Leopardo Wins Three Awards for Excellence


HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (February 12, 2014) — Leopardo recently earned three awards for excellence:

Project of the Year (Fox Valley Associated General Contractors): The FVAGC named the DuPage Medical Group’s new medical office building in Lisle (pictured) as its 2013 project of the year. Leopardo built this $28 million, three-story, 100,000-square-foot medical office building at the intersection of I-88 and I-355.  The facility houses a state-of-the-art cancer center for DuPage Medical Group with services such as radiation oncology, infusion and medical oncology.

Safety Excellence Award (Fox Valley Associated General Contractors): The FVAGC recognized Leopardo’s outstanding safety record with its annual Safety Excellence Award in the 250,000+ man-hour category.

Award for Business Excellence (Daily Herald Business Ledger): Leopardo is one of 22 suburban Chicago-based companies honored by the Daily Herald Business Ledger newspaper for business excellence. The Annual Awards for Business Excellence are presented in recognition of business achievement, growth and community involvement.

Since its founding in 1979, Leopardo has thrived on a culture of continuous improvement and has won more than 500 industry awards, including 10 project of the year honors in the last five years alone.

Some of Leopardo’s other awards and honors in 2013 included:

NAIOP Chicago Awards for ExcellenceOffice Development of the Year for Big Ten Conference Headquarters

Chicago’s American Institute of Architects Architecture Award: Citation of Merit for Manifest Digital

American Institute of Architects Northeast Illinois Chapter: Award for Excellence in Design for the Hanover Park Police Headquarters

Restoration Project of the Year: Landmark Illinois’ Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Walgreens Bucktown

Respected Design and Construction Veteran Joins Leopardo

Joel-Klahn-headshotHOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (May 9, 2013) – Joel Klahn, a respected design and construction veteran with extensive healthcare and higher education experience, recently joined Leopardo as a senior project executive. In his position, Klahn will work closely with clients and project teams to provide leadership and oversight, advocating for the client’s best interests in budget and schedule as well as the main tenets of good facility management.

“With 25 years of experience in engineering, design and construction, Joel brings a uniquely comprehensive perspective and heightened sensitivity to long-term client needs/wants and design aesthetics,” said Mike Leopardo, senior vice president in Leopardo healthcare construction group. “We are excited to have him on board and know his impressive background will add tremendous strength to our already high level of service and quality.”

Having worked as a design engineer, project superintendent, and preconstruction leader, Joel understands the countless trades that comprise a successful project. His familiarity with the trades and ability to skillfully navigate all phases of construction translates to sound judgments and added value.

“As project director of a 14-story, 1.2 million-square-foot replacement hospital for University of Chicago Medicine, Joel leveraged his diverse knowledge base to anticipate and proactively resolve design and construction challenges, which resulted in a closer working relationship among all project team members and successful project delivery,” said Carol A. Post, principal of international engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti.

Joel’s project experience includes the full spectrum of project sizes from a $500 million replacement hospital to a 10,000-square-foot addition on a small private high school funded by the students’ parents. His resume features healthcare, industrial, pharmaceutical, higher education, multifamily and many large, complex institutional projects – including work for global, regional and national health systems – totaling millions square feet and more than $1 billion worth of construction.

“Joel possesses a nimbleness that enables him to apply knowledge to all sizes and shapes of projects, independent or within a system,” said Margaret Tobin, activation lead/project manager at BJC Healthcare, formerly director of planning, design and construction at ACCESS Community Health Network.  “He helped ACCESS develop a tactical plan that leveraged resources and created processes that focused on building new and improving existing facilities within a framework of consistently doing more with less.  Creative, articulate and responsive, Joel uses collaboration to learn about his client’s needs and does his best to achieve great project outcomes based on their priorities and objectives.”

Prior to joining Leopardo, Klahn spent time at Gilbane, McCarthy and Turner. His tenure on the design side included work at Perkins & Will and Hansen Lind Meyer (HLM Design).

Klahn earned a master’s degree in business and project management from the Keller Graduate School of Business at DeVry University, as well as a post-graduate certificate in telecommunications from DePaul University. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Northern Michigan University.

Leopardo is one of the nation’s largest 400 contractors, annually completing 400 construction projects in multiple markets and is ranked among the nation’s top 20 healthcare contractors by Modern Healthcare magazine.

Leopardo Leads Sustainable Service Projects on National Green Apple Day

Hoffman Estates, Illinois (October 5, 2012) – As part of the first-ever “Green Apple” national day of service aimed at making schools healthier, more sustainable places to learn, Leopardo Companies, Inc., one of Chicago’s largest contractors, lead two projects at area elementary schools: AJ Katzenmaier Elementary in North Chicago (District 187) and Meadowdale Elementary in Carpentersville, Illinois (District 300).

The national Green Apple initiative is organized by the Center for Green Schools of the U.S. Green Building Council and similar events across the country were held on September 29 as part of the organization’s first year of the program. Participating schools were paired up with local mentors on sustainable projects that also serve as learning opportunities for students and community. Below are details about the two projects lead by Leopardo. For both events, several months of planning helped make the respective Green Apple projects a success. “These projects underscore Leopardo’s leadership in sustainable construction and our passion for giving back to the communities in which we build,” said Patricia Lloyd, LEED Project Coordinator at Leopardo.

