Gafcon’s leadership team is comprised of the best and brightest in the industry. Our leadership team plays a key role in driving the Gafcon Way and leading the Tribe.
Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen
Chairman & CEO
Shortly after graduating from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management, Gaf and his wife, Pam Gaffen, moved to San Diego. During their first eight years, Gaf built an incredible reputation in the management and construction of real estate development projects. Ultimately, his entrepreneurial spirit took hold in 1987, and Gaf and Pam founded Gafcon to fulfill his vision of assisting owners in delivering complex projects supporting vibrant communities.
Today, Gaf lends his 40 plus years of experience and expertise to the programs and projects Gafcon manages—from once in a lifetime projects like Seaport San Diego and Zizhu Hi-Tech Development in Shanghai, China to our work supporting community capital programs like the City of Santa Monica and San Diego Unified School District. Gaf’s commitment to the local community extends to his service on various boards, including the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, and Wende Museum Advisory Group. He has previously served on the boards of San Diego Taxpayers Association, San Diego Hebrew Homes, San Diego Jewish Federation, the Explorer Charter School, New Americans Immigration Museum and Learning Center, and the University of California, San Diego Cancer Center.
When he’s not at work, you can find Gaf outdoors, staying physically fit by golfing, working out, fly fishing, and bow hunting. His hobbies include collecting tribal art and antique maps, as well as adventure traveling.
2020 500 Most Influential People in San Diego
San Diego Business Journal
2019 Men of Influence Award
SD Metro Magazine
2018 500 Top Influential Leaders
San Diego Business Journal
2017 50 Top Influential Leaders
The Daily Transcript
2017 Top 500 Business Influential Leaders
San Diego Business Journal
2017 Downtown Dynamo
Ranch & Coast Magazine
2016 Top 500 Influential Business Leaders
San Diego Business Journal
San Diego Business Journal
2011 Hot Firms List, Rank 47
2011 Top Influentials
San Diego Daily Transcript
2011 Top Influentials
San Diego Daily Transcript
Pam Gaffen, Co-founder of Gafcon and Chair of the Board, plays an integral role in the success and accomplishments of the company. With more than 35 years of industry experience, Pam is involved in the management of Gafcon by overseeing the corporate and operational functions of the Board of Directors, as well as integrating company values and culture across all departments.
Pam’s management experience with construction projects includes the largest shopping mall in Cape Town, South Africa and numerous high-end, custom residences. She redesigned and renovated both the building interior and exterior landscape of Gafcon’s corporate headquarters in San Diego, as well as the interior renovations of the Gafcon offices located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Her vision of the look, feel, and brand for the entire company is reflected in the workspaces she creates, which are a blend of modern aesthetics combined with Gafcon’s vibrant culture and her South African roots. Pam not only provides balance and an exquisite sense of style to the firm, she is key to the unique culture and values of Gafcon.
Pam enjoys cooking, travel, interior and landscape design, and collecting rare African art.
Deputy Chairman, President & COO
As President & COO, Robin Duveen is responsible for day-to-day operations, with all departments reporting to him. A construction industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience in program, project, and construction management, Robin has been a key Gafcon team member since joining the firm in 1998.
One of Robin’s goals is to further strengthen Gafcon’s focus on delivering quality projects for clients. He is known for his strong and productive relationships with owners, architects, contractors, and consultants. He is highly experienced with the management and development of public, educational, residential, and commercial/retail projects.
Prior to joining Gafcon, Robin was a development/project manager for Rabie Property Developers and construction manager for Resnekov & Neilson in his native South Africa. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Cape Tecknikon in Cape Town, South Africa.
Robin enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, exercising, and cycling.
Jim Baum is an accomplished A/E/C industry CFO with more than 25 years of experience with several small to mid-sized engineering and consulting firms. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from California State University, Long Beach.
Jim understands how to guide organizations in the development of solutions to improve financial performance. He is a strategic business partner on the executive team and provides strong leadership, direction, and management of the finance and accounting teams. Prior to joining Gafcon in 2014, Jim was with LSA Associates for 20 years, the last 15 years as CFO. He has also held management positions for companies such as Berloger Geotechnical, Alton Geoscience, Unocal Corporation, and Avco Financial Services. Jim has been a member of several CFO Roundtables and enjoys sharing his knowledge with other financial professionals in the A/E/C industry.
