Nov 01, 2021
Let's take a moment to shine a light on the lifeblood of our communities—small businesses. At Dean Health Plan, getting to know business owners is one of the best parts of what we do as a community health plan. Did you know that there are more than 31.7 million small businesses in America, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA)? We want to nurture their growth and equip these companies with the tools they need to succeed. Let's take a look at one local small business—Sun Prairie's JW Remodeling, owned by Jeremy Woldt.
Les McPhearson, President, Dean Health Plan
Jeremy Woldt, owner of JW Remodeling in Sun Prairie, hadn’t been feeling well for a while. Recently, he happened to take his daughter to the doctor and, much to his surprise, his daughter's doctor turned her attention to him.
Something was wrong and the doctor sprang into action, he said.
“She was the best doctor I've ever seen,” said Woldt of the SSM Health Urgent Care physician. “She knew something was wrong and ran tests right away.”
The physician sent him to St. Mary's Emergency Department immediately. He received a diagnosis he never expected. He was diabetic and already in a state of ketoacidosis—a serious complication of diabetes that can be life threatening.
Once he recovered from the shock, Woldt immediately felt a sense of gratitude. “Thank God I have health insurance,” he said. He has since been receiving treatment for diabetes and is doing much better.
He extends the same security to his staff of 18 employees. “If it's important for me to have, it's important for everybody that works for me, too,” he said.
“My employees have health, dental, vision, disability, 401(k)—everything you can think of,” Woldt said. “Everybody needs benefits for their families.” “We are one of the few remodeling companies that do offer them.”
It has paid off with nearly zero turnover on his team. “This is the best group of people I've ever had working for me.”
It all started in 1998, when he founded JW Remodeling. “I grew up on job sites. I love construction,” said Woldt. His grandfather was a carpenter and his father worked as a mason. “Remodeling is a cool job. You find out how everybody used to build from the 1800s to the present,” he said.
His company has expanded into a full-service high-end remodeling and interior design business. The company handles all the general contracting and keeps 95% of jobs in house (hiring subcontractors for plumbing and heating only).
The recent home market boom has spurred even more growth. “Now it's cheaper to buy a house and remodel it than to build,” Woldt said.
Creating a positive customer experience is a high priority, Woldt said. “Having somebody in your home, spending a lot…they deserve to get what they've got coming.” He explained that creating “that feeling that everything is going to be okay” is important. As a result, the company has strong repeat business and runs on referrals.
In 2016, the company built a showroom storefront offering home décor, accessories, gifts and more. The upstairs of the building is rented to 10 different salon owners.
In addition to treating his remodeling customers well, Woldt cares about his tenants. When COVID-19 caused all the salons to close, he froze their rent for three months. “They asked, what's the string?” he said with a laugh. “There's no string. We're all in this together.”
Woldt's good deeds spread beyond Sun Prairie to Haiti. He has gone on two mission trips to Haiti to rebuild the failing roof of a church. Not only did his company donate all the supplies, but they provided some of the volunteer labor, as well.
“If you do the right thing it always comes to pay you back eventually,” Woldt said.