A Passion To Build

Leopardo is recognized as an industry leader in construction with the resources to build award-winning projects with innovative processes across every major sector. Founded in 1977, we’ve grown continuously and today employ hundreds of industry professionals in our offices and job sites across the nation.


We’ve worked with Fortune 100 companies from Apple to Wells Fargo and completed retail and office projects for many of the world’s most-recognized brands like AMC, Grubhub and Radio Flyer. Our municipal portfolio includes village halls, fire departments and police stations and we’re the trusted builder for nearly every major healthcare provider in the area. We do high-end residential and hospitality, federal and education…to name just a few.

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We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional value to our clients and project partners through turnkey construction services and project approaches, including design-build, MEP coordination, integrated project delivery (IPD), lean construction, virtual design and construction, high-performance building, self-performed trades and much, much more.

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Our Leadership

Mike Leopardo


Mike Leopardo’s construction career spans more than 30 years, during which he has helped grow Leopardo from a small family-owned outfit into one of the nation’s top general contractors.

As CEO, Mike is responsible for the overall business strategy and standards that affect both Leopardo’s offices, hundreds of employees and jobsites, multiple service offerings, as well as all its markets.

Before stepping into his current role, Mike served as executive vice president, providing leadership, vision and direction to all Leopardo’s business units. Prior to that, he led Leopardo’s specialized institutional business unit and was responsible for the overall strategy and operations of the healthcare and senior living markets. 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 became 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.

In 2018, Mike was inducted into the Midwest Real Estate News Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. He holds a bachelor’s degree in construction technology engineering from Western Illinois University and previously served on the Board of Trustees for the Jane Addams Hull House, one of Chicago’s largest and oldest not-for-profit social services agencies.

Giancarlo Pacini


Over the last two and a half decades, Giancarlo has amassed an impressive portfolio totaling more than two million square feet in projects. With expertise in healthcare work, his experience ranges from medical office buildings to multi-acre master site and hospital expansions. As president, he drives Leopardo’s overall growth, profitability and strategic initiatives and continues to have direct oversight of the national healthcare and senior living platforms.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in building construction management from Purdue University and is an active member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), as well as the Healthcare Engineers Society of Northern Illinois (HESNI).

Pierre Cowart

Executive Vice President

Pierre is a 26-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.

Pierre graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a Master of Science in civil engineering (construction management), a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in architectural studies. He also studied architecture and urbanism at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Versailles, France.

Pierre is a former member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) and former affiliate of the Society of Industrial and Office Real Estate Brokers (SIOR). He served as an advisory board member of the James A. Graaskamp Center of Real Estate for the University of Wisconsin School of Business and is currently an active advisory board member for the Roosevelt University Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate.

He has also guest lectured at the University of Illinois in both architecture and civil engineering, as well as at Roosevelt University on project delivery methods and construction contracting.

Rick DuPraw

Executive Vice President

Rick serves as executive vice president at Leopardo and 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. He also oversees 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 substantially in annual revenue and continues to be recognized by peers, clients and the media for its best-in-class construction.

Before his career in construction began, Rick was the drummer in a touring rock-a-billy band. His career with Leopardo began in 1983 when he was hired as a laborer and the company’s fourth employee. Combining his passion for music and community, Rick is currently the drummer for Liquidated Damages, a charitable rock band comprised of musicians from Leopardo and its business partners. He also serves on the board of directors for the United Service Organization (USO) of Illinois, a nonprofit organization providing programs, services and live entertainment to United States military service members and their families. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and communications from Southern Illinois University.

Mike Mastin

Senior Vice President, Residential

Mike is a 30-year construction industry veteran who has completed millions of square feet since joining Leopardo Construction. His comprehensive skill set includes LEED certified projects, large site development, multistory ground-up construction, sophisticated public display exhibits, as well as phased and occupied medical build-outs. Mike is a licensed professional engineer and LEED accredited professional.

He holds a master’s degree in business administration from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When he’s not leading major construction projects like the 103,000-square-foot Rush Oak Brook Orthopaedic Center, the 315,000-square-foot headquarters of Arthur J. Gallagher or the 185,000-square-foot Universal Technical Institute , Mike enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

Leigh McMillen

Senior Vice President, Corporate/Community

Leigh has overseen and managed some of Leopardo’s largest and most impressive municipal, community, recreation, office and industrial projects. In addition to her decades of experience in the construction industry, she is also a licensed architect and LEED Accredited Professional.

