An interview with John Mercure, CEO of Raydeo Enterprises, Inc.
By Elizabeth Pease
I had the privilege to sit down with John Mercure with Raydeo Enterprises to ask about his history along the 575 Corridor. John filled our conversation with entertaining stories, candor, and insight. To paraphrase Dr. Suess, “He is who he is!” He shared unique expressions, innovative ideas, and an incredible sense of humor.
John, the youngest of eight children, grew up in Marietta. They were a Lockheed family. He reminisced about his family and many friends who stayed with them buying 10+ gallons of milk per week from the dairy located on what is now Town Center Mall. They called the massive Towne Lake community “The Thousand Acres” – their own personal 4-wheel drive escape heaven. They would take 4-wheelers through what was then woods all the way to the lake. When 575 was being built in the 1970s, John described it as “a playground” with a twinkle in his eyes. The building of 575 was in process thus making it an ideal place for people to test the acceleration capabilities of their vehicles. 575 was finished around the time John got his license. Prior to getting his license, he would “borrow” one of his siblings’ cars and test the quality of the road crew’s work.
John’s sister moved into a home on Too Nigh Road, and he could not fathom why she would move to “the sticks.” She was able to pay him back for the teasing when he moved even further north to Ball Ground, GA. Times have certainly changed as 575 has grown and brought a bustling economy all the way to Jasper.
The thing he loves most about 575 is the Peach Pass Lane! Initially, he thought it was the dumbest idea in the world. When he and Beth moved up to Cherokee County, traffic was not a major issue. When construction began on the express lane, he thought it was a waste of time and money. John soon realized it was hitting the bottom line of Raydeo Enterprises. His teams of installers and project managers would sit in traffic commuting both to the office and to job sites. Employee retention, job satisfaction, and project timelines were all directly impacted by the traffic on 575. He would like to find the person who came up with the Peach Pass Lane idea on 575 and say, “I am sorry, and thank you!” (Love his humility in admitting he was wrong.)
Today, John runs a successful business out of Ball Ground, GA lending his creative talents and big personality to huge projects nationwide. The company provides remarkable railing, millwork, awning, and signage architectural solutions. Describing some of the projects Raydeo has completed, he talked about miles of railings versus feet. If you have been at Truist Park, the Atlanta airport, Ponce City Market, the World Trade Center, Central Station, Mercedes Benz Stadium, etc. – you have been impacted by Raydeo’s exceptional work! Take time to check out their website and an impressive gallery of projects.
Similar to 575, John and his wife Beth, started out with nothing but with hard work, ingenuity, and support of the community they have made a lasting impact. John embraces the fact that there is more work to do. The future is bright. He has ideas. He has grit. He has drive.
John & Beth Mercure deeply appreciate what they have experienced starting out with a pickup truck and a pair of pliers. They treasure the gift of seeing how their dedication to their own family and their company has helped provide a quality life to the people employed at Raydeo Enterprises.
Personally, John has been committed to spending time with his family even as he built and grew the company. Beth loves animals and has had a variety over the years. She is great at convincing John that one more dog will be fine. John has an easy smile and infectious laugh while he shares stories. His personality and his presence fill whatever room he enters. Both are passionate about truth and making a difference in the lives of others.
Professionally, John is zealous about training up the next generation of great American workers. He would love to address the obstacles holding high school students back from learning about and personally experiencing the entire process of millwork or “shop life”. Unfortunately, the largest blocks are insurance limitations and legal liabilities. John understands that people are wired differently – even those pursuing hands-on labor careers. Individuals may prefer repetition others may thrive in creative solutions. All are needed. John discussed the importance of companies and schools working together to train up the future workforce. He cited examples of historical families building generational wealth for their families and their employees and the lessons that could be learned.
Some of the other topics covered were fishing vs. catching fish, culinary hobbies, moonshine, cornhole board construction, misbehaving dogs, and music. John Mercure is a gift to our community, and I look forward to what he will do over the next 30 years!
If you enjoyed this article, please share and check back later for more insights and information about this area we call home. If you want to connect with me, you can reach me through my link in the author details here or on my website at intentionallegacy.org.