Robin Duveen (left) and Bryan Benso (right) have been promoted from within the company to lead Gafcon, Inc., with both having the title of Co-Chief Executive Officer.
October 18, 2022
Company Founder Yehudi ‘Gaf’ Gaffen Will Take Chairman Role; Separately, He Will Continue to Lead Seaport San Diego Development
SAN DIEGO (Oct. 14, 2022) — Gafcon, Inc. announced that two veteran company executives have been appointed to lead the 35-year-old Southern California-based construction management company. President and Chief Operations Officer Robin Duveen and Chief Development Officer Bryan Benso have both been promoted, with the title of Co-Chief Executive Officer. Founder Yehudi ‘Gaf’ Gaffen will step down from the CEO position and assume the role of Chairman of the Board of Gafcon, Inc.
“We are very proud of the company that my wife, Pam, and I founded back in 1987, and how it has grown into a cohesive tribe of employees devoted to excellence in service to our owner-clients,” said Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, CEO of Gafcon, Inc. “While it is bittersweet to step back from the day-to-day operations of this remarkable organization, it is time. Robin and Bryan are the right leaders to ensure Gafcon’s continued success with a seamless leadership transition and shared vision for the future.”
The two executives have developed a collaborative workflow, emphasizing that they are fully aligned in their strategy and philosophy of growth. Co-CEO Duveen focuses on internal operations and core business lines, while Co-CEO Benso takes charge of external relations and development. The Co-CEOs have created a strategic investment plan that includes hiring key senior leadership and business line leaders, including health care executives.
Duveen has been with the company since 1998, working his way up from an Assistant Project Manager position. He credits Gaffen with mentoring him to grow into the executive leader he is today.
“Gaf has expressed his confidence in our ability to take this company into the next level. Our new titles formalize our already established day-to-day roles at Gafcon,” Duveen, 50, said. “As Co-CEOs, we now have the authority to pursue a strategy of new business development. We are maintaining Gafcon’s foundational values and business lines while taking this company into its next level of maturation and growth.”
Gafcon currently has 135 employees and has the potential to double its workforce within the next decade, Duveen said.
Benso was among the first employees hired by Gafcon in the 1990s, and proudly refers to himself as “Employee No. 12.” He grew along with the company until 2007, when he left for another opportunity – then returned to Gafcon in 2020 after gaining a broad range of experience in planning and development across the U.S.
“We are following in the footsteps of our founder and leading this company to grow into what it could be in the future,” Benso, 54, said. “We are committed to investing in talent by recruiting some of the best professionals in the business for some of our key focus areas from a business line perspective – and that’s very exciting. Our innovative employees are instrumental in the engagement of our clients towards achieving their project goals and objectives.”
This change in leadership allows Gaffen to focus on Gafcon Digital and on a separate venture, the Seaport San Diego redevelopment of the Downtown San Diego waterfront area within the Port of San Diego. Gaffen will remain CEO of 1HWY1, the developer of Seaport San Diego, and will continue his day-to-day executive responsibilities in that project. Gaffen began pursuing Seaport San Diego in 2015 with a focus on community outreach, and through several evolutions of the original submittal the team has achieved significant progress in aligning with the Port’s vision for this area.
Gafcon, Inc. provides comprehensive services in program and project management, construction, and development. The company’s techniques and methodology were developed as a response to increasing client demand for more effective controls, focusing on controlling cost, time and quality. Gafcon’s diverse portfolio includes projects from the educational, public works, governmental, commercial, and residential sectors. As an award-winning firm, Gafcon has been recognized in Engineering News-Record's Top 50 Program Management and Top 100 Construction Management Firm lists.
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