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Company Leadership

Stan Pepper, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Pepper Companies

Stan Pepper Chairman and CEO, The Pepper Companies

Stan Pepper, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Pepper Companies

Stan Pepper Chairman and CEO, The Pepper Companies

As chairman and chief executive officer of The Pepper Companies, Stan is responsible for setting the strategic direction and overall resource management. Stan began working at the company in the field at the age of 15, and quickly rose through the ranks while working in many areas across the organization such as carpentry, marketing and project management along the way. At age 32, Stan became president of Pepper Construction Company.

Stan also worked in private equity, consulting, software development and sustainable products, gaining a broader perspective and additional leadership experience in the industry. In 2015, Stan returned to The Pepper Companies with a management philosophy that has been greatly influenced by his diverse industry experiences as well as by his father, Richard, and his grandfathers, Pepper founder Stanley F. Pepper and Dr. Roscoe Miller, former president of Northwestern University. Stan’s leadership style is routed in serving those he leads, with particular emphasis on capitalizing on new technologies and creating an environment that encourages a multi-generational team approach.

A leading voice supporting innovation in the construction industry, Stan serves on the BIM Forum and is involved in the community as chairman of the McGraw Wildlife Foundation. Stan is an Executive Committee member at his alma mater, Monmouth College.

Ken Egidi, President of Pepper Construction Group

Ken Egidi President, Pepper Construction Group

Ken Egidi, President of Pepper Construction Group

Ken Egidi President, Pepper Construction Group

As president of Pepper Construction Group, Ken oversees strategic planning and operations across our construction companies in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. He ensures that best practices are shared and employed in alignment with our goals for industry leadership, growth and continued success. 

Ken's primary areas of focus in the industry  include building toward tomorrow through development and educational programs and creating new opportunities to enhance workforce diversity. He serves as treasurer on the board of directors for the Builder’s Association, is a past president of  the Chicagoland Associated General Contractors and a member of the Associated General Contractors of America, American Contractors Insurance Group and Executive’s Club of Chicago. Additionally, Ken is an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Chris Averill, COO Pepper

Chris Averill Chief Operating Officer

Chris Averill, COO Pepper

Chris Averill Chief Operating Officer

Chris provides overall leadership of operational and financial functions across the company. He joined Pepper in 2015 after working domestically and internationally in a Controller role that allowed him to focus on business operations as well as accounting. Eventually Chris moved into a CFO role with a company that was struggling to survive, which gave him even greater insights on how to balance both appropriate risk and fiscal responsibility.

In addition, Chris gained a different point of view on business management while working for a private equity firm where he had the opportunity to participate in many deals with different types of businesses. The perspectives gained from viewing companies both from the inside and the outside helped to inform Chris' management approach. It centers around empowering people and helping them to remove the real or perceived roadblocks that can deter companies from acting on good ideas.

Chris is an active member of the FMI CFO Forum, which contributes to developing insights that benefit the construction industry and fosters collaboration among its financial leaders.

Jacqueline Lavigne

Jacqueline Lavigne, LEED® AP Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and CMO

Jacqueline Lavigne

Jacqueline Lavigne, LEED® AP Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and CMO

As chief strategy officer and CMO for Pepper Construction Company, Jacqueline helps establish the company’s business plan and growth strategy, where she focuses on relational approaches that drive metrics-based results. Jacqueline has also provided strategic expertise on projects through kick-off and team-building strategies, which particularly benefits teams with shared agreements.

Jacqueline has 28 years of experience in the industry, including extensive experience in business and market planning and analytics. Before joining Pepper, she served as chief marketing officer for NELSON and as group vice president and marketing principal for global architecture firm HOK. She holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University, and she is a LEED AP.

Jacqueline is dedicated to the Ride Janie Ride Foundation, which assists individuals facing financial hardship resulting from ongoing medial treatment of various types of cancer. She is also a member of the City Club of Chicago. In 2015, Jacqueline co-authored the Changing Role of the CMO, featured in SMPS Marketer.

Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Tim serves as Pepper’s in-house counsel. With more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry, including work in project design, construction management and post-construction dispute resolution, Tim brings a unique perspective to his advisory role.

Before pursuing his law degree, Tim earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from West Point. It was during this time that his appreciation for respectful leadership was developed. He carried it into his first private sector engineering job where he also learned the value of employee empowerment for shared success. His work representing project owners in dispute resolutions eventually triggered a desire for a career in the legal profession. Upon graduation from law school, he received a job offer from a construction practice group, which enabled him to capitalize on all aspects of his professional training.

Tim serves the industry as a labor management representative for the Builder's Association and the Mid-America Regional Bargaining Association (MARBA). In this capacity, he collaborates with labor leadership in the Chicago area to craft and manage ongoing relationships. Tim is a member of the Illinois bar and also remains a licensed professional engineer in several states.

Shannan Ghera

Shannan Ghera Vice President, Communications

Shannan Ghera

Shannan Ghera Vice President, Communications

Shannan is a leading voice in brand and corporate communications. With more than 20 years of experience, Shannan ensures that Pepper's communications with the public and our employees align with the company's values in support of both our business and our clients' interests.

Her efforts include reputation management, media and stakeholder relations, digital and social communications and brand development and positioning.

Shannan is a member of PRSA, IABC, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and actively supports the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.

Julie-Kellman

Julie Kellman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCP Vice President, Human Resources

Julie-Kellman

Julie Kellman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCP Vice President, Human Resources

As vice president of human resources, Julie leads all aspects of personnel management, including career development, recruiting and hiring, learning management and HR information systems. She brings more than 20 years of global experience managing all facets of human resources and is passionate about translating business strategy into actionable initiatives. While at Pepper, Julie was instrumental in establishing Pepper’s Human Capital Management information system and enhancing Pepper’s benefits program. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in Literature, Science and the Arts from the University of Iowa, and she earned her MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Julie is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as well as a Certified Compensation Professional. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, WorldatWork and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Howie Piersma, VP of IT Pepper Construction Group

Howie Piersma Vice President, Information Technology

Howie Piersma, VP of IT Pepper Construction Group

Howie Piersma Vice President, Information Technology

Howie has been with Pepper for 33 years. He started when the company had only two personal computers and now directs information technology (IT) plans, schedules, policies and programs for the Pepper organization’s infrastructure, network communications and IT support. 

Utilizing his management and technical skills as well as his years of experience, Howie is committed to the continuous improvement of IT innovation, initiatives and employee productivity.

Each year, Howie lectures at Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering to the Master of Project Management students. His expertise makes him a sought-after expert for industry conferences and events, primarily focusing on technology adoption related to project and document management collaboration. Howie has served on the steering committee for the Associated General Contractors’ IT forum for the past four years and is the current chairman, and he is a member of the Technology Executive Network (TEN).

stephanie-vitner

Stephanie Vitner, CPA Vice President, Accounting

stephanie-vitner

Stephanie Vitner, CPA Vice President, Accounting

Stephanie brings more than 20 years of experience to the leadership of Pepper's accounting teams. As vice president of accounting, she leads all corporate accounting and finance functions including accounting services, financial reporting and analysis, planning and forecasting, audit, tax and treasury. Stephanie's focus is on ensuring the integrity of the company's financial data while streamlining the systems and financial reporting to provide the most meaningful financial information in support of the Pepper's strategic and operational goals. Stephanie is a member of the AICPA, the Illinois CPA Society and Construction Financial Management Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.  

