CCR May 21

Page 1


May 2021 •

Driven by excellence How Christian Brothers Automotive continues to set the standard in auto repair

Derrick Rodgers, Director of Construction, Christian Brothers Automotive

Exclusive Inside: Official magazine of

Also inside:

5 answers to the industry’s labor shortage Can COVID-19 vaccines be made mandatory for employees? 4 ways to upgrad your construction site’s cybersecurity See our Architecture Building Products’ firm listing

Step One

Moisture mitigation is not required for adhesives with

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Step Two

Surface Prep

Step Three Adhesive or Mortar and Grout



Up to Lifetime Up to 25 Year Warranty! Warranty!

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Above are representative system examples that work to cover many installation needs. Consult your local Bostik sales rep for help defining a system of products that best suits your specific installation and warranty protection needs.


Vol. 20, Issue 5, 2021




FEATURES 28 Driven by excellence How Christian Brothers Automotive continues to set the standard in auto repair 40 Lessons learned CCR Roundtable: Industry execs say past year’s experience will help in long run 68 Open for business 3 key practices to follow when hiring subcontractors 72 Into your crystal ball 5 things to know about data center site selection 78 Construction Labor Shortage 3.0 5 answers on what our industry can do to fill the gaps




McNICHOLS® Specialty Metals Functional Sustainability Showcased in BurgerFi Restaurant Design

BurgerFi‘s commitment to sustainability, evident in the design of their restaurants, perfectly showcases McNICHOLS® Perforated and Expanded Metals across the country. The McNICHOLS® Expanded Metal installed on the ceiling at BurgerFi locations across the country is made from Aluminum, 1/2" No. .081 Flattened and bond-cut on four sides into ceiling tiles of 23.75" x 23.75". The unique Expanded Metal ceiling holds acoustic tiles that create an energy-efficient space and lowers expenses for the franchisees. The metal design extends to a wall cladding feature of McNICHOLS® Perforated Metal, Round, Aluminum, .1250" Thick (8 Gauge), 1/2" Round on 11/16" Staggered Centers cutto-size from 4' by 10' panels, that protects the drywall from wear and tear and adds to the overall, urban aesthetic of the restaurants. With 19 Metals Service Centers strategically located, our product experts are ready and Inspired to Serve® you at 866.747.0340, or via Live Chat at Please allow McNICHOLS to partner with you on your next project!










Vol. 20, Issue 5, 2021 INDUSTRY SEGMENTS 52 Engineering Firms

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Note 12 Industry News 128 Women in Construction 152 Commercial Construction & Renovation Data 154 Ad Index 156 Publisher’s Note


Multi-Housing 93 Thinking out of the box How the Bradley Development Group is transforming the neighborhood concept


Federal Construction 105 Healthy precedent How 9 federal courthouses found guaranteed cost savings and improved indoor air quality Commercial Kitchens 115 A feast for the eyes Sydney, Australia’s new airport McDonald’s is turning more than hamburgers The Cannabis Operations 133 Grown for Good Inside Giving Tree Dispensary’s strategy to help transform the cannabis game


Craft Brand and Marketing 145 Find YOUR Fire How giving its customers what they want (with plenty of choices) is driving the StillFire Brewing brand

145 4


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by Michael J. Pallerino

We are coming back with a ‘vengeance’ T he call seemed a bit weird. “Good afternoon, this is the Moxy Atlanta Midtown, can I help you.” What should I do? I hadn’t heard that greeting in a long, long time. “Yes, hi, I am calling to make a reservation for an event in August. It is a room block.”

Okay, I did it. I explained what I needed and when, and I waited to make sure the person on the other end of the phone didn’t say what many of us had become too familiar with for more than the past year. Something like: > “We’re not open.” > “We’re at half capacity.” > “Yeah, right, you and everybody else, mister.” > “Dream much?” > “What planet have you been on the past year or so (still waiting for the answer to that question, but that’s a whole other story)?” What I ended up getting was the same kind of pleasant, helpful customer service I had received in that time before you know what came into our lives. “Yessir. Can I get the name for the room block and the dates?” I was in. I did it. My son was getting married (it was postponed from last August, you know why). They wanted to know how many rooms, how many people, any special accommodations, the works. It was business as usual.

Okay, that last part—business as usual—might not be 100% yet, but it’s close enough for me. Hell, they even have a tag for this whole news experience: Revenge Travel. That’s right, the hotel industry recovery is making its long climb back faster than expected, and industry insiders—too many of whom have spent way too long observing things nobody wanted to see the past year—gave it a name. “Revenge Travel,” in case I really have to spell it out is made up of trips lost to the pandemic (damn, there’s that word, but I had to do it). Call it Revenge Travel, the comeback trip, the vacation that time forgot, call it whatever you want, just as long as you claim that it is a feeling of hard-earned victory travelers all over the country are feeling as they plan and take their first, post-quarantine.

And sure, while occupancy reportedly reached 83%, its highest level since October 2019, over the Memorial Day weekend, factors such as a labor shortage and the lag in business travel still remain. But hey, it’s a start, right? All I know is that, fully vaccinated, I am going to slowly move myself back into the things that I did before, you know. I went out with friends to the local craft beer tap room. I am back in the gym. I gave a few bro hugs and handshakes. And you know what, it felt more like relief than revenge, but if the label fits, run with it. So I cannot wait until I get to see many of my industry posse. Until then, stay busy, stay safe and stay committed each day ahead. Now go out and get yourself some revenge.

Michael J. Pallerino is the editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation. You can reach him at 678.513.2397 or via email at

We want to hear from you At Commercial Construction & Renovation, we’re always looking to showcase the best of what our industry is doing. If you have a project profile or a fresh perspective on how to keep our industry positively moving forward, shoot me an email at We’d love to take a look.








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F&J PUBLICATIONS, LLC P.O. Box 3908 Suwanee, GA 30024 678.765.6550 • Fax 678.765.6551

EDITORIAL EDITOR: Michael J. Pallerino 678.513.2397 • SENIOR ART DIRECTOR/AD PRODUCTION MANAGER: Brent Cashman 404.402.0125 • CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Ron Treister • 561-203-2981



PUBLISHER/EDITOR David Corson • 678.765.6550 (fax) 678.765.6551 SUMMIT DIRECTOR David Corson • 678.765.6550 (fax) 678.765.6551 CCRP MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR: Kristen Corson • 770.990.7702 LIST RENTAL: Brian Clotworthy • 800.529.9020

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We’ve expanded to the West Coast Bringing decades of experience building high profile retail and office environments for the world’s largest brands. We’re ready to build for you. Tom Fenton, Business Development Manager (914) 244-9100 x 322

F&J PUBLICATIONS, LLC Commercial Construction & Renovation is published monthly by F&J Publications, LLC. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to Commercial Construction & Renovation are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. Commercial Construction & Renovation is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles/content appearing in Commercial Construction & Renovation cannot be reproduced in any way without the specific permission of the publisher or editor.





CCR EDITORIAL BOARD RETAILERS AARON ANCELLO TD Bank VP Regional Facilities Manager AVP New England DAVE CRAWFORD Vice President of Design & Construction Belk Inc. STEVE KOWAL VP Construction & Property Management Hibbett Sporting Goods

RESTAURANTS GREGG LOLLIS Sr. Director, Design Development Chick-fil-A DAVID SHOTWELL Construction Manager Atticus Franchise Group ISYOL E. CABRERA Director Development and Construction Focus Brands LLC DEMETRIA PETERSON Project Director, Design and Construction at HMSHost

BOB MEZA Senior Construction Project Manager Target

DAVID THOMPSON Construction Manager Scooter’s Coffee

JOHN MIOLOGOS Director, Store Standards Store Design and Planning Walgreens Company

ROB ADKINS, LEED AP CDP Project Manager, Construction Starbucks Coffee Company

JERRY SMITH Head of Construction Bluemercury LAURA GROSS Retail Facilities Manager American Signature Furniture ERRAN THOMAS ZINZER Senior Manager Real Estate Services, Construction & Design RON VOLSKE Construction Project Manager Orscheln Farm & Home DEDRICK KIRKEM Retail Facilities Consultant

HOSPITALITY JOHN COOPER Principal Executive Vice President at Stormont Hospitality Group LLC

RESTAURANTS RON BIDINOST Vice President of Construction at Bubbakoo’s Burritos


GINA NODA Founder Connect Source Consulting Group, LLC.



MATT SCHIMENTI President Schimenti Construction JOHN STALLMAN Marketing Manager Lakeview Construction

DEVELOPMENT/PROJECT MANAGEMENT KAY BARRETT NCIDQ, CDP Senior Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield PAM GOODWIN Goodwin Advisors, LLC Goodwin Commercial The Pam Goodwin Show MEGAN HAGGERTY Founder Legacy Capital Investment MIKE KRAUS Principal Kraus-Manning JOHN LAPINS Project Management Consultant, Greystar

ROBERT RAUCH CEO RAR Hospitality Faculty Assoc., Arizona State University

JIM SHEUCHENKO President Property Management Advisors LLC

JOE THOMAS Vice President Engineering Loews Hotels

CHRIS VARNEY Principal, Executive Vice President EMG

RICK TAKACH Chairman Vesta Hospitality

STEPHEN HEKMAN Executive VP Kingsmen Retail Services US

SAMUEL D. BUCKINGHAM, RS CMCA AMS President & Co-Founder Evergreen Financial Partners LLC PUNIT R. SHAH Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Group+ Part-Owner of Miami Marlins



LU SACHARSKI Vice President of Operations and Project Management Interserv Hospitality

GARY RALL Vice President of Design and Development, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

HEALTHCARE CLINTON “BROOKS” HERMAN, PMP Senior Facilities Project Manager UTHealth Science Center at Houston


KEN DEMSKE Vice President Jones Lang LaSalle BOB WITKEN Chief Operating Officer KCA Development MIKE KLEIN, AIA, NCARB Senior Architect Core States Group

NUNZIO DESANTIS, FAIA CEO & Founder of Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects TOMMY LINSTROTH CEO at Green Badger, LLC JEFF ROARK Principal/Partner Little JEFFREY D. MAHLER Vice President L2M JIM STAPELTON Vice President Nelson FRED MARGULIES Director of Retail Architecture Onyx Creative STEVEN MCKAY Managing Principal, Global Design Leader at DLR Group STEVE TURNER Director, GPD Group STEVEN R. OLSON, AIA President CESO, Inc.

ADA BRAD GASKINS Principal The McIntosh Group

ACADEMIA DR. MARK LEE LEVINE Professor Burns School/ Daniels College University of Denver


M A K E T H E C H A N G E F R O M P A P E R T O W E L S T O D AY !


Based on April 2020 testing performed by LMS Technologies




AroundtheIndustry RETAIL Dick’s Sporting Goods The 100,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods recently opened in Eastview Mall in Victor, New York, features an indoor putting green, an outdoor track and a climbing wall. A second House of Sport location is scheduled to open in Knoxville, Tennessee later this year. Lowe’s Lowe’s will open an outlet store in part of a former full-service Lowe’s location to sell large kitchen and laundry appliances. The retailer has opened similar stores in markets, including Miami and Chicago. Target Stores Target appears to be on track to reach its goal of opening 30 to 40 stores this year with 12 new locations already operating, including a site along Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and a small-format store near the University of Georgia campus. Foot Locker Foot Locker will convert about one-third of its 272 Footaction stores into Foot Locker locations and close the rest over the next two years as it focuses on its four higher-performing banners. The retailer plans to open 160 locations over the next year under its namesake, Kids Foot Locker, Eastbay and Champs banners. Google Google will open a retail store on the site of its corporate campus in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood this summer to sell the company’s gadgets. The store will give consumers a chance to try items like Google’s Pixel phones, Nest thermostats and Fitbit wearables before they buy them. The Container Store The Container Store is working on a smaller store format to debut next year and considering options for in-store shops to keep the momentum going after a year of strong sales fueled by home organizing trends. Stores will also put a greater focus on demonstrations and staff expertise to increase service offerings. Sotheby’s Sotheby’s has officially unveiled its new permanent retail store in New York City. The store named The Emporium is located within the lower level of the auction house’s very own galleries and is expected to be the latest expansion of the growing Buy Now online marketplace.



M&M Mall of America will be home to the sixth M&M’s store, as Mars Wrigley is returning to its roots with its new 24,000 square foot M&M’s store on the Bloomington megamall’s first floor (east side) near the Rotunda on Mall of America.

RESTAURANT Wendy’s Wendy’s is on a mission to grow from about 6,800 units to 8,000 global locations over the next few years and has expanded its store design options to cater to new consumer demands and franchisees’ needs. New formats include drive thru-only locations and mobile dark kitchens, and the chain has also created an incentive program for franchisees to encourage more multiunit operators. Panera Bread Panera Bread has unveiled a new store format that features updated ordering kiosks and a second drive-thru dedicated to order pickup. Other features of the new store design, which is scheduled to debut in Missouri later this year, include the ability to do contactless transactions for both dine-in and delivery. Saladworks Saladworks, which has seen success with its locations inside Kroger and ShopRite stores, plans to add 25 to 30 similar in-store sites this year and more than 100 in 2022, as it pivots to meet demand caused by the pandemic-related closings of salad bars and deli counters. The company also wants to expand its ghost kitchen sites from the 90 it now has mainly inside Walmart stores to more than 400. Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux Louisiana-based casual dining chain Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux will grow to 52 units this month and plans to open at least 20 new restaurants this year. The chain is developing smaller footprints in response to growing demand for off-premises dining during the pandemic. Blaze Pizza Blaze Pizza plans to grow from 340 locations to more than 800 by 2025 and has recently announced plans for 16 units in Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

Ground Round/GR Kitchen & Taps Casual dining chain Ground Round has partnered with a Best Western Hotel in Waterloo, Iowa, to create a beer-centric concept called GR Kitchen & Taps. The franchised location will act as the foodservice facility for the hotel, offering a wide selection of craft beers and a menu featuring plant-based options and indulgent desserts. Los Chingones Mexican casual eatery Los Chingones plans to open a location in Fort Collins, Colorado this summer, with 10 more anticipated over the next couple of years. IHOP/ Flip’d by IHOP IHOP has taken plans to grow its Flip’d by IHOP fast-casual concept off the back burner after pausing earlier in the pandemic, and it will pay the first 10 franchisees $150,000 each to expedite the opening process. The first Flip’d by IHOP unit will open in New York City this summer and three more are planned for Kansas and Ohio. Auntie Anne’s/Jamba Focus Brands has opened a co-branded unit that brings together Jamba and Auntie Anne’s, giving the largely mall-based pretzel chain its first drive-thru location. The Texas location is the first of what’s expected to be a growing number of non-mall locations for Auntie Anne’s and Focus Brands plans to debut more co-branded stores, including locations that combine its Cinnabon and Carvel brands. 7-Eleven A new 7-Eleven store in Manassas, Virginia includes two restaurants: Parlor Pizza and the convenience store’s second Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuit. 7-Eleven intends to open almost 150 restaurants this year. Shake Shack Shake Shack will open 40 new global restaurants this fiscal year and as many as 50 new locations in 2022, with a focus on expanding in Asia. New units will open in the coming months in Singapore and Macao, as well as Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in China.

HOSPITALITY IHG Hotels & Resorts IHG Hotels & Resorts is adding seven cities to its avid hotels brand, including three in fast-growing Texas. St. Regis Hotels & Resort Luxury brand St. Regis Hotels & Resorts plans a near-doubling of its portfolio by 2024, with Aruba, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Marrakech among the locations.

Hilton Hotels Hilton has officially announced that Tempo by Hilton and Motto by Hilton, two of the company’s lifestyle brands, will grow to include 11 new hotels. Marriott Autograph Collection Pittsburgh’s manufacturing history harmonizes with contemporary comfort in the city’s new Industrialist Hotel, once the site of American Standard’s downtown headquarters. The hotel is Pittsburgh’s second in the Marriott Autograph Collection, following The Oaklander, which debuted in 2019. Global Ambassador Internationally noted Arizona restaurateur Sam Fox plans to open an upscale hotel in Phoenix in 2023, featuring a cosmopolitan mix of design and cuisine. The 141-room Global Ambassador is the first venture by Fox’ new company, Author and Edit Hospitality. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts Rosewood Hotels and Resorts plans to open its 20th hotel in the Americas in 2024. An expansion of the Antara mixed-use complex, the Rosewood Mexico City will feature 133 rooms, including 35 suites, with a spa, two pools and four dining options among its amenities. Hotel St. Vincent A new upscale boutique hotel in New Orleans occupies an imposing Victorian building that was founded as an orphanage during the Civil War. The Hotel St. Vincent, which bears the name of the children’s sanctuary, was developed by entrepreneur Zachary Kupperman, who bought the property four years ago when it was functioning as a budget hostel. Marriott Springhill Suites/Ronald McDonald House The Marriott Springhill Suites in Albuquerque, New Mexico is host to the first Ronald McDonald House built inside a hotel. The 20room Highland House across the street from Presbyterian Hospital is a joint project of Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico and Titan Development. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort An opening date has not yet been set, but a $330 million project at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina is on track to be completed by late fall. The upgrades include a new convention center, a hotel tower with 725 guest rooms and a 2,000-space parking deck. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Wyndham Hotels & Resorts plans to open 180 hotels in Asia and the Pacific this year after adding 125 properties in those regions during the pandemic. China will play host to about 100 of the new hotels, with Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam also in the mix.





Your 5-step assessment plan to managing construction risk


onstruction is a risky industry. Besides being one of the most dangerous industries for workers, there are risks across every stage of a project. The complexity of construction projects create an ever-present environment of uncertainty and risk. Risks such as weather issues, safety concerns, budgetary concerns and project delays, to name a few, can appear in any form, at any stage of the construction process. All risks can adversely impact project performance, compromising quality, increasing costs and delaying project completion.

are turning away from outdated, ad-hoc methods and implementing new strategies to manage risks.

Managing construction risk

Risk management is crucial to the success of a project in the construction industry. The dynamic and complex nature of construction projects and the associated wide-ranging risks make integrating risk management strategies across the entire lifecycle of a project event that much more important. An effective starting point for GCs is conducting a risk assessment that: 1. Identifies and describes critical issues related to a project, allowing the project team to focus on risk factors of potential concern 2. Evaluates the project risk exposure and provides an indication of its potential impact of risk during the project’s life cycle 3. Indicates which components of the project should be considered for risk mitigation as part of an overall risk management strategy 4. Focuses analysis on issues unique to each project 5. Is flexible to meet the needs of almost any individual project

Risk also is expensive. It is likely that contractors will at some point deal with controversy that erupts into litigation. Some of the biggest challenges for contractors in litigation include determining who said what and when, and locating all the supporting documentation. If all the information is not centrally located, sorting through layers of data and paperwork can be time consuming and can quickly turn into a “he-said, shesaid,” ultimately eliminating the validity of each party’s claims. Construction risk is everywhere: incomplete contract documents, communication breakdowns, poor document


tracking and information silos. If there is a breakdown in one of these areas, it could lead to project delays further down the line, potentially going down the path of litigation. By first understanding the risks associated with errors in contracts or lack of communication across teams, general contractors can then find solutions that not only help manage risks, but also help limit them as much as possible. Anything from a contract modification to a schedule change or from paper documentation to using word of mouth can introduce risks to a project, further affecting jobsite performance. To overcome this, GCs


Prior to starting construction, it also is important to plan for risks and run “what if” scenarios to ensure the risks are known and to determine protocols if something were to happen. And as the project progresses, it’s vital to continue to monitor for risk, as information and plans might change along the way.

GCs turning to technology

Risk is a fundamental aspect of construction projects. To overcome the challenges presented by the numerous risks associated with a project, many GCs are turning to


We’re a new company with a fresh approach . We are highly skilled and passionate design and construction experts brought together during challenging times and bonded by mutual trust. Every member of the PMC team stands ready to deliver, regardless of location, complexity or challenge. We will bring your projects to market with a focus on quality, performance and speed. Professional Design and Project Management Services for the Retail, Restaurant, Hospitality, Entertainment and the Commercial Markets.



NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS... construction management software, which is built to improve operational transparency, documentation workflows and data collection to bring more certainty to construction projects, improve project outcomes and increase profitability. By deploying cloud-based technology, a GC can break down data silos by centralizing communication and providing real-time visibility into projects as well as instant access to project documentation. It organizes information in a unified environment that allows all project stakeholders to seamlessly review and respond to critical documents and transactions, tracking every step along the way, enhancing communication and collaboration. Rather than returning to an office to submit change orders, RFIs, submittals and other important documents, cloud-based

mobile technology makes it possible to prepare, file and instantly share critical documentation with members of both internal and external teams from anywhere. Documentation is an important component of reducing risk in construction projects large and small. Newer technology features document management tools that help construction firms track contracts, compliance, plans, specifications and more. In addition to saving time and money, the technology makes information more accessible, fosters a collaborative environment that keeps internal and extended project teams updated on the latest versions of documents, and helps teams complete projects according to plan. Construction management platforms also are helping make workflows

become more seamless by enabling smoother collaboration between GCs and subcontractors, enabling more robust reporting by tracking both internal and external customer changes, improving jobsite safety through real-time communications tools and facilitating decision-making by allowing for a data-driven approach. Keeping risks under control can be challenging for contractors operating in an industry fraught with risk. But by taking the necessary precautions and by implementing construction management technology, GCs can improve financial results, increase jobsite safety, boost team collaboration and elevate the execution of a project all while avoiding costly claims, disputes and litigation. CCR

Frédéric Guitton is Chief Strategy Officer/CMO at RedTeam Software, a construction management platform that enables commercial contractors visibility across every stage of a project’s lifecycle.

Back to the Future States adopt 2018 IBC Update, allowing for loftier podium buildings


dozen states and two US territories, including California, Georgia, New Jersey and Puerto Rico, have adopted the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) update, which gives architects more flexibility when designing multifamily and mixed-use buildings that incorporate podium construction, also known as platform or pedestal construction. Podium construction is when a wood building is constructed on top of a concrete and steel building. The IBC considers these as separate buildings built on top of each other in layers, with the vertical order of the construction materials determined by their levels of combustibility. Should the more combustible wood building on top catch fire, the concrete podium base will resist the flames for enough time to allow occupants in the higher stories to safely escape to lower levels.





NEWS, NOTES & TRENDS... The 2018 IBC update specifies Type IA concrete and steel buildings—the most fire-resistant Type I steel building configuration—can be built up to three stories to form the base of a podium building. Type III and V wood construction, and less commonly Type IV mass timber, can be built on top. The 2018 update specifically allows podium buildings to be constructed to form a taller structure than was allowed in previous iterations. Podium construction is advantageous because it helps maximize the use of space within areas where land is scarce, while also reducing construction costs.

Concrete and Steel Podium Base

Concrete and steel building types are considered non-combustible because they can withstand fire for an extended period of time, while also helping prevent fire from spreading within a structure. Both Type I and Type II buildings are concrete and steel, but Type I is more fire-resistant, so the IBC allows for greater building heights in Type I. In fact, Type I buildings can be built to unlimited heights where local code permits.

Since wood is the most flammable building material, Type III and Type V buildings are height-limited to four stories. When Type III buildings use FRT lumber, the limit is increased to five stories. This is why Type IA buildings are specified as the base of podium buildings by the IBC. Though some states were already on the 2015 IBC version prior to adopting the 2018 update, others made a bigger jump from the 2012 or earlier IBC versions. In the 2012 IBC, Type IA podiums were allowed to

be built up to one story; the 2015 edition allows for podiums two stories tall, while the 2018 update increased the allowance to three stories.

Type III and V: Wood Construction

Type III construction allows for interior building elements to be built of any material permitted by the IBC, including wood, but the exterior walls must be non-combustible. Fire-retardant-treated wood (FRT) framing can be incorporated into the exterior walls of Type III buildings to allow for greater heights. Type V allows for any materials permitted by the code to be used in interior and exterior building elements. Since wood is the most flammable building material, Type III and Type V buildings are height-limited to four stories. When Type III buildings use FRT lumber, the limit is increased to five stories. Combined with a three-story podium base, wood construction can increase the total height of a building to eight stories.

On the Horizon: Higher Limits for Type IV Mass Timber Construction

Type IV mass timber, which consists of heavy beams at least 6 inches thick, can be built up to five stories because its decreased surface area makes it less combustible than Type III or V buildings. While Type IV structures are less common in podium construction, the 2018 IBC allows for them to be constructed over Type IA podiums up to five stories. However, the International Code Council (ICC) approved a set of proposals in 2019 to allow for Type IV construction to reach up to 18 stories high. With the emergence of gluelam technology, which can be used to create mass timber from smaller pieces of lumber without harvesting huge, old trees, multifamily and mixed-use construction projects will be able to even further maximize real estate while reducing the impact on our planet’s vital old-growth forests. Joe Alcock, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, is the Atlanta office director and associate principal in the Housing and Mixed-Use Studio of McMillan Pazdan Smith, a regional, studio-based design firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Charleston, Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina. He can be reached at



The numbers game

63 30 25

They said it

The percentage of people who say that travel will serve as a force for good in helping people reconnect with their family, friends and colleagues, according to Expedia Group’s “2021 Travel Trends Report. In addition, 53% say that travel is a form of healing.

