GODFREY, Ill. – The RiverBend Growth Association has recognized Helmkamp Construction Co. as the Small Business of the Month for November 2022.
Soon to mark its 85th year in business, Helmkamp Construction Co. has been building relationships based on quality, integrity and safety leadership throughout the St. Louis metro area since its beginnings in 1938. Over the years, Helmkamp has become the “builder of choice” for repeat, professional buyers of construction in the Industrial, Building and Life Science markets.
Headquartered in East Alton at 707 Berkshire Blvd., the company primarily serves corporate clients, offering pre-construction, construction, and design/build services as well as out-of-state capabilities.
In February 2018, ownership of the company was acquired by long-time employee and Helmkamp President, Rob Johnes. The company currently has 51 employees.
“We have hired additional estimators and project managers so we can not only bid, but manage more work,” Johnes noted. “A couple of our senior project managers have also earned their way into leadership positions where they are helping the project management team on projects from a bigger picture, and improving processes, training and development.”
Senior leaders at Helmkamp utilize the Dale Carnegie programs to develop their skills. The company’s project managers annually take advantage of continued education opportunities. Helmkamp’s safety, accounting, and marketing departments have custom programs they take part in as needed. Field leaders come into the office monthly for safety and other relevant training and process improvement updates as well.
In 2019, Helmkamp was recognized as a “Best Place to Work” by the St. Louis Business Journal and a “Top Workplace” by the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “And we won the Business Journal’s Community Impact Award in 2020,” said Helmkamp Marketing Director Jen Jackson. “All this while having a record year of business, then going through a pandemic.”
As for the pandemic years, Helmkamp Construction worked through them like every other small business, rising to the many challenges. “But we were able to get through that without downsizing our staff and we were intent on coming out the other side stronger than ever,” Jackson said.
Jackson further noted that Johnes has been the driver behind structuring Helmkamp’s leadership team, expanding the staff, building a new and more efficient warehouse for field operations, building a fitness center at the home office for employees and updating the office. He has also been the driver behind creating the Helmkamp Cares Foundation.
“The company sees the opportunities that continually lead them to success in a number of ways. One comes from allowing employees to take an active part in the success of the company,” said Jackson.
“Our goals are two-fold: One is that we are a safe company, and everyone goes home happy and healthy to their families every day. And two, that we can give back. We are creative, hard workers who enjoy performing challenging construction projects. If we’re able to do that and at the end of the day, we are safe and able to give back to the community, that is what we call success,” she added.
“When Helmkamp employees are able to succeed in each of our roles, achieve our personal and professional goals, and share in the company’s success, that is what makes the day-to-day exciting and all the hard work we do worthwhile,” Jackson said further.
“In our many years based in Wood River and East Alton, Helmkamp has always tried to support the community and be a good neighbor to charities in the area,” noted Jackson. “In July 2019, Rob put a more focused and organized approach into place for this, and created the Helmkamp Cares Foundation. The HCF is managed by an employee committee that represents the initiatives most important to our collective employees, which are primarily major health issues, children, and veterans.”
“We average $120,000 in charitable giving per year. This is distributed in the form of local sponsorships of events and non-profits in the RiverBend area,” Jackson explained further. “We also choose three organizations each year that receive $20,000 each in the form of what we call ‘maximum impact award’ donations. We are always open to learning about new causes and helping where we can do the most good.”
“We are about a month away from announcing our 2022 ‘maximum impact’ donation recipients,” said Jackson. “However, past recipients since the program’s inception have included The Restore Network, The December 5th Fund, Paralyzed Veterans of America – Gateway Chapter, Refuge 4 Kids, Midwest Children’s Burn Camp, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Alton Memorial Hospital’s local Cancer Patient Programs, and Got Your Six Veterans’ Support Dogs.
“And in 2020, we split our annual $20,000 donation to provide regionwide COVID-19 pandemic support,” Jackson added. “We donated $10,000 to help in Illinois through the Food Crisis Center of Alton and in Missouri through Kindness Meals STL.”
The RiverBend Growth Association is the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization for the 11 communities known as the Riverbend. For more information about the Growth Association, visit www.growthassociation.com or call (618) 467-2280.
RBGA’s Small Business of the Month Committee recognizes a different member business each month for its outstanding efforts and leadership in the community. Committee members include Brenda Eardley, Adrianna Lock, Amy Roady, Kristen Ryrie, Martha Schultz, and Amy Smith.
To learn more about membership in the RiverBend Growth Association and the Small Business of the Month recognition, visit the RBGA website or call their Godfrey office.
Helmkamp Construction Co. team members pictured are Rob Johnes, Mike Farrell, Jen Jackson, Kyle Runge, Logan Reynolds, Beth Abernathy, Linda Ingold, Alyssa Spa, Ryan Clay, Brian Bechard, Christian Smith, and Nathan Knackstedt.