Our history

Pepper Construction was founded in 1927 by Stanley F. Pepper, whose original vision has inspired nearly a century of growth. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, we were part of the generation that helped build one of the world’s most iconic cities with unparalleled vision for projects such as Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Health, Marshall Fields and the Shedd Oceanarium.

From the beginning, we have remained on the forefront of new markets and methods, leading the industry in sustainable, lean and virtual construction technologies.

Now in our third generation of family leadership, we have expanded to serve a number of locations around the country with comprehensive teams in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana working in advanced and emerging markets such as healthcare, industrial, manufacturing, data centers, retail, hospitality, interiors and education among others.

The values that founded Pepper are the values that help us stand tall amongst our competition today. Our integrity, commitment to quality, and dedication to the relationships we form are the bedrock of our brand. 

Quality & Client Service: Identifying and serving client needs is the only way to grow and prosper.

Honesty & Integrity: Pepper fulfills its commitments. No exceptions.

Safety: A safe workplace remains our first priority.

People: Hire the best people, then provide them with the training and resources to get the job done.

Growth: Pepper is committed to planned, managed growth.

Leadership: Pepper is committed to providing its industry and communities with strong leadership.

A Fair Profit: The result of our commitment to these core values is a fair profit.

Our future

Like with any great idea, we started small, looking for ways to unlock the potential of every team member and partner at Pepper. From new recruits to industry veterans, from management to the men and women in the trenches, Pepper is full of fresh ideas that continuously transform the way we do business. 

So what does Breaking Ground mean for us?

Realizing the boldest of visions
Ambitions are what building is all about. We believe it’s up to us to envision the possibilities and plan ahead for feasibility from day one. At Pepper, we investigate new technologies, evaluate new methodologies, and create innovative solutions in the field to help realize our partners’ boldest visions with a practical approach.

Forming inspiring, personal relationships
A partnership, like a building, is more than the sum of its parts. And both require true collaboration to grow. At Pepper, we take building personally, so we’re always looking for ways to be more responsive. Part of breaking ground is looking after what matters most—our customers and their interests.

Charting new paths for our communities
Every building starts with a solid foundation—its people. We’re deeply connected to the progress of the regions we serve, and we show it through our personal, empathetic approach to doing business. At Pepper, the progress we make in concrete and steel is just as important as the impact we have on the communities we care for.

With these principles guiding our progress, each small step turns into a major impact for our partners and customers. You can see it in the stories we share and the important topics we dig into. And most importantly, you feel it on the jobsite everyday. We’ve always worked this way, because rather than pointing the way to a better future, we’re on that journey together.   

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Financial Strength

Pepper is one of the strongest and most financially sustainable construction companies in the country. We are bonded at nearly $1B and more than capable of standing behind the quality of any work we perform. Our transparent, open book approach makes our financials and project data freely available to our partners.

Part of our strength lies in our partnerships. We prequalify all of our subcontractors to ensure a smooth project for everyone involved. Below is a PDF to walk you through everything you need to know.

When you're ready, you will then submit this information via our online Sub Prequalification Form.

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Industry Recognition

Pepper is consistently featured as one of the nation’s premier construction companies in multiple regions and vertical markets.

We are also ranked in key industry publications:

  • BD+C 46th Largest Contractor Nationwide
  • ENR 72nd Largest Contractor Nationwide
  • ENR 9th Largest Contractor in the Midwest
  • Modern Healthcare 14th Largest Healthcare Construction Manager Nationwide
  • Crain’s Chicago Business 54th Largest Privately Held Company in Illinois
  • Crain’s Chicago Business 5th largest Chicagoland Contractor
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Markets Served

Pepper serves a number of mature and emerging markets, combining our deep expertise and innovative approach to create meaningful solutions. From the work we do on iconic buildings, to innovative solutions that deliver high performing buildings, we’re proud of how we address the needs of our customers at every level, in every market.

  • Commercial
  • Corporate HQ
  • Healthcare
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • Hospitality
  • Industrial
  • Institutional
  • Interiors
  • Entertainment
  • Retail
  • Senior Living
  • Mission Critical/Data Centers

Leadership

At Pepper, we create leaders at every level and generate momentum in every market we serve. We do that by rewarding new thinking and respecting the long-standing values that have made our company unique for generations. 

  • Our Team

Paul Francois

President

Paul is responsible for overseeing the financial and operational success of the company. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University, Paul gained a broad range of construction experience, from healthcare to industrial projects, with specialization in commercial interior and institutional projects.

Paul is active in industry organizations, currently servingas a board member and the chair of the facilities committee for Junior Achievement of Central Ohio and as an Industry Advisory Council board member at Iowa State University. A strong advocate for community involvement, Paul invests his time with several central Ohio charities and educational programs, including the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, the Little Miami River Clean-Up and numerous others.

Jay Jacobsmeyer

Chief Operating Officer

Jay is the chief operating officer for Pepper Construction Company of Ohio. With more than 30 years of experience, Jay leads the company's operations. He has a broad range of experience from healthcare to industrial projects, with specialization in commercial interiors, office buildings and hospitality projects.

Jay holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri. Community and industry organizations that benefit from Jay’s volunteer service include the Delaware District Boy Scouts of America, a local Cub Scout pack, the Simon Kenton Council BSA Executive Board, the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio, The Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and the Little Miami River Clean-Up.

Amy McNevin

Vice President

As vice president, Amy is responsible for overseeing the accounting and administration departments. Pepper Construction’s reporting processes and fiscal strength are made sound by Amy’s leadership and expertise. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bowling Green State University, and she is a Certified Public Accountant. Many local community organizations benefit from Amy’s expertise, including the Audit Committee for Junior Achievement of Central Ohio, Master Facilities Planning team and youth programs for Lewis Center United Methodist Church, Habitat for Humanity and the annual company food drive for The Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Todd Robertson

Director of Business Development

As director of business development, Todd is responsible for building meaningful relationships with our clients and partners. He brings to the position more than 15 years of construction experience, having led strategic sales efforts in the commercial flooring industry for the past 10 years.  Through his experience, Todd has developed an ability to understand the unique needs of each client and guide project teams to focus on what matters most. Todd holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from The Ohio State University. He participates in Pepper Construction’s Mid-Ohio Canned Food Drive and is a key leader on the annual Casino Night committee benefitting Junior Achievement of Central Ohio. 

Jennifer Kunz

Manager of Business Development, Cincinnati

As manager of business development, Jen is responsible for forming new business relationships and extending current partnerships. Jen has more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience, having led strategic efforts for several architectural and engineering consulting firms and a Fortune 500 financial services corporation. Her strength is seeing the unique needs of each client and guiding project teams to focus on what matters most.

Jen serves as the membership director for the Cincinnati chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and on the board of trustees for the Cincinnati Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. She holds an MBA from Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, Kentucky.