Market Experts

Steve Allemeier

Steve Allemeier Chief Operating Officer, Indiana

Steve Allemeier

Steve Allemeier Chief Operating Officer, Indiana

Steve began his career in the construction industry in 1985, and he has been with Pepper for 18 years. As chief operating officer Steve is responsible for leading Pepper Indiana's operations, including staffing, pricing strategies and field strategies. Since joining Pepper he has provided oversight to some of our largest and most complex projects. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University. He serves on the Purdue University Building Construction Management Construction advisory council and the board of directors for Rein of Grace Therapeutic Riding Center. He is also a member of the AGC of Indiana, the Indiana Subcontractors Association, the Indiana Society of Healthcare Engineers and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Phil Allemier

Philip Allemeier Project Director, Indiana

Phil Allemier

Philip Allemeier Project Director, Indiana

With more than 30 years of construction experience that spans industrial, manufacturing, commercial office, high rise, higher education and retail markets, Phil Allemeier is a Project Director dedicated to fostering relationships and ensuring efficiency, innovation and value for clients. Over the past decade, Phil has completed approximately 15 million square feet within the industrial, manufacturing and distribution markets. He's established himself as an effective leader who leverages his vast design-build knowledge and insight to improve communication and owners' experiences.  

Phil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction and Contracting from Purdue University. 
 

Bob-Bruno

Robert Bruno Senior Vice President, Illinois

Bob-Bruno

Robert Bruno Senior Vice President, Illinois

Bob leads our interiors group as well as our teams working in retail and mission critical/data center markets. He brings more than 27 years of construction expertise to every project, leveraging insights from his years spent in healthcare, commercial office and interiors to improve the both the end product and the customer's experience during construction. Bob has played a crucial role in developing Pepper's interiors market through strong client and team relationships. He holds a bachelor of science in economics from Indiana University and serves as a member of the board of directors for the Science and Math Excellence Network and is on the board of trustees for the Contractors Rallied about Servicing and Helping (CRASH).

Eric Bullion

Eric Bullion, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Eric Bullion

Eric Bullion, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Eric specializes in hotel and casino construction, most recently working on some of the trendiest hotels in Chicago, like Hotel EMC2 and the Moxy. With more than $400 million in casino construction, his resume includes work at Harrah’s, the Grand Victoria, Rivers Casino (the world’s first LEED Gold casino) and Horseshoe Hammond, which was the largest floating facility in the U.S. when it was constructed.

Eric has been with Pepper Construction since 1999, and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Wisconsin. 

Kevin-Connolly

Kevin Connolly Director of Business Development, Illinois

Kevin-Connolly

Kevin Connolly Director of Business Development, Illinois

Kevin Connolly serves as Director of Business Development for our Illinois office. He specializes in identifying and developing opportunities in solar construction and encouraging our clients and partners to prioritize High Performance and Sustainable building. Kevin earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Northern Michigan University.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper, LEED® AP BD+C Executive Vice President, Illinois

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper, LEED® AP BD+C Executive Vice President, Illinois

Tim began his career with Pepper in 1995 as a project manager, where he served our healthcare, secondary education and corporate headquarters clients in both private and public sectors. He has developed strong teams who have managed several of Pepper's most long-standing client partnerships. Over the years, Tim has grown into various leadership positions and today serves as executive vice president of our Chicago and Milwaukee operations. He also has played a key role in the company's strategic planning initiatives with an emphasis on improving operations and continuing to enhance Pepper's approach to Lean construction. Tim holds an MBA from Indiana University, and he earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Purdue University. He is a LEED AP BD+C and is ASHE Healthcare Construction certified.

Jim-Creath

Jim Creath, LEED® AP BD+C Senior Vice President, Illinois

Jim-Creath

Jim Creath, LEED® AP BD+C Senior Vice President, Illinois

Jim began his career with Pepper Construction in 1988. Since then, he has worked in nearly every market we serve and on some of our largest projects. Jim provides team leadership to our Barrington office, particularly for senior living, higher education and institutional projects. He has played a leadership role in developing strong teams and enduring client relationships. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University and is a LEED AP BD+C. He is also an AIC-Certified Professional Constructor.

Keith-Dafcik

Keith Dafcik Vice President, Illinois

Keith-Dafcik

Keith Dafcik Vice President, Illinois

With more than 30 years of industry experience, Keith's career has focused on industrial construction. He has completed approximately 10 million square feet within the industrial, manufacturing and distribution markets. Keith leverages the insights he has gained to improve both the end product and the owner's experience throughout the construction process. He is a key member of several industry organizations including NAIOP and the International Association of Industrial Warehouses.

Mitch-Denton

Mitch Denton, LEED® AP Vice President, Indiana

Mitch-Denton

Mitch Denton, LEED® AP Vice President, Indiana

As vice president, Mitch leads Pepper Indiana’s Integrated Construction Services team, which includes quality, safety, high performance and virtual design and construction. He has 24 years of experience, which includes 15 years with Pepper. Prior to overseeing the Integrated Construction Services group, Mitch served as group leader of commercial, interiors and retail projects and was integral in growing Pepper’s commercial interiors operation into a primary market for the company. His experience in project management helps him to understand our partners' needs and provide the right operational support. Mitch has also served in business development, where he oversaw the strategies involved in helping the company expand its overall stature and market share. Mitch earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University, and he is a LEED AP.

Shawn Dziedzic

Shawn Dziedzic, LEED® AP BD+C, CM-BIM Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Shawn Dziedzic

Shawn Dziedzic, LEED® AP BD+C, CM-BIM Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

As vice president, Shawn oversees project teams, providing overall project direction through preconstruction and construction. He specializes in high rise construction including residential, office buildings, hotels and healthcare. Shawn coordinates the construction process in a way that produces a quality project within the project budget and schedule constraints while making the process as enjoyable and painless for the client as possible.

Shawn has 21 years of construction experience, and nearly all of that has been with Pepper.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University. He also holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate.

Bob-Eckl

Bob Eckl Senior Vice President, Indiana

Bob-Eckl

Bob Eckl Senior Vice President, Indiana

With 28 years of industry experience, Bob oversees national retail accounts and provides supervision to more than $500 million in Pepper projects. Bob started with Pepper’s Chicago office in 1996 and joined Indiana in 2005. As senior vice president, he co-leads Pepper Indiana’s operations, which includes staffing and pricing strategies, as well as the preconstruction, quality and virtual construction departments. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Administration from the University of Wisconsin. He is an ACE Mentor board member and mentor committee chairman, and he serves on the General Contractor Council of the Indiana Subcontractors Association. Bob is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, where he earned the Certified Development, Design & Construction Professionals (CDP) credential.

