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

Executive Vice President

James assumed Controller responsibilities with Elder Corporation in March of 2008 and moved into the Vice President role in 2019. After hours, there’s a good chance that he’s tossing the baseball or football around in the backyard with his two boys or pretend shopping at his daughters imaginary store in the basement. 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).

Jeff Chapman

Executive Vice President

When it comes to overseeing grading, Jeff is truly an A+. The thing he digs most about the gig is working outdoors, getting closer to nature, and establishing relationships with his peers and associates. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids and loves the family atmosphere Elder Corp. offers. Jeff is admittedly cheap, but his handshake and his word are worth its weight in gold.

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 and two sons, 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

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.”

Mike Shores

Senior Field Coordinator/Special Projects Manager

Mike is a Des Moines native who has always had a heavy interest in heavy machinery. He especially enjoys the ever-changing landscape of jobs that keep him managing logistics for the entire company. When he’s not putting out fires on the job, he’s literally putting out fires as a volunteer fire fighter in Kimbalton, Iowa.

Chad Reineke

Senior Estimator/Project Manager

When Chad was a young lad in Minnesota, his dream was to race motorcycles professionally. He eventually gave that up for the fast pace of estimating and managing a wide range of excavation projects. In his spare time, Chad enjoys bass fishing, golf, and snowmobiling.