Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. Mourns Passing of Founder Robert L. Fortney

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Bob FortneyRobert L. Fortney, founder of Fortney & Weygandt, Inc., one of the largest commercial construction companies in northern Ohio passed away October 22, 2014 at his home in Westlake, Ohio. He was 61.

Bob Fortney had recently retired from the company he led for 36 years, naming Greg Freeh, a 31-year employee and most recently Chief Operating Officer, as President.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. is a national account general contractor responsible for the construction of lodging, assisted-living, restaurant, retail, institutional, commercial office building and specialty projects. Since 1978, Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. has built 15,000 projects in all 50 states.

Trained as an architect, Bob Fortney was a true entrepreneur who achieved extraordinary success. With an initial investment of just $250, he launched his business out of a basement in 1978 with fellow architect Bob Weygandt. After five years, Weygandt left the company to return to his architecture roots, while Bob Fortney built the firm into a commercial construction powerhouse trusted by many of the largest retail, restaurant, and lodging companies in America.

Bob Fortney’s success led to numerous awards for personal and company achievements, including:

-Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner and Finalist;

-Associated Builders & Contractors President’s Cup, Award of Merit, Award of Excellence,

-Certificate of Commendation, and Silver Achievement Award for Safety Programs;

-Smart Business World Class Customer Service Award and Pillar Award for Community Service;

-CVS Samaritan Award;

-Weatherhead 100 Award;

-NorthCoast 99 Award;

-Innovation in Business, Visionary Award;

-The Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative;

-Akron Business Conference—Innovation in Systems;

-United States House of Representatives Certificate of Congressional Recognition & Achievement;

-Cleveland Restoration Society: Tower Press Project;

-American Institute of Architects Cleveland Chapter: Tower Press Project.

“Bob Fortney was an inspirational leader and a business visionary,” stated Freeh. “His commitment to exceeding the expectations of our clients has made Fortney & Weygandt into one of the premier commercial construction companies in North America. The senior management team of Fortney & Weygandt has more than 100 years of combined experience with the firm and is fully prepared to lead the company forward. We will honor Bob’s memory by continuing to meet the standards he set for excellence and ensuring that the company he built continues to thrive and grow.”

Bob Fortney was a leader in many nonprofit organizations, providing generous support to the Cleveland Christian Home, Jimmy Malone Scholarship Fund, United Way, Girl Scouts Council, Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Red Cross, Cleveland Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club of America, Coats for Kids, Junior Achievement, Kidney Foundation, Mercy Corp., Salvation Army, St. Jude Hospital, USO, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He received the Invest in Children Award in 2012 from the Cleveland Children’s Home. He and his family created the Fortney Foundation in 2006.

Bob Fortney grew up in Avon Lake, Ohio and was a graduate of Avon Lake High School. He earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the School of Architecture at Miami University of Ohio.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Ruth, daughters Kate, Jessie, Megan and Chelsea, and son-in-law John Krisanda.

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