History & Philosophy

Our History

JBJ Companies, Inc. has been a trusted name in the community since 1970, an expansion of founder Jerome “Chip” Bence, Jr.’s original business, Chip’s Topsoil and Grading.  The next generation of leadership maintains the same quality control and values instilled by the founder, their father, while the company continues to embody his spirit.  Chip built the business from the ground-up, drawing on personal experience, learning every nuance of every job first hand and becoming an expert in the execution.

During his teen years, Chip received the most invaluable on-the-job training and preparation for his business ventures ahead, thanks to his own father, who fueled his entrepreneurial drive and enterprising initiatives. Chip worked for his father in various capacities throughout his teen years, such as grading race tracks, baling hay, installing septic systems, finish and grading yards for new homes, performing rough carpentry, installing floors, masonry and labor. At 16, he was eager to start his own business, having gained a great deal of experience learning every aspect of construction jobs during the building process. Hence Chip’s Topsoil and Grading business was established in 1959, and the seeds for the future JBJ Companies, Inc. were planted.

While the initial grading business had quickly expanded into one of the area’s largest, by 1970 Chip diversified his business, starting residential and commercial building, property management and purchasing vacant land. Over the next few years apartment building was added to the portfolio and the residential boom in the mid-70s solidified the new business’ focus on building and development. Chip had always maintained a fluid business model, adaptable to changing opportunities in the market place. 60+ years of experience and relationships in all facets of residential and commercial building, development and property management is a testament to the strength of this model.

Today, JBJ Companies, Inc. consists of four divisions: JBJ Properties, (property management); JBJ Construction, (general contracting/ construction management); JBJ Custom Homes; and JBJ Development (land development).

JBJ Companies, Inc. has been recognized for the following:

  • 1997 MBA Standard of Excellence Award
  • 1999-2000 BOMA/AMOA Apartment Building of the Year Under 50 Units – The Woods Apartments in Menomonee Falls
  • Past member of the MBA Arbitration Board

Founder, Jerome A. “Chipper” Bence Jr.

May 19,1942 – May 27, 2018

The founder and visionary behind JBJ Companies, Jerome “Chip” Bence, passed peacefully in the Spring of 2018 at the age of 76. While Chip had essentially “retired” in 1992, passing the baton to the next generation of leaders, Chip remained an important advisor, helping to navigate the business through changing climates and building trends. The spirit of Chip is at the very heart of JBJ Companies, reflecting his core principles of hard work and trust that defined him, inspired his employees and made him a respected leader and businessman in Menomonee Falls for six decades. While a passionate businessman and mentor to everyone that knew him, Chip was also an avid golfer and devoted husband, father and grandfather. His spirit will be honored and kept alive through his family and dedicated employees at JBJ Companies.

JBJ Philosophy

JBJ Companies was built on hard work, demanding the highest level of excellence and quality control internally, and putting our clients’ interests at the heart of every project. The cornerstone of the company’s philosophy and foundation of its success is five basic tenets, which have and will always define our approach to every job:

  • Quality Control
  • Cost Control
  • Meeting Deadlines
  • Maintaining Strong Relationships with Subcontractors
  • Strong and Regular Communication

While all five principles are equally weighted, we consider communication paramount to building successful relationships and keeping the client’s best interests at heart. In the words of founder Jerome J. Bence, Jr., “time on the job is the key element in quality construction.” JBJ Companies has successfully navigated the ebbs and flows of a volatile business for over 60 years by understanding all facets of building, property management and maintenance issues, as well as keeping an eye on future demands in residential and home construction.

Years of experience in building, owning and managing many the companies’ assets, has ingrained in our leadership the value of money, the value of good contractors, the importance of timing and the importance of a good finished project. At JBJ Companies, we treat your project as if it were one of our own investments. We want that investment to be a success.