild.

After the founder passed in 1973, his wife, Lorena Jacoby took the bull by the horns and became the first woman to lead Amazon Hose & Rubber Company. Lorena pioneered female leadership in the company and later expanded to the Orlando market in 1981 with her daughter, Gale Petronis. Summer Rodman, daughter of Gale Petronis, became the third generation of leadership to join the company. She became the CEO in 2006 and remains in that role till date. The company has seen consistent growth since Rodman’s appointment and top line sale doubled over the last eight years. This includes a new 50,000 square foot corporate headquarter in 2014 and an additional Hose Service Center in South Orlando in 2017.

“Amazon Hose & Rubber Company has been family-owned for 100 years and woman-owned for 46 of those years,” Rodman said. “I’m so proud of my family and the strength demonstrated by my grandmother and mother who’ve helped me succeed as CEO. My family extends beyond blood, our employees are family and have helped us achieve this important milestone.”

Image Courtesy of Amazon Hose & Rubber Company 

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