Case Studies

Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc.: Michigan’s Gold Standard in Excavation

  • Written by: Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc.: Michigan's Gold Standard in Excavation
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Frank Champagne and Tom Marx founded Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc. (C&M) in 1973, setting the stage for the company to flourish into the family-owned and -operated enterprise it has become today. Delivering high-quality work with an eye for safety and customer service has been C&M’s No. 1 priority since the first day. The company continues to succeed by approaching every project as just one building block in a string of many that C&M will build to convert each customer into a lifelong client.

C&M is based out of headquarters in Saginaw, Mich., where a team of 60 employees provide a wide breadth of excavation and earthwork services. The company will act as prime contractor or subcontractor for all demolition, earthwork, excavation and site development services, including work for underground utilities, sanitary sewers, septic systems, retention basins and site drainage systems. C&M is also equipped to handle any material import or export activity on site, as well as contribute toward dam and bridge construction, foundation excavation and landfill closures.

C&M also sells a variety of aggregates and ancillary materials to the general public as well as industry insiders. C&M even provides an online material calculator tool on its website to help customers get a better sense of how much material a project requires. The company will deliver the material to a site at the client’s convenience and the company’s portable crusher can tag along to recycle old asphalt and unwanted concrete for reuse.

Built on a Solid Foundation

The C&M team understands the services it provides will literally set the stage for the success of the entire project, which is why the company prides itself on keeping communication lines open at all times. In doing so, C&M ensures that a client’s concerns never fall on deaf ears, enabling the team to adjust as needed to ensure the end result is precisely what the client wants. Nothing less will do.

C&M’s level of attention to every project is partially the product of its history as a family-owned and -operated company. When Champagne retired in 1986, Tom and Ginger Marx carried the company on before handing over the reins to children Anne, David and Christine. “We’re excavators, but we’re also stewards of the community,” adds Anne Coursey, current president of C&M and the Marx’s daughter.

Giving Back

Coursey joined the company almost 25 years ago after graduating college and working a brief stint for the county government. David now serves as vice president of C&M, while Christine serves as secretary and treasurer of the company. Together, the trio ensures that C&M works to become a pillar of the community, not just by building roads and bridges, but by giving back to the community however it can.

“In 2011 we broke ground on new soccer fields for Roberts Park in Thomas Township, Mich.,” explains Anne. “It’s the kind of project that’s just good for the community.” The project is being built with funds from a combination of public fundraising efforts in the community, over $260,000 through the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund grant.

The project will add a new soccer field to the park along with walking trails, a playscape, basketball courts, pavilions, restrooms, a dog park and even a pond. Michigan was fortunate enough to see a relatively mild winter in 2011, making sure the crews would be able to have the fields ready for the 2012 soccer season.

“We’re also big supporters of the cause to end multiple sclerosis,” adds Anne. In fact, C&M has decked out one of its 50-ton gravel train vehicles in orange – the official color of the National MS Society – with the slogan “Champagne & Marx Excavating: Pushing for a Cure” scripted eloquently.

The truck helps to raise awareness and funds for the National MS Society on a daily basis, and once a year the company sponsors teams for the annual MS Walk and MS Bike events. In 2011 C&M managed to raise enough money to be listed as No. 4 amongst the state’s top fundraisers for the National MS Society.

Moving Forward

The full impact of the vehicle will be felt as C&M continues to drive the truck across the Tri-State area providing its services. Considering C&M’s line up of projects in recent years, the truck should be reaching a widespread audience. In 2007 Michigan’s MBS International Airport announced plans to build a $48 million state-of-the-art terminal to attract large airlines and increase air travel through the region.

Construction on the new terminal began in 2011 and C&M signed on to take over the construction of a new parking lot, equipped with advanced collection centers. C&M will provide its expertise as prime contractor on the project, working with a network of specialized contacts to handle the installation of the paring payment structures, paving and lighting components.

Opportunities seem to be slowly trickling down to C&M’s market and the company has already begun hiring a few extra employees in preparation. As the company grows, the Marx family will work to ensure the company never loses sight of what matters most in life, delivering the personalized Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc. treatment to every project.

Published on: March 5, 2013

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