The following is a article from Lee County Economic Development for Southwest Florida:
Lee County EDO | Nov. 27, 2017
Chris-Tel Construction is a locally owned and operated construction management firm with a history of providing construction management and general contracting services to private and municipal clients in South Florida. Based in Fort Myers, Florida, Chris-Tel was founded in 1989 by Howard L. Wheeler, II and specializes in Commercial, Site/Civil and Special Project construction. Chris-Tel employs thirty-four (34) full time employees and has been associated with some of the more prominent construction projects in Southwest Florida.
Why did you choose Lee County?
The owners of Chris-Tel, Howard L. Wheeler, II and Donnie Singleton, grew up in Fort Myers. The Wheeler Family’s deep roots in the construction business in Fort Myers date back to 1924 when Wheeler Brothers Construction was started. Howard is a 4th generation Floridian and has worked with his dad and uncles in and around construction since he was young. Donnie’s family also are long time Floridians dating back to 1910. Donnie is also a 4th generation Floridian and his great-grandfather (James Harvey Doxsee) was the 1st and only mayor of Collier City – which was abolished in 1957 and is now known as Marco Island. Because both men grew up in the area and around construction, it was never a question as to where Howard would establish his own construction firm at the age of 21. Not only do the owners have solid relationships with many of the subcontractors and vendors in the area, our management team understands the area and has developed solid working relationships with local municipal officials. Having been in the area for over 90 years, the familiarity of Lee County made sense to continue what his family started in 1924.
What is your Secret to Success?
Hiring the right staff. Chris-Tel has grown exponentially since 2013 when the firm added several larger scale projects which prompted an expansion of the team. The values that both Howard and Donnie attribute their successes to include integrity, dedication, quality craftsmanship and unwavering work ethic. These values not only are prominent on every project, but they extend into the workplace culture at Chris-Tel. Having a talented, knowledgeable and dedicated staff that share in those same values enables Chris-Tel to fulfill the client’s needs and exceed their expectations. Focusing on the number one priorities of client, work product and co-worker enhances the success of our firm.
Little Known Fact?
Philanthropy endeavors. Chris-Tel Construction has a commitment to the community in Southwest Florida and supports many charitable causes and civic groups. Not only do we make monetary investments, our employees donate time and effort to these organizations on a continuing basis.
Family atmosphere. Chris-Tel Construction places a high value on not only the individual employee, but also the families they support. Prior to Hurricane Irma, Howard and Donnie procured enough plywood to not only secure their own homes, but helped to secure each and every employees’ home that needed it. They organized a schedule and carried out the mission of boarding up employees’ homes (and sometimes their parent’s homes) in preparation of the storm. Not only did this act of kindness and generosity resonate with the employees, but our clients benefitted from this as well. With every employee’s home secure and seemingly unscathed, it allowed for our team members to return to work quickly and begin the clean up or emergency repairs for those clients in need.
What Differentiates You?
Chris-Tel is one of the truly local construction management firms in Lee County. By having only a local office allows our firm to focus on our clients and work product more efficiently. Our staff works here, lives here and is raising families here. The money stays local which creates a stronger continued commitment to the community.
Chris-Tel has the financial strength and capability to procure and manage any type of construction project. Our diversification into commercial, site/civil and special projects groups allows for all encompassing quality and capacity no matter the project.
We can assist from conceptual design to close out utilizing our unmatched pre-construction group whose over 80 years of combined experience in Southwest Florida has allowed for solid, established relationships with the subcontractors and vendors in our area and the experience and expertise to provide time and money savings options that are ethical, respected and are always in the best interest of the client.
Chris-Tel Construction has doubled in size since 2015 with regards to our staff and portfolio. This growth however has not changed our culture nor our relationships with our clients. We are local, available and involved from the top down on every project. We have the staff at the ready no matter the need making us zero corporate.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Always do what you believe is right regardless of the profit or loss.
The very definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles or uprightness. Doing what is right even when no one is watching is a key element to the success of Chris-Tel Construction and something that is carried out on a daily basis by every team member of the firm.