The Skender Approach
It should be smooth and simple. It should be efficiently managed to meet time and cost goals. But most importantly, it should be an exciting collaboration.
Our team of more than 300 industry experts has been delivering on these promises for more than 60 years—combining invaluable experience with a commitment to industry advancements. Through our Lean approach, comprehensive project management and innovative spirit, we have what it takes to establish true partnerships with our clients. Across every level of our company, we know what it means to roll up our sleeves and get things done.
That focus on people and experiences is what makes us different—and makes the work we deliver exceptional. Learn more about our capabilities.
At Skender, we have the experience and collaborative spirit necessary to create extraordinary results in any industry. We understand the nuances of each market and bring the same streamlined process to every project we undertake.
Since joining Skender in 1989, Mark has played an integral role in the development of the organization’s long-term vision, strategic direction, organizational design and values. Under his leadership, Skender successfully integrated construction, design and manufacturing under the same brand with the opening of its 105,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Chicago. In this high-tech facility, Skender is able to apply modular building techniques to various healthcare, hotel and apartment projects. Mark also helped pioneer Chicago’s Lean construction movement as a founding member of the Lean Construction Institute’s Chicago Community of Practice. Mark earned a bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison’s civil engineering program, from which he was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. [LinkedIn]
President and CEO, Construction
Since joining Skender in 2005, Justin has led companywide strategic growth initiatives, helping to expand market sector expertise and annual revenues, as well as working across all business functions to create sustainable value for the firm and its clients. He serves as an active member of The Economic Club of Chicago, Young Presidents’ Organization, HFS Chicago Scholars, and the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards Committee, benefitting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and building construction management from Purdue University. [LinkedIn]
Since joining Skender in 2003, Jerry has been a key member of the company’s executive leadership team, directing financial, risk management, administrative and operational initiatives. In addition to providing strategic direction of Skender’s accounting and finance functions, Jerry also directs internal controls and collaborates on decisions relating to human resources and technology. Jerry received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from University of Illinois at Chicago, has served in the United States Army, and is a member of the Construction Financial Management Association. [LinkedIn]
Vice President, People and Culture
Lisa plays an instrumental role in driving the company’s employee-focused culture. Since joining the firm in 2001, she has pioneered a number of acclaimed employee enrichment and talent acquisition programs, leading to the firm’s repeated recognition as a “Best Place to Work.” She leads Skender’s People and Culture team, helping to cultivate the next generation of unrivaled talent, world-class learning initiatives, and employee engagement strategies. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from Governors State University and a certificate from DePaul University in human resource management. [LinkedIn]
Peter Murray brings more than 20 years of advanced manufacturing, operations and consulting experience establishing and improving international organizations. Murray joined Skender in 2018 from an operations consultant position with Cohero Health, a privately-held digital health company, and from the management consulting company he founded, Murray Consultants, LLC. Prior to consulting, Murray was President and Chief Operating Officer for Guerdon Modular Buildings in Boise, Idaho, an off-site producer of modular construction projects. Before that, he spent 21 years with Welch Allyn, launching a successful greenfield production facility. Murray’s modular building and manufacturing experience from Guerdon, his startup leadership experience, and his proven ability to lead a major organization transformation within the highly-regulated manufacturing environment blend into the right combination of factors necessary to lead Skender Manufacturing. [LinkedIn]
Executive Vice President
As an executive and strategic leader of Skender, Afshan leverages his 25 years of construction experience to oversee business operations and collaborate on strategic planning. A founding member of the Lean Construction Institute Chicago Community of Practice, Afshan is a frequent speaker and writer on the subject, and also played an integral role in developing Skender’s Lean project delivery. Afshan serves as president for the Zoroastrian Association of Greater Chicago and holds a Master of Science in construction management from Michigan State University. [LinkedIn]
Executive Director, Skender Foundation
Belinda is responsible for developing and implementing Skender Foundation’s vision and strategic plan. She oversees the planning and execution of events; program and committee oversight and implementation; coordination of volunteer opportunities; and the approval process for grant applications. She has been part of Skender Foundation since its inception in 2012, most recently serving as Associate Executive Director. [LinkedIn]
Since joining Skender in 2017, Dan has helped the firm develop new industry partnerships and expand new and existing markets. He brings 20 years of construction and real estate industry experience. Working as a trusted advisor, Dan has a talent for understanding clients’ perspectives and translating their real estate needs into construction solutions. Dan is co-chair of the Chicago Advisory Board for Little Kids Rock and former president of the CoreNet Chicago Chapter. In 2014, he was named to Building Design+Construction‘s “40 Under 40” class. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in marketing. [LinkedIn]
