Shook shifts operating model, creates new leadership roles in Great Lakes Region

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 – and includes new positions for Regional Managers and Directors of Operations in the Great Lakes region to support the growth.

“This enhanced structure supports the needs of the organization today and aligns with our strategy for the continued growth of the organization,” shared Chris Halapy, President & CEO. “This new operating model will help us to achieve best-in-class operations and allow us to become scalable. We have a 97-year history of growth and transformation. We recognize that we must continue to evolve to achieve our Vision, to relentlessly build a company so exceptional that the best talent and clients in the world pursue us.”

Shook has served as a general contractor, construction manager, design-builder, and subcontractor in the Greater Cleveland area since the opening of its local office in 1987. Predominately working for one large client in the early years, the firm has now grown to approximately 80 employees and $150M in annual revenue in the Great Lakes region, representing all four of Shook’s core markets. The company’s new geographic-based structure will help to better position the region for continued growth in these markets.

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As part of this structure, Matt Danis was promoted to Vice President, Great Lakes Regional Manager and will focus on recruitment and retention of talent, acquisition of new work, and long-term business strategy and execution. Matt is a 17-year Shook employee, serving as the Vice President of Corporate Development since 2014 and leading the local building operation in Cleveland since 2019. His efforts locally – from pursuing work to forming relationships with industry partners to serving on local boards such as the ACE Mentor Program – have had a significant impact on the firm’s regional growth.

“I am excited to concentrate my attention on growing our local operation and the place I’ve called home for the last 15 years. We’ve had a lot of success in Northeast Ohio, a testament to our teammates who continuously live our core values and our Mission, To Dramatically Improve the Communities We Serve. I look forward to propelling that growth as we add more dedicated resources focused on both our building and water resources operations. There is a lot of opportunity here, and we are committed to expanding our presence in the region,” stated Danis.

Shook also created new Director of Operations roles – filled by Shook teammates Matt Bennett and Brett Connolly – that will oversee project execution, the development of staff, and focus on standard operating procedures across the region. Bennett has overseen the local water resources operation for over 10 years, while Connolly steps into the role to oversee the building operations. Connolly has been with Shook for three years, with broad experience in building, water resources, self-perform and collaborative delivery.

“Since joining Shook in 2020, I have watched this company grow strategically and intently with the focus not only on our own people, but its clients. As each year passes, I see new faces and even greater projects come to light. Watching our Vision play out in real time has been such a rewarding experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead an operation as talented as we have in the Great Lakes region. I am excited at what lies ahead for Shook Construction, not only in Northeast Ohio but companywide as I work alongside Matt and the rest of the Shook leadership team to fulfill our Mission,” explained Connolly.
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Shook - Maumee Valley Habitat Playhouse Build

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. From participating in beach cleanups with Drink Local. Drink Tap. to building playhouses for Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity to building beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace, its employees find time to serve the non-profits throughout the Great Lakes region. Moreover, they launched The Shook Foundation in 2022 where they have given over $62,000 to nonprofits, including The May Dugan Center and Maelstrom Collaborative Arts to name a few. The firm also has completed two company Mission Trips to date, where eight employees – including Bennett – constructed waterlines for a remote village in Timusi, Bolivia, in 2019, and another eight built a teacher dormitory for a remote school in Mozambique, East Africa, in 2022.

“Our Mission is our guiding light. We each live and raise our families in these communities and we have a responsibility to be good stewards of them to make them stronger and more resilient. Moreover, we have incredible talent and can use it to spread good to those locally and globally alike. These initiatives embolden our core values, helping to further develop our people. Those values translate directly to our job sites and have helped us to grow,” shared Bennett.