Chris-Farrington

Chris Farrington, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Chris-Farrington

Chris Farrington, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Chris started working in construction in 1998. For more than 20 years, he has specialized in interior build-outs. His positive attitude and collaborative approach help create a team-oriented environment on every job he leads. He is relationship focused and has developed meaningful partnerships with several of our key clients. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of Iowa, is ASHE Healthcare Construction certified and is a LEED AP.

Brian-Forsythe

Brian Forsythe, CHC, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Wisconsin

Brian-Forsythe

Brian Forsythe, CHC, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Wisconsin

Brian has more than 20 years of experience, and during most of his career he has specialized in healthcare construction. His experience covers all areas of a hospital, from medical offices to operating and emergency departments – totaling 60 projects and $292 million, across 10 different healthcare campuses in the region. As project director, Brian leads project teams from preconstruction through project completion, ensuring the highest level of safety and quality are maintained.

Brian received his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science in Construction from Bradley University. He is an American Hospital Association Certified Healthcare Constructor (AHA-CHC), a LEED AP, is 30-hour OSHA certified and holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate. He is a member of Lean Construction Institute (LCI) and the American College of Healthcare Executives, in addition to teaching classes for Pepper employees and volunteering at his church.

Joe French

Joe French Project Executive, Ohio

Joe French

Joe French Project Executive, Ohio

Joe serves as project executive for the Cincinnati Pepper Ohio office. With more than 18 years of experience in the construction industry, Joe has primarily focused on healthcare projects. Major healthcare clients include Premier Health, Bellevue Hospital, UC Health, St. Elizabeth, Christ Hospital, Mercy Health, Dayton Children's and Lindner Center of HOPE. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction Management.

Scott-Haddock

Scott Haddock Vice President, Ohio

Scott-Haddock

Scott Haddock Vice President, Ohio

Scott Haddock has more than three decades of experience in construction and business leadership roles. His diverse background spans every area of construction, including project and field leadership, customer relations, talent development, sales and operational oversight. As vice president, Scott leads project teams to deliver the highest levels of service and quality for our clients. He holds a bachelor's degree in business management, with a minor in international trade, from Antioch University and is a LEED AP BD+C. In his free time, Scott serves as a volunteer firefighter and is an area football coach.

Bob-Hart

Bob Hart Project Executive, Ohio

Bob-Hart

Bob Hart Project Executive, Ohio

Bob is a seasoned Project Executive responsible for leading the company's project teams to deliver the highest level of service and quality for clients in all markets, specializing in K-12 construction. Bob has completed over $650 million in K-12 projects, including serving as Project Executive for numerous district improvement programs. Throughout his tenure, Bob has developed a strong understanding and appreciation for the challenges and complexities associated with K-12 project design and construction. His extensive experience working with school districts and designers enables him to explore options for construction and focus on maximizing dollars available while realizing key design goals. 

Bob grew up in Worthington, Ohio and attended Worthington City Schools.  For the last six years, Bob has volunteered for the Olentangy Facilities Development Committee.  Bob became passionate about K-12 projects when he was involved with one of the first State of Ohio Emergency Response Repair School Projects. He saw firsthand the importance of educational facilities to provide a safe environment to learn and the lasting impact it has on the local community.  

Brian Healy

Brian Healy, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Brian Healy

Brian Healy, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Brian serves as one of Pepper Construction's higher education leaders, having completed more than one million square feet of college and university projects throughout the Midwest. His clients range from some of the most recognizable institutions in the region, like the University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, to smaller liberal arts and community colleges like Dominican University and North Central College. Brian's strength is in leading teams through the preconstruction planning process, and in 2014, he served on a panel at MAPPA, where they discussed the pros and cons of capital project trends. Brian holds a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Marquette University. He has served as a member of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors for Marquette University, currently serves on the Marquette University Civil Engineering Academic Advisory Board, the Associated College of Illinois Board of Trustees and is a member of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).

Kevin-Heatter

Kevin Heatter, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Kevin-Heatter

Kevin Heatter, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Kevin started his construction career in 1994 and joined Pepper Construction in 2001. He spent most of his career  specializing in healthcare construction until transitioning to the 1060 project in 2015. With a high attention to detail and understanding of complex systems, Kevin has provided a measured approach to the project’s seemingly impossible logistical and schedule constraints. Kevin earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction from Bradley University, holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate and is a LEED AP.

SusanHeinking

Susan Heinking, AIA, NCARB, LEED Fellow Vice President, High Performance and Sustainable Construction

SusanHeinking

Susan Heinking, AIA, NCARB, LEED Fellow Vice President, High Performance and Sustainable Construction

A licensed architect and LEED Fellow, Susan has over a  decade of experience designing and managing sustainability programs and initiatives in the building industry. She leads Pepper's High Performance and Sustainable Construction Group. She is a national expert in sustainable building design and construction. Her many areas of involvement include Chicago's Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, the AIA2030 Chicago Working Group, co-chairing Chicago's AIA COTE knowledge group, participating in RETROFIT Chicago and working with the Chicago Biomimicry Group. Susan has been named to both ENR and BD+C's 20 under 40 list.

Susan's current vision for Pepper includes expanding the company's sustainability efforts to fully embrace the high performance aspects of both building performance and human performance. This includes enhancing existing efforts with energy modeling, ROI analysis and local utility incentives, as well as building on Pepper's "Nothing Hits the Floor" program and promoting the use of healthy materials.

Susan holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and is an active presenter at industry conventions.

Read more about Susan's accomplishments.

Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson President, Pepper Construction, Wisconsin

Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson President, Pepper Construction, Wisconsin

Jeff Johnson is a seasoned industry leader with more than 30 years of construction knowledge in virtually every market sector – including 20 years specifically focused on projects in Wisconsin. As an accomplished Lean practitioner, he became a founding member of the state's first Lean Construction Institute Community of Practice (LCI CoP). Major recent projects in the region under Jeff's leadership include completion of the BMO Tower, BMO corporate office and retail bank along with several other tenant and retail spaces, the multi-family space at Titletown and St. Rita Square senior-living residences. Jeff is also a recognized thought leader in Integrated Project Delivery and has worked with all contracting methods, including tri-party agreements. 

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Montana State University. He is a member of ASHE and AGC of Wisconsin and gives back to the local communities through support of the American Heart Association, City of Hope and Habitat for Humanity.

Chris Johnson Pepper Construction

Chris Johnson Preconstruction Project Director

Chris Johnson Pepper Construction

Chris Johnson Preconstruction Project Director

With over $6.75 billion in hospitality and gaming work, Chris has extensive experience with new casino construction as well as multiple restaurant, gaming floors and night club renovations. His background includes positions as both an owner's representative and as part of the general contractor's team. Included in his portfolio of projects are the following: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Red Rock Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Pechanga Hotel and Casino in Temecula, California. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering with Structural Emphasis from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy Senior Vice President, Illinois

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy Senior Vice President, Illinois

With more than 25 years of experience in the Chicago construction market and a history of managing over $1 billion in concrete shell construction, Scott Kennedy leads Pepper Construction's Self-Performed Labor Group in Illinois. His expertise includes the full integration of BIM into the logistic planning, estimating, detailing, coordinating, layout and construction process to bring efficiencies to our work.

