Success Runs in the Family

Felderman Design-Build focuses on maintaining customer relationships and keeping standards high.
Deborah C. Gerbers
Steve Vorderman and provided

Family-owned Felderman Design-Build is a strong team of professionals dedicated to building and maintaining lasting relationships with area businesses, and striving for continued success with every project completed.

A Second-Generation Company

Russ Felderman founded the company in 1975. His stepson, Ryan Harris, has been with the business for 15 years and is now president. Harris believes his father set the foundation for the company’s success and it is now his job to build on that. As a second-generation business owner, Harris is able to employ the same core values Russ Felderman began using over 40 years ago. As a single-source design-build firm, Felderman follows each project through from concept to finished product, using decades of knowledge and expertise to deliver innovative work.

“Our niche is the design-build delivery method,” says Harris. “We essentially take a project from concept to completion in-house, allowing us to streamline the process.”

With over 40 years of success in the industry, Felderman Design-Build believes in focusing on what has made the company work so well for so long, without changing much from the original company Russ Felderman started. “When he began this company, his vision was design-build, a concept which was in its infancy at that point,” says Harris. “Very few people knew what this new method was. Typically with the traditional method, you would hire an architect to design prints and specifications, and then bid it out. But with the design-build method, there is a single-source with the owner, designer and contractor all in one. This also helps minimize finger-pointing between too many people involved should a problem arise.”

The streamlined delivery method allows Felderman Design-Build to complete projects 30 percent quicker, which means businesses can take occupancy earlier and start working sooner. For example, a manufacturing company can start producing its product 30 percent earlier than it would by using the traditional construction method. This saves businesses both time and money.

Building Lasting Relationships

Felderman is a company dedicated to honest business practices and maintaining integrity through the design-build process. When clients are pleased with the completed work and the process itself, they will be more likely to choose the same firm to complete future projects. By making clients a priority, Felderman seeks to exceed expectations and build lasting relationships with area businesses, resulting in many repeat customers, including Miller’s Health Systems and Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne. 

“About 90 percent of our business is either repeat or referrals, which speaks volumes about the quality team we have in place,” says Harris. “Our goal is to build lasting relationships.”

The company’s success is evident in its growing number of projects with these repeat clients. “We have been very blessed with business, coming off back-to-back record years and we have a very robust backlog,” says Harris. “I can’t stress enough the team environment here and how it contributes to our success as well.”

The Family Business Framework

Part of Felderman’s mission is to promote growth of the team, its families and the company as a whole. By taking care of its employees, the company is able to retain the same quality team members for many years. In fact, several people have been at the company for over 20 years and a few over 30 years.

“This is a family business, and we look at our entire team as family,” says Harris. “We treat them how we want to be treated, and we believe the longevity of our employees is a testament to that. The success of the company is definitely a team effort: it’s not my dad or me, but rather the team we have assembled.” 

Another part of the framework at Felderman Design-Build is the approach it takes when tackling projects. Each job is seen through the eyes of the customer; in other words, Harris encourages his team to look at the project as though it is their own. “What would you do if this was your own building? How would you proceed?” he says. 

This approach is more personal and strengthens the trust between the company and the customer. By placing more value on each individual customer’s project, the company becomes even more committed to their approval. “We have always believed that the customer comes first,” says Harris. 

Felderman Design-Build

Address: 5644 Coventry Lane Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804

Phone: (260) 434-4000



Years in Business: 42

Number of Employees: 30

Products & Services: Commercial and industrial design-build general contractor

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