Every business has a unique start; typically a dedication to help others and a vision to innovate is a fundamental cornerstone on which to build. “So, someone suggested I start a company. I never would have thought of starting a company, but I did – and it worked out pretty well,” laughs Founder and CEO Bob Brinkmann.
Bob further defines the company, their values, and what they offer. While he points out that Brinkmann, a design-build national contractor offering construction services, is different than a lot of other companies, President Brian Satterthwaite digs deeper in to the foundations that make Brinkmann unique. “Bob [Brinkmann] started Brinkmann Constructors in 1984. Bob always thought that the construction industry was a little lethargic, and he thought it needed to be more of a service-oriented business and also that…if you looked at things a different way, you could find a better way to do it. And you can get things done faster than they were being done,” explains Satterthwaite.
“Where we apply our passion for building, which is to be operationally strong – we go out, build the project, try to beat the schedule – and [we] really do it with the goal to exceed the expectations,” says Executive Vice President Tom Oberle.
The aforementioned expertise and innate drive to excel are paramount to Brinkmann Constructors’ continued success and what their team strives for in every job. Being a trusted name in the construction space not only gives their team momentum, but also makes them a valued partner to their clients. Bob Brinkmann acknowledges their resilient partnerships, saying, “We’ve done a good job for our clients in saving them a lot of money, and that is by bringing the sources that we have of our engineers, our knowledge of construction cost to the table with other design professionals.”
I think both our organizations share and live very much similar values. Courage, integrity, people, teamwork, a client-focused and oriented solutions. Both companies strive for passion to exceed expectations.
First Bank Senior Vice President Greg Fuesting plainly sees how Brinkmann’s values play a key role in the business’s continued success. He remarks, “It’s very apparent in conversations with Bob; he’s a very generous person and he wants to share his success, the company’s success with their employees and that he places a huge amount of emphasis on integrity, creativity, teamwork, courage, problem solving.”
Brinkmann’s Vice President of Finance Jennifer Funk shares similar sentiments. Funk expanded on what she believes makes Brinkmann special, saying, “The most important thing that keeps me here is definitely the culture. It’s the people that I work with every day; it’s being excited and inspired to work with the team, to always look for a better way to do something, or a quicker, faster solution.”
Having a great team is critical and knowing your team takes pride in their work not only guarantees the work will be done well, but also bolsters the relationship between the business and their client. Oberle adds, “You know, when we finish a project we want the owner, we want the building operator to say ‘Wow, that was a great project. And guess what? We want Brinkmann to go build our next project.’ That’s our goal every time we go build something.”
Another key component to strong relationships are these everyday values; the characteristics and behaviors that motivate and guide us through every project, exchange, and moment in our lives. Fuesting illustrates the kinship between First Bank and Brinkmann Constructors, saying, “I think both our organizations share and live very much similar values. Courage, integrity, people, teamwork, a client-focused and [client-]oriented solutions. Both companies strive for a passion to exceed expectations.”
"It's just been a wonderful relationship. They're easy to deal with and they're a family-owned business; they're not a large bank corporation like some of these people that we've done business with. But it's been a great ride. We'll always be with First Bank."
“We don’t think that 35 years happens by accident. A big part of our success is long-standing relationships. We have relationships that have lasted for as long as we’ve been around,” deduces Satterthwaite. Relationships are at the heart of every business and Brinkmann truly values their relationships with every one of their clients – including their bank. Satterthwaite confirms the priority of these connections, saying, “Obviously, Brinkmann is a relationship driven business. We appreciate our relationship with First Bank and their flexibility has been a big part of our growth.”
Also imperative is the breadth of knowledge and understanding a financial institution has for their varied clients. It is in knowing a business’s complexities that a relationship can flourish. “When looking for a banking relationship, it’s important that we have somebody that does understand our business, and I think that’s probably the most important,” explains Funk.
“It’s just been a wonderful relationship. They’re easy to deal with and they’re a family-owned business, […] but it’s been a great ride. We’ll always be with First Bank,” declares Brinkmann.
Much like finding success as a long-standing business, progress doesn’t happen by accident. Progress happens incrementally and is built on the foundation of these fortified connections. As Oberle explains, “I think there’s a lot of alignment in values between Brinkmann and First Bank. And that’s why we’ve been partners for 25 years.”
You don’t grow to be one of the biggest family-owned banks by standing still. And you don’t do business for 100-plus years by forgetting where you came from, or who you’re here to serve. Because helping clients reach their goals is our goal, and planning better for tomorrow starts with achieving more today. For individuals, for businesses, and for the whole community.
This is what it means to be a part of First Bank.
Where being treated like family means something. Where the success of our clients means everything. And where relationships come first.