Executive Profile: Aaron Richard


Job:Owner, Silver Lake Boat and Bike Rentals.

Company:To give Rochester residents and visitors something inexpensive and fun to do, we purchased the paddleboat and canoe business in fall 2006. From what I have been told, there has been a paddleboat and canoe business at Silver Lake on and off for around 40 years. If anyone knows anything more, please let me know.

Education:Bachelor's degree in accounting from Winona State, 1999, after transfer from Rochester Community College.

Experience:Worked at Edward Jones, Post-Bulletin, IBM Credit Union, Crenlo, Chocalaterie Stam, Champs Sports, Rochester Golf and Country Club, Subway, Waseca Lakeside Golf Course.


What book, website, television show or movie has left a big impression on you within the past year?"The Amazing Race." My wife and I love this show. It is always fun to see the people who think they are the best, the most intelligent or strongest get eliminated. The people who work the best with others, have an open mind and learn from their mistakes usually do the best. Being the owner of a business, I have learned a lot from this show. If I wanted to be right all the time, I could, but, when I open my mind and take into consideration others suggestions, the business does do better.

Do you use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter?Yes, any way we can get our name out for free is a no-brainer.

What’s your business philosophy, if you could distill it to one paragraph?Give the customer what they want. When we opened for our first season in 2007 we had no electric paddleboats, kayaks, kids bikes, tandem bikes, mini-golf or snacks. The reason we have them now is because people have asked for them.

How did you first get the idea to start a bike and boat rental shop?I had just left Edward Jones and was trying to find something new to do. I had always wanted to own a business and knew the old owners of the paddleboat and canoe business were closing up shop and selling their equipment. I thought this would be a fun little business and something we could do. It was making money, had lots of potential and fit our budget.

Who is your typical customer?A large percentage of our customers are families and visitors. It is really fun meeting people from all over the world.

What's your favorite thing to do at Silver Lake on a nice afternoon?Since our mini-golf is new this year, if it is slow, I'll play a round or two. It's a fun little nine-hole where it is possible to get a hole in one on every hole if you hit that perfect shot. If you're really good, you might break 20, though I wouldn't bet the house it; it's more typical to see 3's than 1's. It's deceptively difficult.

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