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McCownGordon Construction unveils succession plan

March 09, 2017
  • People
As seen in the Kansas City Business Journal. Reported by Rob Roberts. (Mar 9, 2017)

Pat McCown and Brett Gordon launched their Kansas City commercial construction firm in 1999 with two employees.

On Thursday, McCown, the firm’s CEO, and Gordon, its president, announced a succession plan at a gathering of the firm’s more than 250 employee-owners at McCownGordon Construction.

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At the end of 2017, McCown will retire as the firm’s CEO. On Jan. 1, Gordon will assume the position of chairman, and Ramin Cherafat, the firm’s current COO, will assume the role of CEO.

“When Brett and I co-founded McCownGordon in 1999, it was with the intent to build a company on strong core values and exceptional client service — a company that would endure well beyond our tenures and provide growth and opportunity for our current and future associates and partners,” McCown said in a release. “We have grown from a handful of associates in 1999 to over 250 today with a portfolio of projects that has helped shaped the Kansas City area and beyond. We are proud of all that the team of McCownGordon has accomplished.”

According to Gordon, the origin of the succession plan was the launch of the firm's 100 percent employee stock ownership program, or ESOP, which was launched in 2015.

"We made the move to employee ownership to ensure every associate has a voice and an opportunity to participate in the success of the company through their hard work and dedication," Gordon said in the release. "It is with this foundation that we unveil the plan today."

Cherafat, who joined the firm in 2000, has served on the executive team for the past 13 years. He has been a key member of the leadership team, which has guided the firm's growth and success. The team's achievements have included growing market share within Kansas City, the opening of a regional office location in Manhattan, launching Veloxity Building Concepts, and leading the strategy to develop a business model and operational structure that will sustain growth into the future.

"McCownGordon has grown and thrived because of the incredible team that we have in place to provide our clients and partners the best building experience," Cherafat said in the release. "It is one of the reasons our customers, design partners and subcontractors choose to build with us again and again."

The firm is projecting revenue of more than $525 million for 2017 and maintains a backlog of more than $750 million throughout the Midwest region, according to Cherafat.

"We have a talented and collaborative leadership team in place that will continue to focus on the company's growth well into the future with ongoing emphasis on our firm's core values of integrity, relationships and performance," he said.

The firm is known for its work managing construction in several market sectors including corporate, health care, civic, education, hospitality and science and technology. McCownGordon is currently working on some of the area's most significant projects including a new sanctuary for the Church of the Resurrection, the dramatic centerpiece of a $93 million capital improvement plan for the church's 76-acre Leawood campus; the Health Education Buildingon the campus of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.; and Olathe West High School. All three projects will be completed this year.

The firm is also working on expansions for Cerner Corp., Garmin International Inc.'s Olathe headquarters campus, and UPS; the restoration of the historic Savoy Hotel in downtown Kansas City for 21c Museum Hotels; and the construction of the $350 million University of Kansas Central District Development, a public private partnership involving Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate.

According to Gordon, McCownGordon has become one of the region's largest construction management firms based on its unwavering commitment to its core values.

"Our firm has always been driven by pride in our work and a commitment to creating a culture of trust, quality and hard work, as well as having fun while we do it," Gordon said. "We've always believed in investing in our associates and in the community. It is a culture that will continue to thrive."

The firm also is known as a philanthropic partner in the community, dedicating well over 10 percent of its annual profit to charity. The firm's leadership has been a philanthropic force in the Kansas City community for years and has encouraged and supported associates' philanthropic efforts.

McCownGordon supports a multitude of organizations, including the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City Area Development Council, Kansas City Symphony, JDRF, Children's Mercy, City Union Mission, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to name a few.

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