Pence Northwest Construction LLC
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Kyle Gahm
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Brent Pence has been working in the construction industry since he was 14 years old; he learned to frame, quickly becoming a carpenter’s apprentice. Pence has worked as a construction engineer, project manager and now as a general contractor. In 2007 he founded his own business, Pence Northwest Construction LLC (PNW), serving a distinct market in Oregon.
Today, Pence works with a team of five out of an office in Salem, Ore. The office is a solid reflection of the business, situated in an older, 1950s-era home that he and his team gutted and renovated before moving in. “We really enjoy historic renovations,” Pence notes. “We do a significant amount of work bringing historical buildings up to modern commercial standards.”
In general, the company’s niche is in the commercial market. PNW’s clients include several retail and restaurant franchises, local dealerships, schools and other entities of that nature. “We get involved in a lot of smaller tenant improvements, too,” says Pence. “We take a lot of pride in helping our clients get their businesses up and running.”A growing portfolio
Pence and his team have been involved with a wide range of projects throughout the state. The team has been working hard to build up lasting relationships with clients, taking on chain retail work on a repeat basis. “Right now we are working with a burger company, Joe’s Burgers, that has a growing presence on school campuses,” Pence explains. “The company is undergoing a lot of expansion and we hope to have a continuing relationship as they grow.”
PNW has completed several unique conversion projects over the years. In 2011, the team wrapped up a nine-month project for ITT Tech. “We worked on the school’s Salem campus,” Pence recounts. “We took a former sporting goods store and converted it into a school. The 20,000-square-foot facility contains 25 offices and classrooms.”
In 2013, the crew took an old church and converted it into the Salem Child Development Center for children ages 3 months to 6 years old. This was a high-efficiency project and PNW worked with the client to ensure energy savings down the line. The business went with full LED lighting and an HVAC system that was 98 percent efficient.
All in all, Pence and his team perform approximately 45 projects every year. “We also recently finished up a law office, converting it from a former eye clinic,” Pence notes. “This was one of our more memorable projects. We cut in more than 30 windows. It was a really unusual and rewarding contract for us because we got to be involved with the interior design and floor plan. It was more of a design-build. We wrapped up the project in 2013.”
In order to pull these projects together with a staff on the small side, Pence and his crew have established strong working relationships with strategic partners in the area. PNW frequently serves as general contractor on these projects. Often, the team will self-perform one or more aspects of construction, most commonly, finish carpentry. Pence and his crew strive for quality control and he focuses on establishing repeat work with a network of strong subcontractors and other partners.
Pence’s experience in the industry has helped him round out a strong list of strategic partners. He has worked with these contractors for years, both with PNW and a previous construction company. Lasting relationships are a major driving force behind the growth of the business. In the coming years, Pence and his team will continue to build up a network in order to expand the company into new directions.
Over the next couple of years, Pence hopes to double the size of the company. He and his team have established repeat clients throughout the area. The crew’s breadth of experience will allow PNW to take on new markets throughout the region.
“We are looking into doing some custom homebuilding work for a few of our existing clients,” Pence notes. If the projects are successful, homebuilding could help diversify the business going forward.
Regardless of what type of construction the crew is performing, Pence and his team look forward every day to a new challenge. “We really enjoy the problem solving aspect of this business,” he explains. “At the end of the day, if we have figured out something new, it’s a good day. The numbers are important, but we try not to gauge our success on the dollar amount. We want our customers to be happy and we want our team to be happy.”
In the coming years, as Pence Northwest Construction LLC continues to grow throughout Oregon, clients can count on Pence and his team for quality work, ingenuity and integrity in construction.
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