Forbes has released its 2010 list of the wealthiest individuals in the nation and a few familiar names with ties to the construction industry are on the list, including John Menard at #51. Menard, owner of Menard’s home improvement stores, posted higher earnings over the previous year.
Falling off the Forbes 400 list entirely was 84 Lumber owner Margaret Magerko, Vernon, Pa. Rapid expansion of 84 Lumber has been tempered by the imploding housing market. She was #366 on last year’s list.
The following information comes from Forbes.
#51 John Menard, Eau Claire, Wis. (Menard’s)
Net Worth $5.2 Billion (Up from 2009)
John Menard is the owner of Menards, the nation’s third largest home improvement retailer with estimated $8 billion in sales, less than one fifth of the revenue of rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire grad financed his education building homes; later began selling tools from a single store in 1970s. Now popular Midwestern do-it-yourself hardware warehouse. This summer Menard was almost a victim of identity theft; $475,000 was transferred from Menard’s bank account to an offshore location but luckily his bank stopped the outflow.
#58 Dennis Washington, Missoula, Mont.
Net worth: $4.5 B (Up)
Montana magnate Dennis Washington gets the majority of his wealth from Montana Rail Link railroad, Montana Resources copper and molybdenum mine and cash. Also owns largest tug and barge fleet in British Columbia and a stake in marine shipping firm Seaspan. Started his own construction firm at age 29. Built reputation on rehabilitation of Butte copper mine, purchased in 1986, and turnaround of bankrupt Morrison Knudsen in 1996.
#110 Riley P. Bechtel, San Francisco, Calif.
Net worth: $2.9 B (down)
#119 Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. San Francisco
Net worth: $2.9 B (down)
R. Bechtel: Fourth generation leader of engineering giant ($30.8 billion sales) Bechtel Corp., firm that built the Hoover Dam, Chunnel. He and his father Stephen are both believed to have 20% of the firm, which builds roads and rail systems, airport and ports, liquefied natural gas processing plants and copper smelters. Future project: construction of a 440-megawatt solar thermal power complex in California’s Mojave Desert.
S. Betchtel: Stephen became Bechtel president at age 35, chairman 13 years later. Son Riley now runs the show. Believed to own 20% of the company.
#144 Archie Aldis Emmerson, Redding, Calif.
Net Worth: $2.9 B (Up)
Timberland tycoon’s father, Curly, owned a lumber mill. Archie took Sierra Pacific public 1969, private again four years later. Bought 522,000 acres of Santa Fe Southern Pacific Railroad timberland with a $460 million loan in 1988. Today firm owns nearly 2 million acres in California and Washington; Emmerson is country’s second-biggest landowner behind fellow billionaire Ted Turner. Patiently waiting out recession; tree growth allows acreage to appreciate over time. Son Mark handles finances. Today timberland valuations are up slightly, but have yet to return to their 2008 peak.
#170 Diane Hendricks, Afton, Wisc. (ABC Supply)
Net Worth $2.1 B (up)
Took over roofing empire ABC Supply after husband and business partner, Kenneth Hendricks, died in 2007 from a fall at their home in Afton, Wis. Today controls nation’s largest roofing, window and siding wholesale distributor. After the May acquisition of a top competitor, building supplies distributor Bradco Supply Co., Hendricks projects 2010 sales to top $4 billion, up from 2009’s $2.7 billion. The high school grad met her late husband at age 21, and together launched ABC in 1982. She now presides over 25 million square feet of commercial property.
#205 Walter Scott, Omaha, Neb.
Net Worth $1.9 B (down)
Father helped land him a job at Kiewit Construction (now Peter Kiewit Sons’) as land surveyor. Became chief executive 1979, encouraged expansion into fiber optics, power plants.
#332 A. James Clark, Easton, Md.
Net Worth $1.2 B (up)
Owns millions of square feet of office space; 15,000 residential units in Washington, D.C. area. Heavy construction helps keeps fortune afloat; museums, prisons, university buildings, stadiums. Built Camden Yards; FedEx Field, Verizon Center and Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.); Miller Park (Milwaukee); Petco Park (San Diego). Current construction projects include airports, hospitals and convention centers.
See the entire list