Entrepreneur makes mark on steel industry, family-owned business
Studying business in college, Jeanne Robbins was not sold on becoming part of her family’s business at first until learning about the engineering side from her father.
She started working at Munster Steel in 1993 and took over as president in 2002.
“My parents were my mentors growing up. They always pushed me to be the best I could, teaching by example what hard work and education could make possible,” she said. “I was blessed to be able to work with my father for many years before he retired. My degree was in business, and he taught me the engineering side of structural steel fabrication.”
The fabrication company was launched by Jeanne’s grandfather in 1957 as OCR Steel Company and later incorporated as Munster Steel Co. Inc. The company fabricates structural steel, steel parts and iron.
Their key service offerings include: bridge fabrication, steel framing for anything from schools and high-rises to industrial facilities and train state platforms, as well as sophisticated paint systems and both manual and automated welding services.
They have been at their innovative, state-of-the-art facility in Hammond since 2014, and have tackled such projects as the Wells Street Bascule Bridge in Chicago and Ravinia Pavilion in Highland Park, Ill.
Beyond her family ties, Jeanne said the company’s development rests in the strength of teamwork and devoted employees.
“Hard work, persistence, and an excellent group of hard-working, dedicated employees, both past and present are the keys to our company’s success,” she said.
As a woman in an industry filled with mostly men, Jeanne enjoys the freedom and independence of life as an entrepreneur.
“I enjoy new challenges and being able to solve problems. You have full control over your destiny and are never bored, as you must wear multiple hats,” she said. “You also have the privilege of choosing your work family and business partners.”
She recommends anyone just starting out in the business world to keep an open mind during the decision-making process.
“Make sure to listen to all viewpoints and opinions. Once a decision is made, don’t second guess yourself, just move forward and learn from experience,” she said.
1501 Huehn St. in Hammond