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Corporate Officers

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.

Dave Pepper, Chairman Pepper Construction

Dave Pepper Chairman, Pepper Construction Group

Dave Pepper, Chairman Pepper Construction

Dave Pepper Chairman, Pepper Construction Group

As chairman, Dave is responsible for the overall success of our construction business. He became part of Pepper's third generation of family leadership after joining the company as a field engineer in 1985. Dave's service in many local community and industry organizations quickly became a hallmark of his professional career.

A champion of education, Dave's management approach is driven by his desire to consider diverse perspectives. It has served him well at Pepper and has also benefited the industry through his role as president of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Education and Research Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to improving the science of construction, as a member of the AGC Supervisory Training Committee, and through his contributions to workforce readiness and school mentoring programs.

Dave is a long-time supporter of green building strategies and has encouraged waste recycling within the company while promoting improved construction air quality. In 2017, he was honored as the 10th inductee into the Iowa State University Construction Engineering (ISU ConE) Hall of Fame. His ongoing support for his alma mater has included membership on the ISU ConE Industry Advisory Council to lend engineering experience to the university’s vision for the future of construction.

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, CMO and Chief Strategy Officer

Jacqueline Lavigne

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

As chief marketing officer for Pepper Construction Company, Jacqueline leads the company’s growth strategy across business development, marketing and communications, where she focuses on relational approaches that drive metrics-based results. Jacqueline’s focus on integrating content, PR and communications strategies to support business development and operations has elevated Pepper’s brand position in the market. Jacqueline is also part of Pepper’s senior leadership team.

Jacqueline has 25 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. Jacqueline 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.

Jake Pepper

Jake Pepper, LEED® AP Vice President, Integrated Construction Services

Jake Pepper

Jake Pepper, LEED® AP Vice President, Integrated Construction Services

Jake leads Pepper’s 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.

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).

Presidents

Ken Egidi, President & CEO Pepper Construction

Ken Egidi President and CEO, Illinois

Ken Egidi, President & CEO Pepper Construction

Ken Egidi President and CEO, Illinois

As president and CEO, Ken is responsible for setting Pepper Construction Company’s mission and strategic vision and allocating the company’s resources to meet those goals. Ken provides strategic oversight and support for every area of the company, making sure Pepper Illinois’ teams have the right opportunities and tools in place to excel.

Ken serves as treasurer on the board of directors for the Builder’s Association, and he is a member of the Associated General Contractors of America, American Contractors Insurance Group and Executive’s Club of Chicago. Additionally, he is an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Mike McCann, President Pepper Construction Indiana

Mike McCann President, Indiana

Mike McCann, President Pepper Construction Indiana

Mike McCann President, Indiana

As president of Pepper Indiana, Mike McCann is responsible for establishing the company's vision and strategy and empowering teams to incorporate our guiding principals into day-to-day processes. With a background in operations, he is passionate about safety and works closely with the senior management team to ensure Pepper Indiana maintains and grows its position as a leader in Indiana. Mike joined Pepper as a project manager in Chicago before moving to Indiana to oversee its operations in 1996. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Bradley University. 

Mike is a leader in the community, where he serves as president of the Indiana Construction Association board of directors, board member of the Indiana Construction Roundtable and member of the University of Indianapolis Real Estate Development & Construction advisory board, United Way of Central Indiana capital project funds committee and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Construction Engineering Management Technology advisory board. He serves as a mentor for both the Indiana Construction Roundtable diversity initiative and the Starfish Initiative program. Mike is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Lean Construction Institute. He previously served as a board member for the Coalition for Construction Safety (CCS) and as an adjunct professor at IUPUI.

Paul Francois, Pepper Construction Ohio

Paul Francois President, Ohio

Paul Francois, Pepper Construction Ohio

Paul Francois President, Ohio

Paul is responsible for overseeing the financial and operational success of Pepper Ohio. He began his career with Pepper serving in project management, after earning his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University. He gained a broad range of project experience, from healthcare to industrial projects, and with specializations in commercial interior and institutional projects, where he worked with some of Pepper's most established clients. He also demonstrated a keen understanding of business acumen and company leadership that made him a natural fit to assume the role of president in 2006.

Paul is active in industry organizations, currently serving as a board member and the chair of the facilities committee for Junior Achievement of Central Ohio and as an Industry Advisory Council board member at Iowa State University. A strong advocate for community involvement, Paul also invests his time with several central Ohio charities and educational programs, such as the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and the Little Miami River Clean-Up.

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 sustainable remediation team in safeguarding our clients from the consequences and liabilities associated with environmental issues. This group operates as a standalone company, which provides 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 and played a primary role in many of the company's milestones and high-profile projects. For example, when Pepper chose to begin self-performing work in 1993, Jim was a major contributor to determining which services to offer and how to provide them in a way that would maximize client value. Other "firsts" that have benefited from Jim's leadership include our first federal contract, our first urban high-rise building and our first professional sports stadium work with the 1060 Project at Wrigley Field.

Jim is a member of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) and also serves 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.