Herbert A. Spence Jr. began his distinguished career with Spence Brothers in 1945 as a part-time summer laborer in Grayling. After his graduation from University of Michigan in 1953, Herb worked full time in and on the family business until 1990.
Herb was the senior member of the third generation of the Spence office and was the estimator and project manager for hundreds of major projects throughout his 45-year career, including the $35 million Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Plant, the company's largest contract of his generation. He served as company president for 11 years. He was completely dedicated to whatever he was given and worked long days and nights for decades. Toward the end of his career, Herb became equally dedicated to community service as the volunteer executive director of Habitat for Humanity, which began taking root in Saginaw in the late 1980s. He tried to work both fulltime jobs for a few years, until he decided to retire early at age 61 to lead Habitat day and night for another decade. He made an incredible impact on Spence Brothers, his industry and his community, and was awarded the prestigious Spirit of Saginaw award from the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.
Matthew Spence III began his career at Spence Brothers in August of 1960 as an estimator and project manager and was given major project responsibilities very early in his career. He obtained and managed dozens of higher education projects including Central Michigan University's Science Building and Brooks Hall renovations, Eastern Michigan University's Music building, Saginaw Valley State University's Ryder Center and the University of Michigan's Sam Wyly Business School addition, as well as many healthcare projects throughout the state. Matt served on Spence Brothers' board of directors for 27 years, finishing his career as company president and then chairman. Matt was the most active industry representative of his generation and gave countless hours of service to improve his industry including serving as president of the Michigan Chapter of the Associated General Contractors.
Edwin A. Spence Jr. was widely recognized throughout Michigan as one of the most knowledgeable construction field operations experts. He knew how to build and supervised some of the most challenging projects built in the state, from Ann Arbor to Sault Ste. Marie. He also is the main reason Spence Brothers has such an excellent reputation as a complex concrete structure specialist. He was general superintendent overseeing Spence Brothers field operations for decades and mentored young superintendents who carry on Spence Brothers' legacy today.
Although they had help from other dedicated members of the Spence Brothers family, over the last 35 years these three cousins were the key leaders that have made Spence Brothers one of the most respected construction companies in Michigan. They each had different strengths and completely dedicated their lives to combine those talents to ensure their family company's success and add to its distinguished reputation throughout Michigan.