Not all construction companies are the same. Corna Kokosing’s brand of Integrity, Quality and Commitment was developed after we surveyed our clients and asked them, “What makes us different from our competitors?” These three qualities are not mere words, rather, they are the core values and behaviors that are delivered to each client and every project that we build. So what do our team members do differently?

We place our clients first.

Our unwavering commitment to our clients is a leading reason why clients say they hire us repeatedly.

We embody quality.

It is embedded in our training programs; it is emphasized in our team members’ performance reviews.

We take it personally.

Because every project and every reference matters to us.

We manage and build.

Corna Kokosing is the largest self-performing contractor in Central Ohio with offices in Indianapolis as well. We manage projects better because we have a refined understanding of productivity and how to schedule labor, materials, and equipment.

We make safety a lifestyle, not just a rule.

We have a Safety 24/7 program that reinforces a “safe way of life” which helped lead to our AGC of America Construction Safety Excellence Award.

Construction Management
General Contracting
Design Build
Self Perform Trades
BIM & 3D Modeling

Construction Management

Corna Kokosing (CK) has a long history of completing projects under Construction Management Agency (CMa) and Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) delivery methods. CK serves as the owner’s advocate in providing cost estimates, master schedules, phasing and logistic plans, constructability reviews, purchasing strategies and value analyses on the implications of alternate designs, systems and materials. CK will plan, schedule and document projects in order to minimize changes and avoid claims. We ensure that our schedules are thorough, attainable, have “buy-in” from the entire team and have flexibility to accommodate changes.

For owners who have never used a Construction Management delivery method, it is important to note that we maintain an open-book policy so that all costs are transparent.

General Contracting

We are not risk adverse—CK began as a lump-sum general contractor and continues to work under this delivery method to this day. We are comfortable in this role because of our proven record of completing even the most challenging projects on time and on budget—with all of the risk assigned to us.

In this traditional delivery system, the owner engages a designer to prepare the design of the complete facility, including construction drawings, specifications and contract packages. Although usually not optimal for most complex, ill-defined, or schedule-sensitive projects, this contracting system is common for straightforward projects with well-established and clearly defined roles for the parties involved.

Design Build

Design and construction personnel, working and communicating as a team, evaluate alternative designs, materials and methods efficiently and accurately. Value analysis and constructibility are utilized continuously and more effectively when the designers, contractors and vendors work as one during the entire design and construction process.

Because design and construction overlap under this method, and because bidding periods and redesign are eliminated, total design and construction time can be significantly reduced and an early cost guarantee can be established. Design Build is ideal for simple building construction and the application of a “fast track” schedule.

Self Perform Trades

Our trade competencies, combined with our management skills, provide us with a comprehensive and refined understanding of costs, scheduling of material, labor and equipment, and productivity—much more than construction firms who are only construction agents or brokers.

Additionally, as a self-performing contractor, we have the capacity to intervene and supplement forces in the field if a subcontractor is deemed non-performing. We can rely on our own forces, rather than have to wait for another subcontractor’s availability. The result is a quicker response, greater flexibility, and increased productivity.

Our self-perform trades include Carpentry, Casework, Concrete, Drywall/Acoustical Ceilings, Rigging & Millwright, Selective Demolition, and Steel Erection.

BIM & 3D Modeling

CK uses the latest 3D modeling and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology. Our in-house Central Engineering Services department provides advanced 3D modeling and BIM/VDC workflows that utilize highly detailed layouts for cost estimating, clash detection and design analysis of MEP, structural and architectural systems and components. We have the ability to provide high-quality 3D renderings, virtual walkthroughs and 4D construction sequencing and scheduling simulations. The use of this technology has resulted in time and cost savings to our owners, subcontractors and us.

Leadership

Lori Gillett
CEO

I am honored to be a part of a team that is so passionately committed to excellence.”

