is passionate about engineering, the electrical business, sports, and giving back to his community. All of these passions have been instrumental to his life and career. While Pepper is best known for his work in the electrical and engineering fields, he takes great pride in being able to help others through community outreach. His great successes in business and his excellence in academics have been able to open many doors for philanthropic and career advances.
Founder, President and CEO of MMR Group
Pepper’s journey started at Louisiana State University, where he gained a football scholarship. Pepper was the defensive team captain and also played as an outside linebacker. In addition to playing for the LSU Tigers, Rutland was a member of the All Southeastern Conference (SEC) Academic Team from 1971 to 1972. He was elected team captain in 1972. Rutland excelled in academia, gaining a Bachelor of Science in Construction Technology & Engineering. He takes pride in being a member of the first graduating class from LSU’s Construction Technology program, which is now called the Construction Management program. He was also Vice President of Sigma Lambda Chi, the National Construction Scholastic Society.
It is no surprise that with his passionate involvement in the field of construction, Pepper would build his career in this very industry. Few people have the motivation and determination to build their own company, which is what Rutland did 19 years after gaining his Bachelor’s degree.
In 1991, James B. Pepper Rutland founded MMR Group Inc., an electrical and instrumentation firm that went on to gain immense success. MMR currently holds the title of the largest privately-owned merit shop electrical and instrumentation contractor in the United States. This success is largely due to the company’s extremely wide skill set. MMR is consistently recognized at the top of ENR’s (Engineering News-Record) Specialty Contractors List.
Currently, Pepper Rutland attended the 2022 Business Awards Hall, held at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center, which included a special video tribute to Pepper’s life and legacy, highlighting his upbringing in the Capital City, his journey through academics and athletics, and how lessons learned that have been key ingredients to maintaining a successful business for the last 30 years. That night he was honored by Business Report and Junior Achievement at the 2022 Business Awards Hall of Fame Gala for his contributions in leading the MMR Group, one of the largest privately-owned electrical and instrumentation contractors in the US. Rutland’s passion and entrepreneurial spirit have without a doubt shaped the industrial construction industry and provided thousands of careers for families across the globe.
Through MMR, Pepper Rutland has given back to his alma mater LSU. MMR has donated over $1 million to the LSU College of Engineering, earning a spot in the Society for Engineering Excellence, a group created by the LSU College of Engineering. In addition to these donations, MMR provides internships and summer job opportunities to students.
Rutland gives back not only to his alma mater, but also to his community. Rutland combines his love of sports and his philanthropic morals as a founding member of the Miracle League at Cypress Mounds. This organization coaches children with disabilities to play baseball. Rutland is also a board member of LSU’s Charles McClendon Scholarship Foundation. This Scholarship provides children of athletes with financial aid to attend LSU and move toward success.
In addition to his professional and philanthropic accomplishments, Rutland has a number of writings published. In 1989, he co-authored a piece on construction law titled, “Construction Defaults: Rights, Duties and Liabilities – Role of the Completing Contractor”, which was published in the Wiley Law Library. He has also written a book called “Refining your Tactics Weathering A Turbulent Economy in the Energy Industry”, which was published by Aspatore Books. In his free time, Pepper Rutland enjoys reading the Wall Street Journal.
If you are interested in James “Pepper” Rutland’s professional or philanthropic work, contact him or read more on his other sites!