Gilbane, Chairman and CEO of Gilbane, Inc. and Chairman of Gilbane Building Company, joined the company in 1970, serving in numerous field and office positions before he became the seventh family member to head the company since its founding in 1870. His leadership has been key to the company’s expansion in the U.S. and internationally.
“Tom Gilbane’s commitment to improve the construction industry and the project delivery process is an outstanding example of his leadership,” said Milo Riverso, Chairman of the Academy. “His efforts over his distinguished career have helped not only his company, his family, and his community, but also the nation.”
The award honors late industry leader Ted C. Kennedy, founder of BE&K. Criteria for the award and medal include: commitment to people; obsession with safety; integrity and ethics; championing innovation; a lifetime of achievement; breadth of sector experience and roles; industry organization and leadership; generosity; and support of the greater community.
Chris Reseigh, along with past Academy Chairman Hugh Rice, nominated Gilbane for the Kennedy Award. “I’ve known Tom for over 30 years and he exemplifies all the qualities of the Ted C. Kennedy Award criteria," Reseigh said. "The Academy has made a great selection." Rice added, “No one is more deserving than Tom Gilbane. His generosity, his vision, and the impact he’s made on the industry are proof that leadership matters.”
As head of his company, Gilbane collaborates with the board of directors in developing strategies for the organization’s growth through acquisitions and investments. His “one company” approach emphasizes the corporate resources and expertise on both projects and business decisions. For six years, he chaired the ACE Mentor Program of America, which has the goal of attracting high school students into the architecture, construction, and engineering industry. He currently serves on the ACE executive committee. He is past Chair of the Construction Industry Round Table and is a trustee of the Community College of Rhode Island as well as trustee emeritus of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Gilbane, elected to the Academy in 2010, now joins 12 other Kennedy Award recipients: Ted C. Kennedy; James L. Lammie; Richard L. Tucker; James B. Porter, Jr.; James G. Slaughter, Jr.; David J. Nash; Joseph A. Ahearn; Henry J. Hatch; Charles B. Thomsen; Janice L. Tuchman; Harold Adams; and Dominick Servedio.
Gilbane earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Babson College and a certificate in building construction from the Rhode Island School of Design. He also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from MIT. A graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Business’ Advanced Management Program, he served six years in the Army National Guard Engineer Battalion as a 2nd Lieutenant.