Karen Haug is the CEO and principal owner of the three companies that make up “Advance,” a family-owned St. Paul company that has served the construction industry. In 1990, Haug and her brother took over the business from their father, who started it in 1960.
Since its beginning, Advance has played an instrumental role in the construction of many notable landmarks in the Upper Midwest, including the IDS Center, the Xcel Energy Center, the Dane County Courthouse in Madison, Wisc., and the Mount Rushmore Visitors Center near Rapid City, S.D. Advance also assisted in the restoration of the Cathedral of St. Paul, and is currently supplying equipment to construction companies working on Regions Hospital and the Twins’ Target Field.
Three companies comprise Advance:
- Advance Shoring Company, which rents and sells concrete shoring and forming equipment. Shoring and forming equipment functions as a brace and a mold, respectively, into which concrete is poured. It provides temporary support until the concrete hardens and achieves the necessary strength to support loads.
- Advance Equipment Company, which sells, rents and services tower cranes and material hoists, as well as sells and services concrete pumps. It is too expensive for construction companies to own their own cranes, so they rent from companies like Advance.
- Advance Specialties Company, which sells concrete and masonry supplies.
The location of their property is strategically vital to the success of Haug’s business. Their lot is in the Arlington-Jackson industrial area and adjacent to a major freeway that connects Advance with all of the major highway arteries throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Their convenient location close to many construction sites is essential to remaining competitive.