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John Rakolta Jr.

Chairman and CEO, Walbridge

Rakolta JrJohn Rakolta Jr. is chairman and CEO of Walbridge, a privately held construction company founded in Detroit in 1916.

In 2012, company revenue exceeded $1.29 billion and in 2012 Walbridge was ranked the 47th-largest contractor in the U.S. by Engineering News-Record, including ranking number one in domestic automotive manufacturing construction and number three in the same category internationally.  The company operates offices in North America, South America and the Middle East, and maintains a nine-figure bonding capacity.

Rakolta received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Marquette University in 1970 and later completed the smaller company management program at the Harvard Business School. He joined the company in 1971 as an estimator and held positions of increasing responsibility. He became president in 1979, and succeeded his father, John Rakolta Sr., as chairman and CEO in 1993.

During his tenure, Walbridge has grown from a regional firm with annual sales of $40 million in the mid-1970s to a global entity registering sales of approximately $1.4 billion in 2012. Walbridge is an acknowledged industry leader in the areas of safety, quality and lean construction.