“We are very good at marketing and creating brand new ideas so we figured now would be the time to try it.” — John Terzian, co-founder of The H.Wood Group, on the restaurant group’s move to create a virtual brand

The percentage of hoteliers who say they are brand or management changes, according to the Hospitality Asset Managers Association’s biannual survey. In addition, the survey shows that approximately 5% believe they would change brands, 10% foresaw changing management companies and roughly 15% believe they would change both.

The number of former shopping malls that Amazon has turned into fulfillment centers between 2016 and 2019, according to Coresight Research. The company recently received approval to do the same with two additional malls in Louisiana and Tennessee.

“Our playbook really hasn’t changed. If anything, this past year really supported it.” — A&W CEO Kevin Bazner on drive-thrus and how its strong brand helped during the pandemic

“We’ve been gaining market share with our core customer, but also with the new customer: the millennial customer.” — Tractor Supply CEO Hal Lawton on how Gen Y is driving growth at Tractor Supply


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To jab or not to jab… Can COVID-19 vaccines be made mandatory for employees? By Donald “Dino” Velez


he Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicated that employers may implement mandatory vaccination programs, but such programs warrant care and/ or accommodations. One approach would be to “strongly encourage” rather than mandate vaccination. Here are some considerations employers must weigh in making a choice.

What are my obligations to employees?

Employers must provide "employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees” under federal OSHA safety rules. Employers must consider whether worksites can only be rendered safe by staffing with vaccinated workers.

What are some of the risks involved with implementing a mandatory vaccination program? Any employer that implements a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program should prepare for potential increased sick days, extended sick leave, worker’s compensation claims, and/or lawsuits from employees who experience side effects or complications. Employers also must consider that a large percentage of Americans are wary of vaccination. Employers should communicate early with employees about their concerns, as well as the benefits and safety of the vaccines.

Are there any specific considerations for employers with unionized workforces?

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), state laws and most collective bargaining agreements, employers must provide notice and an opportunity to bargain changes in working conditions. Mandatory vaccination constitutes a change in working conditions, triggering such requirements. The NLRA protects employees’ rights—whether unionized or not—to engage in “concerted activities” for “mutual aid and protection.” Employers should avoid restricting employees’ ability to collectively oppose, or discuss, a vaccination program.




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PERSPECTIVE Would administration of a COVID-19 vaccine be a “medical examination” under the ADA?

should prepare to have employees sign forms authorizing release of information.

Can employers use pre-vaccination screening questions?

If an employer screens individuals with a disability, it must show an unvaccinated employee poses a “significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others that cannot be reduced by reasonable accommodation.” Factors in determining whether a direct threat exists include: (a) duration of risk; (b) nature and severity of potential harm; (c) likelihood of potential harm; and (d) whether potential harm is imminent. Establishing that an individual presents a direct threat would “include a determination that an unvaccinated individual will expose others to the virus at the worksite.” If the risk cannot be reduced to an acceptable level, the employer may exclude

Administering the COVID-19 vaccine is not a “medical examination” for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Pre-vaccination screening questions may implicate the prohibition on disability-related inquiries (under the ADA and/or the prohibition on inquiring into family medical history under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA). Screening questions must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Employers must have a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence and/or data, that an employee who does not answer the questions and does not receive a vaccination, will pose a direct threat to the health or

What about employees who object to being vaccinated because of existing medical conditions?

Most individuals who receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines do so free of charge. If there are any costs associated with the vaccine, employers may be required to cover those. safety of themselves or others. Screening questions may be asked without needing to satisfy the “job-related and consistent with business necessity” requirement in two situations. First, if the employer offers employees vaccination on a voluntary basis, then an employee’s decision to respond to screening questions is voluntary. If an employee refuses, the employer may decline to administer the vaccine. Second, employers who have employees receive the vaccine from a third-party

the unvaccinated employee. However, the right to exclude the employee from the workplace does not mean that the employer can terminate the employee, as he/ she may be entitled to accommodation, or to take leave provided by law or under the employer’s policies.

What about employees who object to receiving a vaccine on religious grounds?

Employers with more than 15 employees who fall under Title VII of the Civil Rights

Act of 1964 (Title VII) must provide reasonable accommodations for employees whose sincerely-held religious beliefs or practices prevent them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, unless doing so would cause undue hardship on the employer. Under Title VII, an “undue hardship” means that the accommodation would impose more than a de minimis cost or burden on the employer. Employers contemplating a mandatory vaccination program should inform their employees as early as possible, and seek notice from employees whose religious beliefs and/or practices preclude them from vaccination. Employers should document attempts to accommodate those employees.

Are there any other grounds for objection that I should consider?

Although some federal laws impact qualified employers nationwide, every state and/or jurisdiction may have different rules for mandatory vaccination. Several states allow individuals to decline vaccinations on philosophical grounds. Other states allow individuals to decline vaccinations for any reason.

Do I need to provide paid time off for employees to receive the vaccine?

If an employer mandates vaccines for its employees, the time that employees spend obtaining these injections (including the travel time to and from the vaccination facility) are “hours worked’ for purposes of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and any equivalent state laws.

Do I need to cover the cost of the vaccine for my employees? Most individuals who receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines do so free of charge. If there are any costs associated with the vaccine, employers may be required to cover those. CCR

Donald “Dino” Velez, Of Counsel, is an attorney with Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP, in the firm’s San Francisco office. Smith Currie is a nationally recognized law firm focusing on construction law and government contracts. Contact Velez at To learn more, visit



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Beating the unknown enemy 4 tips for upgrading cybersecurity at construction sites By Corey Nachreiner


hen it comes to adopting the latest cybersecurity technologies, the construction industry often is a step behind. In fact, according to the “2019 Travelers Business Risk Index,” nearly half of all construction executives believe their firms are destined to fall victim to a cyberattack, yet more than 68% admit they have not assessed their security risks or made any plans or preparations. As a result, the industry continues to see attack after attack. For example, EMCOR (a Fortune 500 engineering and industrial construction firm) recently was hit by the ransomware strain called Ryuk. This virus


is spread through phishing emails and has extorted more than $61 million from companies between 2013 and 2019 alone. While every business is vulnerable to cyberattacks, the construction industry


faces unique challenges. Not only do they manage complex supply chains, disparate job sites and more, these organizations also rely upon critical IT resources such as smart devices, routers, construction software, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc., which they often use at temporary locations. With so many potential risks and a reputation for outdated or insufficient security controls, it comes as no surprise that 32% of MSPs report that the construction and manufacturing industries are the most targeted by ransomware.

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PERSPECTIVE In order to better build a better security posture, IT professionals at construction companies can leverage some key strategies and best practices. Here are four worth considering:

No. 1 — Start with Foundational Security Measures

Like other businesses, strong cyber security in the construction industry starts with fundamental layers of security. Any computing devices on site should be secured the same way it would be in a traditional office setting. Deploy firewalls, patch software regularly, back up your data frequently, enable core network security services and endpoint protections, etc. These are basic table stakes, but critical nonetheless. New generations of ruggedized security technologies including multi-function security appliances and Wi-Fi access points can address historical jobsite issues like heat, dust and moisture, while remote monitoring and management tools can allow IT professionals to execute updates and monitor alerts from a central location.

No. 2 — Understand Your Adversary’s Motivations

You cannot adequately protect company data without first understanding who might want to get a hold of it (as well as how and why). One of the main motivations for targeting a construction site is the theft of intellectual property, such as blueprints that could provide intelligence a criminal would need to defeat physical security in the future. Another could simply be compromising the supply chain to divert payments or extortion via ransomware. Attackers might even want to open a backdoor into a future tenant’s network by gaining control over the building automation systems being installed in a new development. Understanding these motivations can help you identify the best mix of security layers to implement in order to thwart attacks before they happen.

No. 3 — Invest in Employee Education

Better cyber security awareness is a simple, but powerful measure you can take, especially given how wide ranging the level of technical skill and training is across construction teams and employees. Teach all managers, employees and contractors to identify phishing attempts, flag suspicious emails, calls, or wire transfer requests, and not click on every link they receive. These are just a few basic precautions you can take that will go a long way toward preventing breaches.

another since cyber attackers often gain access by simply walking through the front door. Physical security on site is often more focused on preventing stolen equipment and materials than it is on protecting exposed data cables, for example, that could be directly tapped to monitor traffic or “listen in.” Physical security controls are often disabled or minimized for workers that frequently need to get in and out, leaving the door open for insider threats or external attackers to take advantage. Ensure you have the necessary monitoring and processes in place

Some construction companies may already be undergoing digital transformation initiatives, using wireless or cellularly-connected rugged tablets and shared blueprints and plans on digital devices rather than paper. No. 4 — Prioritize both Physical and Cyber Security

Some construction companies may already be undergoing digital transformation initiatives, using wireless or cellularly-connected rugged tablets and shared blueprints and plans on digital devices rather than paper. You might be using drones for site inspections or 3D printers for prototyping. Today’s cyber criminals are already targeting tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, and while attacks on drones or 3D printers are not as common, they are possible. Regularly update these devices, change their stock passwords and assess them for potential compromises. It also is critical to understand how physical and cyber security impact one

to validate that gaps in your physical security are not giving way to potential cybersecurity incidents. The influx of cyberattacks is only predicted to increase and every business is in the crosshairs—even construction. But having a good security strategy in place (that incorporates the four aforementioned best practices), can help reduce your chances of being breached. Case and point: According to the KnowBe4 Phishing by Industry 2020 Benchmarking Report, 49.7% of midsize construction company employees fell for phishing attempts in 2019. Within 90 days of cybersecurity training, that figure fell to an impressive 17.7%. Best practices work. Now is the time to start building your new cyber security strategy. CCR

Corey Nachreiner is the CTO of WatchGuard Technologies. A front-line cybersecurity expert for nearly two decades, Nachreiner regularly contributes to security publications and speaks internationally at leading industry trade shows like RSA. He also is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). For more information, visit




Driven by excellence How Christian Brothers Automotive continues to set the standard in auto repair Interview by Michael J. Pallerino


“ It’s a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself.”


— Dale Earnhardt

ark Carr opened his first Christian Brothers Automotive location in Houston in 1982. With the automobile as the driver to just about everything we do, Carr’s goal was to create an automotive repair facility driven by honesty, integrity and exceptional customer service.


His goal was pretty straightforward: Carr wanted his shops to provide repairs in a timely and trustworthy manner, embracing, what he calls, an “open shop” policy, designed to give customers the information they need to navigate repair-related decisions with confidence. In essence, Carr, founder and CEO, wanted

to put the owner’s in the driver’s seat of their service experience. Today, with more than 240 locations in 30 states, Christian Brothers has not only become a standard of service excellence, but also one of the country’s leading automotive repair franchises. Since he opened his first shop 39 years

ago, Carr has never had a franchisee close a location. We sat down with Director of Construction Derrick Rodgers to get his take on the trends shaping the new age of commercial construction and how Christian Brothers is adapting to the future.



DRIVEN BY EXCELLENCE Give us a snapshot of the project.

We oversee two types of projects currently: developing new Christian Brothers Automotive stores from the ground up and retrofitting some of our older stores to a more contemporary design.

What are some of the things Christian Brothers looks for in your facility’s design?

One of our core values is transparency and we wanted our store design to better reflect this. So, starting in late 2020, all new stores now offer guests a waiting area that is more open in design by providing a large window into the repair center enabling guests to watch firsthand as their vehicles are being serviced. In addition, Service Advisors are now more accessible with freestanding, movable desks that allow for better guest interaction. Since our team members’ comfort and ability to gather as a team are critical to us, we are now incorporating larger meeting spaces for them. The overall décor and design are more contemporary, which signals to guests that CBA is modern in its approach to vehicle care as well, which is why our existing stores are also starting to transition to this new layout.

Since our team members’ comfort and ability to gather as a team are critical to us, we are now incorporating larger meeting spaces for them.

What were the goals?

To help value engineer the phenomenal product that we have been building since 1982. Our building construction and design helps our franchisees grow their businesses and attract new owners to our franchise family.

How does the overall design of the Christian Brothers facilities cater to what facility managers are looking for?

Our managers are looking to convey to our guests the experience mentioned above—one that’s transparent and caring—and we think that our new design does a great job of signaling our values to guests. They can see clearly into the repair bays and watch how our team members lovingly and carefully take care of their vehicles.




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What are today’s customers looking for?

Our guests want to know that they can trust that an auto technician has their, i.e., the guests’ best interests at heart and will take care of what their car needs to keep them and their loved ones safe. They don’t want to be sold services their vehicle doesn’t need and they want to know that the job is done right the first time.

Our guests want to know that they can trust that an auto technician has their, i.e., the guests’ best interests at heart and will take care of what their car needs to keep them and their loved ones safe.

What’s the brand’s short-term strategy? Long-term?

Our short-term and long-term strategies rest on our mission: to glorify God by providing ethical and excellent automotive repair service for our guests. All decisions we make at the Home Office- and Store-level must align with this mission. Our franchisees bring this to life each day by providing an unmatched auto repair experience and giving back to their communities as often as they can. At the Home Office, we are focused on researching and developing programs and implementing state-of-the art technology solutions to enable our franchisees to best serve guests, while donating both financial and human resources to our community as well.




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DRIVEN BY EXCELLENCE What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business?

The construction sector is facing rising costs on material and labor like we have never seen before. It is forcing us to look at other avenues for our design and build process to keep our costs down, so that we can build state-of-the-art facilities for our franchisees that are not cost prohibitive to them.

From what you see out there, how is the industry handling construction in this new landscape?

In 2021, we are looking at value-engineering our buildings. We need to look at alternatives in order to build a state-of-the art facility that is not cost prohibitive to our Franchisees.

What type of challenges have you seen?

Our largest challenges have come in waves of material shortage and labor shortage, which leads to an overall increase in costs. The supply and demand for materials and labor is currently very tight. Finding skilled labor to construct our buildings has become very difficult.


We are looking to continue to grow at a rate of approximately 20 to 25 new stores each year.


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DRIVEN BY EXCELLENCE What changes do you expect to see in 2021?

I don’t see our material costs reducing in 2021. I believe we will start to see some type of reduction in 2022. Unfortunately, I don’t believe we will see the material costs lowering to pre-pandemic costs. I think the demand is too great to see that type of reduction.

What do you expect to see when we get back to some sense of normalcy?

I hope to see the material and labor costs level off. Again, I don’t feel they will return to as we knew them pre-pandemic, although I have hopes. I also anticipate that the lead times which are extremely high currently will return to a normal lead time.

What are the brand’s plans moving forward?

We are looking to continue to grow at a rate of approximately 20 to 25 new stores each year. CCR

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Christian Brothers’ Derrick Rodgers

Describe a typical day. A typical day consists of managing a spectacular portfolio of projects in our timeline that include the permit phase, construction phase, and closeout phase. And I’m also involved in the redesign and remodeling of our older stores.


What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Handing the keys to a new and completed location that helps change the lives of our franchisees. In a small way, we are helping our Franchisees achieve the American dream of owning their own business. What’s the biggest item on your to-do list? Continuing to help value engineer a phenomenal product that we have


created since 1982 to help our franchisees continue to grow their businesses, and to oversee the development of new stores, which attract new business owners to our fantastic company. What was the best advice you ever received? In the world of construction, problems arise daily. The best advice I have received is around “control.” Someone told me once

you cannot change things that are out of your control, but you can control your reaction. To me that helps remove some of the painful issues that arise in the construction world. How do you like to spend your down time? I am an avid golfer and fisherman. I love spending time with my 3 great kids and my beautiful wife.




How to Make Your Advertising in CCR… By Jim Nowakowski, President Accountability Information Management, Inc. We do a lot of advertising research. And today, there’s a lot of confusing information about what advertising is and isn’t. The Readership Circles chart on the right will help you cut through this confusion. Because today, an “ad” is just part of the equation: readers get information digitally. They go through Google to find you (over 4-billion searches each day), so your ad investment in CCR is just part of the equation. This article explains how to maximize that investment. Content is the Key Your ad appears in the print and digital version of the media outlet. The publisher of CCR, David Corson, invests most of his time and money building his “overall audience” for your ad (you can see his audience in this auditing tool: But he also has his website to handle the audience he can’t control: the Google audience. Therefore, you can help maximize your investment by sending in your company information for CCR's website. The more content you have on the internet, the more chances you have of being found and purchased. Simple, huh? Your Product is Really Information No matter what product or service you are selling, your real product is information. Thus, you are in an information war competing for the attention of buyers with not just your competitors, but with everyone on the internet. The more content you have that’s yours, the more opportunities for them to see you and go through the readership circles. Why We Know This AIM places a tracking code on CCR’s website and each month monitors visitors. Then, because you advertise, you receive 10 “dossiers” seen on the right on companies who have consumed data – companies that represent high-valued ACCOUNTABILITY WEBSITE AUDIT targets because their need is NOW for what you are selling.

Accountability Information Management, Inc.


David Corson has us audit this activity. You receive this audit if you advertise, and it represents a rich field of leads for you. Call David Corson 678.765.6550 today to find out more details! Or, call us and we’ll help you understand the powerful information at your disposal.

Always Trusted Information Accountability Information Management, Inc. 553 N. North Court, Suite 160 Palatine, Illinois 60067 847-358-8558

IMPORTANT. This audit covers the above website for the period of September, 2020. It was conducted by allowing Accountability Information Management, Inc. (AIM) by placing a proprietary Code on the website to provide deeper analytics from the thousands of monthly visitors to the website to the publisher (i.e., the companies utilizing the website). AIM is in the business of auditing and verifying data. For information, contact: AIM, 553 N. North Court, Suite 160, Palatine, Illinois 60067. PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT. Commercial Construction & Renovation, CCR-MAG.COM, is a community of leading commercial construction professionals within the retail, restaurant, hospitality, health care, federal, multifamily and other commercial sectors. The website content spans the design, construction and facilities operations of major commercial construction segments to meet the information needs of today’s high level executives. Visitors will find information relevant to the collaborative management process required to complete projects on time and on budget, and to efficiently manage these facilities. PRIVACY. F&J Publications, LLC discloses the information we collect on this website and how it is used. This report is based on visitors to CCR-MAG.COM. Specifically, the information in this report is aggregated to provide our advertisers information on website usage. F&J Publications always reserves the right to release information about visitors, including non-personal information. NUMBER OF COMPANIES


This is the number of companies that the Code identifies. This number is the monthly universe of companies that can be identified from the thousands of visitors to this website.



This is the number of times these companies visited the website. The average per company is 1.41.



This is the number of page views that these companies viewed on the website. The average pages viewed by a company this month is 2.04.



This is the number of identifiable different search terms these companies used to arrive on the website. The search terms, for example, were put into a browser which delivered results. Among the results was a page on this website. For example, while many people find it by typing in “commercial construction and renovation” or “CCR” in a search engine like Google or Bing, other terms deliver specific pages from this website based on what users type into the search engine. These searches account for less than 5% of the total search terms used. The top ten (listed) account for 48% of the identified total (not counting CCR itself).



This is the number of companies that the Code is able to classify. It represents 5% of the total companies that visited this website, and is supplied for reference only. See UNDERSTANDING THE DATA.



The Code keeps track of the first page viewed by the companies, and is the same number of times the companies came to the website. The chart Key First Pages Viewed lists the top ten landing pages from this grouping (excluding itself, which is among the top, but not more than 12%).


SEARCH TERMS USED TO REACH US • “Christopher Bushnell” AND Social Security • gary falco architecture • hi macs color TERRAZZO LUNA • inverter eon model el3 10 watt pricing • metal work very essential tools • mulehide jts1 colors • penncolor uv dispersions • permeable pavement concerns • rampart yellow wallcovering • silicone molds KEY FIRST PAGES VIEWED (other than • 7-essential-tools-for-your-metalworkingprojects • what-is-soil-reinforcement-and-how-is-it-done • 8-important-safety-measures-forconstruction-sites • new-menards-store-in-paducah-ky • construction-procurement-101 • conversations-with-bennett-van-wert-dwm • conversation-withbobby-darnell-cmc • american-dream-mall-in-nj-to-reopen-onoctober-1 • cny-group-names-new-vp-of-people-andculture • the-impact-of-building-materials-inconstruction COUNTRY BREAKDOWN OF COMPANIES United States India Pakistan Canada United Kingdom Other (64 countries)

XX% X% X% X% X% XX%

UNDERSTANDING THE DATA This report is provided to you from the publisher to help you understand the creation, distribution and consumption of information on the digital highways. The companies that are provided to you in this report have visited CCR-MA G.COM and consumed information. Knowing the name of the company gives you a “heads up” to pursue for your sales efforts. If you need to explore additional ideas, including ways to utilize this information, please contact the publisher or AIM directly. In addition to the INDUSTRY/COMPANY listings, you will see a list of companies that are not categorized by Code into industries. These are sometimes more valuable and should be considered carefully for your sales efforts. Finally, often a company will utilize a general channel (like Comcast), which does not provide the individual company’s IP. These visitors are often just as valuable in terms of “what” they consume on our website. We would happy to help you pursue this type of analysis. CCR7002.1

...Pay Dividends. The magazine or newsletter or website has a specific number of possibilities - the overall audience. You must factor that into ROI.

No matter where you place your message, this is the pattern of what we call the “Readership Chain.” And the weakest link in the chain will break it. That’s why you need as much content as you can on the Internet. People, your buyers, get distracted easily. Your messages must be compelling.

Some convert into readers of your message.

Not all people will "see" what you are selling. You must know some of these basics.

Some also raise the hand and ask for information.

Accountability Tools from CCR The audience audit tool (on the left) enables you to see CCR’s audience for yourself. The Company Dossier tool on the right highlights 10 companies who have consumed CCR content that month for your marketing purposes. Advertising in CCR gets you these dossiers. And there’s much more. Below are the highlights from the prior month for your review. Imagine being able to see who is consuming content like this, and then putting them in your marketing sights!

ACCOUNTABILITY WEBSITE AUDIT Each month advertisers receive powerful information to help them market their products and services. Here is a taste. 98,819 pages were consumed by over 2,000 companies. Among them: • • • • • •

Architectural firms like HDR Inc. and Smithgroup Universities like Illinois Wesleyan, Yale or University of Massachusetts Energy companies like BP America or Schlumberger Financial companies like American Express, Mckinsey & Company and Wells Fargo Materials companies like USG Corp and Carlisle Industrial companies like Aecom, Eaton and General Dynamics

And thousands more like CBRE, Texas Instruments, Goodyear, St. Lukes Episcopal Hospital. All these companies have projects going on – projects you can access to sell your products and services. Call the publisher, David Corson for a complete details. 678.765.6550. Or email him at: CIRCLE NO. 20

Lessons learned

CCR Roundtable: Industry execs say past year's experience will help in long run



here is no denying that the past year has had its share of challenges. But as the commercial construction market slowly makes its way to the next level, some of the industry's leading women professionals say there are ways to learn from the experience. Participating in our latest Virtual CCR Women's Roundtable agreed that the best is yet to come, despite the lumps the pandemic inflicted on every aspect of the industry's landscape. Our monthly virtual roundtables feature a diverse set of vendors and end users who connect via Zoom for two days, including several hours of networking. The events are hosted by Commercial Construction & Renovation Publisher David Corson and Editor Michael Pallerino. Following is a roundup from our third roundtable of 2021.


KARA DEMMIEN Pine Ridge Construction Management

JULIE FOX Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corp

SARA IVERSON Blain Supplies


GABRIELE LAWRENCE Chatham Lodging Trust

JECA SALAS Urban Air Adventure Parks



NICOLE YOUNG IdentiCom Signs and Facility Rx Services



LESSONS LEARNED CCR: Give us a snapshot of what you do.

