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Betz Corporation moves corporate offices back to Gering
December 16, 2010 Dawn Bowen    Courtsey Photo

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Art Zamarripa on the jobsite at Heilbruns Napa.

One of western Nebraska’s oldest and most established construction companies is celebrating its return to newly renovated offices in Gering.

Betz Corporation has completed an expansion and remodel of its offices at Lockwood Road and East Sunset Drive in the Gering Industrial Park. Most recently the company had been doing business from a location northwest of Scottsbluff, but its owners say they were anxious to return the business operations to Gering where they both live.

“We were homesick,” said Art Zamarripa, who together with Mary Jo “Nina” Betz, a minor share holder, owns Betz Corporation. “We had been here for such a long time and we did a lot of work out of Gering. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to come back. I just wanted to be here in Gering.”

Betz agreed, saying she wanted the concrete construction company to return its main offices to Gering where it began more than 50 years ago and where she also owns a second business – the Gering Citizen.

“It’s convenient,” she said. “I can stop at the newspaper on my way over here.”

The Betz family began working in the construction business in the early 1950s when Ed Betz started Betz Construction. The company became incorporated in 1977 and has since grown to include dozens of employees and a work area that extends beyond Nebraska to South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado. Zamarripa joined the company in 1966 and became an owner in the mid 1990s.

“I’ve had the opportunity of knowing the Betz family – which is a great family – for a long time,” he said. “I’ve become part of them as the years go by. I’ve seen their children grow up and now their children have children. I’ve been around the Betz family for quite some time.”

Through the years Betz Corporation has become well known for its concrete construction in both residential and industrial applications. The company does flat work like site preparation, curb and gutter installation, slabs on deck and slabs on grade, working often as a subcontractor for a number of corporations and companies in the construction industry. Betz Corporation is certified by the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, which affords the company the opportunity to bid on government funded construction projects in Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The company has completed many projects for the farming industry, constructing up to 80,000 feet of concrete irrigation ditches per year.

“We’re capable of doing just about anything there is,” Zamarripa said. “We can erect steel buildings and do most construction in general.”

Betz Corp.’s personnel includes employees who have specialized skills in a number of areas, including some who can do underground work. Betz says the employees they have are “stellar” and are among the best in the business.

Zamarripa agreed and said, “We are very fortunate to have the personnel that we have, from the shop people to the field personnel.”

Local employees include Office Manager Bobbi Dokins, Senior Project Manager Michael Yarnall and Larry Blehm who is the corporation’s general manager and chief financial officer, as well as a number of project superintendents working at job sites around the region.

The company’s fleet of trucks includes semi trucks, belly dump trucks and trailers as well as other heavy equipment that can get the job done, Zamarripa said. “We have a full scope of equipment to supply three or four crews,” he said.

Current projects include the erection of a steel building that will become the juvenile detention center in Casper, Wyo., and work at a school in Alliance and a hospital in Gillette, Wyo. Notable past projects include all the curb and gutter at Monument Mall, a new parking lot at Heilbrun’s Inc. in Scottsbluff, curb and gutter work around the YMCA and Panhandle Co-op and concrete work around Auto Zone and along 27th Street in Scottsbluff. Several years ago, Betz Corporation was recognized for its outstanding work on the Beltline project.

While the company is fully equipped and staffed to handle large industrial jobs, Zamarripa says he is also grateful for smaller jobs, and no job is too small.

Both Betz and Zamarripa say the success of their business depends not only on the quality of their employees’ work but also upon the referrals that come about because of jobs they have done.

“We’re one of the oldest construction companies here. We were here before a lot of the construction companies that are established in the area,” Zamarripa said. “Word of mouth travels a long way and the quality of our work is very good.”

Zamarripa says he strives daily to provide high quality workmanship and customer service because he knows the success of his business is dependent upon his commitment to excellence. It’s not unusual for his days to start very early in the morning and continue late into the evening as he makes sure his personnel have everything they need to do an excellent job.

“I love to work and I just want to make sure that Betz Corporation survives. That’s very important to me. So is the future of Betz Corporation and the people who are involved with us and working for us. I want to make sure that they continue to have jobs. That’s what gets me going in the morning is going to work and seeing everybody working. That’s what I want.”

Betz said she is proud of the quality craftsmanship of the corporation’s employees. She invites anyone to ask past and current customers about their workmanship and reputation.

“We’re proud of the work we do and we will always continue to give our customers the good business we have given since the 1950s,” she said. Looking forward, Zamarripa says the future is bright.

“There’s no stopping us now,” he said. “We’re going to be around for a long time.”
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