Our history

Pepper Construction was founded in 1927 by Stanley F. Pepper, whose original vision has inspired nearly a century of growth. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, we were part of the generation that helped build one of the world’s most iconic cities with unparalleled vision for projects such as Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Health, Marshall Fields and the Shedd Oceanarium.

From the beginning, we have remained on the forefront of new markets and methods, leading the industry in sustainable, lean and virtual construction technologies.

Now in our third generation of family leadership, we have expanded to serve a number of locations around the country with comprehensive teams in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana working in advanced and emerging markets such as healthcare, industrial, manufacturing, data centers, retail, hospitality, interiors and education among others.

The values that founded Pepper are the values that help us stand tall amongst our competition today. Our integrity, commitment to quality, and dedication to the relationships we form are the bedrock of our brand. 

Quality & Client Service: Identifying and serving client needs is the only way to grow and prosper.

Honesty & Integrity: Pepper fulfills its commitments. No exceptions.

Safety: A safe workplace remains our first priority.

People: Hire the best people, then provide them with the training and resources to get the job done.

Growth: Pepper is committed to planned, managed growth.

Leadership: Pepper is committed to providing its industry and communities with strong leadership.

A Fair Profit: The result of our commitment to these core values is a fair profit.

Our future

Like with any great idea, we started small, looking for ways to unlock the potential of every team member and partner at Pepper. From new recruits to industry veterans, from management to the men and women in the trenches, Pepper is full of fresh ideas that continuously transform the way we do business. 

So what does Breaking Ground mean for us?

Realizing the boldest of visions
Ambitions are what building is all about. We believe it’s up to us to envision the possibilities and plan ahead for feasibility from day one. At Pepper, we investigate new technologies, evaluate new methodologies, and create innovative solutions in the field to help realize our partners’ boldest visions with a practical approach.

Forming inspiring, personal relationships
A partnership, like a building, is more than the sum of its parts. And both require true collaboration to grow. At Pepper, we take building personally, so we’re always looking for ways to be more responsive. Part of breaking ground is looking after what matters most—our customers and their interests.

Charting new paths for our communities
Every building starts with a solid foundation—its people. We’re deeply connected to the progress of the regions we serve, and we show it through our personal, empathetic approach to doing business. At Pepper, the progress we make in concrete and steel is just as important as the impact we have on the communities we care for.

With these principles guiding our progress, each small step turns into a major impact for our partners and customers. You can see it in the stories we share and the important topics we dig into. And most importantly, you feel it on the jobsite everyday. We’ve always worked this way, because rather than pointing the way to a better future, we’re on that journey together.   


Financial Strength

Pepper is one of the strongest and most financially sustainable construction companies in the country. We are bonded at nearly $1B and more than capable of standing behind the quality of any work we perform. Our transparent, open book approach makes our financials and project data freely available to our partners.

Part of our strength lies in our partnerships. We prequalify all of our subcontractors to ensure a smooth project for everyone involved. Below is a PDF to walk you through everything you need to know.

When you're ready, you will then submit this information via our online Sub Prequalification Form.


Industry Recognition

Pepper is consistently featured as one of the nation’s premier construction companies in multiple regions and vertical markets.

Most recently, we were honored to receive the Business First The Corporate Caring Award  for our dedication to cleaning up the Little Miami River in Ohio.

We are also ranked in key industry publications:

  • BD+C 46th Largest Contractor Nationwide
  • ENR 72nd Largest Contractor Nationwide
  • ENR 9th Largest Contractor in the Midwest
  • Modern Healthcare 14th Largest Healthcare Construction Manager Nationwide
  • Crain’s Chicago Business 54th Largest Privately Held Company in Illinois
  • Crain’s Chicago Business 5th largest Chicagoland Contractor

Markets Served

Pepper serves a number of mature and emerging markets, combining our deep expertise and innovative approach to create meaningful solutions. From the work we do on iconic buildings, to innovative solutions that deliver high performing buildings, we’re proud of how we address the needs of our customers at every level, in every market.

  • Commercial
  • Corporate HQ
  • Healthcare
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • Hospitality
  • Industrial
  • Institutional
  • Interiors
  • Entertainment
  • Retail
  • Senior Living
  • Mission Critical/Data Centers


At Pepper, we create leaders at every level and generate momentum in every market we serve. We do that by rewarding new thinking and respecting the long-standing values that have made our company unique for generations. 

  • Our Team

Ken Egidi

President and CEO, Pepper Construction Company

As president and CEO, Ken is responsible for setting Pepper Construction Company’s mission and strategic vision and allocating the company’s resources to meet those goals. Ken provides strategic oversight and support for every area of the company, making sure Pepper’s team has the right opportunities and tools in place to excel. He holds a bachelor’s degree in building construction and engineering technology from Chicago Technical College. Ken serves his community as treasurer on the board of directors for the Builder’s Association; as a member of the Associated General Contractors of America, American Contractors Insurance Group, and Executive’s Club of Chicago; and as an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Jim Nissen

Executive Vice President

As executive vice president for Pepper Illinois, Jim focuses on strategic operations that supplement the core business.  This includes emerging methodologies like IPD and Lean construction as well as our self-perform group.  He also serves as President of Pepper Environmental Technologies.  Jim brings more than 33 years of broad construction expertise to the role and holds a bachelor of science in construction engineering from Iowa State University, an MBA from Northern Illinois University. He is a member of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), is a Certified Professional Constructor as well as a LEED AP BD+C. Jim currently serves as National Director on the AIC board of directors. 

