Lankford Construction Company
1455 Karlens Way
Johnsburg, IL 60051

Phone: (847) 497-0800
Fax: (847) 497-3300

Our Company

Lankford Construction was built on family values. As the company grew it was strengthened by corporate structure while maintaining its original standards — standards of quality, professionalism, safety, and service — with each client's expectations prioritized.

With construction experience dating back to 1951 it was natural to expand and integrate a painting division. The marriage incorporated the same standards of excellence providing a broader range of services to our clients.

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The company manages projects from start to finish, including budget controls, building department demands, scheduling deadlines, safety concerns, and customer convenience. In many circumstances, this requires a unique partnership not only between the Owner and Lankford, but also a hand-picked team of project managers, office staff, supervisors, field personnel, and subcontractors. This team, combined with a fleet of trucks and trailers stocked with the latest equipment, can accommodate a customer at any given time, anywhere in the fifty United States.

Lankford Construction Company believes that we are only as good as our last project. It is all about you, the customer, and delivering the results each individual project deserves.

A Proud History

The Lankford Story

Lankford Construction Company's roots stem back to 1951 when the company specialized as a fixture contractor. In 1973 Wally Lankford hired Gerry Karlen after he was referred by a client. At the time Gerry was working for another company building a big box store and impressed the owner. The rest is history. Gerry had already gained years of experience building houses when he was just 16 in order to support his family. He loved the industry. Worked his way up the ladder while raising two children, and purchased Lankford Construction in 1993.

Gerry immediately made extensive changes to stimulate growth. He understood that most retail stores needed more than just installing new store fixtures. They required a contractor who could initiate and manage roll-out programs at multiple locations throughout the country while meeting the challenges of completing store expansions, store remodels, fixturing, and painting.

In 2002 the company added a painting division to further facilitate the needs of his clients. Lankford hired people with years of experience to maintain the integrity of the company. The painting division has the capability to complete any size project as demonstrated by following the links in this web site. Gerry Karlen has always welcomed new challenges, changes, and consistently upgrades to try and forecast the ever-changing technology that is necessary to protect his client. He has a hands-on approach and understands that each client and each store or business has its own unique personality and needs.

Achievement Awards


  • Best Buy Outstanding Contractor of the Year
  • Target Mission Accomplished Award for the Photo Finishing Projects
  • Multiple Kmart Excellence in Design and Construction
  • Multiple Target Fixture Contractor of the Year
  • Target Extreme School Library Makeover
  • Project Team of the Year
  • Multiple Outstanding Performance Awards

Quality Control

The highest quality in every job we do

Lankford is fortunate to have team members that take pride in their workmanship. Quality control starts at the ground level — in the field — and is monitored by field visits from Gerry Karlen, project managers, quality control manager, our safety coordinator, our insurance company, clients, building inspectors, and via pictures sent through the internet.

Project Managers have direct contact with clients from the planning stages and bidding, to staffing the project, screening subcontractors, maintaining schedules, and purchasing/renting equipment and materials.

Superintendents are assigned projects matching their experience in construction and/or fixture brand. They are provided with the latest devices to communicate 24 hours a day with their project manager.

A Commitment to Safety

Safety is one of our values

Lankford Construction Company takes great pride in putting the safety and health of all our employees first.

Our goal is to eliminate personal injuries, occupational illness, and damage to equipment and property, as well as protect the general public who may be in contact with or affected by all our company activities. This must incorporate being in full compliance with all local, state. and federal safety, health, and environmental codes, rules, and regulations.

It is Lankford's policy to provide a safe place to work at all times - for our employees, subcontractors, and customers as well as their guests. Our on-going safety program is to ensure that all employees conduct their work in a safe, healthy, and environmentally conscious atmosphere.

A good safety record reflects the quality of our management, supervision, and work force. This serves to promote business and thereby contributes to the continuing growth of the company. The success depends upon the full cooperation of each individual employee.

It is management’s responsibility to see that effective training and education programs are available and promoted. Every supervisor will be held accountable for the safety performance demonstrated by those under their supervision. It is the individual employee's responsibility to work according to sound safety practices as instructed, discussed, and posted. Lankford's belief is that safety should never be sacrificed for production. The success of our safety program depends on the sincere, constant, and cooperative effort of all employees and their active participation and support. Safety must be considered a vital part of each and every job in our company.

Safety is a team effort and we appreciate your cooperation.

Safety Awards



safety award

  • Multiple American Subcontractors Association Safety Awards
  • Multiple Lake County Contractors Safety Award


Our Team

We work hard for you every day

PRESIDENT - Gerry Karlen
Gerry Karlen began his career in the construction industry learning the various trades the old fashioned way - in the trenches. He backed up his knowledge by working as a carpenter and putting himself through college. It was academic from here - journeyman, superintendent, project manager, management, and purchasing and operating Lankford Construction.

SR. VICE PRESIDENT - Bruce Vernooy
VICE PRESIDENT - Rob Copenharve



Bob Wald
Jerad Karlen


Mark Zamiar
John Sepulveda
Angelo Fotopoulos
Don Taylor
Brett Strohl II
Judi Tipps


All Administrative Duties are performed by AdminSystems Company