Magnum was formed in 1979 when its founder, Glenn Brockman, an engineer with General Electric, started building weight-lifting equipment. From that humble beginning, Magnum now has 65 full-time employees, a 32,000 SF manufacturing building at 2439 S. 49th Ave., in Phoenix, and a 16,000 post-production building within close proximity.
Drive around the Valley and Magnum installations stand out. They include Impulsion, the stainless-steel horse by Arizona artist Jeff Zischke that graces the entrance to WestWorld in Scottsdale; Shadow Play, a series of sculptures along Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix; and a major renovation of the Royal Palms Resort & Spa in the 1990s.
“The footprint that Magnum has made in the Valley the past 40 years is a great sense of pride,” said CEO Greg Brockman, son of the founder. “As our employees drive around town and see the projects, or take place in the ribbon cuttings, it connects the dots that this is what we do and this is your work. It helps in retaining employees because it brings their family into the mix.
“The horse at WestWorld was an epic project, and we made sure that every employee at the time had a hand in building it,” Brockman recalls. “We handed a tube to the office staff and that person passed it on. That was truly being a part of the fabrication and installation. Everybody talks about it; people still send me pictures when they pass by it.”
Magnum won four Gold Awards at the 2018 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition for outstanding craftsmanship sponsored by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA). The awards were presented at NOMMA’s 60th-anniversary dinner in Phoenix.
Magnum’s Gold Awards were at the Grand Canal, Tempe; Alliance Bank, Gilbert; Moebius/Cloud, Culver City, California; and Shadow Play, Phoenix.
“Magnum has been a fabricator on many of our projects over the years and we really appreciate their passion and ability to help us realize our concepts,” said John Kane, FAIA LEED, Architect | Founding Partner at Architekton. “We really appreciate their willingness to collaborate with us, bringing their expertise and skillsets to the table and helping find solutions that not only meet the budget, but exceed our aspirations.”
Longevity is key to Magnum Companies. Its third employee, Rod Bruns, is still with the company. He is celebrating his 37th year. Greg Brockman has been with Magnum from Day 1. While in high school and college he worked as a laborer, machinist, and painter. He assumed the helm when his father, now 88, retired at 75.
“Greg has done an admirable job communicating Magnum’s vision to his team,” said Joe Hitzel, Owner of Southwest Architectural Builders, Inc. “We have had great experiences working with Magnum in the delivery of projects. Magnum enhances our project partners as a great subcontractor. It is awesome to both work with his team and also see Magnum’s artesian quality work enhance our projects.
“Greg has successfully grown Magnum to a place where its work is part of the design community’s vocabulary. I’ve seen firsthand where architects have described Magnum’s work as a proprietary product on the same level as a building’s sophisticated fire alarm or energy management system,” Hitzel said.
In 1995 Magnum Engineering Inc. added a construction division, Magnum Architecture, Inc. It became a subcontractor and handled manufacturing and installation for its clients.
“Where steel was previously only seen as a structural element of a building to be hidden and concealed by framing and stucco, Greg has brought structural steel and Magnum’s work to be the focal point of a structure’s exterior elevations. Steel is now celebrated and a key element in a structure’s design,” Hitzel said.
Magnum Companies is now a “go-to” firm for the installation of public art projects. It currently is working on 12 public art installations in Arizona; El Paso, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and Southern California.
“Our people have a passion for what they do,” Greg Brockman said. “This is true for the young welders we train and employ to those who have been around for years. Our employees are our greatest asset. They bring heart, passion and a great work ethic to the building every day. I can train other parts of the business, but not that. The strengths they possess come from within.”