By Marceliano Briones, Journalism Intern, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, Bradley University
Troy Young and Rod Wiegand, co-owners of Heartland Fabrication LLC, began their journey in the field of custom fabrication within the realm of another company. Describing it as “walk-in and repair” work, they garnered and retained the attention of customers when it came to their custom work. Having both served as the head of the custom fabrication division at this company at separate times, there was no doubt that they could start up their own business. The idea was conceived after their time had allotted at the other company when previous customers began to inquire about how and where to get that type of work done and even received committed support if they were to begin their own entrepreneurial endeavors. A short time later, in partnership with their wives, Heartland Fabrication, LLC in Congerville, Illinois was born.
Today, Young and Wiegand have accumulated over 45 years of combined experience in areas such as custom fabrication, CNC machining, welding, sales, and purchasing have grown the company into two entities; the repairing of trailers, farm equipment, and other parts along with custom manufacturing as well as the KORY FARM equipment product line. One of their most visible and notable custom feats to date is the silo of support for the Barn III Dinner Theatre. The silo is composed of ¼” wire mesh sheets as well as rectangular and square tubing. Both the mesh and tubing were fabricated into sections; joined together creating a final product that now stands 42 feet high. Currently, the company is working on a project with Zeller Electric now based in Goodfield, Illinois that is dealing with man-work, interior showpieces, steel staircases and more to create a beautiful officescape.
Running day-to-day operations is no easy task but the healthy challenges of managing growth and projects have risen for both co-owners. Noting that many of the daily tasks that goes into operations could not be possible without their beloved wives, they state that it is ultimately about “controlling the business and not letting it control you.” They give a humble thanks to Kevin Evans, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University for being their guide to getting Heartland Fabrications LLC up and running. As a man with “an answer for everything”, Kevin assisted with tasks that ultimately helped create the company's final business plan and made them eligible for a business loan at their local bank.
With countless years to come for the company, managing growth and being there to serve their local community in Congerville and Central Illinois are primary goals for both distinguished owners. Each day allows them to enhance their light hearted-fun atmosphere for their employees, customers, and those they come in contact with.