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FM Sylvan Team

"FM Sylvan's leadership philosophy is simple. Our equity is built on delivering on commitments to customers and employees, developing a sound perspective on customer and market needs, and demonstrating patience in making prudent long-term decisions that maximize value for all of customers, employees, and shareholders."
- Jim Frees, Chairman and Managing Partner

Executive Management

Jim Frees has 25 years of experience with FM Sylvan. During his tenure, he has played a critical role in leading the company from a regional mechanical contractor primarily focused on the automotive industry to a national industrial services contractor serving a range of industries nationwide. Jim has played a direct role in shaping the company's approach to quality, safety, financial management, and customer service that has led to an eighty percent repeat business rate.

As Chairman, Jim develops corporate and business strategy, manages key client relationships, brings deep industry subject matter expertise to new and existing engagements, and helps to position the company in the marketplace.

Jim received a B.A. in Accounting from Fordham University, and completed postgraduate engineering studies at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a journeyman pipefitter of Local 274 of Ridgefield, NJ since 1978.

Robert Metz brings a wealth of operations, general management, corporate development and sales experience at both Fortune 500 and small, entrepreneurial organizations to FM Sylvan. As CEO, Robert oversees all aspects of FM Sylvan's operations in the United States and Canada. In this capacity, he sets strategic direction, drives quality and customer service, and implements organizational policies that ensure sustainable, profitable, long-term growth. He also serves as President of FM Sylvan Canada Ltd. and is a member of FM Sylvan's Board of Directors.

Previously, Robert served as Executive Vice President and Director of Corporate Development of Tanenbaum-Harber/RFF Associates a construction-insurance and surety brokerage consolidation owned by Olympus Partners. He coordinated all growth initiatives between the portfolio company and Olympus including mergers, acquisitions and strategic hires. Prior to joining Tanenbaum/Olympus he was Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the New Jersey Region of Wachovia Insurance Services, a division of Wachovia Corporation. As Managing Director, Robert had P&L responsibility for the New Jersey office, which totaled more than $50 million in annual revenue.

Prior to being named Managing Director, he served as COO of the northeast division of Wachovia Insurance Services, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisition activity and operational oversight of eight offices in the region. Prior to joining Wachovia, Robert was President and Chief Operating Officer of Peterson Petroleum of New Hampshire, a large, regional gasoline and heating oil distributor in New York and New England.

Robert Metz received a B.A. in History from Colgate University and an M.B.A. from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University

Senior Management

Ken Giacobbe has more than 32 years of mechanical contracting industry with more than 23 years of service at FM Sylvan. Ken's area of expertise is the fabrication and installation of process pipe for companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and food service industries. Additionally, Ken has extensive background in construction design, project management, cost estimation and has helped the company evolve and solidify its best practices in these areas over the years.

Ken joined Sylvan after the company acquired R.J. Garriel in 1986. Since then, he has played a key role in the expansion and success of the company's New Jersey-based operations. Key clients that Ken has served include CHI Engineering, AGC Chemicals, and JH Reid.

Ken has served as an adjunct professor at Kean University from 1985-1990, where he taught classes in estimating and blueprint reading. He has been an educational instructor for Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey since 1997.

Ken holds a B.S. in Industrial Technology with a Mechanical Contracting Specialization from Kean University. In addition he is a New Jersey Certified Master Plumber, License #9419, and has completed Hazcom training, ten hour OSHA training, and First Aid/CPR training.

Michael Herberholz has diverse experience in industrial services contracting and fabrication built over the course of a career that has spanned more than 35 years. Michael joined FM Sylvan in 2004, and is a key member of the Michigan team, where he manages office staff, estimators, engineers, and project managers while monitoring projects for billings, change orders, cash flow, and profit. He has played a vital role in ensuring the success of high profile projects for clients such as the United States Postal Service, Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

Michael maintains numerous licenses in mechanical contracting, plumbing, welding, boiler/hot water heating & steam fitting, and HVAC in 10 states. He has completed numerous educational and training programs including: Schoolcraft College, Climate System Technology; Pipe fitter Local # 636, Steamfitter Apprenticeship; Certified in Plumbing Design; Safe2work Safety Training (14) Modules.

Dan Kearney has more than thirty-one years' experience in the Power Generation, Industrial Construction and Maintenance fields, with more than five years of service at FM Sylvan. Dan's expertise helps drive FM Sylvan's success across power cogeneration, pharmaceutical, and industrial manufacturing projects. In addition to holding a number of industry accreditations, Dan has acquired deep energy industry knowledge from field work on a number of key installation and maintenance engagements - including cogeneration and sustainable energy. He specializes in boiler/rigging work. Dan has played a key leadership role on projects for Cogen Technologies, Consolidated Edison, Florida Power & Light, Schering Plough, PSEG, GE, and Marcal.