Nicole Young, IdentiCom Signs and Facility Rx Services: I’ve been working for the company for the past three-plus years. I oversee business development, sales, distribution and manufacturing—what goes on in the shop. My favorite part of the job is meeting all of you, and networking and finding out what you guys need. Julie Fox, Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corp.: Headquartered in New York City, we are a private real estate investment firm focusing on retail, hotel and office assets. I spearhead our shopping center portfolio and I’m responsible for leasing assets in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington DC that total approximately 2.2 million square feet. Jeca Salas, Urban Air Adventure Parks: I’m A Project Manager under Park Development. I oversee a pipeline of new franchise Adventure Parks during the development process. Each property is a unique footprint and offers a challenge for the team. When our park is complete it provides an amazing guest experience for kids and families alike. Jennifer Jones, Safe Site Check In: Site Check In’s software provides an easy, customizable, and private check-in and digital screening to ensure the health and safety of employees and visitors on job sites. Gabriele Lawrence, Chatham Lodging Trust: We’re a self-directed, publicly traded REIT in West Palm Beach, Florida. I am the Director of Project Management, Design & Construction for Chatham Lodging Trust. The Chatham design and construction team are scattered throughout the country. I currently reside in Denver, so I can hit both coasts within three to five hours. Our portfolio of hotels are located withinthe continental United States—from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Maine. We currently don’t have any in Hawaii or Alaska. At the end of last year (our fiscal year), we had about 240 hotels total. As you can imagine as a REIT, we’re continuely adding or divesting from our current portfolios. All


of our existing 240 hotels are major brand flags within the Marriott family, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG. Kara Demmien, Pine Ridge Construction Management: I am the Architectural Project Manager. We do construction management, but also a lot of design build. I am a liaison between my company and the architects and engineers we work with all the way through construction. Barbara Schenker, Sinelli Concepts: We have a few brands under Sinelli Concepts, including Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, Paciugo Gelato, Birdguesa and Burguesa Burger, and then some other brands in the works. I oversee the new store opening processes and manage all the development vendor relationships. Lynne Sperr, USGN Software: We are a cloud-based, collaborative project management software solution headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. I manage current customer relationships and contract administration, as well as new customer prospecting and business development. Sara Iverson, Blain Supplies: We are based in Janesville, Wisconsin. Right now, we have 43 locations in four states. As Director of Real Estate, Construction and Facilities, I help select new locations, relocations and remodels.

CCR: What’s on your to-do list right now?

Blain Supplies’ Smith: I have been visiting a lot of new markets lately. As I said, we’re in four states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. Within the last five years, we’ve grown a lot in Michigan, with more on the way there. So I’ve been spending some quality time there. I am also looking at what state is next for growth. One of the more interesting things you hear today is that malls are dead and retail is dying. It is a bit of a dark box right now. Granted, there are still some K-Marts and Sears locations out there that nobody wants. But within the last three months, there has been a ton of traffic on picking up some of these dark stores.


Another thing on my to-do list is a ground up location I was doing that was put off because of issues with the DOT. The price of steel has doubled over the past year and our prices for building a new facility has gone through the roof. That is why I am looking into some of these dark boxes. I am trying to find where I can go next. I don’t want to be delayed because of supply chain problems. IdentiCom Signs’ Young: I’m like a onestop shop. I’m also always looking for new property and real estate that needs signage. USGN’s Sperr: In terms of our customers, we’re seeing a lot of growth—considerably more than last year, although we did stay fairly steady in 2020. We have a wide range of customers, including Amazon, AutoNation, HMSHost, etc. Services for these existing customers has been picking up steam. They’re asking for complex integrations with finance and looking more toward enterprise solutions—that’s a trend we are seeing. Some of our fitness and QSR customers are beginning to build again, too. It’s especially exciting to see these customers returning as they were hit pretty hard in 2020. Another trend we’ve seen is the greater shift toward a distributed workforce which is necessitating collaborative, enterprise solutions. Pine Ridge’s Demmien: Since COVID, I’ve diversified my portfolio, going from mainly retail projects to adding hospitality and mixed-use. I’ve been partnering with architects, engineers and suppliers— strengthening these partnerships and focusing on creating an A team, so to speak, for my projects. With this type of change and diversity comes a lot of room for learning and growing. We are also the developers for multiple mixed-use sites that I’m focused on the design and programming, and keeping them moving. There is just tremendous opportunity within the communities we are developing. Chatham Lodging’s Lawrence: Obviously, hotels and airlines were some of the sectors hit the hardest during COVID. Not that it didn’t cross industry lines, but we


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LESSONS LEARNED seem to have had an inordinate impact. I’d say my to-do list right now is to ramp back up again with the renovations we had put on hold the past nine to 12 months starting in Q4 of 2020. As we know, there will be large timing and turnaround impact in the pipeline from sourcing FF&E to freight. The cost of raw materials from timber to steel has also been strongly impacted, which will impact everyone’s project budget moving forward until the market stabilizes again. There’s always timing associated with permitting. I have something in DC right now where we’re removing a rooftop pool and converting into a outdoor living room experience while also adding guest rooms. Over the past year, I’m sure all of you have seen that you have to increase a project’s timing due to permitting as the offices have either been closed periodically and/or the staff is working remotely, which is causing much longer review and turnaround times than in the past. I’ve had to build in a lot more time on the front end because of this.

continue to do so. We’re not dealing as much with the supply chain issues from Asia, but there still are components of our renovation projects are impacted by freight and container backlog issues. The cost of freight has increased dramatically since COVID started and will continue to have a cost impact in the near future. Safe Site’s Jones: My to-do list is relationship building within the construction industry. That includes job site management and supporting the transition back to the office. We help customers facilitate the collection of data to help keep job sites and workplaces safe. I’m also getting feedback from current and prospective customers about the types of enhancements we can include in future releases to become even more competitive and valuable. Post pandemic, it’s not only about focusing on job sites and workplace safety, but on broader data collection at our job sites.

“Some of our fitness and QSR customers are beginning to build again, too. It’s especially exciting to see these customers returning as they were hit pretty hard in 2020.” — Lynne Sperr, USGN Software

Right now, as I look at my 2022 pipeline, I see a full slate of projects across the country that will bring us back to our New Normal. This has given us time to look at our department and see how we interface and build best practices into the process. Nobody likes to deal with the administrative back end, but that’s always important to review and realign. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel each time. Chatham as a whole has always been very much Made in America focused with the help of our Purchasing Agent Benjamin West. We are lucky we have companies like JTB, MTS, Durkan and Southfield that have served us well over the years and


Some of the key issues Safe Site Check In helps general contractors tackle are subcontractor management, workforce management, and always knowing who is on your job site. Administrators can easily look at their smartphone and know who arrived, what they’re working on, and when they checked out. In the event of an emergency, they can be immediately notified. Urban Air’s Salas: Right now, our department is focused on recruiting new franchisees, signing leases, and beginning construction on new parks and ultimately developing the team to be equipped and set up for success. As with most entertainment


businesses and other industries in 2020 we had a moment where development projects came to a halt but now the race to get new Parks open is fast and furious. We are positioned to have an amazing 2021 and laying the foundation for unparalleled growth in 2022 so we must be prepared to take on a record number of new projects in a compressed amount of time. Now is the perfect time for us to work on new and existing relationships with vendors, general contractors, architects, and design firms and lay the groundwork for the future of Urban Air Adventure Parks. Ashkenazy’s Fox: Right now, my to-do list includes a lot of leasing and repositioning of our assets. During the the pandemic, I worked with our tenants and handled a lot of rent deferral agreements. Today, I am focused on leasing vacant spaces in our shopping centers. I handle about 10 shopping centers and work closely with our brokerage community in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and DC to lease our centers. I’m seeing lots of discount merchandisers and QSR expanding. My time is divided in several categories. I work with the local business owners looking to rent space, as well as with the national retailers and franchisees. I also work closely with our construction and legal teams overseeing deals from start to finish. IdentiCom Sign’s Young: I made it my personal mission during COVID to take a step back and let people I’ve done business with before figure things out. My theme for 2021 is to maintain service. When COVID hit, a lot of people had to make changes. I have so many customers who have the same issues, so the goal is to do preventative maintenance. I had an old boss show me the KISS method: Keep it Simple, Stupid. By nature, if you allow someone in your space, you have to trust them. So I worked hard to stay in contact with my customers even if we weren’t doing business with them. I stayed in touch keeping up with what steps they were taking and what they needed. It is all about building personal relationships. I always tell my customers to just show me the way. That’s my job.


LESSONS LEARNED Our goal is to provide better service and to listen to what our customers need. It’s not about selling you; it’s about giving you what you need.

CCR: What lessons have you learned over the past year?

Urban Air’s Salas: As a company, I feel we learned how to pivot in 2020. I read this definition of pivot “making a change in strategy without a change in vision” and it describes our company perfectly in my opinion. We could not continue with the status quo and survive the consequences of the pandemic. I was asked to move into a support role as the development projects in the queue slowly came to an end and I think as with all businesses everyone was asked to do more with less. But one of the silver linings is by taking on this new role I’m developing a new knowledge base working in operations that can only enhance my skills as a project manager.

of digital record keeping. It saves time on set up, provides insight on job site productivity, supports workforce management, and provides an added level of insight for compliance and record keeping. Having agility is important in our business world. We also learned that there are a lot of data gaps that exist within recordkeeping. For example, we learned how to better track and manage people and job sites in order to create that data. It helps keep our workforce safe. Keeping essential workers safe as they go back to work in this environment is critical. We have created better efficiencies within our workflow to protect our workforce. I think that those are the main lessons we learned—trying to optimize and implement those lessons going forward. Chatham Lodging’s Lawrence: Professionally, I’ve always worked remote in my position with Chatham and I travel out to my hotels or corporate office as needed,

“We are positioned to have an amazing 2021 and laying the foundation for unparalleled growth in 2022 so we must be prepared to take on a record number of new projects in a compressed amount of time.” — Jeca Salas, Urban Air Adventure Parks

SafeSite Checking’s Jones: When we launched Safe Site Check In last June, we were addressing an on-going need in the construction industry—to streamline the job site check-in process and have digital records of who is on the job site. COVID-19 and the heightened awareness for health and safety accelerated the urgency for a digital solution. One of the most important lessons we learned was to really listen to customers and ask for feedback as we continue to develop our product. Today, customers are using our software for more than COVID-19 health screenings. They’re realizing the benefits


so the past 12 months or so have seen me focus more on soft skills. The two biggest for me was wellness and self-care, trying hard to realistically affect that healthy work-life balance. We always throw words around like “boundaries” and “healthy work-life.” But COVID really made me take a look. step back and say, “This isn’t just talk. I really need to focus on it.” I have better realistic work-life balances. I’m going to be a better Director of Project Management, colleague, mother, and daughter and friend. This will have a direct affect at how I am going to be better at how I approach my job in the future.


In addition to that, I am focusing on the empathy component. Lead by listening, not lead by talking. I found that this was way easier said than done because I tend to be the person who likes to jump in and solve the problem. Sometimes I can solve the problem much better by just taking a step back and listening to “what is not being said.” COVID has helped me become a better leader, team member and all-around person. Pine Ridge’s Demmien: Prior to the pandemic, the industry’s mentality was all hustle and grind. That just wasn’t a sustainable mentality to me. The pandemic has given me a chance to take a step back and focus on that work-life balance. I know that’s kind of a cliché, but it is really about putting myself and my family first. As a mother, it was difficult to take care of an entire household while working simultaneously. There was no sustainable balance that was healthy for my kids or my career—I think a lot of families felt that. So I have been able to reevaluate my priorities and set new goals. I will never take for granted the extra time I got to spend with my family. The opportunity to put family first and focus on self-care has really been a blessing to us. It has also helped me embrace diversity and see things in a new light. For every retailer, entertainment company or restaurant that struggled came immense opportunity for innovation and refinement. From my standpoint, how can I add value to them, or how can I help? I really became passionate about helping others, whether it was looking for a new career opportunity due to lack of work or a company that needed help figuring out how they were going to keep up with the demand of online ordering. I wanted them to know I was there for them. Ashkanazey’s Fox: I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the last year. One, especially when the pandemic started, was the importance of getting involved and being a team player. As a landlord with over 15 million square feet of real estate across the country, we received thousands of rent relief requests from our tenants. We created a response team to handle all the requests in a timely manner. It helped me get out of my leasing box. In the beginning

of the pandemic, leasing came to a halt so we all pulled together to collect rent and stay afloat. One of the things I’ve learned as a leasing person is how to be more creative. With capital tightening up, I learned how to be a creative dealmaker—what does it take to get a deal done? What are our owners and prospects willing to do to meet in the middle? It made me a better listener. I also utilized my extensive brokerage network, which has been helpful. I learned a lot about the value of relationships. I’m very involved with ICSC, NextGen and The Pipeline. Since we couldn’t meet together in person, I knew it was important to stay connected. I co-founded the Pipeline Group, a network for women in retail real estate. We have over 210 women in our group. During the pandemic, we continued to meet virtually. We were able to have virtual monthly events with the women, whether they were in the legal field, construction, leasing, landlords or retailers. We were able to address different topics. The virtual aspect enables us to reach women all over the country and to grow our network. Identicom Sign’s Young: COVID helped me to listen more, which I’m grateful for. I did manifest the fact that I actually was able to talk to my customers. They opened up that gentle side. Some vendors are very protective of their home lives and personal spaces, as we all should be. But as a person who provides a service, it was nice to find out about people’s children and everyone was dealing with the events. I’ve taught my team to meditate. We did yoga and they hated it. But it taught them the softer side of business. The whole experience made me feel more personal. I know that when we all regroup we will come back stronger. It’s about the connections. I had to make sure that people were grounded and that they remained hopeful. I had to be a cheerleader when no one else wanted to cheer. We’re national so we survived the hump. We improvised some things as we went along, but it brought the tools and unique talents of our team out. We created logos and did some different things we hadn’t done before to help people.

Blain Supply’s Smith: I started at Blain’s in fall 2019 and went right into January 2020—right before everything hit. My staff was just getting to know me. I’ve learned so many different things professionally during this, starting with being flexible. We stayed open as a business, but closed our corporate offices. Being in charge of construction, me and my team were tasked with figuring out how to protect our customers. We put up plexiglass barriers. We had retailers in Wisconsin show us what they were doing. The grocery business was in the same boat. They need to keep supplying food to their customers, so we looked at how they were doing it. Within the first couple of weeks, we figured out how to get plastic acrylic flexi panels and how to jerry rig our checkout lanes to get people through faster.

USGN’s Sperr: One of the lessons we learned at USGN over the past year is that we are a company designed for a distributed workforce. USGN’s cloud-based, collaborative project management system allows people in various industries to work seamlessly and collaboratively from anywhere in the world. But we were not, as a company, operating as a distributed workforce model ourselves. USGN’s tools allowed us to make that transition easily and seamlessly. The shift to primarily virtual and digital communication was a little overwhelming initially, but USGN software and tools are designed to improve and streamline communication, so we were able to get that “dialed in” quickly. We also had opportunities to help our customers adapt. Some of our customers got hit pretty hard. We worked collaboratively with

“One of the more interesting things you hear today is that malls are dead and retail is dying. It is a bit of a dark box right now. But within the last three months, there has been a ton of traffic on picking up some of these dark stores.” — Sara Iverson, Blain Supplies

On the home front, I looked for projects to work on. I stripped my patio furniture and repainted it. But then I realized that I just needed to settle myself down a little because when you get busy you just keep going. I have three kids, so as a family, we learned to play a lot of games. We bought a trampoline. We just had to pivot and figure out how to have fun stuck in the house. On the personal front, I renewed relationships with some of my college sorority sisters. We started Zoom meetings that went on for about six months. We all kept up with the people we wanted to keep up with. I’m grateful for what 2020 gave me, but I was so bored. I want to travel. But overall, I’m really just focusing on the good things.

these customers to develop creative solutions to ease their situation and maintain mutual sustainability: How can we help our customers and maintain a stable, steady level of revenue for our company while they’re not building or growing? We also became aware of areas of inefficiency within our company operations. USGN has outstanding tools for managing our company, but we weren’t fully taking advantage of them ourselves. When we made shifts towards greater efficiency using these tools, our profitability increased. Sinelli Concepts’ Schenker: COVID has taught us how to be more agile. With my role and skill set, I’m in charge of different projects happening, even outside of development.



LESSONS LEARNED From a development perspective, our flagship location for our new chicken concept Birdguesa just opened. We also have the WICH flagship location under construction. WICH will have a smaller footprint and more limited menu than Which Wich, geared more towards takeout and delivery and online ordering. It is exactly what COVID brought to the table, but it was in the works prior to COVID ironically. My goal is to value engineer the concept with our strategic partners after the flagship location is open. Also with some stores being temporarily closed during the pandemic, we took the time to refresh some of them. Which Wich uses materials that can stand the test of time, but some of the locations could use a little touch up, so we went in and added some wallpaper, paint and different materials. Outside of the development projects, I have also been in charge of rolling out the Which Wich custom Mountain Dew called Dew Vibe to the entire system. This should be in all locations by Memorial Day. On the personal side, I just learned to be appreciative of what’s around me— appreciative of my family and friends and thankful to have a job and have great people to work with every day.

CCR: Tell us a little about your story.

Chatham Lodging’s Lawrence: I was born in the Black Forest area of Germany, but I was fortunate to have grow up in Hawaii (Maui & Kauai). I spent my childhood in Maui and Hawaii surrounded by hospitality and the spirit of aloha, as my Dad was the general manager of resorts in Hawaii and eventually opened his own restaurants there as well. I think even if my dad hadn’t been in the hotel business, I would have fallen into that as my preferred career path. I just enjoy everything about the hotel and restaurant business. My first job was at the Kapalua Bay Hotel for Regent International. After graduating High School in Maui, I attended UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) to get my bachelor’s of science degree in Hospitality, during which time I also worked at Caesar’s Palace. Before graduation I was lucky to get into the ITT Sheraton Corporate Management Training Program. I started with the ITT


Sheraton, prior to the Starwood acquisition of the Sheraton brand, which is now part of the Marriott family. I started in the North America division at the Denver property with the intention of following in my dad’s footsteps to becoming a future GM back in Hawaii. I was in the program for six months, during which time the hotel was undergoing a complete guestroom and public space renovation. We had a third-party project manager who they had to fire. They needed someone to take the job to the finish line, so they offered me the chance, as they knew I already had the front of the house and back of the house operations experience and did not require the added six months of the training program. I embraced the challenge wholeheartedly. It was the best six months of my life. Not only was I able to be in the hospitality world, but I literally found a new career path I didn’t know existed. I found my passion and through fate the opportunity fell into my lap. The timing of the renovation was right in line with the timing of the end of my corporate training program. And I knew wanted to do more of this. I had a wonderful mentor within the Sheraton family at the time who told me that if I really wanted to do this as a career path he was going to give me the opportunity. He gave me the chance to be the assistant project manager at the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf renovations, so I jumped into my Nissan Sentra and drove from Denver to San Francisco. The project manager I worked with was amazing and taught me so much in a short amount of time. After that project was completed, I was given the change to manage my own projects as the owner’s rep for ITT Sheraton. My career took off from there. As I moved through multiple new construction projects within North America, I was given the opportunity to join the Europe/ Africa/Middle East Division. I spent seven years in Europe doing projects in Germany, England and Russia. During my time on the Moscow project, I lived and worked through those multiple coups in Russia as it turned from the Soviet Union into the Commonwealth of Independent States, and finally Russia. I always tell people there is not a whole lot that can throw me off my game after that.


I left the hotel industry for about six years to not only get my MBA at Pepperdine University, but also to work for The Walt Disney Company and various Tech companies. But I felt after that time away I had to get back to my passion of hospitality. After sojourns at KSL Resorts, The Parker Group and Sage Hospitality, I landed at Chatham Lodging Trust. I continue to love the hotel business and am grateful during the times of COVID that I am still able to do what I love. Sinelli Concepts’ Schenker: I’m from San Antonio, Texas and attended the University of Texas in Austin. I was never one of those kids who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. So at UT Austin, I majored in Spanish and minored in business, but I was able to meet lots of people at UT who have helped me throughout my career path. When I moved to Dallas, I reached out to my group of friends and landed a job in the non-profit sector at Green Mountain Energy, a pollution-free energy company. While I enjoyed the job, I was at a point in my life where there was a wedding practically every weekend, so I was always running to the airport on a Friday from our office in Uptown Dallas. When our office moved to Plano, the commute became too difficult, especially for those Friday airport runs. So I reached out to the same group of friends, which connected me with our founder, Jeff Sinelli. At that time, it was the beginning stages of Which Wich—where they had around 20 stores. And now I’ve been with them for over 14 years. When I started, there were only a few of us and everybody was doing whatever needed to be done to support our franchisees. While many hats were worn at the beginning, I was working more on communications, making sure we were engaging with the franchise system because at first we had no platform in which to do that, so I created a system. After a while, I was wanting to interact with our franchisees more, so I started to become interested in the development side of the business, working with franchisees on the construction and new store opening processes. I started in that department and have never looked back! It’s a great group of people, which I think is the most important thing. I love every single one of them.

Urban Air’s Salas: I’m from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I graduated from TCU. I really enjoyed my time there and studied radio, TV, and film. I started out as a Special Events Coordinator at a major Dallas radio station, and I just knew I was destined to be in the entertainment industry. I was honored when I was recruited to work for the Walt Disney Company, a lifelong dream of mine, which is where I found a love for marketing. My next stop was Marketing Manager for Ticketmaster Texas and Oklahoma territories. I left Ticketmaster to take a break and pursue other opportunities and found myself working in commercial real estate marketing and public relations for Staubach. It was a new industry for me no doubt, but the marketing and PR principles in my previous jobs still applied so it was a natural fit for me. In 2008 I moved into a residential real estate sales and marketing job closer to my home and was very happy in that role for many years. One day I received a call from my former boss at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. She asked what it would take to get me to come back and work for her at Six Flags. Honestly, it didn’t take much because I missed creating those experiences and moments for guests. I worked for Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Corporate Headquarters in Marketing and Sponsorships for several years before I was asked to come work for Urban Air Adventure Parks in the role I have now. Even though I’m not in marketing anymore and now a construction project manager I still feel like I’m in my dream job creating fun memories and experiences for guests. Blaine Supplies’ Smith: I grew up in Minot, North Dakota, which is about an hour from the Canadian border. There are probably 35,000-40,000 people living there. I couldn’t wait to get out of North Dakota. I ended up moving to Des Moines, Iowa to attend Drake University. I was just bound and determined to be an attorney. I had double majors, political science and philosophy. I worked three different legal internships, which was not what I expected at all. I wanted to be Perry Mason and they were just not Perry Mason like. I need to do something else.

I ended up graduating and getting married. I took a job at a temp agency thinking I was going to be an HR recruiter. I ended up being a facilities coordinator. I am still not sure how that happened. There was some break in communication, but I gave it a shot. My first job was in downtown Milwaukee. I checked out fleet vehicles, phones and computers. They ended up asking me if I wanted to help build two remote offices. I figured, why not. The first one was in Madison, Wisconsin and the second was in Appleton. It was kind of fun. I liked working with the contractors and enjoyed the design aspect. Our company ended up getting bought out and I need a new job. So I decided to try project management and construction management. I started out in retail construction after my facilities job in 1997 and did retail construction for a number of years. First, I was a GC, where I ended up moving to Kohl’s in the late ‘90s. I worked there for a number of years, starting on the store side and ending up on the corporate side doing strategic planning. We did their eight-story addition when they were in this explosive phase of growth, building 100 stores a year for five years.

Compared to retail construction, health care construction is much more challenging. North Dakota was going crazy with the oil boom and fracking. Jobs were aplenty and my parents begged me to come back. I spent five years really working there, but knew I couldn’t stay. It was just too cold and too far from everything. But the opportunity got me back on track. Now that I am back in Wisconsin, I am doing real estate construction and facilities. I love it. I’m never going back to healthcare construction. I can’t imagine what it was like working in that business during COVID, especially when we were at ICU capacity even on a normal day. I just wish that women could be introduced to all the development opportunities in construction and real estate at a much younger age. I just had no idea. If we could get them interested early on, they would find much more success. I’ve been the only woman at every job I’ve worked. I’m still the only woman. I have 16 men who report to me. USGN’s Sperr: I’m originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, but have lived in various areas—San Francisco; Ashland, Oregon;

“During the the pandemic, I worked with our tenants and handled a lot of rent deferral agreements. Today, I am focused on leasing vacant spaces in our shopping centers.” — Julie Fox, Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corp.

I built their cafeteria and clean room for the computers. I loved the breadth of opportunities. After deciding my life was too chaotic, I decided to take a step back. I call it “retired.” I spent almost 10 years with my kids. It was a wonderful experience. But it wasn’t enough for me. Our family was just pulled in too many directions. I got back into the construction business in 2014 as an executive director of healthcare construction only focused on the construction side. It was a great education.

Breckenridge, Colorado; Minneapolis, and Tucson, Arizona. I recently returned to Scottsdale. I was the kid who knew what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” When I was 10 years old, I told my parents I wanted to play French horn in a symphony orchestra. They said, “We have a saxophone, you can play in the band.” This is probably just after I said I wanted a pony. I don’t think they thought this phase would last long. But I was serious. I switched to horn and I ended up playing in symphony orchestras.



LESSONS LEARNED But then, reality struck: How would I support myself? I wasn’t on the track to be supported so I decided to shift to performing arts administration. Northern Arizona University offered a bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration with a music performance minor, which was a good fit for me and also offered fantastic orchestral performance opportunities. My first job was with the Arizona Opera where I fell in love with opera. I moved to San Francisco so I could have a steady diet of opera and ended up being offered a position with San Francisco Opera. But when I saw the salary offer, I was shocked. It would not have been possible to support myself on that salary in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Reality struck again.

