By Joshua Burd
As one of the state’s fastest-growing firms, Hollister Construction Services has bolstered its team with an executive who is well-versed in managing large-scale construction portfolios.
The Parsippany-based firm has hired Christopher Cestone as its new vice president of construction, adding an industry veteran with 30 years of experience. He most recently served as a senior vice president with Skanska USA Building, where he oversaw a $1.2 billion regional program with more than 600 employees.
He will now use that experience to help guide Hollister as it continues its rapid expansion.
“It’s a great point in time where they’re going through a growth period, which is exciting to me and exciting for the company,” Cestone said. “So I’m looking forward to joining the management team and growing with them.”
Hollister, which was founded in 2004, has been involved in many of the state’s most high-profile developments in recent years. It’s also a regular on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, ranking No. 1951 in the most recent survey.
According to the list, the firm had three-year growth of 195 percent and reported $165.7 million in revenue in 2016. Hollister has also steadily climbed the ranking since 2012.
Brendan Murray, executive vice president with Hollister, said the firm’s growth has been fueled by sectors such as residential, self-storage, education and industrial. And it now projects to have additional revenue growth this year of 50 to 75 percent.
“Hollister is uniquely positioned in that we’re in a number of verticals and we (can) tack the ship to the appropriate location and still continue to grow,” Murray said. “We’ve grown through all markets since we’ve been in business over the last 14 years.”
With its newest addition, Murray feels confident that Cestone’s experience with large portfolios will help it navigate any issues “that may exist at this level and our future levels.” And both sides found that they were in alignment when it came to culture and philosophy, on which Hollister places a heavy emphasis.
“It was after a number of conversations with Chris that we saw he fit and met our core values and that there would be a lot of synergies between the way he conducts himself and the way Hollister conducts itself in running the business,” Murray said. “So the people aspect was of vital importance and then Chris’ experience followed that, and he made himself a great candidate to join our team and to take over the day-to-day construction operations of Hollister.”
Cestone, who received a degree in civil engineering from Rutgers University, started his career with Sordoni Construction Co. and later Sordoni Skanska. According to Hollister, his rise to vice president and then senior vice president with Skanska USA Building allowed him to oversee an $800 million regional program with 350 employees, in which he served as account manager for projects at New York University, Merck & Co., Hoffmann-LaRoche and others.
Hollister also touted his most recent role at Skanska, in which he was responsible for new business, profit and loss, staffing, client satisfaction, construction management and analysis. He focused on market sectors such as higher education, health care, infrastructure, aviation and pharmaceuticals.
Cestone feels that experience will be valuable in his newest position, especially given Hollister’s growth trajectory. He added that, “as we grow together, there will be opportunities in different sectors that we will target as we start planning.”
Those opportunities are what made Hollister truly attractive, he said, especially when coupled with the firm’s culture.
“Their core values are excellent, so they care about their people, they’re going to solidify a business model that works and then grow a business in the market sectors that they believe they can grow within,” Cestone said. “That’s what truly attracted me to it and it’s going to be exciting. We’re going to make it fun.”