Axiom Construction Takes Flight in Kansas City

February 28, 2020

Axiom Construction Takes Flight in Kansas City

Small business owner Daniel Felder was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. As early as middle school, he would fill his backpack with candy to sell to fellow students in the hallway between classes. His one-man operation eventually became so successful that the principal shut it down for competing with the school’s own vending machine sales. An East Kansas City native, Felder is still nurturing that spirit decades later, but this time as the head of a thriving minority-owned business that is leaving its mark on Kansas City’s ever-evolving landscape.

After spending time working in the field of education, Felder realized the desire to try something that would provide a better life for his family and fulfill his desire to become his own boss. With some encouragement from a friend, he began to pursue small construction opportunities with Kansas City’s housing authority and eventually secured a contract to construct a concrete approach and landing for $2,100. With guidance from a friend, he completed the operation and was hooked.

Five months later, Felder left his job to start his own company. Trying his hand at a variety of construction-related projects, it wasn’t until 2016 that he rediscovered his true niche: concrete. Shortly thereafter, Felder met his now business partner Vince Stephens and the two founded Axiom Construction.

As Axiom took root, Felder and Stephens aimed to build their business on a reputation for doing great work and delivering on their commitments. Their appetite for growth soon landed them in the Kansas City Strategic Partnership Program (KC SPP) – a six-month, executive MBA-style course offered by Clark Construction and its joint venture partners on the $1.5 billion New Terminal project at Kansas City International Airport (KCI New Terminal). “Lots of people can perform the work, but this course taught us the fundamentals of how to manage the work, which is essential for growth,” said Felder. In addition to expanding their professional network, the KC SPP helped Felder and Stephens refine their project management and business skills and prepare for their biggest endeavor yet.

Today, Axiom has a team of 19 men and women performing two scopes of work on the KCI New Terminal.  As the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history, the New Terminal is providing an opportunity for Felder to not only grow his firm’s capacity, but to work alongside other larger, more seasoned contractors and gain from their experience. Working under a mentor/protégé relationship, Axiom is performing concrete work that will provide the foundation for the new 1 million square-foot terminal, including footings, grade beams, slab-on-grade work, and more. Additionally, the company is partnered with a heavy civil contractor to perform roadwork at the airport.

Despite Axiom’s steady growth, Felder still maintains the company’s office in the East Kansas City community where he spent his childhood. As passionate as he is about shaping the local landscape through his firm’s work, he’s equally dedicated to mentoring and creating opportunities that help position others for success. “I am in this position to serve my community. You can’t go up unless you stretch your arms out,” he notes. Twice a month he spends time with smaller firms to help them understand the same principals for smart growth that he’s learned through experience, mentors, and the Strategic Partnership Program. “This is unique opportunity for me to be an example.”

Daniel Felder and his business have come a long way since his first construction contract, but some things haven’t changed, including his profound perseverance and desire to succeed. “To be working on a project like the New Terminal and gain the resources and experience to be an agent for change in my community is a truly unique opportunity,” he adds. “At Axiom, we want to leave a legacy. I’m already looking into the future.”