Founding Partner & Chief Executive Officer
Rich is a founding partner and CEO of Primus Builders. Under his guidance, Primus has grown from a single office with three employees to a focused core group of related companies with projects reaching across the United States and Canada.
Rich’s success is a reflection of his work ethic and commitment to helping others. Since his days as a superintendent in the field, he has had a laser focus on providing solutions that bring value. Today that includes incorporating automation and sustainable design and construction practices. He continues to challenge himself and Primus to reach beyond what is expected and embrace the role of industry leader.
Matt is a stand-out cold storage design and construction professional. As president of Primus Builders, Matt leads with a sense of vitality and collaboration that encourages innovation and team building. This approach has lead to advances in automation, artificial intelligence and sustainable design and construction practices that set Primus apart from its competitors.
A lifelong hockey player, Matt is known for his team approach to the design and construction process. He listens closely to our clients to understand their business goals and communicates a plan to achieve them with the entire project team.
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.
Founding Partner & Executive Vice President
Erik is a founding partner of Primus Builders and serves as Executive Vice President. His success is built from the ground up: his career began in the field more than 25 years ago. He provides our clients with real-world solutions that achieve a maximum return on their construction investment. As a result, clients seek out Erik for their most challenging building efforts.
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). In fact, he is a post chairman of 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.
Senior Vice President
Paul has over 30 years of experience in the development and execution of facility improvement projects. He has extensive experience providing these services for cold storage distribution and food processing facilities.
Paul has managed hundreds of material handling and cold storage projects throughout the United States. He is a trained pilot and brings this experience to his project management approach. His goal is to first get a thorough understanding of a project and its challenges. Then he creates a checklist that ensures he is effectively implementing solutions while keeping owner goals the top priority.
President, Primus Design Services, LLC
As President of Primus Design Services, LLC, Michael is involved in every aspect of the design process, from preliminary design and programming to site planning and through all phases of the construction documents process including construction administration and field observations.
Under Michael’s leadership, Primus Design Services has grown to provide services beyond architecture to include structural and mechanical engineering. He has also encouraged his team to find new and better ways to deliver their services. This has lead to the implementation of new software that has brought tangible value to the design process including Revit, Point Cloud, Total Station and more.
Panels Division Manager
Extended Leadership Team
Eric has been successfully managing insulated metal panel installation projects for over 20 years. He started in the field as an installer and quickly progressed to executive leadership roles. In total, Eric has put over 20 million square feet of panel projects in place for all types of coolers, freezers, blast freezers and process facilities. As Panels Project Manager, Eric oversees all panel field operations, material procurement, estimating and site personnel.
Randy has been on the leading edge of automation solutions for three decades. He started as a mechanical engineer and was one of the earliest contributors to the design of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), a system in place at our United States Cold Storage project in Covington, TN. Additional clients include Wal-Mart, Publix, Caterpillar, Saturn, Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing, Bridgestone-Firestone, Cummins Engine, Bobcat, Chrysler, Baxter Healthcare, Shaw Flooring and Sutter Home Wineries. His career includes roles at Swisslog, America in Motion, Transbotics Corporation, Mid-America Systems and NDC Automation.
Randy’s approach goes beyond incorporating the latest automation technology and trends. His goal is to make our clients’ operations run better. He analyzes their data and develops an automation solution that positions them for success. His vast automation experience includes integrating PowerStore shuttle systems; monorails; pallet stacker cranes; compact small parts storage and picking systems; mini load cranes; Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs); flexible, modular conveyor and/or picking systems; modular warehouse management systems; and robotic mixed case palletizing systems.
Director of Structural Engineering
Tony leads Primus’s structural engineering division. With over 20 years’ experience designing structural systems for cold storage facilities, he is widely regarded as an industry expert. Tony provides structural analysis, design and detailing of foundations, slabs, framing and specialized equipment supports. His ability to lead interdisciplinary coordination with the project architect and process engineers has been the key to his career success. Tony has extensive building design experience in structural steel, masonry, concrete tilt-up, shallow foundations, deep foundations and slabs on grade. He has worked alongside Primus Design Services President Michael Jones since the division’s inception more than 10 years ago.
Director of Mechanical Engineering
Tim leads Primus’s in-house mechanical engineering division. His more-than-30-years in the industry has centered on planning, scheduling, estimating, cost control and client reporting in the industrial and process sectors. He serves as a bridge between design and construction, adding an additional level of technical expertise that provides more concise design deliverables. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional with considerable sustainable design experience.
Director of Project Management
As Director of Project Management, Tony leads Primus’s team of construction project managers by applying the lessons he’s learned from over 20 years of successful project delivery. He builds strong relationships between his team, our subcontractors and our clients to ensure project goals are clearly communicated and our projects run smoothly. Tony is a soccer player and uses this experience to emphasize teamwork and understanding how each role contributes to a project’s success. He encourages training and continuous learning to ensure each project manager maximizes his or her role on the team.