A few years ago, USGN was exploring ways to grow their company and use their software as a sales and marketing tool. I came on board and helped build a USGN sales management tool. My broad skill base made it a natural fit for me to expand into other roles in customer relationships, contract administration and new business development. Today, I head up inside sales and customer relationship management where I wear many different hats and keep a lot of balls in the air. Who would have thought I’d be working for my brother and communicating with him countless times each day? Growing up, we had our own lives like most siblings. Now we are a collaborative team leading the of the growth of the company he created.

“COVID has taught us how to be more agile. With my role and skill set, I’m in charge of different projects happening, even outside of development.” — Barbara Schenker, Sinelli Concepts

With good admin skills, I made a quick transition to working for mid-sized architectural firms in downtown San Francisco, first as a member of the admin team at Ebert Hannum and Volz, and later as the Admin Manager for GHI Architects. It was a natural fit and I enjoyed the creative environment. Immediately after work, I headed straight to the symphony, opera and ballet and nourished my passion for performing arts in that way. My older brother, Doug Sperr, was the CEO of Sperr & Associates, an architectural firm in Phoenix. He made the transition into tech very early. When he founded USGN 21 years ago, they were first to market with cloud-based, collaborative Project Management software for multi-unit corporate roll-outs, which they started out developing for their architecture customers. PetSmart was their first customer, and they are still a major account today.


Pine Ridge’s Demmien: I was born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degree in architecture at Kent State University in Ohio. Prior to graduating, my husband was living in Ohio with me. We started looking at houses and began looking at settling down. We decided we wanted to be closer to family, so we moved back to Williamsport after graduation. I got my first job at a small architectural firm doing mostly high-end residential, healthcare, and higher education projects. It was a great first job out of college because the firm was small, which forced you to take responsibility for your projects from client meetings to consultant coordination, to being in the field making sure everything is running smoothly during construction. I was there for a couple of years, eventually moving on to a national retail firm doing retail, fitness centers and restaurants.


I had the opportunity to fly all over the country working on those projects. I learned a ton and worked my way into management where I really enjoyed working with a great team of people and helping others grow and thrive. I spent seven years there before I ended up at Pine Ridge Construction Management, where they really value relationships and treat everyone like family. Retail was fast-paced and exciting and I really enjoy that world. Now I’ve added in larger mixed use projects. Instead of my portion of the project only being three months long, I’m going to years-long projects. It’s a little bit of a mentality shift for me. Instead of working on behalf of the architect, I’m now hiring the architect. I’m also learning a lot more about the construction industry. I’ve been married for 10 years and have three kids, ages 7, 5 and 3. Outside of work, I enjoy writing, party planning and spending time with the family. I just enjoy being creative—designing—so architecture was right up my alley. SafeSite Checking’s Jones: I was born in South Los Angeles County in California and I’ve been in construction or a related field most of my life. My family is third generation general contractors and my sister currently holds the contractor’s license for our family business. When I was younger and before the family business was formed, I vividly remember my father working for Anchor Paving in Irvine. It was at the base of Wild Rivers Water Park. They shared a parking lot. I remember we’d go there for the summers, where I would sit in his office and sneak out through the chain link fence into the water park. My dad finally got tired of working for other people and started his own GC company, specializing primarily in flat work; asphalt and concrete. I believe they started the business with less than $5,000, so as you can imagine it was all hands-on deck. As a child, I can remember sealing envelopes and putting stamps on them for mailers. As the company started to grow and my sister and I became older, the division of responsibilities within the family business became very apparent. Although my father held the contractor’s license, my mother was the owner and we

had a Minority Woman-Owned Business designation. My sister started doing a lot of the administrative work and accounting, while I spearheaded sales and marketing. When I met my husband, I decided I wanted to follow a slightly different path. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in business finance from Cal State Fullerton. I did some coursework at UCLA, the Anderson School of Management—mainly business development for entrepreneurs since we were an entrepreneurial family. I told my husband I wanted to try something new, so I shifted my career focus to tax credits and incentives. IRS sanctioned strategies such as cost segregation, research and development tax credits and 45L energy efficiency credits. I spent a lot of time doing consulting work for different owners of real estate, developers, and small businesses. When the opportunity presented itself to join Safe Site Check In, it really seemed to be the perfect marriage of my career experience. It combines my experience with strategic sales and relationship building, development and construction, but still allows me to grow and gain enterprise software experience. I’m lucky in that I also truly believe that not only does our software make job sites safer, it bridges the data gap that has long existed within the construction industry to allow contractors to know who is on their job site, when, why and for how long. Ashkanazey’s Fox: I was born in Bangkok, Thailand. I moved to the United States when I was 6 years old. My family and I Iived in Queens, New York. My mom was in the banking industry. In the early ‘90s, a lot of bankers were leaving New York and relocating to Delaware, so we moved there. I attended a local high school in Delaware and graduated from the University of Delaware Honors Program. I was very far from real estate. I majored in Psychology and Spanish. I graduated around 9/11, so the job market was very tough. I thought at one point that I wanted to be a psychologist, but I changed my mind. My first job out of college was with the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington. I was able to utilize my Spanish skills and ran a mentoring program.

I was very interested in marketing and took some marketing classes at a local community college. I enjoyed it a lot and decided to pursue my MBA. I moved to Philadelphia and enrolled in the One-Year MBA Program at Drexel University. While at Drexel, I did about 20 to 30 informational interviews in a number of different industries. I researched everything from consulting to banking to pharmaceutical to real estate. My Career Services Director mentioned a real estate company in Philadelphia that had recently created an Assistant General Manager (AGM) training program. I did an informational interview and learned everything about the mall business. The industry fascinated me. They owned regional malls in the area and I was intrigued with the program. When I graduated, I was selected to be an AGM in their training program and was responsible for managing a local mall in Pennsylvania. I was out of business school with no business experience and I was second in command overseeing construction, tenant relations and mall management. I was responsible for overseeing maintenance, security, housekeeping and leading managers who were 20-30 years older than me. I learned a lot about operations. I was ready to graduate from the program and get assigned my own mall. I looked at the leasing side and liked what I saw. The leasing agents looked like they were having so much fun meeting with clients. I figured, “Why not try leasing?” I gave up a stable job managing my own mall and went into brokerage. I worked for a brokerage firm in Philadelphia and spent six years doing landlord representation, tenant representation and land disposition. The company was acquired by CBRE and I was at another fork in the road. I decided to make another move and get into landlord leasing. I worked with a private landlord in central New Jersey, which was a great experience. It was different being an in-house leasing representative versus a third party agent. The commute took a toll and I accepted a position with a REIT closer to home. I was responsible for leasing a 2 million square foot shopping center portfolio in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Then, one of my friends recruited me to work on a leasing and redevelopment project in Queens. I was excited about the opportunity of working where I grew up and helping Asian retailers expand into the US. Afterward, I decided to get back into brokerage to assist the Asian retailers expand into the US. My current employer was also one of my clients. I was handling an asset for them and they recruited me to work for them. That’s how I ended up at Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corporation. My career has come full circle. My property management, construction management and tenant coordination experiences help me to be a better leasing person. I believe in working closely with my construction and property management team. IdentiCom’s Young: I started at Merry Go Round in retail. From there, I went to Darden, where I worked for a long time. I worked my way up from bartending to Director of Operations. They transferred me to Hilton Head, South Carolina, where I met my husband and at the time. We moved back and I opened up my own commercial construction company. During the dive in 2011, we lost a lot of things, so we had to reroute. I went into operations for a while. I also worked in the waste management area for a long time— sales, business development, vice president. I’ve owned a landscaping company, a construction company, an electric company; I’m a jack of all trades. I had strong attributes from my father growing up. He actually was in the facility industry. I didn’t know what he did every day when he left for work. He’d work on the Phillies’ stadium. I was on the field when they won the World Series. Arby’s was his first customer. He used to mop and clean. So he took the janitorial business and turned it into this phenomenon. He sold his business to a person in New York City. That’s when I went into selling signs. Before that, I worked for a company out of Bensalem. They hired me based on my portfolio. I was in retail construction, electric, plumbing, HVAC, roofing—all those things were facility. That’s what it was labeled as. I’ve done every element from top to finish. CCR





Spotlight shines on industry’s arch building products firms


he industry’s leading arch building products firms is just a click away, thanks to our annual report, which highlights the leaders in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, healthcare (and other) sectors. In addition, the report provides the contact information and contact person for each firm. If you didn’t make the list, contact Publisher David Corson at Accurex Aquatherm

Lisa Bosio, Senior Manager of Brand Marketing and Communications 400 Ross Ave. Schofield, WI 54476 (715) 841-8296 • Architectural Building Product(s): Kitchen Ventilation Systems Markets Served: Healthcare, Restaurants, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Systems

AkzoNobel Inc.

Columbus, OH 43211 (614) 294-3361 • Architectural Building Product(s): Coil and Extrusion Coatings Markets Served: Commercial, Residential, Agricultural and Commercial

American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers

Pete Zeller, Press Contact 1300 Sumner Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115 (216) 579-6100 Ext. 1 • Architectural Building Product(s): Automatic Doors Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Apogee Renovation

Kevin Robbins, Director 7800 International Dr. Wausau, WI 54401 (715) 409-0821 • Fax: (715) 843-4055 • Architectural Building Product(s): Doors/Windows, Energy Products/Services Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family



Pat Gillan, Inside Sales 825 W 600 N Lindon, UT 84042 (801) 805-6657 • Architectural Building Product(s): Piping Valves Fittings Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Multi-Family, Industrial

Atlas Molded Products 8700 Turnpike Dr., Suite 400 Westminster, CO 80031 (855) 597-4427 Architectural Building Product(s): EPS Rigid Insulation (Roof, Wall, Below Grade) and Lightweight Fill Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Single Family Homes

Avery Dennison Window Film Sales 8080 Norton Pkwy. Mentor, OH 44060 (800) 282-8379 Architectural Building Product(s): Architectural Window Films, Reflective Window Films, Dual Reflective Window Films, Neutral Window Films, Spectrally Selective Window Films, Design Window Films, Safety and Security Window Films, Solar Safety Window Films Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

AVP Engineered Coatings The Bomanite Company

Erin Neff, Director of Marketing and Business Development 1390 Firestone Parkway Akron, OH 44301 (800) 772-3452 • Architectural Building Product(s): NeverFade® Façade Restoration Coatings Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Basalt Reinforced Composites

Tom O’Brien, Director Business Development & Exports 102 NE 2nd St., Suite 278 Boca Raton, FL 33432 (773) 636-5974 • Architectural Building Product(s): Division 03 20 00 -Concrete Reinforcing Concrete Reinforcements/BFRP – Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites 03 21 00 Reinforcement Bars: Basalt Reinforced Composite Rebar 03 22 00 Fabric and Grid Reinforcing: Basalt Composite Mesh 03 24 00 Fibrous Reinforcing: Basalt Composite Fiber Mix Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Industrial/ Utility/Infrastructure/Concrete Construction

Belgard Commercial Pavers

Michael Vaughn, Brand Manager 400 Perimeter Center Terrace, Suite 1000 Atlanta, GA 30346 (770) 804-3363 Architectural Building Product(s): Pavers and Retaining Wall Systems Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Benjamin Moore & Co.

Michael S. Ecke, Strategic National Accounts Manager 101 Paragon Drive Montvale, NJ 07645 (201) 949-6000 • Architectural Building Product(s): Paints & Stains Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Danice Pierini, Director of Marketing PO Box 2649 Fair Oaks, CA 95628 (303) 369-1115 • Architectural Building Product(s): Architectural Concrete Products and Systems that include Imprinted Concrete (Bomanite/Bomacron), Concrete Overlays (Micro-Top/Thin-Set), Coloration Systems, Stains, Concrete Dyes, Exposed Aggregate Systems (Sandscape Texture/ Revealed/Alloy), Pervious Concrete (Grasscrete) and Polished Concrete (Renaissance/Belcolore/VitraFlor/Modena/Patene Teres) Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Bradley Corp Abigail Heppe, CRM Marketing Specialist W142 N9101 Fountain Blvd. Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 (800) BRADLEY • Fax: (262) 251-5817 • Architectural Building Product(s): Euro Style Restroom Partitions Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Education

Brass Knuckle Pete Zeller, Press Contact 1335 Ridgeland Pkwy., Suite 120 Alpharetta, GA 30004 (216) 579-6100 Ext. 1 • Architectural Building Product(s): Facility and Personal Safety Products Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Cambridge Architectural Metal Mesh Ivan Zorn, Sales Manager

Birdair, Inc. 105 Goodwill Rd.

David Capezzuto, VP of Operations, Busin. Dev. 6461 Main St. Amherst, NY 14221 (716) 633-9500 • Fax: (716) 633-9850 • Architectural Building Product(s): Design-Build Tensile Membrane Structures (Roofing and Facades) Markets Served: Retail, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Transportation, Stadiums/Arenas, Amphitheaters

Cambridge, MD 21613 (866) 806-2385 Architectural Building Product(s): Metal Mesh Woven Fabric Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Government, Parking Garages, Elevators/Interiors




ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING PRODUCTS Construction Specialties Daich Coatings

Kelly Winkler, PR Director, Alpha Dog Advertising, representing Construction Specialties 3 Werner Way, Suite 100 Lebanon, NJ 08833 (908) 236-0800 • Architectural Building Product(s): ACROVYN® SOLID COLORS – Wall covering/wall protection, ACROVYN BY DESIGN® METALLICS™ COLLECTION, CSELECT™ DISPOSABLE CURTAINS Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Behavioral and healthcare facilities that have quick change areas requiring quick change of disposables

Peter Daich, Owner 304 Gage Ave. N Hamilton, ON Canada L8L 7A7 (866) 463-2424 Architectural Building Product(s): Full line of real stone coatings for concrete surfaces. Both interior and exterior use. Plus, anti-slip sealer products for safety in commercial settings. Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Swimming pools, Senior Citizen Facilities, Automotive Centers, Large Garage Settings

Creative Edge DaVinci Roofscapes

Jim Thompson, EVP & CCO 601 S. 23rd St Fairfield, IA 52556 (800) 934-8145 • Architectural Building Product(s): Custom design & fabrication of flooring designs Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial

Wendy Bruch, Marketing Manager 13890 W 101st St. Lenexa, KS 66105 (913) 599-0766 • Fax: (913) 599-0065 • Architectural Building Product(s): Composite slate and shake roofing materials plus composite shake siding Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Religious

Cultured Stone Durasein

Sarah Lograsso, Director of Marketing and Product Design 1370 Grand Ave., Building B San Marcos, CA 92078 (800) 255-1727 • Architectural Building Product(s): Manufactured Stone Veneer, Manufactured Brick Veneer Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family


Jeff Moen, USA Manager 2600 Louisville Rd. Savannah, GA 31415 (912) 721-6500 • Fax: (912) 964-9603 • Architectural Building Product(s): Natural Slate Rain Screen Cladding Systems Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Morgan Dew, Community Manager 7030 Quad Ave., Suite 1 Rosedale, MD 21237 (866) 509-6494 • Architectural Building Product(s): Solid Surface Material Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family


Alex Bursac, Public Relations/NE Specifications Manager 2635 N Berkeley Lake Rd. NW Duluth, GA 30096 (770) 931-3575 • Fax: (770) 931-8454 • Architectural Building Product(s): SensoWash® Shower Toilets, Faucets, Tub Sets, Shower Systems, Bathroom Furniture, Washbasins, Faucet Accessories, Shower Trays, Toilets, Bidets, Urinals, Bathtubs, Mirrors Markets Served: Hospitality, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Multi-Family

Dutch Quality Stone Custom Building Products Anthony Holcombe,

10400 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 3 Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 (800) 282-8786 Architectural Building Product(s): Tile & Stone Installation Materials, Concrete Remediation, Floor Preparation Materials Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family



Area Sales Manager 18012 Dover Rd. Mt. Eaton, OH 44659 (330) 359-7866 • Architectural Building Product(s): Manufactured Stone Veneer, Wall & Column Capstones, Mantels & Brackets, Keystones, Hearthstones Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Other




Daylit spaces make people feel happier and more comfortable, and studies have shown that access to natural light increases sales as well! And owners also benefit from less reliance on artificial light sources, which can lower utility bills. We’ve made it easy to bring natural light into your space with Auburn® glass skylights. They’re available in a wide variety of configurations - from complex custom designs to easy-to-install pre-assembled options - and offer durability in any climate.

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Ben Morris, Director, Sales & Marketing 5460 Muddy Creek Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45238 (877) 430-5634 Architectural Building Product(s): Rapid EV Charging from Single Phase Utility Power Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Eldorado Stone

Sarah Lograsso, Director of Marketing and Product Design 1370 Grand Ave., Building B San Marcos, CA 92078 (800) 925-1491 • Architectural Building Product(s): Manufactured Stone Veneer, Manufactured Brick Veneer Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family


Tara McDonald, Senior Account Executive 800 S Robertson Blvd., Suite 2 Los Angeles, CA 90035 (310) 967-8000 • Fax: (310) 967-0700 • Architectural Building Product(s): Quartz slabs/tiles, Ceramic slabs/tiles, Cosmolite slabs Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.

Jim Leslie, General Manager 200 Bridge St. Pittsburgh, PA 15223 (800) 500-8083 • Fax: (800) 500-8012 • Architectural Building Product(s): Architectural Building Products; Doors/Windows, Energy Products/Services Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Federated Service Solutions

Laura Elgood, Director of Sales 30955 Northwestern Hwy. Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 539-9000 • Architectural Building Product(s): Low Voltage Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Shopping Malls, Commercial



Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) Janice Yglesias, Executive Director 1900 E Golf Rd., Suite 1250 Schaumburg, IL 60173 (847) 303-5664 • Fax: (847) 303-5774 • Architectural Building Product(s): Doors/Windows, Construction Education, Industry Associations/Organizations, Resource Guides Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Formica Corporation Melissa Herman, VP of Sales 10155 Reading Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45241 (800) FORMICA • Architectural Building Product(s): Laminate, Solid Surfacing, Wallcoverings Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Georgia-Pacific Kim Drew, APR, Public Relations Rep. 133 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30303 (800) 225-6119 Architectural Building Product(s): Gypsum wall panels (interior & exterior), roofing cover boards, lumber/structural panels Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

GKD-USA, INC. 825 Chesapeake Drive Cambridge, MD 21613 (410) 221-0542 • Architectural Building Product(s): As the leading provider of woven metal fabric for architectural solutions, GKD Metal Fabrics offers architects the ability to create dynamic, modern environments that address numerous building challenges. Drawing on more than 95 years of German engineering excellence and precise American manufacturing, GKD revolutionized the category of metal fabric applications. With thousands of interior and exterior installations constructed worldwide, architects and specifiers recognize GKD as the metal fabric authority Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Museums, Sports Venues, Public Spaces


Because they’ll need little or no maintenance to retain their original form. The system will perform at optimal levels, lasting for decades. Installation is extremely easy. And, not only will the visuals always be great... any project blends in with surrounding buildings, both traditional or modern. CUPACLAD® systems continually prove to be an investment in lifecycle performance. And between us... your clients will love you (even more) for specifying them!

CUPACLAD® systems have been designed and developed by CUPA GROUP Installation: Church +State, Cleveland, Ohio



ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING PRODUCTS Haas Door Kingsmen Projects US Tina Mealer, Marketing Manager 320 Sycamore St. Wauseon, OH 43567 (419) 330-9900 Fax: (419) 330-2201 • Architectural Building Product(s): Full selection of aluminum and steel garage doors made for commercial settings. Options include design, glass, impact-resistance, custom sizes, unique openings. Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Special Event Venues, Automotive Centers

Stephen Hekman, Executive Vice President 3525 Hyland Ave., Suite 225 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (619) 719-8950 • Architectural Building Product(s): Acrylic, Backroom Storage, Cabinets, Cashwraps/Checkout Counters, Display Cases, Garment Racks, Gondolas, Islands/Back Islands, Kiosks, Architectural Millwork, POP, Shelving, Slatwall Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Shopping Malls, E-Entertainment

Kolbe Windows & Doors Impact Security Liz Huber, Creative & Jeff Franson, President/CEO 600 Kirk Rd., #100 Marietta, GA 30060 (888) 689-5502 • Architectural Building Product(s): DefenseLite, BulletShield, Retrofit Glazing Systems, Personal Protection Shields (PPS) Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Communications Manager 1323 11th Ave. Wausau, WI 54401 (800) 955-8177 • Architectural Building Product(s): Doors/Windows Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Single-Family

INOX LATICRETE International Sean DeForrest, National Sales Manager 6 Wayne Ct. Sacramento, CA 95829 (916) 388-1888 • Architectural Building Product(s): Door Hardware, Sliding Door Locks, Door Pulls, Mortise Locksets, Cylindrical Locksets, Door Closers, Exit Devices, Deadbolts, Entrance Handle sets Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Lauren Albrecht, Strategic Account Specialist 138 1/2 W 1st. Ave. Columbus, OH 43201 (203) 707-9320 • Architectural Building Product(s): Tile and Stone Installation Products, Concrete Remediation, Masonry Veneer Installation Materials, Resinous Floor Coatings Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Linetec Jones Architectural Tammy Schroeder, Creations Marketing Manager Katie Kufalk, Executive Assistant 1711 Scheuring Rd. De Pere, WI 54115 (800) 536-7446 • Architectural Building Product(s): Decorative Architectural Facades Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family



7500 Stewart Ave. Wausau, WI 54401 (715) 843-4100 • Fax: (715) 843-4121 • Architectural Building Product(s): Surfaces/Materials Products, Aluminum finishing services Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

CORRUGATED METAL SOLUTIONS We offer In-house manufacturing of solid and perforated corrugated aluminum for your interior or exterior needs. Available in a variety of finishes with matching trim and fasteners to complete your installation. Manufacturing Architectural Metal Products for over 30 years in California.

Cognac Sand Finish

Columns • Walls • Ceilings • Exteriors | 510.632.0853 | Oakland, CA



ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING PRODUCTS Mannington Commercial MS International Rachael Evelti, Digital Marketing Specialist 934 Brady Ave. NW Atlanta, GA 30318 (800) 241-2262 Architectural Building Product(s): Modular and Broadloom Carpet, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Resilient Sheet Vinyl, Rubber and Liquid Linoleum Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Multi-Family

MAPEI Corporation Jen Kramer, PR/ Communications Manager 1144 E Newport Center Dr. Deerfield Beach, FL 33442 (954) 246-8888 • Architectural Building Product(s): Mapeheat Radiant Floor Heating System Markets Served: Hospitality, Commercial, Multi-Family

Mar-Bal, Inc./Detectable Warning Systems Anthony Lignetta, Director, Proprietary Products 10095 Queens Way Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 (440) 543-7526 • Fax: (440) 543-4691 • Architectural Building Product(s): Tactile Warning Safety Surface Products: CastIron, RediMat, AlertCast, AlertTile Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Municipalities, Rail/ Transport, Architecture, Infrastructure

Jessica Davis, Media Manager 2095 N Batavia St. Orange, CA 92865 (714) 685-7500 • Architectural Building Product(s): Flooring, Countertops Markets Served: N/A

Mule-Hide Products Co.

Lynette Collins, Marketing Coordinator 1195 Prince Hall Dr. Beloit, WI 53511 (800) 786-1492 • Fax: (608) 365-7852 Architectural Building Product(s): Roofing Systems, Products and Accessories Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Federal/Government, Storage Units


Steve Rutherford, VP HVAC Tools 1099 Wall St. W, Suite 179 Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 (877) 696-2822 • Fax: (877) 696-2822 • Architectural Building Product(s): HVAC Markets Served: HVAC


Jenni Steele, Vice President of Marketing 1200 Lakeside Pkwy., Suite 450 Flower Mound, TX 75028 (888) 733-0197 • Fax: (682) 200-6962 • Architectural Building Product(s): High-Performance, High-Technology, Water-Saving Toilets, A full line of products with four new toilet product suites. The Liberty, The Sabre, The Shadow and The Barron Product Line. Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Oldcastle APG/ Moz Designs Echelon Masonry

Linda Gutierrez, Director of Marketing 711 Kevin Ct. Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 775-2697 • Fax: (510) 632-0852 • Architectural Building Product(s): Architectural Metal Panels Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family



Michael Vaughn, Brand Manager 400 Perimeter Center Terrace Suite 1000 Atlanta, GA 30346 (770) 804-3363 • Architectural Building Product(s): Wallsystems, Veneers, CMU Block Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Health Experts Recommend Hand Dryer Use

Did you know wet hands spread 1000X more germs1? Eek! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines, Guidelines, we we can can all all do do our ourpart part by washing our hands for 20 seconds and drying completely with an air dryer2 to do our part. HEPA-filtered VERDEdri and VMax V2 dry users’ users’ hands hands without without touch, touch, worry, worry, or waste. The World Health Organization3 recommends the same, stating, “Once “Once your your hands are cleaned, you should dry them them thoroughly thoroughly by by using using paper papertowels towelsor or a warm air dryer.”

Upgrade to a smart, sensor-operated restroom. restroom.

