Dennis Helmuth grew up in an environment where work ethic, being responsible for yourself and managing money were of utmost importance. At the age of 10, Dennis was destined to be an entrepreneur. He borrowed money from his Mom and Dad, who of course charged him interest, and started buying and selling calves and pigs at the sale barn. This would be the beginning of many successful ventures for Dennis.
At age 16, Dennis started on a career path that eventually would lead him to Wildwood, by working as a door sander for a door and trim company. By the time he was 18, Dennis was in charge of the finishing department.
Leveraging his knowledge of finishing, at the age of 20, Dennis started Wildwood Coatings. Wildwood Coatings
was a value added company that focused on service. Wildwood Coatings was staining furniture, interior doors/trim, and cabinet doors. Dennis says that the key to Wildwood Coatings success in those early years, was their willingness to tackle projects that no one else wanted to do. This committed to service and a “can do” attitude would turn out to be a key component to Wildwood Coating’s growth and success.
In 2003, Dennis partnered with a friend of his and purchased a door and millwork company. They focused on custom doors, millwork and wood RV parts. They changed the name of the company at that time to Wildwood Millwork.
In 2009, Wildwood Millwork had a fire which destroyed everything, requiring Dennis to start over. While some
companies may have folded versus facing the daunting task of rebuilding, this was not an issue for Dennis and his “can do” attitude. By 2011 Dennis had built the business back to a level that required a major facility expansion. Dennis purchased the 32,000 square foot building that Wildwood Milling occupies today.
2015 was the start of a significant growth strategy for Wildwood Millwork. Dennis and two other companies merged their capabilities and customer lists. Dennis’s brother Galen, merged in his company Linwood and Wayne Chupp merged in his company Oak Expressions. Poised with increased capabilities and a rapidly expanded customer list, Frank Medina joined to lead the sales effort. The results were impressive, with Wildwood Millwork’s revenue increasing 40% in 2015.
The growth strategy started in 2015 is still unfolding in 2016. Wildwood Millwork is actively searching for acquisition candidates and has started an international sourcing program to meet the pricing requirements of its customers.