Miron Construction is a company built around family. Currently in its third generation of ownership, David G. Voss, Jr. and Tim Kippenhan are at the helm.
It all started with Dave Voss’ grandfather, a tenacious young mason who moved to the Fox Cities from Canada. Patrick G. Miron founded the company in 1918. In the 1930s and 40s, he partnered with his cousin to form The Miron and St. Aubin Construction Company. After the partnership dissolved, the company was incorporated in 1949 as P.G. Miron Construction Co., Inc. with five stockholders, three of which included Patrick G. Miron, David Voss, Sr., and Roland Kippenhan.
Before working for Miron and becoming a stockholder, David Voss, Sr. worked at a shoe store in Appleton. His desire for a career change came the day a woman tried on 13 pairs of shoes, but left without buying a single pair. That day he called his father-in-law, Patrick, and asked to be a part of the company. He began his career as a laborer, and the rest is history.
In the early years, the company was run out of Patrick’s home in Appleton. Not only did the house serve as an office, but it was also a gathering place for family, both in the traditional sense and the Miron family. Looking back on those days, Dave Voss, Jr. remembers everyone coming together each Saturday for a meal. He recalls it being particularly exciting as a child, because there was a color TV in the house.
This family feeling extended into the workforce and onto the jobsite. Dave’s grandmother even worked for P.G. Miron, driving truck to haul brick from suppliers to jobsites. It didn’t matter what role one played, everyone worked hard and then sat down together at the end of a long day, talking and sharing stories. All of the employees, especially the tradespeople, Dave noted, were simply fun, good people.
Eventually, the Miron family got too big to work out of Patrick’s home, so the company built its first office and storage area on Valley Road in Menasha in 1956. While it was exciting to have an official office, Dave remembers that the best thing about it resided behind the shop door, just down the hall.
At the end of this hall was a refrigerator. It was always fully stocked with beer and soda. At the end of each work day, every Miron employee, whether a tradesperson, office worker, owner, or superintendent, would grab a drink from the fridge, a five-gallon bucket from the shop to sit on, and gather around in a circle to talk about their day. There was never any complaining, simply a report of what went right, what didn’t, and how they could do things better tomorrow. Eventually, the conversation would shift from work to family and what was happening on the home front, from children having difficulties with school to invitations to help build a new garage for someone’s house. The crew was always mixed—laborers, millwrights, salesmen, secretaries—but no matter what, everyone was family.
As the company grew, so did the circle. Even today, Miron employees gather in kitchen-like spaces throughout the office to talk about work and what’s going on at home. One thing you’ll never hear reference to is “Mr. Voss” or “Mr. Kippenhan.” To the Miron family, they are simply Dave and Tim. This caring, family culture is the foundation of Miron and what the company is all about.
Miron has come a long way since its humble beginnings. One hundred years after it was founded, Miron has a corporate office in Neenah, as well as satellite offices in Wausau, Madison, Milwaukee, and Eau Claire, WI and Cedar Rapids, IA. We’ve reached the billion-dollar mark and we look forward to seeing where the next hundred years takes us.
Dave and Tim were recently featured on the cover of Insight Magazine. To read the article, click here.
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