Q1: What has made Zumbrun Construction Company a success for so long?
The Zumbrun family has been in the construction business for over 90 years. The current company was founded by Gene F. Zumbrun in 1969. Building lasting relationships with our customers has assured our longevity and success in the tri-state region. More than 80 percent of our business is from past customers or referrals from those customers. Zumbrun Construction has also changed with the times by keeping up-to-date on technology, safety and new delivery methods for selling our goods and services.
Q2: How did your career path lead you to being president of Zumbrun?
I was born in Fort Wayne but I grew up and went to school in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from high school, I was given the opportunity to return to Fort Wayne to go to college at (then) IPFW and work for the company part time. This opportunity was given to me by my uncle Mike Zumbrun who was the owner of the company at the time. After graduating from IPFW, I was offered a position for estimator/project manager at the company and I accepted. Over the past 30 years, I became a partner with Mike Zumbrun and was named president at the age of 27. In 2016, I bought the remaining shares held by Mike and became the sole owner of the company.
Q3: What makes you passionate about commercial construction?
I enjoy working with the many different people that are involved on a construction project. I really like to pull together the best team (architect, sub-contractors, material suppliers, consultants and owners) to create a successful construction project in which everyone is happy with the finished project. I also enjoy the variety of projects that we are given the opportunity to work on. The differences can be drastic and that makes it both challenging and rewarding. I like the fact that we are a team at Zumbrun Construction and my employees don’t work for me but work with me. I can’t get a project completed without all of our employees doing their part and they can’t get it done without me doing mine.
Q4: What do the next few years look like for you and for Zumbrun?
We have recently brought on a new estimator/project manager to allow me to spend more time on customer retention/relations, new sales and customers, as well as focusing more on running the business as a whole. Our goal is to grow the business by 15 to 20 percent each year over the next three to five years. The current pandemic may alter that goal a little, but we are hopeful that we will be back on track by late 2020. We have been very conservative in taking on new employees in the field due to the big swings that happen in the construction industry. We have found that utilizing specialty trade organizations to get extra help when we are busy is the best way to handle our labor needs. We have a great core of employees who we are able to keep busy all year. We do everything in our power to not lay off employees
Q5: Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?
Yes, it has slowed our work load down tremendously. We are extremely fortunate to have a fair amount of back logged work that was secured before the pandemic hit. We believe that there will be a gap in our work in the next four to six months. We are hopeful that everything will be back on track by the end of the year.
Q6: What can you be found doing in your free time?
My fiancee and I enjoy traveling to new places, which has been put on hold with the recent events. We also enjoy remodeling our 130 year old farm house and barn, gardening, kayaking and being outdoors whenever possible. I also enjoy playing ice hockey once a week with a great bunch of guys. We both enjoy cooking new and exotic foods. We currently have two dogs and one cat and plan on adding chickens and possibly some miniature goats to our small farm.