Ernest Cvetezar never would have imagined that forty years ago when he was working to pay off interest on a loan to his father-in-law for his first house by working weekends raising concrete for him, that he would soon become the owner of a world leading manufacturer of concrete raising equipment and material.
“That fortuitous weekend of labor was the start of it all,” says a reminiscing Cvetezar. “The growth and innovations have followed, whether it was the invention of the first hydraulic mudpump or the introduction of polyurethane systems at the entrepreneur level.”
RaiseRite Concrete Lifting, Inc. began in 1974, by Cvetezar and two others, with no money to buy their equipment so they rented it from his father-in-law. Their first truck was a 1951 Chevy flatbed; they affectionately named “Bullwinkle”. By September, RaiseRite needed to add another crew to cover Green Bay.
In 1978, Cvetezar knew there had to be a more efficient and less strenuous way to raise concrete, so he developed the first hydraulic mudpump. The next year, sales were well on their way as was HMI as they began manufacturing the “new” hydraulic mudjacking pumps. Today, HMI continues to manufacture mudjacking pumps and systems, polyurethane foam lifting systems, and polyurethane foam.
Monthly, HMI hosts Discovery and Training Seminars either at their Manitowoc training facility or various metropolitan areas throughout the United States. These seminars offer individuals looking to add to their existing business or start-up a business, the opportunity to experience “hands-on” how to raise concrete. As a supplier and trainer, HMI has helped put over 1200 families into business and have contributed to the employment of over 10,000 people.
Ernie Cvetezar, CEO works side by side with his two sons: Jeff-President HMI and Brian-President of RaiseRite. Over the past 40 years, they have lifted and leveled 14,000,000 sq. ft. of concrete participating in over 70,000 projects. HMI’s equipment has lifted and leveled 240,000,000 sq. ft. of concrete on every continent, but Antarctica. “I look at this anniversary not being about us at HMI/RaiseRite. It is all about you-our customers-Thank you again,” says Ernie.
HMI/RaiseRite has two Manitowoc locations: 4803 Leonard Lane and 1025 E. Albert Dr. employing approximately 30 individuals. In addition to concrete raising, RaiseRite has a foundation piering and waterproofing division.