HBD Construction Continues Founders’ More Than 95-Year Tradition of Project Diversity

By on July 5, 2018

From Construction Today:  Shortly after Horace B. Deal founded H.B. Deal & Company Inc., in 1922, the company became known in the St. Louis market for taking on a wide variety of projects. These included building monuments and memorial buildings, churches, schools, hospitals, industrial plants, commercials structures and housing projects.

During World War II, the company shifted its emphasis entirely to building projects for the U.S. Government. Its efforts were recognized when the War Department awarded it the Army-Navy E Award, its highest recognition, in July 1943. Although the award was given in connection with a particular project – the Ozark Ordnance Works – it also recognized the company’s entire body of work.

Following Deal’s retirement, his sons Bill and Clarence renamed it H.B. Deal Construction Inc., and ran the company until their retirement in 1978. Three longtime employees – Daniel O’Keefe Jr., Russell Shilt and Melvin Schaefer – took it over, renaming it H.B.D. Contracting Inc. In 2004, the company again changed hands and names, when current President Michael Perry and partners Brian Kowert and Daniel O’Keefe III took over and rechristened it HBD Construction Inc. Today, Perry owns and operates the company with Kowert and his son, Brian Kowert Jr.

Now in its 96th year in business, HBD Construction continues the legacies of its previous owners while creating its own path. “I think our core values have certainly helped us last as long as we have,” Perry says. “We’ve carried on the lessons that were learned by from the Deal family, which include maintaining a manageable size and hiring good people who tend to stay with the company just as my partner and I, and the people who come before us, have.”

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