A Passion for Building
That’s the spirit of leadership at Power.
Power leaders take an active role in every project, working side-by-side in the field and the office. This hands-on leadership enables people to learn faster, empowers team members and promotes collaboration. And it provides clients real-time assurance that their project will be successful from start to finish.
Plus, with roots deep in the Chicago community and a passion for building what matters, our leaders have grown up, so to speak, in the Power Way. We believe it is this tradition of growing from within that ensures our company’s stability, strength, and ability to thrive in the years ahead.
With Power since: 1992
First construction job: Doing a layout for a parking garage in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Biggest lesson learned and why: Never take people for granted. Whenever you have the opportunity to say thank you or give recognition, do it.
If I wasn’t working at Power, I would be: Volunteering – distributing food both in Chicago and in other countries, helping poor children.
Board and/or philanthropy participation: Serves on the AMITA Health Charitable Foundation board, Board of Directors for the local YMCA, and member of the Economic Club.
With Power since: 1987
Project you’re most proud of and why?: 2 East Erie. Both the budget and schedule were big struggles in an overheated economy, but we never compromised our commitment to quality or reduced our high level of service.
Words of wisdom for a new person in the business: This is a big industry with many different opportunities. It is also a challenging one, especially if you value a high service orientation like we do. If you follow the path that you are most passionate about and give it your all, you will most likely find the most fulfillment and have the most success—especially when times are tough.
Best view of the skyline?: Running north on the jogging path as you come around the Shedd.
Items on your bucket list: Travel across Canada and visit Alaska.
With Power since: 2000
First construction job: On one of my very first projects I was responsible for a 200-acre intermodal facility and rail yard for the Santa Fe Railroad in California. When I started the project, I knew virtually nothing about railroads. Three years later the project opened as a big success and I had become somewhat of a history buff on the railroads.
Words of wisdom for a new person: Do lots of listening even if you’re not directly involved. Get out on the job site as much as you can. Take time to walk your project every day.
Best thing about living in Chicago: The combination of the unbelievable restaurant scene, the lakefront, the architecture, and endless things to do. It's a good thing our winters can be miserable otherwise everyone would want to live here!
Favorite Chicago Landmark: The Wrigley Building, one of the most recognizable buildings anywhere.
Best view of the skyline: Looking south along the lakefront path from North Avenue.
Dave AnderskowSenior Vice President and CFO
With Power since: 1995
First construction job: Controller at Power. A recruiter friend of mine told me about the company culture and Power's president at that time, Tom Settles, and that he was confident it would be a marriage made in heaven. I've been learning about the construction industry ever since.
Words of wisdom for a new person in the business: Each and every day - Learn something new and have fun.
Something you're proud of: My son and daughter are genuinely caring and thoughtful young adults.
Favorite place on Earth: Everyone that knows me would expect me to say Wrigley Field since I am a huge Cubs fan. But my real answer these days is simply wherever my grandkids are. However, if they happen to be in Maui that's cool with me.
Good book recommendation: I like to listen to TED Talks and have been inspired, like many others, by Simon Sinek. His book "Start with Why" is one of my favorites. I recently have started reading his newest book "The Infinite Game" and have high hopes that I'll be further motivated and inspired by his insights.
Pete BartelsVice President
With Power since: 1994
First construction job: I worked for a testing agency in college.
Project you're most proud of: TetraPak because it was the first green building, before LEED certification, and the O'Hare CONRAC because of its size and complexity.
Words of wisdom for a new person: Always do the right thing, and stand behind your work.
Why did you choose Power: Because of the variety for PMs including everything from selling and estimating to managing the project and closeout.
Best view of the skyline: From a boat on a summer evening.
Favorite Chicago Landmark: Navy Pier
If I wasn't at Power, I would be: A carpenter
Board and/or philanthropy participation: I participate on the Property & Building Committee at our church. I also help run the Annual Golf Outing for the Alexian Brothers Foundation.
Shahara ByfordVice President
With Power since: 2013
First construction job: My first job in construction was exciting! I was a PE for a large Chicago GC and I was sent to the roof of the Art Institute to look at Air Handling Units in my first week on the job. What a great introduction to the construction world....and a great view of the city too!
Words of wisdom for a new person: During my time playing softball at Purdue we were always reminded to "Go for it"…. It was great advice that you can use in any aspect of life. To reference a softball saying, "You can never steal second with your foot on first".
