Vivian and Sebastian launched SkillSignal in 2019 and are the independent owners of the company. They grew up in families rooted in the trades, deeply understanding its modern challenges and opportunities. Inspired by the nobility of construction, and driven by a personal passion for making the construction industry safer, they’ve propelled SkillSignal to become one of the fastest growing safety technology available. They’re assembling a growing team of exceptional professionals who share their mission.

SkillSignal Founders

Sebastien de Ghellinck

I grew up in a tiny village outside Antwerp, Belgium. My grandfather, a soft-spoken aristocrat, was responsible for rebuilding Belgium’s electric grid, which was mostly destroyed during WW2. He and his team went on to deliver a safe and stable network used by millions of households and businesses. Several years later, at his funeral in 1986, his closest colleague’s eulogy not only emphasized his kindness but also how he had fought like a lion to invest in better PPE and to introduce the first safety rules at the company. Union leaders then read a long list of workers that survived thanks to his initiatives. I was 10 years old, and the goodness and fierceness of my grandfather left an enduring mark on my soul. My Dad inherited his personality, and – even though I left my family in Belgium for New Jersey – he’s my North Star in growing SkillSignal.

I went on to start my professional career in 1999, working in top international banking and insurance. I sharpened my skills in building complex digital platforms and data systems during intense projects in London, Paris, Istanbul, Cincinnati, and New York City. SkillSignal is combining my roots in the trades and the wings I built in systems management!

Most important life lesson: Becoming an Eagle Scout taught me to never back down and stay together.

Favorite business principle: Always day 1.

For public speaking engagements on construction safety and wellness, please email:

Vivian Burgnon

Having grown up surrounded by family members in the trades, I was always led by those who understood grit and hard work which in turn helped foster a genuine passion for taking care of those that build. Following the navy, my father dedicated his professional life to the trades as a carpenter. I watched my dad day-in/day-out work to build his company and contribute to some really incredible jobs along the way. I’ll never forget those proud moments of driving past his flagship projects, noting “I helped build that”. I believe those special moments really laid the foundation for recognizing the nobility of this industry and wanting to play my part. My professional background includes working within ultra-high-end customer service positions for NYC’s elite and public health and safety with the Department of Health. In my current role as head of customer success, I tie my client-facing experience and expertise together to guide teams towards enhanced compliance and greater success. I understand that every project is different and often works in different ways, I truly love to embrace that aspect of complexity.

I have many passions outside of work, one of which is world travel, having visited 18 countries and counting. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and love scuba diving in new waters, scaling mountains via Ferrata, and learning new cultures.

Favorite business principle: momentum = action + desire + reflection.

SkillSignal Advisors

Felipe Engineer-Manriquez

Felipe is a 20 year construction industry veteran, best-selling author, podcast host, and international keynote speaker. He held leading positions at Turner, Pepper and McCarthy Construction companies and is currently Director at The Boldt Company in California. He’s an award-winning global expert on Lean Construction. Felipe is a Registered Scrum Trainer™ (RST), Registered Scrum Master™ (RSM), and enables change via blogging, coaching, social media, and his book, “Construction Scrum.” He is also a Lean Construction Institute Chairman’s Award recipient for his contributions to the industry.

Click here for Felipe’s book: Construction Scrum

Joe Schwed

Joe Schwed is an accomplished safety leader whose distinguished career spans nearly three decades, complemented by a robust engagement in academic pursuits. Presently serving as the Head of Health, Safety, and Wellbeing at Ferrovial, Mr. Schwed also imparts his extensive knowledge as an Adjunct Professor of Construction Safety at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and as an Lecturer at the esteemed Columbia University in New York, where he devotes a substantial portion of his time instructing students in the intricacies of Safety Management. With notable tenures at Honeywell and a directorship at the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Mr. Schwed played a pivotal role in fortifying safety protocols during the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, overseeing the development of the Hudson Yards project for the Related Companies, and currently spearheading the safe construction of the New Terminal One at John F. Kennedy Airport.

SAFETY TECH’S fastest growing platform

Selected as #1 by top ENR General Contractors. Loved by thousands of Trade Contractors across the US.


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