history

A Century of Building

1908

1908

York and Cobb Construction Company, founded by Charles Vance York and the Cobb Brothers,  wins the contract to build the first five buildings for East Carolina Teachers College (ECU) in Greenville, NC.

1910

Charles Vance York relocates to Raleigh to benefit from the booming construction market. The company is renamed York Construction and Charles becomes the first president of the company

1910
1911

1911

York Construction locates its first office in downtown Raleigh on the top floor of the Citizens Bank Building.

1926

York Construction completes the first portion of the N.C. State Memorial Bell Tower to honor NCSU alumni killed in World War I. 

1926

1933

York Construction completes the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, a massive, classical, granite monument, the largest single construction project in Raleigh during the Great Depression.

1941

James Wesley (Willie) York is named president of York Construction after his father, Charles’ death in 1941. A visionary and active civic leader, he helps develop the Raleigh-Durham International Airport and leads the desegregation of the school system as a member of the Raleigh Board of Education in 1960.

1941

1947

Cameron Village construction begins, becoming the Southeast’s first mixed-use development of its kind. York’s ambitions continue to Westinghouse Corporation, where they build Ridgewood and Northgate Shopping Centers, Occidental Life Insurance, and the original Raleigh Farmers Market.

1963

 

York construction completed the Velvet Cloak Inn’s New Orleans-style structure with ornate, wrought-iron detailing. A heated pool, marble bathtubs, a grand piano, and grandfather clock were few of many extravagant additions to the famous hotel.

1977

Smedes York, son of Willie York, is named President of York Construction. Over the decades the company grows in size and influence. Smedes becomes a chairman of the RDU Airport Authority, a member of the Raleigh City Council, and serves two terms as Raleigh Mayor, continuing the York tradition of civic duty.

1977

1983

Phil York, son of Willie York becomes Vice President of York Construction. He retired in 1993.

1984

York Construction completes the 801 Oberlin Office building, the current McDonald York corporate headquarters.

1984

1992

York Construction begins its relationship with Glaxo, which still continues today. This led to a core market of Life Sciences, and a significant leadership in Research Triangle Park

1993

Coleman and Wood’s president, Jack McDonald, begins to research locations to expand operations outside the Washington market. He found what he was looking for in Raleigh, NC, with York Construction. The merged organizations name Smedes as Chairman and Jack as President of the new McDonald York.

1993
2003, Smedes York and Jack McDonald

2003

On February 19, 2003, Smedes York and Jack McDonald become full and equal owners of McDonald York Building Company when they purchase Financial Investment Corporation’s interest in the company.

2013

Shelia McDonald and Rosemary York join Smedes and Jack on McDonald York’s Board of Directors.

2008

Mike Kriston joins McDonald York Building Company as Division Manager. Mike teaches the McDonald York University business development courses and leads the creation of our  business development technology and software. After many diverse roles, Mike becomes Chief Revenue Officer. He helped redefine McDonald York as not only a Raleigh contractor, but a contractor for the Triangle.

2008, Mike Kriston
2010, Tanner Holland

2010

Tanner Holland, a leader in achieving operational excellence, is a driving force behind the company’s maintenance of the NCDOL Building Star Certification, and the highly qualified operations team. Tanner quickly rose from Senior Project Manager, to Vice President to President and CEO in 2018.

2010

McDonald York introduces its MYWay® philosophy which is founded on four principals: Trust-Based Teams, Valuable Communications, Early Collaboration and Partnering Relationships. The philosophy is implemented using leading industry practices involving continuous innovation, progressive processes, and end-to-end workflows. 

2012, Emily Massey joins McDonald York

2012

Emily Massey standardizes McDonald York’s operating procedures and introduces state-of-the-art technology into project management systems. She takes on the creation and evolution of McDonald York’s budget and financial reporting. Emily earns a promotion to Vice President and CFO in 2015.

2013

Colleen McDonald Schmidt, Shannon McDonald Haynie, William York, and Parker York are added to the Board of Directors. They join Smedes, Rosemary, and George York along with Jack, Sheila, and Michael McDonald. The family board brings a diversity of viewpoints and exposure of the next generation to the company operations. 

2013

Marilyn Pendergraph retires in 2013. She started her career with the company in 1978. During her 35 years with McDonald York, she serves in a variety of positions and is named Vice President in 2004. Marilyn’s dedication and loyalty to the company set an example that left a legacy.

2013, Marilyn Pendergraph Retires
2015, Larry Stone Retires

2015

Larry Stone retires in 2015. Larry serves as Superintendent, and Senior Project Manager during his 37 year span with McDonald York. For over 20 years, Larry is the main contact with McDonald York’s largest client, GlaxoSmithKline. Larry supervised an on-site staff at GSK that exceeded 50 employees.

2015

 McDonald York launches McDonald York University to prepare its employees for their current work assignments and help them achieve their long-term career goals. Classes vary from technical, business management, leadership, and behavioral courses.

2016, McDonald York re-certified by NCDOL

2016

McDonald York is recertified by NCDOL as a Building Star contractor, for its outstanding safety program. This makes a 10-year record of recognition.