Our First 100 Years
When people find their work interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable, time can really fly. For the A. Z. Shmina Construction Company, our first 100 years went by pretty quick.
It all started in 1916, with the creation of a construction firm called the A.W. Kutsche Company in Detroit, Michigan. A few short years later, a Yugoslavian immigrant by the name of Achilles Zissi Shmina joined the company after receiving a degree in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
The Shmina family had been contractors in the old country for generations, so it was a natural career choice for Achilles, who quickly rose to directing construction and estimating operations. For someone who immigrated to New York alone at the age of 15, with basically no money and no concept of the English language, this was quite a feat.
Fueled by an unwavering passion for construction, Achilles eventually purchased the company and in 1954 it was renamed A. Z. Shmina & Sons Co., when Arthur and Robert Shmina joined their father in business. The company continued to expand and build prominent structures of the highest quality throughout southeastern Michigan.
Today, Andrew Shmina, grandson of Achilles, runs the company. And as we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we take great pride not only for achieving a century of success, but for also playing a historical role in the building of Detroit and its suburbs.
Of course, reaching this milestone wasn’t always a smooth ride. From the great depression to the recession-rich 1970s & 80s to the economic turmoil of 2008-10, the company, along with the industry in general, faced some pretty tough times. But A. Z. Shmina always persevered. Each generation has shown the ability to rise to the occasion and, through a perspective that brings together passion, experience and perhaps a natural gift for construction, move forward.
As we look ahead to the next 100 years, our approach will remain the same: continue to build strong, positive relationships with customers, municipalities and the community at large; employ like-minded people with the skill and passion to build the best commercial buildings; and, when a project is complete and we’ve exceeded every customer expectation, experience the strong sense of joy and accomplishment that has flowed through A. Z. Shmina for the past 100 years.
It’s been a great ride. But truthfully, we’re just getting started.