Those of you who know Bob Kort, President and CEO of Kort Builders, know he is a born entrepreneur with high morals, strong relationships and a mind for business. However, did you ever meet the man behind the man? Bob’s Dad, Stephan Kort.
Steve is CFO and Co-Owner of Kort Builders. Steve, just like his son, has a strong mind for business and is an entrepreneur in his own right. Moving the family from Nebraska to Indiana in 1977 to open a chain of restaurants, Steve has never looked back.
At a young age, Steve always had an interest in business. He has always known he wanted to own his own business, but his journey into entrepreneurialism didn’t come easy. Growing up, Steve had few business-related role models. His dad, a scientist and public health professional provided little entrepreneurial guidance, but always emphasized the importance of a good education. So, Steve found his entrepreneurial inspiration through reading biographies about Carnegie, Edison, and Alexander Bell . He was always fascinated that these people could form big businesses and amass fortunes through hard work and management skills. Then, after taking a few business courses in school, the rest was history—he was hooked—and the entrepreneur was born.
After college, Steve became a CPA at a national accounting firm and practiced for the next 10 years, specializing in serving small and closely-held businesses. Once he learned what made businesses tick, he ventured out on his own to be his own boss. This is where the entrepreneurial bug went into full force.
Over the next 30 years, Steve would become owner-manager of several of his own businesses including a company that built and operated a chain of restaurants (19 units), a company that distributed and serviced industrial products, a residential real estate company and then, Kort Builders.
When asked if it was a difficult decision to go into business with his son, Steve said, “No, looking at the financials and knowing that Bobby accomplishes whatever he puts his mind to…he does not quit… he does not fail…I knew Kort Builders would be a success.” Now, after working with Bob at Kort Builders for 25 years, Steve has never looked back. With father, son and a loyal staff (some in their 15th year), Kort Builders is stronger than ever. Now, that’s something to be proud of.
Quick Q&A with Steve Kort:
Proudest Moment in Your Career: Graduating from college and passing the CPA exam.
Proudest Moment in Your Personal Life: Seeing both of my kids enjoy successful, fulfilled lives; seeing Bobby develop as an entrepreneurial young man.
Business Advice: Be fair. Be honest. Deliver a good product. Follow the golden rule.
The Final Thought: Have faith and confidence in your ability to perform, backed by skills to perform, and you will be successful in your endeavors.