People Are Our Priority

Self-Managed Trades

We employ our own steel erectors, carpenters, and maintenance technicians because it’s best for our team, and for your project. The Veneklasen Construction staffing approach means your construction project is completely under control and in the hands of a highly experienced team.

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Want to Become One of Our Trade Partners?

Veneklasen Construction draws from a network of highly skilled tradespeople to get our jobs done on time and under budget. If you’re interested in joining that network, click here!

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Best & Brightest

Veneklasen Construction has been recognized as a company with exceptional human resource practices and employee enrichment programs for 13 years in a row. We consider this one of our highest organizational achievements.

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Strong Leadership

The Veneklasen Construction leadership team embodies our brand promise of “Dedicated to Building It Right”. They use a hands-on approach to directing people, projects, and strategy and leverage their deep experience to deliver construction excellence.

  • Chris Veneklasen


    Chris sees each project from the owner’s perspective and is personally involved to assure optimized resource deployment and quality outcomes.

  • Julie Byrne


    Julie has over 22 years of commercial construction experience. Julie leads and supports project execution, improving our team’s ability to deliver excellence throughout the entire pre-construction and construction process.

  • Doug Ritz

    VP of Project Management & Pre-Construction

    Doug manages relationships with clients, architects, engineers, and subcontractors, and guides the Veneklasen project management team to high standards of quality and customer service.

  • Joe Spezia

    VP of Field Operations

    Joe Spezia is a construction leader with over 20 years of proven industry experience including in design, engineering, estimating, purchasing, and management.

  • Sarah VandenToorn

    VP of Finance & Operations

    Sarah is responsible for financial planning, data analysis and reporting. She works closely with the Veneklasen team to ensure the organization remains on track to hit their operational goals. She also oversees the Company’s IT and Risk teams.

  • Bill Lee

    VP of Business Development

    Bill manages professional communications between clients and the Veneklasen team and works to achieve project goals and build lasting relationships.

  • Jami Buth

    Director of Commercial Real Estate

    Jami specializes in transaction management, integral parts of the development process such as identifying properties, feasibility studies, due diligence, financing and property acquisition.

Our History

In the 1970’s, Alan “AJ” Veneklasen’s passion and drive turned a small pole barn business in Grand Rapids into a General Contractor specializing in erecting metal buildings. His success came from personal passion and a relentless focus on quality and value. Two priorities that continue today.

Since then, the expansion of the Veneklasen Steel Team’s industrial building capabilities and diversification into many commercial sectors secured the company’s position as a formidable general contractor. We are especially proud of our efforts to initiate re-construction of abandoned industrial sites and new housing developments that have revitalized West Michigan neighborhoods.

Today, a people and relationship focus drives our growth. Investments in our team and strategic leadership are a priority and we are proud to be the general contractor of choice for many repeat customers, including Fortune 100 companies.

Safety and Sustainability Commitment

Safety by Design

The Veneklasen Construction team works together like a well-oiled machine on the jobsite – causing efficiency to go up and safety incidents to go down. We know our intentionally designed system is working because our team is healthy, our Experience Modification Rating (EMR) is 50% below the industry average, and we keep winning awards like the ABC/Step award for safety.

Earth-Friendly Methods

We believe that commercial construction activity should not compromise the needs of the community or our environment. Consequently, we continually look for ways to reduce our environmental impact:

  • LEED certification is a priority for our leaders
  • Our system of eliminating construction waste is always improving
  • Smart application of technology helps us reduce energy and material resource use
  • We use sustainable and eco-friendly materials whenever possible on all projects
  • Strategic partnerships in our supply chain foster sustainable stewardship of natural resources

Investing in West Michigan

As we’ve grown, our commitment to the community we call home has expanded. As a team, we volunteer to impact many community organizations and we were among the first to repurpose vacant industrial buildings into flex-space during the 2000’s. We continue to use our value-focused design-build capabilities on development projects that are reinvigorating communities across the region.

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AJV Team Members Volunteering