The year 2018 was 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.”