In July 2019, Lori (Burgett) Gillett was elected CEO of Corna Kokosing by the Board of Directors, continuing her work in the Burgett family-owned construction business. She brings 25 years of construction industry experience across many market sectors and provides leadership and strategic direction to over 250 team members that are passionately committed to excellence..

How I began my career in construction:

I was basically born on a backhoe and my childhood playground was the company’s construction equipment, maintenance yard, company office, or a project worksite. My grandfather, the founder of Kokosing, always led by example and it is that leadership and guidance that taught me the meaning of hard work, “shirt sleeve” management and integrity.

How I give back:

How we give back evolves as we go through life and our career. My passion the past 10 years is expressed through developing the next generation construction workforce. In addition to supporting the state of Ohio by serving a second term on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Development Board, at our company I have also co-founded the Women’s Ideas and Strategies Exchange (WISE) program. This is a mentorship program that brings female construction team members together to share experiences and knowledge for personal growth and professional transformation.

Why I like being in construction:

Every road we drive on, every school we attend, every house we live in and every hospital we receive care at was built by the hands of our industry.  The sense of pride and accomplishment after a job is closed out is second to none. Some of my favorite moments are taking my family and showing them what our team has built.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

When I think about my footprint, I hope to instill a respect and passion for the construction industry and hands-on building.

Jim Negron
President

Thanks to our team members’ expertise, we are known for building complex projects and we get satisfaction out of the largest challenges.”

As president with nearly 30 years at the company, Jim has played a significant role in client development and the growth of the firm. He is skilled to ensure that each of our client’s particular needs are met so that service excellence and desired project outcomes are achieved.

How I began my career in construction:

In high school, I got the opportunity to engage in an apprenticeship program and receive valuable hands-on learning in the field.

How I give back:

I am a member of the Builder’s Exchange of Central Ohio and I sit on the Board of Directors for the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, Catholic Social Services, the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, and the Columbus Urban League.

Why I like being in construction:

One of the things I enjoy most about this business is the ability to pass on my knowledge, experience and what I have learned to someone else.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I want people to remember me as someone who had as much interest in their success as they did, and someone who had their best interest in mind.

Jim Graves
Controller

Integrity is the foundation for which we build relationships with our team members, clients and subcontractors.”

Jim is responsible for the integrity of the company’s general accounting, including job costing and tax reporting and overall P&L authority for the financial statement, analysis of budgets and forecasting.

How I began my career in construction:

Construction offers many different types of career paths, from skilled craft careers covering different trades, to jobs in management covering a wide scope of activities.

How I give back:

Member of Construction Financial Management Association to help improve the integrity of our industry and provide scholarships to those wanting careers in construction accounting.

Why I like being in construction:

It offers the opportunity to create and to build.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

That my department upheld and raised the level of integrity and trust not just to our organization, but to our clients, vendors and subcontractors.

Matt Wushinske
General Counsel

Steve Jobs said: ‘Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.’ I’m proud to be part of a great team of people at CK.”

Matt is an experienced legal professional and has been an invaluable asset to the team since 2004. With his BSBA from Ohio Northern and his Juris Doctor degree from University of Akron, Matt provides General Counsel and Risk Management services for our organization to ensure both CK and our clients are protected and aligned.

What is the proudest achievement of my career:

The proudest moments of my career are the times when I am able to help other team members solve a problem that helps them advance their project. I enjoy getting to see the results of using my training and experience to help someone else overcome an obstacle and then successfully accomplish their goal.

Why I like being in construction:

The construction industry offers new challenges every day and sometimes multiple times a day. Each project provides a different opportunity to find a solution to the unique challenges of the project. I enjoy the challenge of adapting to find a solution to the ever-changing obstacles that arise in construction.

How I give back:

I give back to the community by serving several non-profit organizations that focus on missions important to myself and my family.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I hope that my legacy will be that I treated each person I encountered with respect and honesty.

Abram Reece
Safety Manager

Compliance is necessary, but not sufficient. Safety is about people and active caring.”

