Our History: The Early Years

First Company Trailer

While AMEK Construction wasn’t technically born in 1992, it was the year the seed was planted. Andrew Schmidt was a fresh-faced 18-year old looking for an adventure and in the wake of Hurricane Andrew (no relation) he found it. After his six-month stint selling jobs and installing roofs in Florida, Andrew moved back to the family’s hometown in Gaylord, Minn. unaware that he had also undergone a genesis.

While Andrew was in Florida, his twin brother Matt struck out on his own by moving to the Twin Cities. He was pushing mail at the IDS Center to pay the rent, but was restless. Finding a spot open on his cousin’s roofing crew working in the Twin Cities and Matt promptly took it despite his inexperience.

After a few years of bouncing around jobs, Matt also made the decision to move back to Gaylord, joining his brother Andrew in their hometown. While working at Unidoor, a window and door maker in Gaylord, they felt the need to get back into construction so they decided to both move back to the Twin Cities and take jobs with their cousin’s roofing company.

Once again hoofing singles up and down from roofs across Minneapolis and St. Paul there came the moment where the pair decided that they had seen enough of the business from the ground up (or roof down?) to know they wanted to start their own company.

Andrew on a roofThey were both involved in serious, deepening relationships and, when it came time to create their company they needed a name. So, early in 1996, after very little deliberation the name AMEK was born. The name AMEK is actually an acronym using the first letter of each of their names as well as the first names of their then girlfriends, now wives — A(ndrew) M(atthew)E(mily) K(ristina).

They also decided to ensure that integrity, honesty and building relationships with customers was at the center of their new enterprise. So it didn’t take long for them to develop these strong relationships and to begin getting subcontracting work from many roofing firms.

After two years of hard work it was another storm that spiked AMEK’s growth from two brothers running a roofing business from a pickup truck to a full-fledged family business experiencing faster growth than Andrew or Matt could have ever imagined.

Next: The Growth Years