WHEELIHAN CONSTRUCTION, INC. is a commercial building and construction management firm headquartered in North San Diego County. Established in 1990, the company is based on a straightforward and powerful philosophy: that corporate success is the result of individuals working together toward the goal of client satisfaction.
This belief has enabled Wheelihan Construction to become an industry leader with an exceptional reputation.

Working within the company’s well-designed organization, experienced employees have formed quality relationships with local subcontractors and vendors. Competitive bidding and ongoing negotiated contracts have resulted in the very best onsite products and workmanship at reasonable cost. A consistent ability to meet deadlines underscores a commitment to provide clients with a preeminent construction service.

The success of Wheelihan Construction is a result of combined team effort and the leadership of founder Mike Wheelihan, whose career in construction has spanned the last 25 years. After starting out in the rough-framing industry, his experience has expanded over the years to include everything from custom residential construction to a variety of commercial, historical, retail and restaurant projects.


  • FIRST, to provide the industrial/commercial marketplace with the highest degree of professional general building construction services available.
  • SECONDLY, to provide general building construction services of uncompromising quality, on time and within budget.
  • THIRD, to provide resourceful employees with the ability to overcome obstacles of budget, weather, technology, and organization to create buildings of value.
  • FOURTH, to provide capable employees who are strong in customer service, presentation, marketing, and product demonstrations.
  • FIFTH, to maintain and expand market share through customer satisfaction and through the knowledge that quality is free.


  • FIRST, to provide Wheelihan Construction with stable financial growth.
  • SECOND, to meet corporate objectives and provide avenues of expansion into other ventures within an acceptable degree of risk.
  • THIRD, to create avenues and opportunities of financial growth to the key people responsible for the growth and success of Wheelihan Construction.


The company’s long-term plans will be directed towards maintaining and increasing existing market share as well as encouraging the company’s diversion into related growth segments. The company will aggressively pursue strategies to gain market share currently dominated by larger competitors. Company sales philosophy will continue to consider project profitability as well as project size.

Substantially better-quality service and high integrity will continue to make Wheelihan Construction successful. A solid track record and a tremendous pool of talent will allow the company to enjoy a wide base of established clients and an open opportunity to develop new clients. The positive experience of key personnel and powerful marketing tools will continue to offer clients uncompromising quality at best possible cost.

Mike Wheelihan – President

Phone: 760-734-5959 ext 112

Mike has industry experience that spans three decades and in all phases of construction. He is the president of Wheelihan Construction Inc (WCI) since founding the first in 1991 after working in the rough framing industry for fifteen years, he became a foreman running framing crews on as many as 247 track homes at once, to superintendent of large framing contractors. Moving on to more challenging work as superintendent for a general contractor, constructing custom homes in Rancho Santa Fe. He expanded his knowledge in construction while building heavy structural concrete bridges and then gained experience as a superintendent for a general contractor specializing in restaurants He established a name for himself, by constructing tenant improvements on several Dairy Queen restaurants, in as little as 15 days then began working directly for Dairy Queen of Southern California, in charge of new store development. Worked as liaison between franchisee owner and general contractor. Overseeing restaurants from signing lease to opening of restaurant. He then established Wheelihan Construction, Inc. a general contracting business, starting out specializing in restaurants and general tenant improvement. As Wheelihan Construction, Inc. continues to grow, he expanded into all phases of commercial construction, tenant improvement, high end retail, historical renovation and seismic upgrade and retrofit. Under his leadership, WCI has become one of Southern California’s leading construction firms serving high end nightclub and restaurant clients, brewery’s and tenant improvement clients using the latest in construction and building technologies. You can count on Mike to be consistent and persistent in achieving clients’ goals.

Throughout his career, Mike has demonstrated a unique ability to complete even the most challenging construction projects on time and within budget. He is dedicated to providing customers with superior construction services and quality at a reasonable price. Clients include Developers, City Agencies and Private Owners.

Lori Houk – Controller

Phone: 760-734-5959 ext 113

Lori Houk has been part of the Wheelihan Construction team for 20 plus years as Controller. She is a dedicated controller who developed and implemented financial systems, strategies, and processes and controls that significantly and streamlined our accounting program. She established and maintains subcontractor controls, job costing, change order management and providing clients with accurate and timely payment requests. Skills include proficiency in Excel, Word, Sage100 Accounting r, Quickbooks, Peachtree, ProMation, Outlook, and MS Office. Leveraging her diverse skill set, the company is now benefitting from Lori’s involvement in WCI’s marketing, human resources, business development and customer service initiatives.

Prior to joining WCI, Lori’s career experience included many year of accounting and management level positions with the respected San Diego County construction firms of CW McGrath Company, JP Witherow Roofing Inc and MJ Baxter Blasting Inc.

Bill Lopez – Construction Manager

Cell Phone: 619-843-4224

Bill Lopez is a very experienced Construction Manager with over 25 years’ experience in commercial construction including six years’ experience as a journeyman and lead carpenter/foreman. Skilled in material takeoff, plan layout; form work, concrete; rough and finish carpentry; seismic retrofit; handicap accessibility codes, scheduling, coordination of subcontractors cost controls and time constraints. Delegation of project responsibilities, materials procurement and inspector walk through. He provides construction services that assures customers satisfaction, on time and budget. His background provides him with the unique ability to communicate clearly with subcontractors and architects to complete successful projects which include The Palm Restaurant, Robinson Row, LG’s Steakhouse, Wellman Peck building and Juniper& Ivy Restaurant. We are fortunate to have Bill on our team since 1996.

Karen Dixon – Project Manager

Phone: 760-734-5959 Ext 115

Karen brings to the company over 17 years of business and project management experience. She has a strong background in the field of construction coordination and administration from pre-construction thru close-out, including tracking and logging all drawings, requests for information, submittals, tracking subcontractor compliance and project warranty manuals. Prior to joining WCI, Karen’s career experience includes working with Viking Construction in Hawaii and Morrissey Construction in Oceanside. She has experience managing relationships with contractors, suppliers, architects, engineers and clients on a professional level. She has excellent computer skills implementing Sage 100 Contractor, Excel and Word.

Gary McDowell – Superintendent

Cell Phone: 619-928-8800

We were fortunate to have Gary join our team two years ago. He brings his extensive experience with multi-million dollar restaurant remodel projects for his previous employer, Hawkins Construction. With over 30 years of diverse construction experience, Gary’s previous role as a Superintendent, General Manager and business owner provides the WCI team with the ability to creatively overcome the most challenging projects. There is no problem too difficult or too complicated that Gary can’t resolve and square away. His skills focus on spreadsheets, scheduling, blueprint interpretation, AutoCAD and steel fabrication/welding. Gary has successfully completed difficult projects for WCI including the Parq Nightclub, 6th Avenue structural retrofit and The Cake Nightclub in San Diego.