With more than 75 percent of its business coming from repeat clients, Richlen Construction knows how to complete a successful project and keep its customers happy. The San Francisco-based company says its precon­st­ruction services and ability to pro­vide services above and beyond the traditional contractor sets it apart. “Our business is customer service-driven,” Project Executive Rob Melinauskas says. “We understand what our clients need and tend to do more than simply look over plans and build the project. We perform conceptual estimating and preconstruction services that go beyond the work an average contractor performs.”

A city with a history such as Chicago’s has some very old architecture. But over the years as buildings age and bits of decay occurs, there are not many companies with the capabilities to maintain and renovate landmark architecture.  

In this day and age, businesses cannot survive unless they invest in progressive met­h­ods. Technology, if not undergoing a com­plete change, is being updated almost on a daily basis, and successful companies must compete on a certain level of sophistication. 

When a heavy frost damaged the orchards owned by John and Ross Gorman, the brothers came to realize that their only source of income was not going to be as steady as they had thought. With the fruit industry in need of better packaging, the Gormans began a fruit box business as a temporary second income until new fruit trees started to produce. However, making boxes led to the brothers setting up a small sawmill, and nearly 60 years later, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. is a leading lumber supplier serving a global market.

For more than 20 years, Constant Fire Protection Systems (CFPS) Ltd. has served Calgary with the design, installation, maintenance and inspection of high-quality fire suppression systems. After gaining experience from a former employer, owner and President Jim Anderson incorporated the company in 1988, but discovered that starting his own fire systems contracting business was a little challenging at first.

When President Steve Barkhouse began the Amsted Group of Companies in 1989, he was the only employee. It was the beginning of a recession in Canada and he was beginning to wonder what he was thinking opening a design/build construction company. “I watched a lot of companies go under because of mistakes they made,” he recalls.“You had to be good at what you did or you’d go under,” he adds. “I learned a lot from those difficult times.”

At WesTower Communications, the construction of towers never gets boring, Richard Kirby says. “There always seems to be a challenge, whether you’re building a tower in a very remote location with helicopters or putting a stealth site up in a major city,” he says, “it’s different, and it’s changing all the time.”

S.E. Cline Construction is about as versatile as a general contracting land development firm can be. Its crews will even go beyond the shorelines to develop land below the waterline. The Palm Coast, Fla.,-based company serves northeast Florida, “but we tend to look further as times get more interesting,” says Sam Cline, president, and have even ventured into South Florida and Alabama. Cline is on the board of directors of the Palm Coast chamber of commerce while Scott Sowers, vice president and director of land development, is president of the City of Bunnell chamber.

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