Name : James Cornwell
Industry Type : Related Professions
City & State : Parkland, FL
Job Title Executive Director Construction and Operations
Relocation Preferences :
Objective :
Resume :  

6716 NW 66th Way                                                                    Cell:  561-213-7160

Parkland, FL 33067                                                          Email:  jcornwell[AT]

Linkedin profile:


Energetic and self motivated Design, Construction and Asset Management Professional with extensive retail real estate development experience. Results driven and bottom line oriented with core experience in fast paced, high volume environments.  Successful mentor in developing and training directors and managers.  Creative developer and researcher of continuing process and procedure improvements, procurement of materials, services, and specifications.  Effective liaison between Construction and Legal, Lease Administration, Real Estate, IT, Operations, and Maintenance departments.  Trilingual English, Spanish and Portuguese both verbal and written.  Strengths include:

  • Strong program management expertise

  • Leadership and team development

  • Development due diligence

  • Skilled negotiator

  • Systems development and implementation

  • Retail real estate development

  • Green building, sustainability and environmental design

  • Trilingual with international experience


dbRight, LLC Design Builders / Executive Director of Construction and Operations                   2009 - present

Strategic, retail real estate development program, asset and project management.

Unique architect-led design build process which provides a lower risk alternative to the traditional design-bid-build method and assures a fixed cost and expedited project-delivery schedule.

Designed and/or built 20 LEED certified facilities in last 3 years.

Nationwide and international projects and rollouts for several retail clients, including new stores, remodels, cross-docks, warehouses, offices, call centers, and maintenance/CAPEX rollouts.


OFFICE DEPOT, INC. Delray Beach, FL                                               1999 - 2008

Global Fortune 500 Company, supplier of office products and services. Sales of $15.5 B in products and services in 2007, with presence in 35 countries, and over 1,300 stores.

Senior Director of Design and Construction (2006-2008)

Controlled and managed all aspects of design and construction of all new facilities. Due diligence, lease exhibits, permitting, development of drawings, budgeting, bidding, contracting and construction.

  • Took on added responsibility maintaining all new facilities for the first year after grand opening.

  • Integrated and trained team of 25 Senior Design and Construction Project Managers, Coordinators and Analysts.

  • Led Company’s new green building initiatives.  Actively initiated and participated in United States Green Building Council (USGBC) volume certification process.

  • First ever to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) prototype pre-certification for new construction. Pre-certification achieved at Gold level.

  • Designed and built LEED certified store in Austin, TX at Gold level and registered three additional stores for certification.

  • Selected, developed and implemented ODDevelopment, a real estate development, web-enabled management system, adopted by several departments companywide.

  • Established strategy for Caribbean initiative.  Opened five stores in Puerto Rico and added ten more to two-year pipeline.

  • Managed annual budget of over $130M, averaging 2% under budget.

  • Reduced costs of leasehold improvements by 15% and long term ownership by 10% over four year period.

  • Key participant in openings of approximately 700 new facilities in 9 years.

Director of Design and Construction (2005)

Directed all aspects of new construction of all new facilities, retail and supply chain.

  • Promoted into new position following consolidation of Director of Design and Director of Construction positions.  Recruited, trained, and developed staff of Senior Managers and outsourced Project Managers.


JAMES CORNWELL                                                                              Page Two

  • Over achieved annual objectives by 166%, by training, developing and actively mentoring Design and Project Managers while improving and streamlining departmental processes.

  • Managed several retail chain acquisitions, from negotiations to conclusion.

  • Directly negotiated lease terms with developers, landlords and contractors which accelerated new store pipeline.

  • Active member of Real Estate Pipeline Committee, reviewing every aspect related to new retail strategies prior to Real Estate Committee submittals, including Legal and negotiation aspects.

  • Developed and implemented departmental process manual.

Senior Manager of Architecture (2000-2004)

  • Established guidelines and initiatives for prototype development, which led to total redesign of company new store prototype.

  • Implemented company Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) department, and established criteria and initiatives for CAPEX and Energy Management, resulting in investments of over $50M over three years.

  • Implemented Company store remodel and downsize program nationwide.

  • Developed and launched small store format design and criteria globally.

  • Managed all design aspects of new stores for 75% of North American Retail territory.

  • Designed and permitted all facilities.


Senior Design Manager (1999-2000)

  • Trained all new Design Managers in Architectural Design Management of all new facilities.

Supervised and coordinated several groups of Architectural and Engineering Consultants, through design and permitting, leading to over 200 new store openings in two years with direct personal involvement.

LOJAS AMERICANAS, S/A Rio de Janeiro, Brazil                                  1995 - 1999

Traditional retail chain, active for over 80 years, 449 stores and 3 major distribution centers. Operates e-commerce, represented by and Shoptime. Sells more than 60,000 SKUs from 4,000 different companies.

Senior Architectural Manager

  • Key participant in Wal-Mart International joint-venture in South America.  Fluent in Portuguese and managed design for new stores and remodels, conventional and supermarket, restaurants and cafeterias.

  • Participated in design-related Loss Prevention project that added $30M to Company bottom line.

  • Led design development project with Arthur Andersen Consulting that resulted in construction of three major cross-docks, ranging from 1 to 2 million square feet.

AREAS ENGINEERING INTERNATIONAL Rio de Janeiro, Brazil            1991 - 1995

Architectural and Engineering consulting office, and general contractors.

VP, Design and Construction

Directed development and permitting of drawings and managed team of Project Managers and Estimators.

  • Managed consulting services for high-rise residential buildings, throughout design / construction processes.

  • Head of consulting group in design and construction of the Copacabana Marriott in Rio de Janeiro.

TYNES CONSTRUCTION Bahia, Brazil                                                 1988 - 1991

Manager of Estimating, Bidding and Design

Supervised residential and retail design and construction.  In charge of estimating and bidding mixed-use developments, restaurants, and cafeterias.


Bachelor of Science (BS), Architecture and Urban Planning, St. Ursula University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Professional Affiliate, American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Feature Cover Story, Retail Construction Magazine October 2008

2003 Chain Store Age Magazine award for best retail store design of the year, category 30,000 square feet

2002 City of South Lake Tahoe, CA award for excellence in design for new retail

2008 guest speaker at six major conferences - Commercial Construction Show

Craig Michaels Sustainable Operations Summit, Craig Michaels Retail Facilities Conference

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Sustainability Conference and ICSC Legal and Centerbuild.


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