1-Residual moisture determines the level of touch-contact associated associated bacterial bacterial transfer transfer following following hand hand washing. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 1997. 1997. 2-Adopted from the Centers for Disease Control Control and and Prevention Prevention handwashing handwashing guidelines. guidelines. 3-Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: public: Mythbusters. Mythbusters. World World Health Health Organization. Organization. CIRCLE NO. 26

US US1.800.323.0701 1.800.323.0701



ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING PRODUCTS ootBox Privacy Glass Solutions Allison Zofan, Co-Founder 536 S Wall St., Suite 200 Columbus, OH 43215 • Architectural Building Product(s): Prefabricated Outdoor Pods Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Outdoor Living Supply Jesse Cravath, COO 325 Alliance Pl. NE Rochester, MN 55906 (602) 790-3557 Architectural Building Product(s): Hardscapes, Pavers, Retaining Walls, Natural Stone, Landscape Lighting, Landscape Accessories, Bulk Materials, Stone Veneer Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Carlos Betaneur, Chief Operating Officer 11713 NW 39th St. Coral Springs, FL 33065 (866) 466-9525 Architectural Building Product(s): Between Glass Blinds-Integral Blind and Glass Assemblies, Vistamatic Privacy Vision Panels, Clarity Electronically Controlled Switchable Glass, Deco Glass-Decorative Glazing Units Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Senior Living, High Security Environments, Mental Health

Regupol America

11 Ritter Way Lebanon, PA 17042 1 (800) 537-8737 • Architectural Building Product(s): REGUPOL was established in 1954 and creates its products from high-quality plastics that have been recycled and reprocessed. With this approach, REGUPOL has become one of the leading suppliers of sports and safety flooring, antislip mats for load securing, products for impact sound insulation and vibration isolation, as well as protective and separating layers. In these market segments, REGUPOL has had over 65 years of experience. Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Power Generator Manufacturer’s Association Rentokil North America

Pete Zeller, Press Contact 1300 Sumner Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115 (216) 241-7333 • Architectural Building Product(s): Portable Generators and Facility Safety Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Safety, Manufacturing

Robert Samluk, Business Development Specialist 1125 Berkshire Blvd. Reading, PA 19610 (610) 372-9700 Ext. 99235 • Architectural Building Product(s): Pest Control, Bird Management, Vegetation Management, Disinfection Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Food Processing, Warehousing, Government, Supermarkets

Power Tool Institute RHEINZINK America, Inc.

Pete Zeller, Press Contact 1300 Sumner Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115 (216) 579-6100 Ext. 1 • Architectural Building Product(s): Facility Power Tools and Safety Advocacy Markets Served: Construction/Safety



Charles McGowan, President 96F Commerce Way Woburn, MA 01801 (781) 729-0812 • Architectural Building Product(s): Surfaces/Materials Products, Roofing Products Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family


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ARCHITECTURAL BUILDING PRODUCTS Rockfon North America Superior Aluminum Kari Pandilidis, Products

Marketing Communications Manager 4849 S Austin Ave. Chicago, IL 60638 (800) 323-7164 • Fax: (800) 222-3744 • Architectural Building Product(s): Ceiling Products/Services Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family


Jessica Haddock, Marketing Manager 8750 Walker Rd. Colorado Springs, CO 80908 (877) 962-4803 Fax: (719) 495-0045 • Architectural Building Product(s): Snow Retention Metal Roof Attachments, Solar PV Mounting Metal Roof Attachments, Utility Mounting Metal Roof Attachments Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family


John McClatchey, Vice President of Sales & Marketing 1581 Huber St. NW Atlanta, GA 30318 (404) 355-1560 Fax: (404) 350-0581 • Architectural Building Product(s): Metals Distribution, Finishing and Fabrication Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Joshua Forsthoefel, Marketing Manager 555 E Main St. Russia, OH 45363 (937) 526-4065 • Architectural Building Product(s): Aluminum Railings and Fencing, and Aluminum and Fiberglas Columns Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Technoform North America, Inc.

Helen Sanders, Strategic Business Development 1755 Enterprise Pkwy., Suite 300 Twinsburg, OH 44087 (330) 487-6600 • Architectural Building Product(s): Energy Products/Services, High-performance Insulative Solutions for Facades, Cladding and Fenestration Systems Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Trex Commercial Products

7008 Northland Dr., Suite 150 Minneapolis, MN 55428 (877) 215-7245 Architectural Building Product(s): Commercial Railing Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Schweiss Doors Trex RainEscape

Mike Schweiss, Owner 72121 470th St. Hector, MN 55342 (507) 426-8273 • Architectural Building Product(s): Bifold, Hydraulic and Designer Doors Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Agricultural, Aircraft, Hangars, Industrial

Dave Kile, National Sales Manager 2965 S Tejon St. Englewood, CO 80110 (877) 348-1385 Architectural Building Product(s): Deck Drainage System Markets Served: Hospitality, Restaurants, Commercial, Multi-Family

Sloan Tubelite Inc.

Alison Heitman, Director, Global Marketing Communications 10500 Seymour Ave. Franklin Park, IL 60131 (847) 671-4300 • Fax: (847) 671-6944 • Architectural Building Product(s): Commercial Restroom Products Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Transportation, Stadiums



Walt Lutzke, Promotions Coordinator III 3056 Walker Ridge Dr. NW, Suite G Walker, MI 49544 (800) 866-2227 • Fax: (616) 301-0003 • Architectural Building Product(s): Doors/Windows, Energy Products/Services Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Viking Electronics Window Film Depot Mike Busby, Marketing and Sales Manager 1531 Industrial St. Hudson, WI 54016 (715) 386-8861 • Fax: (715) 386-4344 • Architectural Building Product(s): Electronic Security Products Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Jeff Franson, President/CEO 4939 Lower Roswell Rd., Suite 100 B Marietta, GA 30068 (866) 933-3456 • Fax: (770) 973-3986 • Architectural Building Product(s): 3M Films & Graphics, 3M Social Distancing Graphics, DefenseLite, BulletShield, CoolVu Transitional Window Film Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family

Viridian Wood WoodWorksKristen Gilchrist, Wood Products Council Director Business Development 9111 SE McBrod Ave. Portland, OR 97222 (877) 909-9663 • Architectural Building Product(s): Tables, Paneling, Flooring Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family Architectural Building Product(s): Education and Free Project Support Related to the Design/Engineering and Construction of Commercial and Multi-Family Wood Buildings Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Institutional, Civic, Mixed-Use

Wooster Products Warmly Yours Tim Brennan, Marketing & Radiant Heating Sales Manager Cameron Witbeck, Marketing Communications Manager 590 Telser Rd. Lake Zurich, IL 60047 (800) 875-5285 • Fax: (800) 408-1100 • Architectural Building Product(s): Electric Floor Heating, Snow Melting, Towel Warmers, Radiant Panel Heaters, Countertop Heaters, Shower Waterproofing Kits, LED Mirrors, Mirror Defoggers Markets Served Commercial

1000 Spruce St. Wooster, OH 44691 (800) 321-4936 Fax: (330) 262-4151 • Architectural Building Product(s): Safety Stair Treads and Nosing, Glow-In-The-Dark Emergency Egress Systems Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Government, Transportation

Wayne Dalton World Dryer Sarah Schram, Senior Brand Marketing Manager 2501 S, TX-121 BUS Lewisville, TX 75067 (469) 549-7100 • Architectural Building Product(s): Garage Doors Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Restaurants, Corporate, Commercial

Scott G. Kerman, Business Development Manager 240 W. Missouri Avenue, Unit 20 Phoenix, AZ 85013-1875 (602) 524-0728 • Architectural Building Product(s): Hand Dryers Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial



CCR Company Spotlight

Building WOW For more than 40 years, Construction One has built environments where people can work, shop, meet, and live. For all the years of growth and success—all the thousands of construction projects he and his team have completed—William Moberger, president of Construction One, never forgets why he does what he does. “It makes no difference if our client is the sole owner of a new business ready for their first brick-and-mortar space or the head of a huge corporation with millions to spend,” he says. “To each of those individuals, a construction project is a significant investment. In this industry, you’ve got people’s dreams and careers depending on these projects. It’s important to get it right.”

and resources with subcontractors in every city in which they operate. Those connections allow the company to be more competitive and to price projects quickly and accurately in order to streamline the entire construction process. “We know who the most experienced and knowledgeable teams are from coast to coast and match them with the jobs most suited for them,” says Moberger. It’s the same with Construction One employees, he adds; identifying and hiring great people enables extraordinary productivity. “Superintendents, estimators, project managers, accounting managers, project engineers—we have the very best in the industry, and they make this machine run,” he notes.

“The reason for our success is twofold: We value and nurture our relationships with our clients, and we hire only the best people.” – William Moberger, President, Construction One

Adapting for Success

In addition to office and retail spaces for some of America’s most iconic brands, the Columbus-based company has completed high-quality construction projects in the banking, restaurant, and hospitality sectors. A niche specialty is the building of prototype stores. “We enjoy working closely with clients—and adapting quickly—to make sure they get what they need: a store or building that might be replicated in the future across the country,” says Moberger.

Moberger and his father started the company in 1980. “It’s been a family business from day one, and the next generation, which has been involved for years managing the company, has shown that it will continue to grow and succeed,” he says. “Today, we are licensed and active in all 50 states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.” The company’s longevity, superior workmanship, and commitment to integrity at every turn have yielded strong relationships

In March 2020, Moberger and his wife were vacationing in Israel when news of the COVID-19 virus took the world by storm, prompting lockdowns—and the imminent cessation of travel. The couple immediately returned to Columbus where they helped to navigate the entire Construction One team to adapt to a host of unchartered challenges. “We had multiple projects in process,” he recalls, “but we were determined to maintain proper protocols to keep everyone safe and get those jobs completed on time.” Whether working on brand-shifting concepts, boutique models, or complex commercial builds, Moberger and the entire Construction One team remember what is important: the success of each client’s project. “The businesses we work with have high expectations and high stakes,” he says. “They count on us to deliver safely, on budget, and on time. I’m proud to say we do.”

 Construction One spotlight featured in Forbes & Entrepreneur magazines.



Your project deserves the best team in construction:

With over 40 years of experience, we know how to bring your visions to life. Our expert leadership will guide your project from concept to grand opening. We are licensed in 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and our standards for quality, consistency, and safety are second to none. Construction One is trusted by the world’s biggest brands. Let us be your partner.

Remodels  Ground Up  Renovation  Tenant Improvement


Contact Us: 614.398.7236

101 East Town Street, Suite 401, Columbus OH 43215

©Copyright Construction One

Open for business 3 key practices to follow when hiring subcontractors By Toby Cushing


iring construction subcontractors is an essential part of the construction industry, so doing it the right way can help make a safer worksite and drive better business results. Hiring the right subcontractors with the right contractual terms and making sure their workers are qualified and safe can be a daunting task, but developing the right process can save millions in future losses. First, making sure your bid documents and subcontracts require the proper training and safety practices is the most important thing. Second, making sure the terms of performance/specifications and contractual risk transfer terms are present is critical to making sure the project will be completed successfully while minimizing risk to the general contractor and the subcontractor.


Here are some hiring practices that can help you ensure a construction company completes projects correctly and safely.

Pre-Employment Screening of Subcontractors

While going through the selection process to find a subcontractor, take a close look at the candidates. If it is possible, perform a background check for construction laborers applying to work for the business. Ask the subcontractors to give a report on following: > Credentials > Management team > Experience > Expertise > Geographic reach > References > OSHA training


This report can then be used to take a deeper look at a prospective employee’s work history and see if they have had any lawsuits, claims or bankruptcies. Don’t forget to look at the subcontractors' schedule and projects they are already working on. A general contractor or construction company will want to make sure the subcontractor will have enough capacity to meet the job’s demands in the required timeframe.

Job Site Safety

General contractors (GCs) should make sure their written safety plan is incorporated by reference into subcontracts and or bids, or that the most important parts of the GC’s safety culture and requirements are specifically identified.

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Glass Knife Architect: Maverick Architects & Design Designer: Surroundings Interiors General Contractor: Welbro Building Corporation Photographer: David Laudadio

OPEN FOR BUSINESS According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “2019 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries” report, the private construction industry had 1,061 fatal injuries, up 5% from 2018 and the sector's highest number of worker deaths since 2007. The 2019 rate of injuries per 100,000 workers in the private construction industry was 9.7, up 2.1% from 9.5 in 2018. Young and inexperienced workers are more likely to get injured during construction jobs. In fact, an analysis of The Hartford’s claims data revealed nearly half of all construction claims occur when employees have less than one year of experience on the job. This is why it is important to properly vet subcontractors and create a safe work environment.

which types of drug panels or types of drugs) should be stated, and the time period within work to be performed should be stated. If the GC wants the testing to take place on site, or be completed again every six months, it should be specifically required. The specific types of PPE to be used on site (such as Cut3 gloves, glasses, safety vest) should also be stated in the contract. If the GC and or the owner are going to use any sort of IoT devices, like wearables, those should be laid out in the safety requirements also.

OSHA training or prior work experience, such as OSHA 10 or 30, should be required to be completed prior to the subcontractor and its workers showing up to site. Universal six foot fall protection with no OSHA permitted exceptions (unless specifically provided by the GC in writing) should be specifically set out in the contract. It is especially important that drug testing, including the type of drug testing (i.e.,

worksite losses are inevitable over time, the GC should have an internal committee that reviews its contract and insurance requirement process each year, and which serves as a review board for any exceptions to the standard process. Using outside legal counsel, the insured’s specialized construction insurance broker and having a process to review with their insurance carrier in some circumstances

Contractual Risk Transfer and Insurance

The goal on any project is to have no injuries and no property damage losses. Because

can also be helpful, and should be called for in the contract process. The contract review process should always start with the GC identifying what risks it is willing to take and not take upstream from the owner. Items such as, placement of the builders risk insurance, waivers of consequential damages, requirements for commercial property insurance during the completed operations period/state of repose, and CPPI or OPPI insurance should be carefully considered. If the GC decides to take on risks, such as consequential damages limited to a certain liquidated amount or period, then the GC must consider whether to transfer any of that risk down to the subcontractors. The GC should also have a standard set of insurance requirements and contractual indemnification requirements that it is willing to provide owners, and require from subs, along with a process to review deviations from that standard. GCs should work with outside counsel and their specialized broker/agent to determine the needed insurance requirements and also develop a process for contractor retention and insurance certificate or policy retention. This is especially important for projects written on a project specific basis, outside of the GC’s normal practice policy. Most GCs have insurance certification tracking programs, but we are seeing a trend of GCs not being able to produce copy of project specific wrap up or CGL policies from prior projects. Working with a qualified outside legal counsel, a specialized insurance agent or broker with deep construction experience and an insurer with specialized underwriters and claim/legal resources can help identify where a business’ risks are. Hartford's risk engineering team, for example, consists of technical specialists who help businesses operate safely and efficiently. They work closely with construction clients and offer guidance on growth, safety and training. CCR

Toby Cushing serves as the Head of Construction within the Middle & Large Commercial business lines at The Hartford. He holds a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Houghton College, a Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac University School of Law, Masters of Law in Insurance Law from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and studied finance and accounting at the University Of Connecticut School of Business.






Into your crystal ball

5 things to know about data center site selection By Tim Hughes


he global data center market is expected to grow 18% annually to more than $270 billion through 2024, according to Infiniti Research. With such powerful momentum, the need to find the perfect site and deploy capacity quickly has never been greater. Site selection brings together financial modeling, community relations, engineering design, construction planning and even a little fortune telling to deploy capacity where digital businesses need it.



INTO YOUR CRYSTAL BALL The choice of site needs to take into account a wide variety of factors, not all of which are intuitive. A data center is a longterm investment, and choosing a location requires being sensitive to both the needs of the business and the surrounding community. Here are five rules to follow as you’re considering your next data center location:

No. 1 — Know your surroundings More than one-third of companies estimate that server downtime costs more than $1 million per hour and 15% estimate the toll at greater than $5 million. Data centers are subject to the same forces of nature as any building, but the impact of a devastating loss is potentially much greater. Physical resilience is important, but so is disaster response. Take the following factors into account:

water line ruptures and damage to roads and bridges. Site selection must incorporate risk analysis and appropriate failover strategies. Accessibility — Constructing and equipping a data center involves moving lots of heavy-duty equipment. The condition of nearby roads can be a significant factor in ensuring safe and efficient transportation. Data center operators also should consider the ease of moving people, especially during an emergency, as well as proximity to airports and rail transport. Talent — Often overlooked in the siting decision is the importance of having the right skills in the area. The importance of talent varies with the needs and uses of the facility, ranging from basic hardware maintenance, network and system

Local stakeholders and community members sometimes can be overlooked in data center site selection, but they can be the data center operator’s most important ally. Climate — The incidence of high temperatures, record precipitation and damaging storms has been rising for several years due to climate change. Areas that were once considered safe may not be as secure years in the future. Climate also can influence surrounding areas in a way that affects the data center. For example, heat waves can cause brownouts that force data center operators to rely on backup generators. Site selection must anticipate these factors and put appropriate backups and redundancies in place. Seismic Activity — While the west coast of the US is known to be at high risk of earthquakes, pockets of frequent seismic activity exist all across North America. In fact, two of the most seismically active areas of the US are Missouri and South Carolina. Seismic events can cause disruptions other than property damage, including power loss,


administration to facilities and operations management. Low-cost regions may be a good option for data center owners that can affordably relocate employees or that run primarily “lights out” operations.

No. 2 — Know the grid

Electrical power is one of the largest ongoing operational costs of running a data center. US-based data centers alone consumed more than 90 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2017, or 40% more electricity than that used by the 65 million people in the United Kingdom. This consumption is certain to change over time, as servers are continually packing more processing power into a smaller space. Operators require access to reliable, scalable and affordable power. The ability to access power from renewable sources is also an increasingly important consideration. Access to power requires under-


standing local utilities, their capabilities and capacity to provide for redundancy and protection against failures. Among the factors to consider are: What are my current and future power requirements? How robust is the grid? How accessible are renewable energy sources? If power capacity is constrained in the area, upgrades may be needed to support the data center. While current capacity may be sufficient, operators need assurance from the utility that service levels will be maintained if capacity requirements grow.

No. 3 — Know the network

Network latency is bad for business and getting worse as customers grow increasingly intolerant of slow response times. The business impact can be substantial. For example, Akamai reported in 2017 that a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7% (an eyeblink takes about 300 milliseconds) and that a two-second delay in web page load time increases bounce rates by 103%. And Google reported that as page load times increase from one to five seconds the probability that users will leave increases by 90%. Data centers require reliable, robust and scalable network connections. These needs should be considered early in the planning process. The bandwidth and latency needs of individual data centers vary by the type of traffic that traverses the network. For example, financial applications are likely to be more sensitive to latency issues than website hosting. Capacity and performance demands are also likely to change due to financial conditions, application availability needs and target markets. It is important to understand the nature of the traffic that will be passing over the network. It’s also important to know what percentage of responses can be generated internally versus requiring queries over the public Internet.

No. 4 — Know the stakeholders

Local stakeholders and community members sometimes can be overlooked in data center site selection, but they can be the data center operator’s most important ally. Operators know all the benefits their data


INTO YOUR CRYSTAL BALL centers can bring to the surrounding areas, including tax revenue, high-quality jobs, clean operations and improvements to local infrastructure. Many regions offer abatements on sales, property, and energy taxes to demonstrate their eagerness to host data centers. Operators should reciprocate by displaying a willingness to work with local officials and community groups. But even then, the community often must be informed of the benefits.

Data centers require reliable, robust and scalable network connections. These needs should be considered early in the planning process.

No. 5 — Expect the Unexpected

Despite your best efforts to thoroughly vet a location for seismic activity, vulnerability to natural disasters, talent availability and abundance of bandwidth, unforeseen circumstances can still derail a project. For example, the sheer complexity of data center construction is a risk. The project typically involves multiple vendors, subcontractors and as many as 50 different disciplines in areas like structural, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, fuel pumps, networking and security. Uptime Institute reported that the vast majority of data center failures are caused by human error and that in the most severe cases nearly three-quarters of operators believed that better management, processes or configuration could have avoided downtime. It is essential that competent and experienced project managers oversee the effort to smooth operation. Other factors to consider include nearby transportation sources (if hazardous materials are transported on nearby railroad lines or by truck on adjacent highways, the impact of a derailment or crash could be disastrous), the business of your neighbors (a chemical plant down the street may issue noxious fumes that could interfere with your cooling system or create an unpleasant work environment) and local easement rules (a walking or bicycle path that goes inside your property creates a security problem). Due diligence is perhaps the most critical aspect when it comes to siting a hyperscale data center. Building these facilities is a long-term commitment. Time spent

up front on mission-critical factors such as ensuring a secure location with access to ample power and high-speed bandwidth can prevent costly repairs and retrofits down the line. Both the owner and operations team also need to be aware of the importance of stakeholder relations, since the data center

and staff will be important members of the community for years to come. By investing time at the front end to make conscious decisions with an eye toward the future, operators can ensure that they have the support of all stakeholders in the project’s ongoing success. CCR

Tim Hughes is the Director of Strategy and Development at STACK Infrastructure (




Construction Labor Shortage


No. 1 — What are the main concerns with filling the labor gap of 430,000-plus workers in the construction industry?

5 answers on what our industry can do to fill the gaps

One of the main concerns with filling this large labor gap is how to do so in a safe manner. When the supply of construction workers fails to meet the high demand, it is more likely that the hiring process will be expedited and many contractors will attempt to onboard new hires into their role as quickly as possible. Companies also may be inclined to put employees not experienced in field management into supervisory positions to deal with the influx of new workers. This practice also compromises safety on a project as supervisors are typically the people ensuring safe work practices are consistently implemented and followed. However, the construction industry already faces more numerous and dangerous risks than other jobs. By forcing new hires into their role without proper understanding of safety training and onsite risks, management is jeopardizing their new workers and increasing the likelihood that their workers will succumb to serious injuries and fatalities. Despite the need to fill this labor gap, contractors need to prioritize the safety of their new employees with in-depth, rigorous safety training and ensure that they can prove their comprehension of those training requirements. Companies need to ensure that safety never takes a backseat to production.


No. 2 — How can businesses effectively onboard thousands of workers to fill the construction labor gap while prioritizing worker safety?

Successful onboarding starts with a strong partnership and open communication between a contractor company and the hiring organization. Understanding the hiring organization’s requirements and expectations are key to a contractor’s success. It requires involvement from the contractor before, during and after the work. Contractors need to focus on implementing a robust training process both for the training of their safety policies and procedures as well as conducting performance evaluations to ensure each employee has the proper skillset for the task they’re expected to perform. Identifying mentors to pair with newer employees is also key. It is important for a contractor to extend their safety practices beyond the company level. Businesses need to spend time reviewing contractor policies and training workers thoroughly before they even consider placing them onsite. Placing a focus on individual level training and ensuring contractor employee competency is essential. Contractors are leveraging technology as a response to emerging risks and evolving landscapes, like understaffing. Providing accessible training electronically to thousands of contractor employees can positively impact safety performance and lead to cost and time savings.




CONSTRUCTION LABOR SHORTAGE 3.0 No. 3 — What kind of training can help bridge the gap between written safety policies and on-site job performance?

When we discuss bridging this gap, it brings to mind a process we utilize at ISN, to assess the implementation of contractors’ written programs within field-level employees through evaluations. There are three questions asked that are designed to ensure that written safety policies translate to workers’ job performance. The first is “Do you have it?” and this means inquiring if your organization has the proper written programs and policies in place.

The second question is “Do you know it?” which involves proving that employees understand the written policies. This is typically measured by employee responses to questions to show evidence of knowledge on those company programs. The final question is “Do you use it?” which is demonstrated by discussions with management and documentation to support their answers, such as completed investigations, jobsite audits and toolbox talks. For contractors that have both safety policies and training in place, it is critical for workers to use the training by applying their understanding of the policies to the tasks they are performing. Every task required of workers onsite should be able to tie back to a specific training they received or a policy their company has. This also can

be reinforced through the use of pre-job toolbox meetings and job hazard analysis reviews to ensure jobsite safety has been reviewed prior to starting the task.

No. 4 — How can creating a safety culture be effective in reducing injuries?

Maintaining a proper safety culture can be key to reducing injuries in the construction industry. The core feature of a healthy safety culture is the awareness, commitment, and comfort level of organizations and individuals around ensuring they have appropriate training and support to speak up. When workers feel comfortable to stop work authority and

report near misses, this can significantly reduce the amount of injuries occurring onsite. Positive peer pressure works well to build and maintain a site culture. Receiving feedback on your organization’s safety culture through perception surveys is another essential step in creating a better safety culture. While productivity is essential in the construction industry, putting employees in a position to complete a job as fast as they can is not aligned with a culture focused on safety. Organizations that prioritize productivity first are more likely to have a higher number of incidents. Online surveys can help organizations manage their safety by encouraging employees to provide a comprehensive review of the safety culture.

No. 5 — It’s possible that filling this gap can result in mental health challenges, an issue historically affecting the construction industry. What can employers do to help address this?

