WBG Remembers Founder Jim Bouwman
Grand Rapids, MI – (May 15, 2014) Wolverine Building Group would like to publicly express our gratitude to one of our founders, Jim Bouwman, as we remember him upon his passing.
Mr. Bouwman passed away this April at the age of 84. He joined his father, Peter Bouwman, the founder and owner of Wolverine Tile Company (later Wolverine Building Products) in the 1950’s. At that time, the company was primarily a floor tile and porcelain panel company. After Jim joined Wolverine, he recognized the growth potential in the general contracting industry and steered the company accordingly. Under Jim’s direction, Wolverine Building Products quickly became one of the largest design/build firms in Grand Rapids.
With Jim Bouwman at the helm, Wolverine obtained pre-engineered dealership rights from Butler Manufacturing and became the largest Butler Manufacturing dealer in the nation. Most of the facilities located on Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Boulevard were completed by Jim and his team. As he worked to develop and improve Wolverine Building, he formed great relationships with local subcontractors – Godwin Plumbing, Buist Electric, Quality Air, Allstate Fire Protection, Dykema Excavating, and Van Laan Concrete, to name a few.
Those who worked for Jim remember him as an intense businessman, with a drive to construct buildings more quickly without sacrificing quality. He was also a family man with a great sense of humor.
The success and industry respect that Wolverine Building Group has as a company today can be traced back to the underpinnings that were set in place by Jim Bouwman more than 50 years ago. Jim, we thank you for your vision and years of hard work. May God’s peace be with you.