Contegra Construction Co. Becomes an Employee-Owned Company in its 20th Year of Operation

Contegra Construction Co. opens a new chapter in its growth with news that the firm has finalized the sale of the company to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).  The firm was launched 20 years ago in Edwardsville, Ill. from a single construction trailer and has grown to become one of the St. Louis region’s fastest growing companies with construction projects in 27 states.  The firm serves industrial, commercial and institutional markets, but is especially active in the distribution and manufacturing sectors. Contegra employs more than 100 employees and anticipates revenue of $440 million in 2022.  The firm has been named one of the area’s fastest growing companies several times by the St. Louis Business Journal, most recently in 2021.

“We had discussed the possibility of an ESOP at Contegra for many years,” said Eric Gowin, founder and CEO of Contegra Co. “Given the overall health of the business and our strong project backlog, it was time to fortify momentum and reward our employees for consistently putting our clients first in everything they do.”

Gowin will continue in his leadership as CEO along with other key executives including Jim Mundy, COO; Russ Henke, project executive; Dennis Araujo, project executive; and Sean Ketcherside, CFO.

“Our success has always been dependent on the success of our customers,” noted Mundy. “As an employee-owned firm our clients can expect even more dedication to their success while also improving the recruitment and retention of professionals who will have a more personal stake in Contegra’s bright future.”

The growth of e-commerce has greatly energized Contegra’s services to the logistics and distribution industry. In the last three years, the firm has built more than 15 million square feet of highly functional distribution facilities, including cold storage.  In the St. Louis area, Contegra has built about 80% of the distribution facilities at the region’s largest industrial park – the 2,300-acre Gateway Commerce Center in Edwardsville, Ill.  It has also built all four of the large distribution centers that have emerged at the 600-acre Gateway Tradeport in Pontoon Beach, Ill.  Recent Contegra distribution projects locally can also be found at Westport Commerce Center in Maryland Heights.  Contegra is also a highly active builder in Columbus, Ohio, Kansas City and other cities with burgeoning industrial markets.

On the manufacturing side, recent Contegra projects include LED lighting manufacturer Diode Dynamics in St. Charles, Mo., rebar fabricator Nu Way Companies in Troy, Ill. Precoat Metals in Granite City, Mo. and American Nitrile in Grove City, Ohio.

Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc. of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. facilitated the creation of the ESOP for Contegra.

Based in Edwardsville, Ill., Contegra is one of the St. Louis area’s largest general contractors and serves a national customer base that includes industrial, institutional, municipal, medical, multi-family, office and retail projects.  Its capabilities include building developer and owner-driven projects and site development.  Learn more at

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