Thiel building business for 60 years
The Bryan Times wrote an amazing article about Thiel Construction Co.
By Lucas Bechtol Ibechtol@bryantimes.com
Jan. 5, 2022
BLAKESLEE— Thiel Construction has been in the family for 60 years and two generations and is continuing strong.
Jacki Imm is the secretary-treasurer of the company and owns it with her brother, Bob Thiel, who also serves as president of the company.
Imm said her father started out in construction “many, many, many years ago” and started his own company, Thiel Construction Company, in 1961. In 1974, Imm’s uncle came into the business and he retired in 2013.
In 2014, she and her brother took over the business.
“We obviously have grown over the years,” she said. “We’re a true general contractor, we do most of the work ourselves: ground work, excavation, block work, brick work, concrete work, floors, drives, all that kind of stuff. We have general carpenters that do rough framings.”
While they do most of the work themselves, they do subcontract out to the other trades, like plumbing and electrical.
They focus on commercial and industrial, which keeps them really busy. They do, occasionally, do some residential work, when they can fit it in.
Agricultural work has also started booming.
“That seems like it’s been really big here the last couple, three years maybe, which gets us into a lot of the pole barns and things of that nature, some stick built, some metal,” Imm said.
The business started on County Road H, with Imm’s father working out of the business at the home, with Imm’s mother doing the bookwork. In 1964, he purchased a building on County Road 4, which is used as a workshop and staging area.
In 1978, it was decided the business needed to get out of the house and that’s when they came to Blakeslee.
“We bought this building that I think used to be an old gas station, remodeled this place and then moved the offices to here,” Imm said. “In 1979 we bought the old tomato canning factory across the street and started the supply center.”
Thiel Supply Center started as a place allowing Thiel Construction to purchase materials for a better price. They then decided to open up the storefront for public use.
Entering into its 61st year in 2022, Imm said not much has changed, though projects have gotten bigger.
“We’ve had some customers that have been with us for a very long time,” she said. “As far as what we do, what we do hasn’t changed. Obviously, new equipment and new ways of doing things to keep up with the times have made the job run a little easier, a little more efficiently.”
Equipment also helps with labor.
This type of work can be very hard on the worker, so making things easier with technology is important, Imm continued.
Thiel Construction has been “very, very blessed” during the COVID-19 pandemic, Imm said.
“We had a couple major customers who were deemed essential and they said ‘You are working on a major project for us, what we’re doing is essential, what you are doing for us is essential. You have to come to work,’” Imm said.
They took about a week off and got all their COVID protocols in place, including procurement of all of the safety products for workers.
Since then, they have been “crazy busy,” Imm said.
“Sometimes it was difficult,” she said. “We didn’t always have the hot, running water and all the things you can do for safety. So, finding all the sanitation and things of that nature was difficult at times, but the guys were great. We made it through.”
Throughout the decades, they have had a great crew.
“I can’t say enough about our crew; they’re just really good guys,” Imm said. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”