Meet the Founder
Joe Lemel tells everyone who listens he’s never worked a day in his life. However, despite the good fortune that would come with working his way up the ranks with the largest production homebuilder in Wisconsin, he also knew he could be happier working directly with homebuyers.
So, in 1983, Lemel walked away from a 50 percent partnership of the company to start his own endeavor from scratch. He longed for the personal interaction a custom homebuilding firm would provide between himself and his buyers, so he took a telephone, his car & some borrowed office space and launched Lemel Homes.
“I just wanted to create my own – that’s it,” Lemel says. “I can’t convince you to buy anything. Until you see something you want, the money doesn’t make any difference. To me, if you’re going to build, build what you want.”
- Joe Lemel, President of Lemel Homes
Meet Our Staff
Joe Lemel learned early on that a company is only as strong as its team members. Since launching Lemel Homes in 1983, he has surrounded himself with the most talented and dedicated employees he could find to deliver an unparalleled level of client service on every custom home building and remodeling project his company takes on. Our team is the reason we provide a seamless building experience anywhere in southeastern Wisconsin.
Unlike his colleagues, Dave Lemel wasn’t recruited to Lemel Homes’ operations – he was born into it. As Joe Lemel’s oldest son, Dave has been around the company his entire life, starting out cleaning job sites and delivering materials during summer breaks in high school.
Today, Dave is a salesperson who helps with administrative work at Lemel Homes’ headquarters three days a week. He also plays a role in home design, which is Dave’s favorite part of the job.
“I have always had a passion for working the design of a home until it meets a client’s expectations,” Dave said. “It speaks to the completely custom way we work with our clients. Every project of ours is unique, and that is the way it should be when you build, remodel or add on.”
After quitting time, Dave enjoys spending as much time as possible with his two young daughters. He also is an inspiring author. Dave self-published his first science-fiction novel – Star Marshals: Moon of Jupiter (Volume1) in October 2016. His second book in the series was released July of 2017 and the third is not far behind with a target release of early summer 2018.
“Dave, well, he’s my son, so of course he’s a great guy. He has become very well-rounded in helping on the operational side as well as in sales.”
- Joe Lemel
SANDY KIPPVice President, Operations
Sandy Kipp's career is a prime example of the hard work, dedication and experience Lemel Homes shares with clients. She joined Lemel Homes over 26 years ago, and today she serves as Vice President of Operations for Lemel Homes. In this role, Kipp oversees day-to-day functions including accounting, selections and working with clients throughout the construction process.
Over the years, Kipp has readily adopted Joe Lemel’s philosophy of building homes as if they are your own.
“We take ownership of the quality of the work and we communicate with clients,” Kipp says. “I really enjoy meeting clients at the very start of their project and seeing the finished product when they move in. In her free time, Kipp enjoys spending time with her family, biking and traveling.
“ Sandy is the heart and soul of operations.”
- Joe Lemel
TODD DELONGEConstruction Manager
Todd DeLonge joined Lemel Homes in December 2013 after running his own rough carpentry subcontracting business for 14 years. Today, DeLonge puts that experience as a business owner to good use by taking on a variety of duties as construction manager for Lemel Homes, including estimating, budgeting and scheduling for all the company’s projects. He’s rarely in the field these days, but when he is, he oversees the building process from groundbreaking through rough carpentry, which includes site procurement, excavation, foundations and backfilling.
“I started my company while I was at school at [the Milwaukee School of Engineering], and the main reason was so I could work my own hours, but it started growing from there,” DeLonge said. “By being able to start my own company when I was 21, I was able to learn a lot, which was awesome.”
DeLonge also works with Lemel Homes’ sales and marketing teams back at headquarters. No matter what he’s doing for the company, DeLonge is constantly learning new insights about the homebuilding industry from Lemel himself.
“Since Joe is very experienced in business, it is easy to learn from him about the business side of custom homebuilding,” DeLonge said. “I think I bring a lot to the table, as well.”
Most importantly, DeLonge has learned the importance of making sure Lemel Homes’ clients get what they want in their homes, but also understand how to get the most bang for their buck.
“We want you to get what you want,” DeLonge said. “You want your home to have function, look cool in your eyes, and you have to be able to afford it. Once you nail those three things, you have everything you need.”
When he’s not building home for his clients, DeLonge is building a home for himself, his wife and their three young children. In between getting his kids to their myriad of activities, DeLonge also enjoys hunting, camping, kayaking and cooking.
“ Todd, having owned his own company, brings a breadth of experience and knowledge well beyond construction. He brings business skills because he was a business owner, which include sales and marketing.”
- Joe Lemel