Biggest lesson learned and why: If you work hard, treat people with respect and have a positive attitude, you will go a long way in life….oh, and make sure you have a lot of fun along the way!
Best view of the skyline: From the Planetarium! That view of the city and its lights along the lakefront at night is truly breathtaking and make you appreciate the magnificence of the city we live in.
Favorite non-work activity: Playing with the kids - playing sports, watching sports, playing cards or anything that keeps us all active and laughing.
Best career advice received: Believe in yourself….
Pat DonleyVice President
With Power since: 2010
First construction job: During high school, I worked for a county road crew one summer in Pittsburgh and that got me interested in construction.
Words of wisdom for a new person in the business: ECHO: Every Contact Has Opportunity - whether personal or professional.
Favorite place on earth: Notre Dame Stadium and Beach Haven, New Jersey
Something you wish you were better at: Speaking Japanese
Good book recommendation: A Pirate Looks at Forty by Jimmy Buffett
Fun fact that none of your colleagues would know: I am a master at college football tailgating.
Patrick DugganVice President
With Power since: 2008
First construction job: A Lego fire station.
Best career advice: To quote Al Gorman, "Plan, Organize, Direct, Control.".
Words of wisdom for a new person: Everyone goes through adversity whether its in business or their personal life. What matters is how you learn from it.
Favorite TV show: The Office (American version), Michael Scott sets the bar high for being the "World's Best Boss."
Something you'd like to learn: I would love to learn how to play the drums.
Board and/or philanthropy participation: Volunteer – A Safe Place, Vernon Hills Community Sports Clubs
Chris GorayVice President
First construction job: Working for my brothers, one owned a carpentry company and another owned a landscape / concrete company. I learned a lot from my big brothers, from hard work to customer service. It’s a large part of what shaped my foundation in the business.
Best career advice received: Measure twice, cut once. What I didn’t realize at the time is how it relates to so many situations.
Words of wisdom for a new person: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You can always gain better insight by viewing the situation from a different perspective.
Biggest lesson learned and why: Do the right thing…enough said.
Best thing about living in Chicago: There so many different neighborhoods and parts of the city to enjoy and each has their own unique vibe including the people, food and architecture.
With Power since: 1962
First construction job: I left my job as district manager of a small sporting goods manufacturing company and began working as a laborer for Power Construction at the Queen of Heaven Mausoleum in Hillside. After work, I attended night school at Illinois Tech three nights a week.
Words of wisdom for a new person in the business: When faced with what appears to be an overwhelming problem, I try to remember how to eat an elephant, "One bite at a time!" You don't lose until you quit!
Something you're proud of: We have always been able to negotiate a settlement and avoid a lawsuit.
Favorite place on Earth: Wherever my wife Nancy is.
What would you do with extra time? If I never had to sleep, I believe that I would read more or reread great books.
Good book recommendation: I strongly recommend really well written biographies of historical figures. So much to learn from their lives and how they overcame their mistakes and obstacles.
Fun fact that none of your colleagues would know: Until I was 80 years old, I was considered a really good skier.
Jon GormanSenior Vice President
With Power since: 1989
My start in construction: My grandfather and father both worked in the construction business so I was introduced as a young boy over dinner table conversations and occasional Saturday visits to construction sites. After earning bachelor's degrees in finance and engineering, I worked for an architectural firm for a couple years, after which I felt prepared to work for Power Construction. I have ever since.
Words of wisdom for a new person: Be patient, this is a complex industry with a lot to learn. The average new construction project takes 18 to 24 months to complete so it takes years to work on a wide variety of projects, each with its own different materials, means and methods.
Something I'm proud of: The contributions made to both my family and Power Construction.
Fun fact that none of your colleagues would know: I composed music and played guitar in a rock band during and for a few years after college.
Ken GormanSenior Vice President
With Power since: 1991
Why construction? Construction has always been “in my blood”, starting with my grandfather, father and brother before me. At the age of 16, I was handed a hardhat and safety vest and put to work on the concrete crew for the Westin Hotel in Rosemont, IL. That experience gave me a true and lasting appreciation for the amazing efforts by our tradesmen and tradeswomen in the most difficult of conditions.
Words of wisdom: Success in life is based 99% on attendance - show up physically, mentally and emotionally... and don't forget to listen 90% of the time.
Favorite place on earth: My home surrounded by my family.
Favorite non-work activity: Golf... and more golf.
Fun fact that none of your colleagues would know: My wife accepted my marriage proposal after our first date.
