At a very young age, John Dunneback was exposed to development and construction. His grandfather was an Irish immigrant who started a sewer and water construction company in 1955 on the South Side of Chicago. It is still in business today having spanned three generations. As the business grew, Dunneback says his grandfather developed and built his own warehouse for the company to grow into, as well as have additional space to lease. From that day forward Dunneback knew what he wanted to do: develop and build buildings.
“I love real estate and construction,” Dunneback said, director of development for Ryan Companies US, Inc. “I’ve been exposed to it my whole life. I graduated from Marquette with a Civil Engineering degree, and my first job out of college was with McShane Construction as a project manager.”
Dunneback noted that Ryan Companies is committed to building lasting relationships—which is certainly true as he has been with the company for three and one-half years.
“It’s not just something we say,” Dunneback said. “For three generations, Ryan’s have led the family business guided by this commitment, based on the highest standards of quality and service. Ryan’s commitment to community service also sets it apart, as throughout the country, year after year, our people contribute time and talent to local charities, community groups and more.”
2014 was a very busy year for the firm, in general and specifically for industrial development, Dunneback noted. “On behalf of Arcadia, Wisc.-based Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., Ryan completed a 453,500-square-foot build-to-suit at Boldt Park, an 80-acre industrial business park in Romeoville, Ill., that we’ve fully developed. The building was one of the largest Chicago-area build-to-suit projects in 2014. In fact, the scope and magnitude of the project earned it a spot as a finalist for the 2014 Industrial Development of the Year in the Awards for Excellence program of NAIOP’s Chicago Chapter.”
“We also completed a 108,000-square-foot industrial building at 2725 Alft Lane and a 225,000-square-foot industrial building at 2750 Alft Lane,” he added. “Both buildings are located within Randall Crossings Business Park, a 70-acre master-planned business park in Elgin, Ill., that Ryan has owned since 2005. That success, along with deal activity pending for 2015, has us looking ahead to spring and the start of the next construction cycle.”
With the New Year underway, Dunneback said his resolutions are simple and usually the same every year: “Treat people and conduct business with honesty and integrity; continue learning from the experiences from years past; and don’t make the same mistake twice!”
When Dunneback isn’t working, he loves spending time with his family! “My wife, Lisa, and our three children, Colin (8), Lindsey (6) and Madeline (5),” he said. “During the summer we spend time at my family’s cottage in Michigan and at the Jersey Shore visiting my wife’s family. My wife and I are both very active in coaching our kids’ sports teams ranging from baseball and softball to soccer and basketball. When not coaching, I enjoy playing basketball, softball and the occasional round of bad golf!”
It’s clear to see that Dunneback has a good work-life balance, and says there is one reason why. “My wife! She is the key to the balance. She does a fantastic job of keeping the kids’ schedules and the house organized, and she manages me which is probably her most daunting task!”
One thing Dunneback would like to do in his lifetime that he hasn’t? “Go to Australia and scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef.”
An interesting fact about him? “I have an identical twin.”
After 17 years in the industry, Dunneback has had a successful career and learned many things along the way. For anyone just entering the industry, he has some advice for you.
“Be an asset to the team or person you are working with – accomplish the task at-hand and be driven to learn,” he said. “Be a self-starter and don’t become a chore to be managed; seek out quality mentorship. The qualities of being a quick learner and self-starter, and seeing a task through to completion balanced with a positive attitude and just plain old fun to be around is what I look for in a young person coming into the industry.”