Rhodes Equipment Company was started in 1932 by Dusty Rhodes. Dusty had moved to St. Louis from Worcester, MA and established his company as the Riley Stoker boiler erector for the St. Louis territory. For the next 25 plus years, Rhodes Equipment Company was an engineer/contractor building small, industrial powerhouses. In 1955, we built our last power house as the prime contractor at The Ohio Oil Company (now Marathon Petroleum) in Robinson, IL. It was shortly thereafter that Dusty decided to transition from the contractor business to become a manufacturers’ representative in the power/steam generation industry.
In the late 1950’s, Bill Baker, Sr., after working several years as an area engineer for Republic Flow Meter, was hired to work for Rhodes Equipment. In the mid 1960’s, Bill Baker, Sr. purchased the company and guided it through the boom years of the 1970’s and early 80’s of the steam generation industry, making Rhodes Equipment Company one of the most respected rep agencies in the country.
In 1981 Craig Tapperson (“TAP”) joined Rhodes Equipment right after graduating with his BSME from the University of Arkansas. It was unheard of at the time for someone of this young age and no experience to jump right into the manufacturers’ representative business, but Bill Baker, Sr. knew exactly what he was doing with this hire. “TAP” was a sales engineer like no other and he was the backbone of the company, serving as President for 20 years, up until severe health issues lead to his retirement 2014.
The company is now owned jointly by Bill Baker, Jr and Rick Luetkemeyer both of who have over 25 years of experience in the industry and handle all outside sales functions.
Rhodes Equipment Company prides itself on our integrity and our knowledge of the industries we cover, the companies we represent and the customers we serve. We continue the business of supplying equipment to the utilities, refineries, and industrial plants in our area and take pride in the fact that we are one of the oldest and longest continuously operating representative firms in the industry.
July 2017 marks our 85th year in business!
MISSOURI ▪ ILLINOIS ▪ INDIANA ▪ KENTUCKY
Based in St. Louis, MO, Rhodes Equipment Company covers portions of a four state region, for most all our principal companies, which includes
Eastern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Southwest Indiana.
Bill Baker, Jr.
President / Sales Engineer / Co-Owner
Born and raised in Webster Groves, MO, Bill attended Clemson University and received a BSME in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. After school he went to work for BBC Brown Boveri (today ABB) as the Southeast Regional OEM Sales Manager in Columbia, SC. He moved to Chicago as the Midwest Regional OEM Manager in 1989. In 1992 he moved back to St Louis and started with Rhodes Equipment.
Today he handles, among others in Missouri and Illinois, all of the AmerenUE facilities, Southern Illinois Power Coop, Dynegy Joppa, Prairie State, Sikeston Power and all of Rhodes’ business in the Western Kentucky- Southwest Indiana area.
Vice President / Sales Engineer / Co-Owner
Born and raised in Florissant, MO, Rick graduated with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and shortly thereafter joined Rhodes Equipment in October 1990. Initially hired to handle sales responsibilities for smaller industrial accounts and contractor plan and spec work, his duties now include utility customers such as Vistra’s Illinois plants and CWLP, Nooter-Eriksen, larger industrial accounts and consulting engineers and mechanical contractors in both Southern Illinois and Eastern Missouri.
Office Manager / Inside Sales
Accounting Manager / Bookkeeper
5922 Hampton Ave
St. Louis, MO 63109
Tel: (314) 353-2463
Fax: (314) 351-1569
Bill Baker, Jr: President / Co-Owner
Rick Luetkemeyer: Vice President / Co-Owner
Lori Niebling: Office Manager / Inside Sales
Sarah Denu: Accounting Manager / Bookkeeper