Q&A with Geoff Murken and Dino Persichetti, VPs of New Skanska USA Location
- Jun 15, 2015
Skanska USA, the American division of the world’s seventh-largest construction and development company, officially established a presence in Pittsburgh.
The Sweden-based company appointed two local natives and industry veterans, Geoff Murken and Dino Persichetti, to run the new office, which is located in the iconic 11 Stanwix building downtown. As Vice President of Operations, Murken will lead the firm’s infrastructure construction operations, while Vice President Dino Persichetti will oversee healthcare, higher education and life science projects. Both previously worked together at Dick Corporation and have known each other for more than 20 years.
Q: Why has Skanska chosen Pittsburgh for its expansion and what trends do you see in the market?
Pittsburgh is a city of great opportunity for Skanska, especially since we’ve already had success as a company in other areas of Pennsylvania and in Delaware. We really believe in the Pittsburgh market – Skanska is the first national contractor to move into the city in more than 20 years. No other full service contractor has the expertise, scale and financial strength that Skanska has, meaning we will be able to pursue a wide range of projects. Our resources allow us to self-finance and deliver public-private partnerships. We have a strong bonding capacity, and we can deliver both large and small projects across all market sectors.
Q: What are the company’s plans for the region?
We plan to pursue jobs in wide range of markets, including healthcare, life sciences, education, in the vertical building construction market, and power, industrial and infrastructure in the civil construction market. Some of our pursuits may include hospital renovations, medical research facilities, student housing at colleges and universities, offices and retail spaces. The Pittsburgh market is especially poised for large power projects and other energy-related and industrial work, which we look forward to working on. We’re excited that this will be a full-service office, which means we will be able to maximize on Skanska’s national resources to make an impact in the Pittsburgh area.
Q: What are your priorities and what challenges do you foresee?
Entering any new market can be a challenge, but we know the Pittsburgh market well and we’re looking forward to being a part of rebuilding the region for the future. Skanska brought us on to start this office since we have both worked in the Pittsburgh market for a long time and have a lot of experience in the region. Some of our priorities will include heavy downstream infrastructure, higher education and commercial projects. We are also closely following public-private partnership legislation in Pennsylvania and look forward to supporting these projects if and when they take hold in this market.
Q: Skanska has already completed several projects in eastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley. Could you tell us more about that?
Skanska’s roots in Pennsylvania date back to 1913. We built the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion at The Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia, which now houses an expanded education center and gallery space. We recently completed a five-story, 425,000-square-foot, 192-bed expansion of the existing Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. In 2012 we completed the Indian River Inlet Bridge project in Sussex County, DE – a three-span cable-stayed bridge – featuring a pedestrian walkway and with the ability to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Skanska is also expanding Terminal A at Philadelphia International Airport and renovated the University of Delaware Harrington Residence Hall in Newark, DE.
Q: What are Skanska’s future expansion plans on a national and international level?
Skanska is always looking to address issues that shape the construction industry: How can we get to the next level in terms of safety and sustainability on our projects? How can we help bridge funding gaps our government is facing to develop new and renovate our nation’s old infrastructure? Ultimately Skanska aims to grow in ways that help build stronger communities, both nationally and internationally, while continuing to be even more of a leader in safety, ethics, sustainability and diversity and inclusion.
About Geoff Murken:
Vice President of Operations Geoff Murken brings more than 40 years of experience in the construction industry. He has extensive experience managing large capital projects in the power and industrial markets, as well as contacts and market expertise that will help us grow in this region. Prior to joining Skanska, Murken served as senior vice president in the energy and environmental division at Barton Malow Company. He worked on notable projects including Calpine’s Otay Mesa Energy Center in California and the City of Anaheim’s, Canyon Power Plant in Anaheim, Ca. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University where he studied mechanical engineering.
About Dino Persichetti:
Vice President Dino Persichetti brings more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, and is returning to Pittsburgh after serving as regional manager of the Walsh Group’s Washington, D.C. office. Persichetti worked on iconic local projects including PNC Park, PNC Operations Center and Pittsburgh Zoo. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University where he studied civil engineering.