Mission Statement

R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc.’s purpose is to provide quality earth moving and construction services to customers in the Red River Valley, using proven construction practices and innovative technology together with hard working and dependable employees and satisfied customers, we share profitability in a safe and energized company culture that embraces family values.

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Meet Our Family

Founder

RJ ZavoralRobert John Zavoral – Founder
R.J., at the age of 14, went to work with his father on various ditching and grading projects until his brother called him to Chicago. There he worked construction on the water front until the draft notice came calling him to serve in World War II. He was enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the Fighting Seabees division. R.J. rose to the rank of Chief Machinists Mate and was deployed in the Pacific arena building bases and docks during the war effort. After his service, he went to work for Strom Construction, regrading roads in the Northwest Minnesota. While working in the Cass Lake area, he met his future wife Lois Raboin and they were married on January 23rd, 1948. R.J. Zavoral was called to the Red River Valley in 1951 to fight spring flooding. One job led to another and he and his family came to call the area Home. Over his career, he watched his small business grow and develop in to a premier earth moving company in the Red River Valley and beyond. R.J. died on April 26th 1990 with his family at his side. His spirit and values are still the foundation of the business he founded so many years ago.

 

Second Generation

Peter ZavoralPeter Zavoral – President/CEO for R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc.
Pete started working in construction when he was 14 years old working with his father. After high school graduation he spent 3 years as a Survey Technician for Floan and Sanders Inc. In 1973, after graduating from Assumption Abbey College with an Associated Arts Degree, he joined his father in the family business primarily as an equipment operator. In May of 1979, he became a shareholder in R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. With the encouragement of his father RJ, Pete became the main estimator for the business. At the age of 37, Pete became the President following the death of his mentor and father Robert and has served in that position for the past 28 years. The lessons he learned from his Father has given him the wisdom for moving the earth and still maintaining a family centered construction business.

John ZavoralJohn Zavoral – Secretary/Treasurer for R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc.
John has over 40 years of construction experience. John started in the company as an equipment operator in 1976 and became a share holder of the company in 1986. In 1987 he became the Secretary/Treasurer for the company. John has always undertaken the leadership role of supervising projects and crews. His present role involves leading the company into the future.

Robert ZavoralRobert Zavoral – Vice President for R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc.
Rob has served in this position since 1999. He grew up in the same construction focused family and spent several years working as a construction foreman for Christiansen Industrial Developers. In 1988, he moved from Bemidji, MN to work in the family business. In 1991, he became a company share holder. Robert has many years of field experience and makes use of a common sense approach to getting tasks done.

 

3rd Generation

Daniel ZavoralDaniel Zavoral, P.E. – Assistant Secretary/Treasurer for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.
Dan started his construction career over 25 years ago working as a laborer on the pipe crew. He then moved on to surveying while earning his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of North Dakota. After graduating from UND in 1998, he worked as an Environmental Engineer for Wenck Associates, Inc. of Maple Plain, MN. In 2000, he returned to work for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. as a Project Manager and began to assist with estimating. In 2006, he became a shareholder in the business as well as a registered Professional Engineer in the state of North Dakota. His engineering experience, project management skills, and commitment to excellence have proven successful in creating long term business relationships that continue to provide project opportunities for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.

David ZavoralDavid Zavoral – Client and Workforce Manager for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.
Dave started with the business in 1995 as an equipment operator. Upon graduating from Moorhead State University in 2001, with a B.A. in Communications and a Minor in Construction Management, he moved into project supervision. In 2006, Dave became a shareholder in the business and from 2008 to 2016 he served as Operations Manager. His present role is to develop and recruit the best staff and customers in the Red River Valley and beyond.

Joseph ZavoralJoseph Zavoral, P.E. – Estimating and Project Manager for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.
Joe started his career in 1996 as a yard laborer working alongside Grandma Lois. He then spent his summers, on the pipe crew, surveying and grade staking, and implementing the GPS program for the business. He graduated from University of North Dakota in 2003 with a degree in Civil Engineering. In 2006, Joe became a shareholder in the business and in 2008 he became a registered Professional Engineer in the state of North Dakota. He has held many roles over the years including, GPS Program Manager, Safety Director, and Quality Control Manager. His well-rounded background, attention to detail, and easy-going personality are just some of the skills Joe utilizes to successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Benjamin ZavoralBenjamin Horken – Utilities Manager for R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc.
Ben’s career with the business started in 1997 as a laborer. He worked on the pipe crew during the summer until finishing high school. In 1999, Ben started actively leading crews and supervising small utility projects. In 2006, Ben became a shareholder in the company. Presently, he is active in the day to day operations and managing crews of various utility projects.

