St. Louis CNR. November-December 2020

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Our Top 20 of 2020: Recognizing Industry Excellence






F E AT U R E S COVER STORY PAGE 26 1st Annual Women in Construction Award Winners

PUBLISHER Michael Chollet 314.956.0753 EDITOR Kerry Smith 618.225.2253 MARKETING Brandy Scheer 314.941.3449 SALES Gene Keeven Advertising 314.368.7357 PRODUCTION Tripp Co. Creative, Inc.

ISSN 1045-3792 CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review, as the Voice for the Construction Industry in the St. Louis Trade Area, has nearly 4,000 subscribers with an average of eight readers per copy. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any fashion without explicit written permission from the Publisher. CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review (ISSN: 1045-3792) (USPS:988-340) is published bimonthly for $32.00 per year by Visio, LLC. Back issues are available for $5 per copy. Periodicals-class postage paid at High Ridge, MO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: 1038 Walnut Terrace - Byrnes Mill, MO 63049 ​ ditorial material under bylines E expresses the opinions of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of this publication. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement of the product advertised or listed nor statements concerning them. ©2020 Visio, LLC


Quality Concrete Awards


ASA Midwest Council Award Winners


Construction Company’s Culture, Values Consistent in Office and Field


Excavation Experts Equip Owners And Contractors with Safe, Efficient Trenching and Shoring Systems

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By Kerry Smith

By Kerry Smith

Few Women Working in the Field, Many More in Management, Admin Roles By Kerry Smith

Developers, Builders Investing in Amenity-Driven Senior Living By Kerry Smith


PROJECTS + COLUMNS + DEPARTMENTS Perspective: A View From the Top


By Michael Chollet


By Elizabeth A. Barrett


Law: Financing Issues Surrounding Modular Construction Sales: Altering Your Sales Approach in This Climate By Tom Woodcock


Plumbers, Pipefitters Training Center Touts Hands-On Training and Learning


WildHorse Delivers Luxury Living, Ruth’s Chris, Hotel and Retail to Chesterfield




IT: The Coming Decade: A Revolution in Technology, Education and Impact of Women

By Kerry Smith

By Kerry Smith

By Lee Metcalf



A View From the Top A few weeks ago, my son and I set out on our annual trout fishing trip to the White River in Arkansas. The Fall weather and Ozark mountain scenery were beautiful and the fish were exceptionally cooperative. We’ve been making the trip for several years now and I always look forward to a stretch of river where there are a number of impressive homes – my favorite sits at the tip-top of the tallest hill in sight, 300 or more feet above the river. The house is easy to spot because of its distinctive red, metal roof. Over the years, it has become a fishing reference point that we nicknamed the Red Roof Inn. I’ve often wondered about how the world looks from way up there. This year, on our first day out, my son laid his rod aside after a few hours of fishing and pulled a surprise from his knapsack – a small drone with high-def video capability which he launched from the front transom of the boat. He flew it low over the river a few hundred yards and then it rose and rose until it was flying a few hundred feet above the “Red Roof Inn.” All the while he was controlling it with his phone and viewing the video footage as it recorded. The structure we could see from below was the largest of a few others surrounding a large concrete courtyard. The drone footage showed that this hill was indeed the highest for miles around and the view from the top, as I had guessed, was truly spectacular. Seeing that little gizmo in action, I felt lucky to be living in a time of such magical technology. Winston Churchill’s life spanned the invention of the airplane and the moon landing, but folks of my generation have witnessed technological advancements that far surpass those experienced by old Sir Winston.

We’ve had the privilege of seeing impressive progress in a lot of other areas as well. As the eldest son of no-nonsense woman who ran her own company for as long as I can remember, it’s meaningful for me to see women gain an increased presence in leadership roles in a range of industries. They are outnumbering men in graduating into professional careers such as law and medicine and the number of women graduating from business schools is nearing 50 percent of all enrollees. Inroads have also been made in the traditionally male-dominated construction industry. Those inroads and the remarkable people who are forging them were the inspiration for our 2020 Women in Construction Awards which are featured in this issue. An all-star selection committee made up of eight industry insiders took on the daunting task of choosing our winners from among the 60 nominations we received, and we are extremely grateful for their time and effort. Reading through the submissions, it was clear that the nominees share a common characteristic of tenacity which is a requisite tool for a woman attempting to open doors in the construction industry. The high-achieving women highlighted in this issue scratched out their own futures through advanced education, serious mentorships, challenging work experience and careful cultivation of industry relationships. We salute our 2020 Women in Construction winners and applaud all the nominees on their success. Your contributions have made the industry and the region better for all who aspire to share your view from the top.