Sean Maine oversees all aspects of FM Sylvan Canada Ltd., where he is responsible for both day-to-day operations and profit and loss. In addition to managing the canadian operation, Maine serves as a partner and member of the Board of Directors for FM Sylvan Canada Ltd. He comes to FM Sylvan from Comstock, where he demonstrated a proven track record in building and managing organizations and teams, bidding, estimating, and delivering industrial services projects on time and within budget. Most recently, he was General Manager of Comstock Canada Ltd London and Automotive Divisions, where he was responsible for $100 million in annual revenues. Maine has held a variety of project management, construction management, and estimator roles throughout the course of his 15-year career in the industrial services contracting space. Maine attended the University of Windsor, a Project Management program at the University of Waterloo, and executive leadership program in construction management at Babson College. He is a 15-year member of Local 1244.

Terry McKinnon is responsible for FM Sylvan's Michigan operations. In this capacity, he reviews all bids, and estimates all projects serviced from the company's Pontiac, MI location. He is also the company's key contact and subject matter expert for the automotive industry, having overseen numerous projects in this sector for Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler over the course of his 30 year career at FM Sylvan. Terry has completed ISO 9001 training, the Ford Motor Company quality training program, and Red Cross First Aid training. Prior to joining FM Sylvan, Terry served as a Seargeant E-5 in the United States Marine Corps.

Matt Panconi has more than twenty years of industrial service contracting experience - primarily in process pipe fabrication and installation services. Matt has extensive training in pipe fabrication and installation quality assurance and safety best practices. An OSHA trained instructor, he sits on FM Sylvan's corporate safety committee, and participates in the development and review of the company's safety policies and procedures. In addition to coordinating safety, Matt is responsible for business development and bid estimation. Since joining FM Sylvan in 1990, Matt has played a vital role in growing the company's market presence in process intensive industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, and food and beverage sectors. Some of Matt's key customers include CB&I, Hess, and Kinder Morgan.

Matt is a licensed master plumber in NJ, a certified welder, and holds a CT S1 License. He has completed multiple professional training classes related to safety and quality from prominent organizations such as SHA, the International Standards Organization (ISO), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Mechanical Contracting Association. Matt has attended Mechanical Contracting Technology and Kean University for Business Administrator.

Bill Proctor has more than thirty-five years experience in the industrial services contracting industry and over fifteen years experience with FM Sylvan. In his current role, he leads the Nashville office, and has overall responsibility for new and existing projects - from bid management through on-time on budget delivery. As part of the team that built Sylvan's presence in Tennessee in the early nineties, Bill has deep expertise in automotive, manufacturing, projects, as well as projects that involve heavy commercial HVAC. Current customers serviced from the Nashville office under Bill's supervision include the Tennessee Valley Authority, Johnson Controls, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Senior Project Management & Estimating

Jeff McKinnon has more than 8 year's experience successfully estimating and managing the delivery of key projects at FM Slyvan. Jeff combines strong relationship management, project management, and engineering skills to meet client requirements. Jeff's key projects include the recent retrofit of the St. Catharine's engine plant in support of GM’s 5th generation V8 engine program and Ford Motor Company's KTP plant expansion in Louisville.

He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Jimmy Metz brings nearly twenty years of general management, construction project management, and relationship management expertise to FM Sylvan. In his role as Vice President and General Manager, he has day to day responsibility for the company's Northern Virginia operation, chartered with growing the company's footprint in the government, food processing, and oil segments. Prior to FM Sylvan, Metz was general manager of Gates Hudson Associates Community Management, where he oversaw a 280 unit and 396 unit condominium associations. Reporting directly to the board, he was responsible for financial management, projections, and reporting, in addition to management of building projects, subcontractors, and staff. Prior to Gates Hudson Associates, Jimmy held a senior leadership role at GRJH, a Sunoco distributor and Property Management company in Eastern New York and Western Connecticut. In addition to managing numerous construction projects, on time and on budget, he drove the real estate property acquisition strategy while managing all of the construction, maintenance, and development activities related to a portfolio of gas stations, office buildings, restaurants, and inns. Before joining GRJH, Jimmy served as president of Falcon Petroleum, where he managed day to day operations for the New Hampshire based Sunoco distributor that delivered to more than 400 clients throughout New England. Metz received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

Don Wilber brings more than thirty years of mechanical contracting experience to FM Sylvan, including a proven ability to successfully bid, lead and deliver profitable projects on time and on budget. He is responsible for helping to shape the company's efforts in meeting burgeoning demand for industrial pipe fabrication and installation services in Michigan and neighboring states from both existing and new customers. Prior to FM Sylvan, Wilber was Vice President of Estimating and Purchasing at De-Cal, Inc., where he successfully grew the team and put processes and procedures in place to help the company effectively scale over the course of an eight year span. He previously served in a similar capacity with Pipe Systems, Inc. where he held a variety of estimating and project management roles throughout his seventeen year tenure.

Don holds a B.S. in Construction Engineering.Lawrence Technical University in Southfield MI.