YORKTON - N. L. Construction Inc. was announced as the recipient of the Large Business of the Year at the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce’s Celebrate Success Business Awards.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” said Dustin Nehring, co-owner of the Yorkton-based business along with Taylor Lang.
Interviewed the morning after the award was presented, Nehring said he has a little time to reflect on the award, and he has realized just what being singled out means. He said on the stage he was looking out over the audience at St. Mary’s Cultural Centre seeing more than 400 people involved in business.
Then as he drove to work Thursday Nehring said he noted all the businesses on Broadway Street and along York Road and across the city.
“You see just how many businesses are in Yorkton,” he said, adding to have someone chose their company as Large Business of the Year “is extremely humbling and super exciting.”
Hearing the business name called sent “chills down the spine,” said Nehring, adding that was a surprise and nice to know he could still feel so excited about an honour such as the award.
In terms of recognition the award was not N.L. Construction’s first.
In 2014 they were the Celebrate Success Award winner as Young Entrepreneur of the Year, followed in 2016 with the Education & Training Award and in 2018 the Business Growth & Expansion Award.
Provincially the company was presented the Growth and Expansion Award at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Achievement for Business Excellence Awards in 2014, and were finalists for the Service Award Finalist in 2015, Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2016, and winning the award in 2017.
The company began in April 2009, Nehring and Lang “embarked on a venture to make their dreams a reality,” noted the company website. “They started out of their homes with their own half-ton trucks and the necessary tools to build decks, residential renovations, and anything else that allowed them to build their knowledge and gain experience in the construction industry. In the following years, they carefully grew by adding a few employees and taking on bigger and bigger projects.
“In the last 10 years, the company has evolved from a two-man crew to a team of 25 with multiple trucks, trailers and lifts, a 6300 sq. ft. office building and a new 7200 sq.ft. building with an interior finishing shop and multiple storage bays.”
So was the growth something they expected back in 2009?
“It’s tough to predict that,” said Nehring Thursday. “Could we get there? The dream was to get there one day.
“Has the dream expanded? Yes.”
Nehring said it certainly didn’t come easily, adding people not involved in business probably “don’t realize how much hard work and effort goes into business.”
Along the way there are always bumps on the road too, offered Nehring, adding a key to success “is how quickly you get over those bumps.”
In that regard it often comes down to having the right people to maneuvre through the bumps. He said in that regard they feel they have “some pretty talented people, the right people in place to get over the hurdles.”
It’s part of a team approach Nehring referred too when accepting the award from Ryan Hoffman of Baker Tilly who sponsored the Large Business of the Year Award. As it turned out Hoffman was Nehring’s coach in Midget hockey.
“As I was walking up to the stage I realized it was 20 years ago I played for him,” said Nehring. “I wasn’t the greatest hockey player at that time, (as a first year Midget), but he gave me the opportunity.”
By his second year in the program Nehring was shining and he went on to a fine Junior career with the Yorkton Terriers. It was a time when he embraced the idea of ‘team,’ and it stuck with him.
“I have always pushed team here at work,” adding it came from Hoffman who was always working on team structure to be successful on the ice.
“When you win something you strive to win more,” he added.
The Large Business of the Year Award was another win for the company, one that helps validate what N.L. Construction has been doing.
“I think it helps. It feels like we are doing a lot of good things, but you can get in a rut,” said Nehring. The award is a chance “to give yourself a little pat on the back.”
But, he added he was still at work readying for the day at 6 a.m. Thursday, although with maybe a little more confidence they need to keep doing what they have been doing to grow and be successful.