Leigh graduated from the University of Illinois with double masters degrees in architecture and civil engineering, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural studies. She is an active member with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, Illinois City/County Management Association and the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association.

Steve Smith

Senior Vice President, Corporate/Community

Steve’s construction career spans decades and his tenure at Leopardo started when he joined the company as an intern in 1987. He is responsible for the strategy and operations of Leopardo’s retail, office, industrial and mixed-use markets. He has personally overseen construction projects totaling more than $600 million across practically every major market. His project experience includes countless Fortune 500 firms and many of the world’s most-recognized brands like Lexus, Apple, Audi, Harley-Davidson, Jewel-Osco, Walgreens and more.

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in construction technology from Western Illinois University and is a member of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (GNMAA) and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Dave Rutledge

Senior Vice President, Healthcare and Senior Living

Dave joined Leopardo in 2009 as a project engineer before rising to project executive in 2018 and subsequently vice president in 2021. During his career with the company, Dave has completed millions of square feet of construction and has played a key role in expanding Leopardo’s client relationships within the healthcare and senior living markets. Over the course of his career, Dave has meticulously managed some of the most complex healthcare and hospital construction projects in the area. Some of the most notable projects on his resume include the 130,000-square-foot Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the 55,000-square-foot and 50,000-square-foot new medical office buildings for Duly Health and Care in Bloomingdale and Westmont, Illinois,  the 70,772-square-foot and 50,000-square-foot new outpatient care centers for Northwest Community Healthcare in Buffalo Grove and Kildeer, Illinois, as well as the Upshot Medical Center at Mills Park, a 72,000-SF, five-story north tower and a 90,000-SF, six-story south tower – one of the only Class A, LEED-designed medical office projects of this size in the country. Dave holds a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Illinois, as well as a Bachelor’s in Architectural Studies. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional of Building Design + Construction.

Matt Miller

Senior Vice President, Field Operations

Matt joined Leopardo in 1993. Prior to stepping into his current role, he oversaw the company’s institutional business unit. During that time, he worked with more than 40 hospitals, numerous physician groups and personally managed countless healthcare, laboratories and senior living facilities. In his current role, Matt leads Leopardo’s field operations.

Holly Rudnick

Senior Vice President, People & Culture

Holly brings more than 15 years of strategic human resources experience across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, construction, retail and manufacturing. Her energy, dynamic resume of experience, and proven success within the strategic human resources function serves Leopardo’s goal to be a meaningful place to work, where its people are its best asset.

Holly came to Leopardo from Best Buy, where she focused largely on engagement and talent development. She has also filled the roles of director of human resources at both Illinois Tool Works and Apria Healthcare. She currently leads Leopardo’s strategic human resources function, taking lead in advancing Leopardo’s people and culture infrastructure.

Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human services and psychology from Kendall College. She also earned professional HR certifications from the Human Resources Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resources Management.

Rory Tihinen

Senior Vice President, Preconstruction/Estimating

With decades of industry experience and a familiarity with all construction products and their suppliers, Rory helps clients navigate cost spikes and material inflation to save time and money. He counsels Leopardo’s project teams on price escalations, material demands, supply shortages, alternative methods of construction, lifecycle costs, efficiencies and impact on the environment.

Rory graduated with honors from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Euisang Lee

Vice President, Preconstruction

Pete Oldendorf

Vice President, Job Order Contracting

Steve Sebastian

Vice President, Residential

Seth Erlich

Vice President, Interiors

Seth is a Vice President at Leopardo Construction with 27 years of experience in tenant interior projects, renovation and ground-up work. He has worked with big brands such as Kia, Colliers and Morgan Stanley. Seth has a proven track record in meeting tight deadlines and going above and beyond to satisfy our clients’ needs. His areas of expertise include scheduling, cost management, and project closeouts of complex and intricate projects. You can expect a high-level of communication with Seth.

