Opcon delivers. With precision, attention to detail, and exceptional project management, we maintain the highest possible standards and exceed intended results. Specializing in complex construction logistics, our diverse capabilities cover a wide scope including commercial building and hospital renovations, mechanical installations and commissioning, heavy and civil construction, LED lighting retrofits, and historic restorations. Our executives take pride in sharing their knowledge and mentoring the next generation of leaders. Opcon is committed to hiring military veterans and is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.


Working with Opcon »


Working with Opcon

By the Numbers

  • 260 projects valued at $40,000,000, in 35 cities, across 6 states, completed in the first 5 years of business
  • More than one-third of full-time employees are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Nearly 200 projects completed for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Each executive team member has over 25 years of related industry experience
  • Project managers have worked in the industry between 8 and 15 years
  • Superintendents have 8 to 28 years of direct experience
  • Project value between 2010 and 2014: $50,000 – $6.5 million
  • .81 Experience Modifier Rate

By Contract/Services

In addition to serving as General Contractor, Opcon construction related services are extensive in scope and industry, with significant work within education, government, state, healthcare, residential, retail, and transportation sectors.

Contracts include:

  • Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)
  • Job Order Contract (JOC)
  • Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC)
  • Lump Sum, Firm Fixed Price
  • Design/Build
  • Guaranteed Maximum Price
  • Cost Plus

Services include:

  • General Contracting (Prime Contractor or Sub-Prime)
  • Construction Management
  • Design/Build (Prime or Sub-Prime)
  • Self-Performance of Specific Trades
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades/Retrofits (Lighting, Mechanical)
  • Commissioning and Green Building Initiatives
  • Energy Savings Programs
  • Facilities Management
  • Value Engineering and Constructability Analyses
  • Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA) Compliance

By Project

Opcon successfully manages the inherent complexities within each project by anticipating issues, finding resolutions early, and leading a collaborative team of owners, architects, engineers, subcontractors, and other disciplines. Minimizing schedule disruption and delivering on time and on budget is the result of our proactive approach and policy of clear communication. Our areas of expertise cover a wide range including:


Hospital Renovations

  • Building Envelope
  • Patient Intake and Service Areas
  • Laboratories
  • Operating units for:
    • Oncology
    • Radiology
    • Hemodialysis
    • Cardiology
    • Surgery
    • Mental Health
    • Dental Clinics
    • Food Service
    • Pharmaceutical Distribution

Commercial and Institutional Buildings

  • Renovations, Expansions and Additions
  • Office Remodeling and Tenant Improvements
  • Finishes and Furnishings
  • Site work (utilities, parking lots, roads, sidewalks, fencing)


Historic Landmarks
  • Roofs
  • Masonry
  • Windows
  • Finishes

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Systems Retrofits and Replacements
Facilities Management Services
Environmental Protection and Remediation
Energy Savings Programs, Commissioning and Green Building Initiatives
Life Safety, Security and Communications Systems

The Opcon Story


Each Opcon senior executive brings insight and leadership developed over more than 25 years in the construction business. All our professionals have completed the OSHA 30 Hour Construction Course, and hold a variety of certifications including, but not limited to, LEED, ASHE-HCC, OSHA Trainer, RRP, PMP, ICRA, CQM, CPE, CPR, ASPE, AIA, and CCIM.

Clayton M. Graham, President and Owner

Clay founded Opcon in 2009 after more than 25 years of leadership in both private and public construction. Since then, Clay has trained and led Opcon’s team of professionals in the completion of approximately $40 million of interior and exterior construction projects. The company is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and has established a highly successful track record with federal agencies, primarily in six Midwest states.

Prior to Opcon, Clay was the owner and operator of a residential development and construction company, and he has completed more than $75 million of institutional and commercial construction projects with a large, U.S. general contracting firm. He also served as a Chief with the U.S. Navy Seabees, leading more than 300 utility infrastructure and vertical construction projects in Iraq. Clay recently retired from the Seabees with over 21 years of service.

Michael Tamillo, Executive Vice President/Business Development

Mike delivers comprehensive value creation and program management for Opcon with skills honed over a highly diverse career that spans more than 35 years. His leadership has guided the growth of four real estate business ventures that focused on development construction, portfolio management services, strategic consulting and private equity syndication. Mike has directed more than $6 billion of investment opportunities for corporate, private and public sector clients, involving all property types and in multiple markets, including a $2.3 billion public construction program, development of $500 million of luxury condominiums, and design and construction of more than 2 million square feet of commercial tenant space. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Mike is a licensed architect and real estate broker. He also holds the LEED AP designation.

