Editorial: 03.16.2022

John Bruegman Joins Forces with Castle’s Omaha Team

john bruegman

After 22 years at the helm of his own excavation business, John Bruegman recently joined Castle’s growing Omaha team as field operations manager.

In this new role, Bruegman oversees the Omaha workforce and shop. It’s an opportunity to continue doing the work he loves while stepping back from the daily demands of running a business.

“I’ve always enjoyed the personal connections that you build with your team and your customers the most,” he says.

Growing up in northeast Nebraska, Bruegman was introduced to civil construction as a young boy. “I had an uncle in the state of Washington who ran heavy equipment, and my grandparents had a farm, so I was always around equipment,” he says.

During high school, Bruegman worked a summer job pouring concrete flatwork for a general contractor and also worked on farms. After graduation, he continued to gain hands-on earthwork and excavation experience, both in Washington and Nebraska.

From Bruegman Excavation to Castle Contracting

In 1999, he launched Bruegman Excavation, an independent heavy equipment excavation contractor. A few years later, his wife Jodi resigned from her corporate job and joined him full-time to assist with accounting, HR and administrative tasks for the young business.

“The first few years, I worked on whatever I could get my hands on: plumbing excavation, pouring flatwork, grading and digging residential footings, he says. “I did anything I could to keep the equipment going, stay busy and pay the bills.”

As Bruegman Excavation built a reputation for quality work and service, the business began focusing primarily on electrical and plumbing work in the Omaha and Lincoln areas. During the peak summer season, Bruegman’s crew expanded to a dozen or more.

His introduction to Castle came in 2018 while both companies were working on the Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center. “That kind of got the ball rolling,” he says. “Castle has good, honest, hard-working people, and I liked that the organization started as a mom-and-pop shop. Jodi and I came from a similar background, and it just seemed like a good fit.” 

Six former Bruegman Excavation employees also joined Castle’s Omaha team, adding to the breadth of available resources. “I always focus on accommodating my clients’ needs, and now I have more people and resources to help me do that,” he says. “All I have to do is call and ask for help.”

Bruegman and his wife are parents to a daughter and two sons. Mary, 23, is a part-time teacher who’s also pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Nick, 20, is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying marketing. And 15-year-old Zach is a high school freshman and sports enthusiast.

Hunting and fishing are Bruegman’s favorite hobbies. During the summer months, he and his son, Nick, race stock cars. He also previously coached his son Zach’s select baseball team.

Now that the Bruegmans are no longer running a business, they’re looking forward to enjoying some much-needed downtime. “We want to try to do some family vacations because that word was never in our vocabulary before,” he says.

Interesting in joining John at Castle Contracting? Build your career with us! 


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