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Swinerton Announces New Leadership Team to Drive Growth in Seattle

SEATTLE, WA — Swinerton unveils its newly appointed leadership team within the Seattle Division. Nick Vovakes will lead the new leadership team as Vice President and Division Manager. The team includes Thomas Stearns, Operations Manager and Mass Timber Lead; Kelly Chalmers, Senior Project Manager and Healthcare Market Lead; Bret Downing, Director of Special Projects; Ryan Weeger, Director of Preconstruction; Rob McGarry, Field Operations Manager; and Greg Evans, Native American Market Lead.

"The new leadership team brings a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to excellence, positioning Swinerton for continued success in the Seattle area," Vovakes said. "Their dedication to innovation, quality, and community engagement ensures that Swinerton remains a trusted partner for clients seeking top-notch construction services."

Stearns, previously a Project Executive, now serves as Operations Manager and Mass Timber Market Lead. He brings over 18 years of construction experience with expertise in project and design development management. As a pioneer for Swinerton's local mass timber market, Stearns has mentored owners, consultants, and project teams on the benefits and implementation of mass timber structures. Notable Seattle mass timber projects include Northlake Commons and Heartwood Workforce Housing.

With 35 years in the construction industry and 15 years focused on health care, Chalmers assumes the role of Healthcare Market Lead. Chalmers has a passion for building facilities that support the well-being of the local community. One of her most recent projects, ?al?al Clinic with the Seattle Indian Health Board, is a new medical facility providing pharmacy, behavioral health, and traditional medicine services to prevent and reduce homelessness in the Seattle Urban Center. Chalmers is an Education Committee Member for the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering and holds an ASHE Healthcare Construction Certificate.

Downing recently joined Swinerton as Director of Special Projects, focusing on tenant improvements. With a 30-year background in construction management, Downing is responsible for risk management, safety and quality oversight, preconstruction planning, and schedule assurance. He is currently overseeing projects such as the Brooks Headquarters tenant improvement, a new retail space for an athletic apparel company in Bellevue Square, and amenity spaces at Bellevue Towers condominiums and Bellevue's Eastgate Office Buildings 1 and 2. Additionally, Downing serves on the Executive Leadership team for the American Heart Association's Hard Hats with Heart.

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As Director of Preconstruction, Weeger brings over 19 years of leadership and management experience in public and private general contracting environments. Weeger leads the preconstruction and estimating team. Under his leadership, the estimating group has provided support to Requests for Proposals, cost studies, and hard bid projects.

A leader in both the office and field, McGarry serves as Field Operations Manager. McGarry is backed by 43 years in the construction industry with knowledge in the field and administrative side of the industry. With experience in ground-up and tenant improvements, he works to provide high-quality workmanship, safe jobsites, and a commitment to open communication and mentoring. In his role, he will work with the leadership team on strategic workforce planning to prepare for the future and develop strong leadership across multiple market sectors.

Evans will continue in his role as Native American Market Lead. With a career spanning over 35 years in construction and a commitment to maintaining close relationships between Tribes and Swinerton, Evans has established a portfolio of Native American projects, such as the Muckleshoot Casino Resort Hotel, the Emerald Queen Casino, and more.

Swinerton has served the Pacific Northwest for over 100 years. With over 100 construction industry professionals, the Seattle Division has completed, on average, $275 million of commercial projects annually and specializes in health care, Native American, life science, technology, and mass timber construction.

Swinerton also provides commercial construction, construction management, design-build, and self-perform services throughout the United States. Founded in 1888, Swinerton is 100% employee-owned. Swinerton is headquartered in Concord, California, with regional offices in Spokane and Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Diego, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Denver, Colorado; Dallas and Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; and New York, New York.

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