Bryan Mixer, Senior Estimator

An ASPE Certified Professional Estimator, Bryan brings to Opcon over 25 years of experience estimating and developing contracts that range from $50,000 to $750 million. His deep knowledge spans multiple sectors including medical, higher education, office, industrial, airports, federal facilities, as well as specific construction trades. Bryan has analyzed and prepared bids for contracts including Design/Build, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity, Lump Sum, and Guaranteed Maximum Price service delivery methodologies. Dedicated to the industry, Bryan trains interns and colleagues in estimating strategies and software, and is a past President, and Membership, Fellowship, and Certification Chairman of the American Society of Professional Estimators. He is an ASPE Charter Member, and currently serves on the Standards Committee.  Bryan earned a degree in construction management and estimation from Western Illinois University.

Jason Johnson, Project Manager and Safety Coordinator

Jason’s diverse industry experience includes field supervision and safety inspections for high quality office tenant build-outs, as well as major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing repair/replacement projects. As a certified OSHA and First Aid/CPR/AED instructor, Jason manages Opcon’s Safety Program, offering first aid training, as well as OSHA training and compliance. He holds a degree in business management from National Louis University and a degree in construction management from Southern Illinois University.

Mike Rosso, Project Manager

Recognized by Opcon clients for his highly focused organization and management skills, Mike monitors delivery on client objectives from project kick-off through completion. Specializing in estimating and managing multiple job order contracts on an accelerated schedule, Mike has been responsible for construction project management with clients that include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Army, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority, and the General Services Administration. Previously, Mike worked for a large, U.S. general contracting firm. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa.

Andrew Thompson, Project Manager

Andrew has been responsible for more than $11 million of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital renovations for Opcon, including interior and exterior projects, and historic landmark restorations. Our clients appreciate his meticulous attention to detail and conscientious representation of their interests. His diverse experience includes construction project management for additional clients such as the General Services Administration, U.S. Air Force, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, and Chicago Public Building Commission. Andrew graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science in technical systems management with specialization in alternative energies, construction systems, and project management.


Opcon Clients

Federal Agencies

Highly regarded as a construction and facilities expert by multiple federal agencies and their design professionals, Opcon has completed over 125 projects for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Federal clients include:

  • Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • U.S. Army (ACC & MICC)
  • U.S. Air Force (USAF)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  • U.S. Department of Logistics & Acquisitions (DLA)
  • U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Private Sector

From simple to complex projects, the Opcon team has also exceeded client expectations in the private sector.  Some of our clients include:


Opcon is pre-qualified to bid on construction project opportunities that are offered through various public and private entities, including:

  • Capital Development Board (IL CDB)
  • Illinois Procurement Gateway (IPG)
  • Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
  • Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Additional Illinois universities


Opcon is committed to delivering outstanding solutions for our clients and to providing professional growth for our staff in a high-quality working environment. Articulated by Clay Graham when he founded Opcon as a Service Disabled Veteran, Opcon values have been the basis for our growth, and continue to be the core beliefs that underscore our attitudes and actions.


Opcon is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (CVE certified), an Illinois Veteran Business Program (IL CMS certified), and a self-certified Asian-Pacific American owned company. We represent a true potpourri of American diversity by gender, ethnicity, and age. We are proud of the fact that one-third of Opcon’s full-time employees are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.


Opcon attracts and retains talented professionals who approach each project with the twin goals of service excellence and seamless achievement of client objectives. We create opportunities for professional growth, recruit through intern programs, provide on-going training, and offer comprehensive employee benefits that foster healthy lifestyles and work/life balance. Our executives take pride in sharing their knowledge to mentor our next generation of leaders, most of whom have been a part of Opcon since its early days.

Careers at Opcon >>


Integrity is Opcon’s guiding principle. It is the underlying value upon which the U.S. military Standards of Conduct are based: honesty, loyalty, accountability, fairness, caring and respect. It is these ethics that inform our thinking and by which we serve our clients.


