GET TO
KNOW US

In five generations, we’ve grown into a $400+ million, full-service construction company with over 500 employees. Much has changed since then, but one thing has stayed the same: Our clients can always rely on us to get the job done on time and at the highest quality.

GET TO
KNOW US

In five generations, we’ve grown into a $400+ million, full-service construction company with over 500 employees. Much has changed since then, but one thing has stayed the same: Our clients can always rely on us to get the job done on time and at the highest quality.

GET TO
KNOW US

In five generations, we’ve grown into a $400+ million, full-service construction company with over 500 employees. Much has changed since then, but one thing has stayed the same: Our clients can always rely on us to get the job done on time and at the highest quality.

We’ve made
it our mission

to identify, hire, train, and retain the best people to serve our customers.

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In five generations

We’ve grown into a $400+ million, full-service construction company with over 500 employees. Much has changed since then, but one thing has stayed the same:

Our clients can always rely on us to get the job done on time and at the highest quality.

John Patrick Cullen, our founder, set an example for his employees that we still live by today: Deliver the best product to the customer, and conduct yourself with the utmost integrity and trustworthiness. We carry his legacy forward by continuously improving every process we perform—and working smarter and harder than any other construction company in our region.

Our core Values

Deeply rooted values & Beliefs

JP Cullen team members emulate the following traits that make up our core values: loyalty, accountability, integrity, drive, humility, and leadership. Our set of beliefs represent our highest priorities and our fundamental driving forces – family, safety, process improvement, great builders, partnerships, and people development. Our core values and beliefs form a solid foundation of who we are, what we believe, and who we want to be moving forward.

Our
P.R.I.D.E.

Our culture is rooted in a simple concept: P.R.I.D.E. or Personal Responsibility In Daily Excellence. We show that in the way we approach projects with empathy and insight, keep keen attention to detail, and ensure the job is done right, on time, and on budget.

Our
ETHICS

Our culture of integrity, trust, and personal responsibility requires ethical conduct. JP Cullen employees are obligated to report suspected or actual violations of the law and company policies, regardless of the identity or position of the suspected offender, to their direct supervisor.

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MILLION donated in gifts & grants since 1992
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states registered to do work in
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team members employed 20+ years

LEADERSHIP

MEET THE CULLENS

Meet our leadership team who ensures that our crews and teams have access to the tools, resources and opportunities to deliver the results our clients expect.

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"As I child I remember seeing JP Cullen operations in downtown Madison & Milwaukee building some of the most iconic buildings in the State. Of course, I wanted to come work for a contractor that works on Camp Randall, Buck’s Stadium, Miller Park, State Capital & Milwaukee City Hall. Who wouldn’t want to come work for the best?"

Ben Bobzien
Project Manager
JP Cullen

"Construction is cool because it is a new challenge or opportunity every day; it employs the some of the most talented yet humble people in the workforce; and you are making a difference in some person, community, or company’s future – often all of the above at the same time."

Tricia Braun
Director of Client Strategies
JP Cullen

"I chose JP Cullen because of their commitment to their people. They are committed to foster both career and personal growth for all of us. Working in a family environment where everyone cares about each other makes it fun to come to work. Everyday brings new challenges where we are given to tools to succeed."

Sam Potts
Estimator
JP Cullen

HOW IT ALL STARTED

Our History

In 1892, John Patrick (or J. P.) Cullen founded J. P. Cullen & Sons Construction in Janesville, Wisconsin, about 50 miles southeast of Madison.

 

As more people settled the area, J. P. built many of their homes and businesses—earning a reputation for his honesty and excellent craftsmanship.

Today JP Cullen manages projects with budgets ranging from $1,000 to $100+ million – from elementary schools to healthcare clinics. We have a corporate headquarters in Janesville, as well as offices in Madison and Milwaukee.

Read that history here

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In 1892, John Patrick (J.P.) Cullen founded a construction company in Janesville, Wisconsin, and builds his first project. The era when a wheelbarrow could be purchased for 95 cents and a ball of twine costs five cents at the local hardware store.

Being a respectable contractor and business owner, he was a great catch for any young lady. It wasn’t long before he fell in love, his heart snared by another Irish émigré, Alice Rooney. They married November 24, 1892, a mere four years after meeting. The two go on to have four children, earmarking the beginning of the succession of the now fifth generation of ownership.

In the early 1900’s J.P. finds solid work in the Education and Civic markets. He bid on and won his first civic job – a two-story brick school in Palmyra. The architect later put out 22 pages of intensive specifications which included “good, hard, and well burned” brick walls. Since the Cullens had the art for brickwork, that would not be a problem – it’s in the genes. Later, he signs on with two brothers to build the Red-Brick Armory block of Downtown Janesville and installed newfangled contraptions called elevators, making it the talk of the town.

