San Antonio Construction News November 2018

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Covering the Industry’s News

Texas Style

P.O. Box 791290 San Antonio, Texas 78279-1290


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The Industry’s Newspaper Ridout Barrett

Clean kitty

Starry, starry night

L-R: Corban Minor (senior project management), William Bailey (project manager), A. Denese Huntsberry (president/CEO) of ALEO Environmental Enterprises.

Ovidio Flores III, general manager of Skylights Over Texas


enese Huntsberry’s association with the environment and the public’s welfare can be traced back to the 1970s when she was in the Air Force. Enlisted from 1979–1982, Huntsberry’s first job had her working on airplanes, but when it was discovered that she was highly allergic to hydraulic fluid, she had to cross train into another career field. That career field turned out to be Environmental Health, and she was shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But the Air Force decided to combine the career fields of Environmental Health and Bio-Environmental Engineering. Huntsberry was selected to go to Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio to write the new curriculum and tests for this new career field. This took her last two years in

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the Air Force to complete. “I was one of two people chosen to go to Brooks to help write the curriculum,” she said. After her discharge, the Houston native stayed in the Alamo City and formed ALEO Clean Environments with another partner. Huntsberry went solo in 2003 with her present company, ALEO Environmental Enterprises. That’s twice Huntsberry has used the term “ALEO” in her company name. The reasoning is quite simple: “I am a Leo,” she states. The correct pronunciation is the emphasis on the long-A: “A-leo.” “The work that we do is so important,” Huntsberry said, without any false modesty. She should know, as she has first-hand experience with seeing what continued on Page 20


o one can ever accuse Ovidio Flores of getting the general manager’s job at Skylights Over Texas (SOT) just because he’s the owner’s son. Flores spent time as a roughneck in the West Texas oil fields, then in home remodeling. In talking about his two and a half years as a roughneck, Flores said, “That kind of work really toughened me up.” When it came time to help Dad (Ovidio, Jr.) with SOT, Dad made Flores start in the very back end of the shop. “I did every position in the back until I learned it,” he said. Now, as GM, Flores has the credentials to run this company. “I know what it takes to get a job done,” he said. Even though Dad pretty much retired 15 years ago, he is still the owner. Flores said that after a big hailstorm a few

years ago, Dad lent a helpful hand back at the shop, as they were working 24/7 due to the hail damage. SOT came out of Ovidio’s grandfather’s plastic company, Texas Plastics Center, which still operates. They make everything plastic, including skylight domes. SOT takes it further: they make and install all the frames and accessories, not just make the actual skylight. SOT does about 35 percent residential and 65 percent commercial. For the commercial, SOT will travel anywhere in the United States to do a job, including New York City, Atlanta and Colorado. “In the skylight world,” Flores explained, “there’s about 10 or 8 major skylight companies that do big commercial continued on Page 20

New elementary based on tradition

he Guido family began building in Texas in 1927 when Louis Guido Sr. and Vincent Fablo constructed the historic St. Francesco di Paola Church and Parish Hall in downtown San Antonio. Trained in Italy as a master carpenter, Louis’ reputation grew with projects like the San Pedro Playhouse and restoration to the Mission San José. Guido Construction Company’s 90 years of experience in construction have been based on the lessons of integrity, value and the quality of craftsmanship carried down from Louis Guido Sr. to his sons Cosmo and Louis Jr. Perhaps this was a key component for the East Central Independent School District when selecting a contractor to construct the new elementary school in the small farming community of Saint Hedwig, TX. The farming community of Saint Hedwig is strong on tradition. It is for this reason that the new elementary was named Tradition Elementary. In addi-

Drone view of Tradition Elementary in Saint Hedwig, TX

tion, it falls in line with the school names of other fairly new schools in the district, Heritage and Legacy. Tradition Elementary is a new, stateof-the-art elementary school with related and ancillary facilities. The new school is a needed addition to San Antonio’s fastgrowing population. The 95,385sf project includes a library, media center, stage and music room, cafetorium, food service area, computer labs, science laboratories and two stories of offices and classrooms. A gymnasium and locker facilities are also provided for the elementary school students. Extensive site work was required to allow for bus lanes, parking and a playground. Exterior construction of the new facility is comprised of traditional slab on grade and structural steel framing, insulated plywood wall sheathing, limestone and metal wall panel veneer, mod bit and metal roofing. The school’s interior is continued on Page 20

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Reconning the stone

Got brick?

John Plant, founder and owner of Recon Stone.

Evrado Torres, owner of Got Brick Work.

he word “recon” conjures up a military image of soldiers on the prowl, searching out the enemy. Or, it can simply mean finding the best products for one’s customers. For John Plant, owner of Recon Stone, it means that he’s searching for the best stone products to sell to contractors. Plant’s objective is simple: “Our main goal is to have the largest inventory of natural stone in San Antonio.” Even though Recon Stone is not even six months old - “On June 1, we were just a building.” - Plant is rocking and rolling with all kinds of stone products from around the world: limestone, travertine, marble, etc. The California native didn’t come out to Texas with the intent on starting a company, but for other work in the construction business, something he’s done his whole life. But, when opportunity came knocking in the form of business partners overseas who handle the quarry/shipment details, Plant answered. As a new businessman, Plant had to do a lot of catching up on all the rules,

regulations and red tape that comes with it. “I did 4-H, so I can manage my money all right,” he said, but added he had to do “a lot of reading.” “This place is growing so fast,” Plant said. He wants to have “the best quality at the best price.” This means a contractor wouldn’t have to make a run to, say, Houston to get his materials; it can be gotten here locally. “For the most part, we try and fill your order the day you want it,” he said. If Recon Stone keeps growing, Plant foresees the possibility of opening up another location in Dallas. He feels that the San Antonio shop can handle anything up to Austin. He has his eye on Denver as well. Recon Stone gets most of its products from Turkey, Morocco and Yugoslavia. Plant wants to get out more to do the actual recon work for himself. As of now, his overseas partners do that. Plant is on the prowl for the best stone materials he can find. Recon Stone is a masonry wholesaler in San Antonio. -dsz


vrado Torres is the exact middle of seven sons, all of who are either masons with their own companies, or who work for him. But he didn’t call his business “Torres Masonry” because that’s too common. Instead, he calls it Got Brick Work. He used this name for years without knowing the legality of having one’s own company. “I knew the work,” Torres said, “but I had no idea how to run a business.” A customer told him he needed to register “Got Brick Work” before someone else takes it. He did around 2008. Torres (and his brothers) learned masonry from his father. “We learned how to do everything from scratch - how to be a laborer, how to haul wheelbarrows, how to haul heavy stuff.” Then his father taught him how to lay brick, then stone, then rock, and when to use which material. Torres doesn’t do any one type of job, but whatever the customer needs. “When people call,” he said, “it’s always something different.” The busy season begins in February, when people start

seeing their income tax refunds. Torres has three main places in which he gets his materials, such as clay brick, concrete brick, or Mexican bricks. Torres likes to emphasize his customer service. “I know to how to do the job and I have pretty good vision of what the customer wants.” He listens to their ideas, then helps formulate the final product. “I definitely like to work with the customer on what they want first,” he said, “and then make it come true.” Because masonry work lasts such a long time, Torres is careful to make sure the end result is good. Torres uses Home Advisor and their system of reviews to help generate business. For the future, Torres would like to expand Got Brick Work so he can spend less time laying bricks and more time interfacing with customers. “I like to be one-on-one with the customer,” he said. He still has a few more brothers not working for him that he could hire. Got Brick Work is a masonry contractor in San Antonio. -dsz

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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Showroom opens


The new Hollywood-Crawford showroom, 11234 Gordon Rd.

ollywood-Crawford has opened a new 2,000sf showroom to address the ever-expanding array of styles, looks and materials available in garage doors. This new showroom will display nearly 50 different garage doors along with a wide variety of the latest in garage door openers. Door displays range from modern, contemporary looks with frosted glass, white laminated glass and mirrored glass to wood-look doors, which are typically steel, painted to look like wood. To celebrate the opening of their new showroom, Hollywood-Crawford

will give a free can of their special garage door and opener spray lubricant to anyone who visits their new showroom before Dec. 31, 2018 and can enter to win a free Genie ReliaG 3120H-B belt-drive garage door opener with the built-in battery backup and Wi-Fi with Aladdin Connect feature which allows the owner to control and monitor their garage door from their smart phone. The showroom is open from 8am to 5pm Monday – Friday and Saturdays, 9am to 1pm. Hollywood-Crawford is a supplier of garage doors products. –cmw

Sealing the deal

John and Marilyn Peterson, owners of SealMaster South Texas, in front of an 8,000 gallon tank.


aving outgrown its previous location, SealMaster San Antonio celebrated its new location with an open house. South Texas owners John and Marilyn Peterson were on hand from Houston to host the event. Actually, this is SealMaster’s third location in the Alamo City. The previous one had too many logistical issues, and the Petersons have been scouting around for around a year now for a new and improved spot. This third location has been opened for a couple of months now. The Petersons had sold their HVAC business back in Seattle and were planning on staying retired, but “We found out that retirement wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be,” Marilyn said. When the Houston office became available due to mismanagement by the previous owner, the Petersons, who had been checking out their niece’s SealMaster shop back in Seattle, came out of retirement to get Houston up and running again.

The Houston office is where the products are made, then shipped out to the shops in Harlingen, Cibolo and Conroe. SealMaster South Texas’ territory covers 87 counties in south Texas. Robert Balderrama, branch manager of SealMaster San Antonio, also came out of retirement to work for them. He had been involved with construction equipment, but a job recruiter called him up when this shop opened about four years ago. Balderrama oversees all SealMaster’s products, like the most popular - PolyModified Masterseal. A prominent feature of the San Antonio office is the two massive 6,000 gallon and two 8,000 gallon storage tanks. Balderrama has all kinds of crack repair materials, sealers, buckets of handicap blue and fire lane red paints, as well as word stencils. SealMaster San Antonio is a pavement products and equipment company in San Antonio. -dsz

Wood grain door displays

Robert Balderrama, branch manager of SealMaster San Antonio, in front of the Crack Pro machine.

Showroom displays

San Antonio


Call 210-308-5800 or email information to: Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buddy Doebbler Editorial/Production . . . . . . Reesa Doebbler Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carol Wiatrek Production Manager . . . . Helen Greenwood Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terri Adams Account Manager . . . . . . . . . . . Dana Calonge Editors

Carol Wiatrek Lexie Velasquez

Daniel Zulli Reesa Doebbler

Contributing Editors

Melissa Jones-Meyer Ann Keil Jesse Abercrombie San Antonio Area Counties Atascosa, Bexar, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties Construction News Ltd. Home Office P.O. Box 791290 • San Antonio, Tx 78279 210-308-5800 Fax 210-308-5960 Free Monthly Digital Subscription The San Antonio Construction News (ISSN 1547-7630) is published monthly by Construction News LTD., dba San Antonio Construction News, and distributed by mail to construction-related companies of record in Bexar and 7 surrounding counties. All submissions should be mailed to our editorial offices. We reserve the right to edit any materials submitted. No fees for materials, copy or photographs submitted will be due unless agreed upon in advance in writing. Submissions will be published at our discretion on a space available basis. Construction News, Ltd. , dba San Antonio Construction News, will not be liable for errors in copy or in advertisements beyond the actual cost of space occupied by the error. Publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement at any time. ©2018 Construction News, Ltd.

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Service before self


Lucio Gonzalez, owner of JAG Public Safety

ucio Gonzalez’s whole adult life has been dedicated to the public’s safety. First, he was a full-time San Antonio police officer and deputy sheriff. Now, he’s a reserve constable. In addition to that role, Gonzalez is also owner of JAG Public Safety, a company that provides barricades and traffic control devices. JAG was basically born out of the multiple promptings of those who were increasingly frustrated over the lack of professionalism in this industry. When Gonzalez was still a cop, and called out to assist with lane closures and construction efforts on roads, more than one person asked him if he ever thought of starting his own barricade company. This came from repeated inadequate performance by the company whose job it was to provide the barricades. Sort of the last straw came when one of the workers for this company asked him to start his own barricade business. While at his mother’s house, she noticed that he was deep in thought over this situation. When Gonzalez explained to his mother what was going on, she said that he had the clientele already lined up to give him the business. Hence, he should start the business. “What are you waiting for?” his mother challenged. This was when he walked away from being a police officer full time to start JAG. (In case you’re wondering, “JAG” doesn’t refer to “Judge Advocate General,” the military term for lawyer. It takes the first initials of Gonzalez’s kids: Jacob and Alyssa, combined with the “G” from their last name. ) JAG started in October 2012. The interesting thing was: Gonzalez didn’t know anything about the business. He was a cop. “I didn’t know the barricade industry at all,” he said. “I never worked for somebody who did this. I learned on the fly.” Without even having an office, Gonzalez was offered a huge project on I-10 that December. Only problem was: he didn’t have any of the equipment they needed.

