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

York Construction begins construction on Cameron Village. It is developed by Willie York and is the southeast’s first mixed-use development of its kind. York Construction continues to build projects in the Raleigh area including the Westinghouse Corporation office, Ridgewood and Northgate Shopping Centers, Occidental Life Insurance office, and the original Raleigh Farmers Market.

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.

1992

York Construction begins its relationship with Glaxo that leads to being a leader in the construction of life sciences projects in the Research Triangle Park.

1993

In October 1993, McDonald York is established by 50-year old Jack McDonald and 52-year old Smedes York when they merge Coleman and Wood, a Washington, D.C. general contractor where Jack is president and York Construction, where Smedes is president. The merged organizations name Smedes as Chairman and Jack as President of the new McDonald York.

1993

1993

McDonald York establishes its first office with a small field force and 4 office employees including Jack McDonald, Marilyn Pendergraph and Larry Stone in Raleigh on the 2nd floor of York Construction Company’s office building on Raleigh Boulevard. Smedes York is located on the 1st floor

1993

A Raleigh native, Marilyn Pendergraph started her career with York Construction in 1978 and, in 1993, she joined McDonald when York Construction became McDonald York. Named vice president in 2004, she was an important contributor to the growth of McDonald York and was very much involved in the changes that occur when a company grows from $4 million which was primarily only York Properties work in 1993 to a multi-million dollar company with multiple clients it was when she retired on May 11, 2015.

Marilyn Pendergraph
2015, Larry Stone Retires

1993

Larry Stone started his career with York construction in 1978 and transferred to McDonald York in 1993 becoming one of McDonald York’s first employees. For over 20 years, Larry was the main contact with McDonald York’s largest client, GlaxoSmithKline. Larry supervised an on-site staff at GSK that exceeded 50 employees. Larry retired in 2015.

1995

McDonald York relocates its headquarters from Raleigh Boulevard to 801 Oberlin Road, a building completed by York Construction in 1984.

1984
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.

2003

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

2008

Mike Kriston joins McDonald York and as Chief Revenue Officer. Mike drives business growth by building and maintaining contacts with prospective and current clients as well as upstream and downstream partners. As a member of the executive management team and relationship builder, he provides oversight for all aspects of the company’s business development as well as participating in company strategy development. He is an active member of numerous business organizations and was named 40 under 40 by the Triangle Business Journal in 2018.

2008, Mike Kriston
2010, Tanner Holland

2010

Tanner Holland joins McDonald York. Tanner quickly rose from Senior Project Manager to Vice President, Chief Operating Officer in 2012 and to President and CEO in 2018. Tanner brings to his role an exceptional leadership ability, deep insight into the business and culture and a strong commitment to employees and clients. Tanner is an inspirational leader whose positive management style energizes people to do their best by creating an atmosphere of dedication, work-to-life balance and open communication. Tanner has been a driving force behind the company’s maintenance of the NCDOL Building Star Certification.

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 joins McDonald York. She earned a promotion to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2015. As a member of the Executive Management Team, she supervises the accounting and finance functions in addition to human resources and information technology. She provides both operational and high level strategic support to the organization and assists the Chief Executive Officer on strategic and tactical matters. Emily is a vibrant and motivated executive who is making a difference at McDonald York.

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. 

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.

2015_FoodBank_exterior3

2015

New headquarters and distribution center for the Food Bank of CENC is started. This project is the largest design-build project completed by McDonald York.

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.

2016

 The Lake Boone Trail Medical office complex in Raleigh, NC near UNC/Rex Hospital is completed, cementing McDonald York’s status as a builder of medical office buildings. The two buildings consists of structured parking on the ground floor with 2 levels of office space above. Site work for the project was performed carefully on both sides of a Neuse River Riparian Buffer and tree conservation area. Three bio-retention areas were constructed for stormwater management.

2016

Shearon Harris Rewind Building for Duke Energy in New Hill, NC is started. McDonald York employees and trade partners complete extensive safety training in order to work on this project and is one of many projects completed by McDonald York at nuclear plant facility.

2016

Fidelity Investments Building Renovation in Cary, NC is completed. The project included complete demolition two buildings on campus and a temporary cafeteria space to accommodate current employees during the renovation. The project involved intensive data cabling as it required triple the typical Fidelity standard for cabling. and inter-connectivity between buildings for data and security purposes.

2017

 The 245,000 SF, 9 floor, Allscripts first generation office upfit in a newly constructed high rise building in Raleigh is completed and becomes McDonald York first high-rise tenant fit-up in base building project not completed by McDonald York.

2018

The 50,000sf Novan, Lab and Office Upfit in Durham, NC is started. The project included Process Suite, Chemistry Lab, Office spaces, warehouse facility and manufacturing area, the first of several contracts awarded to McDonald York.

2018

The Parmer RTP, 7 acre, Amenity Park, for use by employees on campus in Research Triangle Park is started. The amenities included a fitness track, amphitheater, pavilion, putting green, outdoor seating, greenspace, gaming area, two new open parking lots, architectural concrete food truck drive and a 620 SF glass-walled treehouse/conference room strategically placed in existing wooded area.

The Bayer Crop Sciences, Multiple Facility and Lab

2018

The Bayer Crop Sciences, Multiple Facility and Lab Renovations in RTP, NC is completed. Project included extensive electrical, mechanical and lab gas modifications with close coordination with active labs and facility management to ensure ongoing operations were not impacted and help solidify McDonald York’s reputation as a local trusted lab builder.

2020

The Duke Energy, Aberdeen Consolidation Project, in Aberdeen, NC is completed. This project consisted of 3 individual sites totaling over 75 acres to house the Southern Ops, Fleet Garage and Transmission Headquarters. This project represents a continuation of an important relationship and the largest project done to date with Duke Energy.

2020

The State Employees’ Credit Union Multiple Facility Renovations consisting of eleven (11) building renovation projects throughout North Carolina to update SECU locations built in the 1970’s is completed. Careful coordination of construction activities was crucial as locations remained occupied and operational.

2020

Honored in 2020 as the 3rd fastest growing company in the Triangle when the Triangle Business Journal’s Fast 50 Awards were announced on December 3, 2020. In 2019, McDonald York exceeded revenue of $100 million which was its highest revenue ever and ranked McDonald York as the 13th Largest General Contractor in the Triangle Business Journal List of Triangle’s Largest General Contractors.

Fast 50 award

2021

The Duke Lemur Center Renovation and Addition, located on 80-wooded acres in Durham, North Carolina, home of one of the world’s leading lemur and prosimian research and conversation facilities is started. This project is one of many Duke Lemur projects by McDonald York.