The year 2010, marked the 70 anniversary of Tollestrup Construction Inc., a successful family owned business now in its third generation of operations.
The company was originally started by Glenn Fredrick Tollestrup in 1940 and operated under the name of Tollestrup Construction Company. At that time, the company's arsenal of equipment consisted of one non hydraulic, all cable Bantum backhoe, which was used to excavate basements in the City of Lethbridge. As business improved, he purchased an additional backhoe and a couple of dump trucks to haul the excavation away. By 1946, and several pieces of equipment later, the company spent several years doing strip mining in Taber for the Mannix Corporation and various pipe jobs throughout the province including Magrath, Coleman, lnvermere, Jasper, Banff, Rock Mountain House and Lloydminister to name a few.
In 1949 G. F. Tollestrup was still looking to expand. While travelling through the Crowsnest Pass, he noticed large piles of coal refuse in the towns of Blairmore, Coleman and Bellevue. Seeing an opportunity, he starting investigating the possibility of processing this coal refuse to remove the waste products, thereby producing a product that could then be sold. His investigation took him to Salt Lake City, where he acquired a plant from a company called Wemco. He placed this plant in Blairmore, where it operated until 1955, at which time it was sold to West Canadian Colleries.
Prior to selling the coal refining plant, G. F. Tollestrup had purchased a Cedar Rapids crushing plant and was already crushing gravel for several counties around southern Alberta, including some highway paving contractors. Shortly thereafter, G. F. Tollestrup purchased General Construction Company and Tollestrup Sand & Gravel Company was born, the principal supplier of crushed gravel and washed products in the area.
In 1963 G. F. Tollestrup's oldest son, Stephen, already actively involved in the business, was instrumental in Tollestrup Construction Company's decision to secure an asphalt plant and all other necessary equipment to compete in the highway paving market. For the next eleven years, the company built and paved roads from the southern border of Alberta to Slave Lake in the north and from west of Red Deer to Swift Current, Saskatchewan in the east.
In 1976, the company sold most of its highway paving equipment and concentrated on servicing the southern portion of the province from its location on a 230 acre parcel of land next to the Old Man River in the City of Lethbridge. A few years later, Tollestrup Construction Company and Tollestrup Sand & Gravel merged to form Tollestrup Construction Inc.
Tollestrup Construction Inc. is a vertically integrated company which mines and manufactures many different types of sand and rock products, including dry crush, washed rock, washed sand, concrete aggregates, red shale and asphalt to name a few. In addition to traditional road building and paving, the company is actively involved in the recycling of asphalt with its CMI RS550 Pulveriser and it's CAT PM465 Cold Planner. One of its newest ventures is an innovative asphalt stamping process called StreetPrint. It is a unique application of stamped and coloured asphalt that resembles the appearance of paving stone, herring bone, cobblestone and several other interesting patterns.
Jim is a third generation family member who has been actively involved in the business for several years. Having grown up around the business, he understands what it takes to succeed. In addition to supervising several crews, estimating and project management, he manages the acquisition and disposal of the company's fleet of vehicles and equipment. Jim is a forward thinker who is always striving for perfection.
Alex J. GepnerisSenior Vice President
Alex joined the company in 1985. He is responsible for all things legal and financial and is intimately involved in the company's strategic planning. He also oversees the company's restaurant holdings of seven Wendy's restaurants and two Tim Hortons restaurants, as well as numerous real estate holdings in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In his spare time, he administers changes to the company's safety policies, writes and publishes the company newsletter and assumes the role of the company's technology expert when required.
Trevor CarrollCompany Safety Officer
Trevor had been with the company for several years before taking on the responsibilities of Company Safety Officer in 1997. Since that time, he has led the way in the company's efforts to continually improve its safety program. Trevor looks after all the company's safety issues including documentation, inspections, orientations and instruction. In 1999 and again in 2001, Trevor received the Pacesetter Award from the Alberta Construction Safety Association for his dedication and outstanding contribution to the area of health and safety in the workplace.
Mojo TollestrupCompany Mascot
In dog years, Mojo has been on the job for about 25 years. When not surveying job sites or riding on the back of the paver, Mojo spends her time lounging at the office on her designer sofa. Although friendly to everyone, especially those with food, she does harbor some ill feelings towards a certain short man with grey hair.