< All News

The Story of the Year: Our People

Our people have always been, and will continue to be, our story of the year. They’ve written our narrative since day one nearly 65 years ago. As I serve in my 13th year as CEO, proud is an understatement. I am impressed every day by the craftsmanship and professionalism of our people.

Kent Companies exists not just to pour concrete, but to help people take care of their families and build a life for themselves. We are a third-generation family company. This is a place for you to build a lifelong career, and then have your children build a lifelong career too.

The VanBemden family is one great example. Ike VanBemden worked as a General Superintendent when my father and uncle were leading the company. His son, Mike, followed in his footsteps as a General Superintendent, and his grandson Zach is now a Division Manager. Ike and Mike paved the way for leaders like Zach to have the opportunity to stand where he does now.

Ike VanBemden

In fact, Zach received the 2021 National Gaining Strength Award from the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) this year. The ASCC’s Gaining Strength Award honors outstanding young professionals who go above and beyond to promote and represent the concrete industry, through their actions and participation in local and national organizations. The VanBemden family is a remarkable representation of how we grow our people and their families for years to come. 

We build quality projects by building generations of leaders. We are an award-winning, national powerhouse because of them. This year we were ranked #9 in the Top Concrete Firms by Engineering News-Record. Our ranking is a testament to the commitment and sheer determination our people bring to work every day.

Our project teams are earning recognition nationwide too. We were honored with the Platinum Project Award by the American Subcontractors Association of North Texas for the DHL Alliance Buildings in Fort Worth, Texas in June. Our work on the Studio Park Ramp in our home of Grand Rapids, Michigan, received the Michigan Concrete Association’s Award of Excellence earlier in the year.

This year we expanded our footprint more than ever before with boots on the ground in Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, Florida and New Mexico. We’re uniquely positioned to serve national general contractors because we collaborate across regions and offer both reliable manpower and capacity.

While our project teams are building across the country, we’re building our capabilities internally too. We’ve enhanced our offerings with human resource capabilities, development opportunities, tailored education and training initiatives. To name a few, we offer:

  • Hands-on craft training
  • Blueprint reading
  • Spanish-to-English language classes

Our team has established additional talent, information technology, marketing and accounting professional roles to further support our teammates. Our digital transformation continues with project management software, our CRM and a complete digital suite to make our communications and work seamless nationwide.

We know what the market demands – from logistics, distribution, and industrial to the new models for multi-family housing – and our team stands ready to build. We remain relentlessly focused on safety, and we know we can accomplish big things when we work together.

Anything is possible with the right people and purpose. I am incredibly proud of all the accomplishments of the past year. The perseverance of our team has made it an extraordinary one – especially as we approach another milestone anniversary in 2022.