Through shared leadership, DPR is able to prioritize key markets and operations, enabling better overall project performance — whether it is a small-scale tenant improvement or large-scale new construction.
"At the core, our success and ability to build great things are team driven," Whitson said. "We all play a critical part in the delivery of projects, and our proven model of shared and focused leadership exemplifies our collaborative spirit that helps build raving fans both internally and externally."
How does shared leadership look? One example Whitson gives revolves around the company's Self-Perform Work (SPW) group. When DPR expanded its self-perform operations, it also identified a dedicated, shared leadership team to head up SPW in regions, growing the SPW business overall and driving improved performance and results on projects.
Whitson began his career at DPR in 2001 after graduating from Purdue University's Construction Engineering & Management Program, working with an SPW crew in the field as a Carpenter. He then transitioned to a Project Engineer role and continued to develop and grow his expertise and capabilities, ultimately leading multiple project teams in complex renovation, ground-up health care, and mission critical projects, including the $1.2 billion Utah Data Center — one of DPR's largest and most technical projects. In 2013, Whitson relocated to North Carolina to serve as a Business Unit Leader for DPR in Raleigh-Durham, and beginning in 2015, he expanded his responsibilities to lead the Southeast region before transitioning to a broader role focusing on DPR's core construction business.
"Mark has done a tremendous amount to increase integration and collaboration throughout our organization, and I'm really looking forward to working together to move not only our company but also the industry forward," Pfeffer said. "Now is an exciting time for DPR with lots of opportunities to innovate and transform the way projects are delivered and build greater inclusion within our industry."
DPR's employee base now numbers over 12,000 employees worldwide. To help create greater cultural connection and conversation, Whitson and Pfeffer led DPR's Culture Con Roadshow in 2022 — an in-person forum that brought together administrative and craft employees to ask questions. By connecting people, in particular craft employees, and receiving feedback, the company was able to implement a suite of improvements including comprehensive benefits packages for those working in the field.
Both Whitson and Pfeffer see DPR's purpose-driven approach as key to its success: "When a company embodies purpose, values, and beliefs that include respect for its workers, its clients, and humanity in general, business thrives," Pfeffer said.