Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
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Adam Jelen

Real Estate and Development | Construction
Chief operating officer
Gilbane Building Co. | Milwaukee

Adam Jelen is chief operating officer for Gilbane Building Co., one of the largest construction firms doing business in Wisconsin. Previously, he served as executive vice president and senior vice president, providing local leadership for the Providence, Rhode Island-based construction firm. Gilbane built high-profile Milwaukee projects including the R1VER Project and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s expansion, and current projects include the Wisconsin Center expansion and Haribo’s Pleasant Prairie factory.

Education: Bachelor’s, Bradley University; associate degree, Harper College

Career advice: “For me, it was a silent, humbling piece of advice many years ago: I was in an accident trying to do too much and am fortunate to be here today. Be thankful for every minute, and make a difference in everything you do (inspire, impact, influence). It all adds up.”

How you would spend a one-year sabbatical: “Although it would be difficult to take time away, … I would work with the youth in our local industry to build the next generation.”

Nonprofit cause that has special meaning to you: “I am a founding member and board president of the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Milwaukee (now Wisconsin). … It is gratifying to see the program’s significant impact on local Milwaukee students through mentoring, scholarships and a robust talent pipeline into potential career opportunities.”

Why you’re excited for the future: “Our youth, inclusivity, diversity of thought, technology, environmental responsibility. When we take a look at addressing many of today’s challenges, we can create opportunity for innovation and impact.”

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