Mortenson Construction CEO Tom Gunkel Honored with 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award
October 29, 2012
Madison, WI – Tom Gunkel, Mortenson Construction’s chief executive officer, was honored with a Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering at an awards ceremony held on October 26, 2012. The Distinguished Achievement Award celebrates outstanding accomplishments by University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering Alumni.
"Tom's leadership, expertise and passion for the profession is evident at the University of Wisconsin," said Paul S. Peercy, dean of the UW-Madison College of Engineering. "During Tom's tenure, Mortenson led construction of two of our most innovative research buildings, the Wisconsin Energy Institute and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Tom also is an enthusiastic contributor to the success of today's engineering students, helping bring industry perspectives to the classroom and vision to the campus as a member of our College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board."
A Madison native, Gunkel attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a degree in Construction Administration from the College of Engineering. He joined Mortenson in 1983 as a project estimator and relocated to Milwaukee four years later to manage the construction of 100 East Wisconsin, a 37-story office building. In 1987, he led the opening of Mortenson’s Milwaukee office, which soon became the largest construction firm in southeastern Wisconsin. Gunkel’s past successes propelled him to other positions at Mortenson including vice president overseeing the nationwide commercial building division and eventually overall construction operations as its chief operating officer. In 2001, he was appointed president of the company and in 2008 he was named chief executive officer.
Throughout his career he has been active in Mortenson’s Wisconsin business, which has included opening a Madison, Wisconsin, office in 2005, and construction of notable projects throughout the State including the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, and the Wisconsin Energy Institute, both on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
"I’m humbled and honored to receive this award," said Tom Gunkel, chief executive officer of Mortenson Construction. "In my career I’ve had the privilege of working for a company who embodies ingenuity, embraces quality, and never wavers from keeping our workers safe. I’m continuously amazed at our exceptional team of construction professionals who deliver a far superior experience to our customers including my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin.”
Leveraging his professional success, Gunkel has also been instrumental in giving back and providing continuous support to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the College of Engineering. He frequently arranges construction industry experts to speak to engineering students and has been a fund-raiser, guest lecturer, and a strong supporter of faculty and expanding construction education at every opportunity. He has also served on departmental-level advisory committees and is a long-time member and past chair of the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board.