As a new company without any track record of performance, any credit, any working capital, those barricade suppliers Gonzalez called in a panic basically wouldn’t give him the time of day. Finally, he got ahold of an outfit in Tupelo, MS, who took a chance on the new guy and supplied him with what he needed. It worked out, and when Gonzalez was paid, he paid the guy in Tupelo. “They gave me an opportunity,” Gonzalez said. Interestingly, when the local barricade companies that wouldn’t work with Gonzalez noticed that an out-of-state company had their stuff in town, they came to JAG to see what was going on. In a wonderful working of karma, Gonzalez was in the driver’s seat. Business took off, and as it grew, Gonzalez bought more and more equipment. He once bought used trucks from corner lots to supply his fleet; now he buys new direct from the dealer. One thing Gonzalez is proud of is the new sign and print shop he recently started. He makes all his own in-house TXDOT-approved signs and banners. Gonzalez had to borrow money from family members and friends, which he has paid back in full. It’s been a hard but rewarding journey for the constable. “You can’t give up,” he said. “You can’t quit. If business was easier, everyone would be doing it.” With the school of hard knocks providing the lesson plans, Gonzalez freely admits the bumps in the road and mistakes he’s made. But, as he reflects on JAG, he says, “You can’t be discouraged or worry about what people are going to think about you when you start your business.” With his 22 employees, Gonzalez knows all about keeping the public safe. He’s even had an offer to sell JAG. “That tells me we’re doing something right.” JAG Public Safety provides professional barricade and traffic control service in San Antonio, and is DBE, SBE and HUB certified. -dsz

In memoriam


eith Werner, former vice president of NWB Foundation, passed away Sept. 27. His two sons, Alan and Jeffery, daughter Donna Munro and one sister, survive him. Werner served in the U.S. Army, graduated from St. Mary’s University and began his construction career with NWB Foundation. He was one of the founders of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) and Associated Drilled Shaft Contractors of San Antonio. Werner also served the Boy Scouts of American (BSA) as a BSA Scoutmaster of St. Gregory and St. Matthew Catholic Churches. He served as an ordained deacon at St. Matthew Catholic Church since 1988 until the age of 75. -cmw



San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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Topping out for Vaughn

Reimagining rebar

Attendees sign the ceremonial beam that became part of the building.


n Oct. 3, Vaughn Construction topped out the construction of the University of Texas Health San Antonio’s newest building, the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. The celebration recognized the construction workers and all the team members who were involved in reaching the construction milestone of the project. In addition to the traditional hoisting of the tree to the top of the building, a ceremonial beam signed by all the attendees was placed on the top of the structure to become part of the building, Representatives from the University of Texas System, UT Health San Antonio, the Barshop Institute and the Barshop family joined members of the design and construction project team for the traditional hoisting of the tree to the top of

the building. Vaughn Construction President Michael Vaughn distributed awards to several construction workers for their outstanding commitment to safety. The 112,000sf building, designed by Alamo Architects and Treanor Architects, will contain laboratory spaces, a vivarium and administrative and faculty offices. The new building will allow the Barshop Institute to relocate from its current location at Texas Research Park to the Greehey Academic and Research campus to foster more research collaboration and higher research efficiency. The new building will connect to the South Texas Research Facility via an open-air bridge and is adjacent to the Center for Oral Health Care and Research, which were also built by Vaughn Construction. Vaughn Construction is a full-service general contractor. –cmw

The traditional hoisting of the tree to the top of the Sam ad Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies building.

A few of the San Antonio Rebar team members at this year’s AGC BBQ Cook-off.


an Antonio has a new way to buy rebar. Last July, San Antonio Masonry branded a separate division, San Antonio Rebar, and brought on Chris Moore, who had worked for the company a decade ago, to helm it as rebar division manager. “The owner, Robbin Bostick, was always of the mentality that it be a onestop shop. If you’re here to pick up rebar, why not pick up your poly, sand and stone while you’re here too?” Moore says. “They’ve always serviced and sold rebar but they hadn’t branched it off as its own brand. When they initially tried to get into rebar, the economy crashed in 2008. So it wasn’t the perfect time to go fullblown and try to go after it, but they kept it open and kept it small. Robbin and I have kept our relationship and communication open and when I was ready to take that opportunity on, it was a perfect scenario.” Moore says making the rebar its own brand and a sister company to the masonry company was a necessity. “Rebar is a different animal than anything else and you don’t want people to get it confused with masonry and tool. When we branded off and said we can do rebar, it kind of broadened our horizons with what we can do in commercial and residential. “Before we never really did any commercial jobs. We would only get residen-

tial and maybe multi-family projects which not very complex,” Moore continues. “Now, since I’ve been on, we’ve ventured out and have done more commercial work than we’ve ever seen before. We’re talking a volume of over at least $6-$9 million in just new commercial accounts and new projects. That’s just in rebar alone and not including everything else, like accessories, that comes with rebar.” San Antonio Rebar has two locations to serve its customers in Texas. “Our home base is in San Antonio and we have another location in Converse, but there’s no project that we’re not willing to do,” Moore says. “We’re a rebar fabrication shop that can handle any project at any location whether it’s to Laredo, Houston or Dallas.” Moore says the customers have enthusiastically embraced the company’s newest development. “The clients have really supported us in my move here and my bringing along the guys I’ve brought,” Moore says. “As of right now, we don’t have plans to expand. Of course, if our customers demand us to grow more that would be a conversation down the road. Right now, we’re still trying to reach that max potential at both shops and then we’ll have that conversation.” San Antonio Rebar offers rebar fabrication though its San Antonio and Converse locations. –mjm

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Robert D. Saldaña President/Owner RDS Excavations Atascosa, TX


onstruction is all Robert D. Saldana has ever known, thanks to his father and grandfather who worked in the industry. As owner of RDS Excavations, he hopes to pass on three generations of wisdom to his kids and treat customers the way his family has always treated them. Share about your background. I was raised in Atascosa, TX on our family farm, TCQ Farm. My wife and I have now built our home here and my business and shop is based here as well. My family was in the construction industry for over 30 years. My mom’s father, Tony C. Quintanilla, was a general contractor and had a construction company, TCQ Construction. My whole family and I worked in construction because of him at one time or another. He was a Seabee in the U.S. Navy (Construction Battalion). When he came back from Vietnam, he started his own construction company in the early ‘70s. I was later born in the 1980s right into the middle of it when he was blowing and going. I was his right-hand man ever since I could remember. While my mom was running the office, they would send me with him to ride around the job sites and check on jobs. Was a construction career your goal? That was my plan. I grew up in it and had no intentions of doing anything else. My dad, Robert Saldaña, was also in the trucking business and I took a lot of interest in that as well. When my grandpa passed away in 1998, my mom, Cynthia, and my uncle continued running the business. When I graduated high school in 2002, they decided they’d had enough with the business – they had been in it since they were teenagers – and shut the doors. I begged my mom to let me take over; I had already been doing the work every chance I got when I was out of school. During my senior year, I had learned some of the business part of it, going to bid openings and bidding jobs. I grew up doing it and that’s all I knew. I wanted to take over, but she was adamant that she didn’t want me in this business

and industry; she said she would pay for me to go to college just so I would get out of this business. I finally gave in and went to Palo Alto for one semester. In the middle of that, I picked up a few jobs clearing property with one of my grandpa’s old dozers. I realized I liked it, even with the heat, the dust and the bees. I had hired a couple of guys to do the work while I was in school, but they would call me and ask me “What do we do now?” or “We broke this” and I couldn’t do anything about it because I was in class. After the fall semester, I just said, “I’m going to take the semester off and see how this goes,” and I established RDS Excavations. How were those first years? The first years came really naturally. It was in my blood I guess. I wasn’t scared of anything. I’ve always been the type to gamble or just jump in with both feet. I started picking up jobs and making pretty good money. I figured if I was going to do this eight to ten hours a day, I needed to get a machine with a cab that had AC, since that was going to be my office. The summer of 2003, I went and bought a semi-new John Deere dozer. I was only 18 years old and my dad cosigned for me. Afterward, he walked away and said, “If they take it, they take it. It’s sink or swim. If you think you can do it and make the payments, go for it.” But he believed in me. I was a one-man army and I didn’t have anyone working for me. When I needed somebody, I could call my dad and he would run a piece of machinery for me or be my escort for oversized hauls. He was there whenever I needed him. What were some challenges? I had many people try to get one over on me because I was young. After I had finished one job, a man who signed a contract with me told me he wasn’t going to pay me what he owed because I was too young to be making that much money. It was nothing the great state of Texas couldn’t take care of in court. In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina I had hit another roadblock. I made some contacts in New Orleans and was promised to make a few million dollars. I went there with a crew and all of the contractors I had dealt with walked away from the deal with signed contracts. At that point, I was 21 years old, I had bought some new equipment which my dad had co-signed on and I got about $250,000 in debt on my own. I ended up making only a small portion of that back. I stayed there almost a year trying to chase my money, hoping something would work out. When I finally came back in 2006, I had lost all of my contacts here, had no work lined up, and it was hell. It taught me that things can be too good to be true and to not trust everything I hear. I’ve paid so much “tuition” in this business, more than people with degrees. Who has influenced you most? I hear my grandfather’s and my father’s voices and use both of their quotes all of the time. I’m most like my grandpa because he had a “can-do” and

Robert D. Saldaña

“don’t give a crap” attitude, just get it done no matter what. His favorite saying was, “You’re not building a piano, just get it done!” My dad was totally different. He was a jokester with a very good work ethic and was clean, meticulous, very detailed, a perfectionist. His vehicles and trucks were always spotless; I grew up always at the carwash with my dad. If your rig and equipment look good you’re all set. It’s a reflection of you as a business. How has your business evolved? I started with mainly land clearing and then I evolved into a full site work company. I do roads and driveways, commercial pads and development, parking lots, asphalt and seal coat. I also have gone into hauling equipment and freight and I’ve added more machinery. I’ve tried hiring guys and tried to make the business bigger and realized that’s kind of not where I want to be just yet. I’m still a one-man army. I’m owner and operator and run the whole show; I’ve hired guys and they don’t care about my equipment, they don’t care to do the work to my standards. If I have to go back and fix it and clean it up, I might as well have done it in the first place. Being that rain comes and work gets slow, I don’t like the stress of having to worry about other people’s families. It’s worked for me for 16 years. What do you enjoy about your work? I enjoy the development. I like to see the change from start to finish. I’m really big on before-and-after pictures; that’s so cool to see the change. My favorite jobs are when I do them on road frontages or major highways where people can see my work, since I do a lot of clearing for farmers and ranchers where no one knows what’s going on. I think other people appreciate it as well. Share about your personal life. My wife Lauren and I just celebrated our 11-year wedding anniversary and we’ve been together 19 years. She handles all of my invoicing and paperwork for the business, and has even run the equipment when I need a hand. We have two sons, 8-year-old Rylen and 4-year-

old Daylen, and we just had our daughter, Chloe Loren, who just turned five months. So really, we don’t have time for many hobbies. Since I’m self-employed every day is a workday. Whatever little free time we have we spend with the kids and go on family trips as often as we can. A big thing for my wife and I is to go to Vegas at least once a year, especially for the National Finals Rodeo in December. I grew up showing animals and around the stock show; I have served on the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo’s livestock committee for 16 years. We live on 200 acres right outside San Antonio. We have cattle, horses and do coastal hay. Working the property is my other full-time job. My oldest son will be old enough next year to start showing animals so we can’t wait to see what that adventure has in store for us. Do your kids go to work with you? They’re everywhere with me! My oldest has gone with me hauling equipment to jobs and sits in the machine with me while I work. He’s in school now so my little one is with me all of the time and is all about it. It reminds me of the days I would go to work with my grandpa, just a lot more laid back. My grandfather did big commercial and government jobs and schools; he was well-known in the area. He had at least two crews and 100 guys working for him. At the shop there was always commotion; with me, it’s much more relaxed. I wish my kids could experience what I did but times are different. What do you hope the future holds? I hope one if not both of my sons would want to take over the business. My goal is to one day be really big and finally step up to the big leagues and take on bigger contracts. I’m not the biggest company out there but I’m successful in my own right and I’m comfortable in life and lifestyle. Subcontractor RDS Excavations specializes in site work construction and land clearing in and around south Texas. – mjm