In his spare time, Jim enjoys going to antique fairs with his wife and spending quality time with his kids and grandkids.
Chief Development Officer
Bryan Benso has more than 30 years of experience in various fields, including public capital projects, tribal capital projects, master planning, real estate development, real estate LLC transactions, agency negotiations, and numerous other business acumen verticals. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the critical skills and core competencies to grow an organization with strong internal and external public relationships. He is acting Managing Director of development pursuits for the Development division of Gafcon and as such his role will include identifying, sourcing, performing due diligence feasibility, and strategizing various investment projects. He provides managing partner oversight of all investment projects and the delivery of those projects within target investment metrics. Bryan also offers principal growth support to the Gafcon PM/CM group as well as the development of a corporatewide strategic plan for the future growth and success of Gafcon.
In 1994, Bryan was hired by Gafcon to serve as a Project Manager and in two years he was promoted to Senior Project Manager. In 2001, he was promoted to Director of Operations and in 2003, he was promoted to join the Executive Committee as Corporate Vice President. In 2008, Bryan joined the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians as the Vice President of Planning and Real Estate Development, where he provided owner representation and acted as a liaison between the SMBMI tribal and casino management, design consultants, and contractors on extensive development and investment projects exceeding $2B in value. In 2020, he returned to Gafcon as the Chief Development Officer. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign and a Tribal Administration Certification in Tribal Government Management from Clairemont McKenna College. Bryan was honored as a Character Counts recipient by the Public Safety Academy Charter Schools and in 2000 he was awarded Gafcon Project Manager of the Year.
He is an active member of the Lacrosse community serving for the last six years as the President of the Inland Empire Lacrosse Organization which introduces the Inland Empire’s youth to the great sport of Lacrosse.
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Paul Najar is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Gafcon. Prior to joining us, he served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Anacomp Inc., a global document management company for nine years. He was responsible for all legal and administrative affairs including SEC reporting and compliance, M&A, corporate governance, litigation, licensing, real estate, human resources, and risk management. Before joining Anacomp, Paul served as University Attorney for the University of California, Irvine and Corporate Counsel for California Federal Bank.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego. Paul received a joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Humanities from the University of California, Irvine and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys international travel, skiing in the Rocky Mountains, and European history.
Senior Vice President, Client Development
Marty Glaske has been with Gafcon for 15 years and currently serves as the Senior Vice President, Client Development. Marty holds a Bachelor of Science in Business, and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Management, as well as multiple executive certificates. Throughout his professional career, Marty has worked for consulting firms, general contractors, and construction managers focusing on labor compliance, apprenticeship compliance, project labor agreements, labor law, and local hire and outreach initiatives.
Marty leverages more than 25 years of experience in the A/E/C industry with both public and private clients to define strategic, forward-thinking goals for the firm. Additionally, he is a member of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), The Community College Facilities Coalition (CCFC), and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). Marty was also honored as the 2017 Public Works Advocate of the year by the San Diego/Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Marty’s hobbies include fly fishing and golfing with his wife.
2017 Public Works Advocate of the Year
American Public Works Association, San Diego Imperial Counties Chapter
Vice President of Innovative Solutions
John Turner provides executive leadership by advancing the overall technological goals, strategies, and visions for Gafcon’s Professional Services and building information modeling (BIM) teams while concurrently managing our partnerships with Autodesk, Oracle, BIMobject, E-Builder (Trimble), Kahua, and others. He leverages emerging technologies, industry trends, and client feedback to develop solutions for deploying Gafcon’s innovative and customized technology powered program management tools.
His initial experience was in the offshore oil and gas industry based in Aberdeen, Scotland. A joint venture with Intergraph brought him to the U.S. where he focused on the transformation of large organizations, empowering businesses such as Gateway Computers, Nissan, LimitedBrands, Cisco Systems, and Sempra Global through the use of technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Photographic Technology (the science and technology behind imaging systems) from Westminster University in London, England and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.
John is active in Smart Cities and Lean Construction activities and serves on the Board of the San Diego Lean Construction Institute Community of Practice. He has been published in Engineering News Record, American City & County, and has been a panelist and contributor at numerous conferences and conventions.
Outside of work, John loves working around the house, running and hill walking, taking photos, and spending quality time with his family.
