How Marous Brothers Construction’s operation and culture are reflected in its headquarters

Since its inception in 1980, Marous Brothers Construction has completed countless projects in Northeast Ohio and elsewhere, from hotels to houses to hospitals, from shopping centers to sanctuaries to schools, from commercial offices to car dealerships. Name the building type, and they’ve probably built it.

But perhaps the best way to understand Marous Brothers’ operation is through the building the company constructed for itself. Marous’ Willoughby headquarters, which opened in 2020, is the ultimate testament to the teamwork and values that have allowed this family-owned and operated construction firm to be involved in some of the most significant projects in the region.

“Our culture is one of the reasons why we built our new building,” says Adelbert “Chip” Marous, CEO and president of Marous Brothers. “We had a nice building that we were in for 22 years. But things change, and we wanted to rebrand the company a little bit. So, we formed different committees within our office, and those individuals put their ideas on the table to match our culture with our building.”

The result is a headquarters that prioritizes collaboration and inclusion. Traditional office arrangements are eschewed in favor of flexible spaces such as huddle rooms, a living room and lounge, indoor and outdoor conference rooms and a café. And beyond the typical work duties, Marous Brothers uses its headquarters to host concert, theater and sporting event ticket raffles, summertime cookouts, happy hours and other group gatherings.

“There are a lot more open spaces and collaborative areas in the new building,” Marous says. “The natural light coming into the building enhances mood and productivity. We have a café, a gym and an outdoor area that that really emphasizes the team collaboration. Really, it allows all the different groups to have their own area but also to intermingle with each other and shoot ideas off each other.”

It should come as no surprise that Marous Brothers constructed a building that suits its needs in an aesthetically pleasing way, because that’s the type of service it has provided for customers for going on 45 years.

The company’s roots date back to when Chip Marous and his brother, Scott, were doing small carpenter contractor jobs on their own.

“We had been working for a developer at the time and got laid off,” Chip Marous says. “So, we started off just doing some home remodeling. We thought we’d actually be house builders, but we had an opportunity to do a commercial job as a carpenter contractor with our old boss, and it worked out very well. We started doing a bunch of carpentry work and continued to grow from there.”

As it became a formal company, Marous Brothers picked up steam with the purchase and restoration of multiple old buildings in Willoughby, the brothers’ hometown. Putting some shine into once-neglected elements of the city’s downtown area led to other opportunities to serve as a general contractor for various commercial projects. By 1988, Marous Brothers was taking on its first million-dollar deal — a hotel construction in Sandusky Bay. When the company was awarded a $10 million project as general contractor for the rehabilitation of the downtown Cleveland YMCA in 1996, it had officially established itself as a major player in the local construction scene.

A third Marous brother, Ken, joined in 1997 to head up a site group that specializes in excavation, demolition, wetland mitigation and other infrastructure work.

“What’s really unique about us,” says Marous, “is we self-perform carpentry, drywall and site work. We always thought if you can do that, you can really help control three major things: quality, schedule and budgets. We really consider ourselves ‘true builders,’ which not many companies are anymore. Being a true builder, especially when the owners of the company have actually built things, helps us solve problems better. We come to the table with solutions for how to build that building cost-efficient and smarter.”

Marous Brothers’ creativity and cost-consciousness have proven especially valuable in an age of inflation and higher interest rates.

“We can maintain that budget,” says Marous, “maintain that schedule and, most importantly, maintain the quality along with that.”

The company headquarters amplifies the ability to collaborate and come up with creative solutions to difficult tasks. And this is a family business that treats its roughly 100 employees in the office and 350 in the field like family. Marous Brothers’ first full-time employee, Joe Gorka, was hired as a laborer in 1982 and remains with the company to this day, running field operations. That’s a testament to the priority Marous Brothers places on promoting from within, with a company-wide, strategic platform called Marous University providing professional development opportunities for employees.

With an additional emphasis on community through Marous Family Charities, which recently built 40 beds for families that are struggling financially, Marous Brothers puts its core values at the forefront of its daily operations.

“The biggest thing the brothers are proud of is that we have a lot of good people with good morals that want to work hard, want to do something in their life, and everybody is an extension of our family,” Marous says. “It’s a pretty neat environment, and that’s why we built our new building to support it.”

Adelbert “Chip” Marous

CEO and President
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