If you would like to see the video mentioned in this column, see the reprint, "A View From the Top" on our website at

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


QUALITY CONCRETE Taum Sauk Reservoir Rebuild

2010 ACI Award Winner Submitted by Fred Weber, Inc.

This year marks the Concrete Council of St. Louis’ 50th anniversary. In 2021 (post-COVID), the organization plans to restart its longstanding tradition of recognizing award-winning concrete construction projects via its Concrete Council | American Steel Fabrication Quality Concrete Awards. For 2020, the Council celebrates its Top 10 Quality Concrete Award recipients over the past decade. These projects exemplify the versatility and design aesthetics of concrete.

Roberts Tower

2011 ACI Award Winner Submitted by Alberici Constructors and Kienlen Constructors Nearly 11,000 cubic yards of concrete were placed utilizing a crane, bucket, concrete pump and placing blooms on this 25-story, mixed-use project. Vertical concrete was formed through the use of a self-contained hydraulic climbing form system. Slabs were poured with a modular decking system. The building required multiple concrete mix designs for different building components.


Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge | Illinois and Missouri Towers 2012 ACI Award Winner Submitted by Riley Ready-Mix This is the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S., supported by cables anchored to two massive towers in the Mississippi River. Each of the two towers reach 435 feet above I-70 and consist of six 12-foot diameter drilled shafts that go through 70 feet of silt and mud into 20 feet of limestone. More than 90,600 cubic yards of concrete were used, and the aggregates utilized for all mixes were from local quarries.

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

The project consisted of building a kidney-shaped reservoir approximately 6,800 feet long by 100 feet tall from its floor to the dam’s crest. Construction included 75,000 cubic yards of conventional concrete, 2.9 million cubic yards of roller compacted concrete, 6.5 million tons of recycled aggregates and nearly 5 million cubic yards of excavation. Due to an aggressive schedule, concrete was produced at a rate of 1,600 cubic yards per hour.

St. Louis Art Museum East Building 2013 Special “Green” Award Winner Submitted by Fenix Construction Company This structure is clad in a rainscreen made of architectural site cast concrete panels. To give the panels an illusion of floating, panels were hoisted and attached to the building’s structural steel. The panels contain more than 72,000 pounds of recycled materials. All concrete ingredients came from within 500 miles of the project. The East Building was awarded Gold LEED Status by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Blanchette Bridge

St. Louis County Courts

Submitted by Western Ready-Mix, Inc.

I-64 Daniel Boone Bridge

2015 ACI Award Winner

The project included complete removal and replacement of the 1950s bridge’s driving surface, existing center steel trusses, all safety barrier walls and structural steel in the first nine spans. Converting three spans to roadway on embankment and repairing/replacing existing concrete substructure units was also done. Since the original structure was built with a lightweight concrete deck and most of the original substructure remained, the new bridge deck and barriers required the use of lightweight concrete.

Submitted by Breckenridge Material Company and Burns & McDonnell

Submitted by KCI

2014 ACI Award Winner

212 South Meramec 2017 ACI Award Winner Submitted by Kienstra Co. 212 South Meramec is the largest multi-family and mixed-used building to be constructed in Clayton over the past 30 years. One of the most notable concrete features is the 12,000-psi, self-consolidating concrete used to minimize column ad shear wall sizes and control seismic drift.

The 2,615-foot-long Daniel Boone Bridge improvement project spanned three years. This $111 million designbuild project included replacement of one river bridge, rehabilitation of one river bridge, replacement of one ramp bridge, correction of vertical deficiencies on the Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard Bridge and widening of three miles of I-64.

2016 Chairman’s Award Winner

This project updated and relocated the family courts into new facilities within the St. Louis County government center. Housing all county courts within the existing courthouse was achieved by building a 3-story, long-span concrete structure atop the existing 4-level, below-ground parking structure. The $122 million project included concrete structural floors and roof desk, architectural precast facades, seismic upgrades, concrete garage repairs and slab infills.

Ameren Bagnell Dam Stabilization

The Museum at the Gateway Arch

Submitted by MC Industrial, Inc.

