Jon was formerly Owner and President of Wanzek Construction, a heavy industrial and renewable energy construction company. Currently, Jon is involved in entrepreneurial ventures including film, real estate, ranching, technology, and venture capital.
Jon was born on May 10, 1964, in Medina, North Dakota and raised in Fargo, North Dakota. Wanzek participated in Boy Scouts of America in his youth and earned the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 14.
He attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earning an undergraduate degree in civil engineering. He graduated with distinction in 1986.
After graduating, Jon started his career as a project engineer for Mortenson Construction. He was eventually hired by one of their clients, Northwest Airlines (now Delta), to manage the construction projects of serval national airports. Jon oversaw the construction and remodel of terminals at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Boston’s Logan Airport, and the addition of a new World Club (flight lounge) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
In 1989, Jon returned to Fargo, North Dakota to join his parents’ business as a project engineer eventually becoming President and CEO of Wanzek Construction. During his time at the company, he led the growth to over 1,000 employees, gaining ranking at 177 on the ENR Top 400 Construction Companies in North America. The company’s focus on renewable energy building wind farms and renewable energy farms accelerated the growth. In 2008, Wanzek Construction was sold to MasTec, a construction company based in Florida. Jon stayed on as President of the company until 2010.
Wanzek established the Wanzek Family Foundation in 2009, supporting projects throughout the community, region, and beyond.
Wanzek supported the following organizations:
• Cathedral of St Mary, Fargo, ND – renovations and additions including Wanzek Center, adoration chapel, acquisition and construction of new parking lot, south entrance and elevator addition, and fence and signage around the entire campus.
• Northern Lights Council – Boy Scouts of America, Fargo, ND – construction of the Jon L Wanzek Center for Scouting – Fargo, ND. In addition, Wanzek funded the construction of the Trading Post, Scout History Center, Tornado Shelters at Camp Wilderness – Park Rapids, MN.
• Wanzek has also supported many other organizations including Mayo Clinic, Hennepin Health Foundation (Breast center/ infusion room/stain glass artwork), Hennepin County Health Care (Burn center), Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, Artists for Peace & Justice, Creative Coalition, University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Fellowship of Catholic University Students, Pioneer Trails Regional Museum, Bonanzaville, Ghana Catholic Church, Doctors without Borders, National Music Museum, and many others.
Jon has formerly served on the following boards: President’s Circle at the University of Notre Dame, Executive Board of Northern Light Council of Boy Scouts of America, Board of Directors of Dakota Medical Foundation, and Engineering Advisory Council at the University of Notre Dame.
In 2009, Jon purchased property in the North Dakota Badlands. Pitchfork Ranch is a 4,000-acre working black angus cattle and horse ranch with a ranch manager onsite. The Pitchfork is located near Amidon, North Dakota, in the southwest corner of the state.
In 2012, Jon established Bad Medicine Films. The production company produces and finances independent films is named after the lake in Minnesota where his cabin is located. Bad Medicine Films has produced a number of films including: Ten Thousand Saints, Valley of Bones, Human Capital, Bull Moose, Pilgrim, and several other projects are currently in development.