When the late Charles Fenstermaker Jr. founded C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates LLC in 1950, he established a culture of family within his own family unit and his fledgling surveying company.
The company began its life in New Iberia and moved several times before settling in its current compound at 135 Regency Square in the early 1980s. When his grandson, Charles Fenstermaker, was named president in February, it marked the third generation of the family to lead the surveying company that has been a mainstay in Lafayette’s business community for almost 70 years.
“I don’t necessarily think it was his intent, but he sure made a hell of a foundation for us to grow a company,” Bill Fenstermaker said of the company's founder, who fought in World War II. “It’s important because we know all facets of the business and we know exactly what the employees do because we’ve done it.”
This legacy of family working its way through the ranks began with Charles Fenstermaker’s father and uncle, Bill and John Fenstermaker, who are chairman and CEO and vice chairman and vice president of business development, respectively. Charles Fenstermaker started as a surveyor with the company in 1996 just as his father and uncle did when they started before climbing up the ranks in 1971 and 1982.
“I started in the field and worked all through college,” Charles Fenstermaker said. “I then worked on survey work out of the office, then HR, then ran the Houston office that John started."
Said John Fenstermaker: “My dad was a firm believer in starting at the bottom and working your way up, and so am I. My son is working as a surveyor and cutting his teeth while he works to get his degree.”