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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Heart in the deep of Texas

A face in the crowd



Antonio Garcia with his grandson Alex

ven though Antonio Garcia shares his name with the city in which he now lives, it took a lot of convincing for him to move to San Antonio. “I used to live in San Diego, learning the trades by doing complete remodeling with a general contractor,“ Garcia says. “My wife has relatives in San Antonio and she always wanted to move over here, but I would say no.” There was a moment in 1995, however, where Garcia said “no” to his wife one too many times. “One time, she said she would go to San Antonio … and that I could stay in San Diego!” Garcia says ruefully. “That’s when I said, ‘No, I’ll go with you!” Garcia packed up his toolbox and followed his wife to Texas, but found that the move came with a very real culture shock. “In San Diego, I lived close to the beach, and over here, I was living in the heat,” he explains. “And the food here is totally different.” With his easygoing Californian nature, though, Garcia began to bloom where he was planted. He soon started applying his trade skills in his new city. “I started doing drywall repair and was a batch guy for D.R. Horton Homes for three years.” he says. “I also did my own jobs on the side, and decided to start my own business, Antonio Drywall Repair & Texture, in San Antonio in 1997.” Since then, he has added three employees and has branched out from batching and popcorn removal to framing, hanging doors, installing baseboard and painting. Garcia says he actually does pretty much everything except plumbing and electrical work. Wielding his skills on both old and new buildings is satisfying work Garcia hopes to do for years to come. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep doing this for a while. It’s hard work, though, and at one point I will be too old to do the job; I will need to subcontract it out to somebody younger,” he admits. “My 19-year-old son Joel sometimes goes with me to work. He wants to do something different than this, but I’ve encouraged him

to learn a trade in case he gets married and wants to repair his home. It will save him money and might even make him money.” Being able to support himself and his family wherever he goes is important to Garcia, as it has given him the flexibility to follow his heart. “Things happen for a reason; that’s what I believe. Sometimes you need to get out and go for something else, or even move to another city,” Garcia muses. “I think I would have started this same business in San Diego. It’s a lot of responsibility but it’s better when you own your own business. “Also, this is the talent I have,” Garcia adds. “This work looks very simple, but it’s not! I know so many people who can do the framing and sheetrock, but drywall repair and texture is an art. They say they need to hire someone who has the skills to do it. For me it’s easy because I’ve done it for so many years, but it took time for me to learn.” Since he has settled in San Antonio, Garcia has traded beach flip-flops for boots to wear to the rodeo. He also has eaten his fair share of the city’s Tex-Mex cuisine. Garcia has even acclimated to the city’s heat, riding outside on dirt bikes and motorcycles with Joel and introducing them to grandson Alexander Ty. Is Garcia happy he moved to San Antonio for love? “Oh yes, it’s very nice to be here. Sometimes I even ask my wife, ‘Why didn’t you tell me before that we needed to move to San Antonio?’” he says, laughing. Now, when people ask him where he’s from, Garcia is happy and proud to tell them. “I say, ‘I’m Antonio from San Antonio!’” Subcontractor Antonio Drywall Repair & Texture is in San Antonio. –mjm

all it the hand of Fate. Maybe call it Kismet. Your Lucky Stars. Or Divine Providence. But twice in his life, Luis Rodriguez has been plucked out of a crowd, even against his will, to become the owner of Rodco Masonry and the person he is today. Rodriguez is from Mexico, but his father became a U.S. citizen in the 1980s and moved to New York City, leaving the rest of the family behind. His father did give Rodriguez and his sister passports, enabling them to come visit him in the States. When Rodriguez did just that when he was 15, his father turned him away and told him to return to Mexico. Not wanting to go back, Rodriguez stopped in San Antonio. With no place to stay or with no contacts, Rodriguez lived downtown, sleeping Adriana Mejia and Luis Rodriguez of Rodco Masonry. under a bridge. Enter Fate. Rodriguez was hanging first contractor as a master mason and out with the men where contractors worked for another man until he was 24. come to find daily laborers. One particu- This man didn’t do Rodriguez right, so at lar contractor spotted the youth in the the prompting of his wife Adriana, Rodricrowd and directed him to step forward. guez branched out on his own and startRodriguez resisted, saying he wasn’t ed Rodco Masonry when he was 24 years there to find work, but merely hanging old in 2006. out. The man insisted and ordered him Rodriguez met Adriana when he into his truck. The man was a masonry would take his vehicles to her auto dealcontractor, and hired Rodriguez at $8 an ership for State inspections and service. hour to mix mortar. After a time of doing business there, their Rodriguez did this for a year, staying relationship grew. Now, Rodriguez uses with the man at his house. Then the man her auto yard to stage his vehicles and said he was going to teach Rodriguez equipment. how to lay brick, using a brick mailbox as Rodriguez currently has three other the object lesson. To the man’s surprise, men working for him, but had to hire Rodriguez built the mailbox perfectly, more when he got the job to work on the saying he had been watching the con- San Fernando Cathedral patio/porch area tractor lay bricks all this time. Rodriguez as part of its renovation. worked for this man as a mason until he Currently, Rodco Masonry works an was 21. approximate 50-mile radius around San The second time Divine Providence Antonio. Its main focus is residential projselected Rodriguez out of the crowd also ects, like outdoor ovens, patios, fireplachappened downtown. es, barbecue pits, etc., but works on com A woman who worked at the Mexi- mercial, industrial and public works projcan Consulate, who used to talk to people ects as well. Rodriguez will hire more as they mingled around, saw Rodriguez men if the job requires it. and asked him to share his story. He told Whichever you call it, something or her about his father in New York, etc. The someone was smiling on the homeless woman told Rodriguez to report to her youth from Mexico whose own father reoffice. She also convinced his father to jected him and sent him away. Now, Rodsign the necessary paperwork to make co Masonry will be there should you the minor son a U.S. citizen, virtually over- need some brick or stone work. night, since the father was as well. Rodco Masonry is a mason contractor When Rodriguez was 21, he left the in San Antonio and surrounding areas. -dsz

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Litigious personal injury (PI) attorney-driven climate on commercial auto – Must address directly with your driver group

Part II: What are the accounting methods for long-term contracts? Scott Allen, CPA, Tax Partner Cornwell Jackson Plano, TX

Wes Pitts, Sr. V.P. and Southwest Regional Construction Practice Leader for USI Southwest USI Southwest Austin, TX


re you compliant? There are nuances to this area of the federal tax code. To prepare for the changes in 2018, each company should review accounting methods for long-term contracts with a CPA knowledgeable in this area of the federal tax code.

The following are the primary accounting methods for long-term contracts, explained briefly, for smaller and larger contractors. Smaller Contractors - Ave. Gross Receipts < $10 million (or < $25 million starting in 2018) Completed Contract Method • No revenue is reported or costs deducted until the contract is complete: • Generally considered complete when 95% of expected costs have been incurred • Aggressive billing and collections do not impact income • Biggest tax deferral opportunity The disadvantages of this method occur when several contracts finish in the same year, causing a spike in income and a spike in the tax rate. Contractors also cannot deduct losses on a contract until the job is complete. Note that home contracts are exempt from Section 460 and that the completed contract method is generally used by home builders. Cash Method • Revenue reported when collected • Costs deducted when paid • Large deferral opportunities by managing billings and acceleration of payment of costs The disadvantages of the cash accounting method with long-term contracts is that contractors must spend cash to claim deductions and delay receipts to defer income, which is counter to smart business planning. Aggressive billing may result in acceleration of income. Also, a declining economy could mean large tax bills in down years due to the inevitable reversal of income deferrals. Accrual Method • Revenue reported when billed • Costs deducted when incurred The disadvantages to the accrual accounting method are that aggressive billing generally results in acceleration of revenue, accrued losses on contracts are not deductible until the job is complete and tax planning techniques may be counter to business planning. Percentage of Completion Method • Ongoing recognition of revenue and income, computed by the stage of project completion when compared to total costs to complete the project • Based on estimated future costs The disadvantages to the percentage of completion accounting method are that accrued losses on contracts are not deductible and income can be accelerated due to things like uninstalled materials charged to jobs, overbillings by subcontractors or underestimated total costs to complete a job. The accuracy of the meth-

od is dependent upon the accuracy of estimates. Inaccurate estimates could result in inaccurate reporting of tax. A Note About Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) For C-corporations, AMT was repealed for 2018 forward. The 2018 tax law increased the AMT exemptions for individuals, however AMT continues to apply. Percentage of completion is required for AMT purposes. Thus the difference in income between percentage of completion and the income under the taxpayer’s method of accounting for long-term contracts is an adjustment for AMT purposes. If the contractor is organized as a partnership, Scorporation, or sole proprietorship, the owners should evaluate the effect of AMT when selecting their accounting method. Home builders, as an exception, are permitted to use the completed contract method for AMT. Larger Contractors Ave. Gross Receipts > $10 million (or > $25 million starting in 2018). Larger contractors are required to use the Percentage of Completion method under Code Section 460. To offset the potential for accelerated income, companies may elect a 10% method, which defers recognition of revenue or costs until a job is at least 10% complete. This method is also allowable under AMT. It may be useful in instances when a contract commences toward the end of a tax year. Larger companies are also required to use a look-back approach once a job is complete. Income in prior years is recalculated using actual costs, which may result in a change in gross profit for the prior year. Tax is recalculated and compared to tax actually paid for the year. Interest is calculated on the resulting over or under payment. Code Section 460 also requires companies to allocate certain overhead costs to contracts. This may provide a deferral opportunity if the contractor is diligent in estimating overhead costs that may be allocated to the contract in future years. For more information on Tax Law Changes and how they will affect your company, read December’s Accounting Column. Scott Allen, CPA, joined Cornwell Jackson as a Tax Partner in 2016, bringing his expertise in the Construction and Oil and Gas industries and 25 years of experience in the accounting field. As the Partner in Charge of the Tax practice at Cornwell Jackson, Scott provides proactive tax planning and tax compliance to all Cornwell Jackson tax clients. Contact him at or 972-202-8032


ave you seen your Auto rates steadily increasing over the last several years? You are not alone, it’s happening on all commercial insurance accounts across the board regardless of your own individual account’s auto experience – an 8% bump, 10% bump, even 15% or more are becoming more and more common! Commercial Auto (the Business Auto Policy line) is at the top of all underwriter’s radar screens right now. Why? The Personal Injury attorneys are having a field day on Auto, and you can’t avoid seeing their advertising in just about every kind of media outlet today. Just think for a minute how often daily you hear or see, “Have you been hurt by a company truck, call us know, we can get you the money you deserve, we’re standing by, etc., etc.” These attorneys have become experts at leveraging all aspects of how you the employer were negligent in the case of your driver’s accident on behalf of your company – how you hired the driver, how you vetted your driver (MVR program), experience and training, negligent entrustment, your written policies for safe driving including distracted driving acknowledged by all drivers, written documentation of maintenance of the vehicle, etc. (think of these as defenses). For all we know many of your employees may have the misconception that these PI firms are their friends and allies out there looking out for the employee’s best interests. In fact, these PI firms are costing employers millions of dollars in increased auto rates, which at the end of the day can and will affect employer’s bottom lines, and that could mean impacts to salaries, raises, bonuses, etc., and this is what the employees don’t realize. As an agent in this marketplace dealing with ever increasing auto rates daily and working diligently with underwriters trying to demonstrate the we have best-in-class insureds that are doing everything right, there’s a big picture strategy that we feel strikes into the heart of this problem better than anything else. We have to get out and talk directly to our insured’s drivers! Insureds today should expect their agent to be coming out and holding sessions with their driver groups to address and explain the big picture problem, key them in on why this is important to them, what is fueling the poor performing line (not only the PI’s, but also growth in fleet

size, higher vehicle values and repair costs, our ever-increasing traffic problem – all a perfect storm homed in on the Auto line! The session should address how underwriting has a keen eye on them as drivers, what is a loss ratio, how they/their employer are performing, what their frequency and trends are on Auto, what their goals should be, and what their costs are now and more importantly what their costs could be. Goals should be set with the drivers and demonstrate to them what are considered the best, good to average, higher, and the highest auto rates on a typical light class service truck, and show them where they don’t want to be going on that spectrum. Then after they understand all that, is when we begin to go into safe and defensive driving strategies with the drivers, almost like a refresher course on basic concepts of safe and defensive driving. The session should be interactive and encourage participation and involvement from the driver group. The presentation should show statistics, and have imbedded videos that show accidents and the pains of losses that can occur because of their driving decisions. A lot of time should be spent on the fastest up and coming crash cause, distracted driving with the use of cell phones and similar devices. You take a look at your Auto line and you see the last 5 years’ experience shows three to five claims a year, but several have large reserves when your driver and investigation showed you the people were up and about just fine at the accident scene – this is the issue, a week later these people (claimants) hire the PI and now all of the sudden they have all kinds of problems and your carrier puts up a $25,000. reserve on the Auto BI-Liability. One light truck on average moderately generates about $1,500 a year in full coverage premium, you see the issue? Rates are moving up because of this, but getting out in front of the drivers and discussing this whole situation is an excellent big picture step, and we’re confident that getting their buy-in will make a significant difference for your company over the long haul with this issue. Wes Pitts is a Sr. Vice President and Southwest Regional Construction Practice Leader for USI Southwest - Austin, TX. 512-651-4107, or

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 9

Design defects threaten Texas contractors

Is 911 your confined space rescue plan?

