Shane Ragan: Tapping the Wellspring
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
NAPA — As a fifth-generation participant in his family’s well drilling and pump business, Shane Ragan is further deepening an already profound professional legacy. “I was pretty much raised in this company, which was started by my great-great grandfather in 1949,” he says. “My grandpa started paying me to clean up the shop when I was 11 and things progressed from there. By the time I was 15, I was running my own crew—I didn’t even have a driver’s license! After all these years, I’ve grown to love this work and appreciate being a part of my family’s legacy.”
Today, as project manager at McLean & Williams, Inc., Shane says his favorite part of his job is taking on unusual or challenging situations. “I like tackling problems that our competitors aren’t able to figure out or just don’t want to deal with. That probably gives me the most satisfaction—coming into a situation where people think the job can’t be done and making it happen.”
A resident of Napa (where he lives with his wife, Rachelle, and their kids, Alyssa and Andrew), Shane says it’s a perfect place for someone in his line of work. “Here in Napa, we have great weather and an environment that allows for a wide range of systems and applications. We do a lot of winery and vineyard work, but we also service a lot of residential homes, so there’s a lot of variety, which keeps things interesting.”
Outside of work, Shane spends his free time on a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy anything sports-related, from football, baseball and basketball to golf and bowling,” he says. “I also like going to my kids’ sporting events and watching them play.” Additionally, Shane and his family like to get out and about in the Bay Area. “We do a lot of exploring and enjoy visiting nearby beaches and national parks. Vineyards are beautiful, but when you see them every day, it’s nice to get a change of scenery.” When he’s not playing sports or out exploring, Shane can often be found working in his garden at home.
In regard to his professional career, Shane embraces the charge of filling what he considers some sizeable shoes. “When you have customers who know your parents or knew your grandparents, it creates some high expectations,” he affirms. “There are even a few people who remember my great-grandpa and have stories of when he took care of them or got them out of a bind. I clearly have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I get a lot of satisfaction from meeting those high expectations and maintaining our company’s reputation for quality service.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Shane says he would expand the scope of his regional explorations. “I’d do some more traveling and see some more of the world. In particular, I’m partial to locations that involve beaches and sunshine, like the Caribbean. I really want to see Australia, so maybe I’d go there first.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.
Q: What kind of music do you like?
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future. It would be neat to experience events in the past, but I’d rather see something new and unknown.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Chicken fried steak with gravy.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
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A: Christmas—it has always been a big deal in my family.