Building on Bedrock

There’s much in the news about people in the tech world, wielding vast amounts of money that have little to do with so-called “brick-and-mortar.” But the job of Joe Guziewicz ’94 as Vice President of Construction for Bedrock Management in Detroit, Michigan has everything to do with concrete, steel and all the processes and materials related to building construction projects that are reshaping the heart of Detroit. He oversees budgets totaling more than $2 billion.

Bedrock hired Guziewicz in 2015, and the construction projects for which he is responsible include: building an 800-foot high-rise (tallest in the city), a new criminal justice center, and a mixed-use office, retail, residential and green space site. He leads a team of 11 construction professionals, including project directors, managers, and coordinators.

It’s a role he could hardly have imagined when he graduated from MMA in 1994 and first worked as a mate aboard a sea-going hopper dredge. However, Guziewicz’s experience before MMA in the Marine Corps and then as a “non-traditional” enrolled Nautical Science major provided him with a toolbox of skills that have led to an impressive career progression.

“Those experiences prepared me to confront challenging situations,” Guziewicz says, “and apply critical thinking skills to handle difficult and stressful issues. Learning the necessary skills to be successful in the maritime industry has translated and served me well in the field of construction.”

After a brief stint on the dredge, Guziewicz worked as a mate for Europa Cruises in 1995 before moving on to Empress Casino in Indiana where his career changed to facilities management that included a casino riverboat and shoreside hotel. That led to becoming director of facilities and construction for larger scale projects across the country before moving to Corporate Director of Construction for Harrah’s Casino in 2003. In 2012, he was promoted to Vice President of Construction for Caesars Entertainment, which brought him to Las Vegas to lead the entire Corporate Design and Construction Department responsible for all U.S. properties. Four years ago, he was recruited by Bedrock for his present position.

“Although I worked for Caesars for nearly 20 years, I was excited to take on this new challenge,” Guziewicz says.

He attributes a significant role in his success to his family. “While I have had incredible professional opportunities, none of that would be possible without my amazing family, my wife, and son. My wife packed her bags and came with me to MMA, and our son was born my senior year. They are the greatest joy in my life.”

His advice to others: “Stay true to who you are and be willing to entertain opportunities that come your way. Do not shy away from challenges or be afraid of failure! A willingness to see risk as an opportunity will open up possibilities.”

Photo: courtesy of Joe Guziewicz

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