Gilbane Building Company Announces Mid-Atlantic Purchasing Department Transitions

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Joseph Averza and Letitia Kidwell will retire after a combined 48 years with Gilbane; Jay Johnson will assume leadership over purchasing for Gilbane’s Washington, DC and Maryland offices.

Gilbane Building Company today announced plans for transitions in Gilbane’s Mid-Atlantic purchasing department. Longtime Gilbane chief purchasing agent, Joseph Averza, and purchasing agent, Letitia Kidwell, will retire after a combined 48 years with Gilbane. Jay Johnson has been appointed chief purchasing agent overseeing Gilbane’s Maryland and Washington, DC offices, while Vanessa Ellis has been promoted to purchasing manager and will transition from Gilbane’s Philadelphia office to Baltimore, MD. In addition, Charlotte Triplett will transition from Gilbane’s federal department to purchasing agent for Gilbane’s Maryland office.

Jay Johnson has been in the industry for nearly 29 years, with 22 of those years spent in various roles at Gilbane. Since 2016, Jay has worked in preconstruction and purchasing for Gilbane’s Washington, DC office. His focus has been on diversifying Gilbane’s subcontractor base to support Gilbane’s commitment to small and diverse businesses. This includes championing Gilbane’s Rising Contractors program in Washington, DC, and the Prince George’s County Blueprint Schools Mentor Protégé Program. Prior to this role, Jay worked as a project manager and project executive on various projects including the National Academy of Sciences Headquarters, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo, the Virginia Performing Arts Center, and the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.

Over the last 15 years, Joseph Averza has led Gilbane’s Mid-Atlantic purchasing department working on projects across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. He has been an integral part of Gilbane’s MWBE outreach strategy, supporting clients like Morgan State University and Prince George’s County Public Schools achieve their small, local, and diverse business goals. Letitia Kidwell has spent her entire 33-year career with Gilbane, as an essential part of the Maryland office. She has been instrumental in managing contractor prequalification and buy-out for hundreds of subcontractors across Maryland.

“Joseph and Letitia have been fixtures in Gilbane’s Maryland office during a period of significant growth, and I wish them both just as much success in this next stage of each of their lives,” said Ted Holt, senior vice president at Gilbane Building Company. “Meanwhile, I’m excited to welcome Jay, Vanessa, and Charlotte as they help grow our purchasing capabilities and relationships with our diverse subcontractor base.”

“Jay has championed the Rising Contractors program and successfully implemented upgraded prequalification and bidding tools in Washington, DC,” said Matt Sarver, vice president at Gilbane Building Company. “He has created a strong foundation for our team and his new role will continue to improve synergies between our Washington, DC and Maryland offices.”

Vanessa Ellis joins the Maryland office after nearly four years supporting Gilbane’s Philadelphia office. With over 29 years of experience, Vanessa has been involved in all aspects of procurement including contractor prequalification, the bid process, and trade contracts and compliance. Charlotte Triplett has been with Gilbane for her entire 38-year career. Before joining Gilbane’s federal team, Charlotte was a project engineer for projects across Maryland including the Forensic Medical Center of Maryland, University of Maryland College Park Physical Science Complex, Doctor’s Community Hospital.

About Gilbane Building Company
Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services – from pre-construction planning and integrated consulting capabilities to comprehensive construction management, general contracting, design-build and facility management services – for clients across various markets. Founded in 1870 and still a privately held, family-owned company, Gilbane has more than 45 office locations worldwide. For more information, visit

With a local office in Locust Point, Gilbane has been “Building Baltimore” for more than 50 years. Our Maryland operation is engaged in a diverse array of construction initiatives: groundbreaking academic and research facilities; healthcare infrastructure improvements; innovative biotechnology and life sciences lab spaces; warehouses and distribution centers; and cultural, sports and public performance venues. Gilbane has built for clients across the state of Maryland including McCormick & Company, the Baltimore Ravens, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Salisbury University and Frederick Health.

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Rebecca Starer
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