When Monroe Bartels started MBI Construction Inc. nearly 35 years ago in Effingham, IL, he could not have imagined how a unique concrete job would transform the business. Since the beginning, MBI’s core business was in the residential market with basement work. MBI remained true to this core for more than 30 years, even through a leadership change to Monroe’s son, Gary.

Applications didn’t change much until a few years ago, when a friend approached Gary with a unique opportunity. “I’m a helicopter pilot, and so is this friend who approached me about pouring the floor for his warehouse,” Gary Bartels, president of MBI, explains. It wasn’t just another run-of-the-mill pour. The warehouse was located deep inside the caverns of an old aggregate quarry.

Although declining his friend’s initial request to pour the floor a couple of years earlier, Gary decided to accept the challenge that no other contractor would touch. “MBI takes pride in getting a project done where others cannot,” he says. This decision turned out to be a pivotal point in MBI’s history, one that has resulted in a 40% growth in sales over a three-year period.


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