Duwe Metal Products, Inc. was incorporated in 1954 as a light gauge metal fabricating business. Its early mission was to provide quality custom products with fast delivery. The business grew slow and steady for 26 years as a custom job shop.
In 1981, Dick Riedelbach purchased 10% of the capital stock and was named President of Duwe Metal Products, Inc. As a result of his 25 years experience in the construction industry, Dick was able to quadruple Duwe’s sales his first full year as President. By the fall of 1983, Dick acquired full ownership of the company.
Dick was introduced to the construction industry shortly after graduating from high school. In 1958, he began a masonry apprenticeship with Knuth Masonry and shortly after serving the apprenticeship, advanced to the position of Vice President and General Superintendent. In 1967, Dick joined Reinke and Schomann, Inc. where his leadership skills developed through the role of Shop Superintendent and later, Field Superintendent.
When Dick acquired full ownership of Duwe in 1983, he expanded the shop capabilities to include light structural, miscellaneous and ornamental metals. He also signed on to the Local #8 Ironworkers, adding the erecting capabilities of experienced crews.
Dick continued to adhere to Duwe’s early mission of quality and service, on time. Duwe began to earn an industry wide reputation for consistent and reliable performance and soon became one of the top performing metal fabricating and erecting companies in the Milwaukee area.
The most unique and challenging project of Dick’s career was the 231′ pedestrian bridge that spans Lincoln Memorial Drive from O’Donnell Park to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s new addition. The 175 ton bridge hangs from a 192 foot angled mast supported by a series of nine cables at the front, 18 cables at the back and a series of units called boomers. This bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is considered by many to be an architectural and engineering masterpiece.