About Primus
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Team

Rich

RICHARD O’CONNELL

Chief Executive Officer

“Our success is a direct result of our people. Investing in our team has yielded tremendous results.”

Rich is a founding principal and Chief Executive Officer of Primus Builders. Under his leadership, Primus has grown from a single office with three employees to a focused group of companies with projects that stretch across the United States and Canada and into South America. He has expanded the firm to more than 70 professionals with expertise in the planning, design and construction of complex projects beyond cold storage and blast freezing facilities to include the food and beverage and life sciences industries.

Rich is committed to keeping Primus at the industry’s forefront of technology, automation and sustainability. Under his direction, Primus became a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and has increased the number of LEED Accredited Professionals on staff. Rich has also supported the implementation of Building Information Modeling software into the Primus design-build process and continues to urge the Primus team to find new and better ways to improve business through technology.

Food Logistics magazine, a respected authority on the cold storage industry, recently selected Rich for its annual list of the Rock Stars of the Supply Chain.

 

Matt

MATT HIRSCH

President

“Primus is the number one design and construction firm in the cold storage industry. By continuing our focus on technology and sustainability, we will strengthen our  front-runner position. I am excited to lead the team into these newer areas of concentration.”

Matt was promoted to President of Primus Builders in 2015. His leadership abilities and spirit of collaboration will serve as the backbone of Primus’s path to an even higher level of professional services.

Matt’s consultative approach is the primary reason many owners return to Primus for multiple projects. His deep understanding of the industry enables him to provide facility and material handling layouts that offer clients increased productivity and profits. Excellent organizational, resource management and communication skills are his trademarks. He is also responsible for widening the use of Building Information Modeling software to our teams in the field.

Matt’s education in Mechanical Engineering and Operations Management gives him a unique technical and analytical approach to projects. He has extensive experience in the management of design-build projects, with attention to budget and critical deadlines. Matt is an active member of:

  • Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA)
  • International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW)
  • World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO)
  • International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR)
  • International Association for Cold Storage Construction (IACSC)
  • Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)

Matt’s commitment to the industry and outstanding customer service earned him a spot on ENR Southeast’s list of the Top 20 Under 40, a compilation of the industry’s rising stars under the age of 40, as well as Building Design + Construction’s list of the Top 40 Under 40.

 

Erik

ERIK GUNDERSON

Executive Vice President

“It’s essential to listen closely and really understand what an owner needs and wants from his facility. That’s why we are able to deliver projects that exceed owner goals for function, price and schedule. At Primus, we use our ears more than our mouths.”

Erik is a founding partner of Primus Builders and serves as executive vice president. His career in the design-build industry began in the field more than 20 years ago. It is his hands-on knowledge of how to successfully manage a project that drives owners to seek him out for their most challenging building efforts.

Drawing from his background as an on-site project engineer and construction manager, Erik guides clients in the planning phase to solutions that achieve a maximum return on their investment. Once construction begins, he remains fully engaged for the duration of the project and provides executive insight on operations.

Erik remains on top of industry trends by staying closely involved with the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and the International Association of Cold Storage Construction (IACSC). He was recently selected by his alma mater, the University of Florida, for a spot on the university’s annual Gator 100. The Gator 100 ranks the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses every year. Primus was ranked #30.

 

Paul_G

PAUL GRENIER

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales

“We build our business by building relationships. I go the extra mile to ensure our clients are satisfied.”

Paul has over 25 years of experience in the development and execution of facility improvement projects. He has extensive experience providing these services for warehousing, distribution and food processing facilities.

Paul has managed hundreds of material handling projects throughout the United States. His equipment projects include product storage solutions, loading dock equipment packages and numerous types of door systems.

Paul has a reputation for being an innovative and practical solution seeker. He approaches each project with the goal of obtaining a thorough understanding of its challenges so he can develop effective solutions while keeping owner goals the top priority.

 

Tony

TONY PITRONE

Vice President

“The key to a successful project is listening. I listen to each owner’s needs and work closely with them to develop solutions that meet their goals.”

Tony is a construction professional with over 30 years of experience in nearly every aspect of the industry. His practical knowledge enables him to fully develop and communicate specific client needs into successfully implemented engineering and construction projects.

Tony interacts with both clients and Primus personnel for the duration of the entire project, from the initial planning phases through design and construction to final owner move-in. He excels at understanding and communicating client needs. This commitment to customer service has resulted in over $1 billion in completed turn-key food processing and distribution projects throughout his career.

Tony is a regular participant in industry specific conferences and trade shows, maintaining membership in leading organizations such as the Ethelyne Oxide Sterilization Association (EOSA).

 

Michael

MICHAEL D. JONES, AIA

President, Primus Design Services, LLC

“My goal is to provide owners with cost-effective design solutions that maintain the highest level of design commitment.”

As President of Primus Design Services, Michael oversees every aspect of Primus’s design operation. He is involved from preliminary design and site planning, through all phases of the construction documents process, into construction administration and field observation. He also conducts building code analysis and accessibility surveys for existing facilities.

Michael’s career has been dedicated to providing design services to the cold storage industry. He currently holds professional registration as an architect in 27 states. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and is a certificate holder for reciprocal registration through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

 

Mark

MARK O’CONNELL

Project Manager, Primus Panel Division

“The great thing about Primus Panels is we can go from being part of a big design-build team to doing our own small contractor projects. We offer owners both options.”

Primus Panel Division provides owners thermal envelope solutions for their temperature-sensitive construction needs. Mark oversees all activities for this in-house division. This includes hiring and scheduling specific panels training for all project personnel, job estimating, materials purchasing, project financials and delivery scheduling and coordination.

In addition to performing panel installation on large warehouse projects, Primus Panel Division can execute small projects as a turn-key general contractor. Mark works closely with Primus Design Services for engineering and architecture support, then organizes teams for installation of insulated metal panels, doors, windows and floors.

 

Chris

CHRIS MANN

Regional Vice President

“Primus’s Western Region includes some of the firm’s largest and most complex projects. I offer specifics on successfully completing projects in California and other Western states.”

Chris Mann is a construction professional with 30 years of experience. His background is centered on managing challenging food and beverage, cold storage (ambient and refrigerated), industrial and renewable energy projects. This includes projects that exceed $50 million in value. Mann attributes his success to regular and meaningful communication with owners and field personnel. This coordinated team effort allows each project to move ahead with no surprises.

 

Paul

DR. PAUL VOSS

Director of Ethics & Compliance

Dr. Paul Voss serves as Primus’s Director of Ethics & Compliance and advises the executive team on its ethical responsibilities as an industry leader. He is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University and is the President of Ethikos, a private firm specializing in the exploration and application of ethics in corporate, social and legal environments.

Dr. Voss leads ethics seminars and is an accomplished public speaker and guest lecturer. Hie presents on everything from Ethics 101 to the components of writing an organization’s specific ethical code. He leads Primus employees in company-wide seminars designed to define and strengthen the company’s stance on ethics and compliance and holds quarterly ethics reviews to discuss the role of ethics in Primus’s day-to-day business operations.

We’ve been fortunate to have some of the best design and construction professionals be part of the Primus team. We have a deep bench of talent across all disciplines.”
- Paul Grenier, Primus Senior Vice President