Mike Oswald Named ENR Top Young Professional

Oswald obtained a residential builders license after graduating from high school and continued to work as a laborer in residential construction throughout his undergrad education at Northern Michigan University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management in 2003 and went on to join Hill & Wilkinson in 2004 as a project engineer.

His solid performance led to rapid promotions—project manager, senior project manager, group manager, executive vice president and, most recently, chief operating officer—all in less than 15 years. He became the firm’s COO before his 35th birthday. Oswald also holds general contracting licenses in California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona and Utah.

Oswald has remained closely involved with his alma mater, NMU, where he created a scholarship program for construction students, was appointed chair of NMU’s Construction Management Professional Advisory Committee and most recently joined the NMU Alumni Board.

He is now creating personal development plans for every employee to provide a rigorous review process that focuses on employee needs and manager expectations. As an advocate for diversity in the workplace, Oswald also has been a driving force in Hill & Wilkinson’s commitment to increase diversity at all levels within the company and its subsidiaries. He hired and sponsored nearly a dozen professionals while they pursued their H1B visas and started a Women in Construction forum, which dovetailed with the TEXO AGC Women in Construction. Now, more than two dozen female employees are actively engaged with the program.

He developed construction divisions that have since become separate companies, some managed by women and minorities. He has been the catalyst to move more than 90% of Hill & Wilkinson’s existing customer volume into negotiated contracts.

Away from the office, Oswald serves on the TEXO and TEXO Foundation boards and helps high schools, community colleges and vocational schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with curriculum development. He serves as a liaison between schools and the Construction Education Foundation and works to educate young adults about how to get into the construction industry.