Shook shifts operating model, creates new Director of Operations role in Indianapolis

Shook Construction Regional MapSince late 2020, Shook Construction has been working through a 2025 Strategic Plan focused on the long-term health and growth of the organization, consisting of three pillars: Operational Excellence, Capacity Building, and Intentional Growth. The organization has made significant progress within these three objectives, ultimately leading to the most recent and most significant change: the evolution of its operating structure to a geographic-based model.

Shook has utilized a market-based structure for the last 11 years to drive focus in its core markets: education, healthcare, industrial, and water resources. Its new model is structured around four regions – Central, Midwest, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic – to support the company’s recent growth.

“The new structure will bring us one step closer to achieving best-in-class operations and creating standardization across our regions. Ultimately, it will allow us to become scalable to evolve to achieve our Vision, to relentlessly build a company so exceptional that the best talent and clients in the world pursue us,” shared Joe Mellon, Chief Operating Officer. 

Shook has served as a general contractor, construction manager, design-builder, and subcontractor in the industrial and heavy manufacturing market throughout Indiana since the opening of its Indianapolis office in 1994. Over the past 29 years, Shook’s Central operation has grown steadily. Clients have included manufacturers of automobiles and heavy equipment, food production and distribution facilities, utility providers, and any institution that generates power, steam or chilled water. Shook has often self-performed demolition, excavation, concrete, rough carpentry, and equipment setting in this market. In addition, they are an active member of the AGC of Indiana, Indiana Subcontractors Association and the Indiana Construction Roundtable.

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Today, the firm is working to expand into new markets in the region. Shook has performed construction management or design-build services in the water resources, education, and healthcare markets throughout Ohio, North Carolina and beyond since 1926. With significant growth in the last few years, expanding the firm’s presence in the Central region has become a prominent focus of Shook’s strategic plan. The company’s new geographic-based structure will help to better position the region for growth in these markets.

As part of that structure, Tom Gehrlich was named the new Director of Operations for the Central Region.

“To further evolve, we knew we needed local leadership that was focused on the region’s growth. Tom’s expertise, passion for growing the region, and leadership throughout his time at Shook made him a great choice for the role,” explained Chris Halapy, President & CEO.

Tom has a 35-year career in construction with the last five as a Senior Project Manager in Shook’s Industrial market. He also serves as a board member of The Shook Foundation, a non-profit organization funded and operated by Shook employees as a means to support the communities where they live, work and play through financial contributions. In his new role, Tom will oversee project execution, the development of staff, and focus on standard operating procedures across the region.

“It’s an honor to be in this new role and I am excited to continue to grow our operation in Indiana and beyond,” shared Gehrlich. “Shook’s steady growth in Indiana over the last 29 years is a testament to our people who execute continuously for our clients and their dedication to living our core values. I am excited to see that growth soar as we add dedicated resources in the region to support our operations and expansion into new markets.”

Shook plans to add additional support services in the region, such as preconstruction, safety, quality assurance, and more as they continue to expand. They’ll also continue to grow their operations staff, hiring project managers, project engineers, superintendents, and field personnel.

“Our family is growing and it has been fun to watch the culture continue to evolve as we bring in new people. We’ve seen some firsts this year – from being named a Best Place to Work in Indiana to winning awards for our focus on safety. Our growth also allows us more opportunities to further our Mission, To Dramatically Improve the Communities We Serve,” stated Rob Wineland, Director of Business Development, Central Region.

The mission to serve has been a pillar of Shook since its inception, and its employees carry out a community service project for nearly every job they complete. Locally, Shook has constructed numerous handicap ramps for Servants at Work (SAWs) and supports Indiana Careers in Construction's “Built to Succeed” program to introduce students in grades 7-12 to the trades. Additionally, Christel House Indianapolis won the 2021 Shooksgiving Challenge, receiving the grand prize donation to further its mission for positive change in the community, and Warm Heart Warm Home Foundation received a donation as a participant in the 2022 Shooksgiving Challenge.

Interested in joining Shook’s Central operation? Visit to hear from local staff.

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