Check out this issue of our Red Iron Magazine: Winter 2021!
‘Customers for Life’ is a saying you frequently hear throughout our hallways. We believe that you build client loyalty by earning—and keeping— the trust of everyone you work with. My dad, Ivan Sr., instilled this value in my siblings and me from an early age. He taught us that being a straight shooter was vital in business. You never let a dollar get in the way of doing the right thing.
I’ll never forget when my dad landed our first job with a local Fortune 500 company, Leggett & Platt. Thirty-some years ago, we were interviewing for the job, and it became clear that the interview wasn’t going well. But that never hindered my dad. He stood up and told the Director of Construction, Don Laferla, “I’ll tell you what – if you put your faith in us to do this project, first, I’ll do a hell of a job, and second, I’ll take half of what we make (if anything) and invest it in your company.” That turned out to be an offer that Don couldn’t refuse, and we’ve owned L&P stock ever since! We also just recently kicked off the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex named after Mr. Cornell, Chairman Emeritus, Leggett & Platt, Inc. in Joplin, Missouri. (featured on page 22)
J-M Farms is another one of those life-long partnerships. Back in 1979, my dad worked as a subcontractor when J-M built its original facility. Owner Virgil Jurgensmeyer worked alongside my dad on the project, and the two men became fast friends. Over the years, my parents and the Jurgensmeyers vacationed together, attended family events, and often enjoyed a competitive game of pitch. It wasn’t uncommon for dad and Virgil to come back from dinner and hand us building plans they’d dreamed up, sketched on a napkin. Both of our companies and our friendship has continued to grow over the years. We just had the privilege of wrapping up an addition that will improve both their process and capabilities. (featured on page 14)
Today, I love to see our younger leaders build those same relationships with the next generation of clients, architects, engineers, subcontractors, and everyone we work with. It’s not about being the biggest contractor or the lowest bidder on a project that will keep us growing. It’s having that grit and always finding a way to accomplish our client’s goals and our own. We’re always going to be the partner that people can trust and depend on to do what they say when they say it. My dad set the values and foundation of our company. And, I’m proud to say over 40 years later, we are still representing them well. I want to thank all Crossland employees for their dedication while working through the pandemic. I pray for your families and everyone who has lost a loved one. Hopefully, we will all have somewhat of a normal summer with our friends and families!
President – Midwest Region