Shelly Masters, Principal Cokinos | Young Austin, TX

Joann Natarajan Compliance Assistance Specialist OSHA Austin, TX


any Texas contractors wrongly assume they have no responsibility for errors or omissions in plans and specifications. To the contrary, Texas courts have held contractors – not owners – bear the risk and liability of deficient plans when the contract is silent on the issue. Unlike most states, Texas contractors remain largely unprotected for the errors and omissions of architects. Texas courts have refused to follow what is known nationwide as the “Spearin Doctrine” – a federal court ruling that an owner of a construction project has an implied duty to provide the contractor with accurate plans and specifications. If a contractor builds according to the owner’s plans and specifications, the contractor will not be responsible for the consequences of any defects in those documents. Thus, the contractor is relieved of liability to the owner if its work is defective due to following the design documents provided by the owner. Instead, Texas follows the holding by the Texas Supreme Court in the Lonergan case wherein the court stated: There is no more reason why the [owner] should be held responsible for the alleged defects in the specifications that it did not discover for want of skill and knowledge of the business of an architect, than there is for holding [the contractor] to be bound by their acceptance of the defective plans which they understood as well as the [owner] did, and in all probability much better. The fact that [the contractor] contracted to construct the building according to the specifications furnished implied that they understood the plans. ... If there be any obligation resting upon the [owner], as guarantor of the sufficiency of the specifications, it must be found expressed in the language of the contract, or there must be found in that contract such language as would justify the court in concluding that the parties intended that the [owner] should guarantee the sufficiency of the specifications to [the contractor]. Because Texas law does not follow the Spearin doctrine, contractors must bear the risk of design deficiencies in the absence of contract provisions otherwise allocating this risk. Further, contractors have no direct claim for negligence against architects for damages incurred as a result of design errors or omissions.

As a result, a contractor’s primary tool for limiting risk and liability is by agreement. Contractors must carefully review and revise construction contract language to reduce or eliminate such risk. Texas courts have upheld such contract provisions. Avoid entering into contracts with language meant to shift the risk of loss from design errors or omissions onto the contractor through the use of specific disclaimers making the contractor the guarantor of the adequacy of the plans and specifications. Limitations should also be placed on language requiring the contractor to thoroughly inspect the site and design documents and otherwise assume responsibility for any errors therein. Beware – the more specific and detailed the clause, the more likely it will be enforced. Contractors should aggressively negotiate very specific provisions negating liability for design errors based on the scope of work of the project. For example, contractors have successfully shifted the risk back to the owner with contract language expressly stating that the contractor shall be entitled to rely on the accuracy of information furnished by the owner; the contractor shall not be liable to the owner or architect for damage resulting from errors or omissions in the contract documents; and, the contractor’s review of plans and specifications are made in the contractor’s capacity as a contractor and not as a licensed design professional. Shelly Masters is a Principal in the Austin office of Cokinos | Young, a firm specializing in the representation of those in the construction industry for almost 30 years. She represents clients in the areas of construction, labor and employment, commercial, and products liability law. Her firm also has offices in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. She can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (512) 615-1139.


ermit-required confined spaces can present conditions that are immediately dangerous to workers’ lives or health if not properly identified, evaluated, tested and controlled. OSHA has developed a standard for Confined Spaces in Construction (29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA) for any space that meets all of the following criteria: • Is large enough for a worker to enter; • Has limited means of entry or exit; and • Is not designed for continuous occupancy. One provision of the standard requires employers to develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue or emergency services in permit-required confined spaces. An employer who relies on local emergency services for assistance is required to meet the requirements of §1926.1211 — Rescue and emergency services. OSHA recognizes that not all rescue services or emergency responders are trained and equipped to conduct confined space rescues. When employers identify an off-site rescue service, it is critical that the rescuers can protect their employees. The emergency services should be familiar with the exact site location, types of permit-required confined spaces and the necessary rescue equipment. Calling emergency responders to provide rescue services can be a suitable way of providing for rescues in a permitrequired confined space. Preplanning will ensure that the emergency service is capable, available and prepared. Prior to the start of the rescue work operation, employers must evaluate prospective emergency responders and select one that has adequate equipment for rescues, such as atmospheric monitors, fall protection, extraction equipment, and self-contained breathing ap-

paratus (SCBA) for the particular permitrequired confined spaces. The emergency responder must have the ability to respond and conduct a rescue in a timely manner based on the site conditions and is capable of conducting a rescue if faced with potential hazards specific to the space. Such hazards may include atmospheric hazards (e.g., flammable vapors, low oxygen), electrocution (e.g., unprotected, energized wires), flooding or engulfment potential, poor lighting, fall hazards and chemical hazards. Agreed to notify the employer in the event that the rescue team becomes unavailable. Employers must also inform the emergency responders of potential hazards when they are called to perform a rescue at the worksite; and provide emergency responders with access to all permit-required confined spaces. Emergency responders must be provided with information on access routes, gates or landmarks, a project site plan if necessary, and GPS coordinates if in a remote location. Employers should ensure that the most efficient means to contact emergency responders is available, any changes to the project site conditions are communicated to the rescue service, and emergency responders are willing to visit the site and conduct a joint training exercise with the employer. 512-374-0271 x232

Rescheduled golf


ssociated Builders & Contractors (ABC) held their annual fall golf tournament with a sell out crowd. The event sold out in a matter of days and was initially scheduled for Sept. 17 but was rescheduled due to heavy rains. The event took place on Oct. 1 with the main tournament being held on the Resort Course with 128 golfers. A secondary “mini” tournament was held on the Palmers Course for 29 golfers. –cmw

Resort Course winners: 2nd Place: RSM US LLP 3rd Place: D.Wilson Construction Closest-to-the-Pin: Will Bernhard, Harvey Cleary Builders Straightest Drive: Danny Cornejo, D. Wilson Construction

Palmers Course winners: 1st Place: Terracon 2nd Place: Catto & Catto Closest-to-the-Pin: Jaime Amoretti, Catto & Catto

Graduates of ABC

The Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) South Texas Chapter held their 2017-2018 Apprentice Graduation on Sept. 22 at Dave & Busters. Eighteen apprentices completed ABC’s four-year U.S. Dept. of Labor approved apprenticeship program in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and sheet metal. L-R: Samuel N. Vasquez, Luis A. Rogue (carpentry); Benito Jimenez (sheet metal); Gary Martinez, Valentin Pina III, Mike Ituralde and Michael Garcia (plumbing). -cmw

1st Place Resort Course: Gunn Fleet

Page 10

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Golfing for scholarships

Industry FOLKS

he Hispanic Contractors Association de San Antonio (HCAdeSA) held their 19th Annual Golf Tournament at the Republic Golf Course. The event is the association’s scholarship fundraiser for students pursing construction related degrees with Alamo Colleges and also separately, for the families of our members attending local colleges. Annually HCAdeSA donates $10,000 in scholarships. The event has become extremely popular, selling out a month early. –cmw

Arnold Andrade Solar design and marketing South Texas Solar Systems San Antonio, TX



1st Place Net – L-R: Oscar Gomez, Juan Rivera, Estela Garcia-Perez, Golf Chairwoman & BoD and Larry Ybarra. (Not pictured Abel Medina)

1st Place Gross – L-R: Luke Finger, Seth Logan, Estela Garcia-Perez, Jose Trejo and Jose Trejo

rnold loves his city of San Antonio and the solar industry. At 26-yearsold he has already accomplished a few education and career goals. Arnold was born and raised in San Antonio. He graduated from G.W. Brackenridge High School and received an associate’s degree in architecture from San Antonio Community College. “I continued at UTSA, but I recently stopped so that I can pursue my career in solar.” Right now Arnold is taking classes to receive his NABCEP [North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners] certification. So how did this young man find himself in the construction industry? Well, for starters his father installs AC units and as a kid Arnold would help. “I was born into the construction industry. My mind was soaking in everything happening around me.” Arnold has grown to love the construction industry. Today, Arnold works at South Texas Solar Systems in solar design and marketing. He has been with the company for three years. While he enjoys helping make an impact on the global warming issues, he also loves that his ideas are being integrated into the business. “The people here are awesome!” Solar strikes up a positive conversation, a conversation that Arnold likes to have. Something interesting that he has seen first hand is the growth within the solar industry. He likes to thank his mentors within the company that have guided him to understanding the essence of the solar industry. “All the installers at work show me how to install

panels and they provide me with information I needed to know. All of our electricians also explain to me what a solar panel entails. Our owner James Hiebert has shown me how the business is run and the things I need to look for in projects.” Another mentor Arnold looks up to is the CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk. “I look up to him because he is creating opportunities that were not there before for people in the solar industry. He promotes positivity toward solar.” Arnold knows that you can never stop learning in this trade. Arnold enjoys his city as much as he enjoys his job. He is very intrigued with the local art community. On his off time he likes to go see local artwork being showcased at different venues or local events. He also has a love for animals, to be more specific, his dog Luna. “She is a super awesome dog and friendly!” However, Arnold can’t seem to stay away from the innovated technology that is indeed used throughout the solar industry. He likes to fly. Not small aircrafts. Not kites. He likes to fly drones. “I’ll fly the drones for the jobs that we have done at South Texas Solar Systems.” He has been a drone operator for two years and says he picked it up naturally. He thinks playing video games helped. Arnold is definitely a go-getter and a great asset to his team. –lv

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 11

A growing family

Topping out at BRC

L-R: Raba-Kistner Vice President & COO Tom Burr and Timber Creek Environmental Charles “Dude” Hall make the acquisition of TCE official.

Metropolitan employees place a crape myrtle on top of the new BRC facility.


etropolitan Contracting (METRO) hosted a topping out party for the new BRC facility Sept. 27. METRO began construction in May of this year and is scheduled to complete the 78,689sf facility in Dec. 2018. Prior to the topping out ceremony, William R “Mike” Scott, PhD and Lars H. Reinhart, M.D. of METRO’s Corey Magin, Strategic Development Officer Chris Carruth, Project Executive John Franklin and BRC addressed everyone Assistant Project Manager Natalie Munoz and expressed their gratitude to the METRO team for their profes- consultant. They analyze and recreate sionalism and craftsmanship throughout automotive accidents to determine if it the construction process. Guests were was due to vehicular failure or human erthen treated to a barbeque lunch with all ror,” says Corey Magin, marketing directhe trimmings. tor for METRO. “The project is unique because the Metropolitan Contracting (METRO) is a client themselves, BRC, is a biomechani- full-service general contractor. –cmw cal analysis and accident reconstruction


t the beginning of October, the Raba-Kistner Inc. (RK) family grew with the acquisition of Timber Creek Environmental (TCE). Based in Conroe and with additional offices in San Antonio and Dallas, TCE will become part of the RK environmental division. Charles “Dude” Hall established Timber Creek with the core competencies of Environmental Compliance, Geosciences and Natural Resource Management in 2013. “TCE is well respected in the environmental field due to their experienced, committed staff, strong client relationships, and innovative project solutions that they have provided to their clients. Their growth in five years is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Tom Burr, Senior Vice President and COO of Raba Kistner’s environmental division. “They are a great cultural fit for Raba Kistner, as a result, and will support multiple components of Raba Kistner’s strategic growth plan.” Raba-Kistner wanted more ways to help their clients and provide solutions for their clients and Timber Creek pro-

vides a good range of services, particularly in the area of environmental compliance that will compliment the services already provided by the RK. “TCE’s background with the manufacturing/industrial sector and with major national clients strengthens our position in this sector,” said Joe Irizarry, CMO and Senior Vice President of Raba Kistner, Inc. “We have served industrial clients for almost 50 years. TCE expands our range of environmental services and gives us even more ways to provide solutions for our clients.” Over the next 90 days TCE will be transitioning their name into Raba-Kistner. “We are excited because we can help their clients in more ways with other services that we do, but we can extend the unique things Timber Creek brings to our clients to all the markets we serve. I think it is going to be very complimentary to all involved and especially to our clients,” adds Irizarry. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Raba Kistner Inc. is a full-service engineering firm. -cmw

