The family roots in Earthworks Enterprises Inc., founded by Mike and Jackie Mason, dates back to the 1940s. The original excavating company was run by Mike’s grandfather, Hugh or “Pop” Mason, and in turn taken over by his father and mother, Henry and Martha Mason.
Mike grew up working in the family business, Mason Excavating, until family differences led him and Jackie to branch off on their own. Jackie brings an associate degree in legal assisting and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Ferris State College. Both were employed in other jobs while they started Earthworks in 1992. They incorporated the business in January 1997. Earthworks does residential and commercial excavating, septic installation and commercial snowplowing.
The key people involved in Earthworks today are Mike and Jackie, who still manage the business together after 23 years. Mike handles the excavating and snowplowing of things, while Jackie manages day to day administrative operations.
Like her father, their daughter, Katie Mason, has grown up in the business as well. She obtained her CDL upon graduation from high school and continued working while earning a dual degree from Lake Superior State University in business administration and accounting with the hopes of continuing the family business. Her love is driving trucks and plowing snow, but she spends time working in the office too.
She follows the footsteps of the “Mason girls”. Mike’s sisters, Sarah and Marsha, had also driven trucks for their dad. Another family member is Jeff Basinski, a relative from Jackie’s family. Jeff has grown up working with the business and plays an integral role in its operations. Ron Dreffs and Richard Latuszek might as well be family as they have been working with Mike since before he left Mason Excavating.
Mike and Jackie have always stressed the importance of quality in every job. As Mike says, “It’s not about being the biggest, it’s about striving to do your best.”
Earthworks is a company that does a little bit of everything, so everyone needs to work together. That’s a philosophy that has gotten the family through the tough times and is one of the benefits of working in a family run business. It’s an all for one, one for all kind of way to earn a living. No one person’s job is more important than anyone else’s. There is a certain amount of satisfaction when everyone is in it together. Of course, it can be challenging as well. When you work with family there are sometimes disagreements. The worst part is not being able to separate work life from family life because they are so intertwined. The Mason’s wouldn’t dream of having it any other way.