Enhancing safety and reducing risk on project sites and in the office is a core principle and a daily Opcon priority. Potential risks are identified and corrected through continuous observation and regular monitoring. An OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer is a member of our staff and conducts 10-and 30-hour courses in accordance with Outreach Training Program requirements. Our OSHA Trainer is also a Project Manager and Chairman of our Safety Committee. Mandatory safety training for Opcon employees includes:

  • OSHA 30-hour Construction Course
  • Daily log entries and safety meetings on project sites
  • Weekly Tool Box Tips that are read and signed by every employee

As a result of our commitment to safety, Opcon has achieved an Experience Modifier Rate of .81 (below 1.0 is excellent) and zero Reportable Incidents in our OSHA file.

Learn About Opcon’s Certifications >>

Environmental Sustainability

Committed to protecting and preserving the natural environment, Opcon minimizes the impact of our business operations on the environment and delivers sustainable solutions to our clients. We continuously work to improve our environmental performance and encourage Opcon employees, subcontractors and clients to do the same.

Learn About Opcon’s Certifications >>


Awards, Certifications, Memberships

Opcon has earned numerous awards and is an active member of multiple professional organizations that provide leadership for the construction industry and the built environment. Our experienced staff of highly trained professionals has earned a variety of industry certifications.


2014 Gold STEP Award for Safety (Associated Builders and Contractors)

2012 – 2014 Top 100 Contractors in the Midwest (Engineering News-Record)

2014 SBA BTO Annual Award Winner (Small Business Administration National Award)

2013 Gold STEP Award for Safety (Associated Builders and Contractors)

2013 Top 100 Contractors in the Midwest (Engineering News-Record)

2012 Gold STEP Award for Safety (Associated Builders and Contractors)

2012 SBA Emerging Leaders Program (Selection and Graduation)

2012 Top 80 Contractors in the Midwest (Engineering News-Record)

2011 Professional of the Year for the Contracting & Construction Industry (The Cambridge Institute of International Education)


Architect (AIA – Licensed, State of Illinois)

Health Care Construction (HCC – American Society of Health Care Engineering)

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM – CCIM Institute, National Association of Realtors)

Certified Professional Estimator (CPE – American Society of Professional Estimators)

Certified Quality Manager (CQM – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA – Construction Institute)

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED AP, LEED Associate – U.S. Green Building   Council)

Managing Broker (Licensed – State of Illinois)

Occupational Safety & Health Administration Construction (OSHA 30-Hour – U.S. Department of Labor)

Occupational Safety & Health Administration Construction (OSHA Outreach Trainer – U.S. Department of Labor)

Project Management Professional (PMP – Project Management Institute)

Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP-Lead Paint Program – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Safety and Health Requirements Manual (EM 385 – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB-CVE – Center for Veterans Enterprise, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Veterans Business Program (VBP-CMS – State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services)

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB – Self-certified at CRR.gov)


Successful Outcomes

Veterans Administration Hospitals

Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital

Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital, Hines, Illinois
Building 37 Consolidated Mail Order Pharmacy Renovation

Project Size and Scope: This $6.5 million, 70,000 square foot project comprised a major, multi-phased renovation of the office and warehouse facilities of a regional 24/7 pharmaceutical distribution center for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Project scope included all labor, materials, supervision, coordination and environmental protection to provide an entirely new floor plan for relocation of existing, in-use pharmacy spaces. This required demolition of existing MEP infrastructure, and installation of completely new plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Work included new diesel electric generators, three rooftop HVAC units, new sanitary system pumps and utility connections, new offices, conference rooms, cafeteria, locker and storage facilities. Final interior finishes were installed by Opcon and coordinated with office furniture and cubicles that were supplied and installed by the owner.

Opcon’s Role: As General Contractor (Prime), Opcon provided all construction budget, schedule, phasing and coordination services, and self-performed installation of doors, frames, and special accessories.

Primary Challenges:  Three major challenges were encountered:

  1. This project required that demolition and construction be performed while existing, occupied spaces were in use. The work was divided into multiple phases, each of which required substantial completion before beginning a subsequent phase. The CMOP 24/7 work schedule allowed only limited access and time to assure internal security, protect adjacent areas, and perform construction.
  2. Existing building conditions did not always match architectural drawings due to owner-deferred projects, revised personnel relocation sequencing, or demolition discovery. This resulted in numerous project phasing revisions and scope adjustments.
  3. Disconnecting and bringing online entirely new plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems without a significant disruption of the client’s operations required precise coordination between the utilities and the installing trades. Each of these situations was addressed through daily communication and planning between the client, superintendent and project manager.

