Shook shifts operating model, creates new leadership roles in Midwest 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, Directors of Operations, and Project Executives in the Midwest region to support the 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 incorporated and established its headquarters in Dayton in 1926 and has proudly served the region throughout its 97-year history. Shook serves as a general contractor, construction manager, design-builder, and subcontractor across the Midwest. Notably, its Dayton operation has been growing consistently, with the company now employing over 150 people in the region and plans for continued growth. 

“There are great opportunities throughout the Dayton region,” explained Matt Wendel, Vice President of Business Development. “There is an abundance of industrial/manufacturing businesses providing jobs for the region, municipalities dedicated to providing clean water for their residents, world-class healthcare facilities, and selfless educators who dedicate themselves to teaching our children. Shook is proud to work in each one of the areas because we are building more than infrastructure. We are building facilities that better our community. These buildings create jobs for the region and serve the families that make the Miami Valley such a wonderful place to live and work. We remain committed to expanding our presence in the place we call home.”
Dayton Phoenix Group Exterior
Dayton Total Phosphorus

As part of the new structure, a new Vice President, Midwest Regional Manager role was created. A 15-year Shook employee and University of Dayton alumni, Dan Wolking, was promoted to this role, and will focus on recruitment and retention of talent, acquisition of new work, and long-term business strategy and execution. Dan brings 25 years of experience in the industry and served as the leader of the firm’s Midwest Water market for the last two years.

Additionally, Shook created new Director of Operations roles – filled by longstanding Shook teammates John Cleveland and Chris Freitag – that will oversee project execution, the development of staff, and focus on standard operating procedures across the region. Shook hopes the new structure will propel the firm’s trajectory of growth and expand its presence in the region.

“We’ve called Dayton home for nearly 100 years. We have a rich history of serving the community, from helping to bring new jobs to the region to volunteering with the many non-profits that make this such a great place to live and work. This new model will help drive growth in the region, as our regional leadership brings new energy to these roles and dedicated focus on each of our core markets. However, I am most excited to see how it can help us better serve our Dayton community as together we pursue our Mission, To Dramatically Improve the Communities We Serve,” explained Wolking.
Shook_Welcome Stadium Group Site Visit
DBJ Community Supporter of the Year

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. In 2022, Shook was named the Community Supporter of the Year by the Dayton Business Journal for their efforts in giving back. From mentoring youth at Victory Project to setting trusses for a house with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton to making lunches and painting for St. Vincent de Paul Dayton, its employees find time to serve the non-profits throughout the Dayton region. Moreover, they launched The Shook Foundation in 2022 where they have given over $62,000 to nonprofits, including Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative and Shoes 4 the Shoeless to name a few. The firm also has completed two company Mission Trips to date, where eight employees – including Wolking and Cleveland – built a teacher dormitory for a remote school in Mozambique, East Africa, in 2022, and another eight constructed waterlines for a remote village in Timusi, Bolivia, in 2019.

“We are fortunate to work for a company that values and promotes such an extreme level of service. The work we do every day serves a higher purpose and we continuously have employees raising their hands who want to make a difference. Service is ingrained in our culture at Shook; cultivating that mindset has helped to create purpose for our people which directly translates to our projects and our growth,” shared Wolking.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton_Shook Build
Shook Mission Trip_Completed Dormitory in Mozambique