The Gold Standard

Shawnee Construction & Engineering observes its golden anniversary with reflections on the past and a vision for the future.
Jan 5, 2018
Jennifer Blomquist
Steve Vorderman & provided

People talk. 

And when you develop a reputation for outstanding customer service and quality workmanship, people will talk to other people about that.

For the past 50 years, people have been talking about Shawnee Construction & Engineering in Fort Wayne. The company has found that 95 percent of their business comes from referrals. 


With a focus on longtime relationships and a commitment to life cycle construction – meaning Shawnee is involved with a building for its entire life, from design and construction to yearly maintenance and remodeling – the company is credited with creating iconic and meaningful structures that grace the city’s landscape. A few of Shawnee’s clients share their experiences below.

Missy Garman, facilities manager, purchasing, Ortho Northeast (ONE)

ONE has worked with Shawnee since the 1980s and it has always done a superior job. The company goes out of its way to work around us and our busy schedules, often completing the work at night and on weekends because we can’t shut down our offices due to the high volume of patients we see. It makes our dreams come true and puts a sparkle in our buildings. Working so closely with Vice President John Schenkel over the years, he’s become like a big brother to me and I often call him to get his opinion or recommendation on projects. We trust the company and respect it and think of them as family.

Dave Kerschner, vice president, Crazy Pinz

I met Matt and John over 30 years ago through the Fort Wayne Jaycees. I was impressed with them and their drive to run a successful business. When it came time for our first project, I thought of Shawnee immediately. It won the bid and, as they say, the rest is history. It has impressive customer service and attention to detail and it has always been there to help. All of the supervisors within the company have also been great. Professionalism starts at the top.

Jimmie Schindler II, president, Bandidos, Inc.

The people at Shawnee are honest and hardworking and they genuinely care about their customers. The biggest job it has done for us was building the Glenbrook Commons Bandidos, and it has also done many, many small jobs for us. Any construction project has surprises and issues, but Matt was extremely fair about making things right. It’s important to support local businesses and local families who support our community. The Schenkel family of Shawnee embodies all that is good about Fort Wayne. They are an awesome family!

Dan Carr, executive director, The Towne House Retirement Community

Shawnee is responsive, easy to work with, honest and has fair pricing that is easy to monitor. We started working with the company on a number of projects five years ago. The company understands the needs that we have in designing and building residential-type buildings. Shawnee is responsive to change and accommodates our unique schedules. This was especially true as we renovated a kitchen and were able to keep it open during the construction process.

Michael Connolly & John Connolly, co-owners, Connolly’s Do it Best Hardware & Rental (and Bantry Bay LLC)

Our first major project with Shawnee was the construction of our Southgate Do it Best Hardware store nearly 20 years ago. Shawnee won the bid and it has been a great partnership ever since then. There have been many times Shawnee has done small jobs to either fix a problem or alter our buildings to make them more efficient for our use. We had an unusual situation years ago, when a customer backed a vehicle through the rental doors at one of our locations. The entire double door system needed to be replaced. However, nothing seems to be too difficult for Shawnee as they had it replaced very quickly. It has a great crew working on the team.

Mike Richmond, NIN operations manager, OmniSource

We’ve had a relationship with Shawnee for more than 20 years and it has completed numerous jobs for us, including remodeling multiple locations while enhancing the improvement of our security and refurbishing the shredder downstream building. The company is easy to work with, has high-quality standards and is dependable and fair.

“It’s all about the customers,” says John Schenkel, Jr., vice president of Shawnee. “Our dad, John A. Schenkel, started the company in 1968 as a residential/insurance loss construction company. Later, the focus was switched to commercial and industrial construction. He always put the customer first and he passed down that philosophy to us.”

“Our dad said, ‘give the best customer service you can and do what you can to make everybody happy and the business will take care of itself,’ ” says Matt Schenkel, president of Shawnee. “We are proud of the longtime relationships we have with so many customers in this area. We really value them and appreciate them. And we treat our new customers just like our existing ones.”

With family at the heart of their business, both Matt and John Jr. recognize the importance of putting their integrity and values into the equation with every decision they make. They come from a long line of successful business owners and look to pass that down to their own children as well.

“We’re the seventh generation of Schenkels in the construction business in northeast Indiana,” says John, Jr. “That’s more than 100 years of tradition in the family-owned construction field.”

“Between John and me, we have 15 children,” says Matt. “There’s no doubt that the third generation of our family will carry on my dad’s business and no doubt, it will be carried on with his legacy for commitment, loyalty and dedication to the customers.” 

Shawnee Construction & Engineering

Address: 7701 Opportunity Drive Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825

Phone: (260) 489-1234



IMG Insurance Management Group

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