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Industry FOLKS

Nehemias Moreno Public Relations/Marketing Director

Setien Group/Setien & Associates


Schertz, TX

orn in Lamesa, a small town in the Panhandle of Texas, Moreno spent the first eight years of his life about 9 miles southwest of Lamesa in the midst of the cotton fields. At the age of six, he joined his parents, older sisters and brother to work in the cotton fields in Dawson County. For the next 10 years, he would work every summer to earn money for school supplies and clothes. His father drove a tractor while the rest of his family worked in what they called “la limpia,” which means “to clean” and that is exactly what they did. They cleaned the fields of weeds. Moreno’s parents insisted he and his siblings finish high school so they would not work in the fields for the rest of their lives as they had. Moreno worked in various construction jobs after graduating high school in 1981 from concrete work to framing and decking, to drywall, mostly as a helper. His two older sisters encouraged Moreno to go to college and in 1983, he enrolled in San Antonio College to earn his core credits and study volleyball, but after a year and a half, quit to work in a warehouse, making recreational products. Moreno decided he need to continue his education after he and his wife married in 1989. He enrolled at the National Education Center in San Antonio and earned his first Associates degree in just 18 months. After enrolling in Wayland Baptist University to acquire a bachelor’s degree, dropping out and working for several years in various jobs, he decided to apply at a charter school as a substitute teacher and was hired on the spot. After a couple of months, he was hired as a permanent substitute to teach recordkeeping and career prep. The following year he was asked to come back as a fulltime career and technology instructor and taught at the charter school for 12 years, and two years in the capacity of Outreach Coordinator and Recruiter. Although Moreno had been out of school for 11 years, he enrolled at Palo Alto College and as a part-time student in 2003. It took him six years, but he acquired his second Associate degree, this time in Administrative Computer Technology. In 2013, at age 50, he enrolled at Texas State University and at the age of 54, he earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences, through the department of Occupational Workforce and Leadership Studies. “Some people say that you are never too old, but I say, do it when you are young; it’s easier. During my time as a high school teacher, while looking for jobs for my students, I begin to research the construction industry.“ Moreno began working for Setien Group/Setien & Associates, a structural steel detailing and fabrication company in Schertz, Texas, after meeting owner, Domino Setien who allowed him to complete a capstone class for his degree. Upon completing the project, he was offered a job. His passion is still in helping make a connection between young people in schools and the construction industry. “I am very fortunate that the owner of Setien Group, Mr. Domingo Setien shares my vision and has given me the flexibility to go out and make those connections.” -cmw

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 13

Preparing for winter fishing by Capt. Steve Schultz Sponsored by: Waypoint Marine, Shoalwater Boats, Evinrude Outboards, Fishing Tackle Unlimited, E-Z Bel Construction, Costa Sunglasses, Diawa Reels, Simms Fishing, ForEverlast Fishing Products, Interstate Batteries, MirrOlure, JL Marines PowerPole, AFW and AFTCO Clothing


very November, sportsman are faced with the decision on whether to go hunting or fishing on their days off from work. It’s really is a tough choice to make after cold fronts start arriving here along the coast, because you know there is an opportunity to see a big buck standing at your feeder and there’s also a chance to catch a giant gator trout on your next cast with your favorite corky lure. I can recall many days at the ranch when the weather turns out to be so perfect and I look at the guys and say, “We should be fishing!” Well, all I can say is either of the two is ok with me. Fall/winter fishing has been getting so popular in the last several years because there is less pressure on the bay system. Anglers are able to get to their favorite fishing hole without worrying if someone will be there or if it’s already

Mike Rodriguez of San Antonio wrestled this 32-inch redfish last month while on an outing with Steve Schultz Outdoors.

been fished out. This is the time of the year where you take your time getting to the ramp, perhaps stopping for a taco and coffee before you hit the water. Plan your day on the water according to the major and minor feeding times to optimize your time on the water. Use the sun to your advantage, keeping in mind that shallow water warms up quicker than deeper water. Take advantage of the whole day by sticking it out when the bite is off. You have already invested the time and money to get on the water, so

This 27.5-inch, 7.3 lb. redfish was just heavy enough to land Robert Meyers a third place trophy in the San Antonio Pipeliners Tournament.

don’t blow the day off when you don’t catch them in the morning. Winter fishing can be very rewarding if you are willing to be patient and put in the effort it takes to grind through the day with just a few bites. This type of fishing isn’t for everyone. Most seasoned anglers who have spent many hours on the water know what I’m talking about. These trips are not for a newcomer that expects lots of action like we have during the summer. As you get older you understand what I’m talking about. Can’t tell you how many times a young boy, heck even my boys, have asked, “Why are we not catching any fish or seeing any bucks as we sit in a deer blind?” All of these questions are answered with time spent on the water and in the brush and make success very gratifying. For the remainder of the season and the start of 2019, I will be concentrating my efforts wading for trophy trout in Baffin Bay and Port Mansfield. Wade fishing and throwing artificial lures will be the main techniques. I will also be spending lots of time in the South Texas brush searching for someone’s next trophy whitetail. If you are interested in pursuing either of these adventures, don’t hesitate in giving me a call. My 2019 calendar is now open for bookings for the entire fishing season. To schedule your next bay fishing trip or hunting adventure give Capt. Steve Schultz a call at 361-813-3716 or e-mail me at SteveSchultzOutdoors@gmail. com. Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Ken Milam’s Fishing Line Since 1981, Ken Milam has been guiding fishing trips for striped bass on Lake Buchanan in the Texas Hill Country, You can hear Ken on the radio as follows: The Great Outdoors: 5-8 am Saturday on 1300, The Zone, Austin and The Great Outdoors: 5-7 am Saturday on 1200 WOAI San Antonio The Sunday Sportsman: 6-8 am Sunday on 1300, The Zone, Austin All on iHeart Radio



esterday it was 90 degrees with hellish humidity so bad you couldn’t go outside without sweat droplets chasing each other down your back. Today it is 40 degrees with a 25 mph wind driving heavy rain into you at a 45 degree angle. Welcome to Texas. A lot of us natives really don’t feel the need to travel and experience new things because if you just sit still all the weather will eventually come to you! We are creatures of habit. It’s nice to just roll out of bed and dress like yesterday and go and do usual stuff without having to think about it. That doesn’t work with this climate! We go from having to try and stay cool to trying to get warm with not much just right in between. At least we can influence the environment that we inhabit to get comfortable. The wild things we share this world with are not as lucky. If you hunt or fish and learn about the creatures you seek, you understand that they are largely influenced by things like temperature and daylight hours. These are the cues that tell animals (and plants too) what they should be doing in their life cycle on a biological level. Everything revolves around spawning and rutting and creating the next generation and raising them to independence. It tells natural things when to seek shelter and wait and when to surge ahead to feed and succeed. Is it any wonder that hunting and fishing are such a challenge? Yesterday was just another lazy summer day to be endured. Stripers have been in that end of summer shut down mode for weeks now. They don’t like the kind of temperatures our Texas waters get up to. The shorter days have cooled them a little and they have been trying to find enough cool water to spur them into action, but it

just hasn’t been enough to get them going and keep them at it. I bet they will get the message after this cold spell. This is the weather they have been waiting for! Now they will get the clear message that it’s time to school up, chase shad and eat everything they can catch to they can be strong and healthy to spawn in the spring. Striper and Hybrid fishing is about to take off! It’s time to be thinking about booking those holiday fishing trips now! If you hunt, you know how deer need to get some cold weather to spark them into their rutting season. That’s when hunting gets the best. A good fisherman learns how to adapt his bait and presentation for each kind of day. A real hunter can feel the weather and know if the deer or birds will be moving and foraging for food or laying up waiting for better weather. A lucky hunter or fisherman is one who gets a few days in a row that allow him to find and use a pattern of attack that has brought success before! The more time you spend outdoors, the more patterns you learn to respond to. The more you go, the more you know! And don’t forget to bring the kids because they need to learn too!

Half or Full Day Fishing Trips All Bait, Tackle & Equipment Furnished Your catch Filleted and Bagged for You Furnish your TPWD Fishing License & Refreshments, and WE DO THE REST!

Ken Milam Guide Service (325) 379-2051

Submitted to Construction News

A team effort

Structura sent this photo from a company fishing trip in Port Aransas Oct. 5-7. Randy Miller (front row, far right) caught the most fish and the biggest red and trout out of the entire team. Congratulations Randy! -cmw

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 15

Sharing a hunt with a friend


f you are an individual who is lucky, and have been for most of your life, then sooner or later you will get to follow through on some of your dreams and find out how much truth is really contained within them. For Edward Pape with Vacquero Consulting Group LLC, a large part of that was always Africa, and while not all of it was what he thought, or imagined it would be, the majority of it was, and still is after six trips to five different countries, the latest of which was Namibia in August of this year.

Good friend Tom Quintero, IBTX, accompanied Pape on his continued exploration of Southern Africa. While this was Quintero’s first trip to South Africa, Pape doubts it will be his last. “Africa gets into your system and very few people that I know are ever satisfied by travelling there only once,” says Pape. The duo arrived in Windhoek after 40 hours of travel. After a good night’s rest, Quintero left for a hunting property with visions of coming home with a Kudu, while Pape went to Swakopmund for

three days. With no luck of getting his coveted Kudu, Quintero managed to conquer a Mountain Zebra and Gemsbok while Pape enjoyed flying of the Skeleton Coast in a Cessna 210. “There a lot of history to be seen from the air as well as on the ground,” adds Pape. Rejoining Quintero on day four and for the rest of the safari, Quintero’s Kudu remained elusive for the next few days but the addition of a Black Wildebeest, the two could concentrate on the Kudu.

Edward Pape flying over the Skeleton Coast.


Black wildebeest

Mountain zebra

Finally, on the last day of their trip, and the anniversary of Pape’s first trip to Africa, a fine bull was spotted and the stalking began through a narrow valley with steep hills on either side, only to abandon the bull at the last minute when an older and larger bull made his presence known. Late in the afternoon, while moving back across the narrow valley, pacing quickly through the loose deep sand, they two finally caught up with the older Kudu and Quintero ceased his opportunity with success. –cmw


L-R: Tom Quintero and Edward Pape pose with their bag of sandgrouse and African dove. Photo of shipwreck of the Skeleton Coast.

Submitted to Construction News

Submitted to Construction News

Hunt of a lifetime

Hold tight

Eight days off the grid in 24 to 28-degree weather, Steve White, AmeriCRANE Rentals LP, was able to shoot this moose in Northern Alberta Canada. “It was a hunt of lifetime,” says White. -cmw

It is almost wintertime and that means trout season. Patrick Attwater, founder and CEO of One80 Solar caught this trout last season on the Guadalupe River. –lv

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

What you got there?

Check out this rare catch caught by Sage Warren, co-founder of One80 Solar. During the summer on the San Marcos River Warren went fly-fishing and caught a Rio Grande Cichlid. –lv

Construction News ON LOCATION

Reinforcing visit

L-R: Rhett Roberts and Krystina Wells, Harris Rebar visit with Construction News. -cmw

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 17

Keep on Giving


Presentation of $45,000 check at CASA offices.

he Construct A Kid’s Christmas (CAKC) Gala, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that benefits Bexar County foster children, recently presented the Child Advocates of San Antonio (CASA) with a check to further benefit those children in our community. “We are so happy Construct A Kid’s Christmas has continued to grow through

the years,” said Buddy Doebbler, publisher of Construction News and president of the non-profit. “This check to CASA will help them continue the valuable work they do for the foster children in our community. CASA provides critical advocacy and services to these children.”-bd

Celebrating Hispanic heritage


ept. 15 through Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month and the members of the Hispanic Contractors de San Antonio (HCAdeSA) celebrated by hosting their own Hispanic heritage celebration on Sept. 19 at The Quarry. -cmw

L-R: Michelle and Jose Trevino, CPS Energy and Dave Sanchez, HCAdeSA.

