Chairman and owner
Super Steel LLC
2013 revenue: $60 million
In 1966, Frederick Luber left his sales engineering position at Louis Allis to purchase Super Steel, then a struggling fabrication company with $200,000 in annual sales and 18 employees.
Luber’s vision and dedication to innovation quickly transformed the company to include 800 employees and three locations.
Luber has also invested his time and money into other ventures. He was one of the early investors in Marquette Electronics and also opened a thriving restaurant and a resort business in Door County.
“My dad really understands the importance of good people in all walks of life,” said Paul Luber, chairman of Super Steel and Frederick’s son. “He certainly has taught me that surrounding yourself with good people is a key ingredient to business success and it’s also a lot more engaging and fun to be in business.”
Super Steel, a contract manufacturer of steel products that does steel fabrication, complex manufacturing, and engineering work, is a family-owned business, Frederick said.
In 2005, at the age of 80, Frederick made the decision to sell the company to a business management team. Effects of the Great Recession, new business ventures and an inexperienced management team sent the company spiraling into receivership. Five years later, Frederick, thinking of the community and the employees at the company, decided to buy the firm back.
He has turned it around and today Super Steel is on track to earn $70 million in 2014.
“We’ve put the ownership of Super Steel into the family trust, so my son Paul and my two daughters are the beneficiaries,” Frederick said. “They will pass it down to their children. It’s important to keep it in the family for as long as it’s deemed appropriate.”