Helmkamp Construction

Helmkamp Construction Celebrates Year-End Milestone with $80,000 in Community Donations

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The year 2018 has been a noteworthy one for the history book at Helmkamp Construction.  It has signified the company’s 80th year in business as well as being the first year owned by a non-Helmkamp family member.

Brad Farrell, former CEO and grandson of founder Gilbert Helmkamp, retired and passed the reigns of the business to long-time employee and company President, Rob Johnes.  Johnes began his career at Helmkamp Construction in 1997 as an intern and subsequent graduate from SIUE’s Construction Management program.  After many years and successful projects, Johnes climbed into leadership roles leading to President and eventual owner.

“It’s been an exciting and rewarding journey to where Helmkamp is today.  I’m looking forward to where that journey takes us the next 80 years.” Johnes said.  Earlier this year, the company celebrated its 80th anniversary with an open house, which doubled as a retirement party for Farrell.

Johnes continued, “Now that 2018 is wrapping up, I’m proud to say we’ve had one of our most successful years.  There is no better way I can think of to celebrate that in a milestone year than being able to give back to our community, so I’ve decided to honor our 80th year in business with $80,000 in donations to charitable organizations.”

Feedback was collected from Helmkamp employees earlier this month to help drive how the donations would be allocated and to which organizations.  “We want to be a company who is not only involved in the community, but also from the perspective that it represents what our employees are passionate about.”

Helmkamp donates to local organizations and sponsors several events annually.  Most notably is their involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association and more recently, materials and labor donated for facility upgrades to the Alton Boys & Girls Club.  Additionally, every calendar year employees are offered $100 towards the cause of his or her choice.  The annual benefit typically goes towards a fundraising event or sponsoring a child’s sports team.

Johnes added, “Our employees are our greatest asset.  We have a team comprised of good people who do great work.  We take care of our customers and are thankful for the repeat business from them.  It’s because of that; we are able to give back.”

Helmkamp is a relationship-based general contractor, based in East Alton, IL, working exclusively for private, professional, repeat buyers of construction, primarily in the industrial, power, manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, and pharmaceutical industries. To learn more, visit www.helmkamp.com.

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Helmkamp Construction Invests in Local Youth Facility

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The Boys and Girls Club of Alton received some facility upgrades to their new location on Amelia Street in Alton, courtesy of the team at Helmkamp Construction.

After an exciting year of moving to the new location and the community efforts involved to create a fun, bright and positive environment for the children of Alton, there was still work to be done.  Helmkamp opted to donate labor and materials based on the specific facility needs of the club.  Most importantly noted from the Boys and Girls Club’s Executive Director, Al Womack, Jr., was the need for large window light kits for all the program doors.  This was a safety and visibility upgrade needed so club staff could better see the children, both from inside and outside of program rooms.

Womack commented, “We appreciate Helmkamp Construction’s generosity in covering the material and labor cost associated with completing a few projects in our new facility.  We are particularly excited to have the new windows installed in the doors of program rooms.  The installation of the windows will increase safety in our facility.  Thanks for investing in our youth.”

The project consisted of nineteen 24” x 24” tempered safety glass light kits for program doors, 200 square feet of laminate flooring for two personnel offices, 500 linear feet of wall base and a 3-person crew with 142 hours of time dedicated to the facility upgrades.

Eric Shumake, Project Management Intern at Helmkamp, oversaw the project for the Boys and Girls Club under the guidance of Helmkamp’s Owner and President, Rob Johnes.  Shumake said, “Working with Al and his team to ensure a safe atmosphere for children through upgrades to their facility has been an absolute pleasure.”

Residents in the community can help the club by purchasing a 2019 BGCA Calendar.  100% of the proceeds from the calendar sales will be used to start the club’s after-school meal and snack fund.  Calendars are $20 each and are available for purchase at the Boys and Girls Club as well as several local businesses.  Call 462-6249 for more details.

Helmkamp is a relationship-based general contractor, based in East Alton, IL, working exclusively for private, professional, repeat buyers of construction, primarily in the industrial, power, manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, and pharmaceutical industries. To learn more, visit www.helmkamp.com.

Photo Above: Helmkamp’s Ted Rose and Tom Wuellner install window light kits into doors at Alton Boys and Girls Club.

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Rob Johnes Acquires Helmkamp Construction

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From Internship to Ownership, Rob Johnes Acquires Helmkamp Construction New Helmkamp Ownership Kicks off the Company’s 80th Year in Business

For Helmkamp President, Rob Johnes, a lifelong dream of being a business owner has become a reality.  Johnes, who is the first non-Helmkamp family member to assume ownership of the 80-year-old construction company, completed the long term buyout of the company from Brad Farrell, the founder’s grandson, last Tuesday.

“I plan to do some new things while not losing what has made Helmkamp great for the past 80 years” said Johnes.  Upon graduating from SIUE with a bachelor degree in construction management, Johnes joined Helmkamp Construction through an internship in 1997 and never left.  He worked as a project manager and was appointed Vice President in 2006.  He later accepted the role of President in 2012 with a plan to eventually buy out and accept ownership of the family business.  “I am deeply honored to lead an organization with such great history and a group of employees who are dedicated to safety, quality, clients and each other.”

In the company’s beginning, Gilbert Helmkamp bought his own truck and started G. Helmkamp Excavating & Trucking in 1938.  During the 1960’s and 1970’s the second generation of family joined the business.  Gilbert’s son-in-law, Byron Farrell, a civil engineering graduate from Purdue University, joined the firm in 1961.   Gilbert’s son, John Gilbert Helmkamp Jr., an industrial management graduate from Purdue University, joined the firm in 1971.

Several transitions then occurred.  Coinciding with the passing of Gilbert in the early 1980’s, the company name became Helmkamp Construction Company and Gilbert’s son, John, left the construction company for the banking business.  Gilbert’s son-in-law, Byron Farrell, became president and began taking the company in new directions.

The third generation of family joined the business in the late 1980’s.  Byron’s son, Brad Farrell, a construction engineering and management graduate from Purdue University, joined the firm in 1987.  He later served as company president from 1994 to 2011 and CEO from 2012 to 2017.  Since announcing his plan to transition into retirement, Farrell has stated his belief that “Rob is the logical choice to provide continuity and take Helmkamp to the next level.”

Originally from Alton, IL, Johnes is married to his wife Karin and they have twin 11-year-old children, Caroline and Raymond.  Johnes’ purchase of Helmkamp marks a special milestone as it coincides with the company’s 80th anniversary in the business.

An open house anniversary celebration, which will double as a retirement party for Brad Farrell, is being planned for April.  Johnes and his team look forward to celebrating all the success that has been and will continue to be Helmkamp Construction. 

 

Helmkamp is a relationship-based general contractor, based in East Alton, IL, working exclusively for private, professional, repeat buyers of construction, primarily in the industrial, power, manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, and pharmaceutical industries. To learn more, visit www.helmkamp.com.

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