-Unknown

As Safety Manager, Abram brings nearly 20 years of experience to ensure CK’s top priority of Safety sets the standard for the construction industry.

How I began my career in construction:

I’ve always loved construction and have been involved for nearly 20 years now. Apart from my bachelors in Construction Management from OSU and my masters in Occupational Health and Safety from Eastern Kentucky University, I also have a diverse background in the mechanical trades and 12 years in the GC/CM areas within commercial construction.

How I give back:

As a committed safety professional in Central Ohio, I am active within my community through coaching youth sports and volunteering with the Special Olympics. Furthermore, I serve on the Safety Council of Greater Columbus (SCGC, BX) as well as the Executive Safety Committee (BX).

Why I like being in construction:

In construction, the foundation of success and reward is based upon the people; through the relationships we build, the challenges we face as a team, the everlasting landscapes and obstacles, and the satisfaction we get as a team when the final product is turned over to the end user/client. Construction offers a profound way of shaping the future of the communities we build in and the people therein. Being a part of that is inspirational and rewarding.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I pride myself on making an everlasting impact on the lives of people. With that, I want to be viewed as one with a diverse level of knowledge and experience who excels as a leader through mentorship, motivation, and coaching.

T.J. Baggett
General Superintendent

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

T.J. manages the field operations by providing direction and guidance to project superintendents, foreman, and all field team members.

How I began my career in construction:

I worked with my older brother framing houses through high school. While attending the Fairfield Career Center carpentry program, I was employed by Corna Kokosing in the summer of 1996. I immediately enrolled in the apprenticeship program.

How I give back:

I am an Advisory Committee member for Eastland-Fairfield Career Center’s construction trades. I am also an active volunteer with the non-profit, Central Ohio Bicycle Racing Association, to keep BMX alive in Columbus.

Why I like being in construction:

I enjoy being in the construction industry because it is constantly changing and evolving.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I hope to inspire others to never doubt what they can achieve in life through hard work and dedication.

David Rossi
Regional Manager

As Regional Manager, David provides leadership for the Operations and Client Relations of the Indianapolis office.

How I began my career in construction:

My father and older brother were both engineers and have long careers in the construction industry. Visiting job sites and seeing the work from a very young age lead me to move forward with a construction career as well.

How I give back:

My family and I are active members in our church which provides us opportunities to help those in our church and community.

Why I like being in construction:

It’s challenging, but rewarding. I like being part of a team and bringing client’s dreams to life.

John Dannemiller
Project Executive

Our mentality provides a unique perspective when making decisions that affect the long term impact to the project once the construction process is over.”

With a focus on industrial and manufacturing projects, John excels at building the right team to meet the project needs in regards to budget, technical difficulty, schedule and integration with ongoing operations where needed.

How I began my career in construction:

As a kid, my dad taught me basic carpentry skills that set my mind in motion toward the ideas of being able to build what my mind could imagine.

How I give back:

I have always viewed construction as a service industry. No matter what we build, whether schools, churches, office buildings or manufacturing spaces it is all done for others so they can accomplish their goals and mission.

Why I like being in construction:

I love starting with an idea and seeing the many aspects and people involved in developing it into a finished product that serves others for years to come.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

To be recognized as someone that sought out advancement of our industry through promoting growth and advancement.

Andrew Hunkins
Senior Project Manager

Work hard, stay humble and find a way to make a positive impact in someone’s life every day.”

Andrew has been an integral team member with CK for many years. He has taken the lead on some of the most challenging projects. Andrew is passionate about successfully managing difficult projects that allow him to think creatively to deliver exceptional services to their owners.

Why I began a career in construction:

I was drawn to the science of how a building was constructed and have always enjoyed the teamwork and comradery that this industry has.

My fondest memory being in the industry:

Being able to see the end users of a project utilize and enjoy the space the team worked to create is always fulfilling. I am very fortunate to have witnessed these events multiple times in my career.