Page 18


ore than 150 participants attended the 41st Annual MCA-SMACNA Hunter’s Symposium on Sept. 26 at Bexar Community Shooting Range in Marion. Members, associate members and guests participated in a skeet, trap and rifle shoot, enjoyed a catfish dinner and won some amazing raffle and door prizes. Photos courtesy of Mary C. Haskin Photography.–cmw Associate Rifle winners: 2nd Place: Frank Tuttle, Texas Air Systems 3rd Place: John Cook, Mechanical Reps Member Rifle winners: 2nd Place: Jonathan Wilson, M&M Metals 3rd Place: Jared Peterson

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Rifle, trap and skeet Guest Place Rifle winners: 2nd Place: Michael Arrequin, CBRE 3rd Place: Jim Rodriguez, James T Rodriguez Engineering Guest Trap winners: 2nd Place: Matt Landrum, NEISD 3rd Place: Brian Keller, Cleary Zimmermann Associate Trap winners: 2nd Place: Justin Odom, Performance Contracting, Inc. 3rd Place: Josh Bailey, Texas Air Products

Member Trap winners: 1st Place: Joe Cielencki, M&M Metals 2nd Place: Hayward Decker, AJ Monier 3rd Place: Cesar Carreon, Brandt Companies Guest Skeet winners: 2nd Place: Rick Barrera, IMEG Corp 3rd Place : Phillip Allen, Ackerman Associate Skeet winners: 2nd Place: Scott Hutcheson, Texas Air Systems 3rd Place: Drew Freiley, Ferguson

Member Skeet winners: 2nd Place: Deborah Wertheim, LC Mosel 3rd Place: Ben Christian, M&M Metals Shoddy Skeet: Jordon Wunsch, LWA Ridiculous Rifle: Brad Bright, Trane Bullseye: Todd Hartmann, Mueller & Wilson Expert Rifle: Mark Zinsmeister, Service Mechanical Group Terrible Trap: Jim Rodriguez and Caleb Harris, Performance Contracting, Inc.

Expert Skee: Ken Brothers, Siemens Industry

1st Place Guest Trap: Adrian Cousens

1st Place Member Rifle: Eric Rice, AJ Monier

Expert Trap: Aaron Caldwell, Texas Air Products 1st Place Guest Rifle: Andy Watson, Spaw Glass

1st Place Associate Trap: John Cook, Mechanical Reps

1st Place Member Skeet: Tim Butler, Dynamic Systems Inc.

1st Place Associate Rifle: Andy Chantos, PMI

1st Place Associate Skeet: Scott Wunsch, LWA

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 19

Golfing for safety

Cards, spirits and salsa

1st Place Salsa: Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing Inc.


1st Place winners: Bobby Yelverton, Chris Walling, Joe Jobst and Tom Davidson

he 9th annual Scott Freund Foundation “Step Aside” golf tournament was held at Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club. Thirty teams came out to enjoy the beautiful day and play golf for the foundation, which supports Texas Search and Rescue groups, boating/hunter safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife. The foundation was set up to encourage boating safety. Each spring (3rd weekend of April) the foundation puts on

a fishing tournament in Corpus Christi and a fall golf tournament in Fair Oaks, where Scott and his family lived for many years. -cmw Winners: 2nd Place: Eddie McDuff, Mike Cevera, Scott Wunsch and Zach McManus Longest Drive: Isaac Ontiveros Closet-to-Pin: Jeff May


he American Subcontractors Association (ASA) held their 14th Annual Pour-off, Texas Hold ‘em & Salsa Taste-off on Sept. 27 at Aggie Park. Members and guests had the opportunity to sample salsa recipes from mild to spicy. Nine teams participated in the pour-off while attendees sampled their brews and watched the on-going Texas Hold ‘em tournament. Patrick Harris was the big Texas Hold ‘em winner.–cmw 2nd Place winners: Salsa: Buyers Barricades Best Bar Set-up: ESC Consultants Inc. Non-Frozen: ESC Consultants Inc.

Frozen: KCM Cabinets Inc.

1st Place Non-Frozen: Fire Alarm Control Systems

TACCA fishing


he Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association (TACCA) hosted its 25th Annual Fishing Tournament at Doc’s Seafood & Steaks in S. Padre Island. The event was held Sept. 7 & 8 with an exceptional turn out. –cmw

2nd Place Heavy Stringer: TD Trout Tamers 2nd Place Heavy Trout: Rapid Recovery 2nd Place Heavy Red: Upper Slot Management

1st Place Best Bar Set-up: Ridout Barrett & Co.

1st Place Heavy Stringer: Thunder

1st Place Frozen: Ridout Barrett & Co.

1st Place Heavy Trout: Sails Calls

1st Place Head Red: TD Trout Tamers

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT & WHY? Saltgrass is my favorite, because the food is great and the customer service is always stunning. Janetta Tinsley, Straight Line Management Thousand Oaks Café: They have the best Mexican food in San Antonio, hands down. Roman Perez, M & M Metals Cappy’s in Alamo Heights. They have a little bit of everything. They have an awesome beer selection. They do fire brick pizzas. They have really amazing zucchini-bisque soups; they have these really delicious salads. Viola Murray, T & D Moravits Blanco Café. The enchiladas are great. You can beat the enchiladas. Lucio Gonzalez, JAG Public Safety Our favorite restaurant is Mi Rancho in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, for its real authentic Mexican taste. Adriane Majia, Rodco Masonry I like Chuy’s because I like their enchiladas. Gary Johnson, Preferred Custom Cabinets Blanco Café because I love Mexican food and they have the best enchiladas ever. You can go to any one of the Blanco Cafés in town and you’ll get the same quality food. Denese Huntsberry, ALEO Environmental Enterprises J Alexander in the Quarry. My wife and I and three boys have been going there for the last 15 years. Love the atmosphere,

the service and they have great food. It has become a tradition for my family to go there on our family dinner nights. When my oldest son comes home from college that is always the first place my family wants to go. Brian Holt, Foundation Support Specialists There’s a place in Salinas [California] called First Awakenings, and it’s been voted Best Breakfast ever. That place has some of the best specialty breakfast skillets I’ve ever eaten. It’s been voted Number 1 by Rachel Ray, I think, three or four times. John Plant, Recon Stone I have two, actually: Whiskey Cake in La Cantera. I had a turkey burger that was delicious. Of course, their whiskey cake was decadent and very tasty. For breakfast it’s Eggspectation. Their pancakes are very great. Spinach omelet--yum! Patti Marchesi, Abetix I order breakfast tacos from La Cocinita every morning. One of my favorite places to eat is Taste of Asia. Their spring rolls with rice paper are out of this world. Ovidio Flores, Skylights Over Texas I like sushi from Sukeban because the seafood is fresh and so good. Arnold Andrade, South Texas Solar Systems Anywhere I can eat a good meal and drink a good beer. One of my favorite spots is Black Sheep Lodge. It’s got really good beer and really good food for a very affordable price. Mike LeFevre, Speir Innovations

continued from Page 1 — ALEO Environmental Enterprises the affects of a material like asbestos can do to people. Her uncle used to work for an oil company on the Gulf Coast, but he was constantly exposed to asbestos. Despite being healthy his whole life, he was dead within a week of being diagnosed with cancer after seeing a doctor due to not feeling well. ALEO does environmental consulting for the Edgewood Independent School District, Alamo City Colleges, and a lot of work for the city of San Antonio and Port San Antonio (the old Kelly Air Force Base). In the past, ALEO has done work for Valero, Frost Bank and the Southwest Independent School District. Whenever buildings are torn down or remodeled, an environmental study must be done to determine if there are any asbestos or lead paint hazards, which can get into the air if disturbed. Currently, the San Antonio Water System is replacing its asbestos-lined water pipes with PVC. ALEO makes sure that the fibers don’t get into the atmosphere and to the general public. ALEO has done and is doing a lot of work for Port San Antonio, such as assisting with converting multiple hangers and warehouses from military to civilian usage. There is a big drainage project going on

now that ALEO has been called in on. ALEO has three full-time employees but sub-contracts the rest of their functions. Many people incorrectly assume that ALEO is a governmental agency, but they are not. A big part of ALEO’s job is to make sure hazardous materials like cadmium and chromium don’t end up in the aquifer. Waste from construction sites and other industrial projects can easily not be disposed of correctly and end up in the soil or in the water. Prior to today’s understanding and awareness of such materials, standards either weren’t adhered to or simply didn’t exist. All this is to benefit us. Materials like asbestos or lead from paint don’t show up in one’s system right away, but over time. It can be difficult to prove that one’s health problems at an elderly age are due to exposure from years ago. Environmental compliance can be a complicated process. At the very least it’s a dynamic and changing process. Fortunately, there are companies like ALEO Environmental Enterprises around to help keep John Q. Public safe. ensures environmental regulation and compliance in the San Antonio area. -dsz

continued from Page 1 — Skylights Over Texas work,” like malls, hotels and schools. Not all of them do the installing. SOT does everything, from start to finish. “We’ve been doing skylights since 1980, so a lot of people know about us,” Flores said. “Plus, we have sales reps in 32 states.” Some of SOT’s big projects include the library downtown, the UTSA engineering building, USAA, and the South Park and North Star Malls. When it comes to residential skylight installations, Flores says about 80 percent are installed after the home is built; while on the commercial side, 80 percent are installed at the time of original construction. When a homeowner calls on SOT, the estimator will go out and ascertain what the customer wants, then guide him/her through the range of possibilities. One big option is whether to be able to see out of the skylight or not. Some homeowners merely want the soft, diffused lighting, while others want to be able to see the sky and stars at night. Since 1980, the big changes in skylights have come mainly from solar-pow-

ered accessories (like blinds), to new, UVinhibiting acrylics. Flores started a new subsidiary of SOT early 2018: Gulf Coast Reconstruction, handling all areas of home remodeling. Of course, should the homeowner just happen to want a skylight, Flores knows a guy… For the future, Flores is looking into new designs and technologies. He wants to have skylights that are flush with the roof and more energy efficient. He also wants to come up with mold-resistant materials for skylights, for super-moist areas like the bathroom. SOT is a real family business. All of Flores’ siblings have worked for Dad at one time or another. In terms of its employees, “Most of our guys have been with us 15-20 years. Some have been with us since the start of the company,” Flores said. These folks know their skylights. All the better to see the stars through at night. Skylights Over Texas manufactures and installs skylights, based in San Antonio. -dsz

continued from Page 1 — Guido Construction Company

Landscaping mirrored to reflect the Saint Hedwig farming community.

constructed of traditional unfaced fiberglass insulation, metal stud framing, drywall, texture paint, plywood wall panels, etc. Tradition Elementary is the largest project to date for the City of Saint Hedwig with a population of 2,406. It is on the far most eastern point of East Central’s school district and is a very large project for such a remote area. The project sits on the site of what was once farming land with good fertile soil. While the land is great for farming, it creates a big challenge when saturated with over 30 inches of rain. The Guido team had their hands full with 57 recorded days of rain resulting in weather delays, material and man power shortages. The project had the typical challeng-

es that the industry has experienced of late: excessive wet weather, limited supply of specialty contractor resources and delays in communication. Ultimately the entire O/A/C team worked together to produce a state-of-the-art Facility led by Owners’ Representative, Jim Selby; LPA Architects Mark Oppelt, Principal & Carlos Constantino, Sr. PM; and the Construction Team led by: Russell Wilson, Sr. PM; Bill Farrell, Sr. Superintendent; Eric Cothran, PM; and Ryan Bennett, Superintendent. This allowed Guido to complete the new elementary school on time for the 2018-2019 school year. The school was formally dedicated on Oct. 6. Guido Construction Company is a fullservice Construction Manager / General Contractor based in San Antonio, TX. –cmw

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Page 21

THIS TH MON Jan: Construction Forecast Mar: Construction Education May: Concrete Industry July: Electrical Industry Feb: Construction Safety Apr: Women in Construction Jun: HVAC & Plumbing Aug: Service Providers

Growing with growth Jason E. Puchot, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP Principal & AIA San Antonio 2018 Chapter President RVK Architects San Antonio


ason Puchot holds a degree in Evidence Based Design from Texas A&M University. He is a Board Certified Healthcare Architect and has specialized in healthcare design since 2002.

How would you describe the state of the construction industry in general terms? The growth in our region has transferred to our design and construction industry keeping us all continually busy. Have you experienced an increase in business? Slowdown? There has been increase in business with the influx of new residents moving into the area from all over the country. Along with that, come new business opportunities for designing new projects in wide range of areas.

What factors are driving this increase/ slowdown? As mentioned in the previous question, city growth is the driving force behind this increase. How has this increase/slowdown affected your company and how you conduct business? Business remains strong and between servicing new clients as well as existing clients means a bigger focus on balancing project schedules. What are the major changes in the in-

Embracing staffing & technology challenges Patrick Kunz, President Halff Associates Inc. Richardson, TX


t’s a good time to be in construction and engineering/ architectural design in Texas.

