Larry Erhardt Sr. was born and raised in Grand Rapids. He attended Catholic Central High School, and after graduating he attended Aquinas College for two years studying pre-engineering. He continued his studies at the University of Detroit graduating in 1954 Magna Cum Laude in civil engineering.
Larry enjoyed working in the field and being outdoors. While aspiring to be a job superintendent, he gained field experience as a layout engineer for a Detroit general contractor for several years.
He moved back to Grand Rapids in 1959 and after three years at Osterink and wanting to get back into a field operations role, he decided to start his own company in 1962.
For the next 47 years, Larry's company was instrumental in completing some of the most difficult and significant projects in Grand Rapids, including: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Van Andel Arena, Van Andel Institute and DeVos Place Convention Center. In 1997, Erhardt Construction received a National Excellence in Construction Award of Merit for the renovation of Plaza Towers in Grand Rapids from National Associated Builders and Contractors. Other awards include 13 Awards of Excellence from ABC/Western Michigan Chapter for other various construction projects; Safety Training and Education Program (STEP) Award in 2000 and 2001 they received the at the Gold Level, in 1999 at the Platinum Level and in 1998 at the Silver Level from ABC/Western Michigan Chapter; the 1997 Design Award from Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute for the Plaza Towers renovation; the 1993 American Society of Civil Engineers Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for the Lake Michigan Filtration Plant, Low Lift Pump Station; and the 1998 Design Award from the American Institute of Contractors for the Louis Campau Parking Structure.
Although retired, Larry continues to be involved in the construction industry of west Michigan. He is greatly respected by his peers and has established the trust and confidence of clients who make up the best of the best in west Michigan. The list of significant projects successfully completed by Erhardt Construction is his legacy to his company and the community.
Larry's leadership capabilities and intellectual depth have been sought by numerous industry, social, religious and charitable organizations. Leadership roles include: board of directors, Right Place; past president, ABC Western Michigan chapter; and past president, Builders Exchange of Grand Rapids. He also served as board chairman for Villa Elizabeth Nursing Home and St. John's Home in Grand Rapids.
To many in the industry he has been a mentor and a source of advice, wisdom and knowledge. As a role model for future constructors, he offers some of the best examples of character, honor and integrity.