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Gilbane Building Company promotes COO to its chief executive post


Gilbane Building Company promotes COO to its chief executive post

Adam Jelen has been with the firm 18 of his 30 years in the construction industry.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | June 6, 2023
Adam Jelen, Gilbane Building Company's next CEO
Adam Jelen will continue to focus on promoting DEI within Gilbane's ranks, and sustainability within its projects. Image: Gilbane

Adam Jelen, Gilbane Building Company’s chief operating officer, will be the firm’s next CEO when he succeeds Thomas Laird, Jr. at that post on January 1, 2024.

The 47-year-old Jelen is an 18-year veteran of Gilbane, where he started as Senior Vice President of the firm’s Midwest Division. He has been COO since June 2022. Prior to joining Gilbane Building Company, Jelen worked for two other construction firms as a superintendent, crew leader, engineer, and laborer, according to his LinkedIn page.

As COO at Gilbane Building Company, Jelen’s responsibilities included driving the firm’s regional growth. He is a recognized expert in Design-Build, Integrated Project Delivery, and Lean Construction, according to the company’s prepared statement announcing his promotion. As CEO, he will remain committed to enhancing safety, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and supporting sustainability.

Gilbane, which was founded in 1870 and is based in Providence, R.I., is a family owned enterprise that currently has 45 office locations worldwide and more than 3,000 employees. Laird, Jelen’s predecessor, will become chairman of Gilbane Building Company. In that capacity, Laird will focus on supporting the company’s executive leaders and devising growth strategies.

“Gilbane is breaking new ground in project delivery and is poised for continued growth and success,” said Thomas F. Gilbane, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Gilbane, Inc., the parent entity of Gilbane Building Company and Gilbane Development Company, in a prepared statement. “Adam is a visionary leader who is focused on elevating our clients’ experience and making an impact in the communities in which we build. We look forward to him taking on this leadership role, building on the foundation of Tom Laird’s leadership and continuing to raise the bar on how we build.”

Jelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction and a Minor in Business Administration from Bradley University, and an Associate of Science from Harper College. He currently serves as an executive committee member for National Construction Safety Week and was a founding board member of the ACE Mentor Program in Milwaukee, in addition to other positions.

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