Growing up in Lincoln, Bob Stephens and Mike Smith first became friends while attending Lincoln High School. After graduating, both young men focused on their future careers while attending college. They came together and formed Stephens & Smith Construction Company in 1971. In the early 1980's they focused on constructing cast-in-place concrete foundations. The purchase of their first set of foundation forms was made and shortly thereafter they set about pouring concrete foundations.
Also in the early 1980's, they saw a business need in the new apartment construction arena for a high performance floor underlayment system. Stephens & Smith Construction purchased a franchise for that type of system from Maxxon Gypcrete.
As their reputation as a premier concrete contractor in the Lincoln area grew, they found that Omaha building contractors were asking them to travel the sixty miles up the Interstate to work on projects in the Omaha area. In 1984 Stephens & Smith established a satellite office in the Omaha area to better service the needs of the growing list of Omaha clients.
Due to this business expansion, it became apparent to the partners that if they wanted to realize their company vision they needed to devise a method for hiring and retaining highly motivated and talented employees. They concluded that the key involved the hiring of talented working partners. A compensation system was devised that was uncommon to the construction industry. They felt that to achieve the success that they dreamed of, they needed to allow employees the ability to not only make a good living, but also to allow for the sharing in the profits and ownership of the company itself. This was accomplished with the establishment of a company employee stock ownership retirement plan.
This "thinking outside of the box" type of management style by Bob Stephens and Mike Smith, transformed Stephens and Smith Construction from a relatively small Lincoln area concrete construction company into an employee owned regional company that is consistently ranked by "Concrete Construction" magazine as one of the top 100 most successful concrete construction companies in the nation. Stephens and Smith Construction grew from two friends who decided to become business partners in 1971, to a current organization with over 200 owners.
Stephens and Smith Construction Company truly has, "An Owner on Every Project".