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Wolverine Building Group co-owner steps down to pursue new opportunities, focus on equity in industry

BY Wednesday, November 23, 2022 10:23am

KENTWOOD — Wolverine Building Group co-owner Aaron Jonker has sold his shares in the construction company to pursue “a couple of different opportunities” that could involve a more development-oriented role focused on equity in the industry.

Company officials recently announced that Jonker sold his shares to co-owner and president Curt Mulder. The two have co-owned Wolverine Building Group, a Kentwood-based construction firm that has led numerous high-profile West Michigan projects, since 2018. Mulder, who has spent nearly 25 years at the company, will remain president.

Aaron Jonker recently sold his shares in Wolverine Building Group to pursue new opportunities. PHOTO FROM LINKEDIN

Jonker over the past nine months started shifting his focus away from daily operations at the company. He worked at Wolverine for nearly 16 years, and spent nearly five years as a partner. 

Prior to joining Wolverine, Jonker was a developer of primarily single-family homes and some multi-family projects. 

Jonker sees potential in pursuing more of a development role again, and he hopes to make equity a part of his future career move, he said.

“Equity and inclusion is extremely important to me on a personal level. In West Michigan, in particular, there are dramatic wealth gaps based on the color of your skin, and that’s terrible and we can do better,” Jonker told MiBiz. “At Wolverine, we work to promote and help women and minority-owned businesses, and a lot of our clients are requesting that now. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart and it’s important for me to be able to focus in those areas.”

Jonker said he has “a couple of different opportunities” in front of him, though he did not specify a new role. He started reassessing what he wanted out of his career in part because of the pandemic. The company is “in a good spot” and set to have a record year, which felt like was a good time to leave, Jonker added.

The ownership transition has been in the works for a while, and no significant changes in operations are expected to follow, Mulder said.

“I don’t plan to make any changes in relation to our core strengths in multifamily and affordable housing, industrial, retail and the other commercial sectors that we serve,” Mulder said. “I would attribute where we are today largely as a result of the vision of previous owners of Wolverine. So I’m excited to carry the baton for several years forward.”

Founded in 1913, Wolverine Building Group has about 180 employees and specializes in industrial, multi-unit residential, health care, office, restaurant and retail projects. Some notable projects include the original design and construction of LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park nearly 30 years ago, as well as Corewell Health’s (formerly Spectrum Health) Meijer Heart Center and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 

Last year, Wolverine expanded its footprint to Southeast Michigan with the acquisition of Brighton-based construction firm Contracting Resources Inc.

Read 1747 times Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 10:35
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