Chester Inc. welcomes new Marketing & Business Development Manager Charles “Chuck” Wilk

Chester Inc. welcomes new Marketing & Business Development Manager Charles “Chuck” Wilk

With a history that stretches back almost eight decades and spans multiple industries and countless clients, Chester Inc. is a family business with a lot of stories to share. The one shouldering that responsibility is Charles “Chuck” Wilk, Chester’s marketing & business development manager.

Wilk joined the business in April of this year with a background in marketing for the Region’s casinos. Chester Inc. is a much different kind of business, dealing in architecture and construction, as well as agricultural systems. At the casino, Wilk needed to sell an experience, a location – at Chester Inc, he needs to do that while also selling a process, products, and a team that can help a business owner’s dream buildings come to life.

“At the casino, it was straightforward – how do we get people into the building,” he said. “Here, I’m working in a completely different field and with all different kinds of customers. There’s business owners who are relocating or expanding or building a new property or warehouse. There’s farmers who need center pivots, big grain bins, and things like that. They all need different mediums of marketing to reach them – it’s a completely different playbook.”

When he joined the team, he wanted that exact kind of challenge – and Chester was glad to have him aboard.

“Chester was looking for a fresh set of eyes, someone who didn’t necessarily have a construction mindset coming into the job,” Wilk said. “I was excited to move into something family-owned, less corporate. I have more freedom to be creative; I don’t have to wait as long. If I want to bring something brand new to how we advertise our company and what we do, the guys here are great at listening.”

Wilk was familiar with some of Chester Inc.’s projects and impact on the community before he joined the team. He grew up in Valparaiso and knew of the Peuquet family, who own the business. Yet when he joined the team himself and saw all the nuances behind Chester’s design/build process, he got even more excited about the marketing opportunities.

“A building is a product, but with us it’s much more than that,” he said. “It’s everything, from start to finish. The planning, the architecture, getting permits approved, and managing subcontractors – we don’t just show you a list of buildings.”

Chester’s approach to construction, as well as its willingness to explore different industries, opens up many avenues for Wilk to enjoy one of the things he loves most about working in marketing: the people.

“The thing about this job is that you have to understand people,” he said. “I love meeting new people and getting to know them, and I see that as one of my strengths. Marketing goes hand in hand with that.”

His favorite part of the work, however, is a little less obvious. He loves the freedom he’s given in how to tackle his core responsibility: connecting people to Chester.

“I don’t have a set of everyday tasks to follow; I make my own,” he said. “I’m never that person that makes an itinerary when they go on vacation. Maybe I have one or two places I want to go, but I just want to see where things take us. Here, that looks like figuring out what I can do differently and finding new ways to help us out.”

Wilk also found himself quickly adapting to the office culture at Chester. It is a collaborative group where you might talk with a co-worker on the in-office putting green as you work out a problem.

“It’s not just a putting green just to putt, it’s like our brainstorming place,” he said. “Maybe someone has an issue that they want to talk about; instead of just sitting at a table, we’ll use the putting green. Sometimes you think a little better when you’re doing something completely unrelated. You’ll be putting and all of a sudden you think, ‘Oh man, this is a good idea!’”

In his free time, Wilk enjoys spending time with his fiancée, who he is set to marry in less than a month, and their German Shepard named Ivy. He is also a big Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan, a golfer, and a bit of a foodie who is always up to take a day trip to a new restaurant or brewery.

He is excited for what his future at Chester holds and is looking forward to meeting new clients and hearing their stories.

“Working with a family-owned business that can really go that extra-mile and treat your designs as their top priority is special,” he said. “I see how the guys do it here, and our clients become a part of the family. We’re working together with them. Coming from a corporate environment, to me, I know if I had a business and was looking to get a building built – I’d be coming to Chester.”

To learn more about Chester Inc. and to see its portfolio, visit chesterinc.com.