BY SUSAN VAN CLEAF
The Hamel Lions have discovered a new twist for choosing grand marshals for the Hamel Rodeo Parade – recognizing local entrepreneurs who have rolled up their shirtsleeves and created businesses that have thrived for many years.
And these businesses have sunk their roots into the Hamel area and spread way beyond.
Last year’s parade grand marshal, Kelly’s Wrecker Service fit this picture, as does this year’s grand marshals, Floor Technologies. Celebrating its 40th year in business in the Hamel area, Floor Technologies started out in uptown Hamel and now is located at 900 Hamel Road.
Floor Technologies will use its state of the art pump truck to lead the Hamel Rodeo Parade, which will jump off at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 8, and travel along Hamel Road in uptown Hamel. Following close behind the grand marshals will be a variety of attractions, including Hamel Rodeo clowns, the Minnesota Valley Antique Car Club, the Zurah Shrine Horse Patrol, Rockford and Loretto Fire Departments, area 4-Hers, representatives of area businesses and much more.
The parade will be one of the events concluding the four-day Hamel Rodeo weekend happening from Thursday, July 5 through Sunday, July 8. Professional rodeo performances at Corcoran Lions Park, at County Roads 10 and 101, are the cornerstone for the weekend.
Floor Technologies’ original name was Acoustical Floors, a company that Ron and Clyde Jorgenson founded in 1972. The two brothers first worked as drywallers. They noticed the mess that their work left behind and decided to do something about it.
They developed a product called Gyp-Crete to replace the second layer of subflooring and cover the mess drywallers make. The product also added fire and sound control benefits. In 1981 the brothers formed a second company, Gyp-Crete Corporation that became the manufacturer and supplier of Gyp-Crete nationwide. This was the beginning of the underlayment industry.
As the need grew for new and stronger products, Gyp-Crete Corporation changed its name to Maxxon Corporation, and around 2006 Acoustical Floors Inc. changed its name to Floor Technologies Inc. Now Floor Technologies installs company products and Maxxon manufactures them and handles licensed applicators worldwide.
Floor Technologies has provided floor underlayments for a number of projects that western Hennepin County residents might recognize – Maple Grove Hospital, condominiums in uptown Hamel, the Minneapolis Police Department, the FOX television studio, U.S. Post Office in Minneapolis and more. The company also does residential projects.
"We have appreciated the opportunities we have had in the area," said Wayne Jorgenson, who has served as president of Floor Technologies since 2010. He is the son of Ron Jorgenson who was company president for many years. His brother Clyde has served as president of Maxxon.
Wayne noted that the Farmers State Bank of Hamel gave the two brothers their first loan. "Confidence in you and your products is a big thing," he said.
"It’s been an amazing ride with Ron and Clyde," he said. "They started in downtown Hamel and have been true to the area."
Ask about reasons for his company’s success, Wayne said Maxxon has been creating products as company leaders saw a need for them in the markets they serve. And Maxxon and Floor Technologies have found ways to be different from their competition.
Asked why he has chosen to carry on the family business, he said was "born into it. You grow into it. I’ve been employed here almost 25 years. I’ve had other jobs. After 25 years it grows on you."
Cheryl Sivula, who does accounting for Floor Technologies gave an employee’s perspective on its 40th anniversary. She called Ron and Clyde Jorgenson "entrepreneurs for sure." They started their business in their 30s and weathered economic changes, including the great recession of the past five years.
Sivula said many Floor Technologies employees started with Ron and Clyde and other employees have been with the company for a long time. The Jorgensons have taken care of their employees and "that’s why they are so loyal."