1954 FWCC is founded
After working in the concrete business for years, Fritz Wahlfield Sr. is approached to complete a few projects as a general contractor. The work continues pouring in, so Fritz Sr. decides to open up a business. “The company started out small but grew very big in a short time due to the demand of work in the industry,” Fritz III says.
During this period, FWCC maintains around 40 employees (some pictured below) and completes all its own general-trade work. The company also sets its own steel and completes all the concrete flat work on each of its projects.
1992 Fritz Jr. takes the reins
Fritz Jr. becomes the president of FWCC, and he brings in a lot of clients by presenting a new way of selling the firm’s services. Later, in 2008, he is promoted to CEO and president. “There was never a time that I considered exploring another line of work,” Fritz Jr. says.
2004 Fritz III comes aboard
Upon finishing college, Fritz III joins FWCC full-time, bringing with him new ideas and technology. “I was exposed to the business as early as I can remember, from listening to my father speak about jobs and work at the dinner table until I was old enough to begin working at job sites,” Fritz III says. “My first job for the company was site cleanup.”
2005 Fritz III climbs fast
Barely a year after joining FWCC full time, Fritz III is named vice president. He contributes to the company’s development by bringing employees up to speed with latest construction technology available, and he comes up with an updated format for bidding purposes. It’s always been important to Fritz III to keep the business in the family. “The first two generations have succeeded in this industry; I didn’t want to be the generation that screws it up,” Fritz III says.
Fritz Sr. is also ecstatic that his son and grandson are continuing on the family tradition. “To carry three generations of a family-owned business is something to be very proud of,” he says. “The odds of going beyond the second generation are slim. To visually see a structure in place that you have built and know that it will be there for many years to come is very rewarding.”
2010 Bueschel Funeral Home
At the end of October, FWCC completes the design and construction of a 8,000-square-foot funeral home (left) in Comstock, Michigan. A lot of upfront planning is necessary, and the firm ends up working with another family-owned business in the process. One of the biggest challenges FWCC encounters is laying out the structure’s special focal points so that they fit symmetrically into place.
2011 Going strong with new projects
Despite a downturn for some in the industry, 2011 proves to be a successful year for FWCC. In the spring, the company completes the Wyoming Senior Center (above) in Wyoming, Michigan. FWCC is the general contractor on the interior-renovation project and a 300-square-foot addition, and the firm pays significant attention to the safety of the public during construction.
In October 2011, FWCC also serves as project manager on the addition of two structures (totaling 40,000 square feet) at the Jack Brown Produce Packing Plant in Sparta, Michigan. The firm is given just five months to complete the job, and it must work within the specific boundaries of the existing facility’s infrastructure. The firm is additionally tasked with meeting the requirements of new federal food and drug regulations. However, none of these parameters stops FWCC from completing the project. ABQ