In a small bar in 1999, Mike Kraus and John Manning scribbled a vision onto a cocktail napkin: A full-service project Management and Construction Consultancy firm that advocates for the owner.
They wanted to develop customized solutions tailored specifically for the needs of the project and owner, and that’s exactly what they did.
Through their experiences and honed expertise, they became Kraus-Manning, and carefully guided their clients throughout the complicated and demanding landscape of construction.
They developed a philosophy on Providing Leadership and Delivering Success, aiming their focus on bringing value from the start. They successfully launched and groomed Kraus-Manning, Inc., with the Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas, along with their unshakeable credo and philosophy of unwavering commitment to service and dedication to being recognized as the gold standard.
Fast forward to nearly twenty years later and Kraus-Manning, Inc., has evolved to KMI International (KMI) with a global reach and a portfolio of projects that valued well into the billions. Presently, Mike Kraus, John Manning and KMI’s Executive Team, along with a host of KMI Team experts stand poised to position KMI into the next decade of exciting growth in their consulting services, as well as their commitment to become an integral part of the communities and neighborhoods where they live, work and play. After all, this is the “KMI Way” and it is the vision that began with two co-workers, Kraus and Manning, who dared to dream and challenge themselves to become one of the world’s most recognized Trusted Construction Management Advisors. It is a way that began on a napkin twenty years ago, a way that is still going strong, and will continue well into the future.
Mike and John welcome you to KMI International’s home and family where the mission is simple, “To increase the value of our client’s capital investment by delivering successful, reliable leadership and expertise in the Project Management and Construction Consultancy services we offer.”
/ Our Leadership Team
Michael Kraus is one of the founders and the president of KMI International. A graduate in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, Mike began his construction career over forty years ago at the Port of Baltimore. Preferring construction over design, Mike worked as a utility engineer taking lead on the construction of marine terminal facilities, wastewater and water plants, along with dredged containment facilities, roads, new landfills and landfill closures throughout the Maryland area. In 1991, Mike relocated to Orlando, Florida and continued his career in construction at Universal Studios as the onsite lead for civil engineering and design work on the massive infrastructure required for the Islands of Adventure and CityWalk expansions.
Fast forward 19 years later, and Mike Kraus continues to provide senior leadership to KMI International, participating in design reviews, concept refinement, staffing, and project strategies and tracking. Mike’s experience and expertise in Marine, Hospitality, Infrastructure, Themed Entertainment and Aviation has assisted KMI in extending its operations globally by developing solutions that assist owners and developers in achieving their project goals. KMI International offers Project Management and Construction Consultancy Expertise, which includes a variety of solutions such as Property Condition Assessments, Cost Estimating and Budget Development, Construction Management, including Renovation and Troubled Project Turnaround consultancy.
Mike is a registered professional engineer in Florida, Maryland and the USVI. He is also a Certified Construction Manager (CCM) and is an active member on the board of directors for the Central Florida chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).
Michael E. Kraus
John Manning is the Principal and CEO of KMI International and has more than 40 years of professional experience. John’s experience in the construction industry began at a young age as he grew up working in his father’s contractor and building business in New York. After graduating with a Civil Engineering degree from Texas A&M, he went on to work in Saudi Arabia for 2 years before completing his Master’s degree at the University of Florida in Construction Management and Civil Engineering. John couldn’t say goodbye to the Sunshine State because his next project after graduation led John to becoming the youngest project manager working on EPCOT, the then largest privately funded construction project in the world.
As Central Florida grew and Universal Studios expanded, John took a position as a project manager for their Infrastructure Project. While working on the project, he met Mike and five years later, Kraus-Manning (KMI) was formed. John’s wide array of experience led KMI on projects valued up to $3 billion in project management of the design and construction processes on resort hotels, parking structures, infrastructure, area development and mixed use. He is a CCM (Certified Construction Manager), CGC (Certified General Contractor), PE (Professional Engineer), a LEED Accredited Professional and serves on the national board of CMAA. John also testifies as construction expert in state and federal courts.
John R. Manning
As COO of KMI, Eric leads the KMI team and business operations of the Company. His 35 years of leadership experience has been one of an array of roles with diverse organizations from the U.S. Navy, to Procter & Gamble Co. and to several other mid-size companies. Eric’s expertise is in leading organizations through turnarounds and challenging projects.