What is the proudest achievement of my career:

I love watching the Team Members that I work closely with on projects grow professionally in their careers. I have the opportunity to work with creative and passionate individuals that take a vision and mold it into reality every day.

Jim Valentas
Senior Project Manager

People make the difference and at CK. I get to work with some of the most talented individuals in our industry.”

Jim has been a key team member at CK since 2001 and serves as a Senior Project Manager. Jim is an expert working in the private sector, and excels at building relationships with owners and architects to bring their vision to reality.

Why I began a career in construction:

I was always interested in watching buildings under construction and really liked architecture. Once I realized I was much better at math than I was at design, I chose the Civil Engineering route. I loved the idea of seeing concepts come to life.

How I give back to the community:

I am proud to work for a company that encourages involvement in our community and the industry. I have learned a lot while coaching youth soccer as well as being a Den Leader for cub scouts. From those experiences, I’ve gained skills that also enhance aspects of what I do in construction.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I would like to be remembered for being a good leader, mentor, coach, and problem solver. I truly enjoy helping others in our industry learn and develop their own strengths. I want to be someone that people can say they learned a lot from working with me.

Mike Girouard
Preconstruction Manager

It is our mission in pre-construction to bring all of our tools and expertise to craft successful projects before the first shovel is placed in the ground.”

Mike plans, coordinates, and supervises Corna Kokosing’s preconstruction program providing technical and administrative direction to ensure company objectives are met, while ensuring client satisfaction.

How I began my career in construction:

I was intrigued by the creative nature of the industry and the lasting impact that it had on the community and landscape. I am an Engineer by trade and have always been drawn to analytics and efficiency improvement.

How I give back:

I approach my job with the mindset that I want to deliver the best possible product to the Owner at the best possible price.

Why I like being in construction:

I enjoy helping to shape our future by helping to streamline our business practices.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I hope to be remembered for my leadership, both in the eyes of my colleagues and clients. I hope to have left my mark by being part of paving the course to a long and prosperous future for Corna Kokosing.

Rich Martin
Chief Estimator

We frequently take on difficult projects with tight budgets and tight schedules.”

Rich’s expertise lies in value analysis of building systems and helping owners make well-informed decisions. His duties include preparing conceptual, preliminary, and detail estimates, negotiating projects in the commercial market and soliciting and negotiating subcontractor bids.

How I began my career in construction:

I began my career working a summer job as a laborer with a small, self-performing general contractor that exposed me to many aspects of construction.

How I give back:

Our company is very active in the community and I participate in as many fundraising and charitable opportunities that I can.

Why I like being in construction:

Technology and industry means and methods are always changing, which means you have to constantly learn and adapt to stay competitive.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

Hopefully, I have many more years in the industry to establish my legacy!

Meagan Tener
Talent Manager

People are my passion. I love hearing their stories and what motivates and inspires them.”

 

Meagan’s position has accountability and responsibility for the vision and promotion of talent and performance management that cultivates Corna Kokosing’s success.

How I began my career in construction:

My dad worked in the construction industry as an Engineer and Area Manager so I was always around construction projects and equipment. He also worked for Kokosing for a number of years before he passed away so I was familiar with what a great organization Kokosing was even before I started.

How I give back:

I have dedicated a lot of my time to the Central and Southern Ohio ALS Chapter. I was a Board Member for 6 years and currently participate in their annual Walk to Defeat ALS. We have raised over $100,000 for the organization. This organization is dear to my heart as my mom passed away from ALS in 2010.

Why I like being in construction:

I like seeing the work we build, knowing that I am a small part of it, and showing it to my kids. I love the people and how much pride they take in their work.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

I hope to ensure that the team members who work here continue to think that Corna Kokosing is the best place to work, based on the benefits, education, and engagement we provide.

Mitch Vincent
Director of Business Development

We build more than buildings. We build relationships, futures and communities that will last for generations.”