Gary Leopardo

Vice President

Ralph Barszcz

Vice President, Safety

Paul Rentzelos

Vice President, Infrastructure/Technology

Jessica Sherwood

Vice President, Business Development

Jennifer Stanton

Vice President, Marketing

Todd Welch

Vice President, Finance

Joshua McCollom


Josh is a member of the senior leadership team and is responsible for overseeing the daily operations for all construction, project management, and project administration activities within the Florida region. He brings significant design and project management experience in the areas of hospitality and large-scale commercial environments. Josh grew up in the Orlando area and has worked here in construction since 2001. His Florida projects have included Vistana Villages, Bonnet Creek, FL, Ocean-Walk, FL, JW Marriott Hotel, Wyndham Vacation Ownership-Orlando, FL, among others.

Joe Oetter

Vice President, Controller

Colm Hughes

Director, Business Development

Will Sutila

Director, Business Development

Patty Lloyd

Director, Sustainability

Doug Snider

Director, VDC Services

Todd Grunert

Director, Procurement

Jim Leopardo


In 1977, entrepreneur Jim 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 his leadership, Leopardo has grown into one of the nation’s top contractors with more than 450 employees and 650 projects worked on each year.

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.

In recognition of his industry pioneering, Jim was inducted into Midwest Real Estate News’ first-ever Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also included on the Crain’s Chicago Business 2015 list of Who’s Who in Chicago, a directory of the city’s “movers and shakers,” from Fortune 500 CEOs to civic leaders and philanthropists. In 2017, he was named a Distinguished Alumni by his alma mater Western Illinois University. Later that year Jim also received the Honorary Legion of Honor Award from DeMolay International in recognition of his service to the community. Previously, Jim served on the board at the Foglia YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and received the Volunteer of the Year and Family of the Year awards. He also served on the board at JFK Health World, a non-profit children’s health education museum. An alumni member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), he served as the organization’s Chicago chapter chairman, chapter treasurer, day chair, education and membership chairman. Since 2004, he has been an active member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO). He also received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst and Young in 1990 and has twice been a featured speaker at Harvard Business School’s Annual Entrepreneurship Conference.

Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering from Western Illinois University and is a member of Safari Club International, FMI Executives/Presidents Peer Group, as well as a board member of James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate Wisconsin School of Business.

Back To Team

Mike Leopardo

President & CEO

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A Name for the Ages

A construction engineering graduate from Western Illinois University, James Leopardo founds a two-person construction firm, laying the first bricks of a legendary company.

Awards + Recognition





2023 IREJ Project of the Year

Sheffield of Lincoln Park


2023 IREJ Project of the Year Finalists

Orland Park Medical Pavilion - Silver Cross. Seville, Will County Coroner's Facility, Bartlett Fire Protection District #1


2023 Best of the Best Top Construction Companies


2023 HREI Best New Medical Office Building

Orland Park Medical Pavilion - Silver Cross


2023 CBC Merit Award Finalist

Bartlett Fire Protection District #1


2022 Best of the Best Top Construction Companies


2022 Top 100 Green Contractors


2022 Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence

Hilton Canopy and Hilton Garden Inn Development


2022 CISCO Project of the Year

Boulder Point Recreation


2022 Top 400 General Contractors


2022 Distinguished Community Service Award


2021 Best of the Best Top Construction Companies


2019 Top Contractors in America


2018 Largest Contractors


2018 Great Citizen Award


2017 Volunteer Award


2015 Emerald Innovation Award


Where We Build

No matter the location, you’ll receive the same quality Leopardo service.

Leopardo may be Midwest-based, but we have the experience and reach to build projects anywhere. We’re proud to have worked coast to coast in more than half the states and established a massive network of subcontractor relationships across the country to position ourselves to build high-quality projects wherever our clients need us.

Leopardo Charitable Foundation

Our foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the core values of kindness, goodwill, compassion and benevolence.

Every year the Leopardo Charitable Foundation aids dozens of charities that promote education, health, technology and support the well-being of citizens. The foundation has contributed to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, American Heart Association, USO of Illinois, City of Hope, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, among many others. Since 2004, Leopardo and its charitable foundation have raised and donated well over $2.5 million.

Liquidated Damages

Specializing in eclectic music and covering musicians from Aerosmith to Adele and everything in between.

Leopardo’s charitable rock band, comprised of musicians from Leopardo and its business partners, plays numerous benefit concerts each year. Since its founding in 1998, the band has raised millions for various charities. Over the past two decades, Liquidated Damages has played with renowned talent, including Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Survivor’s founder Jim Peterik, singer/actor Jim Belushi, as well as Aerosmith’s touring piano player Russ Irwin.

Reach out to get started on your next project.