Behind the Scenes
As a lifelong resident of Kenosha, Paul Yutka (to be referred to as my father going forward) has strong ties to the community and was very involved in grade school and high school athletics at St. Mary’s and St. Joe’s. He attended UW-Madison for one year where he played football for the Badgers until he was tackled out of bounds and tore his knee. Madison dropped his scholarship and he returned to Kenosha to resume business courses at Gateway Technical College, where he graduated with an Associate Degree before entering the United States Air Force. After basic training he was stationed in Duluth, MN, for a short time and then in Germany for three years.
My father returned to Kenosha, at which point he established his own company, called Yutka Construction. He soon determined that his company would specialize in fence-related contracting work, and the company name was changed to Yutka Fence. Over 50 years later, my father still takes pride in the fences we install for our customers. People joke that I won’t let him retire, but he loves doing estimates.
For most of his career, my father operated the business out of his home. He performed all fence estimates and installed each fence with the help of a small crew he employed. This meant that he installed fences five days per week, did estimates Saturday and week nights, and did paperwork Sunday mornings. My father and mother, Trudy, raised two sons, Chad and me. Chad and I were regularly allowed to “play” at the yard (which was the small vacant city lot they owned to store fence materials). Chad and I would sort different chain link hardware parts that were covered in leaves that looked the same size to us. We did get to do some actual playing though, too.
As we got older and learned more about fence products and installation, we began to install fences with my father. Chad and I continued working at the fence company throughout high school and even returned to Kenosha during summer breaks from college at UW-La Crosse to install fences with our father. After graduating from college, Chad and I became industrial asset appraisers.
I decided to leave my position as an appraiser and go into business with my father. I have always loved working with my father, and I could see a great opportunity to grow the company. We installed fences together daily until 2006.
At the age of 66, my father decided to focus most of his time on conducting residential and commercial estimates, which he continues to do today. This is also the year we got our first “safe” forklift, which was a big deal.
My wife, Laurie, and I purchased vacant land where we built an office and fence yard in order to accommodate the growing storage and workspace needs of the company. I took on a management role in 2007. The original fence yard never had electricity (besides the use of a generator) or running water. The new fence yard and office meant it was the first time we had electricity since my father started the company. We still did not have access to water – yes, that meant we had a port-a-potty for two years.
Laurie and I purchased my father’s share of the company. We also expanded the office and added water, which meant we had a bathroom. That sounds funny, but when you don’t have running water for years, you really appreciate when you get it.
Laurie joined the business and did sales for us full time, and eventually transitioned to doing sales training, hiring, and business development for the company. Laurie and I have since had three beautiful babies, which you may have seen in some of the company photos.
Trudy Yutka (my mother) joined the company on a part time basis in 2010 as our bookkeeper. Everyone likes it when she comes to work because she is so nice.
Laurie and I purchased an existing building located on I-94 and Highway E in Somers, WI. This new location allowed for an expansion of our outdoor fence display, as well as more office space. This is where the company is located today.
While the location and structure of the company have changed and expanded over time, the strong foundation of quality work, honesty, and respect for our customers, which my father built his business on 50 years ago, remains the same.
Praise for Yutka
We are so pleased with our new fence. The workmanship is perfection and the installers were so professional and polite. Not a piece was left for us to clean up. It was a pleasure to do business with Yutka Fence and you will be highly recommended to everyone. Thank you.
– Bob & Anne Schuster
Praise for Yutka
Good afternoon Brett, First of all I want to thank you and your company for the install of our new fence that was completed on Monday. My wife and I stopped in at your office about 2 months ago and talked to you about our options and what would be best fit for us. You spent some time with us and we appreciate your time.
– Chris A. Simon – Racine
Praise for Yutka
We are extremely pleased with the results of a job recently performed by Yutka Fence. The end result was exactly what I had in mind. From my personal experience, Yutka Fence has demonstrated quality and professionalism at its best. Thanks again.
– Toni Galligan – Kenosha