Hans Siefker

President and principal of Greiner Construction

Hans Siefker, a self-described Midwestern farm boy, worked his way up the ranks at Minneapolis-based Greiner Construction the good, old-fashioned way.

After working as a carpenter, he joined the general contractor in 1998 as the company's first official intern. He was promoted to project manager and then senior project manager, taking on high-profile projects for Wells Fargo, Oracle and other firms. He became director of project management, and now at age 38, serves as company president.

Wolfgang Greiner, who launched the firm 23 years ago, retired as CEO/president in August and sold controlling interest in the company to Siefker and three other employees.

Siefker anticipates $120 million in revenue in 2012. Greiner added 12 employees in the past six months and now employs more than 70. Its niche has always been building high-end interiors for firms. However, it also expanded into new construction, specializing in multifamily housing. It has 1,000 multifamily units under construction and works with developers like Curt Gunsbury of Solhem Cos., who's redeveloping the former Grandma's Saloon site in Minneapolis into apartments. Its other Minneapolis multifamily projects include Track29 in Uptown and Brunsfield North Loop.

QHow did you get into construction?

AGrowing up on the farm, we were forced to use our hands a lot working outside. It was a 100-year-old farm, so the door was falling off the chicken coop -- that type of stuff.

QHow did you move up at Greiner?

AWhen I started -- believe it or not -- Wolfgang saw something in me. ... I work really hard and so do my other partners. Maybe it's that Midwest farm boy mentality.

QWere they big shoes to fill taking over as company president?

AAbsolutely. It was a little daunting, a little scary, but also exciting. We have a really good group here. ... Wolfgang started it from the ground up, from literally zero to $120 million or so in revenue this year. It's very successful.

QWill you carry on where he left off?

AYes. A huge part of this is relationships. It's not about dollars, dollars, dollars. It's very much relationship-driven.

QGreiner is growing significantly, so the expansion into ground-up construction has paid off?

AYes. For a number of years, we specialized in the tenant improvement (TI) sector. In 2008, we started to go down that new construction road and hired some staff with new construction experience. For years, to be honest, we were asked by our customers, "Would you be interested in building us a bank or medical office?"... We had always done TIs really well. Now we do both really well.


Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at wolfliz99@aol.com.