Scot Pepper

Executive Vice President

As executive vice president for Pepper Construction Company, Scot maintains the company’s tradition of developing strong, long-term relationships with owners, developers, architects, and other related parties. Scot serves his community on the boards of the Associated Colleges of Illinois, the Chicago Architectural Foundation, the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and Lake Forest Country Day School. Scot holds a bachelor’s degree industrial technology with a concentration in building construction from the University of Wisconsin/Stout.

Jacqueline Lavigne

Chief Marketing Officer

As chief marketing officer, Jacqueline brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry to spearhead the strategy across business development, marketing and communications. Jacqueline’s leadership flows from her extensive experience in business and market planning and the development of sales and marketing performance metrics. As CMO, Jacqueline works closely with company leadership to create a better, more successful future for the company.

Jacqueline began her career in the industry as part of a top global design firm’s strategy practice, a consultative group developed to help clients solve their strategic workplace and portfolio-related issues. Her experience delivering pre- and post-design services with diverse client types led her to a career in marketing where since then she has been focused on the opportunities and challenges of building business.  Promoting Pepper’s industry unique position with every opportunity and positioning the company for new opportunities is a key area of focus, as well as, anticipating emerging trends and beginning to setting the stage for how Pepper might respond is the more proactive aspect of the role.

Jacqueline holds a Master of Architecture from North Carolina State University, and she is the co—author of recently published article, “The Evolving Role of the CMO,” in the February 2014 issue of Marketer magazine. 

Robert Bruno

Senior Vice President

Bob leads our interiors group as well as our teams working in retail and mission critical/data center markets. He brings more than 27 years of construction expertise to every project, leveraging insights from his years spent in healthcare, commercial office and interiors to improve the both the end product and the customer's experience during construction. Bob has played a crucial role in developing Pepper's interiors market through strong client and team relationships. He holds a bachelor of science in economics from Indiana University and serves as a member of the board of directors for the Science and Math Excellence Network and is on the board of trustees for the Contractors Rallied about Servicing and Helping (CRASH).

Tim Cooper

Senior Vice President

Tim began his construction career in 1990 after completing his bachelor's of science in construction management from Purdue University. Now, as senior vice president, Tim oversees operations with an emphasis on healthcare, community colleges, libraries, parking facilities, senior living and corporate headquarters markets. Tim holds an MBA from Indiana University, is a LEED AP BD+C and is ASHE Healthcare Construction Certified.

Scott Higgins

Senior Vice President

As senior vice president, Scott provides leadership for Pepper’s Centers of Technical Excellence. With 30 years of experience, Scott provides leadership for Pepper’s Centers of Technical Excellence and provides some of the industry’s most compelling thought leadership in the disciplines under his guidance. His expertise leads to compelling solutions and counsel for the most discerning clients, drawing on his years in self perform work, estimating and project management. Scott holds a bachelor of science degree in construction engineering from Iowa State University, a master of science in civil engineering and is a LEED AP.

Ron Nelson

Senior Vice President, Field Operations

As senior vice president / field operations, Ron is responsible for monitoring the construction work at the project site. Ron identifies problems in quality, scheduling, cost control, safety, documentation, labor relations, and any other areas that affect the successful completion of the project. Then he recommends and takes appropriate action to correct problem areas and keep the project on track for success. His lengthy and successful career in construction management can be attributed to his keen eye for quality work and his knack for creative solutions.

Jay Ripsky

Senior Vice President

As senior vice president, Jay leads our K-12 operations team and plays a key role leading the Safety and Quality teams. Jay’s career in construction began with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Southern Illinois University. Since joining Pepper Construction, Jay has served in many areas of operations, developing a broad level of experience in a wide variety of markets including health care, retail, K–12, and commercial and institutional work. He has also managed our Self Perform market, expanding the reach outside of Pepper Construction and developing the infrastructure and team for that market.

Rich Schuster

Senior Vice President, Pepper Illinois

As senior vice president, Rich specializes in the healthcare market in Chicago and the surrounding areas. He leverages more than 30 years of experience to partner with clients and help the entire team collaboratively navigate proejcts from preconstruction through turnover. In addition to the healthcare market, Rich lends executive guidance to Pepper's Quality program and our integration of prefabrication into the construction process. He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Illinois, is a LEED AP and holds a certificate in both ASHE Healthcare Construction and ASHE The Next Generation of Infection Control. 

Mike Stensland

Senior Vice President

As senior vice president Mike leads our teams in higher education, hospitality, institutional and retail  operations. He is responsible for the overall profitability and growth of the markets he supports, as well as supporting and developing the teams in his group. Over his lengthy career at Pepper, Mike has been instrumental in expanding our geographic reach, developing new clients, and taking existing relationships to a new level. Through his leadership, Mike and his team have significantly grown our institutional and higher education markets. Mike earned his construction engineering degree from Iowa State University and his MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Rich Mueller

Vice President

Construction has been Rich’s lifelong pursuit, beginning as a youth with his father. After graduating from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science in construction engineering, Rich joined Pepper Construction Company and has been with us ever since. He specializes in the management of larger, long-term projects such as corporate office buildings. It is Rich’s commitment to teams and teamwork that has contributed to his success in the industry and his ongoing enjoyment of his work.