Top Small Business of 2006 – VJS Construction Services

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:37 pm

VJS Construction Services Inc. has come a long way since its 1947 founding as Voss Hrdlicka Co. As the company’s founders moved toward retirement, Gary Jorgensen joined as a principal in 1976. The following year, John Hrdlicka sold his stock to Jorgensen. The new principal enlisted Tom Schueler, a former co-worker, in 1978, and the following year, Schueler purchased Harold Voss’ stock. The company morphed into Voss Jorgensen Schueler Co. Inc.

That metamorphosis was more than aesthetics, however. Initially, Jorgensen and Schueler took little pay for themselves, pouring all profits back into the company. The savings enabled the company to hire additional employees, purchase more advanced equipment and increase its bonding ability, all of which enabled it to compete for large-scale projects.

The financial risk was great, but the two partners even threw a second mortgage and insurance policy loan into the company. That gamble paid off. The company grew its revenues from $2.5 million in 1976 to more than $60 million in 1999.

In 1999, Jorgensen’s sons, Craig and David Jorgensen, stepped into leadership positions at the firm as president and executive vice president, respectively.

Last year, Voss Jorgensen Schueler Co. Inc. changed its name to VJS Construction Services Inc. as a re-branding effort in conjunction with its move to a new corporate headquarters in Pewaukee. The changes were designed to help the company retain new clients and encompass the company culture created by the brothers. The space is double the size of its former Waukesha shell.

“As our customers grow, we grow right along with them,” Craig Jorgensen said.

In six years, the number of VJS employees doubled and its revenues increased to $97 million, a number that’s sure to be well over $100 million this year, Craig Jorgensen said.

The company’s philosophy is simply based upon the “golden rule.” The brothers focus on quality and customer service, Craig said. Because of the company’s success and commitment to the community, the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Times have named VJS Construction Services the 2006 Small Business of the Year.

“The construction market needs

to be looked at as a whole,” Craig said. “We’re trying to better the market for everybody and looking out for the industry as it grows.”

The buildings that VJS constructs need to provide value to the community, Craig said.

“It’s really exciting for us to be a big part of how the landscape and the way that Milwaukee is viewed throughout the world,” Craig said.

Current projects for VJS include the Hotel Wisconsin, New Berlin West Middle/High School, the Pfister Hotel and Mount Mary College.

“We want to make sure that when we’re gone, we’ve made an improvement and helped our city grow through our construction,” Craig said. “It’s important to be a part of how our community grows and changes.”

VJS has experience in long-term care, retail, education, manufacturing/ industrial, commercial, medical, renovation, housing, hospitality, development, interior build-outs, religious and government projects.

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is one example of a project VJS views as pertinent to the community.

“In living in Brookfield, (Gary) wanted to bring the fine arts in Milwaukee farther west, and his doing so made Waukesha County a better place to live,” Craig said.

The Jorgenson brothers are not resting on their laurels.

“The one thing we are really focusing on now is that ‘anything less than exceptional is unacceptable,’” Craig said.

That motto went in effect this year.

“Customers asked us if we could do more than just buildings for them,” Craig said.

Listening to those requests, VJS Development was born in 2004. David runs the development arm, which purchases property and acts as a landlord. VJS Development then hires VJS Construction Services to build on the land.

“Some customers don’t want to pay for the construction costs and prefer to pay the lease payments,” Craig said.

Recently, another arm of the VJS grabbed hold of a niche business with high national demand. VJS Lincoln Company is an aviation hanger business that constructs hangers for private corporations that own private jets, an increasingly popular trend.

“The biggest key out of all of this is we can continue to take care of our customers’ needs,” Craig said.

VJS Construction Services Inc.

Location: W233 N2847 Roundy Circle West, Pewaukee

Year established: 1947

Number of employees: 200

Web site:

Main products/services: General contracting, construction management and design-build

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