Keynote BIMobject Live Sweden
Board Member, VP of Special Projects
Josh Gaffen began his career working summer jobs in construction trailers in the mid 90’s. Since then, Josh has held multiple roles in the fields of construction consulting, technology, and healthcare. These roles have varied in their scope, ranging from treating patients in an emergency room in Oakland, CA to managing a 30-person team rebuilding thousands of homes in the Caribbean under Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief contracts.
Throughout his career, Josh has held various roles in operations, business development, information technology, client account management, strategic partnerships, government relations, and marketing. This cumulative experience allows Josh to empathize with Gafcon’s clients, looking beyond the obvious to find solutions to complex problems. Currently, Josh spearheads all client acquisition and engagement initiatives for Gafcon—partnering with clients that align with Gafcon’s philosophy and who are positioned to leverage the unique value proposition that Gafcon provides.
He is also involved in multiple civic, philanthropic, and business-oriented community groups including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of the Lincoln Club of San Diego, Downtown San Diego Partnership, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp, 11-99 Foundation, and the Construction Managers Association of America.
Josh’s hobbies include travel, fly fishing, and motorsports.
Ron Takaki, AIA, LEED AP
Vice President of Operations
Ron Takaki has more than 40 years of experience in the A/E/C industry and has led architectural, engineering and construction teams on large, complex project designs for a wide range of project types, including commercial, educational, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, governmental, and residential markets. At Gafcon, Ron oversees the development, standardization, and integration of best practices for project and construction management. His goal is to make certain every member of our project teams have access to the knowledge, skills, staff, and technology to provide our clients with the highest level of services.
Ron is passionate regarding sustainable design and is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design & Construction (LEED® AP BD&C). He is a California licensed Architect and has been a member of AIA since 1980. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, as well as certificates from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and industry certifications from the U.S. Army® Corps of Engineers as a Certified Quality Manager for Construction (CQM-C) and is a registered Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Evaluator with the California Office of Emergency Services.
Ron has been a guest speaker at the Graduate School of Design at Stanford University and the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and has also served as a member of the Archdiocesan Building Commission with the Archdiocese Los Angeles.
Ron’s work on The Forum in Inglewood, CA garnered a win at the CMAA awards in 2015, as well as a preservation award from the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Westside Prize from the Urban Design Forum.
Outside of his professional life, Ron enjoys traveling, cooking, listening to music, playing golf, and is an aspiring winemaker.
Vice President, PM/CM Public
Fred Parker has an extensive background of more than 26 years in program, construction, and project management for projects both locally and internationally. He joined Gafcon as a Program Manager overseeing the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District bond work. He has leveraged his expertise in the delivery of complex projects exceeding $4B in cost, as well as experience working with DSA and achieving sustainability and green project goals.
His current responsibilities include managing field operations company-wide, ensuring the right resources are deployed to our projects, assuring programs and projects are delivered the Gafcon Way (systems, processes, procedures, and tribal values), and building upon existing and new client relationships. Fred is also responsible for leading Gafcollege: our internal continuing education program designed to continuously improve our leadership skills, knowledge base, and incorporate emerging technologies and trends.
Prior to joining Gafcon, Fred worked for some of the world’s largest construction contractors including Balfour Beatty, Turner Construction, AECOM, and Jacobs. Fred studied structural engineering but switched his major to business and accounting and holds a Master of Business Administration.
Fred has the operational expertise necessary to lead our field operations teams to successfully deliver large, complex programs and projects. He excels in unifying project teams to achieve the focused goals of our clients and has a holistic approach to successful construction management that enables him to focus on details while understanding how they affect the whole project. He is a proven problem solver, consistently seeking opportunities to improve operational efficiencies.
When he’s not at work, you can find Fred supporting charity events, reading, playing golf, or making music on the piano.
Vice President, Real Estate Investments & Development
Paul Gherini has nearly a decade of experience assisting with acquisitions, financial analysis, and development. He played a critical role in securing the Seaport San Diego Redevelopment project, having been in charge of the economic analysis and overseeing the project’s financial feasibility. He has also been directly involved in acquiring and financing more than $2B in commercial projects. He has a deep understanding of financial analysis and has underwritten billions of dollars of complex developments, public-private partnerships, and joint ventures in all project types.
