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Deals & Dealmakers

‘Meet the Chiefs’ event draws industries’ top execs

A capacity crowd representing every sector of the AEC industry attended Professional Women in Construction (PWC)’s annual “Meet the Construction Chiefs” on recently at Club 101.

A surprise visit and welcome to all from IBEX Construction CEO Andy Frankl whom PWC President Lenore Janis introduced as “a driving force on the PWC Board of Directors and supporter of W/MBE programs” launched the evening.

Chris Kuntz, project director, JRM Construction Management, spoke of the CM’s growth from $5 million to close to $300 million.

“We evaluate where the market is heading and follow it,” he said, noting major JRM projects: the Porsche NY showroom; One World Observatory; Coach at Hudson Yards; Baron Capitol and Colliers International.

JRM counts more than 20 percent women employees including CIO Lisa Wilson and Finance Controller Denise Yannaco and exceeds its W/MBE subcontracting goals.
George Toma, AIA, vice president, construction management, NYC School Construction Authority, spoke of the agency’s $12.8 billion five-year capital plan including $4.4 billion capacity and $3.5 billion mandated programs and its strong W/MBE participation rate of more than 40 percent or $4.9 billion in its capital improvement program.
“We’d like to see you all out in the field with us in construction, design or both,” said Toma.

Jenny Freeman, senior vice president, Hunter Roberts Construction Group (HRCG), said that the firm is “stronger than ever” following the recession with a portfolio of over 750 completed projects, an excellent repeat business record, and work with numerous subcontractors including W/MBEs that are “playing a larger role than ever.”
The firm’s strong healthcare division involves many of NYC’s leading facilities including Mt. Sinai and Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

Other divisions are residential, civic and public works, high-end interiors and education. HRCG completed the first interior fit-out in the new One World Trade Center building and is reconstructing Pier 17 at South Street Seaport.

As executive vice president of Tishman Interiors, a division of Tishman Construction, an AECOM company, Fred Corrado has the resources of “the expertise and experience that Tishman brings” behind him.

His sector focuses on corporate interiors, education, financial, and mission critical. He cited the major renovations of Carnegie Hall and Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business.

“New York is an aging city with 80 percent of its buildings over 40. There is a great need to turn these buildings into Class A office space. We will continue to grow; the future is bright for all of us.”

Thomas Lewis, president of The Louis Berger Group, spoke of the firm’s commitment to diversity; the “amazing level of talent” it attracts; and its global reach with projects in 70 to 90 nations each year.

Lewis explained that “Louis Berger is known as the company that will take on a job no matter how complex the scope or how difficult the conditions.” Successful relationships are formed through teaming and partnering with local firms worldwide.

William J. Gilbane III, senior vice president of Gilbane Building Company, said, “The market is bouncing back and Gilbane’s growth continues to be exceptional.”
He mentioned key Gilbane renovations: Kings Theatre (Brooklyn), White Plains Hospital Center, and the recently completed Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility (East Harlem). Gilbane awarded 39 percent of its contracts to WBEs and plans to partner with more WBE suppliers.

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