Home People on the Move Swinerton Announces New Leadership Team to Drive Growth in Seattle

Swinerton Announces New Leadership Team to Drive Growth in Seattle

Comprised of seasoned industry experts, the dynamic team is poised to strengthen Swinerton by leveraging their extensive specialized experience.

SEATTLE, Oct. 31, 2023 — Swinerton, a leading construction company with a national presence, is proud to unveil its newly appointed leadership team within the Seattle Division. This dynamic team, comprised of seasoned industry professionals, is poised to reinforce Swinerton’s position as a premier contractor in the Seattle area. These individuals bring extensive experience and expertise to their respective roles, further enhancing the firm’s commitment to delivering excellence in construction services.

As announced in June, Nick Vovakes will lead the new leadership team as Vice President and Division Manager. The team includes Thomas Stearns, Operations Manager and Mass Timber Lead; Kelly Chalmers, Senior Project Manager and Healthcare Market Lead; Bret Downing, Director of Special Projects; Ryan Weeger, Director of Preconstruction; Rob Mcgarry, Field Operations Manager; and Greg Evans, Native American Market Lead.

“The new leadership team brings a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to excellence, positioning Swinerton for continued success in the Seattle area,” states Vovakes. “Their dedication to innovation, quality, and community engagement ensures that Swinerton remains a trusted partner for clients seeking top-notch construction services.”

Thomas Stearns, previously a Project Executive, now serves as Operations Manager and Mass Timber Market Lead. He brings over 18 years of construction experience with expertise in project and design development management. As a pioneer for Swinerton’s local mass timber market, Stearns has mentored owners, consultants, and project teams on the benefits and implementation of mass timber structures. Notable Seattle mass timber projects include Northlake Commons and Heartwood Workforce Housing, both set to be completed in November.

With an impressive 35 years in the construction industry and 15 years focused on healthcare, Kelly Chalmers assumes the role of Healthcare Market Lead. With each project, Chalmers brings a passion for building facilities that support the well-being of the local community. One of her most recent projects, ?al?al Clinic with the Seattle Indian Health Board, is a new medical facility providing pharmacy, behavioral health, and traditional medicine services to prevent and reduce homelessness in the Seattle Urban Center. Chalmers is an Education Committee Member for the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering (WSSHE) and holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction Certificate (HCC).

Bret Downing recently joined Swinerton as Director of Special Projects, focusing on tenant improvements. With a 30-year background in construction management, Downing is responsible for risk management, safety and quality oversight, preconstruction planning, and schedule assurance. He is currently overseeing projects such as the Brooks Headquarters tenant improvement, a new retail space for an athletic apparel company in Bellevue Square, and amenity spaces at Bellevue Towers condominiums and Bellevue’s Eastgate Office Buildings 1 and 2. Additionally, Downing serves on the Executive Leadership team for the American Heart Association’s Hard Hats with Heart.

As Director of Preconstruction, Ryan Weeger brings over 19 years of successful leadership and management experience in public and private general contracting environments. Weeger leads the preconstruction and estimating team to drive industry-leading preconstruction services. Under his leadership, the estimating group has provided outstanding support to Requests for Proposals (RFPs), cost studies, and hard bid projects.

A leader in both the office and field, Rob Mcgarry serves as Field Operations Manager. Mcgarry is backed by 43 years in the construction industry with knowledge in the field and administrative side of the industry. With experience in ground-up and tenant improvements, he has a reputation for high-quality workmanship, safe jobsites, and a strong commitment to open communication and mentoring. In his role, he will work with the leadership team on strategic workforce planning to prepare for the future and develop strong leadership to be successful across multiple market sectors.

Greg Evans will continue in his role as Native American Market Lead. With a career spanning over 35 years in construction and an unwavering commitment to maintaining close relationships between Tribes and Swinerton, Evans has established an impressive portfolio of Native American projects, such as the Muckleshoot Casino Resort Hotel, the Emerald Queen Casino, and more.

Swinerton has served the Pacific Northwest for over 100 years, establishing a remarkable legacy in the region. With over 100 construction industry professionals, the Seattle Division has completed, on average, $275M of commercial projects annually and specializes in healthcare, Native American, life science, technology, and mass timber construction.

About Swinerton
Swinerton provides commercial construction, construction management, design-build, and self-perform services throughout the United States. Founded in 1888, Swinerton is 100% employee-owned and is the preferred builder and trusted partner in every market it serves—proudly leading with ownership, integrity, passion, and excellence. Swinerton is headquartered in Concord, CA, with regional offices in Spokane and Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Boise, ID; Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Diego, CA; Honolulu, HI; Denver, CO; Dallas and Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte and Raleigh, NC; and New York, NY.