- Gilbane Inc. announced this week that William Gilbane III has stepped down from the position of senior vice president and head of Gilbane Building Co.'s New York division and has joined Gilbane Inc.'s board of directors. Rich Cavallaro now heads up the company's New York and New England divisions as executive vice president, while Grant Gagnier has joined the construction firm as vice president and will run the New York City business unit.
- During the last 10 years, Cavallaro, a New York native, served as CEO and president of Skanska USA and Skanska USA Civil, the size of which grew twofold while Cavallaro was there. Prior to joining Gilbane, Gagnier served as senior vice president and head of construction operations at Lendlease for more than a year after spending more than six years at Suffolk Construction.
- During Gilbane's seven-year tenure overseeing the New York division, revenue doubled, hitting $1.6 billion in 2019. Gilbane, according to a company announcement, will "Continue to promote and scale the synergies between Gilbane Building Co. and Gilbane Development Co." as a board member of Gilbane Inc.
Michael McKelvy, president and CEO of Gilbane Building Co., told Construction Dive that the addition of Cavallaro and Gagnier to the Gilbane team is reflective of the company's overall growth strategy. Gilbane's New York division is made up of the New York City, upstate New York and New Jersey business units.
Cavallaro, he said, not only has broad construction experience but "really knows the heartbeat of [New York City]." Gagnier is also experienced with delivering big projects in the city. "When you look at Rich and his great local connectivity but really global and broad experience, and then Grant with his ability to be a building differentiator, they kind of dovetail pretty well," McKelvy said.
"It is strategically important to continue to grow, and the primary reason is that it provides broad, greater opportunity for our people," McKelvy said. "When the company grows, it provides opportunities, and doors open for individual employees to step up and do things they've never had the opportunity to do before."
If a company remains stagnant, however, and employees feel like there are limited opportunities, he said, they could leave. Given the tight labor market for all construction positions, from craft workers to management, such flight would challenge any contractor.
"Construction employment is almost at full employment, so we have to be a caring company, focused on people and always looking for opportunities for our people to grow," he said.
One primary reasons Cavallaro moved to Gilbane is because the company's value-based philosophy lines up with his own, he said.
"I wanted to be confident that if I made a decision that was valued-based and it came in conflict with, say, profitability, that I would be supported at the very top of the company," he said. The company's prioritization of safety, the fact that the job kept him in New York City and the family feel of Gilbane also helped seal the deal.
And, of course, in Cavallaro, Gilbane reaps the benefits years of industry experience, particularly in the New York market and in the areas of alternate delivery methods like design-build and public-private partnerships.
"I have a lot of experience in those procurement methods, and those are opportunities for Gilbane to continue its growth," he said.
"I know the stop signs and I know the go signs in those types of projects," Cavallaro said. "I have the scars on my back from when I messed up and a few medals along the way."