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Richard Thomas Hagler

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Richard “Rick” Hagler is an entrepreneur that was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug late in life. He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 11, 1946, to Mary Jane and Hugh Hagler. He was the youngest of 3 brothers and a little sister joined the brood as a surprise 10 years later.

After attending Azle High School, a town just northwest of Fort Worth, he attended the University of Texas at Arlington. With the Vietnam War raging, Hagler enlisted in the Army and served from 1966 to 1969.

Following his military service, he entered the management program for shoe retailer Kinney Shoes, a division of F.W. Woolworth, where he advanced in management for 15 years. Having grown weary of the retail grind and not seeing enough “up-side” in the corporate bureaucracy, Rick looked for a “bigger ticket” product and found it in the mobile home industry.

In 1993, Rick joined a prominent mobile home manufacturer and became a sales manager that oversaw numerous mobile home dealers throughout Texas and the peripheral states.

During this time, Hagler became an author. Having always been an advocate of self-improvement, in 2008, Hagler wrote a book named “It’ll Be Okay.” Spurred on by the encouragement of family and friends, he self-published the book and promoted it on social media. The book, in the Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins self-help genre, Hagler says he was very gratified with the positive feedback from readers that expressed thanks for the up-lifting message the book provided.

In his own business life, Hagler decided it was time to make a move. The mobile home industry had always been incredibly sensitive to the ups and downs of the overall US economy and Hagler sought an industry where consumption was not so dramatically impacted by GDP and employment. He believed the petroleum industry might smooth out those ups and downs that occurred in the mobile home industry that were impacting his income.

In 2005, he joined a Major Regional Fuel and Petroleum Distributor. In this capacity, Hagler called on large consumers of diesel fuel (usually trucking companies). During this time (2010), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a strict regulation to reduce toxic diesel exhaust emissions and the industry’s answer to these strict requirements was the injection of a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) into the exhaust that would render nasty diesel exhausts into pollution free nitrogen and water vapor.

DEF, usually kept in large 330 gallon, plastic containers (called “totes”), required some attention in their care. DEF could freeze; contamination was a threat; containers could be damaged and cause a spill and in general, DEF needed to be housed in a “shelter” of some sort.

When Rick saw the first industry responses to the challenges of handling DEF, he got on his phone and made a call to his brother Jim, in San Diego, who has 30+ years’ experience in metal fabrication and design.

At that moment, GEMRIKUSA LLC was born as was the GEMRIK DEF SHELTER. Since Rick had spent years calling on the very companies that were now the bulk DEF consumers, he knew in intimate detail what the ideal DEF shelter should be.

Now the company, GEMRIKUSA, produces a line of DEF shelters for every environment and counts some of the largest trucking and logistics companies in the world as clients.

Companies and Investments


Lessons Learned

You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for or you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur

Trust your instincts!

You don’t have to get it right…you just need to get it going.

Develop a great relationship with a small bank.

Live by the “Superman Philosophy”…..Conduct yourself and business with “Truth”, “Justice” and the “American Way”

Inspiring Quotes

Proverbs 13:11 - Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

Ronald Reagan - Status quo, you know, is Latin for the mess we are in.

George Washington - Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

My Quotes

Richard Thomas Hagler - The more you do of what you’ve done the more you have of what you’ve got.

Richard Thomas Hagler - The harder you work, the smarter you get.

Richard Thomas Hagler - Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

Influential Books

Steve Kaplan - Bag the Elephant

Laurence J. Peter - The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong

Michael Levine - Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards

Jay A. Parry - The Real George Washington (American Classic Series)

Rick Warren - The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The)


Warren Buffet

Jack Braunstein