Words: MASONRY Magazine
Photos: Jameel Ervin, W.B.F. Construction Inc.
WBF Construction Mission
It is our commitment to build with purpose, passion, and craftsmanship while creating a culture of inspiration, integrity, and excellence. We strive to disciple and develop future leaders to carry the masonry industry into the future.
Jameel Ervin started working in the masonry industry with his stepfather at 15 years old. His stepfather and uncle owned a mason contracting company and Jameel learned very quickly how much hard work goes into a day’s work on a jobsite. He also learned how rewarding the job can be. Jameel worked with his stepfather and uncle every summer until his senior year of high school when he joined the Army and served in the 82nd Airborne Division (Airborne all the way).
Following his tour in the Army, Jameel started working for Dezco Construction then Sandsmith masonry from 2001-2011. He started off laboring and worked his way to brick apprentice to Journeyman then foreman. Jameel quit working with Sandsmith in 2011 in search of something greater for himself, his family, and his career. So, he figured it was time to take a step out on faith, and with the help of his wife Mona, they started Walk By Faith Construction, Inc. As they believe with faith, hard work, and support anything is possible. (W.B.F. Construction, Inc.).
W.B.F. Construction, Inc took on small masonry jobs for the experience and to build up its clientele and equipment base. As time went on, the jobs increasingly got bigger and the employee count increased as well. Growing into what WBFC is today.
At the inception of the company, Jameel worked on a lot of projects on his own with the help of a few friends and people he met within the industry. Purchasing equipment on Craigslist, and mastering his craft by completing side jobs while working to build the business as much as he could. With the money, networking, relationships, and building partnerships accumulated from various projects, Jameel was able to purchase equipment for the business and start doing jobs officially with his small crew.
W.B.F. Construction Inc.’s first job was around nine years ago and helped put Jameel and his new company on the map in the masonry industry.
Initially, all the equipment and material needed for jobs were transported to the jobsite by Jameel and his Toyota Camry or a friend that had a pickup. Like many new businesses, building a clientele and ensuring everything is set was an uphill battle, but W.B.F. Construction Inc. preserved and continued to push forward. If one day you are in the woods and you see Jameel in a fight with the biggest and meanest Grizzly bear in the forest please run and get the bear some help or the bear will be on the dinner table tonight. Following the company’s first official project, which was the Chicago White Sox Clubhouse redesign. More projects started to trickle in and before long Jameel with the help of his wife and mentors was able to grow the employee base and was able to invest further into the business.
W.B.F. Construction Inc. has completed an array of different projects from smaller-scale jobs to larger commercial projects. None of this would be possible if it had not been for the grace of God opening doors and placing the right people in the right place. People who mentored him and groomed him showed him everything they knew. Some of these projects consist of Chicago Public School additions, five-story brick and block structures, and more. Jameel has set goals for the company which includes tripling gross revenues while maintaining great profit margins and the culture of excellence. The company currently has 25-40 employees depending on the project and WBFC has the ability to work on multiple projects at one time.
WBF has been a member of the MCAA for about 3 years. Jameel is currently on the MCAA’s Education Committee and has been working on the new Foreman Development Course that debuted at the MCAA’s Annual Meeting in Captiva Island, Florida last month. Additionally, Jameel mentors younger guys in the community, teaching them the fundamentals he was taught by his stepfather, and the experience he gained working with Sandsmith.