On April 16, 1904, Janesville’s laborers form a construction trades union, at that time J.P. recalls starting the business as an apprentice laborer and agrees to make the Cullen firm a union shop, which it remains to this day.

His son, Mark, leaves University to serve in the Army. When Mark returns from his service in 1918, he joins his father in the family business. He quickly works his way up the ranks and marries longtime Janesville sweetheart, Beatrice Field and a year after welcome their first child, John Paul Cullen. Quickly becoming another J.P. much to his grandfather’s delight. They then move to Madison where Mark is Superintendent for several jobs, including an addition to University of Wisconsin’s Bascom Hall. The job that opens the way for the next three generations of Cullens to help shape physical face of the State Capitol and the University.

Business continues to prosper throughout the depression. Federal buildings and post offices around the Midwest are key to Cullen’s success. Mark A. builds a new house on Garfield Avenue in Janesville, still owned by his grandson, the next Mark, today.

In 1936 Mark A. is stricken with tuberculosis and confined to a sanatorium for nine months. During Mark’s protracted recovery, son J.P. joins the military shortly after turning 18. Then goes on to tour France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and the Philippines. Upon his return home he seeks secondary education. Shortly after his graduation J.P. is called to Janesville to help run the family firm at the current Janesville Headquarters on Delavan Drive.

J.P. gets married and starts a family. By this time, J.P. is de facto boss of the company. Mark A.’s health was failing due to a relapse of tuberculosis. But he was always available to answer questions and consult on projects. His motto was that there are no dumb questions, as a result, he was always willing to assist. Although eventually retiring from the company’s daily routine, Mark A. remains active in the back office until his death in 1970 at age 74. He is remembered as a good businessman and classy fellow.

Meanwhile, J.P.’s sons – Mark, David and Richard – know their way around the company yard by the time they can pick up a hammer. Their sister, Sarah, spared these tasks. J.P. does not push any of his kids into the family business but leaves the door invitingly wide open.

Milwaukee Pro Sports and Service, a public company that owned the Milwaukee Bucks, sells their stocks to a Janesville group for $8 per share. J.P. is part of the ownership group that took the team and controlled the franchise for about 10 years, with the Bucks winning the Division Title six years in a row and regularly making the playoffs. They sold the team in 1985 for $94 per share.

Mark, David, and Richard eventually join J.P. at the family business. They soon learn Cullen is a company of “regular people,” observing their parents opening their home for Christmas parties and going to office get-togethers that bring the staff together, mingling truck drivers with supervisors.

In March of 1999, JP Cullen opens its first branch office in Milwaukee. One of this office’s signature projects is the historic renovation of Milwaukee’s City Hall.

As the century comes to a close, the company grows to nearly 450 employees. JP Cullen restores the gory of Wisconsin’s most significant building, The State Capitol. This complex project spans 10 years.

Working with General Motors for more than fifty years, JP Cullen had completed three million square feet in additions and maintenance. This was key to the growth of the company, specifically the Industrial Division. The newly formed division found its Vice President and leader, the late, Ron Becher, and becomes the fastest growing market segment for the company.

In 2015, JP Cullen wins the Associated General Contractors of America’s Alliant Build America Grand Award for Epic’s Deep Space Auditorium. Epic has been a client for 20 years. In June of 2015, the Downtown Madison branch office opens just as 306 West Main Apartments and The Henry Vilas Zoo’s Artic Passage projects are completed.

In 2018, the Milwaukee Division office relocates to the downtown Fortress Building to align with the company’s mission to identify, hire, train, and retain the best people to serve our customers. Prior to the move, our talented tradespeople renovated the entire historic building, transforming the abandoned shoe factory to our new office as well as apartments and retail spaces.

JP Cullen completes multiple projects with the Milwaukee Bucks including the Sports Science Center, McKinley Health Center, eSports League Space & structure steel for the Fiserv Forum.

Late 2020, Jeannie & George are named Co-Presidents of the company. The pair replace the late Ron Becher, the only non-Cullen who led the company, for more than six years. Their selection brings forward the fifth generation of the Cullen family, which is quite an accomplishment considering that only about 3% of family businesses survive into the fourth generation or beyond.

In 2022 the fifth generation become owners. Having Jeannie, George, Dan, Laura and Sean involved as leaders brings added value to the firm’s culture. Each member of this generation agrees that they must be as pioneering as all the Cullens who precede them, and at the same time they must care for their community and people.

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Building Our Communities

Our dedication to personal development, family and community is in our blood and at the core of our business.

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