Curt Dreyer, president
and owner of Bi-State
Focus on People
Bi-State has always believed and stressed that its’ most valuable assets
are its’ employees. With 50 percent
residing in St. Charles County, the work force includes union sprinkler
fitters, excavation crews (operators and laborers), shop personnel
(fabricators, welders, truck drivers) and office personnel (sales reps,
clerks, designers, engineers).
To encourage employee excellence, Bi-State plays an active role in the
Sprinkler Fitters Union apprenticeship program. "This participation
allows us to monitor the progress of future journeymen who will be working
in the industry. We can promote our values to them as they learn their
craft. At the same time, we improve our work force as we compete in a very
To attract qualified design personnel, Bi-State recruits graduates from
local technical schools and offers pay incentives in writing that require
and reward continuing education. All design personnel are required to
achieve accreditation through the National Institute for Certification in
Engineering Technologies (NICET). This is a nationwide program that was
created and is operated by professional engineers and architects to certify
competency in various engineering practices. Bi-State has more employees
participating in this program than any other contractor in the country.
Innovation Sparks Success
Bi-State is an industry leader by challenging accepted business models.
Here are three examples. First, Bi-State has always fabricated its own
sprinkler piping. Most contractors outsource this work, attempting to
minimize overhead. However, outsourcing can lead to delays in starting
projects and reduce potential profit. Bi-State's new facility has
state-of-the-art fabrication technology such as production threading and
automatic welding equipment.
Second, there is no struggle to
find an excavation sub-contractor, having signed agreements with local
operators and laborers; equipment
Bi-State keeps its crews busy year round. In turn, this work has become a
significant profit generator as well as a tool for increased sales. To date,
Bi-State is the only fire sprinkler contractor that does this work
Third, with a professional fire protection engineer on staff to perform
in-house plan review Bi-State has become a licensed engineering fire in
both Missouri and Illinois. As a
result, Bi-State has achieved a level of credibility unmatched in this
Contributing to the Community
Curt serves on the following boards: Orchard Farm School District and
Sprinkler Fitters Union #268 Joint Apprenticeship Committee. He is also a
member of the National Fire
Sprinkler Association, American
Sub-Contractor Association, St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and a member of
the NFPA since 1981.
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Business Activity: Bi-State provides a product
people are happy to have but one they hope is never needed.
Dreyer is president and owner of Bi-State Fire Protection Corporation in
St. Charles, which designs, fabricates, installs and maintains fire
protection systems for commercial,
industrial and office
buildings as well as institutions and residences.
Bi-State differs from most companies in the field in that it is a
turnkey operation with its own fabrication and excavation services.
Bi-State also has the only backhoe service in the business locally.
Bi-State works closely with major area builders on newly constructed
buildings, but it also puts systems into existing structures.
Bi-State works mainly in the eastern half of Missouri and does about 20
percent of its business in southern and western portions of Illinois. By
working in several cities and municipalities the company must deal with a maze of
Executives: Dreyer is president and owner of Bi-State Fire
Protection Corporation. He started as a fire protection designer in 1969
with National Fire Sprinkler. From 1979-81, he had his own design business
which he sold to Bi-State in 1981.
Joe Altheimer is Corporate Secretary.
Dan Calvin is Vice President.
Jeff Hewitt is corporate engineer and oversees project design and
engineering and handles the protection consulting services.
Company history: When Dreyer sold to Bi-State the company was
being run by an older man who would retire a year later.
Dreyer took over as president and bought out the original owners in
October 1991. The company was in a 3,200-square-foot building in Fenton
when Dreyer joined and moved to Second Street in St. Charles in 1983 into a
In 1997, Dreyer had a building constructed on Hughes Lane, just off the
new Highway 370. He owns the building and rents it to the company. In 2006 he purchased the building next door to
Bi-State put a $1.6 million
sprinkler system into the renovated Chase Park Plaza and several other
high-profile projects, such as the
Westin Hotel at Cupples Station, and The Highlands development at the site
of the old Arena as well as the Embassy Suites in St. Charles among others.
Bi-State also did the fire protection system at St. John's Mercy
Hospital in Washington, Mo., and East Central College in Union.
Clayco Construction Co., Tarlton Corp., McCarthy and Paric Co. have used
Bi-State as a subcontractor, and more work has been done recently with
Bi-State’s employee numbers vary impacted by seasonal and economic
factors but they maintain a core group of qualified personnel year round.
Revenue: The firm's biggest jump in revenue came from $4.8
million in fiscal 1997 to $12 million in 2006.
Professional services: Alan Pohlman at Bremen Bank is the
company's banker; Joe Hughes with Hughes & Associates is the
accountant; Michael Sayers at Summers Compton Wells & Hamburg is
Bi-State's attorney; Mary Lee Barlow at AHM Financial Group, L.L.C.
provides insurance services; Renie Tuffli at The Marketing Source, Inc.
provides marketing communication services.
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