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Archive for Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Area contractor to expand services

New president Kamal Mikhail wants to build on $50 million-a-year Lawrence business

September 19, 2000

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A Lawrence-based building contractor has a new boss.

Kamal Mikhail is the new president of Harris Construction Co. Inc., bringing more than 26 years of construction experience to the firm's main office at 3200 Haskell Ave.

Kamal Mikhail is the new president of Harris Construction Co. Inc.,
heading an executive team charged with building market share for
the growing business. Mikhail, 56, started Monday at Harris'
Lawrence headquarters, 3200 Haskell Ave.

Kamal Mikhail is the new president of Harris Construction Co. Inc., heading an executive team charged with building market share for the growing business. Mikhail, 56, started Monday at Harris' Lawrence headquarters, 3200 Haskell Ave.

Bo Harris, the company's chairman, said the appointment brought a wealth of strategic planning and leadership skills to a company poised for continued growth and profitability.

Harris Construction, which already specializes in "design-build" jobs, is ready to do even more.

"I believe our clients are looking for more than a contractor," said Harris, who retains his title as chief executive officer but no longer is president. "They want help locating a site and assistance identifying the construction options as well as financing alternatives.

"To provide these additional services for our clients we needed to develop a strong leadership team to manage our company."

Mikhail, 56, is promising a team approach to his leadership at Harris Construction, which last year had $50 million in revenues from offices in Lawrence; Kansas City, Mo.; and Oklahoma City.

He heads an executive team that includes three vice presidents: Alden Bradley, construction and field operations; Ross Blaine, business development; and Robert Sarna, administration.

Mikhail had been senior vice president for Stratco Inc., a worldwide engineering and technology company for the petroleum industry. Stratco has offices in Leawood, plus others in Anchorage, Alaska; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Houston; and London.

An accountant by training, the native of Egypt has worked his way through a number of jobs controller, treasurer, chief financial officer and senior vice president with a variety of construction companies, including what today is Dunbar Trucking & Excavating at 31st Street and Haskell Avenue.

He said he's pleased to be working in Lawrence again.

Overall, the company has about 100 employees, who work with other companies to put together building plans and work crews to make visions a reality.

Look for Harris Construction to expand its involvement in property development, such as Bo Harris' recent ownership interest in the I-70 Business Center, formerly Tanger Factory Outlet Center, in North Lawrence.

"If there is an opportunity to develop a joint venture, why not?" Mikhail said. "The goal is to improve the overall picture for the company."

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