Scott holds a BSAS Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a City of Chicago Department of Buildings - Mason Contracting License, and he is a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Post-Tension Institute (PTI), Midwest Wall and Ceiling Contractors (MWCC) and Finishing Contractors Association of Illinois. Scott leads PTI Certification Training - Unbonded Post-Tensioning (PT), OSHA 30-Hour Outreach Training and BIM Tekla Structures Basic & Advanced Training.

Brian Lensink

Brian Lensink, LEED AP BD+C Project Director, Ohio

Brian Lensink

Brian Lensink, LEED AP BD+C Project Director, Ohio

Brian has more than 25 years of industry experience, 11 of which have been with Pepper. He is responsible for fostering client relationships and leading complex projects to a successful completion by overseeing the project team and ensuring efficiency, innovation and value. Brian is Pepper Ohio's industrial expert having completed more than five million square feet of industrial construction. His specialty lies in the industrial and commercial market, where he has completed several large scale projects including the Whirlpool North American Region Ad Center. The fact that Brian began his career in the field as a superintendent allows him to bring a "big picture" perspective to his role in operations and further extends the insights that he is able to offer to client, design and trade partners. Brian attended Milwaukee School of Engineering where he received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural and Structural Engineering.

Greg-Leofanti

Greg Leofanti Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Greg-Leofanti

Greg Leofanti Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Greg began his career in construction in 1995 and joined the Pepper team in 2000. He has championed our work at museums and zoos. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Management & Technology from Bradley University and is a LEED AP BD+C.

Dan-Lowe

Dan Lowe Vice President, Indiana

Dan-Lowe

Dan Lowe Vice President, Indiana

An 18-year industry veteran, Dan joined Pepper Construction 14 years ago. Since then his career has focused on complex healthcare construction. He has served in a leadership capacity on many of Pepper’s most prominent healthcare projects and is known for establishing a collaborative environment that fosters creative solutions to project challenges.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Science and Management from Kansas State University and is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) and American Hospital Association.

Rob-Martinelli

Robert Martinelli Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Rob-Martinelli

Robert Martinelli Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

With 19 years of industry experience – including 13 years with Pepper – Rob has developed an impressive record of successfully delivering a range of K-12 and higher education projects, as well as commercial office buildings and corporate headquarters. Working throughout the Chicagoland area, the energy and enthusiasm that Rob brings to his projects is contagious and benefits design teams, trade partners and clients alike. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Technology from Eastern Illinois University and is a LEED AP.

Mick-Metzger

Mick Metzger, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Mick-Metzger

Mick Metzger, LEED® AP Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Since joining Pepper in 1998, Mick has managed more than $1 billion of construction projects in almost every market the company serves - including commercial office, residential, mixed-use and interior build-outs. Mick appreciates collaborative delivery methods, such as design-assist, because he believes they are better suited to deliver a cost-effective end product that exceeds the owner’s expectations.

Mick holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Construction Management from Purdue University and an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate, and he is a LEED AP. In addition to his role at Pepper Construction, he guest lectures at Purdue University and has served on the Executive Advisory Committee for their Construction Management Program. Mick is also a former board member of the ACE Tech High School board of directors.

Dan-Myers

Dan Myers, LEED® AP BD + C Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Dan-Myers

Dan Myers, LEED® AP BD + C Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

With more than $500 million in healthcare construction experience, Dan has spent most of his career working alongside our healthcare clients. From large, replacement hospitals to delicate interior renovations, his goal is to establish long-term, mutually beneficial client relationships. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University.

Ben-Nikolin

Ben Nikolin Project Director, Illinois

Ben-Nikolin

Ben Nikolin Project Director, Illinois

Ben serves Peppers civic, cultural and retail clients with a unique perspective. Drawing on his experience at Homan Square and with historic museums and other high-end retail projects, Ben recently led our team to complete the RH Gallery at Three Arts, which has been recognized nationally for its design and historic preservation.

Ben began his career with Pepper in 1998, after earning his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University. In 2007, Ben was recognized as a Friends of Downtown award recipient.

Jerry Noble

Jerry Noble Vice President and Regional Director, Cincinnati

Jerry Noble

Jerry Noble Vice President and Regional Director, Cincinnati

With two decades of experience and an extensive healthcare background, Jerry has led projects for Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and UC Health. As Vice President and Regional Director, Jerry leads Pepper’s operations in the Cincinnati area. He works closely with Pepper’s local, experienced project teams to provide oversight on preconstruction and construction activities. Recognized as a thought leader in design assist projects, Jerry's passion is to help owners achieve their goals and optimize the project budget.

Jerry received his bachelors of science in Architectural Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and holds an associate's degree from UC in Construction Management.  A Cincinnati native and who enjoys giving back to his local community, Jerry currently serves as a board member for ArtWorks Cincinnati, a non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth to create art and community impact. Jerry also invests his time with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Heart Association’s HeartChase, and is a Boy Scout Troop Scout Master in New Richmond, Ohio. 
 

 

Russ-Pande

Russ Pande Vice President, Project Director, Wisconsin

Russ-Pande

Russ Pande Vice President, Project Director, Wisconsin

As vice president and project director, Russ oversees project teams and is instrumental in building client relationships. With more than 20 years of experience in construction, he has worked on a broad spectrum of projects, from mixed use commercial developments and corporate offices to university dormitories and senior living facilities. Recent projects include The Corners of Brookfield and the Silverspot Cinema, St. Rita’s Square in Milwaukee, Meijer in Grand Chute and the Seda office renovation in Mount Pleasant. Russ also serves our industry on the ICSC Next Generation committee and the Illinois State University Construction Management advisory board. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management & Manufacturing Management from Illinois State University.

Dan-Peddicord

Dan Peddicord Vice President, Indiana

Dan-Peddicord

Dan Peddicord Vice President, Indiana

With 19 years of construction, Dan began in Chicago before moving to Indiana in 2015. His experience includes retail, commercial, industrial and wastewater treatment. Now he leads Indiana’s manufacturing and industrial work. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois, and he is a LEED AP. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Jake Pepper

Jake Pepper, LEED® AP Executive Vice President, Illinois

Jake Pepper

Jake Pepper, LEED® AP Executive Vice President, Illinois

Jake oversees operations for Pepper Construction Company in Barrington, Illinois. In addition, he leads the Integrated Construction Services (ICS) team, bringing our preconstruction services, technical services, and high performance/sustainability capabilities together and in alignment with our safety, quality and self perform programs in a way that best serves our clients. This group is comprised of people that represent some of the most advanced thought leadership in our industry—investigating new technologies, evaluating new methodologies and creating innovative solutions in the field to help our clients recognize their vision. He works closely with IT to align project technology with business applications, and his experience in project management benefits operations by providing integrated platforms designed to bring efficiencies at both the business and project level.

