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.
Jake Pepper is a creative problem solver with a focus on Pepper's continued growth in the evolving construction industry. While taking the company into new markets and relationships, Jake remains responsible for Pepper Environmental Technologies, Pepper Energy, our Quality team and Integrated Construction Services (ICS). The ICS group is comprised of people who represent some of the most advanced thought leadership in our industry—investigating new technologies, evaluating new methodologies exploring high performance and solar advancements and creating innovative solutions in the field to help our clients realize their vision. In addition, Jake oversees Pepper's Field Supervision leaders and partners with them to drive continuous improvement by using technology in the field. His experience in project management benefits operations by providing integrated platforms designed to bring efficiencies at both the business and project levels.
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 Master 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.
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).
As executive 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.