Born in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Steve’s family moved to Ames, Iowa when he was 3 years old. Always an Ames boy at heart, he graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Construction Engineering and managed to play freshmen football under Coach Johnny Majors.
Steve always envisioned working for his father, Robins, who had started Jackson Construction Company in nearby Nevada, Iowa in 1956. At age 10, he was put to work cleaning out manholes and by age 15, he was traveling with summer crews. After graduating from ISU, he was promoted to concrete paving superintendent and continued working his way up the company ladder. It is safe to say that Steve has a deeply vested understanding of all the roles in the organization and is well respected for his insight and knowledge when he shows up on a job site.
By 1978, Steve had married Terri and started his own family. Jackson Construction had spread its boundaries by purchasing a firm in Waterloo which they renamed Cedar Valley Corporation. Steve moved his family to Waterloo where he’s lived ever since and has served as president and CEO of Cedar Valley Corporation for the past 26 years.
Thanks to Steve’s vision, and quiet, thoughtful leadership, CVC projects include city streets, county roads, interstate highways and airports, encompassing a three-state area. CVC has been able to maintain a hard-working, highly-skilled and loyal workforce for over 45 years, which is not always easy to do in the construction industry.
“Steve is like the yellow centerline of the highway, you’ll see signs and street lights come and go, but the center line remains steady and consistent, letting you know you’ll get there,” said David Sparks of Heartwood Investments.
Cedar Valley Corporation is consistently recognized for outstanding work, high standards of safety, and community involvement. One award that is really special to Steve and all those at CVC is the Bravo Award. Annually, the Associated General Contractors of Iowa award Bravo Awards to those companies who go the extra mile to try to improve the quality of life in their communities through contributions of cash, labor, materials, equipment and project management. The Bravo Award is the highest award that AGCI can present to a member company. Cedar Valley has won this award every year since its inception in 2000.
Steve views his company and his industry as a family. Steve inherited his father’s passion and belief that everyone owes a debt back to the industry from which they earn their livelihood. Like his father, Steve’s passion and leadership in industry associations has advanced the concrete industry for everyone. He’s been chairman of the Iowa Concrete Paving Association, the Associated General Contractors of Iowa, and is currently the 2016 chairman of the American Concrete Pavement Association. Steve encourages his employees to take part in the industry associations as well to further improve the industry as a whole.
Although ensuring the wellbeing of his industry today is important, Steve also has an eye to the future. He remains involved and invested in the engineering curriculum at his alma mater where he served on the Construction Engineering Advisory Board for twenty-four years. His efforts to refine and improve the skills of graduating engineers has strengthened the construction industry.
His industry isn’t the only thing Steve supports and enriches. He and his wife, Terri, are very active in contributing to and leading Waterloo area community organizations and charities.
However, in all his years as an industry and community leader, Steve Jackson has learned that there’s one thing that outshines it all - his commitment to family. Steve is most proud of his three daughters, Kate, Kelly and Whitney, along with their spouses and nine (soon to be ten!) grandchildren.