Baltimore Sun’s 2023 Business and Civic Hall of Fame honoree: Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Regan

Timothy J. “Tim” Regan, the CEO of Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, and his wife are personally developing an 8-acre project that will offer health care services, workforce development programs, child care and retail options in West Baltimore.  (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

The first time that Timothy J. “Tim” Regan applied for a job at Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, he was rejected.

Regan, who had recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in civil engineering, took a job with the State Highway Administration instead. The more he worked on construction projects for the SHA, the more he realized he wanted to be a contractor.


Fortunately, another opportunity at Whiting-Turner came around, and in 1980 he got the job. Forty-three years later, Regan is the company’s CEO, and has been for nearly a decade.

Landing the top role came as something of a surprise to a “Baltimore City kid” who grew up in the neighborhood of Gardenville, in the city’s northeast. Regan’s father was a truck driver with an alcohol addiction, and his family went through rough patches when he was a child, at times relying on food stamps. The image of his mother laying down food stamps on a grocery belt is one, he said, “that you don’t forget.”


A junior high school counselor who saw Regan’s potential recommended he attend the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and it was there that he developed “a kind of a toughness and a discipline that was life-changing.”

That discipline was put to good use as Regan, now 68, worked his way up at Whiting-Turner. He started as a project engineer, and quickly found that he enjoyed taking on small solo jobs, where he could work with clients and solve problems.

In the early 1990s, he began to specialize in projects for the life sciences industry, which was rapidly growing in Maryland along the Interstate 270 corridor in particular. During the next two decades, Regan was instrumental in helping to expand Whiting-Turner’s presence in the field. “It exploded, it became a big thing for us, and still is today,” he says. In 2021, Whiting-Turner topped the list of the nation’s largest science and technology facility contractors, bringing in $933.5 million in revenue from projects in the sector, according to a ranking released last year by Building Design + Construction, a trade publication.

By 2006, Regan had been promoted to a vice president role at the contracting company. Then, sometime later, former CEO Willard Hackerman invited Regan to come to his office for a talk.

“He sat me down, he closed the door, and he pulled his chair very close to mine,” Regan says. “And with no preamble whatsoever, he said to me: ‘I want you to be the next president of Whiting-Turner.’”

Regan was floored. “The whole world went fuzzy and gray. I thought I was going to pass out,” he recalls. “The concept had never crossed my mind.”

He had to keep the good news a secret for two years, and didn’t assume the CEO role until 2014, shortly before Hackerman died at 95 years old, after having been at the helm of Whiting-Turner since 1955.

“There was no being prepared to take over for Willard Hackerman,” says Regan, who is only the third CEO in the company’s history. “Those are shoes that are so big you can take a nap in them.”


Regan is holding his own: In the nine years since his tenure began, Whiting-Turner has nearly doubled its staff, to 4,400 full-time employees from 2,300 in 2014. The company has more than 60 offices around the country, and is trending to hit $10 billion in revenue in 2023. Notable Baltimore projects include the Sagamore Pendry hotel, Whitehall Mill and renovations to the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Lyric Opera House.

The CEO hasn’t forgotten his Baltimore roots. After the uprising sparked by Freddie Gray’s death in police custody in 2015, he teamed up with Exelon CEO Calvin Butler and other local leaders to launch TouchPoint Baltimore, a community resource center near Mondawmin Mall.

“Tim is the real deal — a genuine and thoughtful leader, a tireless advocate and a dear friend,” Butler says. “During our work to found the TouchPoint Baltimore Community Center, I was inspired by Tim’s incredible devotion to the city of Baltimore and creating a space that would lift up our community. Tim understood the importance of supporting our neighborhood organizations, who are often operating with very limited resources, at a time when there was a need for hope and investment in the city. His contributions have changed countless lives for the better.”

There’s more to come for the West Baltimore neighborhood surrounding the mall. After the Mondawmin Target closed in 2018, Regan used his connections to persuade the retail giant to sell him the building to transform it into another community hub.

He and his wife, Joanne, are personally developing the former big-box property into “The Village at Mondawmin,” an 8-acre project that will offer health care services, workforce development programs, child care and retail options, among other tenants. The development will also include a TouchPoint Empowerment Center and a small office for Whiting-Turner.

Regan hopes the Village will become a catalyst for even more development in West Baltimore.


“I very much wanted to try to make an impact on Baltimore, the city that built me,” he says. “Everything about me is from this town. I feel like I’ve been given a unique opportunity to make a difference.”

Timothy J. “Tim” Regan

Age: 68

Hometown: Baltimore

Current residence: Cockeysville

Education: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Class of ‘73); B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park


Career highlights: Maryland State Highway Administration; Whiting-Turner

Civic and charitable activities: Co-founder (with Calvin Butler) of TouchPoint Baltimore; developer of The Village at Mondawmin; various local board affiliations

Family: Married to Joanne; three children and three grandchildren