Son takes reins of construction firm from father


Chris Veneklasen started learning the construction business when he was 16. Photo by Michael Buck

A Grand Rapids construction firm is changing leadership.

Alan J. Veneklasen has retired as the owner and CEO of a.j. Veneklasen, Inc., or AJV — the construction firm he founded 41 years ago.

“After many years of active involvement, the time has come to formally step back and allow the next generation of leadership to continue this family legacy,” Veneklasen said. “I am confident AJV is well-positioned for the future.”

Veneklasen’s son, Chris Veneklasen, the firm’s president, will assume full leadership and ownership of the company and retain the title of president.

Chris Veneklasen first joined AJV in 1995 as a steel foreman after earning a degree in marketing and communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

He gradually worked his way up the ladder, before being promoted to president in 2006.

“I'm both humbled and excited to move into this new role,” Chris Veneklasen said. “My father’s tenure has left this organization in a remarkable position. With a solid foundation in place, I look forward to shaping the next chapter in AJV’s legacy.”

Alan Veneklasen founded AJV in 1976 after originally working for Veneklasen Concrete Construction, Inc., which his father, Jack Veneklasen, owned.

AJV now employs more than 55 associates and offers construction management, design-build, steel erection, general trades and building maintenance services. 

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