Wilbur Milhouse III
Chairman, Founder & CEO
Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Inc.
Location: Cook County
Year Founded: 2001
Industry Group Specific: Engineering & Construction
On Dec. 12, 2001, from the basement of his home on Chicago’s southwest side, Wilbur Milhouse III launched a startup business. He had a vision to create a better engineering firm, one driven by a desire for greatness for its clients and communities.
Since its founding, the Milhouse family of companies has expanded to seven firms, offering clients a full suite of services ranging from land acquisition to construction of complete built-to-suit facilities.
Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Inc. is a full-service engineering firm offering expertise in civil, mechanical, electrical, structural and environmental engineering, as well as construction and program management. The firm delivers creative solutions to complex problems around the globe and has been named a “Best and Brightest Company to Work For” for 18 years in a row and is ranked as a Top 500 Design firm.
The company employs a team of more than 500 talented professionals, headquartered in Chicago with branch offices throughout the United States, Africa and Bermuda. Today, Milhouse is the largest African American-owned engineering firm in the country. Projects include roadway improvement plans in addition to major projects at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and design services for various Georgia Department of Transportation infrastructure projects.
As the chairman and CEO, Milhouse’s leadership, vision and passion has been instrumental in transforming the company from a startup into a global enterprise, with more than 30 years of diversified experience in civil and structural engineering.
“My vision for the company is rooted in a desire for greatness, not just for our clients, but for the communities we serve,” said Milhouse. “This vision has driven our commitment to excellence, fostering a supportive work environment and embracing innovation that positions us for continued success in Chicago and beyond.”
As a leader, Milhouse said his passion for the engineering and construction industry is unwavering. “I’ve not only achieved personal success, but also actively support my community and the engineering profession through extensive involvement in civic, charitable and professional organizations.”
This passion is what led him to co-found Milhouse Charities, a non-profit dedicated to advancing academic achievements and opportunities for underrepresented youth in STEM.
Reflecting on his journey to become a distinguished leader in Chicago’s business landscape, Milhouse would encourage his younger self to emphasize the significance of studying human behavior and psychology. “These insights are pivotal for successfully managing individuals, which in turn is essential for the growth and scalability of any company,” he said. “People are the heart and soul of a thriving organization.”
For his impact on the Chicago community as a whole, Milhouse has been named a titan.
My secret superpower is my ability to envision the future and inspire others to see that vision. I have an innate talent for recognizing potential in individuals, projects, and communities. This enables me to guide our team towards creating a brighter future, not only for our clients but for society as a whole. My passion for the industry and unwavering commitment to excellence are the driving forces behind this superpower.