Submitted by McCarthy Building

Since the dam was built during the Great Depression and hadn’t had a major structural enhancement in more than 30 years, new technology was engineered to ensure durability. The 2,453-foot-long,148-foot-tall gravity dam required more than 66 million pounds of concrete. The team made use of new technologies such as hydro demolition. Some 17,000 cubic yards of concrete were used on this project.

Renovation and expansion of the Museum at the Gateway Arch was the centerpiece of the Gateway Arch National Park renewal. The $108.9 million project included a 50,000-square-foot addition and 100,000-square-foot renovation that demolished, replaced and reconfigured the 50-year-old subterranean museum into a stateof-the-art, interactive experience. Concrete was used throughout the site, slabs, roof deck, entry canopy system and benches.

2018 ACI Award Winner

2019 ACI Award Winner

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020



BY E L I Z A B E T H A . B A R R E T T

Financing Issues Surrounding Modular Construction Modular construction is on the rise in the commercial construction industry, including the new AC Marriott NoMad New York Hotel in New York City, the world’s tallest modular hotel originally scheduled to be stacked late fall 2020. Modular construction is touted as being faster, better and cheaper than traditional construction; however, many traditional commercial lenders are hesitant to toss their hat in the ring and lend money to such projects due to the collateral timing issues involved with such financing. Understanding the basic distinctions between the applicability of governing law is crucial to structuring the modular build contract and avoiding potential pitfalls.


Modular construction is an alternative construction method in which 60 percent to 90 percent of a building – usually complete with flooring, ceilings, lighting, plumbing and appliances – is prefabricated offsite in individual modules, under safer controlled plant conditions, using the same building materials and designed to the same building codes and standards as normal construction, yet in about half the time with less waste and without the hindrance of weather-related delays. Simultaneously, excavation and foundation work can be completed at the jobsite, saving time and speeding up the total length of construction. Once complete, the modules are transported to the job site and installed like perfectly fabricated building blocks constructed to seamlessly fit together. When implemented effectively, modular construction results in an efficient high-quality product with greater quality control in about half the time, with more predictable costs and with less waste than traditional construction.

The Financing Hurdle of Modular Building Despite all its positives, there are still many challenges surrounding modular construction, especially when it comes to searching for financing from traditional commercial lenders. The largest financing hurdle of modular construction is the lack of security for the lender. Because the modules are constructed offsite, some courts have held that the prefabricated modules are considered the personal property of the modular builders as building materials, and the modules do not become real property of the modular builder until they are delivered to the jobsite. Accordingly, when financing modular builds, many lenders will only release loan proceeds after the modules are delivered and installed on the real property to ensure the disbursement is secured. This causes issues for the modular builders, as they need the loan proceeds disbursed up front to construct the modules offsite.

A Potential Legal Fix

A solution may be found in the courts’ treatment of mobile homes, modular homes and prefabricated buildings. Some courts have treated mobile homes, modular homes and prefabricated buildings as “goods” under the UCC. The UCC defines “goods” as “all things (including specially manufactured goods) which are movable at

the time of identification to the contract for sale…” If the modules are considered goods, fixtures or commingled goods rather than building materials, this offers lenders the possibility of taking a security interest in the modules as “goods that are fixtures or …goods that become fixtures” prior to the modules being incorporated as part of the real estate. This would allow lenders to disburse loan proceeds to the modular builders to construct the modules offsite, while providing the lenders with their desired security. Win-win, right?

Pros and Cons of Applying UCC to Modular Builders As stated, from a lender’s perspective, a shift to the UCC view would be beneficial and extend their security interest into the fabrication stage when the modules are offsite. However, this may be easier said than done. Modular construction is challenging in that it is a hybrid that combines both goods and services; therefore, labeling modules as “goods” may not be that simple. Additionally, from a modular builder’s perspective, labeling modules as “goods” may not be as beneficial or desired. Under the UCC, a seller’s security interests in goods are extinguished upon sale to a buyer in the ordinary course of business, even if the security interests are perfected and the buyer knows of its existence. Thus, if modular construction is governed under the UCC, a modular builder (as a seller of goods) could be stripped of any remaining security interests it may have in the modules after a project owner (as a buyer of goods) has paid the general contractor and incorporated the modules into the finished building. This may cause more hesitation on behalf of the modular builders when considering entering into a modular build contract governed by the UCC.

