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Century-Old Holt Construction Corp. Appoints Its First Female CEO

Holt Construction Corp. CEO Patricia Zugibe

Holt Construction Corp. has named a new CEO, appointing Patricia Zugibe as the first woman to lead the firm in its more than 100-year history.

Zugibe will join Chairman Jack Holt and President Christopher Asaro to lead the executive management team of the Rockland County-headquartered construction management and general contracting firm.

“Turning the CEO position over to Patricia Zugibe feels like shifting a performance sports car into high gear,” Holt said in a statement announcing the appointment Monday. “With her ability, knowledge, experience and drive she will be guiding the Holt organization to the next level. We look forward to her striking an essential balance in this male-dominated construction industry.”

Zugibe has been at Holt since 2014 and in construction for three decades, the company said. She initially joined Holt as in-house counsel and has previously been a principal owner of development and construction companies.

She said she was proud to take on “the stewardship of Holt’s incredible legacy, reflecting on its resolve and tenacity to successfully navigate and persevere over 100 years in the construction industry by mitigating risk, staying the course and delivering exceptional client service.”

Before joining Holt, Zugibe was a partner at residential rental property company PVZ Development and owned firms North Rockland Developers and Zugibe Construction. Holt, which was established in 1919, has developed 30M SF of retail space, including Woodbury Commons.

It is currently working on the American Airlines Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. It has also worked on the Delta Sky Club at LaGuardia airport, and it counts ConEdison in Manhattan among its clients. Though its head office is in Pearl River, it also has locations in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston and Dallas.

Zugibe is joining the company at a challenging time for the industry. In New York City, recovery of the industry has stagnated. Around 19,000 construction jobs were lost year-over-year in December, though statewide numbers improved over that same time period, per the New York State Department of Labor.

As the first woman to lead the firm, she is also an outlier in the industry as a whole. Less than 11% of construction jobs are held by women, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, even as the industry has faced an ongoing labor shortage.

Women have previously told Bisnow there is significant gender discrimination within the industry, though many organizations are working to support women in overcoming those barriers.