One Way Wireless Construction - Who We Are and How We Came to Be

The existence and history of one of the Great Plains cellular tower construction companies is one of great twist and turns, and owner, Gary Bormes, couldn’t be more proud of where One Way Wireless Construction stands today. 

The Early Years

In 1972, after four years in the Navy, Gary received an “early out” to attend college.  While in college he took every marketing and business course he could get his hands on.  While attending class he kept things “burning at both ends” by assisting his father in law with his janitorial business, as well as starting a family.  With business booming, and the Twin Cities’ apparent need of their services, it was time to name this blossoming company.  

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Gary remembered how often his business professors professed that when it comes time to name your company, to make sure it’s “based on either yourself or specific to what your company offers.” With Gary’s strong faith and his Christian values (that were apparent with how he treated his staff and ran his company), the answer came to him to name the janitorial company, One Way Janitorial Services (OWJS), with the hand and fingering gesturing to Jesus Christ – thus began our logo.

Gary’s attitude on “treating people the way you want to be treated”, in business and in his personal life continued to resonate throughout his staff and working relations.  OWJS continued with more and more aggressive accounts where simple maintenance issues turned and morphed into many more building services needs. 

Soon OWJS was handling all mechanical AND janitorial needs within many prominent businesses around the Twin Cities.  With the requests flooding in and the demand apparent, Gary soon started an official HVAC and electrical company within OWJS.  With these two new in-house service departments, OWJS’ build-out capabilities were highly sought after by many metro companies.  Unbeknownst to Gary Bormes at the time, this immense knowledge of buildings and the ins and outs of how a building should function effectively, would be the first nod of what was to come with future cellular tower construction, roof-top antenna installations and in-building DAS system business. 

Hundreds of employees and over 100 building clients later, Gary was truly a 24-7 working force here in the Minneapolis area.  While mechanical and construction jobs were performed during the day, janitorial business continued at nights.  Because of this extremely busy time of his career, coupled with a young family, Gary decided in 1985 to sell off the janitorial business and focus on the construction-side of One Way.  Enter One Way Building Services (OWBS), the off-spring of OWJS.   This new company was held with the same intensity – personal relationships with his employees, growing the company and making sure he was giving each and every client exactly what they needed and more!   The three foundational beliefs became the cornerstone of who and what we are at One Way Wireless Construction.

New Player in the Cellular Industry

Years later in 1996, when assisting at his son’s baseball game, Gary was first approached for his assistance in a cellular tower construction project.  Not completely sure what constructing a monopole might entail, Gary and his team confidently took on the task and met with a number of key people in one of the more prominent cellular companies. This step began One Way’s climb into the cellular tower industry as a turn-key contractor for all new build, maintenance and modification of towers.  At this time, there were many roof top projects and with Gary’s team having an abundance of experience working in and on buildings, OWBS soon became known as the “go-to company” for getting things done especially for roof-top installs.  Soon a sound and respectable reputation was built with OWBS.  Cellular carrier after carrier began to call upon OWBS’ services. 
 

“With being a new kid on the block and walking into the major carriers in the Twin City market, they didn’t know who we were.  We had to prove ourselves every single day”, recalls Gary of the early OWBS days. 

OWBS’ Early Cellular Days

In the early 2000’s, Gary found himself surrounded by many employees and co-workers that still are with One Way to this day.  It was during this time that Gary had to make an important decision – does he continue with the building services division of his busy but blessed life, or concentrate solely the cellular side of work?  With jobs being awarded right and left from many of the major carriers, Gary made the hard decision to let the construction side, the core of One Way’s identify, be one of his treasured history.  Although a few employees chose to not go in the new company’s cellular direction, Gary continues to be friends and remains close with these contacts.  Ironically, their expertise and connections still continue to be a strong part of Gary’s and One Way’s life to this day.  Gary Bormes’ early direction in his life to mentor and give back to others and his community is still very prevalent in his life today and strongly influences One Way’s family-like cohesiveness.     

Who We Are and What We Are Today

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With One Way’s dedicated focus on the future of mobile communications, One Way made it more clear who they are when recently they dropped the “Building Services” from their name and officially re-branded as One Way Wireless Construction (OWWC).  This commitment and clarification to our name reestablishes One Way’s identity.

Having done work all over the country, OWWC is primarily known across the Midwest region.  And even though our Maintenance Division is continually sought after in various states, the work and loyalty to our local carriers have kept us busy in our own “backyard”.   Feathering our cap with memorable projects such as the Mall of America (where OWWC played a key role in the testing of over 2000 DAS antenna systems) to the US Bank Stadium, and our State Fairgrounds, OWWC continues to be regarded as a successful partner for large, in-depth projects. 

How the Market Is Changing and How OWWC Continues to be a Player

According to Gary Bormes, concentrating on macro sites with a large radius of broadcast, has always been an area for carriers to concentrate on, but know he feels there is a changed focus on covering the residential areas with coverage so fewer residents will lose service or experience dropped coverage – no matter what their location may be. 

“Our phones have become an appendage.  They are no longer just a phone.  We rely heavily on them and they have become a lifeline.  There will always be a need, the need to stay connected.  It’s amazing how linked we all are.” – Gary Bormes

For Gary and OWWC, there has been a few twists and turns but reflectively it’s been one of growth and positive changes.  For Gary, since his job experience and time with his father in law at One Way Janitorial Services, Gary has seen hard work and dedication to his employees, company and clients, pay off in many blessings.  In his words,

“A job at One Way Wireless Construction is not just a job, it’s a career.” 

By listening to Gary’s many stories of growth and leadership, it’s a true testament to the career vision for One Way.

   Left to right: Greg Held,     Gary Bormes, and Jeff Bormes    One Way Wireless Construction, christening their new location in Shakopee, Minnesota 8700 13TH Avenue East, Shakopee, MN  55379    

Left to right: Greg Held, Gary Bormes, and Jeff Bormes
One Way Wireless Construction, christening their new location in Shakopee, Minnesota
8700 13TH Avenue East, Shakopee, MN  55379

 

Jackie Dummer