April 26, 2021
When you are the Caterpillar CEO, you hear from a lot of different people. Most of them are adults. So, when 9-year-old Ryan Rossini wrote Jim Umpleby late last year, it got his attention. In his letter, Ryan shared he has been collecting Caterpillar toys his whole life and stays busy buying company stock – 625 shares – and counting! Read Ryan’s letter here. The New Jersey boy also had some questions about the potential of selling more Cat machines under a new infrastructure plan and was curious about the company’s focus on Cat Command and robotics for the future. Ryan reminded Mr. Umpleby that he is “very lucky” to be around Caterpillar equipment quite often.
We caught up with Ryan for a little Q&A and to learn more about his passion for all things Caterpillar. Also, watch this video version of our conversation with Ryan, and why he knows Caterpillar is the “coolest” company in the world!
This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Ryan celebrates his special day with a Cat birthday cake
Ryan enjoying time in the dirt!
Ryan, good to talk with you. What makes you such a big fan of Caterpillar?
Ryan Rossini: I live in Hoboken, New Jersey and there are a lot of construction sites! When I was little, my grandma would walk me to construction sites so I could watch the machines. They always had Cat excavators. So, Cat excavators are my favorite piece of machinery. I also watch a lot of construction shows on TV that use Caterpillar. I know that Caterpillar is the safest. You make lots of different excavators, like high-reach, mini excavators, some with sheers for demolition, and mining excavators.
We hear you are a big collector of Caterpillar toys. What’s in your collection?
I have front-end loaders, a wheeled forklift, a bulldozer, a steamroller, mini Cat vehicles, an excavator, three Caterpillar hats, two Caterpillar books, Caterpillar puzzles, a game of checkers, playing cards, a matching game, a calendar, a t-shirt, a water bottle, vintage Caterpillar trading cards and a Cat wallet.
You have over 600 shares of Caterpillar stock! Do you pay close attention to how the stock is doing in the market?
Every day! After my reading tutor in the morning, I watch the opening bell with my dad. I also have a widget on the computer so I can watch the price go up during the day.
What are some things you think make Caterpillar a good company?
There are lots of reasons! First, safety is the most important thing. Caterpillar helps get training for safety so the employees don’t get hurt. Second, Caterpillar has the right machinery for train repairs, mining, sea dredging, asphalt paving, job site building, farming, military machines, forestry, scrapyard machines, demolition, snow plowing, and many more. Third, Caterpillar makes machinery that uses less fuel. That is important because using less fuel helps the environment. Fourth, Caterpillar makes long-lasting products.
Would you like to buy your own Cat machine some day? What machine would you like to operate?
YES! I want to own a high-reach excavator. When I grow up, I want to be a demolition person, and I would need a high-reach machine to tear down buildings.
What if you could be the CEO and run Caterpillar for a day. What would you like to do?
On the day I get there, I would test ride the vehicles and go visit the factory. Then I would talk to the construction workers to find out if they are uncomfortable. I would take their opinions and see if we could make better products. For example, I have an idea to put vibrating chairs inside the vehicles so the operators can stay relaxed. I would also look at companies to invest in. Also, as CEO, I would ask to make more Cat Trial videos. I love watching those videos! My favorite one is Jenga using Cat excavators.
In your letter, you ask about Cat Command and robotics for the future.
Yeah, I think Cat Command is important because robots can get into small spaces. Robots can do dangerous work that would be unsafe for workers. Also, robots are really cool!
You are only 9 years old, but any idea what you would like to do for a career? Something with Caterpillar?
When I grow up, I want to be a demolition driver. I would need a high-reach excavator, a Caterpillar excavator with a bucket, a jackhammer, a pulverizer and a grapple attachment, a Caterpillar front-end loader, and a Caterpillar dump truck. That should do it.
Ryan, it’s been fun talking to you. Final question: if you could say something to all Caterpillar employees around the world, what would your message be to them?
Simple. Some day I hope to work with you! Stay safe and be careful!