Michael ZavoralMichael Zavoral – Operations manager for R.J. Zavoral & Son, Inc.
Mike started with the business in the spring of 1997 as a surveyor during the flood fighting efforts in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, since then Mike has seen all aspects of the company. For many years he worked his way through the ranks running scrapers, dozers, and excavators on road jobs and site development projects and maning the maintenance shop. In 2006, Mike became a shareholder in the business and moved to project supervision while continuing to coordinate equipment maintenance in the shop. Heading up many projects up and down the Valley for the last decade, Mike has gained much knowledge, experience, and love for the business. In 2016, he undertook the duties of Operations Manager. With his years of experience and willingness to step in and help at any role, Mike is a proven leader of the business and will continue to be for years to come.

Thomas ZavoralThomas Zavoral – Survey Technician for R.J. Zavoral & Sons Inc.
Tom started working in 2000 spending his summers learning how to shoot grade with a tape and laser. As technology changed, he began working with the company’s GPS program. After graduating from the University of North Dakota in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science, he took on a more permanent role as a Survey Technician. He spends his days surveying sites throughout the region and helping to ensure that every road, ditch, levee, and foundation is accurately built to the high standards of the business.

Jennifer ZavoralJennifer Zavoral Hendrickson – Shop Office Administrator for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.
Jennifer started working in the business in the summer of 2003 as an operator and yard laborer working alongside Grandma Lois. In 2005, after graduating high school, she moved to Bemidji, MN where she attended Bemidji State/Bemidji Technical College. She graduated in 2008 with a A.A. in Business and a Minor in Business Administration. After graduation she stayed in Bemidji, taking jobs with Pepsi and The Idea Circle as an office administrator. In July 2011, she returned to her roots in the family business to become the Shop Office Administrator.

Jacob ZavoralJacob Zavoral – Safety Officer for R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.
Jake began working in the business in 2007 as an equipment operator while still in high school. He continued helping out every summer as an operator until graduating from the University of North Dakota with a B.B.A. in Business Management. In 2015, Jake assumed the duties as the Safety Officer for the business and continues to serve that role today.

 

Our History

1951

Robert J. Zavoral came to the Red River Valley from the family homestead near Four Town, MN to do a land-clearing job for a farmer.Robert J. Zavoral came to the Red River Valley from the family homestead near Four Town, MN to do a land-clearing job for a farmer. R.J., with his wife and business partner, Lois, started with one piece of equipment, a TD18 IH dozer. Work in the early years was primarily clearing land and ditching for the valley farmers.

1966

R.J. Zavoral was appointed Civil Defense Director and, along with Jim Vigen, directed the first major flood fighting activities in the Valley. He coordinated all equipment used during that flood period in the construction of the clay dikes along the Red and the Red Lake Rivers.

1973

Robert and Lois’ sons, Peter Zavoral and Paul Zavoral, joined their father in the family business.

1975

Site work on the Valley Golf Course in East Grand Forks was completed.

1976

Youngest son, John Zavoral joined the family business.

1979

1979 R.J., Lois, Peter, and Paul incorporated and thus began R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. and the business grew into a heavy highway construction company operating in North Dakota and Minnesota.R.J., Lois, Peter, and Paul incorporated and thus began R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. and the business grew into a heavy highway construction company operating in North Dakota and Minnesota.

1980

1980 R.J. entrusts his leadership of the business to his sons. Peter Zavoral was elected President and Paul Zavoral was elected Vice President of the corporation.R.J. entrusts his leadership of the business to his sons. Peter Zavoral was elected President and Paul Zavoral was elected Vice President of the corporation.

1987

John Zavoral was elected Secretary/Treasurer of R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.

1988

Robert Zavoral joins the family business moving from Bemidji, MN where he had been construction foreman for Christiansen Industrial Developer.

1990

Robert J. Zavoral passed away on April 26th, leaving a praiseworthy reputation and notable legacy for his family to continue in the construction industry in the Valley.

1992

Having outgrown the maintenance garage Robert and Lois’ homestead, a new 100′ x 70′ shop was built in the East Grand Forks Industrial Park.

1996

The Industrial Park Shop was expanded by 3500-sq. ft.The Industrial Park Shop was expanded by 3500-sq. ft.

1997

The Flood of the Century in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks. R.J. Zavoral & Sons Inc. played a major role protecting Grand Forks/East Grand Forks along with the USACE. Unfortunately, Mother Nature proved to be too much.

1998

A new 2400-sq. ft. office was constructed at the northeast corner of Lois' homestead.A new 2400-sq. ft. office was constructed at the northeast corner of Lois’ homestead.

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. had grown from a one-man company to an employer with 60+ employees during the peak-operating season.

1999

Robert Zavoral was elected Vice-President of R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc.

