DPR’s collaborative spirit is exemplified through shared leadership. It began with DPR’s three co-founders, Doug Woods, Peter Nosler and Ron Davidowski, and continues with DPR’s Management Committee and throughout the company. Shared leadership focuses on combining the strengths of people to produce high-performing teams ready to build great things.
DPR Management Committee (pictured left to right):
With Peter Salvati, what you see is what you get. Peter is a straightforward kind of guy, who measures success by achieving lasting results. It is no wonder that at the age of 13 he knew he wanted to be a builder. To him, there was something very satisfying to be sitting on a wall at the end of a day, knowing he had played a part in building it. It’s tangible. It’s lasting. Peter now puts his 25 years of experience to work on providing leadership support to DPR’s Southern California and Arizona operations. He also has been a strong advocate of people practices throughout the company. A born storyteller, Peter has a knack for articulating the culture and values in a way that helps to clarify DPR’s style of business.
Success: “The measure of success is generating lasting results. It’s not just what you do but the value you bring that has a lasting impact.”
With more than 33 years of experience, Jim Dolen draws his greatest satisfaction from seeing the growth and development of people, watching individuals who joined DPR right out of school now in leadership positions throughout the company. To him, the retention and advancement of individuals speaks directly to DPR’s success. Starting as a carpenter, Jim moved up the ranks to superintendent and represents the very best in technical building. One of DPR’s first six employees and part of DPR’s Management Committee, Jim is a driving force in the organization and training of our talent in the field and provides ongoing leadership to our self-perform work operations, helping us provide better control and service to our customers.
Lesson Learned: “It all comes down to the right people. You are only as good as the people you work with.”
When George Pfeffer graduated from Brown University with his electrical engineering degree, construction was only one of the industries he considered. Uninspired by potential positions in marketing and product development, his passion for solving problems and love of human interaction, not to mention his summers wielding a hammer on a jobsite, made him a natural builder.
George has amassed many success stories during his more than 20-year construction career. He joined DPR in 1992 as a Project Engineer and then became DPR’s Redwood City office Regional Manager in 1999, overseeing the company’s largest office for seven years before his leadership and expertise were required full-time back in the field. In late 2005, long-standing customer, Genentech, called upon DPR for its 450,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility expansion that needed to be completed in 16 months after rebid, a project that many called impossible. George, who does not back down from a challenge, was the only person for the job and spent the project’s duration in Vacaville, CA, successfully completing the world’s largest cell culture biotech manufacturing facility two weeks ahead of schedule and on budget. Now, with his personal reputation as a builder unmatched in the industry and as the newest member of DPR’s Management Committee, George strives for balance as he helps drive the strategic direction of the organization while enjoying every day in the office and at home.
What matters most: “You can’t always make progress in leaps and bounds, but a half a step forward is better than not moving at all. You have to keep improving yourself and the process at all times.”
For Doug Woods, the D of DPR Construction, success is hard to define. As the co-founder with the audacious vision, Doug always has one eye on the future, looking for ways to continuously get better and for new opportunities that move the company forward. His passion for building started at an early age. The son of an engineer, Doug grew up in homes that he helped build. Today, he leads an organization of more than 2,000 people who build great things for customers every day. Doug’s 35-plus years of technical expertise is now focused on the business, helping to take care of customers and employees, and keeping DPR on track to be a most admired company by the year 2030.
What Matters Most?: “I take great pride in knowing that we had some good ideas at the beginning but there are some incredibly talented and hard working people here at DPR who really made it happen. When I finally say, ‘I’m at the end of my career,’ I want to be able to look back and know that we offered people opportunities, and they did things I never believed anybody could do.”
Mike Ford grew up in a construction family and has come a long way from his first job of pulling nails out of forms for 50 cents an hour when he was 12 years old. A New Jersey native, Mike started his 27-plus-year construction career as a Project Engineer, building technical projects in the East and Southeastern United States before heading West. He joined DPR’s Redwood City office in 1993 and has taken on several different roles and levels of responsibility, including successfully leading our Arizona operations for more than a decade. He has also helped start and lead the company’s National Operations Group and Healthcare Think Tank. Now, with a focus on taking care of customers and a passion for building a truly great construction company (DPR’s Mission 2000), Mike has headed East again, bringing his direct, no-nonsense approach to help further develop and grow DPR’s presence on the East Coast.
Most Memorable Project: “I would have to say TGEN. It had all the elements of what makes a DPR project a DPR project: technically challenging, impossible 24-month schedule, collaborative owner, architecturally interesting and structurally complex. And, it was an all-out success from cost to schedule to quality.”
Michele Leiva joined DPR in September 1990 as its sixth employee and was responsible for everything from payroll to accounts payable/receivable for the then construction industry start-up. After 20 years with DPR, Michele finally agreed to join the Management Committee as Chief Financial Officer.
Why DPR?: “The people. In some ways it is like having an extended family. Being here from the beginning, there is a sense of pride that I have contributed to something that will last.”
Eric Lamb is a natural problem-solver. A numbers man at heart, he studied civil engineering with the goal of creating integrated transportation systems. His love for building, however, steered him towards a Master’s degree in Construction Management and a more than 25-year career in construction, where he combines the best of all worlds. Only, rather than complex transportation systems, Eric has been instrumental in setting up preconstruction processes and operation systems that continue to serve as a foundation for the company today. He also provides strategic management support for DPR’s four Northern California offices and drives continuous improvement throughout DPR, constantly looking for new ways to enhance construction delivery and better serve our customers.
Most Memorable Project: “It was a research and protein manufacturing facility for Celtrix Pharmaceuticals in 1991. It was one of our first biopharm jobs that we all worked on together and learned about the validation process. We soon become the only contractor around who knew anything about Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)”