Successful Outcomes: Opcon delivered the project within the original schedule (nearly four months ahead of the revised schedule) and approximately four percent below the original budget. This included consideration of 19 owner-generated changes in project scope based on 53 Requests for Information.



“Clay: I really appreciate the level of professionalism your crew displays on a daily basis. Steve Carlson is an AWESOME superintendent and really knows how to keep a project on schedule, no matter what obstacles are impressed upon him. I get nothing but praise from our personnel about him and the work he is leading his crew to complete. One example that sticks out in my mind is not from our staff, it was from the controls contractor. He said “working with OPCON is a night and day difference than working with other firms; no matter what date I give them for a deadline, IT IS ALWAYS MET, and NO MATTER WHAT I ASK THEM FOR, IT IS ALWAYS READY FOR ME.  Well done.”  Mike Rosso is an incredible project management asset; the pair of them seems to really gel. I enjoy working with both of them and am positive their success and efficient work in my building is a direct result of their great working relationship. Thank you again. Great job.”

Opcon client and subcontractor regarding a hospital facility renovation


“In eight years of managing construction projects at this agency, I have not worked with a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that was more prepared than Opcon. Their preparation day-to-day on the job site and during bi-weekly project status meetings is outstanding. I have rated Opcon performance as ‘Superior’ in seven categories, the most important of which is ‘in satisfying the requirements of the customer’.”

Opcon client Past Performance Evaluation regarding a hospital facility renovation

Photo: www.dieteticinternship.va.gov

Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center

Iron Mountain, Michigan
Outpatient Clinic Entrance Expansion and Remodeling
Project Size and Scope: A $499,995 reconstruction of the main entrance to the Outpatient Clinic featured an expanded patient reception and processing space with indoor wheel-chair storage and accessibility improvements that blended with the design of the existing hospital building. The scope required new foundations, heated driveway paving (connected to an existing hot water heating source), sidewalks that were compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, roof, entry doors, lighting, interior finishes, stainless steel bollards, and precast concrete and masonry to match existing. The project was a Task Order issued under an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Job Order Contract that began in January 2012 with 44 projects awarded to Opcon at a total contract value of $4,704,234.

Opcon’s Role: General Contractor

Primary Challenges:  As a 24/7 facility, it was critical that the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VMAC) create an adjacent, temporary entrance before demolishing the existing entry and paving it to prepare for the expanded design. The project required “tenting” so that a heated construction enclosure that would facilitate ongoing work during extreme winter weather, and allowed for proper concrete curing.

Successful Outcomes: Opcon coordinated client occupancy and patient accessibility on a continuing basis to assure the provision of uninterrupted patient service. The work was performed without schedule disruption in an occupied patient environment as a result of close collaboration and responsive problem solving by Opcon’s on-site superintendent. Opcon has been successful at developing close working relationships with numerous local subcontractors and laborers, which proved invaluable in assuring proper quality control, site safety and timely completion of 44 projects at this facility. Based on our successful performance under this contract, Opcon was awarded a new sole source contract in the amount of $650,000 for additional work at Johnson VAMC.

Historic Renovations

Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Building 6 Historic Landmark Roof Replacement and Shell Restoration

Project Size and Scope: Both projects had a contract value of $3.2 million. Scope included replacement of deteriorated slate shingles, copper gutters and downspouts, terne metal and 4-ply roof materials; tuckpointing of weathered masonry to match original color and mortar striking; restoration of original windows, balconies, porches and railings; environmental protection and remediation; and coordination of work within occupied spaces.

Opcon’s Role: General Contractor (Prime); self-performing historic landmark window restoration

Primary Challenges: Key to project success were: reconciling the historic restoration design scope and material selection with the client’s budget constraints; coordinating client relocations and protection of occupied spaces with a labor-intensive restoration process and schedule; managing environmental testing, abatement or remediation within environmental regulations and the restoration standards of the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office.

Successful Outcomes: Opcon utilized its proprietary custom window restoration program developed by Opcon carpenters at a historic structure at Veterans Administration Northern Indiana Health Care. A client relocation strategy was developed that facilitated window removal in small groups. This enabled a specific solution for each window, depending on its condition. Any asbestos-containing glazing putty was removed. Lead paint was encapsulated with primer and two coats of new paint; sashes required partial reconstruction with new components. Glazing was replaced as required. By refinishing jambs and trim in place, and custom fabricating/finishing stops and window components in our shop, Opcon minimized project costs, client disruption, and site contamination risk. SHPO requirements for historic restoration were met.