Mental health and stress have a big impact on workplace safety, as they can affect a person’s focus, which is key to a safe work environment. Employees need to stay attentive when it comes to safety, or lapses in judgement can result in serious consequences, not only for the employee but also, on multi-employer sites, others working around them. It is essential to have someone that is trained to recognize the effect of mental health on employees and ensure fatigue management and fit for duty programs are in place, which can be easily overlooked. The best way employers can address both mental health and stress of their employees is to implement and promote educational campaigns around the symptoms related to both topics and develop resources to assist employees in dealing with mental health and stress issues. Most importantly, employees should keep an open door policy with Human Resources, letting employees know it’s acceptable to come and seek help when needed without fear of being looked down upon or of retribution for reporting. Employers also should promote wellness strategies and encourage time off to recharge. In addition, providing online training courses to contractor employees prior to working onsite can help create a higher level of comfort regarding expectations. Construction contractors are exposed to a variety of elements on a jobsite; knowing what to expect prior to arrival can reduce work-related anxiety and stress. Companies also need to focus on training field supervision to identify possible fatigue or mental health issues and be prepared to guide employees to where they can receive assistance, such as a company’s Employee Assistance Program. CCR

Richard Cerenzio is the Corporate Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability Senior Technical Director at ISN.




Advertorial Content

Major Bosti-Set™ Installation At Exact Sciences Innovation One


xact Sciences Corp is a biotechnology company that has rapidly grown since moving to Madison, WI from Boston, MA roughly one decade ago. In August of 2018, the firm broke ground for its new “Innovation One” headquarters building to accommodate this strong growth program. Located in Madison’s University Research Park, all construction was completed in 2020. The company, which focuses on addressing specific health needs of tomorrow, agreed to a very futuristic interior design program. This included more than 250 of Crossville’s thin gauged Laminam porcelain panels, which were installed with Bostik’s Bosti-Set™ adhesive.

Exact Science Corporation headquarters.



Bosti-Set™ is a one-component, non-sag, easy to trowel adhesive that is specifically formulated for the installation of thin-gauged porcelain tile panels on interior, vertical surfaces or counter tops. Bosti-Set™ has remarkable instant grab and holding power, enabling panels to be rapidly set on walls and repositioned for up to 30 minutes with no slip or sag. It requires only a single coat application for faster and easier installation than a conventional mortar installation and holds thin porcelain panels as large as 1/4" x 5’ x 10’ (6mm x 1.5m x 3m). Once cured, Bosti-Set™ has a tenacious bond that remains tough, yet flexible for durability and sound abatement. Kirk Grossnickle, Bostik’s Territory Manager stated, “The Bosti-Set™ unique formulation is also easy to clean off tile surfaces before and after cure without the need for water or solvents. When we first brought the product to market, we partnered with Crossville in showing how well it works when installing their Laminam thin porcelain tile panels. The Exact Sciences Innovation One project is an excellent example of an ideal installation using both companies’ products.” Eric Owen, Regional Manager at Crossville added, “This was a large interior installation of our thin gauged porcelain tile panels. Clearly, it was ideal for a healthcare project.” Madison-based Potter Lawson Architects designed the building. JH Findorff & Son, also based in Madison, was the general contractor on the project. H.J. Martin and Son of Green Bay, WI was the tile contractor. “This was a much larger project than our prior projects using thin gauged porcelain panels from Crossville,” stated Roger Rohloff, Senior Project Manager at H.J. Martin. “Lead times of material challenged us. Because most of these panels were being made overseas, we needed to coordinate the ordering/receipt of the material very carefully to meet the installation schedule. We had worked with Bosti-Set™ before; we found it to save time and money

“Interest in gauged tiles has been growing exponentially the last few years, and designers are excited about the many uses of thin gauged panels in both commercial and residential wall installations.” – Roger Rohloff, Senior Project Manager at H.J. Martin when it comes to installing the thin gauged panels, as opposed to typical tile mortars that require back buttering of the tile and application to the wall. “Large thin gauged tile seems to be the wave of the future,” added Rohloff. “Interest in gauged tiles has been growing exponentially the last few years, and designers are excited about the many uses of thin gauged panels in both commercial and residential wall installations. There also is great interest in using it as fire place surrounds, countertops and columns, as well.” It’s not coincidental that Bostik’s Bosti-Set™ and Crossville’s Laminam were paired up in this major installation. Ironically, when Bostik first introduced this revolutionary adhesive system roughly three years ago, they did so in conjunction with Crossville.

“On the evening before the start of Coverings, with more than 300 guests attending, Bostik held a special reveal of its Bosti-Set™ premium adhesive and sound reduction membrane, created specifically for thin porcelain tile panel installations,” stated Adam Abell, Bostik’s Market Manager, Tile & Stone Installation Systems. “That was one of our most successful product introduction presentations. And, we partnered with Crossville in doing so. Roughly three years later, it’s quite rewarding to know that both of the products featured during that evening have lived up to their expectations.” Continued Abell, “that by working in tandem with key professionals, overall recognition and ultimately sales of thin gauged porcelain panels will continue to grow.”

Suction cups are critical for safely handling materials, accurately placing tiles and making adjustments while the adhesive, Bosti-Set® is still within its adjustability time.




Being a retail superintendent requires a unique set of skills different from other market segments. While all construction superintendents have responsibilities for schedule, productivity, safety, and quality on the project site, the challenges and constraints of the retail environment mean that a special training focus is needed. Superintendents must learn how to think like a retailer and a contractor throughout these projects. RCA’s Retail Superintendent Training Program addresses this need. Certified Retail Superintendents have:

Ask your GC if

• At least three years of experience in retail construction

they have a

• Completed OSHA 30-hour certification

Certified Retail Superintendent

• Completed RCA's two-day workshop, which includes in-depth training on retail-focused customer service

on your project.

• Passed the Certified Retail Superintendent exam


Learn more about the program & view a list of participating companies: Toll Free: 800-847-5085 | Phone: 703-683-5637 |

RETROFIT SECURITY GLAZING Designed to Protect Your People and Your Property

PUT AN END TO SMASH AND GRAB CRIME. DefenseLite is a clear security glazing system that installs over existing window and door glass creating a layer of protection designed to ‘keep the bad guys out.’ A patented technology, the DefenseLite overglaze is 250 times stronger than glass, nearly invisible once installed and an affordable solution that works to mitigate criminal attacks. Utilizing proprietary high-optic UV coated polycarbonate shields, vented aluminum extrusions, multi-layer thin films, tough structural adhesives, VHB tapes and security tipped anchors, DefenseLite is an engineered forced entry solution that combines the best of materials science with an efficient retrofit installation. DefenseLite polycarbonate security panels are mounted to your existing glazing frames using a custom vented aluminum extrusion that creates stand-off from your primary window and door glass.


Upon attack, the retrofit security glazing system flexes, absorbs and deflects energy away, protecting the primary glazing from damage. In most cases after installing our overglaze security panel, the primary window does not break, and the criminal flees the scene.

DefenseLite’s patent pending vented extrusion system prevents condensation buildup by dynamically moving air throughout the glazing frames eliminating costly and unsightly moisture problems.

Anatomy of the ❶ Patented vented extrusion

mounts to the existing glazing frame creating standoff for the polycarbonate shield from primary glass

❷ “Super bond” anchoring method

secures the engineered system to the existing glazing providing for unmatched flex, tensile and tear strength upon attack

System ❶

❷ ❶

❸ “Unbreachable” UV capped, clear polycarbonate shield is secured to the vented extrusion with security “flex” screws and elastomeric VHB tapes

❹ Customized powder-coating creates

full aesthetic integration with existing glazing upon retrofit installation


❹ ❸

NO HARM. NO ENTRY. BulletShield is an overglaze that mounts onto existing window or door frames, creating a protective layer that mitigates ballistic attack through glass. Each system is custom fabricated based on perceived threat levels, budgets, and existing glazing conditions. Installed by certified dealers, systems may utilize

exotic plastics, polycarbonates, or glass-clad shields depending on performance requirements. All-weather adhesives, highperformance films, VHB tapes, and mechanical security anchors may be used to install the system. BulletShield is independently tested to meet forced entry and UL 752 ballistic standards.

UL 752 Standard for Ballistic Resistance GUN








9mm 124 grain






.357 Magnum 158 Grain






.44 Magnum 240 Grain





.30-06 Rifle

.30 Caliber 180 Grain






.308 150 Grain

LC FMCJ Military Ball




9mm Uzi

9mm 124 grain






.223 55 Grain






.308 150 Grain

LC FMCJ Military Ball




*Test range for all weapons is 4.6m ISSUE 5, 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION


PROTECT WHAT MATTERS MOST. The safety of employees and customers from any kind of threat is the prime responsibility of the business owner. In order to achieve the required safety standards, commercial security windows and doors should be installed. DefenseLite’s custom fabricated retrofit security glazing solutions will help keep your employees and customers safe from impending threats by upgrading your property to meet today’s challenges. RETAIL Prevent smash and grab attacks with DefenseLite’s storefront security system. These clear polycarbonate security shields stand up to repeated attempts to breach the openings with various weapons and projectiles. The customized edge banding and powder coat paint finish of DefenseLite allows the system to blend harmoniously with the existing glazing system making it virtually invisible once installed. Your merchandise stays safe from theft and damage while still being perfectly visible to customers. HEALTHCARE The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recommended the installation of shatterproof and bullet-resistant glass at nurse’s stations, in windows, essential entrances, and in the triage and admitting areas of hospitals since 2004. With the installation of BulletShield, the bullet-resistant version of DefenseLite, hospital security administrators will find it easy to handle various risks and increase security without negatively impacting services provided.



BulletShield retrofit security glazing stops bullets and other projectiles while slowing down active shooters. This allows those inside the building the opportunity to escape and the critical time needed for first responders to arrive and intercede.

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES The increasing cases of gun violence on school campuses means bullet-resistant glazing is all but necessary in schools today. DefenseLite makes it easy and affordable to get you the protection needed to protect our school windows and doors and the active-shooter mitigation capabilities of BulletShield will improve school safety and puts parents’ minds at ease. BulletShield’s custom-fabricated retrofit security shields can be installed on both doors and windows in daycare centers, K-12 schools, and college campuses. These bullet-resistant shields stand up to multiple shots, stalling the shooter and keeping students safe as they await first-responders.

POLICE STATIONS & GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS To keep police officers and government staff safe, bullet-resistant glazing should be installed in entrances, transaction windows and lobbies with windows and door glass. This not only keeps the police staff safer but also acts as a mechanism to combat combat immediate criminal activity within the precinct. Utilized in police stations, DefenseLite retrofit security glazing systems provide immediate protection from active threats keeping building occupants safer from criminal attack. Government buildings can be easily upgraded with BulletShield to protect against forced entry. Since these buildings are high target areas, extra safety precautions should be taken to protect sensitive material and government employees. BulletShield is rated to UL752 ballistic standards offering impressive forced entry capabilities that will slow shooters long enough for law enforcement to intervene.

HOSPITALITY Hotels and restaurants have a responsibility to protect guests, customers, and employees from impending threats. DefenseLite hospitality security solutions protect against smash and grab attempts, theft, and vandalism. These ultra-strong polycarbonate security shields are custom designed to be virtually invisible once installed, adding security while maintaining the appearance of your hotel or restaurant. Installing a bullet-resistant DefenseLite system is one of the most efficient and affordable ways to improve hospitality industry security standards. ISSUE 5, 2021 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION



Our patented DefenseLite retrofit glazing solutions are only available through authorized dealers that have been trained and certified by Impact Security to ensure quality results. Professionally trained dealers can be found throughout the United States. Please visit our website to find an authorized dealer near you to get started customizing a retrofit security glazing system for your at-risk property. SPECIFICATION RESOURCES The DefenseLite CSI 3-Part specification, CAD details and product literature are available on our website and on ARCAT.

CONTINUING EDUCATION Impact Security is a registered AIA continuing education provider. Architects can access our course material at to learn more about retrofit security glazing while earning HSW credits.



A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT The Impact Security story has been driven by our customers’ demand for better solutions to combat the escalating threats to their property and vulnerability of the window and door glass—the weakest links in the building envelope. Our family business of twenty-five years has a solid foundation in the specialty trades. We never imagined that we would one day own the patent to a retrofit security glazing system—with a national footprint to provide protection against riots in our cities, school shootings on campus and political attacks on our nation’s capital building. This is what happens when you are passionate about what you do, and you have a strong desire to meet the needs of the customers you serve. You grow. You evolve. You innovate. This is what led to Impact Security, LLC, an American manufacturer of DefenseLite® advanced forced-entry and BulletShield™ ballistic resistant retrofit glazing solutions designed to protect people and property. Headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, our solutions are supported by a certified dealer network throughout the US and our corporate mission is simple: No Access. No Harm. Composed of a dedicated group of glazing and construction industry professionals with a passion to protect the vulnerable and to help people avoid victimization, Impact Security is focused on innovating effective and easy to implement security glazing products to help meet today’s threats. ‘Smash and grab’ was once an ‘opportunity crime’ perpetrated by individuals in high crime areas where easy access to store inventory created an environment rich for abusive action. Over the years, we’ve witnessed a severe escalation in the methods, duration, and intensity of attacks on retail storefronts, warehouses and big box stores that resemble an organized assault-style attack. Traditional methods to mitigate the damage have proven ineffective against these new style attacks. DefenseLite and BulletShield were developed amid this new reality and are engineered solutions designed to defeat this evolving threat. Impact Security products meet this new challenge head-on and provide for robust protection until the threat dissipates or is removed by law enforcement. DefenseLite and BulletShield are a critical new layer of protection that building owners and operators need to consider as part of their overall strategy to protect their people and assets. As a leader in developing innovative security glazing solutions, our team is committed to working alongside loss prevention and security professionals intent on “keeping the bad guys out”.



600 Kirk Road Suite 100 Marietta, Georgia 30060 866.933.3456

Issue 3, 2021

Thinking out of the box How the Bradley Development Group is transforming the neighborhood concept

Jared Bradley, AIA, NCARB, founder and President of The Bradley Projects



Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

Thinking out of the box How the Bradley Development Group is transforming the neighborhood concept


or Jared Bradley, the process is pretty straight forward: His companies, The Bradley Development Group (BDG), The Bradley Projects and Certified Construction Services, design, build and develop their own projects with its partners and investors. By creating boundary-pushing concepts , the Nashville, Tennessee based company remains at the forefront of the built environment.



As founder and President, Bradley, AIA, NCARB, has grown to understand the value of designing with wellbeing and space-making in mind. With more than 20-plus years in the business, his focus is on encompassing a diverse mix of building types and uses to help transform the existing neighborhood concept and inspire community engagement. We sat down with him to get his thoughts on how his company continues to transform the marketplace.

Give us a snapshot of the housing brand?

Like all of the projects in our portfolio, our residential work prioritizes thoughtful, minimal design that meets the unique needs of the given site and surrounding community. Our residencies offer tenants both privacy and seamless connections to their surrounding environments through emphasizing natural light, open-air amenities, and proximity to urban centers.

What type of consumers are you targeting?

We don’t target a consumer or demographic. We target smart growth, urban infill projects that provide opportunities for progressive architectural solutions for the community that they serve. No matter the type of development— whether it’s multifamily, retail, office, industrial, educational, hospitality or a restaurant—we love to work with partners who appreciate architecture as an art form and not simply as a means to an end. Rather than designing spaces for restaurant chains, traditional malls, or uninspired suburban developments, we target projects that require an individualized approach to ensure it best supports its function and surrounding community.

How does the design of your homes cater to what today’s consumers are looking for?

The pandemic has expanded our perspective with our projects. Many people are now

relying on their personal residence to be both their office and primary space to socialize and unwind. As an example, by incorporating open floor plans with expansive outdoor space, Linden Row exemplifies how we’re taking into account the new meaning of home into our design. We’re empowering residents to be more flexible in arranging their living space while prioritizing healthy and sustainable environments.

What adjustments have you made due to the recent state of events?

The pandemic tested our entire team’s resilience, and I’m proud of how we remained agile while adhering to the new regulations. All of our office and field staff are trained experts in creative problem solving, and they rose to the occasion with the pandemic. While managing various projects from home offices, we had to oversee our sites closer than ever by creating and inventing an entire host of new industry practices like real-time scheduling protocols, screening employees as they entered and exited, and sanitizing all of our areas.

Give us a snapshot of today’s multifamily market.

The multifamily market in Nashville is skyrocketing. As more people work from just about any location, people are looking to cities like Nashville, which offer world-class food, music, and culture and don’t break the bank. More specifically, people are prioritizing architecture and amenities that help them connect with the outdoors. That’s why projects like Linden Row, which is flooded with natural light and features spacious rooftop terraces, are especially appealing right now. All our projects strike a careful balance to ensure people feel like they have privacy while also being able to easily engage with their neighbors and the greater community.

What’s likely to happen next?

The pandemic has emphasized to us that “necessity is the mother of invention” to be




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valid for architecture. I think the pandemic will come to represent a turning point in architecture, and we’re well-positioned to be at the forefront of developing new, creative designs. As an architect-developer, we have always incorporated outdoor space and health-conscious design in our projects, but in a post-COVID world, we will push ourselves further to think creatively about making sure residents feel safe but also integrated with their community. We’re already thinking ahead to different kinds of shared spaces to incorporate, in addition to making sure we’re using all of the latest tools and data available.

What trends are defining the space?

its incredible location in Hillsboro West End, bordering the Vanderbilt campus and Music Row, the most sought-after area and heart of the city.

Walk us through the design process.

The first step in our design process was digging into researching the history of row homes to help us build a foundation of how the project should look and function. We looked at early row homes in Northeastern cities of the US and even some early row homes in the UK. Traditionally, these buildings allowed residents to enjoy the conveniences of being in an urban environment while also promoting a more relaxed suburban lifestyle.

With people spending more time than usual inside their homes, residents are looking for spaces that blur the inside and outside worlds. With Linden Row, we made sure to focus on natural light throughout the spaces, which has been proven to enrich residents’ well-being and comfort while also helping to regulate circadian rhythms. Another crucial design feature is transparency: While there are continuous privacy walls separating units, custom large-format windows along all outward-facing facades open up the residences to the surrounding environment.

What is the most defining part of the units/location?

Just as Nashville is proving to be an evolving metropolitan city, Linden Row honors the history, but isn’t afraid to embrace progressive ideas. The dichotomy is that the development harmonizes with the site as if it has been in the neighborhood for 100 years but as a 2020 development, it seamlessly blends modern aesthetics into a traditional and historically significant part of Nashville. On the inside, natural light is introduced deep into the space thanks to strategically located, oversized windows and features, open-floor and spatially charged layouts, private elevators, and rooftop terraces. Perhaps the most significant factor is



We then started to think about how we live in 2020. What we came up with is a clean, healthy, minimally cluttered, spatially charged environment but in more of an “art-gallery” context, because we all love spending time in cultural spaces. Based on the melding of traditional and historical chassis of a row-home and the freshness of an art-gallery, what happens if you place your everyday life, routines, patterns, enjoyments into that context? That became the thesis of Linden Row.

Take us through your construction strategy.

By operating a truly vertically integrated business, we’re able to seamlessly manage the entire lifespan of a project, from land


We are your single source solution for commercial architectural and engineering services.

SERVICES Architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, equipment drawings, and coordination Preliminary Site Layout Prototype Development Prototype Site Adaptation National Building Programs

Tailoring our services to individual client needs, MRP Design Group has provided architectural and engineering services to the commercial and retail industry nationwide for over 31 years.


Clay Dalton - 770-917-9172 x 106 Ken Dalton - 770-917-9172 x 104

Restaurant | Hotel | Convenience Store | Travel Center | Retail | Healthcare

acquisition, to design and construction, and asset management. This comprehensive approach provides our team and our partners with more confidence the creative vision will be met while also reducing costs, time and risk.

What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business?

There are three main issues today related to the construction side of the business: 1. The rising cost of construction, materials, and labor has been a significant issue. 2. We have had to get extremely creative about building and managing properties as cities get more populated. 3. It is a challenge to find qualified team members that understand how and why we do what we do and how we are different from our competitors.

Talk about sustainability.

Sustainability is embedded throughout our entire development and design practice. Our commitment is on full display throughout Linden Row with features like stormwater management and filtration throughout the site, permeable pavers for all automobile traffic, and FSC-certified lumber. We also included energy-efficient HVAC systems with smart thermostats, Energy Star appliances, low water usage/low flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency instantaneous water heaters within the units. Further, Linden Row, like most of our projects, is near the city and mass transit lines, reducing dependency on single occupancy vehicles.

of our projects, from urban-infill affordable-based projects, to luxury residences, local distilleries and breweries, outdoor schools and other non-profit work, we’re excited to contribute to enrich the city’s fabric by creating progressive, welcoming spaces that show off architecture as an art form. We absolutely love it here, we love the people here, and our mission is to help this city thrive not just in the immediate post-pandemic world, but for generations to come.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?

It’s such an exciting time to be in Nashville. We can’t wait for more opportunities to work in the city. Because of the broad range

What’s the secret to creating a “must visit” location today?

In the wake of the pandemic, people are noticing their surroundings and built environment more than ever, so I think folks are going to start appreciating architecture that’s functional and beautiful. Our society by large has forgotten that architecture is art. The Bradley Projects has always been very intentional at designing art-forward spaces that fit their environment and are contextually appropriate as well as provide tremendous services. We are humbled and honored that residents, civic leaders and




stakeholders, partners and investors are taking notice: Linden Row and our other new residential projects are attracting attention from people new to the city and those who have lived in the area for years.

Tell us what makes your brand so unique?

Showcasing architecture as an art form is at the core of everything we do. As a young architect, I was fortunate to have mentors like Mark Steele, Jonathan Segal and Lloyd

Russell early in my career. I realized that I needed to get far more involved in development and construction if I was going to be able to push the envelope. By growing and operating a vertically integrated business, we’re able to seamlessly manage the entire lifespan of development, from land acquisition to design and construction, allowing us to ensure our projects’ creative vision. There are a lot of companies out there today claiming a vertical integrated process, but from our perspective, vertical integration

is not having a strong consultant list; it’s about believing in, giving all you have, laboring over and nurturing the built form and built environment that we are creating, from the earliest fragment of an idea to long after we are gone. What we do during our short time here on this planet has a huge impact and we are responsible for that. We are proving there are ways to be both profitable for our investors and partners, as well as profitable to our communities and cities where we get to serve. MH

One on one with... Jared Bradley, AIA, NCARB, founder and President of The Bradley Projects

Describe a typical day.

Each day usually starts the same—I wake up at 5 a.m. to reserve the first hour of my day as quiet time for me and God. This is by far the most crucial part of the day and is the driving force behind all we do. From there, my wife and I navigate whatever the landmines there are getting our little boys ready for school. I am so fortunate that I get to take my sons to school every day. At that point, I feel like a UPS employee as I’ve already gotten more done before 8 a.m. When I enter the office, I take time to address any urgent issue with the team. Serving the team allows them to do what they do best and demonstrates


how important they all are to the organization. The rest of my day is spent working on everything from design to financing to loan closings to construction management to future and potential deal navigation. There have never been two days the same in the office. I can only follow my calendar, and within the gaps of that calendar, the sky’s the limit for what will come up at the office. It’s truly the most dynamic and colorful existence I could ever imagine. It would make an insane reality show.

take off your logic hat, as you won’t be needing that—at all. Then, get ready to meet people exactly where they are. Listen, try to understand what they are scared of, their fear, and where it is coming from. Once you do that, you’ll know what to say, or not say, what to do or not do.

What was the best advice you ever received?

What’s the best thing a client ever said to you?

The first thing Mark Steele taught me back in San Diego was when you walk into any situation that is emotionally or politically charged there are only two requirements. Before you walk through the door,


What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Returning home after a long, productive day. It’s like the feeling after a long hard run, like an endorphin high.

Most of our clients are really our partners. But in that light, two of our current partners are seasoned veterans, having developed projects all over the US and internationally and for them to tell me

and others in the community that they’ve never seen anything like us, the systems, the diligence, the resources, integrity, trustworthiness, and that this is the best way to develop projects. That means more than they could ever know. They are saying two things: First, they validate our focus, hard work and success. Second, they trust us. And I can’t quantify the gratitude we have for that.

How do you like to spend your down time?

Since we cannot surf in middle Tennessee, and our local skatepark closed, I built and perfected a 46-foot halfpipe in my backyard that allowed me to have something fun for my family and me to enjoy while we were all stuck at home most of the time, plus it’s just a beautiful structure to look at every day. Architecture is art.

I NTEG R AT I O N Landscapes will shift. Markets will evolve. One constant, however, is that CESO is here to serve you. Across industries and across disciplines, our team can seamlessly support and bring your vision to life. From start to finish - and everywhere in between.

