George Parrino: Rising Through the Ranks and to the Challenge(s)

“The main reason I have stayed at Opus for my entire career is the people," said George Parrino. “I've never come across anyone here that I have not enjoyed working with, and I have always been impressed by how knowledgeable our associates are."

Starting as an intern in 1997, George has continuously taken on more responsibility and risen through the project management ranks at Opus. He was recently promoted to Project Executive, overseeing project teams of architects, engineers and subcontractors to deliver integrated design-build services on projects across multiple sectors.

From Lincoln Logs to the Madison Campus

As a child, George enjoyed building with LEGOS and Lincoln Logs, and would often draw floor plans for houses. He thought he'd pursue a degree in architecture; however, his college of choice – the University of Wisconsin-Madison – didn't offer such a program. So, he instead pursued a degree in Civil Engineering with a certificate in Construction Management. He gained exposure to the construction industry and construction management careers through the American Society of Civil Engineers and UW-Madison's Construction Club.

After two semesters and three summers as an intern at Opus, George was hired as an Associate Project Manager in 2000.

“I really enjoy creating spreadsheets, so the project management role was probably a better fit for me," George said. “My motto is 'if you can't do it in a spreadsheet, why do it at all?'"

As George's experience grew, so too did the breadth and complexity of his projects.

“During my first internship at Opus, I was given a speculative warehouse project to manage," he said. “I remember thinking, 'How the heck am I supposed to do this? I have no idea what I'm doing!' But with guidance from my supervisors and senior team members, it turned into a great learning experience that I'll never forget."

George has contributed to many successful projects over the course of more than two decades at Opus, including the University of St. Thomas Anderson Athletic & Recreation Complex and the Anderson Student Center, Luther College's Aquatic Center and the remodeling of two of its residence halls, and the Arbor Lakes and Woodbury Lakes lifestyle centers.

“I've had incredible mentors throughout my career at Opus who have taught me invaluable lessons, always focused on helping me learn and develop my career."

“I first worked with George in 1999 when he was an intern," said John Williams, Vice President. “It was apparent then that he was intelligent, resourceful, highly productive and above all trustworthy. In the 23 years since that time, he has proven over and over again that my first impressions were spot on."

His largest project to date was the Medtronic CRDM Office Campus, which includes three buildings totaling more than one million square feet of office and lab space. More recently, he led several wood-framed student living and multifamily projects, including Jules on 3rd, an upscale, eight-story apartment building in Boise, Idaho.

Reflecting on the various projects, George said, “All jobs have their own unique set of challenges to overcome. In the end, it's such a great feeling to have a satisfied client and see them enjoy their new building."

Value Engineering in the Client's Best Interest

To deliver the highest-performing buildings with the most amenities possible within a client's budget, our team will frequently value engineer project design plans. When an ownership group asked us to evaluate an over-budget project designed by another firm, George led a team of architects and engineers to study suitable modifications. The team's recommendations – right-sizing the foundations, modifying the electrical panels, reconfiguring window styles and sizes, using pre-manufactured balconies, and changing some finishes and fixtures – brought the project in on budget without compromising its quality or desirability.

Because of the ingenuity and skill of George and the team, the client chose us to complete the project.

“Oftentimes, our clients don't have a lot of construction experience – they may not always know what questions to ask or what options are available," George said. “We have deep expertise and are constantly providing options, suggestions and information, so they can make informed decisions."

Driven to Do the “Right Thing"

It's more than out team's deep expertise that keeps George at Opus and clients and partners repeatedly coming back to work with us. It's also our values demonstrated through service in the community and the integrity and respect with which we operate.

“Our people at Opus respect and care about each other, our clients and our communities," George said. “We treat our clients fairly and focus on meeting and exceeding their expectations. As an employer, Opus has always encouraged us to volunteer within our communities and provides us with those opportunities. In my experience, everyone at Opus is driven to do the 'right thing.' The number of repeat clients we work with is really a testament to that and demonstrates that we truly live our values."

His manager John Williams added, “George is a tireless worker. He consistently exceeds the expectations of his clients and fellow associates. His dedication to Opus and his values, which directly align with Opus' values, are reflected in his project results and in the positive relationships that he has with everyone he encounters." 


George is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and has his LEED AP BD+C credential. Outside of work, he is a world traveler whose favorite destination so far is Greece. Closer to home, George has played volleyball with the same team for more than 15 years. He says, “You'd think we'd be really good by now, but we are not! We mostly play for fun." For pets, George prefers birds and has a cockatiel named Miles. “The first cockatiel I had lived for 30 years," he said. “I've had Miles for about six years – so hopefully we have quite a ways to go!"


Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.