The state’s population growth continues to soar, and the private and public sectors are building the infrastructure necessary to support that growth—everything from office buildings and retail to commercial spaces, industrial developments and public infrastructure. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dallas/Fort Worth gained 146,000 new residents in 2017. Meanwhile, six of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States reside in Texas. Despite a healthy business increase in recent years, there are a few challenges we, at Halff Associates, wrestle with today: staffing and quickly changing technology. Many Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are now at retirement

age, and the smaller Generation X population (1965–1980) can’t fill that void completely. The real key is getting Millennials (1981–1996)—which the U.S. Census Bureau predicts will outnumber Baby Boomers in 2019 with more than 73 million people—the necessary experience to succeed. What it really means is we need the people on the fringe or the upper end of the Millennial generation to get experience fast because there are a lot of opportunities for them to fill positions. Specifically, it’s difficult to find quality midlevel managers—people with 10 to 15 years of experience or maybe even up to 20 years. Much has been made about Millennial thinking in society and the work-

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING Sept: Green Building Nov: Architecture & Engineering Oct: Specialty Contractors Dec: Construction Equipment

dustry in recent years relating to the type of work you do? Continual changes to codes in relation to energy conservation are the major changes we have experienced. What is the most significant challenge your industry faces? Labor shortages? Cost increases? Other? The biggest challenge is balancing a continual increase in expectations from our owners while staying competitive with professional service fees. How are you dealing with these challenges? We try to work with contractors early to help secure material pricing. What are the cost increases relating to your industry? Staying in tune to rising costs of materials due to tariffs in order to maintain the owner’s budgets during the design phase. What is on the horizon for your industry? Changes in technology, codes, or-

place, but Halff plans to embrace it. You hear things such as they don’t want to work and don’t have a work ethic. I don’t buy that at all. They want to do meaningful work. They want to know that somebody appreciates the work they are doing, and the market is such that they can demand that. I don’t believe that this younger generation is much different than my generation was. The only difference is today, companies are embracing that and giving this generation attention. They are helping them understand how doing even a small task fits into the bigger picture and why that is meaningful work—and how that is going to help them in their career growth. The firms that are doing that and showing a genuine interest in people moving up in their careers are the ones that are going to be successful. Halff is conducting more development training courses to help young professionals grow as quickly as possible and remain engaged in their work. We are also focused on improved communications, so employees know what is happening and what career opportunities exist. Technology is another hurdle in the sense that it has a significant impact to the firm’s overall cost to operate. As software improves, you’ve got to

publishing the industry’s news

dinances, laws, other? Codes and ordinances are always on the horizon and technology continues to be a focus. From 3D modeling of our designs to Virtual Reality, design firms continue to look for other ways of communicating their design to their clients. What are keys to being successful in your industry? Communication clearly is the biggest key to success and at the core for designers as service providers to its clients. Clear communication with consultants, vendors, general contractors and our owners will always serve as a focus for continual success. RVK is a commercial architecture, interior design and landscape architecture firm. They have celebrated 47 years of service in San Antonio. Specializing in 12 different commercial market sectors, RVK continues their brand through quality design as well as taking care of its employees recently celebrating seven years in a row as an Express News awarded Best Place to Work. -cmw

hold on to the legacy software. Those IT costs are continuing to grow as technology progresses. We do embrace it, and we’re bringing it into our designs. On one hand, it’s helping our designs, processes and implementation be more efficient and effective. But on the flip side, there is a significant cost associated with continuous investment in future and new technology. Digital delivery of plans and specs— moving away from hardcopy plans in the field—is another change that has occurred within construction administration and management. Digital technology will only continue to grow. 3D design is here in architecture; MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineering; structural—as well as starting to come into civil. The larger building construction contractors are walking around with an iPad and have a 3D model of the building to see where there are conflicts during the construction process. That’s real. Keeping up with those day-to-day challenges and solving our clients’ problems is our ultimate reward. Everything we do touches and affects people’s lives. Halff Associates Inc. is a full-service professional firm in Richardson, TX. -cmw

Texas Style

★ ★ ★ ★

San Antonio Austin Dallas/Fort Worth Houston

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018



To represent your company in an upcoming FOCUS, contact (210) 308-5800


Bringing the public into spaces Antonio Giovanni Naylor, President Reliance Architecture Austin, TX


ntonio Naylor is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Environmental Design and owns Reliance Architecture with a partner.

How would you describe the state of the construction industry in general terms? For people looking to build, there has been an increase in costs. Contractors have seen a recent rise in material costs, while labor costs have increased over the past six years. The number of new projects has remained steady, until this past summer. This summer showed an uptick in the construction industry with more projects kicking off design towards the end of the year. I would say we have been bullish since 2012. How has sustainability affected your industry? Education of the public has initiated clients to request buildings that are more

energy efficient, have less water consumption and provide more comfort for the occupants inside. Sustainability urges us to construct a better habitat. Architects have championed most of the sustainability practices for decades. We educate ourselves on the advancement in technology and how we can further reduce the carbon footprint. Sustainable buildings increase costs, but the value to the client and to the environment is worth it. What are the new trends in architecture/engineering? There’s an emergence of green building products at lower price points closer to standard products. The research and technology have improved building

performance, contributed to less consumption of water and electricity and decreased carbon footprint. Architecture has better tools to immerse not only the client but also the contractor and others into visualizing the project. We can construct our designs in a 3D model. We can use the Building Information Model (BIM) to show how the environment will look, present options AND step through detailed information. This gives architects the ability to virtually build designs before construction begins. We have more in-depth conversations with our clients and contractors to proactively work through issues early. Bringing the public into spaces we design has been a focus. We have done more outreach to incorporate functions and expectations of communities more. We design spaces that are inclusive of their communities, provide amenities and services to enrich the community. We have seen more partnering that encompasses large groups with diverse interests. It is rewarding as we see the buyin take place by all parties. What are the rewards of architecture/ engineering? Delivering on a challenge for our clients is extremely rewarding. Collaborat-

ing so that clients can realize their dream and vision within their budget is great. It may seem at times we are under appreciated, but I would challenge my peers to revisit a finished building a year later. Go back, stand around and observe the occupants use the spaces. Very rewarding. To do this job well, to be an outstanding architect, we must love people, have a passion for problem solving and be astute listeners. Those are key ingredients to what we chose to do and what we love to do. What is the most significant challenge your industry is facing? Managing expectations of all parties involved--the pieces and parts involved from conception of a design to implementation have grown. This makes the management of projects more complicated and requires everyone involved to slow down so as not to rush towards mistakes. The huge challenge is to carry over some wisdom from the past. Even with our more advanced tools, we must practice the art of measuring twice and cutting once. Reliance Architecture is a full-service architecture and planning firm, focused on educational and public architecture. -cmw

Fun for all


ggie Park was hopping on Thursday, Oct. 11 as Terracon Consultants, Inc. put on their annual Client Appreciation & Casino Night for friends, clients and associates. The weather was not a factor and vendors were setup outside to display their products. Inside the Hemisfair Conservancy had a display. They were able to answer questions about the non-profits goals for redevelopment of Hemisfair public spaces and their amenities.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg also made an appearance at the event. He spoke with attendees about why to Vote No on the three Charter Amendments, Propositions A, B and C, on the Nov. 6 ballot. Among those problems he sees if the amendments pass is policy uncertainty for the city, slow economic growth and fiscal impacts they will have on the city. Chuck Gregory, P.E. head of the San Antonio office

The gaming tables are always a big hit at this event.

Mayor Nirenberg discussing Charter Amendments.

was very pleased with the turnout. “We are celebrating the 300-year anniversary of the city and 50 years for Hemisfair,” said Chuck. “We had over 250 rsvps for tonight and also have vendors outside this year. Hemisfair Conservancy is here which is our non-profit we are raising money for this year.” All guests were having a great time getting their fill at the Mexican buffet, winning raffle prizes and trying their luck at the gaming tables. –bd

Anne Krause , executive director - Hemisfair Conservancy, Shannon Perry - Hemisfair Conservancy, Melynne Wulff – Terracon, Courtney Laverty - Hemisfair Conservancy.

Watch this rope trick.

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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The wild, wild west


o, these aren’t the lyrics to a song made popular in the late ‘80s, it’s the theme of this year’s Associated General Contractors (AGC) 25th Annual Safety Fair and Barbeque Cook-off. The event was held at the Helotes Festival Grounds on Oct. 6. –cmw Winners of the barbeque cook-off: 2nd Place Chicken: Western States Fire Protection 3rd Place Chicken: Atwell 2nd Place Ribs: Western States Fire Protection 3rd Place Ribs: Atwell 2nd Place Brisket: Western States Fire Protection 3rd Place Brisket: Turner Construction 2nd Place Showmanship: Galaxy Builders 3rd Place Showmanship: Architectural Division 8

2018 AGC Safety Fair award recipients: Safety Specialty Contractor Category 2: Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing Safety Specialty Contractor Category 1: Alterman Electrical Contractors Larry Westbrook Safe Superintendent Award: Steve Holcomb, Bartlett Cocke General Contractors Safe General Contractor Category 2: Joeris General Contractor Safe General Contractor Category 1: Zachry Construction

1st Place Showmanship: T&D Moravits & Co.

1st Place Ribs: Yantis Company

1st Place Brisket: Maverick of Texas Construction Inc.

People’s Choice: Alterman Inc.

1st Place Chicken: Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing

Association Calendar

Content submitted by Associations to Construction News ABC

Associated Builders & Contractors Inc.

Nov. 7: Breakfast Club, Alamo Café, 14250 San Pedro Ave., 7:15-8:30am. Nov. 8: Sporting Clay Shoot, National Shooting Complex, 5931 Roft Rd. Nov. 29: Happy Hour, The Rustic, 17619 La Cantera Pkwy. #204, 4:30pm. For more info, call 210-342-1994 AGC

Associated General Contractors

Nov. 15: Casino Night & Construction Awards Dinner, The Club at Sonterra, 901 E. Sonterra Blvd., 6-10pm. For more info, call 210-349-4921 AIA

American Institute of Architects

Nov. 26: Chapter Meeting, Luby’s Cafeteria, 911 N. Main Ave., 11:30am-1pm. Nov. 28: 2018 AIA San Antonio Design Awards: People + Place Celebration, Han-

gar 9, 3201 Sidney Brooks, 6-10pm. For more info, call 210-226-4979 ASA

American Subcontractors Assn.

Nov. 15: Membership Mixer, Alamo Café, 14250 San Pedro Ave.,11:30am-1pm. Nov. 27: General Meeting, The Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels, #700, 11:30am-1pm. For more info, call Jennifer Swinney at 210-349-2105 ASCE

American Society of Civil Engineers

Nov. 12: General Branch Meeting, Anne Marie’s at Devonshire, 12475 Starcrest, 10:30am-1pm. For more info, go to www. ASSE

American Society of Safety Engineers

Nov. 19: Chapter Meeting, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Rd.

11am-1pm. For more info, go to www. HCAdeSA

Hispanic Contractors Assn. de San Antonio

Nov. 14: Monthly Meeting/Mixer, The Quarry Golf Club, 444 E. Basse, 6-8pm. For more info, call Dave Sanchez at 210444-1100 or go to MCA-SMACNA INC

Mechanical Contractors Assn. Sheet Metal & A/C Nat’l Assn.

Nov. 14: Regular & Associates Meeting, The Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels, 7th Flr., 11:30am. Nov. 25: Joint Industry Fund Meeting, MCA-SMACNA office, 12500 Network Blvd., #410, 11:30am. For more info, call Sandee Morgan at 210-822-3763 NAWIC

National Assn. of Women in Construction

Nov. 7: General Meeting, The Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels. For more

info, call 210-639-2489 or email Rebecca. PHCC

Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors

Nov. 8: Annual Business Meeting & 2019 Board Elections. The Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels, 11am.. For more info, call Heidi Trimble at 210-824-7422 or go to SAMCA San Antonio Masonry Contractors Assn.

