Keller opens Germantown office
Contractor looks to add employees

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

June 18, 2015

Keller Inc. co-owner Nathan Laurent stands at the front desk of the business Friday afternoon in Germantown. The business works with architects, planners and builders.    
John Ehlke/Daily News

GERMANTOWN — Keller Inc., a design and build general contractor, opened a Milwaukee regional office in Germantown and hopes to add 15 employees.

Sitting in the newly renovated building on Goldendale Road, Project Manager Nathan Laurent, interior designer Stephanie Pacocha and architect Chris Manske talked about plans.

Laurent said Keller started in 1960 in Kaukauna and has offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau.

“They were already doing a lot of work both agricultural and commercial in the Milwaukee area,” Laurent said. “It was a way to better serve our clients in this area. A place for meeting staff that was local. We wanted more of a labor impact on the construction part of our business.”

The Milwaukee regional office in Germantown opened June 1 and Pacocha said it has a wide customer base.

“We primarily serve every market available,” Laurent said.

A look at the Keller Inc. on Friday afternoon in Germantown.    
John Ehlke/Daily News

Medical and dental offices in the Milwaukee area are one of its biggest sectors. It also works in manufacturing and automotive.

Manske gave an example that the company is working on a BP convenience store in Lomira that burnt down. “It will be a BP and a Taco Bell.”

Laurent said they constructed the Ozaukee Ice Center and have a number of projects in Hartford.

Manske said another segment is manufacturing warehouses. When a company is looking to develop a project with Keller, Laurent said they complete a needs assessment and then work with the client’s budget to determine what level of finish the client can achieve.

Laurent said the hardest part is financing.

“Our accounting staff can work with clients about financing,” Laurent said. “We have a lot of strategic partners in the industry that will help financing.”

Pacocha said interior designers work with clients throughout the process and recommend ways for clients to achieve their goals functionally and aesthetically.

Keller would like to grow the Milwaukee regional office in Germantown. Laurent said there are 10 employees there and they’d like to add 15. There are more than 200 employees at Keller.

“We only have one construction crew here now,” Laurent said. “Keller is very actively seeking carpentry crews, steel erection and experience concrete crews.

“It’s been hard for us to find people down here. We want to grow our staff to six crews in the area of varying trades.”

He said last year Keller did $30 million in business in southeast Wisconsin and this year they expect to do about $50 million.

Laurent said he would encourage business owners to contact Keller because it has the best format for small-business owners and owner-operated businesses.

“I know Keller does it better than anyone in the state,” he said.

Pacocha said it doesn’t matter how big or small the project is.

“We will do things as small as install a door or move a wall,” Manske said. “The thought being that is a customer and we hope to be their go-to builder when they decide they want an addition.”

Manske said Keller also has an Employee Stock Ownership Program, which is rare in its industry.

“Every one of those 200 employees also has part ownership in the company,” Manske said. “You really have everyone thinking I’m part owner in this company and I want to do my best to make sure it’s successful. Our clients know how much every employee takes pride in the company.”

To learn more about Keller, visit www.kellerbuilds.com or call 262-250-9710.

Reach reporter Amanda Voss at