Notable Women in Construction and Design: Jean Marie Thiel

President, Belonger Corporation

Jean Marie Theil, president of West Bend-based Belonger Corporation started in the world of contracting by offering business support services while putting herself through college.

In 1999, she shifted her plans and set on the road to opening her own company. She founded Belonger Corporation in March 2000 in the basement of her home with only one employee and four customers.

Today, the company is Wisconsin’s only woman-owned and American Indian-owned mechanical contracting firm. A focus on diversity and flexibility has allowed Belonger to become a national presence in the industry. The company currently employs more than 30 people between the office and field crews.

Unprecedented growth has been the hallmark of the company since the beginning. Under Thiel’s leadership, the company has worked with several notable clients on mechanical projects including Lambeau Field, the Harley-Davidson Museum, Oak Creek power plant, Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons, the Milwaukee streetcar, and the Milwaukee County Zoo Elephant Exhibit.

Thiel currently holds several DBE/MBE/WBE certifications, and serves as the president of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association. She also serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Procurement Institute and is the chair of the Executive board American Indian Chamber of Commerce.

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