Building on 70 Years

April 22 marks our Founder's Day – the date Gerry Rauenhorst signed his first contract for a construction business that would evolve into The Opus Group of today. This year it is an important milestone – 70 years!

How it Started

In 1953, Gerry Rauenhorst, with the support of his wife, Henrietta (Hanky) Rauenhorst, started a construction business. So much of who they were and how they lived their lives has provided the foundation upon which Opus is built, and the sentiments that inspire our mission, values, culture, daily work and future vision.

With the combination of his work ethic, drive, vision and engineering degree, Gerry quickly found employment after college. Over the next two years, he gained valuable experience with two different companies, but Gerry found his employers' ways of doing business were inconsistent with his own personal values.

Gerry decided, and Hanky concurred, that no job was worth compromising the principles that guided their family life. And that's when he thought, “there just has to be a better way" – which for him meant making an honest, realistic bid and then honoring that bid no matter what; it meant showing up when he said he would and finishing a job when promised; it meant treating clients, coworkers and employees with honor, decency and respect.

Built on these values and the principle of finding “a better way", Gerry and Hanky started a construction business. At the age of 25 and with the entire $354 that he and Hanky had in savings, plus a loan from his brother, Gerry was able to secure his proposal and earn his very first project – Zion Lutheran Church in Olivia, Minn.

From that point on, Gerry and Hanky would work together as partners to operate the business​ (initially out of their 960-square-foot suburban Minneapolis home) while also working secondary jobs to make ends meet. They worked tirelessly and diligently to keep the business going, while also growing their family and preserving the values that inspired it.

How it's Going

70 years later finding “a better way" is an important part of our culture – a culture where associates are encouraged and empowered to find ways to improve and innovate for clients, partners and communities.

We are proud to be building on 70 years of industry expertise, unparalleled quality and community stewardship!