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Our Philosophy

fred

Q & A With Heldenfels Enterprises President Fred Heldenfels IV

What does Heldenfels Enterprises mean to you, personally?

“Initially, when I acquired the prestressed concrete division of Heldenfels Brothers, our predecessor company; my main motivation was to continue our family”s tradition of building for another generation. However, Heldenfels Enterprises has since grown into a team of dedicated professionals and skilled craftsmen, of which I”m very proud. Every team member takes pride in our ability to meet demanding schedules and challenging designs when it comes to building large or complex structures with prestressed concrete.
To me, the name Heldenfels is a badge of honor that has been earned through experience, hard work and dedication.”

How would you describe the spirit of Heldenfels Enterprises?

“Heldenfels Enterprises has a strong team spirit, most evidenced by our willingness to take on challenging projects: fast-track stadiums such as Minute Maid Field and Reliant Stadium, or unique projects such as the Mine Warfare Degaussing facility at Naval Station Ingleside. These are projects that others are sometimes unwilling to pursue, but which our team sees as unique opportunities to show what we”re capable of doing.”

How is that spirit conveyed by the employees in your organization?

“We try to instill a sense of pride and ownership by getting our employees involved in the big picture of what they are helping to build – not just saying, “Here, manufacture these pieces.” For example, during recent stadium projects, our supervisors, foremen, and crew leaders made field trips to see the stadiums under construction. We took our entire workforce to a ballgame at Minute Maid Field during the Houston Astros” opening season, so they could see the results of their handiwork. This spirit is passed from one employee to the next through employee-taught training classes, quarterly awards barbecues, newsletters and weekly safety meetings.”

What special qualities do you look for and encourage in your employees?

“Naturally, we encourage hard work, loyalty and dedication, but we also look for a willingness to innovate and ask questions. We want people who are not afraid to admit they don”t know the answer, but who show the initiative to find answers and take calculated risks because they recognize the opportunity for reward, for both the company and themselves. Last, but definitely not least, integrity is an essential quality in each and every team member at Heldenfels Enterprises.”

If your great-grandfather could see what you”re doing now, what do you think he would say?

“Good question! Naturally, I hope he would be proud that the business he started in 1909 continues today. He would also be proud of the continuous improvement in our quality, scheduling and project management services. He believed in the AGC”s values of skill, responsibility and integrity. Add dependability and innovation, and you have the formula for success that has been passed down through generations of our family. If my great-grandfather Fritz were to give me any advice, he would probably use one of his favorite sayings, “Keep on plugging,” his way of encouraging perseverance and consistency. He would want our team to persevere during the tough times, when finding new work is difficult, as well as during the good times, when the greatest enemy of any business is complacency.”

What is your vision for the future of the precast/prestressed concrete industry?

“Our industry is undergoing a real rejuvenation–a marketing renaissance–under the leadership of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). We must move away from picturing ourselves as manufacturers of components, and instead become an industry that offers the design community a variety of structural and architectural design possibilities. This allows the prestressed concrete producer to be viewed as a vital part of the design/build team; someone who has the expertise to provide overall solutions that fit the design an architect or engineer envisions for their clients.”

What do you see as the role of HEI in the future?

“We see our role as an industry leader. We would like to expand our reputation and markets as an innovative company that provides great project management services, allowing us to take on the most challenging projects. If we practice good stewardship through our core values of integrity, dependability and innovation, we will help foster the growth of new ideas, new markets and new structural innovations. In this way, we will help our industry become an ever-more vital part of the nation”s construction markets.”