Mortenson Announces Planned Executive Leadership Transition

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M. A. Mortenson Company today announced a long-planned leadership transition at the Minnesota-based, family-owned construction and development services company.

David Mortenson, Chairman, M.A. Mortenson Company

"David’s election to Chairman provides the next generation of Mortenson family leadership of our homegrown Minnesota business," said M. A. "Mort" Mortenson, Jr.

M. A. Mortenson Company today announced a long-planned leadership transition at the Minnesota-based, family-owned construction and development services company. David Mortenson has been named as the company’s next chairman and the chair of its Board of Directors; Dan Johnson has been promoted to president; and Tom Wacker has been promoted to chief operating officer.

Chairman David Mortenson, Chief Executive Officer Tom Gunkel, President Dan Johnson, Chief Financial Officer Sandy Sponem and Chief Operating Officer Tom Wacker will lead the company forward and constitute the company’s executive leadership team.

David Mortenson, 49, represents the third generation of family leadership at the 60-year-old organization. He succeeds his father, M. A. “Mort” Mortenson, Jr., 78, the company’s chairman since 1976. When Mort became chair, most of the company’s business was local and it had $33 million in revenue and 224 employees. Today, Mortenson has 10 U.S. regional offices, one Canadian office, eight national industry groups, and has more than $2.5 billion in revenue and employs more than 3,800 people.

“David’s election to Chairman provides the next generation of Mortenson family leadership of our homegrown Minnesota business,” said Mort Mortenson, chairman emeritus. “David is a man of character, an inspiring and visionary leader, and ideally equipped to guide our company into the future as our industry goes through transformative change.”

David Mortenson earned a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and served three years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He joined the company in 1991 and undertook its first international design-build project for Seagate in Northern Ireland, and was the project director during the design and construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Mortenson led the company's office in Seattle before returning to Minneapolis to join the company’s senior leadership team, and subsequently become president of the construction company in 2012. He pioneered the organization’s entry into the international marketplace and led the company’s growth and expansion into new markets.

“I am honored and humbled to help lead the company my grandfather founded 60 years ago and my father has led and grown for 46 years,” said David Mortenson. “Our success as a company is a result of the hard work of so many people, led by an experienced and long-tenured senior leadership team. I look forward to honoring that legacy with a strong focus on continued growth through innovation, expansion into new markets and providing exceptional service to our customers.”

Mortenson is an active Twin Cities community member, serving as current chairman of the Itasca Project, a founding board member of Greater MSP, and a trustee of both the Minneapolis Foundation and the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. Mortenson recently co-chaired the winning bid for the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Minneapolis.

Dan Johnson, who succeeds David Mortenson as president, joined Mortenson in 1986 and has served as chief operating officer since 2008. Through the years, he was involved in the start-up of many of the company's now-successful businesses including offices in Chicago, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon. Johnson was also instrumental in launching Mortenson’s renewable energy business and growing its real estate development group. He holds a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University.

Tom Wacker, who succeeds Dan Johnson as the chief operating officer, previously was a senior vice president and led the company’s Renewable Energy Groups, its Milwaukee office, and project management controls, procurement and equipment departments. Under his leadership, Mortenson’s Renewable Energy Groups experienced substantial growth and expanded into new markets including wind, solar, high voltage transmission and civil work. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and joined Mortenson in 1987.

“I have been fortunate to work side by side with David Mortenson, Dan Johnson, Sandy Sponem and Tom Wacker for over 25 years, and this carefully-planned leadership transition ensures the long-term continuity of a seasoned, proven executive leadership team,” said Tom Gunkel. “David and I are blessed to lead a company with such a strong heritage and one filled with the best people in our industry.”

About Mortenson
Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction and development services company. As one of the nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of construction services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management and design-build. The company also is a leader in real estate development, developing all asset types.

Mortenson has operations across North America with offices in Chicago, Denver, Iowa City, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Oregon, San Antonio, Seattle and Toronto. For more information, visit mortenson.com.

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Cameron Snyder
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