The Dailey family got its start in construction in the depressed 1930s when 30-year old Ralph Dailey borrowed $4,000 and founded R.E. Dailey & Company in July of 1936. The new company’s first few jobs were industrial projects awarded by Chrysler and Ford Motor Company. Back then, many of the plants did not have their own maintenance departments so R.E. Dailey & Company stayed on after the completion of their primary contract to perform maintenance work as required. This work kept the fledgling construction company afloat while they paid off their loans and established a modest working capital to bid new work.
In the late 1930s the Public Works Administration was in full swing and the Roosevelt administration was pumping funds into communities throughout the country. R.E. Dailey would go after projects that were complicated, hazardous or undesirable in one way or another to help cut down the bidders list. It was during this time that Dailey began to build a reputation for the ability to successfully complete these “undesirable” projects while giving the owner and architect a level of service they were not accustomed to. Ralph Dailey’s principles of quality, timeliness and attention to detail became the hallmark of the company and fueled its growth through the years.
Ralph’s sons, Tom and Larry Dailey, started spending their summers working for the company in the late 1940s and became full-time employees in the early 1950s. R.E. Dailey & Company continued to grow and to diversify and quickly entered the arena of commercial office building construction. In the late `50s the company built its first office structure, the IBM Building in Detroit, initiating what would become a particular Dailey expertise—high rise construction. Tom and Larry Dailey ran the company starting in the 1960s and the company enjoyed steady growth. Ralph Dailey’s principles of client service and attention to detail ran deep through the entire organization and the company was rewarded with an increasing volume of repeat business.
The Dailey team flourished and successfully constructed many significant building landmarks in the metro-Detroit area including the American Center, Top of Troy, Harbortown, Stroh River Place, Southfield Town Center, 150 West Jefferson, and The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Ralph’s grandson, Steve Dailey, started his construction career with the company in the late 1970s and quickly embraced the successful family philosophy that helped recognize the Dailey name as one of Michigan’s premiere general contractors.
In the early 1980s the company was sold to a larger national construction company. Steve Dailey stayed on as operations manager and was soon promoted to vice president of operations, responsible for the execution of all construction operations for the division’s $350-million annual revenue throughout the Midwest.
In 1996 Steve Dailey realized his dreams of founding his own company utilizing his experience and time-tested family business philosophies to meet the growing demands of owners and clients in search of quality, integrity and professionalism in the construction industry. And so began The Dailey Company.