Sullivan designBUILD originated as the K.F. Sullivan Company in 1937. Kenneth F. Sullivan started in business by remodeling downtown store- fronts surrounding Madison’s square, the heart of retail activity in the city at that time. The company’s original offices were located on Regent Street; Sullivan has been at its present location since 1957.
Bob Riley’s son, John Riley joined Sullivan in 1989. John spent his summers during high school and college working for K.F. Sullivan and learned the trade early on as a laborer. He re-
ceived a Bachelor of Science
degree in Construction
Administration from the
UW-Madison. Out of
college John worked for
K.F. Sullivan as a project
manager, estimator and
draftsman, with an emphasis
on pre-engineered metal
buildings. In 2002 he be-
came Vice President and his
responsibilities expanded to include: quality control, field personnel coordinator, director of safety and green initiatives.
Founder Kenneth F Sullivan
In 1968 Robert Riley, engineer, joined the company. Ken Sullivan became a good friend and a great mentor to Bob. Until that time, Sullivan Company was solely a construction operation. In 1970 Bob Riley became a partner and later took over as president in 1974.
In 2011 John Riley became the president of K.F. Sullivan. In 2012, K.F. Sullivan celebrated 75 years of business. John Riley rebranded K.F Sullivan Company to Sullivan designBUILD; better aligning the company name with the business. Currently Bob Riley serves as CEO and Tom Knoop as Chief Architect.
In the late 60’s, the Sullivan team began to look and think outside of the box, and saw an opportunity for their clients when the design and construction where provided by the same company. It was during this time that K.F. Sullivan pioneered the design build concept in Madison. Through their new one source approach of taking full responsibility from concept (planning and design) to completion (construction & occupancy), they provided increased value, efficiency, and coordination; and a betTom Knoopter result for the time and money their clients were investing.
Tom Knoop, architect, joined the team in 1973. With the addition of Tom, K.F. Sullivan became a true design build company… offering architectural, engineering and
construction services all under one roof.
Chief Architect Tom Knoop