Paul holds a bachelor’s in Business, Urban Studies, and Planning from the University of California, San Diego where he is now a Lecturer for the school. He is also a member of the University Challenge and Developing Leader Steering Committee for the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
Human Resources Director
Shayne is an experienced Human Resources leader who has worked in multiple industries and various sized companies ranging from 30 to 15,000 employees. Areas of her expertise include personnel management, process and policy development, employee relations, workplace investigations, coaching, performance management, documentation, and compliance.
Most recently, Shayne was HR Manager and Senior HR Business Partner at General Atomics, Electromagnetic Systems. She supported the Engineering department partnering with four Vice Presidents, multiple Sr. Directors, and over 60 Directors and Managers. Shayne provided human resource guidance to advance the interests of the business and meet company objectives while directly supporting over 500 employees. Prior to her time at General Atomics, Shayne was the Sr. Director of Human Resources at Rescue Agency, LLC. Shayne has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of the Pacific and a Master of Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach. She is also a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute.
Outside of work, Shayne spends much of her time training as a competitive powerlifter in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Shayne is married with a young daughter. When she and her husband are not working or lifting, they are likely playing by building forts, having tea parties, dancing, or watching Disney’s Frozen or Moana on repeat with their daughter.
Director of Finance
Craig Dutoit has more than 22 years of experience in finance and operations. He studied at the Insurance Institute of South Africa and obtained his Six Sigma green belt certification while working in the U.S.
Craig has a variety of experience in different industries including insurance and risk management, utility solutions, software services, information technology consulting and engineering, as well as the pet sector where he was a Lead Business Analyst at Petco. He joined Gafcon’s accounting team in 2013 as the Project Accounting and Analysis Manager and was promoted in 2016 to Director of Finance. During his tenure with Gafcon, he has created several financial models and oversees budgeting, forecasting, key performance indicators, and all areas of financial analysis for the company. He prepares short and long-term financial forecasts and projections for financial performance reviews.
Craig enjoys spending time outdoors with his family on weekends and is a proud father of three boys and a little girl. He believes that life is a journey and not a destination—enjoy the ride!
Director of Professional Services
Tiffany LaBruno is the Director of Professional Services for a team of data and solutions architects and business analysts. Tiffany grew up in the construction industry and has more than 20 years in facilities and construction experience, including technology consultation to the U.S. Navy Facilities Engineering Command.
She enjoys collaborating with owners and their stakeholders to provide transparency with regard to cost, scope, and schedule in all asset-related areas, from construction to operations and maintenance. Her current experience includes setting asset-driven construction standards and process optimization for the San Diego International Airport, implementation of facilities management and program controls software for Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina, and providing program management controls and standards to a multitude of both public and private clients.
Tiffany is fluent in sign language and volunteers for Ride Above Disability and Habitat for Humanity. She serves as Vice Chair of the Arc of San Diego City Chapter Board and Member at Large for the Arc Board of Directors. She is an associate of Scrum Masters of America, Women in Facilities Management, and Oracle Primavera Special Interest Group.
Tiffany is married with two grown kids, loves cooking, and listening to podcasts while walking her twin puggles.
2020 Gafcon Digital – Return to Office Playbook and Webinar
Utilized technology to track office readiness and emergency response activities
2019 Keynote Speaker
Engineering News Record (ENR) – FutureTech Conference
2019 Panel Speaker
NAWIC – Paving New Roads to Construction Event
2019 Outstanding Women in Construction
Construction Business Owner Magazine
2019 Women in Design and Construction
San Diego Business Journal
Director of BIM/VDC
Katerina Milovanoska is Director of BIM/VDC, and a key member of the Professional Services team. She joins us from Rudolph and Sletten where she managed BIM and VDC processes in support of their construction projects. Katerina comes from Macedonia and holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, Bulgaria.
She is a former practicing architect with experience that spans the architecture and construction worlds. Her perspective assists clients in turning digital architectural design models into three-dimensional reference models, containing the information and details the construction team needs to build structures while mitigating risk.
Katerina is very active in a number of professional organizations. She is a member of the Education and Programs Committee with the San Diego Chapter of Commercial Real-Estate Women (CREW), a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), as well as the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) as part of their Downtown Planning & Public Policy Committee. Katerina was listed among the Top 50 Technology Adoption Leaders of 2017 by BuiltWorlds and was nominated for an Outstanding Women in Construction and Design Award by San Diego Business Journal’s 2019.
