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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Contractor hires leader to expand business

April 6, 2001

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A Lawrence-based building contractor got a new boss last year.

Kamal Mikhail joined Harris Construction Co. Inc. as president in September, bringing more than 26 years of construction experience to the firm's main office at 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 retained his title as chief executive officer. "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."

At the time of his appointment, Mikhail promised a team approach during his leadership at Harris Construction, which had $50 million in revenues in 1999 from offices in Lawrence; Kansas City, Mo.; and Oklahoma City.

Mikhail had been senior vice president for Stratco Inc., a worldwide engineering and technology company for the petroleum industry.

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 in September that he was pleased to be working in Lawrence again.

Overall, Harris 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' 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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