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ISSUE 5, 2021

A L S O C O V E R I N G L O C A L , S TAT E & R E G I O N A L P R O J E C T S A N D FA C I L I T I E S

Healthy precedent How 9 federal courthouses found guaranteed cost savings and improved indoor air quality

By Ted O’Shea

Healthy precedent How 9 federal courthouses found guaranteed cost savings and improved indoor air quality


case is made. Breath is held. Heavy air makes great courtroom drama, but healthy air has now taken cen-

ter stage in the public consciousness. Since COVID-19, indoor air quality has become a concern for every employer, public or private. For federal courthouses and facilities, that concern is magnified by the sheer number of shared rooms and spaces that must be cared for to mitigate risks of shutdown and other negative impacts on healthy airflow.





In 2020, nine federal courthouse complexes found a solution in an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). By making a 37% reduction in energy use possible, the project creates $34.3 million in projected savings and includes ventilation system upgrades in all nine facilities.

Sunbelt Region 4

In its procurement, real estate management, and historical preservation roles for the Federal government, the US General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for federal courthouses and courthouse complexes across 11 regions. Based in Atlanta, GSA’s Southeast Sunbelt Region 4 itself oversees more than 140 government-owned buildings and more than 1,300 leases across eight states.


“An energy project is an opportunity to look past maintaining and repairing in the hereand-now.” — Steven Baird, Project Manager, ABM


GSA’s goal for the Sunbelt Region 4 project was to reduce energy costs, improve ventilation assets, and take a deeper look at sustainability and deferred maintenance issues. To reach 37% energy reduction for nine facilities over the 20-year life of the project, the ABM team developed a total of 60 energy conservation measures (ECMs) for HVAC, lighting, and building controls; roofing, windows, and weatherization, electrical distribution systems, and more. “An energy project is an opportunity to look past maintaining and repairing in the here-and-now,” says Steven Baird, Project Manager for ABM. “You need to really look at enhancing system functionality and cost efficiency in the long term.”




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The project also includes upgrades to historic courthouses and provides new and upgraded Building Automation System (BAS) infrastructure and platforms to five of the nine locations. The BAS integration ties facilities into Region 4’s centralized monitoring and analytics, improving centralized, real-time monitoring. The BAS upgrades include advanced controls and access to performance data that enable significant reduction in the energy use of connected HVAC systems. “HVAC system renovations will improve indoor air quality by better controlling outdoor air,” says Dusty Wheeler, ABM’s Director of Federal Energy Services. “Reducing supply air leaks, for instance, allows a reduction in fan energy while


still increasing the fresh air brought into shared spaces.”

Objections overruled

Developing and executing energy projects in operating Federal courthouses was complex before the pandemic. ABM is an Integrated Facility Services solution provider at our core. That allows us to create robust energy projects, tempering innovation with actual experience maintaining the building systems that drive energy savings. On this project, it also meant access to environmental services and disinfection experts to help us plan to enter facilities safely and not expose employees and citizens inside to additional risk.”


“For the Region 4 courthouses and complexes in our project, GSA and their O&M contractors are supporting multiple tenants and agencies,” says Gary Pomerleau, ABM’s Senior Federal Projects Manager. “Each tenant has its own policies and procedures for access to a space, and scheduling needs that will impact the implementation of our energy control measures. Having a team experienced with supporting GSA and its tenants is crucial to delivering on schedule.” Counting the energy project for Region 4, ABM has provided GSA with energy solutions totaling over $100 million in capital invested. ABM has previously created custom energy solutions for GSA, with multiple


phases implemented for federal facilities in Los Angeles. “To develop a project across three states and deliver energy savings quicker, we could activate teams across our national network,” says Darin Willis, ABM Senior Account Manager. “That also means we subcontract less, self-performing the work to speed up development and hold down costs.” As a selectee awarded a US Department of Energy IDIQ ESPC (Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity Energy Savings Performance Contract), ABM submitted an initial Notice of Opportunity Response, and was competitively selected to proceed to the Investment Grade Audit step.

Wheeler says. “That’s a long-haul win-win for both costs and sustainability.”

A case for the books

Every building in the project received upgrades to their HVAC system. Improved controls empower GSA building managers to address resiliency and sustainability issues before they impact ventilation and operating costs. Highlights of the extensive project also include: • Optimizing chillers and boilers to improve energy efficiency • Retrofitting lighting with energysaving LED lighting • Capital improvements to resolve

Developing and executing energy projects in operating Federal courthouses was complex before the pandemic. Sustainability sustained

The project also protected a solar power generation system against the risk of future shutdown. Installed in 2010, the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) was projected to offset 18% of the Terry Sanford Federal Building’s electricity use by generating 772,000 kWh/year. ABM implemented a new system design with additional redundancy so that any future panel damage would not shut down the entire PV system. Active monitoring was improved to diagnose issues as soon as they arise. “We’re making that system more robust and reliable going forward,”

issues impacting air quality and energy savings • Installing water conservation upgrades • Replacing high-efficiency transformers in electrical power distribution systems “The overall project strikes a balance between optimizing existing systems and replacing critical infrastructure,” Wheeler says. “Existing equipment life is extended through refurbishment and control system upgrades generating energy and equipment cost savings that are then leveraged

to replace dilapidated equipment critical to mission assurance for the facilities.” As an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), the project helps drive down the overall operating costs at government-managed facilities while providing funding for certain mission-critical goals such as ventilation improvements. For federal entities, schools, and local governments, an ESPC helps fund investment in facilities and assets without upfront costs. The nine facilities included in this project are: 1. Dan M. Russell Jr. Courthouse, Gulfport, Mississippi 2. Frank M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, Montgomery, Alabama 3. Hiram H. Ward Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 4. L.R. Preyer Federal Building-PostOffice-Courthouse, Greensboro, North Carolina 5. Terry Sanford Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, Raleigh, North Carolina 6. Thad Cochran U.S. Courthouse, Jackson, Mississippi 7. US Courthouse, Oxford, Mississippi 8. Veach-Baley Federal Complex, Asheville, North Carolina 9. William M. Colmer Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, Hattiesburg, Mississippi “Going forward, we’re going to see energy projects continue to evolve,” Willis says. “HVAC systems have a large impact on a facility’s energy budget. Facilities will want to protect healthy air quality for their shared spaces, but they’re going to want to do it sustainably. An energy project helps you stop, deeply assess, and invest in a solution that does that, now, and for the future.” FC

Ted O’Shea is VP of Federal energy for ABM. Prior to this, he was president of RenewEnergy Solutions, a joint venture between ABM and Building Energy, and he was chief operating officer at Southwest Recycling Company, and he served as a captain in the US Army. Contact him at



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Two Tax Credits in the Covid Stimulus Could Save Your Business Thousands

Don’t miss out on these provisions of the bill passed in December in addition to the paycheck protection program By Gene Marks This article originally appeared on Reprinted with permission from the author.

While a lot of attention has been given to the recent renewal of the paycheck protection program, there are two tax credits included in last December’s Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act that may actually be more valuable for many small businesses. Why? Because the PPP is a forgivable loan that’s only available to certain businesses, whereas the employee retention tax credit and the work opportunity tax credit are both potential cash payments that are available to a greater number of small businesses. Interested? You should be. Because if your business is still in operation but has been at least partially affected by Covid, then you’re probably eligible. To be eligible for the employee retention tax credit in the first or second quarter of 2021 you must first show that your business had fewer than 500 full-time-equivalent employees and was either partially or fully shut down due to Covid restrictions. Even if you don’t match the shutdown requirements you can still qualify by demonstrating that your revenues (defined as total sales, net of returns and allowances) declined in either quarter by more than 20% compared with the same quarter in 2019 (employers that did not exist in 2019 can use the corresponding quarter in 2020 to measure the decline in their gross receipts). That threshold is lower than what is required to access PPP funds, which requires showing a 25% reduction in revenues. Assuming you qualify, you may be surprised at just how much money you’ll save. So here’s how you will figure that out. (Continued on next page )


Sneak Peak:

10 poison ivy myths you should know




Volume 1 • Issue 1, 2021

W e ’ r e J u s t “ I t c h i n g ” To E d u c a t e Yo u A b o u t P o i s o n I v y , P o i s o n O a k , a n d P o i s o n S u m a c .

Best line VEGETATION of defense CONTROL Everything you need to know about defending yourself against poison ivy, p. oak, p.sumac (and bonus tips)


pg 8 RCA’s mission is to promote professionalism and integrity in retail construction through industry leadership in education, information exchange, and jobsite safety.


Don’t tell me, was that poison ivy?

Toxicodendron radicans poison ivy - spring growth.

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A feast for the eyes

Photography by Michele Aboud, courtesy Landini Associates

Sydney, Australia’s new airport McDonald’s is turning more than hamburgers

A special supplement to: Mark Landini, Creative Director Landini Associates

Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

A feast for the eyes Sydney, Australia’s new airport McDonald’s is turning more than hamburgers


he iconic golden arches are always going to catch your eye. But the new McDonald’s at Sydney International Airport’s Terminal 1, a glowing yellow glazed kitchen

set high above the eating area, is one for the books.

Working closely with the team of designers and strategic thinkers from Landini Associates, McDonald’s Australia is giving fans of its world-famous quick service brand a totally new experience. The restaurant’s vertical design maximizes its airport footprint while also providing a peek into how the magic is made; a feast for the eyes. We caught up with Mark Landini, Creative Director at Landini Associates, to get his thoughts on how McDonald’s newest flagship model is helping set the tone for the brand’s presence around the world.

Give us a snapshot of the brand.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest, and arguably most iconic restaurant brand, with tens of thousands of locations globally. Landini is proud to be part of the ongoing evolution of the McDonald’s brand and creator of a new international flagship model, Project Ray, whose designs helps enunciate McDonald’s continuing leadership and core values of innovation. The initiative was to challenge Millennials’ expectations of the brand. In response, Landini Associates and McDonalds created Project Ray, which initially launched in December 2015 at Admiralty Station in Hong Kong. It has since rolled out internationally and continues to do so. Landini Associates’ scope of work included the complete reinvention of the international restaurant chain, including brand positioning and master planning, architecture and interior design, graphics, packaging, work wear, and design standards and guidelines for roll out.



Photography by Trevor Mein

What type of consumer are you targeting?





How does the design of the restaurant cater to what today’s consumers are looking for?

In a world where everything is getting increasingly chaotic, it’s time to be quiet and let the food and services do the talking. As such, Project Ray is an exercise in simplicity. It is designed to be a place of respite from the noise of today’s urban life. The energetic environments that have been the signature for McDonald’s are now replaced with a simpler, calmer and more classic feel.

What are some of the adjustments you made to your business model surrounding the recent state of events?

Meeting today’s challenges required that Landini Associates looked beyond McDonald’s established norms and “reinvent normal” — that is to take time to reconsider what went before and sometimes start anew—to appeal to a like minded, sometimes younger, but always broad audience.

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers?

Walk us through how and why the restaurants are designed the way they are?

The Times Square location in New York offers a good example of how our design process works in practice, giving back space to the food and service. It doesn’t get more “bustling” than Times Square, so behind a new three-story glass facade we created a calming interior that provides a number of vantage points onto the vibrant NYC streets below. We toned down the visual color that is typical to the FSR category, in favor of abstracted oversized yet minimal wall treatments that nod to the heritage of McDonald’s iconic products and golden arches. A number of different seating options and a self-order kiosk system enhance

functionality and allow for a variety of different guest experiences, all realized with the Project Ray material palette of concrete, glass, metal and oak. Another Landini innovation is the yellow staircase that injects vibrancy and visually connects all three levels. The design is instantly recognizable as a McDonald’s, and it’s also recognizable as a unique New York restaurant. This ability to create an exceptional experience for customers is the heart of the “why” behind the Project Ray design approach. It also doesn’t harm to mention that the restaurant design won a Gold award at the 2019 NYC Design Awards for Best Interior Hospitality Project. Other awards include: 2019 Retail Design Institute of America Class of 2019 (Best Designs Globally in 2019) Project: McDonald’s Times Square 2019 Retail Design Institute of America Innovation: Branding Project: McDonald’s Times Square 2019 Retail Design Institute of America Innovation: Digital Integration Project: McDonald’s Times Square

Photography by (left to right) Andrew Meredith (images 1 and 2), Ross Honeysett

We conceived Project Ray to be a “holistic toolkit of parts” that can be fine-tuned by

location and customer profile. Understanding these differences allow the furniture, balance of materials and layouts to be adjusted accordingly. Finishes like concrete, glass, stainless steel and oak form a palette of stylish simplicity. They create a backdrop of recognizable neutrality, promoting the service, product and people who come to enjoy it. Mix these ingredients one way to tell an urban story, then another to localize it.




TEMPERATURE & FACIAL SCREENING KIOSK Contactless temperature screening kiosks detect fever symptoms in real time to protect employees, customers, and visitors to a location. The kiosks have an additional facial recognition option if desired. It’s compact design makes it suitable for high trafficked areas to screen individuals before entry to premises such as office buildings, schools, factories, retail stores, supermarkets and hotels.




Photography by Andrew Meredith


Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.

Landini Associates has designed McDonald’s global flagships in Chicago, including both the McDonald’s Headquarters Global Menu Restaurant and the famous Rock n’ Roll Restaurant, New York’s Times Square, San Francisco, London’s Oxford Street, Madrid, Milan, Poland, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Brisbane and, most recently, Moscow. These are just a few flagships representing many hundreds of locations that Project Ray has rolled out to across the world. Regardless of the sector, in all our projects, Landini Associates works with decision-makers in customer-facing businesses, from retail and hospitality, to property development or a service industry. The firm’s work is always strategically driven, but creatively led, and we are equally at ease inventing new brands as we are evolving and redefining existing ones


What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business?

The growth of the internet and the online environment has radically reinvented the way we live and the services we are offered. Disruptive businesses such as Uber, Air BnB, Netflix and Amazon are now the norm—one that is constantly being reinvented. We believe this needs to happen offline, too, and so throughout all our projects we strive to “reinvent normal”—to question and break down what doesn’t work and find new, unanticipated and memorable solutions.

Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?

We believe that low embodied energy is one of the main ways designers can have a realistic input into sustainability. These days, there’s so much trend-washed talk about “sustainable” design without any real consideration of what this means in relation to the longevity of a design. Sustainable to


us means designing places that don’t get thrown away or disposed of—places that can truly become a part of the community in which they serve and evolve with it. We’ve always preferred the classic over the fashionable and consider embedded energy in all of our projects. As such, most, if not all, of our work far outlives the market norm. In fact, our studio’s founding project, Awaba Café, on Sydney’s Balmoral Beach, remains completely unchanged in design to this day—28 years later.

In today’s complicated landscape, what type of opportunities do you see moving ahead? Moving forward, more than ever, businesses need to be brave. Not being brave is the same thing as being stupid. Be bold, be brave, and if you can’t, just make sure you’re not boring. Everything is changing at such speed that any form of complacency can lead to disaster if you’re not agile enough. Just because something worked

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Retail Construction • Restaurants • Hospitality • Office Spaces • Medical


COMMERCIAL KITCHENS 10,000 days ago doesn’t mean it will today—least that’s what online has taught us and recognizes. The opportunity and challenge therefore is to “Reinvent Normal.” What this looks like is up for grabs.

Are you optimistic about how the marketplace has responded? Entirely. Project Ray has been so successful that it has been sought out by multiple territories globally as the go-to flagship store model, and iterations of our design concept have since rolled out internationally. It has also been honored with design awards across the world and featured in an endless array of design and arts magazines and books. In Australia, The Sydney International Airport’s Mc-Donald’s was named as one of Australia’s Top 35 restaurant designs by Vogue Magazine. No mean feat for a quick service restaurant. But the most important and rewarding response is that of the customers. Sydney Airport’s GM of retail, Glyn Williams, said

Regional lifestyles influence how opportunities are approached, but timeless designs that express a brand’s essence with assured clarity can adapted for businesses and their clientele, wherever they are. that McDonald’s at Terminal 1 has become, “The most Instagrammed place at Sydney Airport. People have started arriving early for their flights just to see it.” In fact, the design has been so popular that FRAME Magazine recently declared it “broke the internet” and created a new Social Media Award in its honor.

What’s your growth plan?

What trends are you seeing?

We don’t follow trends and we don’t design for them either. Rather, we strive throughout all our projects to challenge the norm, invent something new and memorable, and “Reinvent Normal.” This is a process by which everything is questioned, broken



Photography by Trevor Mein

Since it launched in December 2015, Project Ray has rolled out across Australia, Asia, the UAE, Europe and America. It continues to roll out internationally.




Photography Courtesy of McDonald’s

down and, if need be, discarded. It is simply a way of examining whether a norm or a starting point makes any sense. What results is the reinvention of the vernacular of any category that we are working in. Sometimes, this requires bravery, other times, just the application of common sense.

What’s the secret to creating a “must visit” restaurant environment in today’s competitive landscape?

We live in a constantly changing world. There are fewer constants than ever before. But food is, and can be, one of these. Eating is a fundamental human interaction. A place of commune where we behave as we have for millennia. We need a visually quiet place to do this so we can hear each other talk, laugh, argue and cry. Creating simple places and spaces is much harder than creating loud and fashionable ones, creating memorable simple spaces is harder still. Project Ray stands out amongst its competitors because it overcomes the challenge of creating a quiet, neutral, classic space that is memorable, too. So, the “secret” is simple: Hero the food, the service and the people who have come to enjoy it; and create a recognizable neutrality that allows this to happen.

What’s today’s consumer looking for in a restaurant? Tell us what makes your brand so unique?

Customers are looking for restaurants that provide a calm respite from the non-stop action of the modern world—a place where they can enjoy food with friends or in solitude, but always in peace. They’re also looking for brands that are defined by their real and enduring personalities as opposed to artificial ones. We have become globally renowned for our work in hospitality because we challenge everything, refuse to follow trends and aren’t afraid to ask “dumb” questions. That is, we “Reinvent Normal” by combining information, lateral thinking, practicality and originality. We always strive for innovation, but not for innovation’s sake. Design is a cognitive exercise, and so the inspiration has to come from recognizing the issue, the opportunity or sometimes the problem. Style is an important element, but only a small part. CK


One-on-One with

Rikki Landini, Managing Partner, and Mark Landini, Creative Director What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now? It is to make great coffee. That’s how we start our day. We have been experimenting with a new ALDI product (one of our clients), which has just won Canstar’s latest “Most Satisfied Customer Awards” for the best coffee in Australia by Australian consumers. Coffee is a big deal here, so this award is incredible—so is the coffee, by the way. More than 10 of the most popular brands in Australia were rated on taste, aroma, texture, packaging, variety, value for money and overall satisfaction. And the brand to come out on top is ALDI’s very own Lazzio coffee, which took the title of “Best Coffee” (beans and ground coffee). What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Design is just one part of a retailer’s appeal, but customers buy products, not design, so it’s rewarding to work with a business that is so product focused and innovative. No amount of design can affect that. What was the best advice you ever received? To ignore fashion and invent, to glance left and right, but look forward; to think laterally, challenge everything, but keep it simple, and remember our clients are not our clients, but our client’s customers and team. What’s the best thing a customer ever said to you? At the end of the day, design is for people, and so we design places for people to make their lives better, more fun and fulfilling. Do this and you get responses like: “Maple Leaf Gardens by Loblaws has significantly improved my standard of living,” customer via Twitter. Now that’s rewarding.



A Hands-Off Approach Designing Public Restrooms with Preventative Measures in Mind

NEW Chicago Faucets CEU COVID-19 has made touchless restrooms a must. As commercial spaces re-open, you now face the daunting task of keeping these restrooms clean and safe through short-term and long-term changes to their design and maintenance. The Chicago Faucets CEU course shows how to transform the commercial restroom into a touch-free experience — a must for public health and safety and helping to reduce the risk of spreading germs. Learn how to design public restrooms to help prevent the spread of germs and improve customer health and experience with touchless faucets. After completing the course, you should be able to: 1. Identify which surfaces in public restrooms commonly promote the spread of germs and present the risk of infection to all occupants. 2. Explain the importance of handwashing and how touchless sink faucets facilitate hygienic handwashing practices. 3. Illustrate how touchless sink faucets can be used to reduce harmful bacteria in the water supply and on the faucets.

commonly promote the spread of germs and addresses how touchless sink faucets can be used to help reduce harmful bacteria in the water supply and on the faucets. Creating a restroom that encourages hand hygiene is the challenge. As lockdowns ease, building owners are looking for ways to minimize touching of surfaces in restrooms while also providing access to good hygiene practices. How do you create a hygienic and safe environment equipped to handle everyday usage and what is sure to be increased handwashing activity by users? And, how do you improve the restroom experience to make it more appealing to visitors? There are, in fact, preventative design measures available to create clean and hygienic public restrooms that people feel safe using. It all begins with an understanding of surface germs and where they can be found in public restrooms. Complete the CEU at

Learn how to design public restrooms to help prevent the spread of germs and improve customer health and experience with touchless faucets. 4. Apply preventative measures when designing or renovating public restrooms with infection control in mind. Take the course now!

Sneak Peak: In light of recent events, the importance of proper hand hygiene, especially in public restrooms, has reemerged into public consciousness. Even before COVID-19, hand hygiene has been an important part of the fight against infectious diseases. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, prominent health organizations like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) have stressed the importance of a thorough handwashing routine. Because handwashing is paramount to maintaining health, designing a restroom that promotes thorough, proper handwashing is critical. Having the proper routine, the essential preventative soaps and sanitizers, and the right sink equipment can go a long way in preserving health. This course evaluates the surfaces in public restrooms that


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Rising star Our conversation with CNY Group’s Filomena Nigro A member of the construction management team handling procurement and construction phases of a high-rise mixed-use project in Queens, New York, Nigro also has been working with several non-profits to promote sustainable development in the AEC industry. We sat down with Nigro to get her thoughts on today’s construction market.

What are you seeing out there today?

Filomena Nigro


ast year, amid the turmoil caused by the mounting pandemic, the Commercial Observer recognized a number of the industry’s up and coming professionals in the AEC

industry, as well as commercial leasing, sales, debt and equity verticals. Among the names on the list was Filomena Nigro, Project Manager and Sustainability Manager at CNY Group. As the assistant project manager on CNY’s Crossing at Jamaica Station development, Nigro was named one of 2020’s “Top 20 Architecture, Engineering and Construction Pros Under 35.”



Like every other field, the construction market has been shaken by the ongoing pandemic. The multiple lockdowns and shift toward remote working have drastically changed what we need from buildings. Now that we are spending so much time indoors, CNY believes the need to balance healthy living with aesthetic elements of interior design has accelerated. Residential projects will focus more on natural light requirements, materials transparency, air quality, etc. I also believe the pandemic has forever changed the way office projects will look. As businesses operate more virtually, I expect to see physical office spaces as hyper-flexible hubs shared among different firms.

How did you get started in the industry?

I came to the US from my home country of Italy as soon as I graduated from architecture school. I immediately realized how competitive the New York job market was, especially for someone like me, who at the time did not have any connections or a lot of work experience under my belt. I was mainly interested in design and architecture firms. Still, during my job search, I was given the opportunity to work for CNY as a construction project manager, and I took it in a leap of faith. I never looked back. What I thought was a temporary phase of my career became my true calling.

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WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen over the past few years?

There are two predominant changes. First, sustainability is a topic that has become relevant in the building industry. As such, CNY has quickly pivoted to make sustainability an essential component of each project they consider. We currently are refining Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies that—in part—influence how our company is perceived by clients and valued by our colleagues. Second, women are becoming more present in the construction field. I take pride that we have female project managers involved in almost all our projects. When I walk into the office every morning, I feel like I fit right in.

Name some of the opportunities available for women today.

I think that now more than ever, women have the chance to rise to high-level leadership roles. Also, I believe that young professionals will greatly enjoy the opportunity of a mentoring relationship with women in senior positions—women who were pioneers at a time when it was unusual to see them step onto a construction site. Every time I speak to women who have been in our field for a long time, I am astonished by their strength. I was able to find a great mentor at CNY, and the guidance and advice that I have received has been invaluable.

What challenges remain?

Change, like everything, takes time. The challenge is for women not to let their guard down and keep leading the fight toward gender equality. Sometimes we can be tempted to be complacent about certain behaviors because we trust things will eventually get there, but we should never miss the opportunity to influence our industry and push for greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

What’s the biggest lesson the past year has taught you?

The importance of being adaptable. The pandemic taught me how to find alternative ways to achieve my objectives and get the work done, even when the world shut down. We are lucky to be living in a society where many tools and platforms are readily


available to us, and we need to take advantage of them. We just need to be creative about it, and sometimes overturn the rules of the game.

The first thing you’re going to do when things get back to normal?

I am looking forward to traveling. I miss exploring other countries and discovering new cultures. I won’t ever take that for granted again.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Always treat people with kindness and understanding, because you never know when you will need their help in the future. This concept was instilled in me by my coworkers and supervisors at CNY. They taught me that relationships with contractors were never just transactional. Being personable and diplomatic have now become as important to my job as other more technical skills.


What’s the biggest item on your to-do list?

