Donald Jeanes has been in the construction industry for more than 39 years. The most ironic part of his story of success is that it all happened through an unsuccessful attempt to buy a house for himself. He was a carpenter who had been running a remodeling business since 1970, when he and his wife, Pam, put a bid on a house. The next day the house sold to someone else. Aggravated, Don started looking around and spotted an empty lot in the area and contacted the builder who owned it. “We had a good talk and he said I could buy his lot and build my own house with his help”. “So he put me in touch with subcontractors and I did the carpentry on the house and before I ever finished it, I had people who wanted to buy it, so I sold it”.
Having sold his house, he still needed one to live in, so he went into Palos Park and built another house, where he lived for the next three years. Then he sold that one and built another house down the street where he currently lives. By that time he had caught building fever, in 1977, he purchased 10 lots in Homer Township, built 10 homes and sold them all, thus the beginning of Jeanes Construction Company, Inc.
Don Jeanes takes the relationship between the builder and the client very seriously. “I think it is so important that a relationship is built so they know whom they are dealing with and get that trust right away,” he says. “I do that with every single project I build,” says Jeanes, who still does every final walk-through himself even though the superintendent does it as part of his job. “I get up in the morning and enjoy going to work. As long as I still enjoy it I will continue to do it. I also feel very loyal to my employees that have been with me a long time. They are very dedicated and also friends. I want to keep the business going to keep them and my family working. As long as everyone is still enjoying it, we will continue to do it.”
Besides focusing on the development and the building, he has been an active member in community government. As the former Mayor of Palos Park, Don Jeanes has been living and working to improve the community for many years. He has also served as a Commissioner of Palos Park and is a former trustee of the Palos Fire Prevention district. Currently Don is a member of the Palos Heights Chamber of Commerce and Palos Historical Society. Don and Pam are also active members of the Crisis Center for South Suburbia, giving back to the community that has given so much to them.