Construction Today - January 2017 - 108
Institutional | RUCON INC.
Head of the Class
RUCON INC.'S APPROACH MAKES IT VALUABLE TO CONTRACTORS AND CLIENTS. BY JIM HARRIS
projects include Penn
Hills High School in Pittsburgh.
ennis Russo's more than 30 years
of construction industry experience have given him a strong
sense of what he feels is the most
effective way to lead a project.
"During the years I was building schools
[for a general contractor] as a site superintendent, I watched how construction
managers went about their work," he says.
"I noticed they liked to separate prime contractors from the owners and the architects
and required all of the general contractors
they worked with to coordinate everything
through them - I saw that as a problem."
Russo has spent much of his life working
on school construction projects, extending
back to the early 1980s, when he worked
for a carpenter's union after graduating
college. His interest in construction started
when he was a young boy, as his father
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JANUARY 2017
* Headquarters: Murrysville, Penn.
* Employees: Four
* Specia y: Construction consu ing
"We find ways to ave people
- Dennis Russo, president and owner
was a general contractor who built houses.
Russo spent much of the 1990s working
as a superintendent on school projects in
the Pittsburgh region for several different
In 2006, after being laid off by one of the
companies he worked for, Russo decided to
apply his institutional construction experience to his own business. Although he envisioned the company, Russo Construction
Services, to be a construction management
and consulting firm working exclusively
with school districts, it wasn't until two
years later that he secured his first opportunity of this kind. In the interim, he managed
a number of homebuilding projects, he says.
Russo incorporated the company in
2014, changing its name to Rucon Inc.
Unlike the companies he observed as a site
superintendent, Rucon believes in taking
a more collaborative approach to construction management. "I believe in calling
myself an owner's representative first and
foremost - I let the architects and general contractors work together during the
submittal process, and work together with
them in unison," he says.