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W. M. Jordan Company announces executive leadership changes

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W. M. Jordan Company announces executive leadership changes


W. M. Jordan Company logo

News Release

August 6, 2018

W. M. Jordan Company announces executive leadership changes,
names new company president

Newport News, Va. – Newport News-based construction manager W. M. Jordan Company announced today executive appointments that prepare the company for its next generation of growth and operational excellence.

Under the new structure, effective August 6, 2018, John R. Lawson, II, 66, will assume the position of executive chairman. Lawson plans to focus on advancing corporate innovation and fostering W. M. Jordan Company’s unique corporate culture.

Lawson became president and chief executive officer in 1986. His leadership has transformed the company from a local general contractor into a regional construction firm with annual revenues of $500 million and the respect of its peers. Engineering News Record MidAtlantic named W. M. Jordan Company their 2018 “Contractor of the Year.” This award reflects more than W. M. Jordan Company’s success as a profitable firm. It celebrates the company’s culture of excellence, employee wellness and development, and giving back to the community.

Ronald J. Lauster, Jr., 48, will assume the role of president. He will manage the daily activities of the company with overall responsibility for corporate strategy, operations, growth and profitability.

Lauster previously served W. M. Jordan Company as vice-president and project executive. Since joining the firm in 1997, Lauster has managed such high-profile projects as the Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts at Christopher Newport University, the Quad Student Housing at Old Dominion University, and the Restoration of the historic Cavalier Hotel. Lauster holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering technology from Old Dominion University.

“Our future is about our people and delivering projects with the excellence our clients have come to expect. I am excited about the opportunities ahead with my W. M. Jordan team, the most innovative and talented people in the industry,” Lauster said.

James C. Burnett, CPA, 50, will assume the role of chief financial officer, succeeding Thomas M. Shelton, 65. Tom will now focus on investment and corporate development opportunities as corporate treasurer for the company. Shelton joined the company as CFO in 1988.

Burnett has served as vice-president and corporate controller at W. M. Jordan for the past 12 years and in the 12 years prior worked as a consultant for the company. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Burnett is a certified public accountant who graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, concentration in accounting. He worked for several “Big 4” accounting firms before joining W. M. Jordan Company.

John J. Angle, LEED AP, 50, will assume the role of senior vice-president of operations.  John has been with W. M. Jordan 18 years and previously served as vice-president and project executive. In his new role, John will focus on operations for all W. M. Jordan construction projects as it relates to field and office procedures. He holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.

“These leaders maintain operational excellence and client satisfaction while mentoring future generations of leaders for our company,” Lawson said.

The company plans to make additional executive appointments for several other members of the senior management team to enhance and align the management structure with the company’s goals and objectives for the future.

Lawson has been preparing the company’s transition to new leaders for more than two years with a philosophy of promoting from within. “There is amazing talent within our organization,” Lawson said. “These folks understand who we are and what we stand for. Their love for and commitment to the company, our customers, and our industry drives their decisions.”

Key executives have been preparing for their new roles by attending advanced management programs at top business schools across the country, including Harvard Business School, Stanford University, and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Founded by Robert T. Lawson and William M. Jordan, W. M. Jordan Company is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The company provides construction management, design build, development, virtual construction, sustainability and contracting services to a diverse clientele in Virginia and the Carolinas.  For more information, visit

Media Contact: Cheryl Browne

(757) 596-6341   [email protected]


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