Bear Construction Scores Contracts with Hard Work
Byline: Sarah A. Tolkoff Medill News Service
Name: Bear Construction Co.
Business: Commercial interior build outs
Location: Rolling Meadows
Owners: Nicholas, George and James Wienold
Revenue: $32 million in 2004, $40 million projected in 2005
Employees: 100 to 125, depending on the project
Brothers George, Nick and Jim Wienold could have passed for starters on the 1985 Chicago Bears. Instead, these former construction workers run a Rolling Meadows general contracting business that just marked its 20th year.
The three brothers - avid hunters, fishermen and football fans - named their company Bear Construction Co.
Their first job was a $15,000 contract for interior build-out for Quantum Properties on Chicago's Northwest side. They were "scared to death." They scrambled to cover costs and operated out of a trailer at George's Arlington Heights home.
Today, Bear Construction is a multimillion-dollar company with a strong corporate customer base.
"Each one of the Wienolds backs each other up. If you need help from one, another is ready to step in and help," said Bruce Ebner, senior project manager for SBC Communications Inc. of Northern Illinois and a Bear Construction customer.
Within the last decade, Bear Construction has quadrupled its sales and tripled the number of employees to 125.
Its client lineup includes Resurrection Health Care, UAL Corp.' s United Airlines and numerous businesses in the Merchandise Mart and elsewhere downtown.
Bear Construction has seen ups and downs as the construction industry has alternately boomed and faltered, but the key to the Wienolds' long-term success is all in the family.
Oldest brother, Nicholas, 58, is president; George, 48, is chief financial officer; and James, 43, is executive vice president. They are also executive project managers, overseeing, estimating, scheduling and budgeting for their clients.
Their older sister, Sherry Kurinsky, came on board in 1987, and her son, Scott Kurinsky, is the vice president and a salesman.
George's son, Michael Wienold, 21, began working as a full-time laborer this year.
"We really like to think that because we are family-owned, we keep a close pulse on what happens," Scott said. "Our name is on each product, so we want it to be perfect."
Bear Construction specializes in build-outs, or the construction of suites tailored to the specifications of the new tenants.
Bear also builds interiors of industrial buildings, banks, restaurants, and medical and communications facilities. …