Our Leadership Team

Breaking Ground Mary Tappouni

Mary Tappouni ~ CGC, LEED AP BD+C

After graduating from the University of North Florida with degrees in both Construction Management and Finance, Mary Tappouni founded Breaking Ground Contracting. Mary has a diverse portfolio of experience including professional office, health, medical, institutional, recreational and specialty projects. Her passion for sustainability and environmental consciousness has formed Breaking Ground’s green philosophy and commitment to sustainable construction. Mary is frequently invited to speak to organizations on the benefits of green building and to share her expertise on sustainable construction practices. Her unique perspective as a licensed General Contractor and a LEED Accredited Professional provides her students real-world case studies and practical advice on LEED and green projects.

Breaking Ground Michelle Tappouni

Michelle Tappouni ~ LEED AP BD+C

Bringing over 20 years of construction experience to Breaking Ground Contracting Company, Michelle Tappouni serves as General Manager, Risk Manager, and Project Manager for the company. She is authorized to teach the OSHA 10 and 30 hour certification courses and the NCCER Safety Training and has been instructing students in this field for the last nine years. Along with her extensive field knowledge, she continues to build her expertise in safety, construction law, lien law, worker’s compensation guidelines, and documentation and claims through ongoing education. Serving as safety officer on projects ranging from $100,000 to $18,000,000, Ms. Tappouni brings real-world experience to her workshops and seminars that her students can immediately implement on the job.

Breaking Ground Catherine Burkee

Catherine Burkee~ M. Ed., LEED AP BD+C

As the Director of Education Services for Breaking Ground Contracting, Catherine Burkee uses her background as a certified teacher to develop the extensive curriculum for our various educational offerings. Ms. Burkee received her Master of Education degree from the University of Florida in 1988 and served the Sarasota County and Hillsborough County School Boards as a teacher, Reading Specialist and Data Coach. With a background as the Vice President of Purchasing and Human Resource Manager for a mechanical contracting firm, she brings the additional understanding of the construction and design industry to her programs. She provides both green building and safety training to various organizations including contractors, engineers, design professionals, specialty contractors and suppliers/vendors.


Breaking Ground Contracting | 4218 Highway Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32254 | 904.388.1350 | F: 904.388.3440
contact@breakinggroundcontracting.com | education@breakinggroundcontracting.com