In 1988, Loretta Rosenmayer’s husband was diagnosed with a chronic illness and forced to stop working. As a stay-at-home mom with four young boys, it was clear that she had to become the breadwinner in the family. With a minimum wage job out of the question, and no money or construction experience, she accepted donations of used equipment from a friend’s out-of-business landscaping company and started trenching work for farms in Crystal Lake, IL. With four employees and meetings conducted at a local diner, Trench-It was born.
Shortly after, Illinois experienced a housing boom and utility companies couldn’t keep up with installing new home services. With a $15,000 loan from a female friend, Loretta was able to afford insurance premiums and started bidding jobs for the local utility.
In 1993, Loretta had the foresight to become certified with WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council). That relationship gave her an early edge with utility companies who were looking to expand their minority diversity spend.
As the only female, she was met with opposition. However, all the utility companies were concerned with was delivery and Loretta delivered. Soon Trench-It moved into electric overhead and underground and then gas services. By 2009, she changed the name to INTREN; the “IN” standing for integrity.
During the late 2000 recession when the business slowdown forced cutbacks, Loretta started looking outside of Illinois and took small jobs that no one else wanted. When the economy came back, INTREN’s footprint quadrupled and they were instantly in 10 markets across the country.
To Loretta, stewardship “caring for other’s priorities as if they were our own” is not just a way of doing business; it is a way of life. By weaving this into the very fabric of INTREN’s culture, Loretta and the company have succeeded in earning the respect and support of peers, customers and the communities INTREN serves. And that has always been Loretta’s purpose--to serve and to make a difference. You see it in her mentoring of dozens of MWBE companies and the hundreds of charitable organizations she supports and how she passionately takes care of her customers and employees.
In 2017, Loretta stepped up to Chairwoman of the Board, and hired utility industry-veteran Kelly Tomblin as CEO. Together, their vision for the future is to acquire and mentor additional MWBE companies, while continuing to strategically expand into new regions and deepen INTREN’s breath of services.
Now with 13 regional offices, 2,000 employees from coast-to-coast, and additional services in transmission and vegetation management, their vision is becoming a reality.
The History of INTREN