C. Lee Construction Services
Frederick “Chip” Lee’s leap of faith landed him on a path of business ownership while cultivating his zest for the construction industry.
“I was a Tonka kid in my childhood. I am an operator by trade and always had the desire to work with heavy equipment,” he says. “It’s a blessing to do what I have always loved every day for a living. Not a lot of people get to do that.”
In 2005, after amicably parting ways with Congress Enterprises, he launched his own demolition, excavation, and trucking company and C. Lee Construction Company Inc. was born.
“It’s the biggest part of my story. I was asking the Lord what to do? I had no resources or money behind me. It’s difficult to start a business when you have the resources,” he says. “The pieces came together so I could acquire the first six trucks. It’s a journey that you don’t know the outcome of, but I knew it was going to be an experience and it has been.
“It has not been without trial and without tears and without frustration, but my faith in God has kept me all the way.”
Today, the company has 44 employees and C. Lee Construction Services has worked on a variety of projects, including roads and bridges across Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area. The company also played a major role in the revitalization of the Gary airport.
The company clears the slate for new roads and buildings.
“We help make blueprints come to life. We do a lot of highway-based work. We are different than a lot of companies because most are not heavily involved in the trucking component,” he says. “We have really been focused on quality not quantity. Some companies want to get as many jobs as they can get. Quality is a major thing for us. We strive to make sure when we do the work, they are going to call us again.”
Lee also spotlights the importance of his employees and what they bring to the table every day.
“We have a very good group of people who care about what’s going on. I learned it’s not about me primarily. I am only as good as the people I have with me,” he says. “They have bought into the company’s vision and they work diligently every day to make sure that vision is a reality.”
Lee looks to foster more opportunities down the road while continuing to provide a solid place of employment for his team.
“It’s gratifying to be in a position where I make sure my employees are in the best possible place to do what they desire to do. They have families to provide for, homes to pay for and college tuition to pay for,” he says. “I want to make the right choices to continue to have this place transform and evolve and always remain relevant to the opportunities set before us now and in the future.”
C. Lee Construction Services Inc.
1011 S. Lake St. in Gary