Greg Graves

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Burns & McDonnell

As Chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell, Greg Graves leads one of the fastest growing and most successful engineering, architecture, construction, and environmental consulting firms in North America. In January 2004, when Greg was appointed CEO, approximately 1,500 employee-owners worked at Burns & McDonnell. Annual revenue in 2004 was $420 million. Since then the employee count has tripled and sales last year exceeded $2 billion.

Under Greg’s leadership, Burns & McDonnell has earned a reputation as a national leader in many technical specialties within the energy, public infrastructure, government, aviation, process, and healthcare sectors. In 2014, Burns & McDonnell ranked as the 18th largest engineering, architecture and construction firm published by Engineering News-Record magazine. In 2013, for the fourth consecutive year, Burns & McDonnell received the prestigious Premier Award for Client Satisfaction from the Professional Services Management Journal (PSMJ). In an independent survey of A/E/C clients by PSMJ, Burns & McDonnell received award-winning ratings in every service category. Additionally, Burns & McDonnell is one of only two firms to win four straight years, and the only in Engineering News-Record’s Top 100 to be accorded this recognition.

More importantly to Greg, the firm is now nationally recognized as one of America’s best places to work. In 2014, FORTUNE magazine ranked Burns & McDonnell the 14th best place to work in its annual ranking of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. It was the third consecutive year and fourth time in five years that Burns & McDonnell has been named to the high profile ranking. In addition, the Kansas City Business Journal named Burns & McDonnell the No. 1 Best Place to Work among large workplaces in Kansas City for two consecutive years.

Greg joined Burns & McDonnell in 1980. After holding several positions of increasing responsibility with the firm, he was named in 1997 as General Manager of Burns & McDonnell’s Energy division. In 2001, he was promoted to President of the division, a position he held until being named the firm’s 6th CEO three years later.

Greg’s entrepreneurial approach to achieving success for his clients and firm earned him the EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 2014 Award in the Engineering category in the Central Midwest. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Greg was named the CEO of the Year by the Mid-America Minority Business Development Council and the Difference Maker of the Year by the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. Greg is a past Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the boards of Union Station Kansas City, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, University of Missouri Kansas City, University of Kansas Advancement Board, United Missouri Bank, and University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board.

Greg and his wife Deanna view public service as a duty in return for all Kansas City has given them. In 2014, they donated $1 million to the University of Kansas Hospital, with an additional $2.5 million donated from the Burns & McDonnell Foundation that the CEO promotes fiercely with his employee-owners. The foundation has provided more than $16 million and staff volunteer hours towards educational outreach, environmental responsibility, human services, and arts and culture.

In 2009, Greg and Deanna were named Kansas City’s Philanthropist of the Year. Together, they have chaired fundraisers for the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, Starlight Theatre, Treads and Threads for KU Hospital’s Cancer Center, Hope House, the Tocqueville Society of United Way, MOCSA, St. Luke’s South Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, Ozanam, SafeHome, the Greater Kansas City United Way Campaign, Children’s Mercy and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.