John Rakolta, Jr. is the only son of John Rakolta a prominent citizen of Detroit, Michigan. He heads up one of the 50 largest construction firms in the United States, Walbridge Aldinger. This privately held family-owned construction firm specializes in the Design/Build/Management and Development of large-scale commercial, municipal, educational, federal and industry-specific projects.
He is a second-generation American Romanian. He takes great pride in his Romanian heritage, especially given that both sets of his grandparents were born in Romania. They come from Transylvanian cities of Ludus, county of Sibiu, Unimat and Simiklous, county of Satu Mare. He cherishes the Romanian traditions that were practiced in his home as a child, especially Romanian food, such as sarmale (stuffed cabbage), carnati (sausage), mamaliga (corn meal) and cozonaci ( cake). He is married to the former Terry Lynn Stern and together they have 4 children, Eileen, Lauren, Paige and John III.
John Rakolta, Jr. received his Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University in 1970. Thereafter, he completed the Smaller Company Management Program at the Harvard Business School. His business career started with Walbridge Aldinger in 1971 and he held a variety of positions culminating with the dual role of Chairman and CEO in 1993.
John has successfully managed his company’s resources, especially its most valuable resources, its clients and employees, forward into the new millennium. Under his stewardship, the company has tripled in size. Walbridge currently has offices in Mexico City, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago and Detroit. Its projects are located in over a dozen states and several foreign countries.
As Walbridge Aldinger expands its geographic boundaries into the 21st Century, he is a firm believer in the value of diversity and global competition.
Mr. Rakolta is also co-chair of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit School Children and of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition and is as trustee of New Detroit Inc. and a campaign cabinet member for United Way of southeast Michigan. He also has served as an Honorary Consul for Romania. Mr. Rakolta earned his B.S. from Marquette University.