Jim Leopardo - Founder

In 1977, entrepreneur James Leopardo started his own construction firm in Chicago and it didn’t take long for him to make an impressive impact on the industry. Under Jim’s leadership, Leopardo Companies, Inc. has grown into one of the nation’s largest 300 contractors with more than 400 employees and 400 projects built annually.

Jim is responsible for the overall business strategy and standards that affect the company’s two offices, hundreds of employees and job sites, multiple service offerings, and several specialty markets, including interiors, healthcare, retail, municipal, recreation, office, industrial, K-12 and higher education, and hospitality, among others. 

A pioneer in the construction industry, Jim provides a focused business approach and a deep commitment to quality, innovation and leadership. His drive, pledge to client service and standards for excellence are the staples the company was founded on three decades ago. (more…)

Rick Mattioda - President

As president, Rick directs the company’s vice presidents and oversees all Leopardo operations, which spans two offices, hundreds of employees and job sites, as well as multiple service offerings and markets. His belief in a transparent business approach has helped Leopardo distinguish itself from the competition. In 2006, as a testament to Leopardo’s way of doing business, the Better Business Bureau recognized the firm with its coveted Torch Award for Ethics.

With more than 35 years of industry experience, including three decades with Leopardo, Rick is an enthusiastic proponent for continuous improvement and achievement. He is the driving force behind Leopardo’s long-standing Total Quality Management (TQM) initiative, which is aimed at cross-awareness and quality in all organizational processes. With Rick’s leadership, TQM provides a people-focused management umbrella under which every Leopardo employee can continually improve customer service. (more…)

Mike Leopardo - Executive Vice President

Mike Leopardo’s construction career spans more than 30 years, during which he has helped grow Leopardo Companies from a small family-owned outfit into one of the nation’s top general contractors. He currently serves as executive vice president, providing leadership, vision and direction to all of Leopardo’s business units. He also helps set, drive and achieve the company’s long-term strategic pursuits.

Prior to stepping into the role of executive vice president, Mike was responsible for the overall strategy and operations of Leopardo’s specialized institutional business unit, which includes healthcare and senior living. He and his team successfully completed more than $1 billion worth of institutional projects, including medical office buildings, surgery centers, laboratories and senior housing, as well as all types of hospital renovation and expansion projects. With Mike at the helm, the group built an impressive list of loyal clients and is the trusted builder for 40 hospitals and many physician groups around the Chicago area. Mike also played an active role in Leopardo’s strategic markets business unit, where he was focused on building lasting client relationships and an impressive portfolio of work. Many of the projects won during Mike’s tenure with the business unit played an important piece in rebuilding Chicago’s now-thriving West Loop neighborhood. (more…)

Rick DuPraw - Executive Vice President

Rick is one of the most prominent construction executives in the region, as supported by his 2016 induction to the Midwest Real Estate News Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. As executive vice president, Rick’s leadership style combines energy, passion and an unmatched positive attitude. Before stepping into the role of executive vice president, Rick oversaw Leopardo’s tenant interiors group, which is responsible for build-outs, renovations and restorations of commercial spaces. With Rick at the helm, Leopardo’s interiors business grew from $10 million to $150 million in annual revenue and continues to be recognized by peers, clients and the media for its best-in-class construction. Among the many accolades and honors, Leopardo is a five-time winner of the coveted Interior Contractor of the Year award at the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards. (more…)

Pierre Cowart - Executive Vice President

Pierre is a 22-year veteran of Leopardo with a strong background in architecture and a robust portfolio of managing diverse construction projects. One thing that differentiates him from others is his comfort level with understanding development economics and the downstream demands they place on project budgets and schedules. Before stepping into the role of executive vice president, Pierre oversaw strategy and operations of Leopardo’s corporate/community business unit, which included residential, office, retail, industrial and local public sector clientele. He earned the trust and respect of many recognized national brands including Arthur J. Gallagher, Radio Flyer, Big Ten Conference, Walgreens, Honda, Universal Technical Institute and more. (more…)