Michael Merle serves as vice president of business development at Skender. With more than 25 years of experience in construction, building products and strategic business development, Merle works to continually evolve and promote Skender’s modular capabilities, in particular across the hospitality sector for Skender Manufacturing. Most recently, Merle served as vice president of business development at Guerdon Modular Buildings. Merle holds a degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University with concentrations in marketing and economics. [LinkedIn]
Executive Vice President
The construction industry recognizes Dan as a veteran superintendent who has managed some of the largest and most complex projects in Chicago. Dan joined Skender in 2006 and has played an instrumental role in building collaborative teams, igniting a spirit of camaraderie on our jobsites. He has managed projects for Motorola Mobility, Nokia, Sidley Austin LLP, CVS Caremark, UBS, and other esteemed clients. [LinkedIn]
Executive Vice President
Clay joined Skender in 2006 and has managed millions of square feet of interior tenant improvement (TI) projects throughout Chicago. A client-centric and results-oriented leader, Clay is the head of Skender’s Tenant Improvement market and founder of the firm’s Construction Technology and Self Perform Groups. Clay’s expertise is integral to Skender’s business development efforts as he cultivates new and existing relationships, and his interior tenant improvement teams are consistently at the forefront of many of Chicago’s top tech, legal and corporate HQ projects. As an industry thought leader, Clay is frequently cited in commercial real estate news media outlets regarding tenant improvement interior construction topics and is often a featured speaker and writer on related trends. He holds a Bachelor of Science in construction engineering from Purdue University. [LinkedIn]
Jeff Janicek brings 30 years of construction experience to Skender’s leadership team, with a diverse background in the healthcare, higher education, civic, and retail market sectors. Jeff is recognized for his ability to use communication and innovative project approaches to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders. Jeff’s vast construction knowledge starts at the ground level, as he spent a portion of his career overseeing site and land development work for energy, municipal, healthcare, and other private-sector clients. Jeff is a graduate of Bradley University, and is a trustee for the Illinois Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. [LinkedIn]
Chief Technology Officer
Stacy ensures that Skender is continually evolving its technological capabilities and integrating industry-leading innovations across the company. His experience includes a broad spectrum of technologies used by real estate, architecture, engineering and construction industries. Most recently, Stacy was vice president of innovation at Skanska USA, a subsidiary of the multinational construction and development firm. Previously, he was the senior strategist for building construction at Autodesk, Inc., where he partnered with the global construction community to identify, develop and deliver innovative digital workflows. Stacy has served as a past chairman of technology for the AGC BIMForum. Currently he is a member of the Social and Economic Policy Advisory Board for the RAND Corporation, an international research organization that develops policy solutions to make communities safer, healthier and more prosperous. He holds a degree in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. [LinkedIn]
Director, Workplace Culture
Lynn joined Skender in 2006 and has been paramount in perpetuating Skender’s culture since then. As director of workplace culture, Lynn provides oversight for all activities related to the physical office operations and workplace culture, including the management of reception, concierge and special projects, such as office design and our HQ relocation in 2017. [LinkedIn]
Chief Design Officer
Vice President, Marketing
Todd joined Skender in 2017, helping the firm develop and deliver new marketing strategies. He brings more than 15 years of marketing communications experience, including more than a dozen years in construction marketing. Todd and his team often partner with Skender clients to enhance the promotions of their new buildings and spaces. In addition to marketing, Todd is an award-winning, bestselling author and editor of American history books and serves on the editorial board of Illinois Real Estate Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in PR from Illinois State University and his MBA in integrated marketing communication from Roosevelt University. [LinkedIn]
Vice President, Strategic Relationships
Cheryl has played an integral role in the development of the company’s long-term vision, strategic planning, organizational design, sales, and company values. With her progressive leadership and people management skills, she has strengthened the organization’s market diversification efforts and philanthropic contributions. Cheryl is also the chair and president of the Skender Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation dedicated to helping local organizations serve those in need. Under Cheryl’s leadership, the foundation carries out its mission to empower and inspire mindful individuals and groups to achieve lifelong successes in education and wellness. [LinkedIn]
In January 2019, Joseph Skender retired and became Chairman Emeritus. Under Joseph’s direction, Skender grew to one of the largest general contractors in the country with revenues of over $400 million. He was the driving force behind establishing the entrepreneurial culture, setting a long-term vision, and ensuring stable growth through strategic market diversification. An avid supporter of charitable and community organizations, Joseph co-created Skender Foundation, a private foundation that supports numerous education and wellness causes. He is a member of The Executives’ Club of Chicago and Economic Club of Chicago, as well as a trustee at DePaul University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from DePaul University. [LinkedIn]