You are not logged in. Login

Kunnath, Richard M.

Richard M. Kunnath, PE, DBIA
Chief Executive Officer, Pankow

Rik Kunnath is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Pankow Operating, Inc. Pankow is internationally recognized for its innovative construction methods, and as one of the industry’s foremost practitioners of Design-Build as a project delivery technique. Projects include urban, high and mid-rise office buildings, mixed-use developments, hotels and residential, health care, public and education facilities.

Mr. Kunnath joined Pankow in 1979 and has been in the construction industry for more than 30 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit, and is a registered Civil Engineer and licensed contractor and real estate broker in numerous states. As a frequent speaker to industry groups and academic institutions, his topics include trends affecting the design and construction industry, alternative delivery models and innovation in construction.

In 1993, Mr. Kunnath was among a handful of practitioners that founded the Design-Build Institute in Washington, DC. He served as its National Chairman in 1995. Currently, he serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Charles Pankow Foundation, serves on the Board of Directors of SPUR (San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association), and on the Advisory Council of the University of Detroit’s School of Engineering and Board of Advisors of the Children’s Hospital of Oakland. Mr. Kunnath is a Certified Arbitrator for the Large and Complex Case Panel of the American Arbitration Association of Northern California.

Experience includes: 

  • 2004 to Present: President, Charles Pankow Foundation
  • 2003 to Present: Chief Executive Officer
  • 1999-2003: President and Chief Executive Officer
  • 1989-1999: Pankow Builders Executive Vice President and Northern California Regional Manager
  • 1988-1989: Pankow Builders – Vice President Business Development
  • 1983-1988: Pankow Builders – Project Sponsor
  • 1979-1983: Pankow Builders – Superintendent
  • 1975-1979: BASF Corp: Construction Manager, various chemical facilities in Northern New Jersey
  • 1971-1975: Mobil Oil Corp: Construction Engineer for various petrochemical facilities, Ohio and Michigan

Industry Associations: 

  • American Arbitration Association, member of the Northern California panel of neutrals for large and complex cases
  • American Concrete Institute
  • ASCE, Leadership Council
  • LAMBA Alpha, Real Estate Fraternity
  • 1995 National Chairman for the Design Build Institute of America, current member of the Board of Directors
  • Former President, Foundation for Integrated Services
  • Speaker at over 50 symposiums and conferences dealing with alternative project delivery and procurement, especially design-build
  • Registered Civil Engineer: Michigan, New Jersey and Hawaii
  • Licensed General Contractor: Florida, Nevada, and California
  • Licensed Real Estate Broker, California
  • Engineering Advisory Council, University of Detroit
  • National Board Member, Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program
  • Board of Directors, ACIG Insurance Group
  • Member, Lamda Alpha, Honorary Land Economics Society
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


  • University of Detroit, BS Civil Engineering
  • Cleveland State University, Graduate School of Business

Awards & Honors: 

  • Mr. Kunnath was named Engineering Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater, the University of Detroit Mercy, College of Engineering and Science.
  • Recipient of the annual BICB Achievement Award.  This award bestowed annually to an individual in the Bay Area deemed to have made a major industry contribution.