The Beginning

As a high school student, Dean Snyder always liked shop class. He enjoyed the challenge of building something out of nothing and getting a finished product. Little did he know that this hobby would lead him and his wife, Joanne, to start Dean Snyder Construction in 1958 in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Dean got his start in the construction business by working for several different contractors in his early 20’s and cultivated his skill for building houses while working for his father-in-law in Oregon. After three years on the West Coast, Dean and Joanne returned to Clear Lake, and Dean Snyder Construction was formed, using the slogan, “The Dean of Builders.” Joanne took care of all the bookwork from their home, while Dean worked out of his pickup truck. Before long, their three sons were introduced to the family business.

In these early days, residential construction was the Snyder’s primary focus. The first house Dean built is still located in Clear Lake and sold for $16,000 in 1960.

Changes & Growth

The 1970’s brought about many exciting changes for DSC. As the company continued to grow, the office inside the Snyder’s home was no longer sufficient. A new office space was found in town, allowing room for the company’s cabinet shop as well. It was also during the early 1970’s that the Snyder’s three sons, Don, Dale, and David, became more involved in company projects, helping move the company into new markets.  The company’s first commercial projects were the Mutual Federal Savings Bank in Clear Lake and Clear Lake School’s Bus Garage.

In the early 1980’s, the company was awarded its first large manufacturing project with UNISYS Corporation. The UNISYS project provided a jump start into the industrial market.

In 1984, a new DSC office was built in Clear Lake, Iowa, to accommodate the company’s growth. About 13 years later, more space was needed so the company built a new 4,000 square foot office, only to expand again in 2008 by adding an additional 4,000 square feet.

In 1986, the company began working on a project with Kraft Foods in Mason City, Iowa, marking our entry into the food and beverage market. Almost three decades later, Dean Snyder Construction is still providing services to Kraft Foods in Mason City and has completed multiple projects for Kraft Foods in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York.

DSC Today

In 2001, Dean Snyder Construction ventured into central Iowa to expand our construction services by opening an office in Ankeny, Iowa. To solidify our commitment to the community, we constructed a new office and shop in Ankeny in 2003. In 2012, DSC purchased Waggoner & Wineinger Architects (WWA) who together with DSC Design Group rebranded into ATURA architecture. In 2021, we expanded our offices once again to include Omaha, NE, area.

Today, the company that started in the Snyder’s home has two locations in Iowa and one in Omaha, Nebraska, approximately 230 employees, and clients nationwide. It has 2nd generation ownership and leadership (Don, Dale, David) with 3rd generation involvement. DSC takes pride in providing the highest standard of quality with a personal touch to each and every project. We are proud of our company’s history and have been fortunate to have dedicated employees, some for well over 20 years, that continue to exhibit the same values the company was built on.

In 2020, we extended ownership to our 200+ employees, rewarding them for their contribution to the company’s growth and success through the years with the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (or ESOP).  {An ESOP is a trust that holds shares of stock in a company on behalf of the employees. } This stock can’t be publicly traded; it’s available only to DSC employees.

  • 1958 - The Beginning

    Dean Snyder starts his own construction company in 1958 in Clear Lake, Iowa.
  • 1960's - Residential Construction

    Using his truck as an office, Dean's primary focus is residential construction in and around the Clear Lake area.
  • 1970 - Running a Business

    Joanne Snyder, Dean's wife, takes care of all the bookwork out of their home while their three boys help Dean build houses.
  • 1979 - Awarded First Public Bid

    Expanding beyond residential construction, DSC is awarded their first public project for Clear Lake Community School's Bus Garage.
  • 1979 - Commercial Construction

    DSC completes their first negotiated commercial project for Mutual Federal Savings Bank in Clear Lake.
  • 1980's - Company Growth

    To accomodate for expanding project opportunities, the company relocates to a new office and shop in Clear Lake.
  • 1980's - Leadership Expands

    Dean's sons, Don, Dale, and David, form a partnership with Dean to operate the family construction business.
  • 1980 - Industrial Construction

    DSC completes first industrial project for Unisys of Clear Lake, leading to a  fourteen-year working relationship.
  • 1986 - Food & Beverage Construction

    DSC enters the food & beverage market with the first of many projects for Kraft Foods at the JELL-O plant in Mason City, Iowa.
  • 1988 - New Ownership

    Don, Dale, and David Snyder take over active management and ownership of DSC.
  • 1997 - New Office

    After years of steady growth, DSC designs and builds a new office to reflect their position as a trusted, family-owned company in North Iowa.
  • 1997 - National Reach

    Expanding their industrial manufacturer customer base, DSC builds three new facilities for Serta in Iowa, Georgia, and Oklahoma.
  • 2002 - Acquired The Andersen Company

    With the acquisition of The Andersen Company, a relationship with Fareway, a Midwest grocer, begins.
  • 2003 - Ankeny Office

    To better provide construction services throughout the state of Iowa, a second office and shop opens in Ankeny, Iowa.
  • 2008 - 50 Years in Business

    In 2008, DSC celebrates 50 years in business while also doubling the size of the Clear Lake location with an office expansion.
  • DSC Today

    DSC remains a family-owned and operated company continuing to build trust with some of the biggest companies in the world.
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