AJ Katzenmaier Elementary School – September 29, 7 to 11 am
1829 Kennedy Drive, North Chicago, IL

Mentored by Leopardo, a team of teachers, students, parents and employees from the mentor organizations worked to beautify the school’s front entryway. The team built a permeable paver walkway over the school’s lawn to prevent students and visitors from walking on the grass and disturbing the exposed roots of a nearby tree. The pavers, which aid in stormwater management, were salvaged from the demolition of a construction project and reused on this project. The roots of the exposed tree were covered and protected with the introduction of new native plantings and mulch, chipped from area brush. Native plantings reduce the school’s need to irrigate and eliminate the need for grass, which reduces mowing and provides further conservation of resources. Banners were provided by Roselle-based B&L Blueprint.

Meadowdale Elementary School
– September 29, 7 to 11 am
14 Ash Street, Carpentersville, IL

Mentored by Leopardo, a team of teachers, students, parents and employees from Leopardo worked on a variety of sustainable projects. The team took three existing community garden plots and converted them into raised beds. They also built and installed a compost bin adjacent to the community gardens to provide fertilizer and divert waste. Eventually, the school plans to install rain barrels for watering and cultivating the gardens and compost bin.

Principals of Siegel-Gallagher Construction Join Forces with Leopardo to Form New Milwaukee Company: Leopardo-Wisconsin

New Entity to Deliver World-Class, Full-Service Construction in Southeast Wisconsin, Create Exciting New Developments, Add Jobs

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (July 31, 2012) – When the principals of Siegel-Gallagher Construction sought to partner with a construction company to better serve the rapidly evolving building needs of Milwaukee corporations, Leopardo Companies was the first that came to mind; and together they recently launched Leopardo-Wisconsin, LLC. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Leopardo-Wisconsin promises to bring world-class construction services to a market brimming with opportunity for entrepreneurial builders.

“I have worked with Leopardo for 20 years and built more than a million square feet of office interior space with them,” said David Behnke, principal of Leopardo-Wisconsin and president of Siegel-Gallagher Management Company. “I’ve worked with hundreds of construction companies in the Midwest, and they are hands down the best in terms of personnel, service, and quality. We’re thrilled about the opportunity this new venture presents and we are looking forward to building the best, most customer-centric construction company in Wisconsin.”

The exciting collaboration between a nationally renowned builder and the principals of a Milwaukee-rooted construction firm will deepen and widen its services to Southeast Wisconsin clients in the healthcare, commercial office/industrial and retail sectors. With expanded expertise, Leopardo-Wisconsin will deliver industry-leading capabilities, including preconstruction, design-build, construction management, building information modeling (BIM), building maintenance, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

“Leopardo is excited about expanding our full-range of construction services to the great city of Milwaukee,” said Leopardo President Rick Mattioda. “By collaborating with the principals of Siegel-Gallagher Construction, we have the ability to instantly utilize a wealth of subcontractor and supplier resources to work successfully throughout a region with diverse market opportunities.”

Leopardo Launches Next Generation of

Leopardo Launches New

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (June 1, 2012) — Leopardo today announced the launch of its new website. The next generation of Leopardo’s digital welcome mat is more dynamic and visual with increased functionality and flexibility.

Via a new project portfolio page, Leopardo showcases more than 100 world-class projects that visitors can filter by market, type, size, cost, etc. Previously static, the dynamic home page now features a rotating slider of projects and news as well as a rotating video slider for visitors to browse some of Leopardo’s video productions. An advanced search function allows users to quickly find content on the entire site or search selectively by news, pages and project portfolio. Other features include social media integration, printer-friendly pages, easy-to-share news and case studies and much more.

Leopardo Promotes Daniel Ulbricht to Vice President

CHICAGO, Illinois (April 3, 2012) – Leopardo recently promoted Daniel R. Ulbricht to vice president, strategic accounts, for his significant contributions to Leopardo’s success over the past several years.

As vice president of strategic accounts, Dan is responsible for managing top-tier client relationships and maintaining continuous proactive dialogue with clients to ensure their construction needs are being met by Leopardo’s services. As a trusted advisor, thought leader and resource, Dan frequently lends his expertise to help corporations learn how to build quicker and more economically.

“Dan has the unique ability to lead and collaborate at all levels of our business as we work tirelessly to solve complex construction matters on behalf of our customers,” said Rick Mattioda, president of Leopardo. “He is an accomplished and talented company leader, and extremely deserving of the promotion.”

Dan joined Leopardo in 2004 and previously served as director of strategic accounts. He is president-elect of the Chicago chapter of CoreNet Global, the professional organization serving corporate and commercial real estate professionals. Dan earned a degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University.

