2016 marks the 25th year in business for Bayland Buildings, Inc. Not many startups can rest their hat on a successful 25 years still going strong. Steve Ambrosius serves as our Founder, President, and CEO today. Growing up on a family dairy farm, Steve was instilled with the undeniable work ethic and dedication we see in him today. Steve’s passion for family and farming led to a partnership with his brother to start their own dairy farm in Freedom, WI back in 1980. That partnership, and Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit led to another venture focused on Agricultural and pole buildings, A&A Construction.
As their families grew and priorities shifted, Steve left the farming business and took a position with Shaumann Structures in 1985. Steve started, like most everyone else, in the field at Shaumann, learning and improving his basic skills, and developing an understanding of construction projects from start to finish. Working his way through the ranks, Steve eventually took a sales position at Shaumann.
In the fall of 1990, Steve and a business partner developed a business plan to start what we know today as Bayland Buildings, Inc. The doors officially opened on February 15,1991 from a laundry room, which was converted into their office. By September of that same year Steve and his partner moved their new business venture into their first self-constructed office located on West Mason Street, just a few blocks from today’s headquarters.
At the end of the first year Bayland Buildings had a total of four employees and sales that reached $258,000. The next few years Steve was involved in everything from selling to ordering materials and even the actual construction, and this all done without a cell phone! Weekends consisted of family time at the office with his kids refilling the vending machines and his wife cleaning the office from top to bottom. Sundays were not a day of rest, after church the whole family picked up lunch at the local bar, along with Steve’s Packers’ numbers and then made their rounds to check each job site.
The dedication and hard work by Steve and the new employees of Bayland Buildings paid off, and the new Company grew at a rate they never imagined! By 1996, Bayland outgrew their first facility on Mason Street and made a move into what is now, our corporate office on Bay Ridge Court. Like most things in Steve’s life, he had a vision first. Steve sketched the unique building design of the new facility on an airplane napkin following a Varco Pruden convention he attended in Las Vegas.
As Bayland continued to grow, Steve’s partner had the desire to independently start his own venture, and Steve became the sole owner of Bayland Buildings in 2001. The following year Bayland, then primarily focused on the commercial market, created an Agricultural Division resulting in a substantial grown in sales to over $16 million.
Over the next few years Bayland underwent multiple expansions both in physical size and the number of employees. In 2008 Steve sold 30% of Bayland Buildings, Inc. to the employees that are the foundation of our Company via the Employee Stock Ownership plan.
Throughout the years Steve has never stopped taking chances. He was able to successfully build Bayland Buildings while investing in Wisconsin Earth Works, Truss Systems, BayTherm Insulation, Bay Area Plastering, and other outside business ventures.
Most recently Bayland’s Agristeel division has been realizing significant growth. Now focused not only on steel manufacturing, but also building packages and interior steel assemblies, in a short two years they have accumulated 28 dealers throughout the United States and Canada. The success of Agristeel, founded on the same principles that made Bayland Buildings the great Company it is today, are attributed directly to Steve’s values and high expectations of quality and hard work.
Over the past 25 years Bayland has had the privilege to be a part of creating so many amazing buildings. Together we have continued to make a positive impact to our society by creating the spaces people work, play, stay, and create their own successes.
Steve made the decision to take an even bigger step in securing his employees futures by selling the remainder of his ownership this year, making Bayland Buildings 100% employee owned. Steve’s goal in the sale is that each employee can benefit from their own personal achievements and hard work here at Bayland, and will take time to enjoy his or her hard-earned retirement with financial security.
Steve credits much of his success to the people that have worked with him over the last 25 years. “There are so many loyal, long-time committed employees, that are to be thanked for where we are today. It really says something when 68% of our revenue is generated from repeat clients, it’s truly amazing,” says Steve. In 1991, when this all started, Steve’s goal was to create a $10 million company but with the dedication and hard work of family and friends, he’s been able to build something he has never imagined.