Construction Today - November 2017 - 50
Commercial | R.D. OLSON CONSTRUCTION
R.D. OLSON'S HANDS-ON SERVICE HAS EARNED IT A LOYAL CLIENT BASE. BY ALAN DORICH
Olson is heavily involved in
many adaptive reuse projects, such
R.D. Olson Construction
as the NoMad Hotel in Los Angeles.
.D. Olson Construction specializes
in being a "boutique builder" for
its clients, President Bill Wilhelm
says. "We're providing hands-on
service," he states, noting that its employees are committed "from top to bottom" to
This approach has paid off for R.D. Olson.
Today, "80 percent of our work is negotiated
with clients and 70 percent of our annual
volume is repeat business with prior clients," Wilhelm declares.
Based in Irvine, Calif., the general
contracting and construction management
firm has extensive experience in hospitality
work, as well as healthcare and multi-unit
projects. Founder Bob Olson started the
company 38 years ago, after working for a
small general contractor.
Olson was concerned that the builder he
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM NOVEMBER 2017
was employed with was not delivering on
its promises. "He said, 'I'm going to go out
and start my own business,'" Wilhelm says,
noting that Olson began grassroots by doing
home remodels and additions.
He then moved into the restaurant industry after meeting actor and singer Sonny
Bono. "Sonny asked Bob if he'd be willing
to do the first Bono's restaurant," Wilhelm
says, noting that R.D. Olson built several
locations for Bono until his death in 1998.
Today, the company's portfolio also
includes hotels, offices, country and athletic
clubs, and healthcare and higher education
projects. With a long, 25-year career at R.D.
Olson, Wilhelm gives credit for its success to
the work environment, which gives autonomy to its employees.
Not only are they allowed to make
important decisions, "We empower them to
* 2016 ales: $220 million+
* Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
* Employees: 115
* Specia y: General contracting and
"We're unning anywhere from
10 to 15 projects at a time."
- Bill Wilhelm, president
be entrepreneurs and run this as their own
company," he says. "We make sure to provide the support and guidance they need
and it is our culture that ensures they feel a
part of a team and a family."
R.D. Olson is keeping busy with a full slate
of projects. "We're running anywhere from
10 to 15 projects at a time," Wilhelm says,