Partners & Executives
Todd E. Gates
A native of Virginia, Todd Gates moved to Southwest Florida in the early eighties after visiting the area with his family for many years earlier. Starting his construction career as a laborer and learning the construction industry from the ground up, Mr. Gates quickly advanced to estimating and project management. In 1993, recognizing a void in the commercial marketplace, Mr. Gates set off on his own and founded GATES. Today, the firm is a leading construction management, general contracting and design-build firm with offices throughout Florida and the Republic of Panama, with a footprint which includes the Southeast U.S. and Latin America. As a Southwest Florida resident, he is honored to been involved in many of the area’s iconic and award-winning projects for clients such as The Ritz Carlton, Scripps/Naples Daily News, The Golisano Children’s Hospital, Florida Southwestern State College, The Diocese of Venice, FGCU, just to name a few.
Mr. Gates is passionate about giving back to the community, serving on a wide variety of boards and donating his time and knowledge as a spokesperson for many civic events. He has been the recipient of numerous personal and professional acknowledgements such as “Builder of the Year” by Collier Building Industry Association, “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Gulf Coast Business Review, and “Hall of Fame Laureate” for his support and leadership as a role model for local area youth. Gulfshore Business Magazine recognized him as one of the “Top 50 Power Players” in Southwest Florida, ranking him in the Top 10 on their coveted list. A graduate and highly active alumni member of Leadership Florida, Mr. Gates is not only dedicated to the improvement of his local communities, but also to the state as a whole.
John A. Hayes
President & CEO, GATES Group
President & CEO, GATES Construction
President, GATES Butz Institutional Construction, LLC
John Hayes has over four decades of experience in the construction industry. As President & CEO of GATES Construction and President of GATES Butz Institutional Construction, LLC, he oversees all construction operations for GATES projects throughout Florida. Starting his construction career in his home state of Minnesota, Mr. Hayes graduated with highest honors from the Dunwoody Industrial College, School of Building Construction. A state licensed general contractor, Mr. Hayes has been involved in the industry as both the builder and developer.
Extremely active in the Southwest Florida community, Mr. Hayes served as past Chairman and director of the Commercial Builders Council of the Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA). He also served as past director and treasurer of the Pelican Bay Rotary. He is a former board member for the Lee County Building Industry Association (BIA)and most recently Mr. Hayes was appointed as a Member of The City of Fort Myers Building & Zoning Oversight Committee. He also serves as a board member for The Education Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and the YMCA of the Palms. An avid sports fan, he has coached Jr. Everblades Travel hockey for the past fifteen years, and most recently was appointed to the coaching staff of the Florida Alliance AAA 01 team.
At twenty-five years old Augie K Fabela II went to the Soviet Union in 1991 and co-founded VEON Ltd. Against all odds, he succeeded. In 1996 he did an IPO, becoming the youngest chairman on the NYSE. VEON has become the world’s seventh largest mobile communications company, serving 235 million customers (more than AT&T and Verizon. VEON was started with 13 employees and at its peak grew into a global company with more than 60,000 employees and a market cap of $45 billion on the NYSE.
Mr. Fabela earned a BA and MA in International Relations and Policy Studies from Stanford University. In 2010, he went to the Police Academy and became a police officer for the Cook County Sheriff’s Dept, Chicago, the 2nd largest county in the US. His passion, training and results landed him with assignments in special operation command roles: Helicopter Unit, SWAT, Fugitive Warrants and Specialized Task Forces; with ranks from Cadet, Officer, Special Assistant, SWAT Operator, Commander and Chief.
Mr. Fabela is CEO of FastForward.ai, a Silicon Valley social media channel start-up, author of DECIDE, Tactical Crisis Decision Making: A Framework for Law Enforcement. He is also a World Economic Forum agenda contributor.
Mr. Fabela provides additional support in both capital and as a business advisor.
Chief Financial Officer
After graduating from Iowa State University, Chuck began his construction career in the state of Iowa. After successfully leading a regional company for 10 years an ENR top 100 Contractor recognized his potential and relocated him to the state of Florida. With the experience gained from working with project budgets as large as 1.5 Billion and company revenues of over 1.0 Billion, Charles brings to GATES immeasurable knowledge and thoughtful approach to grow the business.
As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Bendgen is responsible for all of GATES financial management as well as overseeing the Accounting, Human Resources and Information Technology departments. He is an accomplished and growth-focused financial and operational executive with 25+ years’ experience in leading high-impacting accounting and financial management activities. Chuck also enjoys creating and leading philanthropic activities. Recently, he started a 501(c)(3) that has donated well over $1 million to charities. Most importantly he will use his expertise in cultivating critical relationships to promote cohesive business practices to drive growth and sustainability with the GATES team.
Principal – Sarasota
Mark Card has over three decades of experience in the construction industry; much of it in Sarasota and the surrounding counties. As Principal of the Sarasota office he oversees and supports all of its client relationships including preconstruction, construction, and overall customer experience. A state licensed general contractor, Mr. Card has been involved in the industry as both contractor and developer. As a permanent resident of Sarasota County for over a decade, Mr. Card cares deeply about the local community and sits on multiple not-for-profit boards and organizations.
Project Executive — Palm Beach Gardens
Kim Bragg has over three decades of experience in the construction industry; much of it in Palm Beach County and the surrounding counties. As Project Executive of the Palm Beach Gardens office, Mr. Bragg oversees and supports office staff and client relationships including preconstruction, construction, and overall customer experience. A state licensed general contractor, Mr. Bragg has been involved in the industry as both contractor and developer. As a resident of Palm Beach County for over three decades, Mr. Bragg is actively involved in the local community.
Director of Construction & Operations
As Director of Construction & Operations, Mr. Petretta is responsible for the overall project coordination, from the pre-construction stage and permitting, through to owner occupancy. Mr. Petretta is a LEED Accredited Professional and has his ASHE Healthcare Construction Certificate. Starting his construction career in his native country Canada, he graduated from the University of Toronto and received his B.A.S. in Civil Engineering and a MEng in Structural Engineering. He moved to Florida in 1999 as a Structural Design Engineer before moving in to the construction field in 2001 and joining GATES in 2007. When Mr. Petretta is not spending time with his wife and three daughters, he is actively involved in the community, coaching youth hockey.
Director of Preconstruction & Estimating
Thomas McQueary’s career spans over 20 years. As Director of Preconstruction & Estimating at GATES Construction, Mr. McQueary is responsible for overseeing the estimating department in providing comprehensive estimating for material take-offs and labor estimates as well as developing subcontractor scopes and bidding criteria. Starting his construction career in his home state of Indiana, Mr. McQueary graduated from Indiana State University and received his B.S. in Construction Technology/Management. In 2015, he moved to Florida with his family to join the team at GATES Construction. Mr. McQueary thoroughly enjoys fishing, kayaking, and spending time with his wife and two children.
Director of Business Development & Marketing
Originally from Connecticut, Cora Harkins has over twenty five years of business development and marketing experience working for manufacturers and contractors. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Maryland in Theatrical Design and broadened her background with textile and interior design classes. As Director of Business Development and Marketing, Cora is responsible for developing corporate strategies, company promotion, GATES’ company-wide networking plan, expanding territories and increasing market-share.