Opcon advised the client and the architect regarding: cost and availability alternatives for pre-patinated copper gutters and downspouts, asphalt shingle substitutes for slate shingles, and mortar colors and masonry sealants that would be appropriate for this application. Each of our recommended solutions was accepted by the client, the architect and SHPO, achieving an optimal balance for cost, quality and appearance in a historic building.



“Andrew Thompson and the entire OPCON team were very professional, hardworking and open to working together as a team to resolve conflicts in the documents. I would highly recommend OPCON to anyone looking for a building partner. I was especially impressed with the quality of the restoration work – in particular the wood windows and doors, which I use as a model and consider our standard for excellence on preservation projects.”

Michael W. Halstead, President, HALSTEAD architects
Opcon and Halstead Architects collaborated on the Veterans Administration Northern Indiana Health Care System Historic Landmark Window Restoration, in Marion, Indiana.

Photo: www.theinlinegroup.com

Federal Agencies

Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Aviation Administration, Aurora, IL
Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center
Design/Build Parking Lot Reconstruction and
New Employee Parking Lot

Project Size and Scope: The $481,690 design/build reconstruction contract was for a carefully phased removal and replacement of a parking lot at Chicago Center (ZAU). Project scope included excavation, lighting, utilities relocations, environmental testing/remediation/soil disposal, concrete paving and landscaping.

Opcon’s Role: General Contractor (Prime)/Construction Manager, coordinating utility companies, subcontractors and the client

Primary Challenges: Avoiding disruption of underground utility services at one of the busiest air traffic control centers in the world was critical. The project required locating, and relocating as required, all telephone, electric, gas and storm sewer lines that would be affected by the parking lot reconstruction. In addition, the significant amount of contaminated soil displacement required an environmentally acceptable disposal strategy.

Successful Outcomes: Opcon utilized hydro excavation techniques to locate marked utility locations (which were not available on as-built drawings), and coordinated surface construction with the various utility crews below grade to provide temporary service connections while relocating lines that conflicted with the new work. This required meticulous safety program procedures for shoring and protection of both construction and FAA personnel who were on-site 24/7. The cost of the required removal of a large volume of contaminated soil and transporting it to a landfill would have caused a substantial additive Change Order to the project. However, Opcon was able to gain approval for disposal on-site by creating landscaped berms around the parking areas that could accommodate all spoils.

In addition to this design/build reconstruction project, Opcon completed a new employee parking lot valued at $1,117,362 at the same FAA facility. For the new parking lot project, Opcon was able to generate another environmentally responsible client savings by grinding existing asphalt pavement, and recycling it as sub-base material for the new concrete paving. The new parking lot was completed 30 days ahead of schedule.



“Clay Graham is one of the guys who I respect the most in this industry. Clay’s Opcon team is a direct reflection of his integrity and dedication to the highest standards of performance. Opcon’s safety program for the FAA parking projects was in place and enforced from day one. Opcon resolved potentially expensive environmental issues in a cost-effective, sustainable manner, and their communication with the design team was exemplary. I would be very pleased to work with Opcon again on any construction project where safety and environmental issues are as important as the budget and schedule. They cover all the bases.”

Paul Jenkins, President and CEO, Bancroft Architects + Engineers

Photo: www.dailyherald.com

Commercial Properties

Blue Star Properties

Chicago, IL
328 South Jefferson Avenue
Multi-tenant Office Construction

Project Size and Scope: approximately 70,000 square feet of multi-tenant space in a concrete-framed loft office conversion

Developer/Owner and Construction Manager: Blue Star Properties

Opcon’s Role: carpentry subcontractor for installation of rough framing, doors, hardware, trim, millwork, glazing, acoustical ceilings, drywall and polygal panels

Primary Challenges: The project was on a fast track with highly creative architectural designs that featured unusual floor plans, complex framing and detailing, and specialty materials for very demanding tenants. High quality materials included full height Herculite glazing and doors, reclaimed oak finishes and polygal partitions (for translucent visual privacy, light sharing and sound attenuation). Design included exposed ductwork, custom cabinetry and lighting, and non-rectilinear layouts, requiring precision and attention to detail to achieve the desired tenant image.

Successful Outcomes: Opcon’s highly skilled carpenters were able to provide the high standards of craftsmanship, timeliness and communication that were necessary to meet the challenges of these unique projects. All occupancy dates were achieved without disruption of other tenants and in compliance with Owner objectives for quality and cost.