Chris Manning to Succeed Jerry Overaa as Overaa Construction CEO

C. Overaa & Co. Richmond construction Northern California
Carl Overaa, Chris Manning, Colby Powell | Photo by Renee Sweeney

RICHMOND, Calif., October 14, 2021- C. Overaa & Co., a leading general contractor providing services to Northern California since 1907, today announced that Christopher Manning has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, Carl Overaa has been named President and Colby Powell has been named Chief Operating Officer. 

Gerald “Jerry” Overaa, who had been Chief Executive Officer since 1974, will step down as CEO and assume the role as Chairman of the Board, providing ongoing collaboration and mentorship to the team.  Additionally, he will continue to lead the Northern California construction industry through his many roles, including Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Carpenter’s Pension and Annuity Trusts, Trustee of the Laborers Pension and Health and Welfare Trust, and Trustee of the Construction Employers’ Association (CEA) University Grant Program.

The executive moves are part of a long-term strategic management succession plan which includes a 10-year vision dedicated to providing design-build expertise and robust craft labor resources to diverse construction markets in northern California.  

“I couldn’t be more pleased and proud to let these guys lead the way. In construction, you can never rest on your laurels. You have to continually prove yourself. This leadership team has the enthusiasm, capability and humility to do great things and to continue the magic,” said Jerry Overaa. 

Chris Manning joined Overaa in 1986 as Project Engineer and went on to serve as Project Manager and Project Executive. He has been Overaa’s President since 2011 and, during this time, has delivered projects for many notable Bay Area clients such as Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Saint Mary’s College of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley, The Oakland Zoo, San Francisco International Airport, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), and others.

Manning received a Construction Management degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and served on the Advisory Council for the Architectural Engineering Department for Cal Poly from 2009-2011. Currently, Manning serves on Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design Dean’s Leadership Council and is a member of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).  

“This transition is a result of careful, long-term company planning. I’m humbled and excited to help manage the continued growth of Overaa into the future,” said Manning.

Carl Overaa has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and is a 4th generation owner of the family-owned firm. He previously served as Vice President of Business Development and holds an M. B. A. from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  

“We will continue to embody a family-like, friendly company environment. As we stand now in 2021, we are well-positioned for success this decade and beyond in so many versatile markets,” said Carl Overaa.

Colby Powell, who has more than 25 years of experience with Overaa, is also a 4th generation owner of the firm where he previously served as Vice President and Project Executive. Powell currently serves as President of the Construction Employers’ Association (CEA) and holds both a B.S. in Construction Management and a B.A. of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

“Overaa has so many talented craftspeople, dedicated teammates, and natural leaders. We have a tremendous ability to self-perform a wide variety of work. We’re ‘real builders’ and that’s a great resource in today’s world,” said Powell.

Rounding out the leadership team are several other long-term employees including Ellen Hoffman, Chief Financial Officer; Dale Jackson, Vice President/General Superintendent; Larry Etcheverry, Vice President/ Chief Estimator; Kara Overaa Gragg, Vice President; Erin Overaa, Corporate Secretary/IT Director; and Nick Kebbas, Vice President of Municipal Infrastructure.

About Overaa Construction

Overaa Construction was founded by Norwegian immigrant Carl E. Overaa in 1907, after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. His son, Clarence, led the business from 1949-1973 before passing the torch to his son, Jerry.

Now in its 114th year, Overaa is the oldest family-owned and managed commercial general contractor in Northern California. The firm has helped build much of the infrastructure of the Bay Area including churches, schools, hospitals, water treatment plants, manufacturing and refining facilities. Today, Overaa has offices in Richmond and San Jose, employs approximately 400 people, and is a leader in design-build construction. Overaa serves diverse construction markets including education, commercial, industrial, multifamily housing, life science, energy, and water resources.  Overaa is ranked one of Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Top 400 Contractors and Top 200 Environmental Firms, and has been consistently ranked one of San Francisco Business Times Best Places to Work.

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