Leadership
Groundbreakers
Providing our guidance on every project, every dream
    • Pleas Mitchell

      President, Texas & Arizona
      Relentless Ally since 1997

      Connect with Pleas

      Pleas has a strong operational background, and proven relationships with the company’s clients and partners across the state. He has a passion for developing custom solutions that best address the needs of our clients, while also creating the high-performance teams and strategic plans needed to execute the work most effectively. His focus on performance excellence led Pleas to play a leading role in the creation of SmartStart®, a Balfour Beatty-trademarked philosophy and process that sets the foundation for an integrated and proactive project mentality enabling teams to consistently deliver unparalleled projects and experiences to our clients.

    • Justin Garrett

      Vice President, Central Texas Market Leader
      Relentless Ally since 2021

      Connect with Justin

      Justin Garrett serves as vice president, Central Texas market leader, providing direction and oversight for all local operations in Central Texas. He has over 22 years of experience in Austin working in Balfour Beatty’s key markets, including commercial office, education, healthcare and multi-family. Justin’s local knowledge and proven relationships help clients achieve their business goals by leveraging operational excellence and lean construction practices. His main focus is ensuring we deliver servant leadership to our clients and our employees. 

    • Lou Saksen

      Project Executive, Capitol Complex Master Plan
      Relentless Ally since 2016

      Connect with Lou

      Lou oversees the Construction Manager Agent contract for the Texas Facilities Commission Capitol Complex Master Plan. During his 40-year career, Lou has executed over $4 billion in facility program projects exceeding 15 million square feet. Prior to the Capitol Complex Master Plan, Lou worked for Parkland Hospital and led the construction program for the $1.3 billion New Parkland Hospital replacement campus in Dallas. This project was completed on time and $25 million under budget.

    • Mark Didway

      Operations Director, Large Projects
      Relentless Ally since 2021

      Connect with Mark

      As Operations Director for Large Projects in Central Texas, Mark oversees all large projects in Austin and the surrounding areas, including corporate office, high-rise multi-family, higher education, healthcare, and hospitality work. He also collaborates with local and Texas division leaders to drive operational excellence and best practices. With over 30 years of industry experience building in Austin in a variety of market sectors, he has the necessary experience to lead and mentor our local team to ensure we continue providing world-class construction management services to our clients.

    • Dave Dlugosh

      General Superintendent, Large Projects
      Relentless Ally Since 2021

      Connect with Dave

      Dave recently joined Balfour Beatty as our large projects general superintendent in Central Texas, bringing more than 20 years of construction experience to Balfour Beatty, including the past eight years in Austin. He has successfully delivered many notable local projects, including the recently completed 15-story RiverSouth office building and the Omni Resort at Barton Creek's additions and renovations. Based on his experience, he has a well-earned reputation for running safe jobsites and enjoys great subcontractor relationships. Dave will play a crucial role in the growth of Balfour Beatty’s portfolio in Central Texas.
       

    • Taryn Ritchie

      Preconstruction Manager
      Relentless Ally since 2022

      Connect with Taryn

      Taryn is a seasoned Preconstruction Manager, beginning her career in 2005. Taryn has led the way in innovating estimates of construction cost, as well as participating in design decisions, scheduling, and constructability reviews. An Austin native, Taryn is very involved in the local community, including serving as the Past President of the National Association of Women in Construction’s (NAWIC) Austin chapter. Her experience in leading the preconstruction efforts on multiple high-rise commercial office projects in Austin greatly benefits our Large Projects team.

    • Travis McGarraugh

      Operations Director, Special Projects
      Relentless Ally since 2004

      Connect with Travis

      Travis is an industry veteran that leads a team of construction professionals adept at delivering distinctive spaces ranging from commercial office interiors to unique community facilities. Travis is a team builder and his goal for the Special Projects Group is to achieve high quality work in a team-based, collaborative environment. 

    • Valentina Schifano

      Business Development Manager
      Relentless Ally since 2022

      Connect with Valentina

      Valentina  Schifano has over 10 years of experience in the industry, starting her career at a local architecture firm. Valentina then moved on to establish and grow Tesla’s presence in Austin. As one of the first few architects on site, she shared ownership in the design, construction, and development of Giga Texas’ operations and design standards. Having an interest in all aspects of construction, she left Tesla to further her understanding of the contractor’s side, as a local contractor's director of business development and project management. There, Valentina grew the project pipeline, calling on her previous experience to sell construction differently. Throughout her experience, Valentina has managed every aspect of a project from business development to client interfacing: from schematic design to construction administration. She has also worked on a variety of relevant projects including large ground-up commercial offices & warehouses, tenant interior remodels & finish-outs, and educational facilities & cafes. Valentina has built a comprehensive resume throughout her career, making her a unique candidate who understands all facets of construction.