Every year, AZ Big Media, which publishes both PTK and AZRE magazines selects Arizona’s top people and projects to showcase in its premier commercial real estate magazine — PTK — from an impressive and competitive nomination pool. Each day we will highlight 20 different categories of People to Know. Here are general contractors to know in Arizona for 2024:
LEARN MORE: Read last year’s edition of PTK magazine
Executive vice president and Water Business Unit leader
McCarthy Building Companies
Under Anvik’s leadership, the McCarthy team has expanded geographically, as has its Design Integration team. Anvik has facilitated projects across the U.S., totaling more than $1 billion in value. Recent projects include Sioux Falls Water Reclamation expansion, Barry Rose Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion in Texas and the 91st Ave., Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades in Phoenix. Anvik and his team’s expertise are shared with communities to help them address the growing water needs of communities.
No. 1 on the commercial real estate bucket list: “To be an instrumental part in furthering Arizona’s potable water reuse programs and address the state’s water scarcity in a sustainable way that will help our communities to continue to thrive.”
Project director, Advanced Industries/Semiconductor
JE Dunn Construction
Burkhead recently joined JE Dunn Construction Company as project director for Advanced Industries (AI)/Semiconductor, leading the Southwest AI program team. He brings more than 30 years of experience in major programming and design-build project development, delivery and leadership for semiconductor, biopharma and assorted high-tech industries across the U.S. and much of the world including Europe, Asia, Brazil and Israel.
Biggest career accomplishment: “Development of a turnkey program that integrates disparate project participants into a seamless whole, efficiently delivering engineering/design, construction and commissioning of client commercial projects in the high-tech sector.”
Surprising fact: “I am a geology nerd and explorer in my free time.”
Collectively working at Jokake for seven years, Dunn has transformed his career, growing exponentially since beginning with the company as a superintendent. The construction projects he has executed each warrant special recognition for numerous reasons: the technical detail, the architectural design, the client “wins” and the unique accomplishments at the end of completion. Though he departed Jokake for a couple of years, his return in 2022 has had an exponential impact. His leadership and path to his role has inspired the team to mimic his grit and beyond that, his value to the culture is priceless.
Biggest career accomplishment: “Returning to Jokake, joining the leadership team and making impactful change in just one year.”
Sun State Builders
Forst’s attention to detail and knowledge of business administration allows him to relate to client’s needs. This level of care has allowed him to become skilled at designing efficient projects that meet the client’s desired function, Sun State Builders’ high-quality standards and the budget.
Biggest career accomplishment: “Project managing a 300,000-plus square-foot factory, 2,000 miles away in what was the Sun State’s largest single construction contract ever in dollars at the time.”
Professional advice: “To each client, his or her project is the most important. I take that to heart and am grateful for their confidence. I want our customers and employees to know they can count on me.”
Vice president and general manager
Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Mitchell is a third-generation Tempe native and former Mayor of Tempe, with 25 years in the construction industry. While mayor, he was instrumental in securing public-private partnership ventures, propelling business development, negotiating deals and playing a role in major relocations that put Tempe on the map. During his first two years at AP, Mitchell leveraged his vast experience and strategic business development acumen, successfully attracting a wealth of new clients.
No. 1 on the commercial real estate bucket list: “Topping the commercial real estate bucket list is the goal of constructing a large-scale, sustainable project that sets new standards for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient design in Arizona.”
As Willmeng’s CEO for the past 17 years, Murphy puts culture and organizational health first, including best-in-class hiring and retention practices. His strategic vision in both public and private markets has afforded the firm the opportunity to build out more than 122 ground-up and TI office, industrial and retail projects, totaling nearly $1.25 billion of active and in-progress construction in the last year, and 21.5 million square feet.
Stand-out fact: Murphy remains active and instrumental in the growth of The Willmeng Academy (TWA), a year-long internal training program dedicated to teaching company culture. The six-week courses are personally taught by Murphy and other Willmeng leaders. The syllabus includes Willmeng 101, culture, preconstruction, the business plan from the president’s perspective and operations.
Powell joined SLC in 2017, as director of construction to establish and launch its ground-up construction arm, providing quality diversification for SLC by adding new services to its tenant improvement roots. In 2021, he was promoted to vice president. In this span, Powell has grown the ground-up division from a “team of one” to more than 25 and helped grow company revenue from $57 million to almost $300 million.
Stand-out fact: Across his 23-year career, Powell has completed more than $1 billion in new construction, accounting for more than 25 million square feet of award-winning commercial space.
Director of operations
Schell oversees all things project-related for the Arizona region. He works directly with and helps manage the preconstruction team. He also directly manages the construction team and warranty team for every Okland project. Additionally, Schell directly manages more than one dozen directors, who look to Schell for professional support. Presently, there are more than 30 projects currently under construction that he’s involved in, not including those projects that haven’t broken ground.
No. 1 on the commercial real estate bucket list: “The number one thing I’m committed to in the commercial real estate space is making Arizona a major destination for top-notch healthcare companies, class A office buildings, bringing more science and technology projects — like semiconductor into the state — and growing Okland’s role in each of those sectors.”
Big-D Construction Southwest
Shivers has worked in the CRE industry for more than 20 years, successfully executing brand transformations, culture-focused processes, revenue acceleration and strategic planning. Her expertise has been vital to growth at three different “ENR Top 400 Contractor” firms as well as several boutique companies.
Biggest career accomplishment: “My biggest career accomplishment continues to be advancing and mentoring team members. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the growth of several individuals I’ve hired.”
Surprising fact: “I was a Division 1 collegiate athlete, which translates to my strong competitive nature and my genuine love for the camaraderie and bonding that sports foster.”
No. 1 on the commercial real estate bucket list: “I would love to be involved in the development of and build for a professional sports team.”
LGE Design Build
Stafford joined the LGE team as controller in 2017, before moving up to chief financial officer in 2018, where he was responsible for overseeing all financial operations across the company’s construction, architecture and development entities. In his current role as president, he is responsible for executing LGE’s short- and long-term goals including its continued growth in its primary markets, growth into new markets and expansions into new product offerings.
Stand-out fact: After joining the team in 2017 as the controller, the construction arm of LGE — under Stafford’s guidance — experienced a 390% increase in revenue while the architecture side saw an increase of more than 280% — the team attributed this partly to the solid financial infrastructure Stafford built up within the company.