His leadership style emphasizes trust, teamwork, communication, personal accountability, planning and being agile for when the inevitable issues arise. His experience as a key organization leader has taught him that the most important element of any team is developing your people in the organization for success—that no individual succeeds unless the team succeeds.
Eric earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. He is currently involved in the local chapter of NAIOP and a member of the Executive Committee for Autism Speaks in Orlando, FL.
John Becker is KMI International’s Director of Construction Consulting. He has over 35 years in the construction industry and has worked with KMI for nearly 13 years of its 19 year history. A graduate of the University of Florida in Building Construction, John is also a Certified Construction Manager (CCM), as well as a registered Certified Building Contractor (CBC) and Certified Roofing Contractor (CCC). He is also recognized as a Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) by the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) and certified by ABET as a Program Evaluator (PEV) for higher education facility construction programs. An active member of the Sigma Lambda Chi International Construction Honor Society, John is currently on path to become published for his construction writings.
John’s construction expertise is comprised of a variety of industries from residential to commercial, including a host of aviation, hospitality and public sector projects and facilities. His construction experience and knowledge includes both domestic and international markets, with a substantial amount of expertise in the Caribbean basin. His portfolio of experience includes cost estimating, scheduling, budget development, target value design, value engineering, constructability review, and property condition assessments.
John is a detailed-oriented consultant who provides leadership for precise estimates and property condition assessments that range well into the millions and billions. He is a seasoned senior estimator who possesses a vast knowledge in all facets of construction, with a specialized focus on estimating and scheduling. As a trusted advisor, John Becker provides the solutions clients need to make well-informed decisions in the fast-paced environment of construction.
Annette Knopp serves as the Director of Finance for KMI International. As one of KMI’s longest standing employees, she began her career in construction finance and has over 36 years of accounting experience within the construction industry. Before joining KMI, Annette worked with an International Industrial Contractor, Universal Studios, Planet Hollywood and in 1998 landed a position with a Universal Studios Hotel Venture. This is where she met KMI’s CEO, John Manning, as she worked on the construction site processing contractor pay applications, RFI’s, Submittals and Change Orders. Following this project, Annette joined Kraus-Manning, Inc. and oversaw the project office management of KMI’s first project, the Ritz Carlton Club.
Annette holds a variety of roles in KMI from managing the financial, accounting, human resources and IT department. She is skilled in financial analysis, cash-flow projections, forecasting, purchasing, and contract administration and compliance. She develops and provides the organization’s financial reports, flow charts, corporate billings, and payroll. Annette also works with KMI’s project cost and time tracking systems.
Drew Horn serves as KMI International’s Director of Estimating. Drew is a Florida native, born in Central Florida. He has over 24 years of experience in the construction industry. He has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from Theme Parks, such as Universal Studios Beijing, to Golf Courses and School Board Facilities to the Kennedy Space Center Launch Support. As a fellow graduate of the ME Rinker School of Construction from the University of Florida, Drew is a member of AACE, PCEA and RICS. Currently, Drew is on track to become a Chartered Member (MRICS).
Drew’s estimating experience covers projects both nationally and internationally. His expertise includes project management, estimating, scheduling, value engineering, construction feasibility, claim evaluation and project controls. He also serves as a leader in Engineers without Borders, the Space Coast Professional Chapter and supports the University of Central Florida Student Chapter.
John Newton serves as V.P. of Program Management for KMI International and has more than 40 years of experience in the property industry. John possesses an astonishing international track record spanning from the United States to Central and Eastern Europe. He has been instrumental in bringing forward the successful completion of numerous development projects, of a variety of sizes, disciplines and services; all of which have resulted in client satisfaction.
He has held numerous senior level positions which have included Vice President of Capital Planning, for Marriot Vacations Worldwide as well as V.P. of Project Management and Global Markets for Hill International. He also served as the Equity Partner for Arcadis.
His core strengths are in Program and Project Management. He utilizes these skill sets, combined with his numerous years in Real Estates Development, to deliver Business and Capital Plans both domestically and on the global stage.