It is working on my to-do list. At the end of every day, I prepare a list of a few essential things I need to prioritize the day after. As a project manager, it is easy to get carried away by the stream of calls and challenges from job sites, but the things on that list always take me back to what is important.

What’s the advice you would share with women just coming up in the industry?

As women, we often suffer “imposter syndrome,” which makes us doubt our own competences. In construction, that only adds to the general assumption that women don’t belong to this field. I would encourage young women who want to enter the industry to take the time to do their research, understand every aspect of the project, and always be prepared. When you are the most prepared person in the room and you can speak with knowledge, you will feel it and you audience will feel it, too. CCR

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May 2021 • Issue 4

Grown for Good

Inside Giving Tree Dispensary’s strategy to help transform the cannabis game

Lilach Mazor Power, co-founder and managing director, Giving Tree Dispensary



Grown for Good

Inside Giving Tree Dispensary’s strategy to help transform the cannabis game


was amazed at how their system allowed for me to easily place an order and then quickly they filled my order and I was out and it was just like no hassles and super friendly people I gave them a 10 a plus rating and a gracious thank you from a lifelong customer. — Google Review I love Giving Tree Dispensary! Their flower is my favorite of all I have tried throughout the valley. Their staff is really friendly, helpful and informative. — Yelp Review Great customer service! The line moved quickly unlike other dispensaries in the area. Great selection with great quality buds. — Google Review Take a stroll through the Giving Tree Dispensary website and you will see a number of reviews exclaiming the values of one of Phoenix’s best cannabis shops. From making its own cannabis products to its exemplary customer service, the Giving Tree Dispensary remains on the cutting edge of the cannabis industry. Opened in 2013, Giving Tree Dispensary has provided recreational and medical cannabis consumers the very best in product and service. Take its menu, which has a full slate of products offering a holistic approach to health and chronic pain relief. Beyond flowers, the retailer also offers edibles,


extracts, concentrates, tinctures, cartridges, oil, topical solutions and Kindred Cannabis THC capsules. We sat down with co-founder Lilach Mazor to get an inside look at what makes the dispensary and its team tick.

GIVE US A SNAPSHOT OF YOUR BRAND? Giving Tree Dispensary is a woman-owned, single store cannabis retail operation. Locally owned, our brand is customer-focused offering a personal shopping experience where people can learn about different cannabis products on the market and their wellness benefits. We’ve created a space that invites consumers to begin their cannabis journey. All of our products are hand-selected for quality and our team members are passionate about helping our community of shoppers find the right items for their lifestyle.


Interview by Michael J. Pallerino





WHAT TYPE OF CONSUMERS ARE YOU TARGETING? We are focused on consumers looking to integrate cannabis into their lifestyle and who are not price sensitive, but rather interested in finding the right item to suit their needs.

HOW DOES THE OVERALL DESIGN OF YOUR SHOP CATER TO WHAT CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR? Customers today are here for a journey. Giving Tree has so much to offer; it’s a place where you can come and explore by yourself or have our concierge walk you through the products and how to consume them. There are also spaces designed for congregation, like our high top table displays or more intimate seating areas where one could sit down with a family member or a consultant to find the right product.


WHAT KIND OF ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU MADE OVER THE PAST YEAR TO HELP CUSTOMERS SHOP IN THIS NEW LANDSCAPE? We knew we wanted to create an open environment and move away from the dispensary image of five years ago. It started with building transparency into the retail design by having lots of windows and no exterior bars. For the interior, we built out custom displays on the floor so shoppers could easily peruse what is available. On the service end, we’ve made online ordering and pick up easier and efficient. We have a train station style announcement board so people know when their orders are ready.

WAS YOUR OPERATION DEEMED ESSENTIAL DURING THE LOCKDOWN? A big stepping stone for our industry and a big step for cannabis users was when


the state deemed cannabis dispensaries essential. It gave our employees a sense of validation and importance, that their passion was recognized. It also gave patients and consumers the acknowledgement that cannabis is part of a healthy lifestyle. Even more, our team realized that what they do helps people. We are here because people need us. Cannabis is not about getting high, it’s a part of a wellness regimen and deeming it essential was the right thing to do.

WHAT TYPE OF AREAS DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN SEEKING STORE LOCATIONS? I wanted to stay closer to our former retail location to remain near our loyal customers and make it easy for them to find us. When we first opened in 2012, dispensaries were only allowed in industrial areas. These hidden corners of commercial property are often




darker at night and have less traffic. We saw a decrease in women shopping later. With the new location, we are part of a regular retail community where all of our customers can feel safe to visit at all hours of the day.


Short-term: Our goal is to become a bigger part of our community and the North Phoenix neighborhood. We want to create a place that’s comfortable and easy to shop in. Right now, we are working on procedures to make our lines shorter and online orders easier. We plan to double our staff and ensure everyone is trained and educated in the Giving Tree way. Long-term: Create the personal shopping experience that people strive for and become the local cannabis representative for the North Phoenix neighborhood. I want to build a community around what we do.


We created a personal shopping experience like no one else. Starting with the design, the displays, as well as the knowledge and care of our employees. You can’t find that anywhere else.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN OFFER ON HOW TO DEAL WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN THE MARKETPLACE? Most important with any brand or industry is to have a very clear voice on what you are trying to do. Some brands try to reach everyone rather than knowing where they want to go. Customers can feel it if a brand is not being


completely honest. My other piece of advice is to start looking at regulations ahead of time to make sure your brand can transition smoothly and compliantly. Cannabis moves quickly and the earlier you start the better. Education is another area where brands can engage with their customers more. You must be able to show what cannabis can do for a person’s lifestyle to increase your brand




loyalty and awareness. As a small business and brand, I’ve worked hard to build loyalty around connection and quality, rather than pricing.

WHAT MAKES YOUR LOCATION ENGAGING TO TODAY’S CANNABIS CUSTOMER? HAVE YOU ADDED ANY IN-STORE FEATURES? Our location used to be a Circle K, so it still has the gas pump shade that has now been rebranded. We are easy to spot when driving by and because we have lots of windows, people can easily see what is inside. In cannabis, I feel many people are interested, but are also nervous about taking that first step and opening the door. We’ve made Giving Tree provide transparency in cannabis retail with engaging and dynamic in-store aspects. We have an open concept layout, so people can feel comfortable walking around and exploring the displays. We have a tactile education area with interactive Q and A tiles. We’ve also included a large touchscreen display so customers can menu browse and our cannabis concierge is available to walk shoppers through the store and help them order online. Our flower bar has magnifying glasses so people can look at the plant up close and our variety of displays tangibly illustrate the multitude of options available to shoppers.

see people aged 21 to 100. More men are purchasing cannabis at about a 65/35 male/ female ratio and we are hoping to see more women consumers. Since Arizona legalized adult-use in January 2021, we are seeing 65% adult-use customers versus medical card-holder patients.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE TODAY RELATED TO THE CONSTRUCTION SIDE OF THE BUSINESS? Once you actually receive permits from the city, you need to ensure it follows cannabis regulations, zoning laws and receives inspections from the compliance and fire departments. It’s also essential to work with the right construction company who understands what you do.

WALK US THROUGH HOW AND WHY YOUR SHOP IS DESIGNED THE WAY IT IS? The biggest difference is the open concept floor space. There are high-top table areas for people to stand around and places to sit and talk, similar to a coffee shop. We kept the Circle K fridge and some of the other original elements like the gas pump shade to invigorate a different look and feel into our cannabis retail space. We don’t have any product inventory on the floor, the experience is more immersed in the displays to encourage conversation and engagement, as well as help with security.

GIVE US A RUNDOWN OF YOUR MARKET’S LAYOUT. Most of our customers live within five miles of the store. Our average age is 39, but we



WHAT TYPE OF OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE MOVING AHEAD? Lots of exciting ones. In terms of retail, I see a daily reminder of why, because we are improving the wellbeing and happiness of many people from all different backgrounds. We see so many new customers entering the Giving Tree and I only see that number increasing. The more people get introduced to cannabis, the more they talk about it to their friends and family. I also see more opportunities to bring products to market that are more lifestyle oriented. Building and developing brands that connect with people is a passion and will be another focus. I also want the Giving Tree to really become a part of the North Phoenix community, we plan on adding a


End-Users (retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc.) will receive complimentary registration in exchange for full schedule participation that includes a per diem or charity donation. Sponsored by:

Contact David Corson 678.765.6550 or e-mail




mural to our dispensary wall featuring a local artist and we want to start a give back program with local charities and become a good neighbor.

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING/EXPECTING? In retail I see more and more people treating it like a regular shopping experience and expecting to be an experience with knowledgeable staff. Customers are going to demand more and more. In consumption, flowers are still king (55-60% sales). We see other categories scoring near that. New customers care about what they put into their bodies, sugar intake, calories, and less and less want to smoke. That is one of the reasons why we developed the Kindred brand with its series of cannabis-infused capsules. With

edibles, more brands are introducing no sugar/low calorie options, and beverages will make an increase in sales. Looking at the industry as a whole, I love seeing less stigma, and more people coming in with their work tags or in their scrubs. There is much more open discussion now and this will help to develop the industry and make it more diverse.

WHAT’S THE SECRET TO CREATING A “MUST VISIT” LOCATION IN TODAY’S COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE? Cool design coupled with amazing people. Design makes people want to visit. By creating something different from any other store that is fun, engaging, and experiential, you are able to get people in the door. The right team that is passionate

and positive and cares is what makes a person talk about it.

WHAT’S TODAY’S CONSUMER LOOKING FOR? Mostly looking for a place where they can ask questions and have a personal shopping experience where they receive care and attention leading to a much better experience. In terms of products, capsules and beverages are new categories taking over and the next level of consuming cannabis in a healthy way.

TELL US WHAT MAKES YOUR BRAND SO UNIQUE? We created a personal shopping experience like no one else. Starting with the design, the displays, as well as the knowledge and care of our employees. You can’t find that anywhere else.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Lilach Mazor Power, co-founder and managing director, Giving Tree Dispensary

Describe a typical day. I wake up at 5 a.m., make time for a workout and am at my desk by 7:45. By then, there are usually a few fires that I need to take care of first. Then I check with my department heads to make sure we are all on the same page. I also make time to meet with other people in the industry, as well as going to the dispensary for a full day to see the customers and be available for them.

What’s the biggest thing on your to-do list? It’s wrapping up another major renovation for our grow


and distribution facility. I am looking forward to being done with construction projects.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? When I talk to an employee who loves their job and thanks us for what we do. That’s what makes it all worth it. I try to visit the dispensary a few times a week to talk to people on my team and customers. They appreciate what we do and how we do it differently, those two things combined make me smile.


What’s the best thing a client/customer ever said to you? When customers ask to speak with me and thank me for changing their life. Mostly it’s for medical reasons, it can be moms who can’t sleep or someone with PTSD, someone who has anxiety and is afraid to go out into the world. They trust us with their cannabis journey and it’s changed their life. When they tell their stories and thank us for the extra steps we take as a team to make it happen, it is the best thing. This is why working in the

cannabis space is so great because you get that why so often.

What was the best advice you ever received? Talking to other entrepreneurs and knowing that the rollercoaster is part of everyone’s life. It’s completely normal and you can’t let it get to you. If you believe in yourself and stay focused, it will all work out. Also, keep reading up on other people’s entrepreneurial journeys and don’t be afraid to ask how they are going through it.


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VOL 5 • ISSUE 5, 2021

The Voice of Craft Brands

John Bisges and Randall Veugeler Co-Founders, StillFire Brewing

Find YOUR Fire How giving its customers what they want (with plenty of choices) is driving the StillFire Brewing brand

The Voice of Craft Brands

Find YOUR Fire

How giving its customers what they want (with plenty of choices) is driving the StillFire Brewing brand

Located just about 34 miles Northwest of Atlanta in Gwinnett County, Suwanee, Georgia is defined by its dense suburban feel, swath of diverse eateries, and host of resident-friendly parks. Nestled strategically in the middle of it all sits StillFire Brewing, the brainchild of co-founders Randall Veugeler and John Bisges. StillFire, which ironically enough was conceived after the duo spent a night discussing their mutual dream of opening a brewery over beers, has not only become the toast of one of the country’s most livable communities, but the craft world as a whole. Veugeler and Bisges, along with nationally recognized Brewmaster Phil Farrell, have created a community that craft beer enthusiasts cannot stop raving about. And that name? StillFire had a message that resonated with their plans for their brewery. They envisioned StillFire Brewing to be a place where conversations can inspire others to find that flame burning within its patrons—a place where people can find the courage to act on their passions. The spark is symbolized in the company’s logo and tagline “Find YOUR Fire.” To get a look at what lies ahead for the StillFire brand, we sat down with StillFire co-founder and CMO Randall Veugeler, and Brewmaster Phil Farrell.

Give us a snapshot of today’s craft brew market. What’s likely to happen next?

Phil Farrell: There was a terrible unexpected stress put on the craft brew market when pubs and taprooms unexpectedly closed for an extended period last year. At the same



ISSUE 5, 2021

time, isolated craft beer consumers ventured out to stores looking for something new to break the monotony of being home. Craft brewers were rewarded by consumers willing to try almost anything once, however those same adventurous drinkers were equally willing to forever reject a beer that didn’t meet their expectations. While innovation has larger rewards for bold brewers, there is risk of failure in a crowded market if you aren’t on top of your craft. Cans as a package for craft beer is no longer a novelty, and even canned special releases are readily embraced by consumers. There are tens of thousands of brewers trying to figure out which new hop, yeast, or small batch malt deserves their attention, and it has spawned a generation of craft beer fans who have never known a time when the market was boring and stagnant. I think craft beer has some similarity to music. Contemporary music lovers are often surprised to discover their favorite tunes have roots in classic rock, blues or jazz. Just as New England-style Hazy IPA and fruited Gose-style sour ales emerged as small, initially regional twists on a classic style, there will be something breaking out in 2021 that will be a reimagined classic style, a “cover” beer to borrow a term.


Interview by Michael J. Pallerino

Just like music, the original classics really never go out of style. It will depend on how they are presented as to whether they become the next hottest segment.

What trends are defining the space?

Farrell: There are four pillars in the current craft beer world: craft lagers, fruited Gose-inspired sours, IPAs (Hazy New England and everything else), and alternative beverages, including seltzers. For every bold and innovative offering from a craft brewer, there is a corresponding trend to twist a pillar by utilizing one or more of lower alcohol, gluten free, non-GMO, organic, locally sourced, reduced calorie or alcohol free. Poorly imagined beers won’t survive today’s craft beer drinker’s rising expectations. With a plethora of choices, brewers have to be on their game to capture today’s consumers.

What’s your story from a brand perspective?

one of the top 10 ranked Beer Judge Certification Program judges in the world, Phil had been judging beer for decades at all the world’s most respected contests and was highly respected in the craft beer world. He agreed to come on board. Since then, he and his brewing team have consistently delivered exceptional beer. In fact, they produced more than 75 different beers in the first year alone. Advertising this incredible variety (we always have at least 25 beers and seltzers on tap), the quality of beer and showcasing the taproom and the people who make up our community has been the focus of our marketing. We spent a lot of time designing and creating a unique taproom experience that is welcoming to people of all ages. Our digital marketing concentrates on giving customers a reason to visit the taproom and experience who StillFire is first hand. This has been key in building a following that feels emotionally connected to our brand.

Randall Veugeler: My partner, John Bisges, and I both had the same dream of one day owning a brewery after college but then life happened. We both got married, raised families, started businesses and went on with our lives. When we met and started talking, we discovered we both still had that fire to open a brewery. When developing the brand story and name for the brewery our team came back to the idea that we both still had that fire after all those years and the name, StillFire was born. The name had a message that resonated with our plans for their brewery. We envisioned StillFire Brewing to be a place that could spark conversations that could lead others to find that flame burning within them and to find the courage to act on those passions. That spark is symbolized in StillFire’s logo and our tagline, “Find YOUR Fire.”

Walk us through your branding strategy.

Veugeler: One of the things that makes our business successful is that John is an extremely successful business operator, while I’m the owner of a marketing firm. Our families are both very involved in the community. When developing the strategy to launch the brand, we felt like we already had a head start. My wife and I are the creators of the “Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest,” one of the largest craft beer festivals in the Southeast, which takes place in a park across the street from the new brewery site. After eight years of marketing and growing the beer festival brand, we knew we understood our audience. The consumers in Suwanee are very discerning and well educated about craft beer. They have pride in their city and expect the best. And, most importantly, they are always ready for something new. We knew that if we emphasized the high quality and the varieties of beer produced by StillFire, it would go a long way in differentiating the brand from other area breweries. It just so happened that through my connections with the festival, I had met an award-winning brewmaster. As

What’s the biggest issue related to the marketing/sales side of the craft beer business?

Veugeler: It’s no secret that the craft beer industry has become wildly popular over the last few years. With laws changing to be more brewery friendly, more craft beer locations are opening not only in the State of Georgia, but nationwide. While this growth is a big win for the industry, the crowded marketplace is making it increasingly vital to differentiate yourself and find more authentic ways to grow



StillFire Brewing

your brand loyalty. Because of this, it can be challenging to break through and stand out from a digital and social media perspective as well as out in distribution.

What’s the secret to creating a branding story that consumers can buy into?

Veugeler: The biggest thing is remaining 100% authentic. Remember to go back to your roots of what you stand for and why you do what you do. People following your business want to relate to your brand, and feel connected to it in some shape or form. Engagement goes both ways. If you aren’t liking, sharing and commenting on your audience’s content, they are much less likely to do the same for you.

What’s the one thing every craft beer brand should do in the marketing department?

Veugeler: Devote a lot of time to having a great social media presence. Social media is arguably the best marketing channel because it is cheap, engaging and provides almost instant feedback. Your social media

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What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead?

Veugeler: One we have right now is the chance to keep growing out in distribution. Our beer is currently distributed to restaurants and package stores across the state, but growing our on-premise accounts is our focus now that restaurants and bars are opening to full capacity. We also are developing plans for a second taproom.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list?

Veugeler: We just launched a charitable foundation, The Find Your Fire Foundation, in an effort to give back to our community. We’ve been so inspired by the support we’ve received over the past year and a half, and we realized we have the opportunity to do more than just brew beer. Since opening our doors, our StillFire team has not only been dedicated to creating delicious innovative craft beers, but also strived to foster a more positive quality of life in our community and beyond. We partnered with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and hosted our Foundation Launch party recently in an effort to raise money for childhood cancer. It was a huge success. We are now planning on other fundraising events to host in the taproom in an effort to continue to give back.

How does your taproom space integrate into your branding/marketing strategies?

Veugeler: Our brand strategy starts with the taproom. We created our taproom as not just a space to drink




ISSUE 5, 2021



StillFire Brewing

beer, but as a space for friends and neighbors to come and connect with those around them. The StillFire brand is woven throughout the entire space—from our “Find your Fire” wall, which is an explanation of how we began and how it relates to each taproom visitor, to our racoon mascot, Bandit, who graces one of the walls, to the metal posters showcasing our can artwork throughout the taproom, and painted kegs to look like our cans that serve as a backdrop for bands. The space has a high-end, yet comfortable ambiance, with fire pits on the front and side patios, umbrella tables, communal high tops and picnic tables for larger groups.

What adjustments have you made with everything the past year? Veugeler: One great thing about our location is that the City of Suwanee has an open container policy. We knew this would be a key opportunity when designing the brewery, so we added in a to-go window with draft beer available for purchase as well as a variety of four-packs. Our to-go window was a lifesaver during COVID, as it allowed us to keep our doors open—in a sense. We were overwhelmed with the community’s support and bought a crowler machine, which allowed us to sell 32 ounce crowlers of any of our beers on draft as well.

Sitting down with StillFire Brewmaster Phil Farrell new one or one we made a couple of dozen times already. I feel nothing but pride in the people we have and am confident we are stronger for all of the adversity we endured.

What was the best advice you ever received?

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? I have the best job in the world. I get to make beer, taste beer and drink beer with my friends. The most rewarding part of the job is the satisfaction I get when I see our team in the brewery rising to every challenge as a group no matter what is thrown at us. We literally had a life-threatening illness strike one of our brewing families independent of dealing with the uncertainty of a total shutdown and worldwide pandemic in our first year. Despite that, we kept challenging ourselves to do better every time we made a beer—whether it was a



I went to Grand Rapids, Michigan to interview Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers for a magazine feature about Founders Brewing. During the interview, I listened intently as they described the first turbulent years of Founders. They were brewing beers that many craft brewers were brewing in the 90’s (Porter, Red Ale, Pale Ale), yet they were having trouble finding customers. They literally were within days of losing their lease and having the bank padlock the brewery. Mike said he spoke to Dave, and they realized they had lost their way by brewing what others were brewing rather than what made them want to become brewers in the first place. They also loved to drink. That was the genesis of Dirty Bastard, a Scotch Ale that was 50% stronger than their beers of the time. The name even shocked their very conservative investors. But they asked for a little more time to go with their gut and brew something they were really excited about. This one sea

ISSUE 5, 2021


change turned the brewery around almost overnight. Founders stayed true to that guiding principle to this day. That advice guides me to this day every time I’m thinking of brewing a new beer or improving one we already brew.

What’s the best thing a customer ever said to you? Our most regular, regular customer said to me, “I have never had a bad beer here. I like all of them.” This is someone who made it a point to visit us the first 400 days we were open, and even a few we weren’t officially open, so it is something I really am proud of. I visited a table of new customers and immediately noticed that eight people were drinking eight different beers. New customers routinely thank us for our variety, and it is not uncommon to either hear, “There are so many choices” or “I am having trouble choosing because there are three or four I really like.” One customer said they bring their sister-in-law over every time she visits because we are the only brewery that has beer she likes. We try to brew beers that are great to drink with friends in a social setting, so one I have heard numerous times that really makes me grin with pride, “You just made my new favorite beer.”




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by David Corson

Goodbye to the best office I ever had—hello new basement


ast September, we purchased land on Lake Lanier in North Georgia to build out our empty nester house. The decision came after our son graduated from FAA Mechanic School

and was getting ready to take his Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) license exams. He is also interviewing with several leading airlines, including Delta. We're keeping our fingers and toes crossed.

did not do it earlier. Oh well, we can have fun with our new house project. We plan to act as the GC and learn as we build our new house. I always say, "The day I stop learning is the day I should go and do something else."" There is one thing for sure, building products have gone up in price and some are out of stock, which could delay any project, so I feel your pain out there in the commercial sector. We know you're running into these same hindrances, as well the labor shortage in finding subcontractors to get projects done on time, and on budget. Things are tighter than ever.

“I plan to act as the GC and learn as we build our new house. I always say, “The day I stop learning is the day I should go and do something else.” In order to sell the house we've lived in for 17 years, we decided that the basement had to be finished. My office, which was located there, was drywalled and painted, had lights & HVAC, but the rest of the basement had to be completed. My wife, who is an interior designer, decided we needed to knock out some walls to open up the area, so adiós to my office. What a difference it made by really opening up the basement to its full potential. With additional 2,000 square feet to work with, we created a bedroom, workout room, bathroom, storage room (including under the stairs) and a wide-open area for fun and games. The basement now has room for a big screen TV, bar and/or kitchen


area. The bottom line is that whatever the new owners want, they can do. Hopefully, they will offer my wife an opportunity to help finish the project. Our suggestion is to install a full kitchen. Demolition was the most fun we have had in a long time knocking down my office. We also installed a new support beam, which was dicey, to say the least. But with the right manpower and the correct support equipment, things went smoothly. What a difference. It was well worth the investment—the framing, electrical, sheetrock, mud, sand, touch up, paint, floor install, bathroom creation, window and door frame trim, complete lighting with LEDs. After seeing what the finished product looked like, we could not figure out why we


Many of you we have spoken with are slammed with more business than they know what to do with these days, which is terrific news, as our country reopens. We will give you a look in our next issue with photos of what we created with the help of some of our favorite suppliers who stepped up to the plate to work with us on our basement renovation. We are grateful for their support and assistance. As we move into Summer and the second half of 2021, we want all of you to stay cool in the heat, stay hydrated and have fun while getting it done as we push ahead. To all, here's to good health, staying safe and being prosperous while keeping the faith that makes it complete. Cheers!

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• Unbreakable polycarbonate overglaze 250 times stronger than glass • Proprietary high-optic, UV-coated surface protection • Framing available in a variety of standard and custom finishes • Anti-graffiti protection available • A cost-effective, easy-to-install solution

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DefenseLite® is a patented, retrofit glazing system designed for advanced forced entry protection. Manufactured by Impact Security, this proven technology provides a cost-effective solution, installed by authorized dealers located throughout North America. To learn more, visit

Contact us for a threat level assessment • • 888.689.5502 CIRCLE NO. 61

From Fifth Ave to Venice Beach. We’ve expanded to the West Coast Bringing decades of experience building high profile retail and office environments for the world’s largest brands. We’re ready to build for you. Tom Fenton, Business Development Manager (914) 244-9100 x 322 /





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