Founder, Redi-Rock International
Ben Manthei is the founder of Redi-Rock International, a licensor of retaining wall forming systems and business opportunities with customers around the world. Ben is in the third generation of entrepreneurs in the Manthei family. While Ben spent most of his early career in management at the family’s heavy construction branch, his passion was sparked in 2000 when a development project in Northern Michigan needed a retaining wall. Like a true entrepreneur, he said, “we can do that” – then set to work on a new way to do retaining walls using massive machine-set blocks instead of the small hand-set blocks on the market at the time. The business saw early success in Northern Michigan, and Ben had the vision to take the company globally. Setting up manufacturers first in North America, Redi-Rock now has over 120 manufacturers in 22 countries on 6 continents.
Ben is a true “start-up guy” who built an incredible team of engineers, sales professionals, marketing folks, and operations staff. In 2015, Ben transitioned out of the day-to-day operations at Redi-Rock and has been pursuing his purpose of helping others pursue their passions and achieve their goals through consulting work with business people, authors, and ministries. Ben also continues to hold an active role as the Chairman of the Board for Redi-Rock, as well as sitting on the boards for multiple other companies. Redi-Rock has been recognized with multiple awards – including Michigan Celebrates Small Business’ “50 Companies to Watch” in 2018 and “Strategically Focused Award” in 2020, and the President’s E Award for Exports awarded by President Trump in 2021.
Ben was also instrumental in building multiple businesses alongside his large extended family – including Manthei Veneer, Manthei Construction, Sky Valley Resorts, and Manthei Capital. He holds a bachelors degree in Psychology from Spring Arbor University.
Ben cares most about improving culture and giving back. He currently spends his time mentoring others and serving on multiple ministry boards including TEF in China. He also spent 15 years on Cru’s Military Ministry Advisory Board. Ben lives in Northern Michigan with his wife Nancy and enjoys spending time with his three grown children and three grandchildren.