Dan is also lead singer and guitarist in Leopardo’s charitable rock band called Liquidated Damages. Formed in 1999, Liquidated Damages was organized primarily for the purpose of playing fundraisers and has raised more than $1.2 million for organizations like City of Hope, UPS for DownS, the Federation of Women Contractors, Alzheimer’s Association, Special Olympics, Beacon Therapeutics and many more.

Leopardo Wins Interior Contractor of the Year

Wells Fargo

CHICAGO (March 9, 2012) — For the fifth time in 12 years, Leopardo was awarded the coveted Interior Contractor of the Year Award in front of 1500 real estate executives at the 2012 Greater Food Depository Awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the industry.

Leopardo’s Interiors group successfully completes more than 200 interior projects a year from smaller service work to multi-floor corporate headquarters. Clients include American Hospital Association, CNA Insurance, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Intuit, Jones Day, Leo Burnett, Motorola, RR Donnelley, Thermos, Walgreens, Wells Fargo (pictured), Whirlpool, and thousands more.

All 2012 winners were officially announced by the Chicago Sun-Times and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Former Clune and Reed Construction Executive Joins Leopardo

CHICAGO, Illinois (January 10, 2011) – Leopardo announced that Michael A. Tenuta, LEED AP, joined the company as Senior Project Manager. Tenuta brings to Leopardo nearly 30 years of experience in construction and architecture with a focus on multi-floor tenant interior construction management.

Prior to joining Leopardo, Tenuta was Vice President and Project Executive at Reed Construction. Previously, he spent 16 years at Clune Construction where he was Senior Vice President and managed several of the firm’s most prestigious projects. Earlier in his career, Tenuta worked at Pepper Construction. Some of Tenuta’s high profile, multi-floor interior projects include:

  • The Quaker Oats Company (415,000-SF, 16 floors)
  • A.C. Nielsen (205,000-SF, 9 floors)
  • Transamerica Distribution Finance (190,000-SF, 3 floors)
  • DDB Needham Worldwide (187,000-SF, 7 floors)
  • Amoco Business Center (168,000-SF, 8 floors)
  • WorldCom (164,000-SF, 8 floors)
  • Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (147,000-SF, 1 floor)
  • National Louis University – Chicago Campus (135,000-SF, 4 floors)

“Mike’s impressive multi-floor background and client-oriented approach sets him apart in our industry,” said Rick DuPraw, Senior Vice President of Leopardo. “He adds great depth and resources to our already strong Tenant Interiors market.”

Tenuta is a LEED Accredited Professional and serves as membership chair of the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in Architecture.

Leopardo successfully completes more than 200 interior projects a year from smaller service work to multi-floor corporate headquarters relocations. Clients include American Hospital Association, CNA Insurance, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Intuit, Jones Day, Leo Burnett, Motorola, RR Donnelley, Thermos, Walgreens, Wells Fargo, Whirlpool, etc.

Leopardo is the frequent finalist and winner of the coveted Interior Contractor of the Year Award and successfully manages several of Chicago’s largest building repositioning projects with intricate infrastructure and building systems upgrades. For more information, visit

Leopardo Protects His Blindside

Otis Hudson

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (December 21, 2011) — Just in time for the holidays, the December 2011 issue of Illinois Real Estate Journal features a cover story about Leopardo’s philanthropy, community service and “above-and-beyond” approach to client service.

“Most businesses champion a specific charitable organization or annually participate in an event or campaign to benefit a worthy non-profit,” the article reads. “Yet at Leopardo, it can truly be said that such endeavors are not merely on a yearly check-list, but are deeply embedded in company culture. From a house rock band that has raised $2 million in charitable donations through industry events to an employee initiated volunteer program that has donated more than 3,000 hours of service since 2008, Leopardo has proven it’s more than about writing a check. the firm has developed unique and creative ways to make a difference in the communities it serves.”

The cover story also includes a sidebar titled “Leopardo Protects His Blindside” about Jim Leopardo’s Hollywood-caliber work with a young, inner city athlete named Otis Hudson. Below is an excerpt of the sidebar:

Before the film “The Blind Side” became a box office hit and its story was familiar to millions, Jim Leopardo, founder and CEO of Hoffman Estates-based Leopardo Cos., was involved in a similar story that netted almost identical results.

Leopardo has always been supportive of youth sporting programs as a financial sponsor and a volunteer.

“In my early days, sports were my outlet,” said Leopardo, who played football at Western Illinois University. “They gave me confidence.”

Through his work with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball program Leopardo met Hudson, a young man from the west side of Chicago with immense athletic talents, but limited outlets to display them in the city’s notoriously rough area. Hudson spent as much time trying to avoid gangs as he did honing his athletic abilities.

The Leopardo family would eventually end up being a champion for his transition to a brighter future.

Click here to download the full story (PDF 1.7MB).

Leopardo Sponsors Party Trailer at Will County Government Golf Event

BOLINGBROOK, Illinois (August 5, 2011) — On August 3, 2011, Leopardo attended the 2011 Will County Governmental League golf outing and sponsored the party trailer on the 15th hole. It was a very hot day at the Bolingbrook Golf Club and we enjoyed spending time with our Will County clients and peers.