Nov. 28: Membership Meeting, Pappadeaux Restaurant, 76 NE Loop 410, 12pm. For more info, contact Debi at 210347-2423 TACCA

Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Assn. Greater San Antonio

Nov. 15: Member Mixer, Alamo Café, 14250 San Pedro Ave., 11:30am. For more info, call Dawn Thompson at 210-9014222

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Submitted to Construction News

Here comes the sun


O’Connell Robertson is pleased to announce the promotion of the following: Jayna Duke has been Becky Winovitch has promoted to Senior been promoted to SeAssociate. Duke has nior Associate. She is been part of the a registered architect O’Connell Robertson with 21 years experifamily for 10 years and ence in planning and serves as the firm’s indesigns for many of teriors practice leader. the firm’s projects. She is a registered inWinovitch has been terior designer and LEED Accredited Pro- instrumental in the firm’s additions, renofessional. Duke holds a Bachelor of Science vations, new buildings and interior finishdegree with a concentration in interior out project. Winovitch holds a Bachelor design. –cmw of Architecture degree. –cmw Misela VanDeWalle, a registered architect, has been promoted to Associate. VanDeWalle holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture. She brings nearly 10 years experience in planning, design and production of various projects. She shapes flexible learning environments that embrace diverse learning styles and promote innovation. –cmw Jeremy Zorn has been promoted to Associate and is a registered engineer with 15 plus years experience as an electrical engineer. He has significant expertise in specification writing and product selection of power distributions, lighting systems, fire detection, alarm, emergency power and grounding. Zorn holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree. -cmw

Kyle Fisher, a registered engineer with over 10 years experience in the HVAC industry as a DDC Controls and mechanical contractor project manager, has been promoted to Associate. Fisher holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and oversees the commissioning process in addition to designing steam, water and air HVAC installations. -cmw

Round-Up Submissions

Brief company announcements of new or recently promoted personnel, free of charge, as space allows. Submit Info & Photo: (210) 308-5800

Shoot n’ skoot fun


he American Institute of Architects (AIA) held their 9th annual Shoot N’ Skoot clay shoot Aug. 3 at the National Shooting Complex. The event is held as a fundraiser to benefit the Center for Architecture and the local AIA San Antonio Chapter giving competitive cookers to show their skill in the barbeque cook-off and their shooting skills. –cmw Blue Course winners: Best Team – CAPCO Steel Best Male – Nicholas Bermann, CAPCO Steel Best Female – Carolyn Roman, Spectrum Lighting Red Course winners: Best Team – Teal Construction Best Male – Jared Cain, CDS Muery Best Female – Brittany Haberstroh-

Baker, LPA Yellow Course winners: Best Team – Terracon Best Male – Shakotah Knowton, M&S Engineering Best Female – Michelle Garcia, M&S Engineering Black Course winners: Best Team – Jacobs Best Male – Austin Luchak, F.A. Nunnelly Best Female – Cayce Carle, Vaughn Construction Green Course winners: Best Team – Allied Fire Protection Best Male – Cody Broekhove, Allied Fire Protection Best Female – Odette Castillo, Allied Fire Protection


Mike LeFevre (left) and Nicholas Speir (right), owners of Speir Innovations.

ike LeFevre and Nicholas Speir are living proof that best of friends can indeed go into business with each other. They are the coowners of Speir Innovations, a solar power company. LeFevre and Speir go all the way back to middle school. After high school, life took Speir to Texas State, San Marcos, where he was an electrical engineer, while LeFevre hit the road and worked and travelled basically all over the world. When Lefevre ended his travels and came back to Texas, the pair got together while Nicholas worked at Intel and LeFevre had his own business called ATX Solar, with another guy. Because the guy and LeFevre disagreed on the business model they should have, LeFevre suggested to Nicholas that they form their own company, one that was innovative and the tip of the spear and forward leaning. Since Nicholas’ last name is Speir, that was chosen to become Speir Innovations. Get it? Tip of the spear. Speir. Speir Innovations was formed in early 2016. While they do mostly residential projects now, in those early days, they did “whatever work we could get our hands on,” LeFevre said. This included some large commercial work: several Super Targets, HEBs, Toyota, down in Corpus Christi, and for Austin Energy. “We started with four guys and myself,” LeFevre said. But now, Speir Innovations has grown to 35 employees plus a sales team. Speir was a subcontractor at first, but it made more sense to be totally in-house and self-contained. The last piece of this puzzle was to hire its sales force. “We don’t subcontract anything and we don’t take subcontract work,” LeFevre said. “We would definitely not be here today if it weren’t for the guys that we brought on,” LeFevre added. LeFevre and Nicholas are total opposites: Nicholas is the mathematical one, while LeFevre is the artistic, creative one. Speir Innovations is a young company as well: both Nicholas and LeFevre are just 27, while the rest (minus 2) are under 30.

Having a close-knit company that has more than just-a-paycheck mentality is paramount for LeFevre. Even though there’s a job to be done, “When the day’s over, we can all have a good time and drink a beer,” he said. “We do a lot of company gatherings and parties and just hang out on the weekends.” The major life lesson LeFevre learned during his traveling days was how to work with and treat people. “The biggest skill of all was people management,” he said. This involves how to communicate with them, motivate them, and treat them well accordingly to who they are. LeFevre’s goal is “to create the environment that people want to work for, that people want to show up for their job every day.” “I’ve always said, ‘If you don’t want to drink a beer with me, you probably don’t want to work for me.’” “I know a ton of business majors and they don’t know a thing about running a business,” LeFevre said. One thing he noticed while working for other contractors is the lack of scruples by some of them. “The biggest thing for us was to run a moral business,” he said. This involves paying others first, even if he or Nicholas don’t get paid, which has happened before. For the future, because the world of energy and power and technology is changing so fast, “What we want is to be prepared for any of those opportunities” that involve getting the right energy solution to the people that need it the most, even worldwide. Speir Innovations have expanded their services to more energy efficient landscaping and roofing that doesn’t require solar panels. Other forms of energy, like wind and modular, are being explored in order to provide customers with what they need. And, LeFevre wants to expand the Speir Innovations brand with his team of workers who are motivated to meet the challenges of harnessing the power of the sun and other forms of energy for us. Speir Innovations does most of its business in San Antonio. -dsz

In memoriam


obert “Bobby” E. Ohlenbusch, son of Marvin and Marge Ohlenbusch, Alamo Crane Services Inc. passed away Oct. 17 in San Diego, CA surrounded by family. He was 59. He was a wild spirit with a passion for life, loyal and loving. Anyone he met was touched by his charm and captivating personality and became a friend. He lived every day as if it were his last, giving thanks to God’s blessings. He was avid hunter and outdoorsman. He was a loving father and Popo. Rest in peace Bobby, you will be dearly missed. -cmw Winners of the coveted Brisket Trophy

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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To make a difference

L-R: Dave Roberson, Zachry Construction; Alex Porter, OSHA Area Director; Ted Dunnam, ESC Safety Consultants and Mike Grendell, Midco Sling of San Antonio


hen the San Antonio area OSHA office released their report on construction site fatalities in 2016, the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) knew something had to be done. In 2017 they hosted their first annual safety summit, and while they are not taking credit, the number of fatalities in the San Antonio region have dropped 50 percent since the summit was held. ASA’s 3rd Annual Safety Summit was held Oct. 4 at the Alamo Colleges Workforce Center of Excellence, where they

hope to continue bringing safety to the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether on a construction jobsite or not. “As a first-time attendee, I am supper excited to see that with so many different people in the industry, you can still learn something new,” says Dayna Knappick, Safety Supply. Before taking a moment of silence as he read the list of names of those who died in jobsite accidents over the past year, OSHA Area Director, Alex Porter, discussed the continued importance of safety in construction. The sevenhour event hosted by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), ESC Safety Consultants, Midco Sling, OSHA, and Zachry Construction, and incorporated four sessions on various safety topics. –cmw

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

Taking care of you

A real-world look

L-R: Adrian Dominguez, Zack Rendon, Patti Marchesi, Sheldon O’Carroll of Abatix.

Students from San Antonio College’s architecture and engineering programs visit a construction project a Regency Place Elementary in the North East Independent School District. The tour was given be employees with O’Connell Robertson


batix’s name is derived from “abatement,” as in asbestos abatement. The company started in 1983 and is headquartered in Mesquite, TX. Its first function was in the asbestos abatement field, but has expanded to more services. There are three Abatix locations in Texas: Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The San Antonio office has been opened for five years now. Patti Marchesi is the branch manager in San Antonio, but she came from Houston. The journey for Marchesi (a California native) started when she worked for a master wholesaler in Houston. This company was bought up by Abatix, Marchesi coming with it. The branch manager in the San Antonio office was promoted to be a regional manager and he relocated. Since Abatix is “big about promoting from within,” as Marchesi said, “They offered me the job on Thursday and I was here on Monday.” Not only did Marchesi move from Houston to San Antonio, she also changed from the Rockets to the Spurs, completing the transformation. Marchesi said that Abatix is “an amazing company to work for. They’re very family oriented. They really care about their customers, and when the opportunity hit, I moved over from selling to distribution to selling to end users.” Abatix has a large presence in California, as well as locations in Florida, Louisiana, Seattle, Atlanta Phoenix and Las Vegas. The end user for Abatix, which sells personal protective equipment (PPE), prescription safety eyewear, emergency preparedness, equipment for all restoration projects, industrial safety supplies, etc., could be the individual worker who walks in off the street, or a company buying gear for its many workers. Marchesi said that when you “call us with what you need, we’ll try to get it out that day for the customer.” They’ll either drive it out or ship it out, depending on where you’re at.

If an order comes in to the San Antonio office for someone in California, as an example, Marchesi will work with that branch to let them know something is coming their way. The same holds true for any one of the three Texas locations. “We’re extremely customer driven,” she said. This model keeps different branches from becoming too territorial. It’s all about the end user. Even with temperature changes, a main constant is hydration. “If you’re not hydrated, you’ll fall out,” Marchesi said. For the Texas heat, keeping cool is paramount, and Abatix has plenty to keep one from being adversely affected by the heat, to include nice, cooling vests. One thing that seriously affects Texas and the Gulf states is hurricanes, the last two years being particularly damaging. As such, Abatix is heavily involved with supplying those involved with restoration with what they need. “We go on site and we want to support the people in restoration,” she said. “Last year we had three times that had to respond.” Currently, there are teams in Florida and North Carolina. One Abatix member who dealt with the after affects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and now Hurricane Michael in Florida said that Florida is not even in the restoration phase yet; it’s much worse due to the destruction. These Abatix teams will be away from their families for weeks at a time. Texas has also experienced flooding recently due to the heavy rains. Marchesi said they have an on-call service to get whatever the customer needs after normal work hours. Marchesi and her team of four others also go up to Austin to handle affairs up there. She has a salesperson who travels up there. If you need it, Marchesi get it to you - even if you still root for the Houston Rockets. Abatix is a supplier of safety and industrial, commercial and environment equipment and services, with an office in San Antonio. -dsz


n Oct. 5, over 80 students enrolled in the architecture and engineering programs at San Antonio College (SAC) spent the morning at one of 21 local firms as part of the Fifth Annual SAC A/E Job Shadow Day. O’Connell Robertson, sponsored lunch for all participants, hosted the event with the Alamo Colleges Foundation and started the program in 2014 with program coordinators at SAC and Alamo Colleges Foundation staff.

Participating firms from this year’s shadow day included Alamo Architects, Bain Medina Bain, CNG Engineering, E Controls, Ford, Powell & Carson Architects, HEB Architect/Engineering Department, IES, Jose I. Guerra, Inc., Lake Flato Architects, Lopez Salas Architects, LPA Architects, Munoz & Company, Overland Partners, Pape-Dawson Engineers, PBK, RVK Architects, Sprinkle & Co. Architects and WestEast Design. –cmw

Now what?

Remembering the years.


Tony Ridout describing how Karen’s hard work and contributions made a major impact on building the accounting firm.

ell I don’t think Karen Ridout will be asking that question even though she has officially retired from Ridout Barrett CPA’s & Business Consultants after 24 years. Her work with The Arc of San Antonio as vice president of the board and chair of the fund raising gala and board member of Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) and co-chair of their gala will be keeping her very busy. Ridout Barrett held a party in her honor on October 10 to celebrate her retirement and the training room was filled to the brim with staff and other friends and associates of Karen’s. Many guests recalled working with her, some with very funny comments, through the various trade associations, charities and the accounting business.

Probably the most touching recollections came from her husband Tony. He walked everyone through the timeline of her work with the firm starting when there were just a handful of people up to where they are today. A toast was made to Karen and the opening of some very nice gifts followed ending a very nice sendoff. As the publisher of Construction News and a board member of Construct A Kid’s Christmas 501(3) c (CAKC), I have worked side by side Karen for many years. When she was a board member of CAKC she was instrumental in helping the tremendous growth the non-profit has experienced. She has a heart of gold and is always willing to put forth the greatest efforts for a deserving cause. Buddy Doebbler

San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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San Antonio Construction News • NOV 2018

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