Katerina loves yoga, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Craig Hills has more than 20 years of information technology (IT) Management and leadership experience building scalable, reliable, and secure infrastructure. He started his career in the United Kingdom at Sequent Computer Systems and IBM as a hardware engineer supporting Symmetry and NUMA-Q. After moving to the U.S., Craig held various IT leadership roles at several startups.
Craig has worked within the telecom industry, supporting one of the largest outbound call centers in Southern California. He has also provided the technology vision and strategy for an experiential retail startup as it grew from 20 to 650 employees in five years and expanded operations into three time zones.
In his spare time Craig enjoys making music, hiking, and international travel.
Los Angeles Regional Manager
Dale Noriyuki’s A/E/C industry experience spans more than 38 years, where he has worked with design firms such as Gensler, engineering firms like the Syska Hennessy Group, builders, and project management organizations.
Dale’s experience includes incredibly complex situations and designs ranging from new commercial structures, custom corporate interiors, theaters, critical facilities, hotels, schools, and restaurants. His client list includes Disney, Dreamworks Animation, Toyota, Verizon Wireless, Madison Square Garden Group, Wells Fargo Bank, and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Dale’s project successes arise from teaming collaboration through developing relationships, communication, and cooperation. Regardless of the project type, Dale understands that all components of an owner’s team must succeed. Therefore, he is at home with the cultural foundation of Gafcon, where adding value to the success of others is paramount.
“My work is like my golf game, continually changing, requiring thoughtful decision-making, pressing forward to the endpoint goals in spite of the complexities and frustrations, while maintaining respect for others…but all in all very satisfying at the end of the day.”
Outside of work, Dale focuses his time on his family, his lifelong friendships, his work and his church, where he actively takes part in the leadership board.
Technical Director, Virtual Design and Construction Platforms
Sean Olcott leads our Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) solutions practice, implementing technology platforms that enhance collaboration, drive accountability, and increase predictability for project owners. Sean has been at the forefront of industry innovation since 2006, collaborating with clients to leverage new technology, innovation trends, and process transformation to improve how they execute capital projects and manage their built assets.
Prior to joining Gafcon, Sean worked at industry start-ups that brought emerging solutions to the market for building information modeling (BIM), business process outsourcing, managed service cloud platforms, and digital twin technologies. He has brought that entrepreneurial background and technical expertise to our clients looking to solve old problems with new best in class solutions. His work for clients such as Los Angeles Community College District, Seaport San Diego, and one of the largest technology companies in the world has garnered awards, established new best practices, and saved time and money on capital building programs.
When he’s not spending time with his wife and two young boys, Sean likes to play basketball and read as much as he can. When his sons get a bit older, he hopes to be able to golf again, too.
Publication: Changing Construction Market Challenges Project Managers to Evolve
ENR Engineering News-Record
2019 Keynote Speaker
Publication: Construction Industry Needs to Embrace Change
Jan 21, 2019 – Times of San Diego
Publication: Tech from an Owner’s Perspective with Sean Olcott of Gafcon
Apr 16, 2018 – ConTechCrew Podcast
Publication: Reimagining Urban Redevelopment at Seaport San Diego
Oct 23, 2017 – San Diego Business Journal
First prize winner of ENR’s “Imagining Construction’s Future” short story contest
Nov 4, 2013 – Engineering News and Record
Director of Labor Relations
Lizette Rodriguez is the Director of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Business Line Leader at Gafcon, Inc. She has extensive experience in all areas of contract compliance monitoring, auditing, and the enforcement of applicable rules and regulations for state and federally funded projects. She has been with Gafcon for more than 10 years working with contractors, subcontractors, and organized labor representatives in resolving challenging compliance issues.
Lizette has participated in and facilitated various public works and labor compliance training classes sponsored by the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Labor, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the County of San Diego, and other labor organizations throughout the State of California. She is an expert matter speaker for several organizations and teaches complimentary Labor Compliance courses. Lizette is on the Barrio Logan “Building a Community Vision” team and was a part of a mentor protégé program focused on enhancing growth and opportunities for small local businesses.
Lizette received an Associates in Paralegal Studies and is a licensed paralegal with six years’ experience in workers compensation and civil ligation practices. She is involved in a variety of organizations including the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC), and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego.
Outside of work, Lizette enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, exercising, cooking authentic Mexican food, and tropical traveling.
Our Gafcon logo icon consists of six colors and tribal codes.
Navy Blue stands for “Continually seek new knowledge and deliver with the highest quality.”