David J. Helfrich
Managing Member, President & Chief Executive Officer
East Lansing, Michigan
B.A. Business Administration
General Contractor License,
National Multifamily Housing Council
Student Housing Committee
Pi Kappa Phi Alumni
As President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Helfrich actively sets the tone for the company, through his entrepreneurial vision, hands-on leadership and adherence to the highest of ethical business standards.
Mr. Helfrich’s motivation and thirst for competition started early on as a freshman at Michigan State University, where he starts his first business venture, obtaining a license for Ray-ban sunglasses and quickly outselling off-campus retail sites. As a sophomore, Mr. Helfrich recognizes a need for student services and starts a laundry pick-up and delivery service catering to affluent out of state students. By outsourcing his business to local laundry mats, he was able to provide a value add time saving service to grow a successful financial venture. Selling his interests upon graduation, this company is still in operation today. As a junior, Mr. Helfrich obtains a local painting franchise from a Canadian company, and capitalizes on a large student pool of low cost labor to provide another value add service, this time to affluent homeowners in the suburbs of Detroit.
Mr. Helfrich’s success as a young and ambitious entrepreneur carries over to his first corporate job as a manager for IBM within its International Procurement Division. His main responsibility was to source input devices for the PC Desktop brands, where he is able to create annual savings of $18MM US. In a pivotal corporate reorganization of the PC Company, Mr. Helfrich becomes the youngest member assigned to the new Corporate Worldwide Procurement Organization. As an International Commodity Manager, Mr. Helfrich leads a team of design and manufacturing engineers focusing on the procurement of power systems for the ThinkPad brand across three development and five manufacturing geographies worldwide. His leadership in this division is directly responsible for the creation of annual savings in excess of $100 MM US.
Consistently seeking challenge and growth, Mr. Helfrich establishes ColorWorks Construction Services in 1993, as a single-family and multi-family housing renovation company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The systematic expansion of his company into other Southeastern markets eventually brings him in 1996 to Charlotte, North Carolina. Almost immediately thereafter, Mr. Helfrich begins to concentrate on multi-family development and construction, creating what is has become today, CW Construction and Development (CW), a fully integrated development and construction enterprise focusing on multi-family, luxury student housing communities, new construction, development, project management services and investment.
With CW’s success in the student housing market, in 1999 Mr. Helfrich refocuses his organizations efforts and establishes, CampusWorks Development. Today CampusWorks is recognized as a leader in development and construction of purpose built student housing apartment communities.
Over the last decade Mr. Helfrich has been the construction/developer partner on over $ 300,000,000 US of student housing acquisition, development and construction projects throughout several major southeastern universities. His roles have included site selection and land acquisition, due diligence, entitlements, design management, value engineering, pre-construction services, cost containment, schedule management and construction and product delivery. In addition, Mr. Helfrich has been a joint venture owner of 5,835 beds in excess of $200,000,000 US of existing student housing assets throughout the southeast.
Mr. Helfrich’s extensive entitlement, due-diligence and construction knowledge have been instrumental in identifying properties that have provided excellent re-positioning opportunities and healthy investment returns. Not only has he participated as an equity investor, Mr. Helfrich’s leadership at CW has been a hands on catalyst in stabilizing and operating new developments and acquisitions.
Always seeking efficiencies in his company’s business model, Mr. Helfrich continues to foster his relationships once established in his IBM days. Through the creation of strategic partnerships overseas, CW now imports high-end quality interior finishing products which have been essential in his goal to provide a condo-quality product to the renters his communities will ultimately serve.
David graduated from Michigan State with a B.A. in Business Administration. He is a member of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation by the CCIM Institute and is a current member of the National Multifamily Housing Council. David holds a General Contractor License in the following states: North Carolina | South Carolina | Georgia | Virginia | Tennessee | Florida.
Leadership, innovation, assertiveness, and initiative: Four traits that characterize Mr. Helfrich, and through his constant guidance, CW Construction and Development’s future.