Even through the tough years of 2002 and 2003, JH Concrete maintained steady growth. From about $2 million in revenue in 2000 to $10 million in 2006, owners Jerry and Jack Holtschlag (right) have guided their company by sticking to what they know and taking well-considered steps to grow. This also is evident by their rise from number 139 on our list in 2002 to 108 in 2006.

Slab construction is what JH Concrete does best, and they take their show on the road across Illinois, Iowa, and adjoining states. In his low-key Mid-western way, Jerry Hotlschlag describes how they got to where they are today. “In 1999 we bought our first laser screed and that kind of got the ball rolling,” he recalls. “After that it was kind of sink or swim. We just bought our second laser screed last year. You get $2 million invested in equipment to do flatwork, it's kind of tough to branch out.”

The Holtschlags plan to build the company as a family business, hoping to double it in size over the next 10 years so there's enough to support their growing families. Jack has three sons and Jerry has two sons and a daughter—all plan to come into the business. “My boy is 23 and he has worked for us since he was 12,” Jerry says. “You got to get ‘em young.”

Jerry sees quality and speed as the secret to success in slab construction. “Flatter floors—everyone wants them flatter, and a lot of hardeners/densifiers and a lot of color in the concrete, especially on the retail side. More than anything, though, it's making quality go up. We can do a 250,000-square-foot floor in a week with FF 50 FL 35. It narrows the market since there just aren't many contractors who can do it that fast with that quality.”

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