Star City Six – Chris Kyhn
Transforming metal into modern, Ironhide Construction (www.IronhideConstruction.com) is a locally owned and operated general contracting and structural restoration company. Chris Kyhn is vice president of field operations for Ironhide Construction.
Tell me a little about your business.
Ironhide is a design build general contractor specializing in pre-engineered metal buildings. We also focus on structural steel, industrial facility restoration, and tenant improvement work.
How did you get started in the business?
We started out doing residential renovations and small commercial projects around town. From there, we broke into the pre-engineered building market. We quickly recognized that we could do our job more efficiently if we could control the site conditions that we had to build under so the logical move was to become the general contractor.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Consistent rapid growth. We have gone from a company of about 8–10 people to one of 35 in a matter of just a few short years. The biggest challenge in that is developing the policies and procedures to allow for large-scale growth while maintaining the consistency our repeat customers expect. We are constantly adapting to a changing environment, both within our company and in the developing markets we work in.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Creating a culture that has attracted some really great people from within the industry to our team.
Tell me a little about your family.
I live here in Lincoln with my wife Chrystal. She works as an engineer for a local electrical design firm. We have a couple dogs and cats. We’ve recently bought an acreage outside of town and plan to start construction late this summer.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Moving back to Lincoln and starting my career with Ironhide. My wife is the sister-in-law of my business partner Troy. If I hadn’t come back to Lincoln, we never would have met.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Work on projects in my wood shop.
What are you the most proud of?
With the help of our structural steel foreman, I developed our processes for estimating structural steel. We were able to dial in on the market pretty quickly and are off to a strong start in the industry.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
One of the X-Men has the ability to create duplicates of himself. Having a few copies of myself to get things done would be great!
Which talent would you most like to have?
Eidetic memory. There is a lot of information that you need every day to run a business. Being able to hold all of it in the front of my mind would be incredibly helpful!
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Ironhide is a proud sponsor of the Big Red Challenge obstacle race put on by the Marine Corps League. Proceeds go to charities devoted to helping our military men and women transition from life in the military into civilian life.
What is your favorite movie?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Nikola Tesla. He was way ahead of his time. I’d like to hear what he would think of where we are today.
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