Playing in the dirt is a family tradition.

With grit, determination, and one rubber-tired Ford tractor, my Father and Grandfather founded RG Elder in May of 1960. They began digging basements around the Des Moines area with my Father as the tractor operator, and my Grandfather working to expand the business. Today, we do much more than dig basements. There is no mountain too big for us to move, or pipe too deep to lay.


The Elder Corporation you see now is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication poured into the company since its inception. While there have been changes in growth and expansion, one thing has never changed: We have a great foundation, great equipment and most importantly, great people.


Meet the team that keeps us built on solid ground.

-J. Elder II

J. Elder

J. Elder II


When J. isn’t running around managing the company, he is running marathons. Seriously, this guy never stops! When he’s not on the job playing in the dirt, you can find him hunting, fishing, cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones or spending time with his two kids. J. is a proud, lifetime employee who is very flexible about vehicles he drives… as long as it’s a blue Ford.

Jim McFadden

James McFadden

Chief Operations Officer

James started with Elder Corporation in 2008 as the Controller, and moved into the Chief Operations Officer role in 2014. After hours, there’s a good chance that he’s tossing the baseball around in the backyard or converting the family room into a WWE-style wrestling arena with his two boys. James is a self-proclaimed DIY-er, and enjoys a good home remodeling project. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in accounting and holds the CPA and CMA certifications (which stands for Certified Management Accountant, not to be confused with Country Music Award holder).

Tim Elder

Tim Elder

Vice President

Tim loves to tell stories about the good old days. One of our favorites is about the day he got his first 8N Ford tractor when he was 8 years old. Coincidentally, he lost the keys that same day. As Vice President of Grading Operations, Tim has a passion for anything with an engine. Off the job, he gets his horsepower fix by watching cars turn left. He’s also a real family man. He and his wife Brenda have a daughter, two sons, a son-in-law, two daughters-in-law, six grandkids and three “dog children.”

Steve Frame

Vice President

The very first day Steve operated an excavator, it started on fire. Now, he is our Vice President of Underground Utilities, so he has really come a long way! When Steve isn’t starting fires, he is hunting, fishing, snowmobiling or 4-wheeling. He is known for being a man of few words, but when Steve does speak, he is full of wisdom. We speculate that he gathers all of his wisdom when he escapes to his quiet Wyoming cabin. Married with a daughter attending Grand View University, we are glad Steve joined the team in 1986, even if it means making sure there’s a fire extinguisher handy.

Brent Thompson

Vice President

Brent has done a little bit of everything since he started in 1989. He began as a concrete laborer, then a fuel truck driver. Soon after, he became shop foreman where he fixed everything with duct tape and baling wire. Then? Off to become the safety manager. Finally, Brent became a Project Manager, and was promoted into his current position, Vice President of Project Management in 2014. When he’s not busy at work, he stays active by golfing, playing basketball, hunting or fishing. Brent is married with two sons.

Brian Moran

Brian Moran

Vice President

In Brian’s own words, his life is summed up in one simple cycle: “hunt, eat, sleep and repeat.” He’s a big outdoorsman, but you may not know that he also has a culinary side, specializing in Iron-Chef-worthy Cajun dishes. Brian started at Elder in 2004 and is our Vice President of Mobile Fleet Assets and Maintenance. He has a wife, son and daughter, who also get to hear his other life mantra, which is, “There’s only one way to do it – the right way.”