John Rooney is the Area Director of Economic Inclusion for Gilbane Building Company’s New York and Mid-Atlantic Divisions. In this role, he works to build up diverse-owned and small businesses in the construction industry and connect them to work on Gilbane’s vast project portfolio. A 14-year industry veteran, John brings a unique passion to his work, prioritizing “impact over optics.” He believes the construction industry holds vast potential to promote positive economic impacts for underserved firms and workers and that large builders like Gilbane can play a significant role in realizing this potential.
John has been instrumental in driving national commitments that have established Gilbane as an industry leader in economic inclusion—from the across-the-board 20% minimum goals on Gilbane projects to the pledge to award $4 billion to underserved businesses over the five years ending in 2026.
Before joining Gilbane, John served as a regulator at NYC EDC for seven years, holding the builders of NYC accountable for meeting equity goals, and started the agency’s ConstructNYC program, a business accelerator program for minority- and women-owned contractors.
John serves on the board of BOC Capital – a nonprofit lender financing diverse-owned and immigrant businesses. He is a Coro Fellow, completing the Leadership New York (LNY) program in 2020. He also represents Gilbane as an Ascend New York’s anchor council member. This consortium advocates participation by minority-owned NYC firms and includes such esteemed institutions as Columbia University and JPMorgan Chase.
John has an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BS in Financial Economics from SUNY Binghamton. John was recognized by City & State New York’s Real Estate & Construction as one of its 40 under 40 in 2021. He was named one of Crain’s New York’s Notable LGBTQ Leaders in 2022.