The Story Behind the Company Name

PETRA, Inc. is recognized by the Parthenon logo, but what is the story behind the company name? Watch this fun animated video or read the full story below.

In 1994, Jerry Frank, PETRA’s Owner, CEO, and President, working out of his garage, cashes in his 401k to pursue his dream of owning his own construction company in the Treasure Valley. His mission was to create strong communities based on quality construction and honest business practices.  In naming the company, Mr. Frank knew that he wanted a symbol that would be easily recognizable and support his mission.

If you Google the name PETRA, you will find that in addition to being the name of the  music group regarded as a pioneer of the Christian rock music genre, that PETRA is a famous archaeological city dating back to around 300 B.C. This biblical site is located in Jordan’s southwestern desert. It was the capital of theNabatean Kingdom.  PETRA is identified with Selah, which in the Hebrew language, means rock. The Biblical references refer to it as “the cleft in the rock” and “the Rock of Christ”. While PETRA’s Parthenon logo was crafted after the prestige and steadfast foundation of the ancient city entrance. The “Rock Solid” slogan was later added in 2005.

The Nabatean people, who were traditionally reviled and mocked, had a low social standing in their early history, but eventually developed their own trade routes and watering systems in the Arabian Desert. They conducted trade in the Middle East and to this very day, those patterns set down are still used by traders and merchants. Mr. Frank started at the bottom, in a garage by himself, and eventually developed an efficient way to do Tilt-up concrete before most contractors in the Treasure Valley were dyed-in-the-wool. Then in 2007, he was honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Pacific Northwest Division, followed by PETRA’s TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award for Outstanding Concrete Construction in 2008 and 2010. PETRA has also been ranked an Idaho Private 75 company nine out of the past ten years.

Lastly, the Nabataeans grew their dynasty, gaining Roman citizenship for their nobility. Mr. Frank, established a foothold in the Treasure Valley, grew the company from a one man band and one office to 50 plus employees with offices in Boise, Seattle and Williston, North Dakota. Pioneering ahead, PETRA will open a Denver, Colorado branch in 2016.

With so much correlation to time long ago, you might wonder how does the name stack up to today’s standards. According to, PETRA checks all the boxes when it comes to the top five characteristics of a great company name. The name sticks, it’s short, functional, tells a story, and is outside the box. People recognize the logo and instantly know the company name. Leading back to the rock solid foundation Mr. Frank has established in the Treasure Valley for over 20 years and like the ancient city PETRA, the company has taken some weathering and gained some character; from the storm in our residing city to the most recent economic recession. Mr. Frank might not have had the foresight to know where routes from his garage were going to take him when choosing the company name, however symbolic the name has ultimately become.

The End.