Growing up, Richard Syper of Mayville learned about hard work and dedication the old fashioned way, through the family business.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, his parents owned and operated Mayville Service Center, a local auto repair and gasoline shop that remains in the family today. Richard recalls many days, and nights, as a child and then a teenager spent in the office with his mom and working on cars with his dad and brother.
“My mom was a fierce business woman,” he said. “At that time, it wasn’t common for a woman to work outside of the home, let alone run her own business.”
While a student at Chautauqua Central School, Richard took automotive technology classes at BOCES, with the intention to someday work for his family.
Then fate stepped in.
“One of my best friends growing up joined the Navy,” he said. “He was mowing a few lawns in town and so I took over (mowing) while he was gone.”
Soon, Richard was mowing up to 13 lawns and grew his business to include landscaping services. In 1992, he established R & R Landscaping, just three years after completing high school.
“I didn’t attend college. I wasn’t the strongest student while I was in school, but I worked hard.”Richard syper
Since then, he has worked hard growing his business, which in 2016, added a local property management service.
For 20 years, Richard has served as a trustee for the Village of Mayville and in 2018 ran for mayor, losing by less than 40 votes. Recently, he announced his intention to run for county legislature this November.
“Community has been everything to me,” Richard said. “My parents grew up in Mayville, I grew up in Mayville, and now my kids are growing up here. It’s important for us to give back.”
In addition to giving his time, the Syper family is giving back to support students in the Chautauqua Lake community through a scholarship at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The R & R Property Services and Syper Family Scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating Chautauqua Lake Central school senior who demonstrates pride in their hometown through community service. Students should also illustrate potential through hard work and good, moral character.
“Not every student has to have high grades in order to be successful,” Richard said. “The reason we wanted to create this scholarship is to recognize those students. You never know what they can accomplish.”