Starting in 2002, Jake worked at Pepper in various summer internships. But after graduating from college, Jake decided to explore different opportunities in the fields of engineering and finance. By the Spring of 2013, he felt ready to bring his new perspectives on the business world back to Pepper and joined the company as a project manager. In 2015, he began working with the IT department to provide strategic direction on business-critical initiatives. Jake also provides support and insight to our virtual construction and high performance groups, and is leading initiatives related to our long-term facilities plans.

Jake completed his MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business. In addition to serving as a guest speaker for the Masters of Project Management program at Northwestern, he is an active member of CMUG, CMiC’s user community, as well as the Urban Land Institute. Outside of work, Jake volunteers as a math mentor for students involved with the POSSE Foundation and has a passion for environmental issues, including clean water and sustainable urban farming.

Chris Rayner

Chris Rayner Vice President, Indiana

Chris Rayner

Chris Rayner Vice President, Indiana

Chris Rayner has 30 years of industry experience, 17 which have been with Pepper. With more than $400 million in university construction experience, Chris leads Pepper Indiana’s higher education team. In addition to serving our higher education clients, Chris has also worked on $1 billion in healthcare projects and more than 750,000 square feet in K-12 spaces. .

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, and he is a LEED AP. He was a featured speaker at The State of Indiana Division of Supplier Diversity.

Jay-Ripsky

Jay Ripsky Senior Vice President, Illinois

Jay-Ripsky

Jay Ripsky Senior Vice President, Illinois

As senior vice president, Jay leads our K-12 and manufacturing operations teams, and he plays a key role leading the safety and quality teams. Jay’s career in construction began with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Illinois University. Since joining Pepper Construction, Jay has served in many areas of operations, developing a broad level of experience in a wide variety of markets including healthcare, retail, K–12, and commercial and institutional work. He has also managed our self perform market, expanding the reach outside of Pepper Construction and developing the infrastructure and team for that market.

Ken-Russell

Ken Russell, LEED® AP ID+C Project Director, Illinois

Ken-Russell

Ken Russell, LEED® AP ID+C Project Director, Illinois

Over the past 28 years, Ken has specialized in data center and data-heavy interiors projects, working on many of Pepper’s confidential projects. His most recognizable project was the WW Grainger data center, the first LEED v4 data center in the United States. His knowledge of how data centers function has allowed him to suggest alternative materials and methods for improving cost and facility performance. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Administration from University of Wisconsin at Madison, and he is a LEED AP ID+C.

Rich-Schuster

Rich Schuster, CHC, LEED® AP Senior Vice President, Illinois

Rich-Schuster

Rich Schuster, CHC, LEED® AP Senior Vice President, Illinois

As senior vice president, Rich specializes in the healthcare market in Chicago and the surrounding areas. He leverages more than 30 years of experience to partner with clients and help the entire team collaboratively navigate projects from preconstruction through turnover. In addition to the healthcare market, Rich lends executive guidance to Pepper's integrated construction services. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, is an American Hospital Association Certified Healthcare Constructor (AHA-CHC), LEED AP and holds a certificate in both ASHE Healthcare Construction and ASHE The Next Generation of Infection Control. 

Tony Smaniotto

Tony Smaniotto, MCR, MBA Director of Business Development

Tony Smaniotto

Tony Smaniotto, MCR, MBA Director of Business Development

Tony Smaniotto is a commercial real estate veteran with 30 years of experience in corporate real estate, capital markets, city planning and real estate development. A business developer and strong team player, Tony works closely with the executive leadership team at Pepper, where our client's projects represent the future. As business development director, he responsible for strategic account development with a focus on identifying new opportunities in the corporate workplace, retail and healthcare interiors markets.

Tony earned his MBA in Finance and Real Estate, with Academic Distinction, from the DePaul University Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tony is chairman of the CoreNet Chicago chapter, past president and honorary board member of The Dads Association at the University of Illinois and treasurer and board member of the Chicago Illini Club.

Charlie-Smith

Charles Smith Project Director, Indiana

Charlie-Smith

Charles Smith Project Director, Indiana

With more than 40 years of industry experience, Charlie specializes in design-build and complex projects that require extensive coordination and collaboration with the design team. This allows him to integrate a creative approach with the project's architect to meet project goals. Charlie’s experience includes advanced technologies, data and telecom, logistics and distribution, processing facilities, chemical, manufacturing and infrastructure-related projects, as well as hospitality and interior renovations. He has completed many projects involving strict adherence to government regulations and oversight.

Charlie holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Technology from Oklahoma State University, is a member of the Indiana Manufacturer’s Association and served as past president of Rebuilding Together Indianapolis.

Greg-Speidel-PepperConstruction

Greg Speidel Project Executive, Ohio

Greg-Speidel-PepperConstruction

Greg Speidel Project Executive, Ohio

With nearly 20 years in the industry, Greg specializes in civic, cultural and entertainment construction markets.  He enjoys working with owners and architects to provide creative solutions for their one-of-a-kind projects.  Throughout his tenure, Greg has played an instrumental role in more than a dozen LEED certified projects. Most recently, Greg has worked with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to maintain their reputation as the "Greenest Zoo in America."  Other notable projects include the Newport Aquarium's Stingray Hideaway and the University of Cincinnati's Stratford Heights mixed use project.

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from The University of Toledo.  His passion to improve communities through entertainment and cultural enrichment does not stop once the projects are complete.  Greg is an active member of the Reds Community Fund -helping in this year's coordination of volunteers and construction schedules for the Fund's field renovation projects. In addition, he participates in the annual Little Miami River Clean up and Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church food drives.

Mike Stensland

Mike Stensland Senior Vice President, Illinois

Mike Stensland

Mike Stensland Senior Vice President, Illinois

As senior vice president Mike leads our teams on hospitality, cultural, civic and retail projects. He is responsible for the overall profitability and growth of the markets he supports, as well as supporting and developing the teams in his group. Over his lengthy career at Pepper, Mike has been instrumental in expanding our geographic reach, developing new clients, and taking existing relationships to a new level. Through his leadership, Mike and his team have significantly grown our institutional and higher education markets. Mike earned his construction engineering degree from Iowa State University and his MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Lance Tritsch

Lance Tritsch Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Lance Tritsch

Lance Tritsch Vice President, Project Director, Illinois

Lance has specialized in educational, institutional and retail projects in the Chicagoland area since 1995. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Advanced Technical Studies and an Associate in Applied Science, Construction Technology, both from Southern Illinois University. He is a member of the Chicago chapter of the United States Green Building Council and the Chicago chapter of the K-12 Advocacy Committee of the United States Green Building Council. He is also a LEED AP BD+C.

