The Miami-based company Guillermo García-Tuñón Sr. founded after his escape from Cuba 53 years ago has achieved a number of important milestones while it has grown and flourished. But the recognition Lemartec Engineering and Construction Corporation received during recent ceremonies in Las Vegas was particularly meaningful.
“Not only does it put Lemartec in very select company, it also represents something that took decades to accomplish,” said Manny García-Tuñón, president of Lemartec. “Obviously, the more difficult it is to climb the mountain, the more significant the achievement.”
Lemartec was honored by Varco Pruden Buildings for surpassing $35 million in cumulative metal building sales. Varco Pruden, a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc., was founded in 1968 and is a world leader in providing metal system buildings.
To put Lemartec’s achievement in perspective, for more than two decades Varco Pruden has had a network of more than 1,000 independent authorized builders, but less than 15 have surpassed $35 million in sales.
“Lemartec’s accomplishment is a testament to the company’s professionalism, dedication, superior work ethic and extraordinary customer service,” said Chuck Haslebacher, president of Varco Pruden, “Quality and service has been its hallmark since Day One.”
Guillermo García-Tuñón Sr. developed his knowledge and skills in Cuba, before fleeing in 1960 with his wife and nine children, leaving everything else behind. Of course, that included the flourishing engineering and steel fabricating company he had spent a lifetime building. The business included work for some of the world’s largest corporations, including Firestone, Glidden Paint, Bacardi Rum, Telemundo Studios, ESSO Standard Oil, U.S. Rubber and Goodrich Tires.
Bringing the talents and skills he honed in Cuba, Guillermo García-Tuñón Sr., a registered professional engineer, founded Lemartec Engineering and Construction Corporation in 1979, with his oldest son, Guillermo García-Tuñón Jr., also a registered professional engineer.
The original purpose of the company was to market the three-hinge-steel truss frame warehouse system he developed in Cuba. The warehouses would have integral steel retaining walls used primarily for bulk storage of raw sugar. With standardized clear spans of 100 feet and 150 feet and roof slopes in excess of 9 inches and 12 inches, these warehouses were successfully built in Florida, California and the Dominican Republic.
Fueled by its background in steel construction, Lemartec developed into a design-build company that catered to the agra-industrial needs of Florida, as well as serving as key supplier of steel and steel components to South America and the Caribbean. Pre-engineered steel buildings were a perfect fit for Lemartec. And when another son, José, joined the company with a construction management degree and general contractor’s license, Lemartec became a full-service engineering and construction company, specializing in design and construction of projects for industrial, commercial, and government applications.
Today, the company, representing three generations of the García-Tuñón family, makes up the core of the operation. They participate in the daily operation of the firm, each fulfilling responsibilities in engineering, estimating, project management, sales and administration. The company’s non-family employees joke that they are not actually employed, but adopted by the Lemartec family.
“This award was a distinct honor and one we are especially proud of,” said Guillermo García-Tuñón Jr.
“The recognition from Varco Pruden validates our family’s years of work and we are thankful for all that the award symbolizes.”
In addition to the recent accolade by VP Buildings, the firm has won numerous awards for the design of churches, municipal buildings and schools in addition to the agra-related structures it first became known for. In 2008, Lemartec was honored by the United States Department of Commerce as a Minority Construction Firm of the Year.
About VP Buildings
VP Buildings is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. Through advanced engineering and proprietary building products, VP Buildings provides innovative steel building systems for low-rise commercial and industrial applications, including offices, warehouses, schools, manufacturing, and retail projects. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, the company markets its products through a network of more than 1,000 authorized builders. VP has affiliations in Europe, Asia and South America and is a member of the MBMA, CSSBI and the USGBC. For more information about VP Buildings, visit www.vp.com.