Kennewick commercial construction company changes hands

 MH Construction’s new owner isn’t new to company

The new owner of a Kennewick construction company is as comfortable working over a profit and loss statement as he is behind the controls of a mini excavator.

It’s one of the reasons Alex Linde bought the nine-year-old MH Construction company Jan. 1.

Linde, 40, worked for the company’s former owner Mike Holstein for three years as vice president before taking over the company that specializes in commercial general contractor services including construction and project management.

“This has always been the plan. We had a succession plan to make that happen,” Linde said.

Holstein will continue to work at MH Construction but he is no longer president. “Mike is still going to be with the company and employed. He’s not going anywhere. He’s just not president and not the guy in charge,” Linde said.

MH Construction employs 30 people and moved into a new office at 106010 E. Wiser Parkway last June.

Linde’s résumé boasts the business acumen to oversee a growing company that does $20 million to $30 million in sales annually.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration from Western Washington University. Throughout his college days and beyond, he worked in the construction business.

“I loved construction but didn’t take that career path because I didn’t know it would be a viable one,” he said.

Linde grew up in Ferndale and moved to the Tri-Cities during the Great Recession, following his parents and brother to the area as his family worked on flipping houses in the area’s hot housing market.

Linde and his wife Mindy of nearly 20 years have five children ranging in age from 11 to 18.

Linde landed a job as chief financial officer and clinic administrator for Tri-City Orthopaedic Clinic, which he held for five years. He also previously managed companies in the manufacturing and web technology sectors.

Linde met MH Construction’s owner Holstein while working at the orthopaedic clinic.

“We built the physical therapy building, surgery center and remodeled the clinic. We spent five years working on various projects and during that time, we got to know each other better,” Linde said.

The medical industry had its challenges and Linde said it was “getting harder and harder every day to really enjoy my job because I had nine bosses.”

That’s when Holstein lured him away. “He said I can teach you the business and you can buy it from me later,” Linde recalled.

Holstein said Linde’s worth ethic impressed him. “He was a go-getter and did what he said he was going to do,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest things in construction.”

It was clear Linde would be a good a fit for MH Construction, Holstein said.

“If people have that ability to run a business and do it, they’ll usually go and start their own. It’s not like they’re everywhere to take one over. … There was a lot of good, valuable things I saw and the rest I was able to teach him over the couple of years he’s been working with me,” Holstein said.

Holstein, 48, who has been working in the construction industry since 1988, said his plan from the beginning was to sell the company.

“I knew that it sure would be nice to scale back a little bit. Running construction — anyone that owns a business, let alone a construction business, knows how taxing and 24/7 it is,” he said.

Holstein said he’ll continue to go to work at MH every day to “be there for the customers and relationships I’ve had for so long and be there to help Alex along.”

He also plans to be doing some property management and development work.

MH Construction has been the lead on several high-profile Tri-City projects, including the remodel of the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, Pasco School District’s new Early Learning Center, all the Bush Car Wash buildings and Richland’s Country Mercantile store.

MH Construction also has overseen several public school projects including the entire remodel of Zillah High School and schools in Union Gap and Royal City. It is currently working on the new Audi Tri-Cities dealership and the Academy of Children’s Theatre remodel, both in Richland, among other projects.

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