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Our History.

History Masthead


Wanzek was founded in 1971 in Fargo, ND by Leo Wanzek, a civil engineer. Although the company initially specialized in road and bridge construction, Leo’s entrepreneurial spirit set us on a path to excellence. Today, we’re a billion-dollar company and proud to be part of the MasTec family.

History Background_111022

First Contract.

On September 14, Leo and Janet found Wanzek Construction, Incorporated, running the business from their basement home office. Leo and Janet also design the first logo, which remains a favorite with new and veteran employees.

Their first contract was an ambitious one, the visitor center at Lake Ashtabula, ND, valued at $300,000. The project was a big step for the new company and their small team. Wanzek continued to take calculated risks with a $2 million project for the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District in 1973.

1971 Workers

New Office.

The Wanzek family buys a 30-acre farmstead outside Fargo, ND, so our corporate headquarters gets an upgrade - the garage. The family also utilizes the barns and Quonset for storage and the company shop.

1974 Wanzek Garage

First Cranes.

We purchase our first 40- and 50-ton Link Belt Crawler Cranes. Cranes became and still are a vital part of our business at Wanzek. Not only has the crane business done well on its own, but owning them has enabled us to enter new markets like the ethanol industry and renewable energy.

1975 Link Belt Crane

Taking the Plunge.

We build our first municipal swimming pools in Grand Forks and Belcourt, ND. Wanzek would help innovate the pool business with specialized construction techniques from excavation and gunite/shotcrete pool shells to the water recirculation piping, water filtration and chemical systems. We would go on to build or work on more than 60 pools over the next three decades.

1980 Devils Lake Pool

A Lasting Relationship.

One of our longest-running client partnerships begins with our first job for American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead, MN. We continue to partner on their projects to this day after nearly 40 years.

1984 ACS Moorhead

New New Office.

We move out of the garage and into a stand-alone office near the Wanzek farm. The building, which stood just off the I-94 interstate, didn't have any signage, leading many drivers to wonder what it was. The building was another sign of how much faith Leo and Janet had in the growing business.

1985 Office Building

Welcome home Jon.

Janet and Leo’s son, Jon, returns to Wanzek. After graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering, Jon had struck out on his own for a time, working for Mortenson and Northwest Airlines (now Delta) for several years. The connections made and experience gained during that time would prove useful for Wanzek's future growth.

Jon wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty for the success of Wanzek. When Jon came back, our commercial pool building division was struggling. Jon went to certified pool operators' class, where he learned pool operations and even scrapped paint and fixed pipe leaks. In addition to managing the pool division, Jon also began estimating, bidding, and project management on highway heavy projects.

1989 Leo Jon

Work with Walmart Begins.

We build our first Walmart in Jamestown, ND, followed closely by a second in Devils Lake, ND. In 1992, we build Sam's Club in Grand Forks after an exclusive negotiation. We'd go on to build seven stores for the nation's largest retailer.

1990 Walmart

First 500.

We reach a milestone with our 500th project — swimming pool in Osage, MN. The mid-90s was a period of diversity and growth for the company in both Biofuels and Ethanol projects. Also expanding relationships with American Crystal Sugar and Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative as well as construction of an assembly building for Bobcat skid-steer loaders for Melroe Bobcat. 

1995 First 500

Lift This.

Jon’s passion and vision for future diversification opportunities come to life by purchasing a fleet of cranes and the official launch of the Crane Services division in the mid-90s.

1996 Crane Services

Bringing the Heavy Equipment.

Wanzek makes a big move with the purchase its first 200-ton DeMag Mobile Crane. Leo, Janet and Jon Wanzek make the decision while meeting in the family garden (a passion shared by both Leo and Janet).

1997 DeMagCrane

Setting Up Shop.

Wanzek builds a maintenance and equipment storage shop on a parcel of land that Leo, Janet and Jon made the savvy decision to purchase years before. The location is still home to some of Wanzek’s operations today.

1999 Front of Shop

Change in the Air.

Wanzek was an early entrant into the wind energy construction market, building a single turbine for the City of Moorhead, MN and six other individual turbines with a private wind developer. Their expertise and scope of services grew with each project.

2001 First Turbine

Strong Breeze Blowing.

Our first major wind farm is built near Edgely, ND. We built the roads and tower foundations, erected the wind turbines and finally, set the large rotor blades. Eventually, Wanzek became a full-service wind contractor, offering Balance Of Plant (BOP) and Engineer Procure Construct (EPC) services.

2003 Wind Farms

New Partnerships.

With the growth of the wind energy market, we solidify our relationship by signing a First Alliance Agreement with one of the largest wind developers at the time – Duke Energy, as well as constructing a 100-million-gallon ethanol plant for Tharaldson Ethanol, a 30 million biodiesel plant for Seaboard, and a 100mw coal plant for Great River Energy.

Wanzek enters the American Cranes & Transport (ACT) list of top 50 largest crane-owning companies.

With Leo Wanzek’s health declining and Jon continuing to guide the overall vision for Wanzek, Leo makes the decision to hand the leadership reins over to Jon. Leo did this by greeting Jon at the bottom of a wind turbine, shaking his hand and telling Jon he was president and chief executive officer of Wanzek Construction. Jon happily accepted the opportunity to carry on the family’s legacy.

2007 Jon Wanzek Tower

Turning the Page.

Leo’s death in early 2008 coincides with Wanzek’s efforts to find a company to buy the business. Coined “Project Zephyr” to keep the details confidential, Wanzek was eventually purchased by MasTec, Inc., a family-run construction business based out of Miami, FL.

Wanzek achieves $400 million in revenue for the first time.

We are ranked for the first time in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 400 list coming in at #345.

2008 ENR Top 400

Moving Up.

We move up to #177 on the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 400 list.

2009 Moving Up ENR

Island Breezes.

We build our first commercial grade wind farm on 10,000 acres on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The farm includes 44 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines.

2012 Santa Isabel

New Leadership.

MasTec names Earl Collins President of the Clean Energy and Infrastructure Group. Prior to this, Earl was President at Willbros Group, and Area Manager and Senior Vice President at Kiewit.

2015 Earl Collins

Bright Future.

Wanzek forms a Solar Energy group to tackle projects in this emerging energy market and diversify Wanzek’s core offerings.

2019 Solar Field

Big Money.

Wanzek reaches $1 billion in revenue for the first time, solidifying its position as a top heavy industrial contractor in the U.S.

2020 Billion Dollar Company