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Kent Companies News

“A Success Story” Unveiled in Celebration of Kent Companies’ 60th Anniversary

[GRAND RAPIDS, MI] – Kent Companies family, friends and colleagues gathered in downtown Grand Rapids on September 14, 2017 for a surprise art reveal of A Success Story, a 30-square foot canvas depicting iconic structures built by Kent Companies over the past 60 years. The artwork, designed by artist Trent Frey, is a part of a series of 60th anniversary celebrations for the company. It was also a surprise to Kent Companies CEO Jeff VanderLaan.

Under the guise of a behind-the-scenes ArtPrize walking tour, 25 Kent Companies guests arrived at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel for a reception. They were greeted by nearly 100 construction industry colleagues, friends and family for a surprise reveal of the artwork. Kent Companies CEO Jeff VanderLaan shared, “What I love about this piece is that everyone can recognize the iconic buildings in our community. More importantly, it demonstrates how families and individuals shape our community – every day and across generations. This is a treasured piece for the entire Kent family.”

Jeff VanderLaan’s wife, Jenni VanderLaan, commissioned the artwork as a surprise. Executive Vice President Matt Fennema, Vice President Chris Fennema, Chief Operating Officer Dave Schoonbeck and their wives were in attendance. Members of the VanderLaan and Fennema families as well as industry partners also shared in the celebration.

A Success Story is on display at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel near the waterfall in the lobby. The piece will move to Kent Companies’ corporate headquarters in mid-October.

About the Art: 

A Success Story

Trent Frey

Pencil on paper, 9’ wide x 2.9’ high

Buildings shape the skyline, but it is people who build a community. A Success Story explores how the Grand Rapids skyline has changed from 1957 through 2017. It is a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Kent Companies, a 3rd-generation family-owned business headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Riverhouse Tower, GVSU, Spectrum Health, Founders Brewing, the ITP Transit Center, 20 Fulton East and other iconic West Michigan projects are featured in this piece. A Success Story is a celebration of the growth and progress of Grand Rapids. It is evidence that West Michigan families are the backbone of our community.

About Kent Companies:

Kent Companies is a 3rd-generation family-owned business with expertise in commercial and industrial construction, mixed-use construction, multi-family housing, tilt-up concrete, post-tensioned cast in place structures and a full range of concrete-related specialties.

Kent Companies is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has operations in Detroit, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; central Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina. Kent Companies employs over 900 concrete construction professionals nationwide, and the organization is ranked in the top 20 concrete contractors nationwide by ENR Magazine. The Kent Companies team has built a reputation as “Leaders in Concrete.”

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