Services Experts

Mike-Alder

Mike Alder, CM-BIM Director of Virtual Construction, Indiana

Mike-Alder

Mike Alder, CM-BIM Director of Virtual Construction, Indiana

Mike is one of Purdue University’s first computer graphics technology graduates with a focus in Building Information Modeling. He has used virtual construction technology on more than $1.7 billion in construction in a variety of markets, including healthcare, higher education, industrial, commercial and retail. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, including Autodesk University, the CFTA Conference and Lean Construction Institute, and is a member of Revit Users Group Indy. In April, Mike was honored among four alumni with the Early Career Award from Purdue Polytechnic Institute, which recognized individuals' efforts to harness the power of their degree to positively impact their chosen profession, as well as how today’s technology will improve the world tomorrow.  Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University Polytechnic Institute, formerly the College of Technology.

Les Bencze

Les Bencze Project Executive, MEP, Illinois

Les Bencze

Les Bencze Project Executive, MEP, Illinois

Les began working in construction in 1982 and specializes in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and low voltage systems. He joined Pepper Construction in 2007 is responsible for MEP coordination, quality control and commissioning. Les earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Olivet Nazarene University. He is Green Advantage Certified and holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate.

Aaron-Boggs

Aaron Boggs, COSS Director of Safety, Ohio

Aaron-Boggs

Aaron Boggs, COSS Director of Safety, Ohio

Aaron has more than 25 years of health, safety, and environmental management experience in both the private and public sectors. As Director of Safety, Aaron is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing all safety programs, policies, and procedures. He leads the development of project-specific safety plans and trains team members in compliance with federal, state, local and Pepper safety related standards.

Aaron is a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist and holds multiple certifications in industry specific topics. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Safety and Health at Columbia Southern University. Aaron invests time with community-based youth archery programs, Boy Scouts of America, NWTF Jakes programs, National Veterans Wheelchair Games and continues to provide emergency response services as a Firefighter/Paramedic in his community.

EvanCaprile

Evan Caprile, LEED® AP BD+C, GACP Project Manager, High Performance, Ohio

EvanCaprile

Evan Caprile, LEED® AP BD+C, GACP Project Manager, High Performance, Ohio

Evan joined the high performance group because he wanted to wanted to make the environment more sustainable for the people who use the buildings and the neighborhoods in which they are located. As project manager, Evan manages the LEED documentation and sustainable building strategies. He also uses his previous estimating and virtual construction experience to do energy modeling, which assesses the efficiency of a building in the design stages of the job and evaluates the life cycle costs of building systems in conjunction with our cost estimating.

Evan is a LEED AP BD+C and a Green Advantage Certified Practitioner. He is also a member of the United States Green Building Council Emerging Professionals. Evan earned his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in History from Miami University.

Mitch-Denton

Mitch Denton, LEED® AP Vice President, Indiana

Mitch-Denton

Mitch Denton, LEED® AP Vice President, Indiana

As vice president, Mitch leads Pepper Indiana’s Integrated Construction Services team, which includes quality, safety, high performance and virtual design and construction. He has 24 years of experience, which includes 15 years with Pepper. Prior to overseeing the Integrated Construction Services group, Mitch served as group leader of commercial, interiors and retail projects and was integral in growing Pepper’s commercial interiors operation into a primary market for the company. His experience in project management helps him to understand our partners' needs and provide the right operational support. Mitch has also served in business development, where he oversaw the strategies involved in helping the company expand its overall stature and market share. Mitch earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University, and he is a LEED AP.

Ben Dykstra

Ben Dykstra, RRO, REWO, CQM, LEED® AP BD+C Director of Quality Management, Indiana

Ben Dykstra

Ben Dykstra, RRO, REWO, CQM, LEED® AP BD+C Director of Quality Management, Indiana

Ben Dykstra is director of quality management for Pepper Construction in Indiana. He started his career in project management before transitioning to quality management in 2012, where his passion and commitment to quality extends beyond the planning and execution of the work to the overall functionality and performance of a building throughout its life cycle.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering from Wheaton College and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.  He is a Registered Roof Observer (RRO), Registered Exterior Wall Observer (REWO), a Certified Level 1 Thermographer, and Army Corp. of Engineers Construction Quality Management (CQM) certified.  Ben also is a member of RCI, Inc. and is a Major in the Indiana Army National Guard.

Juanita-Garcia

Juanita Garcia, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, EcoDistricts AP Manager of High Performance and Sustainable Construction, Illinois

Juanita-Garcia

Juanita Garcia, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, EcoDistricts AP Manager of High Performance and Sustainable Construction, Illinois

Drawing on more than 10 years of experience in mechanical design, Juanita is an environmentalist for the built environment and an advocate for diversity in STEM careers. In 2009, she was one of the first people to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Accredited Professional credential with the specialization in Building Design and Construction. Juanita founded BIM for Better and hosts Shades of Green Chicago, a podcast highlighting the stories of environmentalists of color. Her work has been informed by her study of psychology, human rights and massage therapy, which allows her to incorporate a well-rounded health and wellness perspective into the built environment. Juanita's contributions to the Chicago sustainability community include serving as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the WasteShed, a nonprofit that diverts material from landfills for creative reuse. She is also on the advisory council of Environmentalists of Color.

Mike Grant

Mike Grant Vice President, Illinois

Mike Grant

Mike Grant Vice President, Illinois

As the lead manager for Pepper Environmental Technologies, Mike brings to the team his 20 years of experience and expertise with a variety of environmental technologies. Mike provides the team with environmental consultation and conducts OSHA compliance training that includes confined space hazards, asbestos awareness, and respiratory projection programs.

SusanHeinking

Susan Heinking, AIA, NCARB, LEED Fellow Vice President, High Performance and Sustainable Construction

SusanHeinking

Susan Heinking, AIA, NCARB, LEED Fellow Vice President, High Performance and Sustainable Construction

A licensed architect and LEED Fellow, Susan has over a  decade of experience designing and managing sustainability programs and initiatives in the building industry. She leads Pepper's High Performance and Sustainable Construction Group. She is a national expert in sustainable building design and construction. Her many areas of involvement include Chicago's Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, the AIA2030 Chicago Working Group, co-chairing Chicago's AIA COTE knowledge group, participating in RETROFIT Chicago and working with the Chicago Biomimicry Group. Susan has been named to both ENR and BD+C's 20 under 40 list.

Susan's current vision for Pepper includes expanding the company's sustainability efforts to fully embrace the high performance aspects of both building performance and human performance. This includes enhancing existing efforts with energy modeling, ROI analysis and local utility incentives, as well as building on Pepper's "Nothing Hits the Floor" program and promoting the use of healthy materials.

Susan holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and is an active presenter at industry conventions.

Read more about Susan's accomplishments.

Scott Higgins

Scott Higgins, LEED AP Senior Vice President, Illinois

Scott Higgins

Scott Higgins, LEED AP Senior Vice President, Illinois

As senior vice president, Scott provides leadership for Pepper’s Centers of Technical Excellence. With 30 years of experience, Scott provides some of the industry’s most compelling thought leadership in the disciplines under his guidance. His expertise leads to compelling solutions and counsel for the most discerning clients, drawing on his years in self perform work, estimating and project management. Scott holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University, and he is a LEED AP.

Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson President, Pepper Construction, Wisconsin

Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson President, Pepper Construction, Wisconsin

Jeff Johnson is a seasoned industry leader with more than 30 years of construction knowledge in virtually every market sector – including 20 years specifically focused on projects in Wisconsin. As an accomplished Lean practitioner, he became a founding member of the state's first Lean Construction Institute Community of Practice (LCI CoP). Major recent projects in the region under Jeff's leadership include completion of the BMO Tower, BMO corporate office and retail bank along with several other tenant and retail spaces, the multi-family space at Titletown and St. Rita Square senior-living residences. Jeff is also a recognized thought leader in Integrated Project Delivery and has worked with all contracting methods, including tri-party agreements. 

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Montana State University. He is a member of ASHE and AGC of Wisconsin and gives back to the local communities through support of the American Heart Association, City of Hope and Habitat for Humanity.

Jason-Johnson

Jason Johnson Senior Superintendent

Jason-Johnson

Jason Johnson Senior Superintendent

Jason Johnson has been bringing quality craftsmanship to projects for more than 25 years, the last four with Pepper. He started his career out of high school as a carpenters apprentice before being promoted to foreman early in his career. As senior superintendent, Jason is a leader in Pepper’s Self-Perform Group. Jason is an advocate for continuous learning and his community through volunteering with Rebuilding Together, speaking with high school and college students about the industry, and taking internal and external leadership courses.

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy Senior Vice President, Illinois

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy Senior Vice President, Illinois

With more than 25 years of experience in the Chicago construction market and a history of managing over $1 billion in concrete shell construction, Scott Kennedy leads Pepper Construction's Self-Performed Labor Group in Illinois. His expertise includes the full integration of BIM into the logistic planning, estimating, detailing, coordinating, layout and construction process to bring efficiencies to our work.

Scott holds a BSAS Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a City of Chicago Department of Buildings - Mason Contracting License, and he is a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Post-Tension Institute (PTI), Midwest Wall and Ceiling Contractors (MWCC) and Finishing Contractors Association of Illinois. Scott leads PTI Certification Training - Unbonded Post-Tensioning (PT), OSHA 30-Hour Outreach Training and BIM Tekla Structures Basic & Advanced Training.

Brandon Moore

Brandon Moore Senior Preconstruction Manager, Ohio

Brandon Moore

Brandon Moore Senior Preconstruction Manager, Ohio

With 12 years of estimating experience, Brandon serves as preconstruction manager for Pepper Ohio. He has completed preconstruction services on more than $250 million in construction in a variety of markets, including healthcare, higher education, industrial, commercial and retail. Brandon is currently in the Builder’s Exchange Rising Leaders Program where his group is focused on emerging technology in the construction industry. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science and Technology in Construction Management from Bowling Green State University. He enjoys volunteering for his community through the Little Miami River Clean-up, Junior Achievement of Ohio Casino Night, Mid-Ohio Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.

Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy Vice President, Safety, Indiana

Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy Vice President, Safety, Indiana

With more than three decades of industry experience, Dave Murphy serves as Pepper Indiana's Vice President of Safety. He is co-creator of the Underground Utility Damage Prevention process, has helped develop virtual safety trainings, and is an advocate for leadership development and open communication to improve safety in the field. Under his leadership, Pepper has received national recognition for its safety records and programs, including the Coalition for Construction Safety's 2020 Safety Innovation Award and the Associated General Contractors of America's 2018 National Construction Safety Excellence Award. 

Dave is a frequent speaker at local and national industry and safety conferences, including the National Safety Council Congress and Expo, AGC, AGC of Indiana, Lean Congress, American Institute of Constructors and more. He holds a Master of Science in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Illinois State University. He is OSHA 30-hour certified, Green Advantage certified and has his American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Healthcare Contractor certification.

Jim Nissen

James Nissen, LEED® AP BD+C President, Pepper Environmental Technologies

Jim Nissen

James Nissen, LEED® AP BD+C President, Pepper Environmental Technologies

As president of Pepper Environmental Technologies, Jim leads our remediation team in safeguarding our clients from the consequences and liabilities associated with hazardous environmental issues. This group operates as a standalone company, providing a single source for answers and solutions to our clients' environmental waste management needs. In addition, Jim serves as executive vice president of Pepper Construction Company in Illinois.

Since joining Pepper in 1981, Jim has built his entire career here, leading several of the most significant projects in the company's history, managing all field operations since 1993 and playing a primary role in many of the company's milestones and high-profile projects. For example, Jim was responsible for starting Pepper's self-performing group in 1993 and continues to support that part of the company to this day. Other "firsts" that have benefited from Jim's leadership include our first federal contract, our first high-rise building, our first trade subcontract working for other construction managers or general contractors and our first professional sports stadium work with the 1060 Project at Wrigley Field.

Jim is a LEED AP, a Certified Professional Contractor and a member of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), serving as a National Elected Director and Chair of its Membership Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.

Joe-Northcutt

Joseph Northcutt, AIA, NCARB Virtual Construction Manager, Ohio

Joe-Northcutt

Joseph Northcutt, AIA, NCARB Virtual Construction Manager, Ohio

Joe is a registered architect with 15 years of Building Information Modeling (BIM) experience.  He has led large-scale projects using BIM from conceptual design through construction across a variety of markets. Joe is responsible for the production, upkeep, and deployment of models for Ohio’s offices. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky.

Jake Pepper

Jake Pepper, LEED® AP Executive Vice President, Illinois

Jake Pepper

Jake Pepper, LEED® AP Executive Vice President, Illinois

Jake oversees operations for Pepper Construction Company in Barrington, Illinois. In addition, he leads the Integrated Construction Services (ICS) team, bringing our preconstruction services, technical services, and high performance/sustainability capabilities together and in alignment with our safety, quality and self perform programs in a way that best serves our clients. This group is comprised of people that represent some of the most advanced thought leadership in our industry—investigating new technologies, evaluating new methodologies and creating innovative solutions in the field to help our clients recognize their vision. He works closely with IT to align project technology with business applications, and his experience in project management benefits operations by providing integrated platforms designed to bring efficiencies at both the business and project level.

Starting in 2002, Jake worked at Pepper in various summer internships. But after graduating from college, Jake decided to explore different opportunities in the fields of engineering and finance. By the Spring of 2013, he felt ready to bring his new perspectives on the business world back to Pepper and joined the company as a project manager. In 2015, he began working with the IT department to provide strategic direction on business-critical initiatives. Jake also provides support and insight to our virtual construction and high performance groups, and is leading initiatives related to our long-term facilities plans.

Jake completed his MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business. In addition to serving as a guest speaker for the Masters of Project Management program at Northwestern, he is an active member of CMUG, CMiC’s user community, as well as the Urban Land Institute. Outside of work, Jake volunteers as a math mentor for students involved with the POSSE Foundation and has a passion for environmental issues, including clean water and sustainable urban farming.

