Family Man and Business Owner Adds ABC Board Chair to His Title: President of Holsbeke Construction Steps into Leadership Role for the Merit Shop.

Chris Holsbeke Sr. got his start on the job site at just five years old having been going around with his dad. Since that day, he’s made no plans to leave the job site and wants to continue making an impact on the construction industry. ABC is pleased to introduce him as our next chairman.
Holsbeke Construction was founded in 1957 by
Ray Holsbeke and focused primarily on concrete. Chris Holsbeke joined his dad full-time right out of high school while also attending Macomb Community College to pursue his degree in construction management.
“The plan was four years, but while I was in college, my dad got sick and he wasn’t able to work. So, I took a year off to help him run the company,” Holsbeke said. “When my dad was well enough to come back, he told me to finish my bachelor’s degree, but I was already making good money, so I continued working for him having already finished my associate’s degree.”
Holsbeke added that at the time he stepped up to help his dad, they only had three employees, and specialized in concrete with some masonry. He became an official partner in the business in 1985 with growth as the goal.
“We worked under a philosophy that if you don’t have cash for it, you can’t afford it,” said Holsbeke. “However, in my early 20s, I approached my dad telling him that we needed to buy equipment and grow this business.”
Holsbeke recognized the opportunity to provide more than just concrete services when some of their concrete customers needed more done, but they couldn’t find a builder. His company started doing side projects on concrete jobs such as landscaping, steel work and railings, which lead to doing three-quarters of most jobs. This launched the general contracting branch of Holsbeke Construction more than 20
years ago.
Today Holsbeke Construction is running 60 workers in the field and Chris Holsbeke has no plans to slow down anytime soon. As a second-generation owner himself, he is putting steps in place for his son, Chris Holsbeke Jr. to step in and run the company.
“I plan on working 10 more years and then I told Junior after that I only plan on working because I want to. I have no plans to retire, but I do plan on stepping back,” Holsbeke said. “I’ll be passing the torch to the third generation real soon and it’ll be exciting to see what he can do with the company over the next 20 plus years.”
Getting Involved with ABC
Holsbeke first got involved with ABC 30 years ago due to trouble with the unions. He spoke with the ABC membership director and decided he needed to learn more about the Associated Builders and Contractors.
“Myself, Bob Clancy and Bob Rouse went to a meeting to get help to try to understand navigating unions and what our rights are,” Holsbeke said. “Nobody joined after that meeting because we got the information we needed and thought that was the end. It wasn’t until after that we met more people, particularly business owners, who were a part of ABC and that was a realization moment for us to join. The people we met had the same drive, work ethic and standards for their businesses and we wanted to be a part of this culture.”
Under his leadership, Chris Holsbeke plans to focus his support to help the chapter continue its growth. A key part of that will be concentrating efforts to show members the benefits package an ABC membership provides.
“When I joined, I think it took me two years to understand everything I had access to,” Holsbeke said. “I want our board to take some ownership and show our members what ABC is all about.”
We are excited to see the leadership Chris Holsbeke brings to the table and look forward to what he will accomplish as the new Chairman of the ABC SEMI Board of Directors.