2001

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. is awarded an earthwork and utilities subcontract for USACE East Grand Forks Levee Phase 1. to start the permanent flood protection in East Grand Forks.R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. is awarded an earthwork and utilities subcontract for USACE East Grand Forks Levee Phase 1. to start the permanent flood protection in East Grand Forks.

2002

In February, a storage building is purchased and nicknamed the “West Wing”.

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. continues in the tradition of flood protection and is awarded an earthwork subcontract for Grand Forks Levee Phase 2 and also the earthwork and utilities subcontract for USACE East Grand Forks Levee Phase 2.

2003

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was awarded an earthwork and utilities subcontract for East Grand Forks Levee Phase 3. R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. is the first in the area to add GPS (Global Positioning System) for improved grade control.R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was awarded an earthwork and utilities subcontract for East Grand Forks Levee Phase 3. R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. is the first in the area to add GPS (Global Positioning System) for improved grade control.

2004

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was awarded the Hartsville Coulee Diversion Project for the East Grand Forks Flood Control. They received a Superior Safety Performance Award for an accident free project (84,000 man hours' accident free) on the Hartsville Coulee Diversion Project.R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was awarded the Hartsville Coulee Diversion Project for the East Grand Forks Flood Control. They received a Superior Safety Performance Award for an accident free project (84,000 man hours’ accident free) on the Hartsville Coulee Diversion Project.

2004

With permission from the USACE, R.J. Zavoral & Sons Inc.'s crews constructed a 22” thick ice bridge over the Red Lake River to transport 300,000 yards of clay. The project was widely seen as a success, as many city streets and neighborhoods were spared the exposure to the construction process.With permission from the USACE, R.J. Zavoral & Sons Inc.’s crews constructed a 22” thick ice bridge over the Red Lake River to transport 300,000 yards of clay. The project was widely seen as a success, as many city streets and neighborhoods were spared the exposure to the construction process.

2005

In September, R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was awarded the East Grand Forks Phase IV Levee Project as the prime contractor.R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was acknowledged for its part as a subcontractor to Industrial Contract Services, Inc. when they were awarded the “Dan W. Renfro Partnering Award” by the USACE for the work done on EGF Phase II Levee.

2006

IMG_1473webDan Zavoral, Dave Zavoral, Joe Zavoral, Mike Zavoral and Ben Horken became minority share holders in R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc.

2006

R. J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. constructed the site and parking lot for Walmart in Crookston MN

2008
2009

054webR.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. spent most of the spring battling floods in Fargo ND, Moorhead MN, LaMoure ND, Jamestown ND

2010

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. completed a project for Columbia Grain in Crystal, ND. The Project consisted of a shuttle loading facility, a dry fertilizer facility, driveways sized to receive a large volume of trucks, and a loop track to accommodate a 150-car BNSF shuttle train

2011

IMG_2685webR.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. Once again was on the forefront of fighting floods in surrounding communities: Oakport, Georgetown, Perly, Hendrum, Bismark, Burlington and two trips to Minot. Also finished the permanent flood control for the cities of Perly and Hendrum by fall.

2012

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. completed the construction of the Middle River Snake River Watershed’s Brandt Angus Impoundment

2013

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was the earthwork and utilities subcontractor for Campus Crest Development construct “The Grove” in Grand Forks ND, 224 total units, 12 apartment buildings and 1 club house on 17.6-acre site.

2013

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. added a state of the art 29,700 sf repair shop to keep up the demands of their increasing fleet.R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. added a state of the art 29,700 sf repair shop to keep up the demands of their increasing fleet.

2014

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was the prime contractor on the Roseau Reach 1 Project which consisted of approximately 6,500 linear feet of diversion channel, a riprap channel inlet structure from the Roseau River, a 300 linear foot concrete restriction structure, and 7,000 linear feet of recreation trails.

2015

R.J. Zavoral & Sons, Inc. was the prime contractor for Grand Sky, the United States’ first commercial Unmanned Aerial System Business and Aviation Park near Grand Forks Air Force Base

 

Associations, Credentials, and Certifications

 

Testimonials

“R.J. Zavoral & Sons Inc. commitment to safety is one of the hallmarks of their company. It is a key indicator of their close-knit organization; that they place the highest value on their employees’ welfare. They also recognize that this is an area in which you continually improve; you must always be diligent.”

– Virginia Regorrah, P.E., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, East Grand Forks Resident Engineer

“We have come to count on Zavorals to do many things for American Crystal Sugar. This past project was evidence of the quality relationship between our companies. Thanks to you and to the crew who did such great work for us in a high-pressure situation.”

– David Berg, CEO, American Crystal Sugar Company

“R.J. Zavoral and Sons, Inc. are one of the most committed and respected contractors in our community. They not only are first rate but they give back to our community many times over.”

– Greg Boppre, P.E., East Grand Forks City Engineer