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Central Iowa Company Receives Iowa Farm Bureau's 'Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur Award'

Story County Company Celebrated for Local Economic Contributions and Career Opportunities  

Absolute Concrete, recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., was recently named the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur Award Winner for April.           

Like most successful startup businesses, Absolute Concrete’s co-founders, Sonny Hall and Kraig Kriegel, identified an unfilled opportunity in an industry and launched their business to fill that void.  Less than two decades later, the former two-man company now employs 160, and their company’s concrete work can be found at locations ranging from the Iowa Speedway to the Boone Airport to Bass Pro Shops in Altoona and even the steps of the Iowa Capitol.            

“After buying a house in 1999, I needed a driveway replaced, and after about 14 calls, only two or three called me back and nobody showed up for a bid,” said President, Sonny Hall.  “I figured real quick there was an opportunity and need in the Des Moines market, and since that time we have gone from residential work into commercial and municipal work.”             

Today, Absolute Concrete continues to identify opportunities to grow the company and plans to hire up to 80 additional employees within the next year.           

Hall identified the recent passage of road infrastructure funding in the Iowa Legislature as a positive step forward for road safety and also an opportunity to provide great career opportunities to central Iowans.  “We have been very active in the last five years to address the need and get constitutionally-protected funding for vital road improvements,” said Hall.  “It’s a great thing for the state of Iowa; we are looking to add 35 to 40 jobs just because of it.”           

In an effort to attract and retain the best talent in the industry, Absolute Concrete has transitioned its structure to a 100 percent Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), making employees who have one year and 1,000 hours of service, shareholders of the company.  Absolute Concrete also works with the Story County Economic Development Group and local community colleges to help offer training for individuals interested in a career in concrete work.              

“It’s great to see entrepreneurs like the individuals at Absolute Concrete who want to make life better for their employees and community,” said Story County Farm Bureau President Derrick Black.  “As Absolute Concrete continues to grow and expand, they create more career opportunities for rural Iowans, which is something to be excited about.”                     

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources.  The next Renew Rural Iowa Business Success Seminar, “The Journey to Your Vision,” takes place April 16, at the Towncraft Building in Perry, Iowa.  For more information, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.