All you need to know about Tom Kelpe can be summed up by a story from his childhood. His father, Claude Howard Kelpe, dug the foundation for an addition to their modest home — by hand — at about the same time that the first backhoe loaders were hitting the market. When Claude started Kelpe Contracting in 1960, and took ownership of his first backhoe, he wanted to help ease that labor for others. It made an impression on his son who now runs the family business almost 60 years later.
“His philosophy was: ‘I am doing this as a service to the people,’” says Tom Kelpe, son of Claude Kelpe. “And that’s still what we do. We will do a $100 job and we’ll do a $10 million job. We will take care of you. We are service-oriented.”