Pokagon development firm acquires engineering firm

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, March 1, 2016

With already one powerhouse architectural company under its wing, Pokagon Band economic development firm Mno-Bmadsen has added yet another tool to its box when it comes to serving construction needs for clients across southwest Michigan and beyond.

The company leadership announced Monday that it had purchased a controlling interest in WBK Engineering LLC, a civil engineering, planning, surveying and environmental resources consulting firm based out of Illinois. Under the new deal, Mno-Bmadsen now owns 51 percent of the firm, with six principals owning the remaining 49 percent.

“This acquisition expands the horizons of WBK,” said WBK President John Wills in a release from Mno-Bmadsen. “Mno-Bmadsen is a great partner, as we share the same core values and desire for excellent services to our customers through long-term relationships. We look forward to expanding our company, and providing our expertise to new markets.”

WBK will enhance the operations of the two existing Pokagon-owned construction firms, Seven Generations Architects and Engineers and 7Gen Construction.

The three firms had worked together over the past year on projects contracted through the federal government, said Mno-Bmadsen CEO Troland Clay. In the midst of working together, Clay and leaders with WBK saw the opportunity to continue to their partnership and grow both their operations, Clay said.

“If somebody needs to build just about anything, we are here to design, engineer and implement that project,” Clay said. “We do a great job at it.”

At the moment, Mno-Bmadsen firms are working on a variety construction projects, including one at the White House, Clay said. They also are serving the needs of several clients closer to home — including performing design work for planned building renovations for Dowagiac Union Schools district.

While Clay is considering opening a WBK office in South Bend to increase their presence in southwest Michigan, the firm will remain headquartered in St. Charles, Illinois, and will continue to serve its existing customers.

“Nothing at the basic operational level will change,” Clay said. “Wills will continue to run the company just as he has been.”

Mno-Bmadsen, which also owns mechanical contractor D.A. Dodd and plastic engineering company Accu-Mold, is committed to further expansion, in line with the Pokagon Band’s goals of investing in the tribe’s — and region’s — future prosperity.

“We will continue to implement our planning and diversification,” Clay said. “That has not changed and we will continue to move forward in that direction.”