Seven decades of leadership
Faulks Bros. Construction wins chamber award
By Angie Landsverk
Two brothers started Faulks Bros. Construction with a couple of shovels and an old Army truck.
Syd and Oliver Faulks founded the company in 1946 after completing their service in the armed forces during World War II.
Their older brother, Lewellyn, joined them after his release from a German POW Camp.
The company continues to be owned by brothers.
Randy and Bob Faulks, sons of Syd, joined the company in the 1970s and are the co-owners.
Brian Buchholz, son-in-law of Oliver, also continues to be a part of the company.
Last year, Faulks Bros. Construction celebrated 70 years in business. This year, it is the winner of the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Large Business of the Year Award.
The company received the award on Tuesday, Jan. 24, during the Chamber’s annual awards program, at the Waupaca Ale House.
“We are very humbled by it. There are a lot of people who would be deserving of this award,” Bob said.
Randy said they have been blessed to be a part of what their father and uncle started.
“They lived with their mother in Weyauwega. They had a small shop in Weyauwega,” Bob said of Faulks Bros. Construction’s beginning.
Syd and Oliver’s mother, Elizabeth, helped them obtain a loan to acquire that old Army truck and a few shovels.
In the early years, they shoveled the truck full of sand, drove it to the customer’s job site and then hand shoveled the load off the truck.
They moved the business to the Waupaca area in 1953, when they opened their first gravel pit.
In 1960, Faulks Bros. Construction became one of the first businesses in the city of Waupaca’s east side industrial park. It did so with the support of the Waupaca Industrial Development Corporation.
“It was a 20-acre field with asparagus growing in it,” Bob said.
This continues to be the site of the company’s headquarters.
Last April 1, they broke ground on an addition.
“We added about 4,700 square feet. We doubled the size,” Randy said.
The project increased their office space and expanded the locker room facilities for their employees.
Once the 4,700-square-feet addition was completed, the older section of the building was gutted and renovated, Bob said.
The project was completed around Sept. 1.
Faulks Bros. Construction employs about 90 people.
“The most important asset the company has had since day one is its employees,” said Randy.
Bob said, “With 90-plus people here, there’s a lot of different faiths and beliefs. The one common bond is we try to practice the concept of servant leadership.”
Their philosophy is to take care of their employees.
It is something they learned from their father.
Over the past 70 years, the company expanded and diversified numerous times.
The aspects of the business include land improvement, golf course construction and the sale of specialty sands and maintenance materials to golf courses and athletic fields.
“We also have three offices in Illinois related to the sports field and golf aspects of the business,” Bob said.
He said the 1990s were the heyday when many golf courses were being built.
“That has kind of transferred into servicing athletic fields,” Bob said. “Golf (courses) are still an important part, but there is a lot more rebuilding of fields.”
Randy and Bob appreciate the community’s support.
They give back to the community in a number of ways.
Their interests include food security issues, recreation and education for youth and area churches and religious organizations.
The third generation of the family is involved in the business – Randy’s sons, Jon and Joseph.
Faulks Bros. will continue to grow its business.
“We’re continually working on maintaining and adding to our excellent workforce, so all the employees at Faulks Bros. can look forward to future work opportunities,” Bob said.
Chamber President Terri Schulz said, “Faulks Bros. Construction is very deserving of the 2016 Large Business of the Year Award. Randy and Bob are carrying on a family business with steady growth, and offering a great place to work. They help other businesses achieve their dreams and help make Waupaca the great place it is.”
Culver’s Restaurant of Waupaca and Park Vista Retirement Living were also nominated for the award, she said.