Shawn Coates has been in various operations roles in the construction industry since 2003 and in management roles since 2008. He has a complete understanding of the project lifecycle and has proven he knows what it takes to succeed in this industry.
While at WPI, Shawn has climbed the construction operations ladder from Assistant to Executive. He has worked as a Project Engineer, Project Manager, Estimator, Senior Estimator, and Chief Estimator. Due to his work ethic and fierce ability to focus, in 2016 he was promoted to Vice President, overseeing Business Development, Sales & Estimating, Engineering & BIM/CAD, and Prefabrication. In 2022, he earned the role of WPI’s Chief Executive Officer.
Shawn is also a member of numerous industry organizations, including the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE), and has been involved in several award-winning projects for WPI. One of his favorite projects was the Gonzaga University Center. He was the WPI Estimator, and this project was named the 2016 NWCB Interior Commercial Project of the Year. This project was very complex, and it is a showpiece for every involved party. It illustrates some of the highest-level work that WPI produces.
Shawn’s 4th Grade Teacher, Mr. Horn, taught him the value of doing things right the first time. Mr. Horn frequently quoted Abraham Lincoln, who said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
Shawn is passionate about golf, and playing 18 holes at Augusta National is among many of his bucket list items. He has many fond memories of playing golf with his father, who used the game of golf to teach patience and humility. He also loves the movie Cast Away because the concept of being forced to survive on an uninhabited island fascinates him. In some ways, possessing that level of drive and focus and relying on yourself to create solutions to survive are traits that share similarities with our day-to-day operation. Those traits can be necessary elements to finding success.
Shawn values confidence, maturity, strictness, fairness, stability, decisiveness, and honesty in management. He tries to foster responsible risk-taking and creativity every day, build a culture of trust, embrace change, and always operate with fairness, integrity, courage, authenticity, and passion.