This week I had the opportunity to interview Loren Venegas who is the president of the Ideal Group and oversees the operations within Ideal Contracting. This was a great experience to learn information about an influential person within the company as well as gain insight into how to become successful within my own career. Loren Venegas has been working with the Ideal Group for 25 years and has made the most of his great opportunity. Growing up, Loren started working as a dishwasher for the pancake house and eventually transitioned into a position at Chuck Muirs for an extra 60 cents making $2.09 per hour which was a lot at the time. Chuck Muirs was a premier restaurants in Detroit at the time, a fine dining seafood establishment, where he started working as a dishwasher for 5 restaurants in the area. 14 years later Loren was promoted as one of the main chefs. Some major areas of work that Loren was in charge of while at Chuck Muirs was the restaurant maintenance, design of restaurant and kitchen, design of menus, and training of employees at 14 different restaurants. Loren learned how to properly provide a quality of cleanliness, understand immediate customer satisfaction, motivate people, prepare food, and training of employees. Loren’s extensive passion of working with people while in the food industry allowed Loren to gain skills that would later help him with Ideal. His career with Ideal started when he received the opportunity to start selling for Ideal Shield in Indianapolis where he was living at the time. Once the products provided at Ideal Shield started to take off, his brother Frank Venegas was thrilled to bring Loren on board full time and work out of Detroit. After Loren joined Ideal Shield, he was in charge of helping with the sales distribution system all across the country targeting the main U.S manufacturing companies, dealers and reps. Loren was also in charge of the hiring of new employees. Ideal’s success stemmed from the fact that they were able to acquire good people that could specialize in certain areas which Loren was able to help with his experience in the food industry.
Furthermore, the relationship with Barton Malow developed 18 years ago when Ideal specialized as a fabrication company and the Ford Motor Company was looking for a minority based company that could perform construction work. Ford needed Ideal to team up with a partner and Frank Venegas had a good existing relationship Ben Maibach who is one of the major players at Barton Malow. Frank and Ben felt that their core values and they way each wanted to do business aligned and most importantly how they both felt people should be treated within a company allowed them to create an alliance that was beneficial to Barton Malow and the development of Ideal Contracting. With Barton Malow’s help, Ideal’s construction expertise expanded and allowed Ideal Contracting to become independent. Now with Loren’s role within the company, his biggest challenge is making sure the customer is informed, and happy. Having the ability to keep your customer up date with company objectives, meetings and most importantly consistency can sometimes be challenging. Furthermore, with the construction industry constantly changing Loren believes that technology adaptation and informing our youth that trades school is a viable option when compared to a college education is extremely important. Being able to adapt to technology and stay ahead of the curve will put Ideal Contracting in a predominant position that will allow for continued success. In addition, making our younger generation aware of the trade school benefits that can provide a career will allow Ideal Contracting to be able to replenish their workforce. With that being said, Loren strongly believes that core values of a company will provide longevity in the industry in the long run. By being able to acquire people that fit the Ideal culture, Loren and his team can access the current staff and make sure the Ideal team isn’t lopsided with senior guys. With that being said Loren is constantly analyzing the staff and management and making sure that new talent is constantly developing. Finally, for someone who is new to the construction industry like myself, Loren advised me to continue to keep building relationships with everyone within the industry as well as everyone on the outside that might play a role as well. Most importantly, Loren advised me to keep up with all the new safety initiatives and practices within the industry, because safety is extremely important within the industry nowadays and gives a company a great reputation.
I greatly appreciate Loren Venegas for taking time out of his day to let me gain insight to how he operates within Ideal Contracting. I learned a lot in this executive interview and I look forward to future encounters with Loren.