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UMC has announced that following a successful 20-year tenure as both the company’s president and CEO, Jerry Bush has transitioned to the role of CEO and Steve Brooks is assuming the role of president. Brooks was unanimously elected by UMC shareholders on March 5. This transition is part of UMC’s strategic succession plan that was implemented in 2012.
“To ensure a smooth transition of leadership, we are separating the president and CEO roles to allow Steve and I to generate a collective impact in internal operations and business development across the market,” Bush said. “During this period, having two leaders who complement each other in terms of strengths, skills and experience will benefit the long-term strategic goals of the company.”
Bush will continue in the CEO role through the end of 2021. After that, he will continue with UMC as a key contributor on strategic projects and initiatives.
Fresh perspective. Established experience.
A professional mechanical engineer, Brooks has 22 years of experience at UMC. He became a UMC shareholder in 2012. For the past four years, he has held the role of vice president of business development. He has played an active role on the company’s strategic plan over the last five years leading the goal team charged with developing UMC’s growth engine to achieve growth and diversification. Brooks has a broad grasp on UMC’s business having held positions of leadership in several different divisions of the UMC business — engineering, special projects, major projects, industrial, virtual construction/BIM, and business development.
Brooks is active in the community focusing on initiatives that further life sciences research, healthcare, and education. He is a regular guest instructor for Washington State University’s construction management program and Seattle University’s mechanical engineering program and works to mentor those aspiring to become professionals in the engineering and construction fields. Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Seattle University, and is a graduate of SU’s Executive Leadership Certificate program.
“Steve’s path to leadership has been inspiring,” Bush said. “His passion for innovation, his commitment to clients, and his dedication to employees will help us to grow stronger as a top-tier service provider.”
A recognized leader.
Bush joined UMC in 1989 and worked his way up through the ranks as project manager, construction manager, and operations manager. He was appointed president and chief executive officer in 2001, the same year the company moved from Seattle to Mukilteo. As president and CEO, Bush led the company through 9/11, the Great Recession; and COVID-19 today. His experience with economic downturns has led to a great understanding of the need for resilience strategies in the company. Through smart decisions combined with flexibility and compassion, he has helped turn unexpected challenges into opportunities.
During Bush’s tenure as president and CEO, he oversaw the business while expanding to self-perform sheet metal work, worked with the Energy + Environment division to become a state licensed Energy Services Company (ESCO), and implemented UMC’s long-term strategic planning initiative which focuses on operational crispness and clarity, growth and diversification, client relationships, and employee experience. Along with these and many other accomplishments, Bush has shepherded the UMC culture and family feel — making UMC a great place to work and great partner with our clients.
Bush is active in the community and in the industry. He formed the UMC Charitable Foundation as a conduit for corporate giving. He is a board member for Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County, chair of the Mukilteo Planning Commission, and a member of the South Everett / Mukilteo Rotary. He is also chair of Local 26’s Education Development Trust, Trustee of Local 32’s Health Trust, chair of the Mechanical Contractors of America Western Washington (MCAWW) Center for Labor Relations, and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Western Washington University Institute for Energy Studies.
“UMC is as healthy an organization as we have ever been," Brooks said. "Jerry led the charge to create the UMC we know today by enhancing the UMC experience, both internally for our employees and externally to our clients. Through his leadership, we went into our second century of business more strategic and resilient, and on a path to continued growth. My goal is to make UMC even better for the future."