Every company has a story to tell . . .
Charles Christopher Brandt was born in the bluegrass of Falmouth, Kentucky in the fall of 1880; the same year that the first pay phone was installed, and the Panama Canal began construction. The son of Charles William Brandt, a German immigrant, and Magdalena Ernst, young Charles worked day in and day out on his father's farm where he first began to love working with his hands. As most boys do, Charles fell in love with a beautiful girl, Idena Rosenstiel, thus changing the course of his story. In May of 1905, he married his long-time sweetheart and relocated to Indianapolis, hopeful to make the All-American dreams of a son of an immigrant come true. Upon moving to Circle City, Charles got his first job outside of the farm as a carpenter at 1511 Massachusetts Avenue, right in the hub of what we know today as a thriving cultural district. Quickly, Charles' passion for the business allowed him to transition from labor to management as his dream of owning his own construction company came to fruition.
It was in 1907 that Charles C. Brandt Construction Company was officially established at it's very first HQ at 1505 Mass Avenue. A philosophy of hard work, dedication to treating people with respect, and always keeping a set of old-fashioned values in his tool belt led to the continued growth of his business. Family was extremely important to Charles and his wife as they raised their five children; Catherine, William Charles, Ralph, Louise and Charles Edward. Charles' three sons; Bill, Ralph and Charlie eventually followed in Charles' footsteps, continuing their father's business. From there, the sons of both Bill and Charlie stepped in from the 1960's to the 1980's. Charlie's son, Charles Christopher Brandt II, worked at CCB through college, graduated from Ball State and eventually started his own architecture firm in Indianapolis, Architectural Concepts. William Charles Jr., who went by "Chuck" and was Bill's son, served as president until 1989, bringing us into the company's next segment of ownership.
In the late 1980's, one of the Brandt's son-in-laws, a graduate of Purdue's mechanical engineering program and owner of many mechanical engineering patents, was looking for something new, unsure he was fit for the construction industry, he took the first job that presented itself. It was then that Bill Freeman began working as a truck driver in the Charles C. Brandt warehouse. From there, Bill fell in love with construction and couldn't imagine doing anything else. He went on to become a project superintendent and then the general superintendent, eventually working his way in to the office. What a wonderful way to find your calling! This pathway lead Bill onto becoming the Vice President of the company followed by serving as President & CEO from 1989 until 2001.
In 2001, a similar story of growth and passion took Charles C. Brandt into its current reign of ownership. Starting out as a project manager in 1984, Steve Lankton began at Charles C. Brandt after relocating to Indianapolis from Illinois with his wife, (and now CCB project manager) Lee Ann. Around the same time, an energetic young man from Wyoming, Jack Lautenschlager, started as a superintendent in the field. Jack and Steve got close through all of their years at Charles C. Brandt and, between the two of them, they knew every facet of the business. When it was time for Bill Freeman to move on to retirement, Steve and Jack quickly jumped at the opportunity to own the company where they had each spent 25 years working. Joined by Cathy Bickle as Vice President, the ownership triangle was complete. Cathy retired from the company at the end of 2014 after many years of dedicated service to CCB. Currently, the own remaining owners, Jack Lautenschlager and Steve Lankton, serve as COO and President respectively.
Charles C. Brandt Construction, now housed at 1505 N. Sherman Drive, is a company that has been built from the inside; allowing limitless growth opportunities for its employees and recognizing that passion and love for your work goes a long way in creating business success and strong client relationships. Although the current ownership no longer carries the Brandt name, we are all family here.