Clune Construction announces new executive leadership in Chicago

Chicago-based Clune Construction has reorganized at the top following the retirement of Bill Abromitis as CEO after more than 30 years in the construction industry.

Dave Hall has been named CEO, and Ben Walker has been named the company’s chief operating officer. Vince Gutekanst has been promoted to president of Clune’s Midwest region and he will co-lead the Chicago office with several seasoned Clune executives.

Hall and Walker, who combined celebrate 45-years with the company, have spent the majority of their careers on Clune’s front lines, managing projects for some of the most respected companies throughout the U.S. They will join Clune’s current chief financial officer, Tom Nickele, to steer the company toward continued growth and success.

Hall joined Clune as a project manager in 1996 and through the years has worked his way up to become CEO. Most recently he served as Clune’s president of the Midwest region. Hall also started and served as the head of Clune’s mission critical department, which grew significantly under his leadership. He holds a bachelor of science in construction management from Purdue University.

“I have had the privilege of working side-by-side each member of this next generation of leadership, and I am always amazed by their abilities and their unparalleled commitment to our company and to our clients,” said Hall. “They are all responsible for helping make Clune the great company it is today, and under their leadership, I believe our best days are yet to come.”

Walker, who has overseen the operations of Clune’s New York office since 2013, has been named the company’s COO. He previously served as president of the New York Region. Walker started at Clune more than 20 years ago as an intern at their Chicago headquarters. His presence as one of the strongest leaders in the field eventually led to him working alongside Hall to establish the firm’s mission critical department. Walker earned his bachelor of science in construction management from Purdue University.

Gutekanst has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years tenure at Clune and he has managed many high-profile projects for industry-leading financial services firms, law firms and Fortune 500 companies. He most recently served as an executive managing director, co-leading the Chicago office alongside Hall. Gutekanst earned his bachelor of arts degree from Drake University.

In keeping with its history of promoting from within, Clune also elevated the positions of Brian O’Shea, Chris Redpath and Joe Van Oosbree, who are now the company’s next generation of leadership in Chicago. In addition, Karen Mari has been promoted to executive managing director, and is now a member of the executive management committee.

O’Shea, promoted to executive managing director will co-lead the Chicago office and lead the Dallas office. He has 23 years of tenure at Clune, overseeing projects in 22 states across the country, and leading many of Clune’s national efforts. He has managed some of the largest and most complex projects throughout the U.S., including high-end interior build-outs, corporate headquarter campuses, multi-site national program projects and building renovations. O’Shea has a bachelor of science in engineering construction economics from the Waterford Institute of Technology in Waterford, Ireland.

Van Oosbree will co-lead Clune’s Chicago office as senior vice president, Midwest operations. He has been with Clune for 19 years and brings a strong operations background to his new role. Throughout his career Van Oosbree has worked on all types of construction projects including high-profile office build-outs and multi-million dollar data centers. In addition, Van Oosbree has completed over $100 million in projects in various states around the country. Most recently, he has been a leader in Clune’s mission critical division, helping it grow from five people to more than 40. He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

In addition to taking on the operational risk management lead role for the Chicago office, Chris Redpath, managing director, will continue to serve Clune Construction’s clients as one of the office’s most tenured project executives. Redpath has 26 years of construction management experience. He joined Clune in 1993 as an intern, and has spent his entire career with the company, rising through the ranks to become managing director. Redpath leads Clune’s airport division in the Chicago area, and has helped the firm become a trusted leader for these complex projects. He earned his bachelor of science in building construction from Purdue University.

Mari has been with the company for 27 years, starting out as a project administrator in 1993. She has played a key role in the firm’s growth and success every step of the way. Mari oversees all administrative functions for Clune’s six offices and 600 employee-owners including risk management, human resources, payroll and office management.

Nickele will continue to serve as CFO. Nickele has more than 35 years of financial and accounting experience, with 20 years of experience serving as a CFO. He oversees all aspects of Clune’s finance and accounting, information technology and corporate administration. In addition, he is responsible for the strategic management of the company’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Nickele holds a bachelors of business administration in accounting from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is a Registered Certified Public Accountant.

“With these bright minds at the helm, I am confident that Clune Construction will continue the success we have experienced and enjoyed over these last 20-plus years.” said Mike Clune, chairman of Clune Construction. “A great deal of Clune’s success can be attributed to our promote-from-within culture, which is exhibited in these promotions. I’m extremely confident in their abilities, their expertise and most importantly, their proven ability to lead.”