Gillis Gilkerson - Company Overview

Our Team

O. Palmer Gillis

Founder, Chairman and CEO

O. Palmer Gillis - Founder, Chairman and CEOPalmer Gillis, founder of Gillis Gilkerson, brings more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry. He is a hands-on chairman and CEO, involved in all aspects of the business, including sales, estimating, purchasing, project management and senior administrative functions.

Gillis earned his degree in Business Administration from Salisbury University in 1975. In 2000 he graduated from Leadership Maryland, a prestigious statewide program designed to develop and foster community leadership skills among corporate leaders in Maryland.

As a business owner, Palmer has been an active leader in the growth and development of the Salisbury community through his numerous civic contributions. A former city councilman, he also served on the Salisbury Wicomico County Planning and Zoning Commission. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the past president of the Salisbury Jaycees.

Palmer has also served as Director of the Greater Salisbury Committee; Vice Chair of the Salisbury University Foundation; Vice President of the Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development; President of the Salisbury Downtown Association; Director of Maple Shade Residential Homes and is on the Peninsula Mercantile Advisory Board. He has served on the Salisbury University Foundation Board of Directors, chairing the Foundation House Planning Committee, and served on the Salisbury University Board of Visitors. In 2011, Maryland Capital Enterprises unveiled their annual “Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award” named in his honor.


Dwight Miller

Dwight Miller - PresidentDwight Miller has worked his way to his current position, as they say, from the ground, up. He joined Gillis Gilkerson in 1986 as an assistant estimator and construction coordinator. His first project was managing the construction of a poultry processing plant in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.

Dwight’s leadership skills soon became evident, and in just three years he had risen through the ranks to be named vice president in charge of administration, estimating, project management and sales. In 2004, with the retirement of Tony Gilkerson, he was tapped to serve as president of the company.

Dwight has been active in fundraising for Lower Shore charities such as Coastal Hospice, the Salvation Army and the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore. He is past officer of the Eastern Shore chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.; is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Wicomico County, and is a Paul Harris Fellow. In 1998, Miller served as member of the Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team to Saitama Province, Japan.

Prior to his tenure at Gillis Gilkerson, Dwight worked for the Matthews-Dean Construction Company. He also served as a sales representative in the computer/CAD industry and worked for several other construction companies as a carpenter.

A 1978 graduate of Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore, Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Salisbury University in 1982. He resides with his family in Salisbury, Maryland.


James “J.B.” Barnes
Vice President

James "J.B." Barnes - Vice PresidentJames B. Barnes is a construction industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience – more than two decades of that with Gillis Gilkerson. 

J.B., as he is known to all, began his tenure with the firm first as a superintendent and then as a project manager. Today, he serves as operations manager and is responsible for the management of all employees and is the overall supervisor of all construction jobs. 

Prior to joining Gillis Gilkerson, J.B. spent 15 years managing his own company which remodeled homes and provided oversight of renovations and restoration for insurance projects. J.B. attributes his success at Gillis Gilkerson to an ability to work with people from all walks of life garnered from his years as an entrepreneur. 

A 1971 graduate of Bennett High School, Barnes studied business at Chesapeake Community College. He received the Shining Star award in 2000 for his contribution to the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore and has been active in the Little League Board of Directors in Salisbury. He resides with his wife and family in Salisbury, Md.