Our senior leadership team consists of the executives in charge of Facilities Services' internal units. They are:
Jim McConnell, PE, is associate vice president of Facilities Services and is the executive who oversees all campus construction, strategic planning, facilities sustainability initiatives, and maintenance and building operations.Jim joined the University in 2016 from Ascent, a Chicago-based capital program management firm, where he served as executive vice president. Jim offers broad experience in executing major capital programs, and applies strategic vision to the management of the built environment. His career includes 13 years as the senior executive for large, complex construction, repair, and maintenance programs on behalf of the U.S. Navy, the city of Chicago, the state of Qatar, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. (LAUSD). Prior to Ascent, Jim was the capital program manager at Chicago’s Public Building Commission with ARCADIS U.S. In this role, he oversaw a $2.4 billion capital construction program and led a large program management organization in the design and construction of municipal facilities for nine different city of Chicago client agencies. As chief facilities executive with LAUSD from 2001 to 2006, Jim developed a capital program that delivered 130 new schools, and at $11.8 billion was the largest program for new schools in the nation. A Pittsburgh-area native, Jim is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and earned a Bachelor of Science in general engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Alicia Berg, AICP, is assistant vice president for campus planning + sustainability at the University of Chicago where she manages campus planning, physical and capital budget planning, space planning and programming, design of the campus environment, and sustainability strategy. Alicia joinedthe University in 2015 after serving more than a decade as vice president of campus environment at Columbia College Chicago, where she created a cohesive campus through over 200 projects spanning 23 scattered buildings connected by urban streets. Her responsibilities included managing real estate transactions, capital budgeting and project delivery, space planning and design, master planning, community relations, campus safety and security, and sustainability initiatives.Prior to joining the college, she held increasingly responsible positions with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, culminating in her mayoral appointment as the city’s top planning and economic development official in 2001.A native of Nashville, Berg holds a Master of Science in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is immediate past chairman of Landmarks Illinois.
Larry Blouin is executive director of capital project delivery and manages all aspect of campus construction. Larry has more than three decades of construction experience and has managed in excess of $750 million of new construction and campus improvement projects since joining the University in 2009. He is an accomplished leader with a strong background in strategic planning, construction and project management. He also develops and executes CPD's strategic vision, and its efforts to foster collaboration and enhance project management services. Prior to joining the University, Blouin served as vice president and general manager of Graycor Construction Company, where he was largely responsible for growing the firm's hospitality résumé. In his position as VP and general manager, Blouin was responsible for corporate, healthcare and hospitality work. Larry holds a Bachelor of Science in construction management from Bradley University.
Gerald McGillian is assistant vice president of operations, and oversees the campus and residential services, operations and maintenance and the engineering and utilities sub-units within Facilities Services. The operations unit works to ensure our campus faciities and landscape is safe, attractive and well-functioning for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Gerald joined the University in 2014 from the University of Pennsylvania, where as the director of facility trades he manged the operation and maintenance of various building systems, central utilities, and grounds. Gerald holds both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Drexel University.
Arleta Porter joined the University in 2007 and serves as executive director of finance and business services. She provides leadership and management direction in the areas of financial management, human resources, strategic communications, administrative services, and special initiatives. Arleta has nearly three decades of experience in finance, accounting and management across a wide range of industries. She has previously served as chief financial officer of the Chicago Children’s Museum, comptroller for the Chicago Park District, division controller for L’Oréal, and in many other financial and managerial roles. Arleta earned a Master of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior and Management from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting from Spelman College.