Just out of college, Kellie Bell was as green as her original logo color when she opened Forrest Construction Group, Inc. in 2002. Today, she is celebrating a decade of business growth at a time when many construction companies have folded.
Bell is president of Forrest Construction Group, Inc. The woman-owned design/build construction management company serves retail, commercial and industrial, medical, academia, and office clients with quality build-outs.
Forrest Construction Group (FCG), based in Huntley, is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise in the City of Chicago, Cook County and nationwide. The State of Illinois recognizes FCG as a Female Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.
Bell leads a team of experienced construction professionals, including the newest hire Rick Jensen, project superintendent. Jensen has 30 years of progressively greater experience and expertise in construction management.
FCG recent project examples include light industrial at Handifoil in Naperville and retail store build-outs such as the Puma store in Woodfield Mall among others. Crabtree & Evelyn contracted with Forrest Construction for their store in a Michigan mall, which was so successful that it evolved into the renovation of the Woodfield Mall location as well.
A new high-profile project for Forrest Construction is working with Plote Construction to supply the toll plaza control buildings at the new Route 47 and I-90 interchange expansion.
Construction has been a volatile industry in recent years.
"We learned to adjust to the lean times because we are a small, flexible operation," Bell said. "We took each job and gave it our best because we didn't know what was next.”
Project financing was and continues to be very tight for site owners. Efforts are focused on providing a quality product while helping clients to value engineer in order to get the most for their specific budgets.
“Reputation and longevity are critical to success in the trades," Bell said. "We keep evolving in staff and services to meet our clients’ needs and expectations. Being a Woman Business Enterprise allows for some opportunities; however, we have to work harder and strive to satisfy every customer to generate new leads and referrals.”