L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. was founded 40 years ago by Lawrence E. Schwietz in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1961, Larry had the courage, tenacity and most importantly the vision to see the company through its lean, first year. The company, originally based in his home, grew rapidly. In 1962, the first office was opened in the basement of a tire warehouse. Forty years later, L&M, while pointing to its various packaging plants, numerous warehouses, and an international distribution system, continues to live out the vision developed by Larry in those early days.

L&M began with a single product, DEBOND FORM COATING, an innovative concrete form release agent designed to reduce the concrete forming costs of our contractor customers. It was with this product that our national distribution structure was established. In the late 60's and 70's the product line increased to include curing compounds and specifically, DRESS & SEAL, the first non-yellowing acrylic cure, sealer and dustproofer sold commercially in the U.S. Both DEBOND and DRESS & SEAL continue to be major contributors to our overall sales.

In 1975, the development of CRYSTEX grout was a major breakthrough in the grout industry. It set a new user-friendly standard for workability that, to this day, remains the benchmark for precision grouts. Our full grout line also includes PREMIER, a high flow grout with a unique, labor-saving softset and quick trim feature. Grouting products are a major part of the company's current business.

Since its inception, L&M has realized the industry's need to improve the long term durability and appearance of concrete. In answer to those needs we have developed and offer a number of excellent concrete hardeners and salt resistant water repellents. A few of our well known products now include our popular SEAL HARD, QUARTZPLATE and EMERY aggregate hardeners and toppings, as well as water repellents HYDROPEL and AQUAPEL. Surface treatment products are another large part of our business.

L&M continually focuses on improving product formulations that affect the environment in which we live. With this in mind,

L&M has introduced in recent years a number of waterborne, low odor products to replace the solvent based cures, sealers, and water repellent products presently sold to the market.

In 1984, L&M moved to its current manufacturing facility, an acreage tucked into the north hills of Omaha. The compound includes an administrative center complete with a laboratory where company chemists continually test, innovate, and develop materials to meet the demands of the marketplace. A large and growing onsite production facility provides product mixing, packaging and storage facilities. In addition, L&M has packaging plants in Pennsylvania, Utah and Oregon. Additional storage and distribution facilities are also strategically placed in other parts of the United States and Latin America.

In 1993, Larry's eldest son, Greg Schwietz, who at the time had been with the sales/marketing division of the company for nearly twenty years, became President. He has assembled a competent team of managers who collectively direct the daily operations and future planning needs of the company. Mark Schwietz, who has been with the company since 1980, currently is serving as Regional Sales Manager for the Southwestern Region. He is active on national CSI committees.

Today, the family-owned firm combines a wide product mix with an international system of distribution to mark it as a growing leader in its field. The focus of L&M marketing is on education and training. Sales representatives are selected for their technical knowledge, professionalism and dedication to customer service. They regularly interact with the entire construction team: owners, design professionals, distributors and contractors.

Today, as important as it was forty years ago...quality, innovation and integrity are more than words at L&M. They frame a philosophy that has propelled the firm into its position of leadership. This philosophy guides L&M as it moves forward towards continued growth in an industry that is helping to improve the way people live and work around the world. This year L&M is forty years young...progressing into the new millennium to serve its customers better than ever!

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© 2001 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews Fall 2001.

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