Hunzinger Construction Company was honored recently at the 16th annual Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award banquet held at the Monona Terrace Community and Conference Center in Madison. Hunzinger was awarded the Grand Award.
“This year’s nominees came from across the state and represent a wonderful array of industries. We continue to be impressed with the success of these family-owned firms,” stated Julie Bogle, Partner with BDO USA, LLP, the primary sponsor of the program. BDO merges with Smith & Gesteland, the founder of the program last year.
Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges. Below are the remarks of Neil Fauerbach, the Master of Ceremonies for the award presentation:
If the Family Business Awards judges have learned one thing over the years about successful multi-generational businesses, it is that while they demand the very best from their employees, they also treat them like family. That engenders loyalty and a sense of pride in the company’s success.
This is true of the Hunzinger Construction Company, a business that has survived and thrived for 112 years. Now run by its 3rd and 4th generations, Hunzinger has continuously served the Southeast Wisconsin construction market since 1907. Today Hunzinger is a construction manager, general contractor and design/builder, managing or building some of Wisconsin’s most challenging projects. These include Miller Park, Johnson Controls Worldwide Headquarters, multiple projects for Harley Davidson, the construction and demolition of The BMO Harris Bradley Center, most all projects on the Summerfest grounds, including a major renovation of the American Family Amphitheater, and the under development Komatsu South Harbor Campus project.
The company’s three owners, John and Jim Hunzinger and Kevin O’Toole, all have open-door policies and serve as mentors for the 55 professional employees. Last year, the leaders transformed a portion of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Program, making everyone an owner and officially “part of the family”.
The company “family” was tested recently when Hunzinger partner Kevin O’Toole was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The entire company, including employees spouses, parents, friends and even retirees, came together to support Kevin. Support has continued in the form of attending special church prayer services, coordinating a Meal Train during his chemotherapy, attending the shows of his band, H2-OH and fund raising for Musicians on Call, an organization that Kevin is involved with and is a member of their national board of directors.
Hunzinger supports many charitable organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Over several decades, it has granted over 125 wishes, and family members have served on the state and national boards of directors. Also, over the past decade, Hunzinger has spearheaded an effort to send more than 56 tons of much-needed supplies to American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The judges were most impressed by the company’s longevity, strong family values, charitable giving, and its strategic planning addressing both family and business growth.
Ryan O’Toole accepted the award on behalf of the company.
About the Award: The Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award is sponsored by BDO USA, LLP, an international tax and assurance firm, First Business Bank, and the Boardman & Clark law firm, to highlight and celebrate accomplishments and contributions of family businesses that make an impact on their communities and on the Wisconsin economy.