Larson Contracting named 2008 Lake Mills Business of Year

Published 4:32 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

At its annual meeting Jan. 26, the Lake Mills, Iowa, Chamber Development Corporation named Larson Contracting Business of the Year for 2008.

The Business of the Year Award is given in recognition of making continuous improvements to business, training employees, sharing knowledge and experience with others, participating in community organizations and giving back to the community in time and money.

Larson Contracting was established in 1977 by Allen and Linda Larson. They started with eight employees and now employ approximately 120.

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Projects range from small additions to deluxe office/warehouse facilities to large grain bins and include site preparation to interior work.

Staff and employees have been instrumental in creating a reputation for high quality work, meeting deadlines and staying within budget on projects, Al Larson said.

The in-house staff and other employees provide a level of quality and service that exceeds customer expectaions and keeps them as repeat customers, he added.

It has always been a priority of Larson to assure his employees have up-to-date equipment and to provide safety and other training as needed to achieve success.

Larson Contracting has received many awards over the years, including these in 2007.

Butler awards include the No. 1 Volume Builder of the Year, High Performance Builder of the Year for the past 18 years and $1 Million Sales Award.

Brock awards include the Platinum Award for 2005, 2006 and 2007, and the Presidents’ Club for Best of Brock Dealer.

In November of 2007, Larson named Lynn DeVries as president, choosing to promote qualified staff from within the company.

In 2005, Al Larson established Albert Lea Public Warehouse in Lake Mills, which has four employees. In addition there are Albert Lea Public Warehouse facilites in Albert Lea, Clear Lake and Garner, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb., for a total of a million square feet of space and 10 employees.

Giving back to the community has been a priority of the Larsons throughout the years and many donations have been made in the name of Larson Contracting.

The company has been a generous donor to the Lake Mills Fire Department and Lake Mills Ambulance over the years, with several employees serving on the Lake Mills Fire Department.

Land was donated to the Lake Mills Area Historical Society for the Country School Museum.

Over the past few years, Larson Contracting employees have donated money to purchase clothing and other items for families in need at Christmas.

When fellow employees have experienced personal hardships, the employees have banded together to help in time of need. Examples are building a handicap accesssible room and donating a portion of their wages to help an employee unable to work due to illness.

This past fall, Larson Contracting served as a general contractor for “Extreme Makeover” Home Edition.” Larson accepted this challenge even though the company knew it would be a costly venture since all materials and labor had to be donated to the project. Larson contacted vendors and other contractors and partnered with them to build a new home for a family.