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Balfour Beatty Construction's Eric Stenman Named Most Admired CEO by the San Diego Business Journal
February 03, 2015
SAN DIEGO – Balfour Beatty Construction is proud to announce that Eric Stenman, CEO of the company’s West Region and head of its National Mission Critical business unit, has been recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as winner of the “Most Admired CEO” in the medium public company category. Stenman joins 13 other CEOs who also were acknowledged as winners in other categories at the publication’s 8th Annual Most Admired CEO Awards. The annual event ceremony, held at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center on January 28, honored 131 finalists for their outstanding professional achievements and contributions to the community.
“I am incredibly humbled by this honor,” said Stenman. “The fact that people within our organization saw this opportunity and thought that I would make a good candidate means just as much to me as actually winning the award. When you add to that a jury who agreed with this assessment – it’s just icing on the cake. I am so fortunate to work with a team of employees who make my job exceptionally rewarding. We have a great combination of thought leaders and service excellence-minded people who make it easier for me to chart a path of success. I truly thank them for making it possible to be recognized with this distinction.”
Industry professionals were also part of the nomination process and commended Stenman for his leadership. “I have had the distinct pleasure to work with Eric over the past three years during the design and construction of two major detention facilities Balfour Beatty is constructing for the County of San Diego,” said Lou Cavagnaro, assistant director, Department of General Services for the County of San Diego. “His engaging and positive approach contributed to immediately establishing a trusting and team relationship, which developed these projects from good to world class. It is my privilege and honor to support him as an admired CEO. He is most deserving of the award.”
Stenman is widely revered by his peers for his servant leadership, integrity, and commitment to the personal and professional success of all his employees. “Eric has been inspirational to his employees as well as his peers,” said John P. Tarpey, chief operating officer of Balfour Beatty Construction. “His positive approach to problem solving, as well as his passion for the success of the business and the people, are second to none.”
“Within a few months of starting with the company, I pitched the idea of a cycling group to Eric. Because I was so new, I wasn't sure what to expect, or if he would even take a meeting with me,” said Justin Maletic, senior project manager, Balfour Beatty Construction. “I was so appreciative when Eric graciously accepted the proposal and even gave me a budget so we could purchase cycling apparel. This happened back in July of 2012, and since then, we have completed more than 20 group rides and covered over 1,000 miles cumulatively.”
Stenman began his career in construction as a plumbing contractor where he owned his own business. He later became a general contractor and put himself through college where he earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge, and a law degree from California Western School of Law.
His experience and work ethic led to many leadership positions, including serving as the vice president and general counsel for Douglas E. Barnhart in 2001. In 2007, Stenman was named Douglas E. Barnhart’s president and led his team through significant change, including Barnhart, Inc.’s successful acquisition by Heery International in 2008, and subsequent integration with Balfour Beatty Construction in 2010.
In 2012, Stenman was promoted to chief enterprise development officer on a national level in which he led the creation of the company’s National Capability Center that included Balfour Beatty’s Knowledge Center, Centers of Excellence in Technology, Sustainability, Energy, Federal, and Public-Private Partnerships, as well as leading the national vertical markets of Healthcare and Mission Critical. After successfully launching these programs, he returned to the West Region where he now serves as its chief executive officer overseeing operations in California, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon, and a combined $1.1 billion in revenue.
Stenman is also a member of the company’s Strategic Team and Executive Leadership Team, serving to guide and direct the strategies, future growth, and direction of Balfour Beatty Construction nationwide, in addition to leading the National Mission Critical business unit.
Within the industry, Stenman is active at the local and national level of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), having chaired the National Contract Documents Forum and serving on the board of directors for the AGC of San Diego. He also serves as the national vice chair of the Building Division for AGC of America, as well as a board member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
In 2013, Stenman was named "Good Scout of the Year" by the San Diego Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America and honored at the organizations’ 8th Annual Boy Scouts Construction and Building Industry Lunch-O-Ree. The event recognizes industry leaders who have made a significant impact in both business and the greater community. Over 350 people attended, and a record-setting $150,000 was raised to support local scout programs.