Ed and June MacArthur-No fear of heavy lifting
Strong work ethic led to MacArthurs' success; now it fuels their philanthropy
March 30, 2004
Charles “Ed” MacArthur arrived in the Northern Colorado town of Fort Collins in 1975 with hopes of finding his future somewhere inside the sterile classrooms of Colorado State University.
He was studying business administration with a concentration in accounting, but little did he know that his real future was buried in the dirt of his part-time construction jobs.
“I always worked construction jobs in college,” Ed said. “I spent my summers working for a pipeline company. I would also work part time during school and on vacations.”
Like most college students, he worked outside of classes to cover the cost of his education and pass the time until graduation.
While Ed was pursuing his degree, he crossed paths with an undergraduate named June, who unknown to him, was about to alter his future. He met June during a regular Saturday outing to cheer for the Colorado State football team.
The meeting may have saved what would have been an otherwise dismal day for the young fans who were at the game with mutual friends.
“I probably should know who we were playing in that game, but I don’t,” June said with a smile. “I don’t remember much about it except that we probably lost. The Rams were pretty bad back then, and they lost to almost everybody.”
But the chance meeting was the start of a partnership that has lasted more than three decades.
Ed graduated from CSU in 1979 and came to Steamboat Springs with his buddy, Scott Cook. June followed him to Steamboat a few years later.
When they first arrived in Steamboat, June worked as a secretary at the Mount Werner Water District and Ed was still making a living in construction.
But in 1981, Ed decided to go into business for himself and scraped together enough money to buy the rubber-tired backhoe that would pave the future of Native Excavating Inc.
His big break came when June’s boss, John Fetcher, offered Ed an opportunity at his first real job.
“He made a terrific impression on me as a person,” Fetcher recalls. “He was a
sharp young man with an eagerness to work.”
Because Fetcher was looking for someone to complete a pipeline job on Burgess Creek Road, hiring Ed was a natural choice.
He knew that Ed had been working in the construction field, and that he had a lot of experience with pipelines. Ed was happy about the opportunity to work and to get to see June on a regular basis.
After getting married in 1982, Ed’s determination in the business and June’s ability to run the company’s small office proved to be the perfect recipe for success. Over the years, the company has grown along with Steamboat and has surpassed all of Ed’s expectations.
“We are so fortunate,” he said. “We feel so blessed that we have been able to grow with the community.”
June, who majored in biology in college, was a natural when it came to running the new company’s front office. As the office grew, so did June’s knowledge of the business.
“I think that Ed and June are the epitome of the American Dream,” Rick DeVos said.
“He came to Steamboat with a shovel in his hand and built a successful business. June is one of he sharpest women you will ever meet. They are a perfect balance.”
DeVos, the executive director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, has worked with the MacArthurs on a number of projects ranging from the Alpine slide to the club’s long-term endowment program.
DeVos said he isn’t surprised by Ed and June’s success in Steamboat.
He said the couple has one of the best work ethics he has ever seen and that he can see it in the couple’s two children, Charlie, 18, and Daniel, 16.
“They have done so much for us and other organizations here in Steamboat,” DeVos said. “They are great people. I would do anything for Ed and June because they have done so much for our community.”
Native Excavating has grown into one of the biggest construction companies in Steamboat.
Native now owns 62 pieces of heavy equipment and the company completed 118 projects across Colorado last year. Native has 30 year-round employees and 110 during the peak season in the summer.
Despite his schedule, Ed has stayed busy outside of work.
He is constantly at Winter Sports Club events to volunteer his time and is never afraid to get his hands dirty no matter what the project is.
He is currently a member of the Steamboat School District Audit Committee, The Yampa Valley Construction Trade Association and the Steamboat Chamber Resort Association (he was president from 1999-2000). He also has served on the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission (1987-1995) and was chairman in 1994.
“He’s the perfect volunteer,” DeVos said. ” He will come up to you and ask, ‘what do you need?'”
DeVos said not job is too small. At a recent junior mogul event, Ed stood at the bottom of the hill and held up the signs at the bottom of the hill.”
Not bad for a guy DeVos says is in a class of five people when it comes to donating to the Winter Sports Club.
Over the years, the MacArthurs and Native Excavating have grown with Steamboat, but the MacArthurs have never forgotten about the community that has supported them.
The MacArthurs donated equipment, time and money to projects like the Alpine slide, the Winter Sports Club’s weight room, the water ramps east of Steamboat and the new Nordic jump facility at Howelsen Hill.
“There is nothing like the Winter Sports Club anywhere else in the world,” Ed said. “It’s such a great organization and it says so much about the community of Steamboat Springs. We have to make sure that it survives in the future and that it is even stronger.”
But the MacArthurs’ generosity doesn’t end there.
They have donated to Strings in the Mountains and Habitat for Humanity. They also have helped build soccer fields and playgrounds.
“June and I have done well, so we always try to give back to worthy causes,” Ed said. “We’ve got the equipment and the know how to make things happen — and it’s easy.”