Clarion Construction, Inc. was started in 1988 by its founder Kelly Owen. Armed with a loan from a concrete sub-contractor and an El Camino, Clarion had an office staff of 4 and a field crew of 6 talented journeymen.
As is the case with any start-up company, the first years were tough and lean but sales reached $2,000,000 after the first year. Within the first five years, Bruce Kidd joined the firm leaving Metal Clad Insulation Corporation as they divested their interest in cold storage to pursue the lucrative asbestos abatement market.
At year seven two additional full time project managers were added and by the late 1990’s Clarion had reached annual sales of over 33 million dollars. By the year 2000, Clarion was in full swing with licenses in 14 western states and projects from Beaverton, Oregon to Dallas, Texas as well as 50 employees to run the organization.
In early, 2001, Clarion opened their Fresno, California office to meet the demands of the burgeoning mid-state population growth and the need for cold storage. The company had grown with demand and Clarion, as a company, was in a position to move to the next level.
On September 11, 2001, the USA was attacked by Al-Qaeda as two planes slammed into the twin towers in New York. Over 3000 people perished, and for the rest of the United States, our lives changed instantly.
Immediately after the attack, Clarion downsized for a short while as did most contractors as a result of a diminishing construction market.
In 2009 Clarion started a steady and robust comeback. Branching out to other states and concentrating on our traditional customer base, Clarion sales began to surge. In 2011, Clarion had a banner year while constructing over 30 projects in 5 states for companies such as Natures Best, Goldstar Foods, Bakemark Corporation, Torn and Glasser, White Wave, Castle and Cooke, Kraft, Americold, M & M Mars, Smart & Final, Cargill, and Golden State Foods.
In 2013-14 Clarion continued its growth and had its second largest volume fiscal year to date. What is surprising is that this milestone was achieved during one of the most challenged economies the United States has ever experienced and without a doubt the worst drought California has experienced in the last 100 years. Why this is significant is the fact that Clarion has traditionally relied heavily on California’s San Joaquin Valley farming industry for 40%-50% of its revenue. In this most recent 12 month period only 10% of Clarion projects were in that region.
I am very pleased that Clarion’s dedication to high quality, yet affordable cold storage construction practices has kept us at the forefront of our industry for over 25 years. It is with this same attitude and with great enthusiasm that we launch Clarion into the next 25 years.