By Brooke Felger – Feature Photo by Kim Kroupa
Rich Arntson resides in a house off of Center road on the bay. He’s lived in Traverse City for 27 years now. “I chose this location because if you want, you can walk out your door, get on your boat and go to Chicago.” He lives with his dog, Maximus Prime, a massive 167-pound Pit bull who was bred from the largest Pit bull in America. While many may argue that “Pits” are an aggressive breed, Maximus Prime is loyal, lovable, and often tries to bury himself in the couch when Rich is away.
After a younger Rich experienced some trouble as a result of juvenile misbehavior, he went straight to work shaping a successful future and leaving the past behind. He was 22 when Rich began working with Grand Traverse Construction. The work came easy to him. He went to college for Architectural Engineering, made the Dean’s List and also became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He continued on to earn a Master’s degree in Religion, and then a Doctorate in Philosophy of Religion, all while working two jobs. He attributes his drive from his mother, who worked 16-hour days at the Barlow post office and also attended college.
13 years ago, in the same month, he lost his father, got married, and bought a home – Rich started A+ Concrete to help pay for college.
He says, “Concrete is fun. It’s active. It’s creative, and I feel like an artist. The finished product will be there forever. Every place we go, we leave a mark.”
A+ specializes in stamped concrete: concrete that has been textured or patterned to resemble tile, stone, or any other building material, but also works on driveways, foundations, and pole barns. He credits his meticulous character for his professional success.
“We take 100% pride in our work. I hate it when someone calls and tells us that something is wrong.” Proving his dedication to quality, when asked, Rich’s future goals didn’t include expansion. “I want to keep our work A+.”
The work isn’t easy though. “The physical demand is the most challenging part. Especially in hot weather… and you essentially have no life between April and November.”
In the downtime that he does have, Rich loves to boat and “play” with his Corvette (he attended a Corvette racing school in Nevada). He frequents Mackinaw Brewing Company, and his favorite travel destinations are Chicago, Vegas, and Florida.
You can find out more about A+ Concrete at www.aplusconcrete.net, or call 231-218-7630.
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