Dave Poynton

Dave Poynton, LEED AP BD+C Project Executive, Illinois

Dave Poynton

Dave Poynton, LEED AP BD+C Project Executive, Illinois

With 18 years of experience, Dave Poynton has managed a wide variety of commercial projects, including complex healthcare projects. Dedicated to collaboration and the goals of our clients, he has served as the chair of our lean committee. He has championed lean practices in our organization and on our projects, positioning Pepper Construction as a leader of Lean Construction in Illinois. Dave holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois, an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate and is a LEED AP BD+C.

Paul Riehle

Paul Riehle Director of Preconstruction, Indiana

Paul Riehle

Paul Riehle Director of Preconstruction, Indiana

As preconstruction project executive, Paul leads project planning early on in the project to accurately develop budgets. His high attention to detail means clients receive the right level of information for decision-making and potential project challenges are proactively resolved to ensure on-budget, on-time completion. He manages the construction process and uses value engineering to help with design in order to maintain the budget all while being sensitive to the needs and demands of the client. He prepares and analyzes various cost models throughout the project design phase by providing accurate quantity surveys and budgets, and he works closely with project management teams. 

Paul has 23 years of experience in the industry and began his career with Pepper 13 years ago. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University and is OSHA 30-Hour and OSHA 10-Hour certified. 
 

Daniel Ruane

Daniel Ruane, CSP, CHST Vice President, Safety, Illinois & Wisconsin

Daniel Ruane

Daniel Ruane, CSP, CHST Vice President, Safety, Illinois & Wisconsin

Dan has 19 years of experience as a safety professional in the construction industry. In his role as vice president of safety, Dan is responsible for planning, implementation and maintenance of Pepper's safety training programs. He is involved in pre-planning of projects to ensure all safety and health concerns are addressed and conducts regular project safety audits.

Dan is actively involved in promoting safety in the industry. He serves as chairman of the Builders Association (AGC Chicago Branch) Safety and Health Committee and is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). He speaks at several events throughout the year including quarterly forums and the spring summit/safety awards ceremony. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Illinois State University, and he is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST).

Heather Siemers

Heather Siemers, CQM Operations Improvement Leader, Indiana

Heather Siemers

Heather Siemers, CQM Operations Improvement Leader, Indiana

Heather Siemers began her career in project management and quality management, before being promoted to the position of operations improvement leader, where she oversees Pepper Indiana’s lean program. While serving as director of quality management, she became an advocate for lean construction, integrating the lean principals into the quality program and championing team education and training. Heather is Army Corps of Engineers Construction Quality Management (CQM) certified. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Building Construction Management from Purdue University, and she holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction certificate.

Heather's industry involvement includes serving as Vice Chair for the Core Group of the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) Central Indiana Communities of Practice group, where she has spoken about Lean Thinking & Technology. She serves on the steering committee for the Wabash Valley Lean Network, is a council member of the Top Notch Lafayette advisory board and serves on the board of Rebuilding Together Indianapolis. Heather is involved with the ACIG peer groups for lean and quality and with the Associated General Contractors (AGC). She is also involved with Purdue's Building Construction Management (CM) program, where she has served as a guest lecturer and advisor.

 

Dave Sigler

Dave Sigler MEP Senior Manager, Illinois

Dave Sigler

Dave Sigler MEP Senior Manager, Illinois

Dave began working in construction in 1990 and joined Pepper Construction in 1998. He specializes in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, sprinklers and low voltage systems. His responsibilities include MEP & FP coordination, quality control and commissioning. Dave holds an associate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Moraine Valley Community College and an associate degree in Business Administration from Joliet Junior College.

Jen-Suerth

Jennifer Suerth, LEED® AP Vice President of Technical Services, Illinois & Wisconsin

Jen-Suerth

Jennifer Suerth, LEED® AP Vice President of Technical Services, Illinois & Wisconsin

As vice president of technical services, Jen provides strategic direction for the company with regard to BIM, laser scanning, augmented reality and other technical services specialties. She serves as a key advisor to project teams on constructability and implementation strategies throughout the early stages of project design and development, as well as providing leadership on construction, fabrication and facility management.

Jen has more than 12 years of experience in architecture, engineering and construction. She is a leader in the Chicago virtual construction community, speaking frequently and running workshops educating others on BIM. She has been recognized among 2016 Women in Construction by Constructech Magazine, Chicago Building Congress Future Leaders and ENR Midwest’s Top 20 Under 40. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture, Structures, both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read more about Jen.

Calvin Young

Calvin Young, LEED GA Senior Manager of High Performance Construction, Indiana

Calvin Young

Calvin Young, LEED GA Senior Manager of High Performance Construction, Indiana

Before transitioning to manager of high performance construction in Indiana, Calvin started at Pepper as a senior project manager on interiors projects, where he developed a strong interest in Sustainable and High Performance construction from his involvement in LEED Gold and Silver-certified projects. As manager of high performance construction, Calvin is part of Pepper's Integrated Construction Services team and works closely with project teams to incorporate sustainable practices and High Performance services. In addition to helping clients with high performance strategies, Calvin is also working on solutions to reduce construction's impact on the environment and bring building codes up to modern building performance standards. He holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Corey Zussman

Corey Zussman, AIA, NCARB, ALA, RBEC, RRC, REWC, RWC, RRO, CDT, CQM, CxA+BE, BECxP, CABS, LEED® AP BD+C, Level 1 Thermographer Director of Quality Management, Illinois & Wisconsin

Corey Zussman

Corey Zussman, AIA, NCARB, ALA, RBEC, RRC, REWC, RWC, RRO, CDT, CQM, CxA+BE, BECxP, CABS, LEED® AP BD+C, Level 1 Thermographer Director of Quality Management, Illinois & Wisconsin

Corey Zussman is a 26-year veteran in the construction industry. Since 2012, he has helped guide the leadership, design and implementation of Pepper's quality management systems and continually assesses and improves the effectiveness of our processes and standards. As director of quality management, Corey visits Pepper jobsites to plan, oversee and promote construction quality directives. He serves as a resource to all project teams throughout the preconstruction and construction process. 

Corey holds his Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Quality Management and his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Construction Management and Business Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology. His industry involvement includes being an active member of AIA and Construction Specifier Institute, RCI and ASQ – and he frequently lectures on quality issues. He is a licensed architect and has his NCARB certification. Corey is a Registered Exterior Wall Consultant, Registered Waterproofing Consultant, Registered Roof Observer and is a certified document technician. 

Corey is a frequent speaker and instructor at industry-related events, such as AIA - Chicago, American Contractors Insurance Group (ACIG), BEC-Chicago (Building Envelope Committee), CAC-RCI (Roof Consultants Institute – Chicago Chapter),  ALA Midwest conference, CSI Chicago, ABAA national conference & trade show and 2016 CSI Construct. He has also served as a consultant to other general contractors and architects nationwide. Topics include critical transitions of AVB, sealants, metal framing, exterior skin, plumbing, HVAC, sprinkler, electrical and proactive construction quality planning.