Seth GudemanVice President
With Power Since: 1997
First construction job: We built a 2-car garage during high school in our building trades class.
Project you’re most proud of and why: The one we don’t talk about anymore. It’s easy to stay motivated on a project that isn’t a financial success when the company focus remains to deliver a first class project and honor our commitments for all.
Words of wisdom for a new person: Don’t worry about who is who, if you have a question about anything, ask anyone around you and you will get help.
Biggest lesson learned and why: Never avoid an issue big or small. They never resolve themselves.
Favorite leisure, family or childhood activity: Childhood memories of summers at the lake.
Ryan GusewelleVice President
With Power since: 1996
First construction job: I grew up working for my dad in a small excavation business - as a kid it was cool to see where my dad was working and, as he always said, you have to start them out while they're young!
Project you're most proud of: All of them - every project has something special about it and a challenge to overcome.
Why Power? I chose Power because of the different project types and the people I met during my very first visit to the office and jobsite. Everyone from the top down was approachable, driven, and genuinely invested in making the company better. I'm proud to say that some things never change!
What I like to do in my free time: Spend time with family and friends, camping, boating and riding motorcycles.
Fun fact my coworkers may not know about me: I have triplets!
Jamie HendricksVice President
With Power since: 1992
First construction job: During summers in high school I worked for a concrete company doing foundations. Originally did it for the higher pay but soon found out I had a passion for building.
Something you’re proud of: There are a lot of things but business-wise, I am proud of the growth and reputation Power has achieved while keeping our values intact.
Something you want to learn: I would love to learn how to weld in a professional manner.
Good book recommendation: Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Fun fact that none of your colleagues would know: They don't know I'm fun, so we'll just leave it that way.
Steve JacksonVice President
When you started at Power: 2004
How did you get started in construction?: My father was in the business and I couldn't get enough of going to his jobsites. When I wasn't doing that, it was the Legos!
The project I'm most proud of: It's hard for me to choose but I'd have to say the Loyola University Damen Student Center. Sitting along Sheridan Road, the building serves as an entry point to campus and a physical link to other great university buildings (many of which are past Power projects). Most importantly, it was a game changer for the students and faculty because it created a needed central gathering space for the entire Loyola community.
Words of wisdom: Our decisions are always easy if you just choose doing the right thing. The work isn't always easy, but the decisions are.
Why Power? Integrity and honesty always come first. Add that to being a big company with small company feel, and it was a fit for me.
Favorite Chicago Landmark: Wrigley Field... No contest.
Something you want to learn: Learning more Norwegian will help my master plan of retiring on a fjord.
Shaun RaineyVice President
With Power since: 2005
Best career advice ever received: My first boss out of college used to tell me, "If you always put more effort in than what you take out of the organization, you and the organization will always be fine." This statement is true whether at work or on your own time and was great advice.
Favorite Chicago 'Haunt': The Aragon Ballroom – we have seen some great concerts there.
If I wasn't working at Power, I would be: Either a professor or a coach.
Fun fact that none of your colleagues would know: I love going to punk music shows.
Board and Philanthropy Participation: Red Raiders Fastpitch Board and Head Coach, McHenry County Pads, Northern Illinois Food Bank
Gary SchreiberSenior Vice President
With Power since: 1997
First construction job: Building commercial greenhouses for a large grower and plant retailer here in Chicago during my college summers.
Something you're proud of: My three kids – memories of them as little ones and now watching them as they move into adulthood and build lives of their own. Nothing is better than that!
What's your favorite place on earth: The Northwoods. Give me time on the water or a long hike and life is good!
In your free time: I work to restore nature. Woodlands. Lakes. Rivers. Prairie. Even just a lawn or garden.
Good book recommendation: Autobiographies in general. Their gifts of perspective are often life changing.
Bob Van DevenSenior Vice President
With Power since: 1996
Words of wisdom for a new person: Speak up and don’t be afraid to have an opinion.
Why did you choose Power: Power does the right thing... always. It makes going home at night easier. It is also the quality of the people and that everyone’s opinion is valued, everyone contributes. And, it’s a fun place to work with people who enjoy what they do.
Favorite Chicago landmark: Buckingham Fountain. I was fortunate to be able to work on an AIA award-winning restoration of the Fountain. I have a personal connection. Through that project, I learned to pay attention to the details.
Best view of the skyline : From a boat just south of Navy Pier so I can see several towers that I was privileged to be a part of.