Director of Field Operations
Marc is a hands-on construction professional focused on positioning Primus’s projects for success in the field. He works closely with the design team and project managers at kick off to ensure our projects have the resources and management plan to run smoothly. He will also push for quicker closeouts and follow up with owners after project completion to ensure customer satisfaction. Marc oversees two General Superintendents who supervise Primus’s active construction projects to ensure they are on track to achieve all owner goals for quality, safety, budget and schedule. The General Superintendents visit every project and meet with on-site teams to ensure every project’s needs for training, staffing, equipment and technology are filled.
Director of Safety
Theresa lives and breathes safety. She is a noted safety expert with a proven track record for creating and implementing safety programs that drive results. Before joining Primus she developed and implemented OSHA compliance programs for commercial general contractors and Fortune 500 manufacturing firms. She also conducted OSHA compliance audits, Behavior Based Observations and accident investigations.
Theresa uses her extensive safety skills to educate and train the Primus team, monitor the safety practices on Primus’s construction sites and protect Primus’s interests by keeping all required safety paperwork up to date and accurate. Under Theresa’s leadership, Primus has improved its safety record and continues to strengthen its EMR.
Amanda is responsible for the financial well-being of Primus Builders and Primus Design Services. She leads a team of accounting professionals who work closely with our clients and subcontractors to ensure all financial goals are met. In addition to accounting, Amanda oversees Primus’s IT effort and building maintenance efforts. An avid runner, Amanda brings a sense of discipline and endurance to her approach.
Director of Human Resources
Josh has dedicated his career to developing processes that ensure companies maximize the resource that is most important to their success – their people. At Primus, he is responsible for putting in place successful programs for efficient onboarding, new hire orientations, performance reviews, recruiting, succession plans, employee relations, benefits management, employee handbooks and more. His specialty is developing strong managers through skill testing and training. Josh’s efforts result in measurable improvement in employee turnover and morale.
Director of Marketing
Rebecca’s marketing career has focused exclusively on the A/E/C industry. She has extensive experience producing high-quality RFQ/P responses for multi-million dollar construction projects in the public and private sectors. She also produces targeted interview and presentation materials, manages social media and website content, oversees Primus’s tradeshow plan and coordinates public relations efforts for company personnel and projects. Rebecca is committed to delivering a message that reflects Primus’s core values of employees, customers, collaboration, excellence and integrity.
Director of Preconstruction
Brad is an experienced business manager and construction professional with a combination of education, training and real-life experience that make him a results-driven leader of Primus’s in-house preconstruction team. Brad applies lessons learned from his experience in the field to the processes he puts in place for the department. He works with Primus’s design and construction teams to produce estimates that accurately reflect a project’s scope of work. Brad also develops and manages relationships with national, regional and local vendors to ensure Primus is offering the best pricing.
Chief Operating Officer
As Primus’s Chief Operating Officer, KC’s primary focus is to create efficiencies and strive for operational excellence. He is a United States Naval Academy graduate and Navy pilot whose military career consisted of over 3,000 flight hours, 100 sorties and 3 foreign war campaigns. When he moved into the private sector, KC relied on the military’s emphasis on best practices, teamwork and accountability to lay the foundation for a successful construction career.
KC comes to Primus most recently from Cortland Build in Atlanta where he served as Vice President of Construction. Previous roles included Vice President and Project Executive at construction firms in Florida. His wide-range of project experience has given him a keen eye for not just the technical components of successful project delivery, but also the ability to effectively collaborate with key project stakeholders to tackle the toughest problems.
Rich O’Connell and Erik Gunderson founded Primus in 2000 with the goal of building the best buildings with the best people. They started by providing exceptional, big-project style service on smaller cold storage distribution projects. Today, Primus is the leading provider of design-build services for complex projects in the distribution, food and beverage and medical device sterilization industries.
Primus has grown to include four divisions: Primus Design Services, LLC; Primus Builders, Inc.; Primus Thermal Division; and Primus Solutions, our automated solutions division. Each unit specializes in a specific component of the design-build process that, together, are the foundation of the firm’s single-source approach. Because all four divisions are in-house, communication is effortless. Primus is able to implement your plans into a single agenda that delivers on your business goals.
Along the way, Primus never lost site of its commitment to customer service. A remarkable 99% of our business is repeat clients. We enjoy the lifelong relationships we have created with these firms and look forward to building more as Primus continues to grow.
Primus’s business philosophy is driven by a passion for our core values. We are committed to living these values in our daily work and incorporating them in our long-term planning. They define who we are. Our core values are:
At Primus, our employees are family. We are one team, committed to working together to help each other achieve our personal and professional aspirations.
Primus is successful because of the long-lasting relationships we build with our internal and external customers. We listen to each other and develop plans that provide consistent, reliable services that bring value and promote growth.
A talent or quality that is so exceptional it surpasses ordinary standards. Primus demonstrates this every time we give 110% to deliver accurate information, consistent quality and outstanding services that allow our co-workers and customers to meet their goals.
Primus works closely with vendors, clients and internal customers to share information and ideas that result in successful projects. Communication is clear, concise and geared toward achieving common objectives.
Primus believes in doing the right thing even when no one is looking. We take pride in our work and will never cut corners to get the job done.
At Primus, you do more than further your career or find a job. This is an opportunity to be a part of something special – to join one of the fastest-growing companies in Atlanta; to experience a culture of unrivaled support and an entrepreneurial spirit that leads us to higher levels of service and success.
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