Mitch develops and fosters genuine, mutually beneficial relationships with existing and prospective clients. He is also works to embrace and grow a culture of strategic thinking within the organization.

How I began my career in construction:

Early in life it started with my vast collection of Legos and progressed into forts in the living room and treehouses in the backyard. My desire to continue building led me to civil engineering and ultimately to Corna Kokosing.

How I give back:

This calling has led me to serve on the facility planning committee of my church, as well as mentor and coach students for various construction industry competitions.

Why I like being in construction:

The construction industry provides opportunities to start with a concept, develop a plan and build projects that have a direct impact on a community.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

That my leadership empowered those I encountered and provided those individuals with opportunities to discover the leader in themselves.

Matt Ference
Business Development Manager

Relationships are the foundation in which this industry was built on, and we carry that tradition to each and every client we work with.”

Matt works to develop, plan, and implement new business relationships and project opportunities for the company’s services, focusing on the industrial and manufacturing market sectors.

How I began my career in construction:

The construction industry afforded me something so unique in the job force, in that every project is different, which is why I gravitated to it.

How I give back:

I serve my community and industry through several boards, organizations and fundraising events, but the most rewarding way I give back is through coaching youth and high school sports.

Why I like being in construction:

From learning from mentors in this industry to sharing in a vision with clients, interacting and working toward a common goal has made this job enjoyable.

What I hope my legacy in the construction industry will be:

That the projects that I participate in be timeless, sustainable and meaningful, so that generations to come will benefit from our time and resources spent today.

History: A Legacy of Growth

1956 1976 1986 1995 2001 2008 2012 2016 2017 2019
1956 1976 1986 1995 2001 2008 2012 2016 2017 2019

1956

Childhood friends Al Corna, a stone mason, and Joe DiCesare, a carpenter, formed Corna & DiCesare Builders. Their first office was located on 5th Ave. Corna & DiCesare started by building houses and completed its first commercial construction project in 1961.

1976

The company became a general contracting firm that specialized in concrete, masonry and carpentry work. It was involved with building many of the high rises and parks in downtown Columbus during the construction boom of the late 1970’s and early 80’s, including Battelle Riverfront Park, OhioHealth Grant Hospital, The Ohio Theatre Esplanade, AEP Headquarters, Nationwide Insurance, among others.

1986

Corna & DiCesare Construction Company continued to flourish with a strong foundation of repeat, private-sector commercial clients, including The Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Medco, Mount Carmel Heath, The Schroer Group, Schottenstein Stores, Casto Development, and many others. Revenues grew from $4.5 million in 1986 to $75 million in 1995.

1995

Corna & DiCesare Construction Company was purchased by the Burgett family and changed its name to Corna Kokosing Construction Company, of which Mark Corna became President.

2001

The new office headquarters was built at I-270 and Westerville Road, which also included a separate Works Department, Mill Shop, and Training Facility. The construction of the buildings utilized the company’s own skilled craftsman, reflecting their quality standards and culture.

2008

Corna Kokosing always built relationships first, which naturally resulted in being awarded some of the most iconic projects in Central Ohio. Such icons were built for Easton Town Center, Columbus Commons, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus Crew Stage, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, DuPont, Hilton, JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and The Ohio State University.

2012

Despite one of the most challenging three-year spans in the history of the construction industry, Corna Kokosing hits all-time revenue high and is ranked No. 1 (based on 2011 construction contract values in central Ohio), according to Columbus Business First.  Significant projects for repeat clients such as the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, Steiner & Associates, Ohio University, and Honda were completed.

2016

As a result of Corna Kokosing’s own team member votes, the company was awarded “Top Workplace” for the first of four consecutive years. Winners of this award were measured on company leadership, communications, career opportunities, work environment, managerial relationships, pay, and benefits.

2017

Corna Kokosing expands its regional footprint by opening a new full-service office in Indianapolis, IN.

2019

Third generation owner, Lori Gillett, became Corna Kokosing’s CEO and Jim Negron became President.