The Future of Modular Build Financing Arguably, if courts would shift their interpretation of modular construction to be within the realm of the UCC as “goods,” it would allow lenders to take a security interest in the modules prior to delivery making it more comfortable for traditional lenders to offer financing to modular construction projects. The courts’ prior treatment of mobile homes, modular homes and prefabricated buildings as “goods” under the UCC opens the door for this possible future shift. However, there is no case law applying this interpretation to larger-scale commercial construction. Until then, careful construction of modular build contracts is required to clarify the parties’ mutual understanding of whether the UCC applies and how the various security interests run with the modules. As modular building becomes more prevalent, we can likely expect to see the nuances of whether the modules are defined as building materials or goods and the applicability of the UCC worked out within the legal system to, hopefully, make modular building more palatable to traditional lenders. Only time will tell. Elizabeth Barrett is an attorney at Carmody MacDonald in St. Louis and focuses her practice in the areas of banking, real estate, corporate and business law. She has represented financial institutions and other lenders in complex commercial loans and secured transactions, and other clients in general real estate acquisition and development matters.

This column is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein should be considered legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.


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Altering Your Sales Approach in This Climate Sales trainers and consultants around the country are trying to pull rabbits out of their hats. How do you teach traditional sales techniques to contractors in a non-traditional business environment? Answering that question is a daunting task. I’ll take a stab at it. As I watch and experience what is taking place in this sales climate due to the virus issue, election season and mercurial economic conditions, I’ve noticed a couple trends. Trend #1: Zoom meetings are leveling the playing field. There are few ways to gain competitive separation when people are meeting from their home offices and kitchen tables. Plus, video fatigue is very real and growing. To combat this, it is critically important to be prepared, upbeat and interesting. If you just go through the motions when you jump on a video sales call, you blend in with the digital white noise. Have some humor ready, look fantastic, mind your background and for goodness sake, make eye contact. Keep your traditional sales principles in place and achieve some level of commitment by the call’s end. Anything you would do in a physical, face-to-face meeting, do the same in a video call…you can even buy lunch! Have it delivered if your customer is willing and eat together online. You need to be creative to catch attention. Trend #2: Virtual meetings are losing a level of professionalism. The more relaxed environment of a home office can breed a false sense of security. What happens around you on a call can distract your client. Drop the ocean background video. That’s not standing out. That’s unprofessional. You should be the interest factor, above all else. People are still buying from you, and they have an expectation that you function with the same level of professionalism as you did prior to this season of virtual interaction. Trend #3: Confrontational topics abound. Stay away from them. Election results, religious points and perspectives on virus numbers can alienate your client. Even if your client or prospect brings up these topics, do your best to avoid the trap. I’m seeing too many salespeople make political statements and judgments that can erect a wall between them and their customers. I respect your opinion, but I really don’t need to hear it during a business setting. Many digital platforms are diving very negatively; selling with the same demeanor can kill your transactions. Here’s a key to achieving sales success in this climate: Be strong in the vehicles and channels you have available, but always be

looking to get as close to normal as possible. Determine what is an acceptable format for you with regard to meeting with customers face-to-face, attending association meetings and networking. After you have done so, look for opportunities that fit into that format. Find clients who are willing to meet face-to-face. It may take more contacts than usual to develop a full roster of meetings, but if it’s important to you, then make the calls. I’m seeing too many people giving up on sales efforts and focusing solely on their marketing. Though I strongly believe in aggressive marketing programs, you can’t quit on your sales efforts. I’m not here to set your personal standards; I’m only relaying what is working. Individuals who are still getting out and meeting are seeing results. Whether you agree or not with that fashion of sales work in this era, it’s just a fact. I also understand that different markets have differing restrictions. Staying within those guidelines and effectively meeting with clients is feasible. Unfortunately, this is the world we currently live in – yet commerce is moving forward. Construction predictions are all over the board. That said, the more sales activity you can enact, the greater chance you can secure projects regardless of the economic or political climate. Good sales work endures. Relationships established prior to these events will cut through the uncertainty. I’ve been selling and teaching people to sell for decades. The one constant is that those who look for every angle to get in front of customers end up being the top performers. There are currently plenty of reasons to explain poor sales performance; just don’t let them become excuses. Digging in and fighting through difficult circumstances is what the champions do. There is business opportunity out there if you look hard and use a disciplined approach. It also doesn’t hurt to ask for a different set of eyes on your sales direction and take some constructive criticism from that individual. This is a time to roll up your sales sleeves and find answers. Those who overcome can still experience success and growth. The companies that settle for down years will have exactly that. Whether you agree or disagree with the methodology I’ve stated is immaterial. The facts are apparent. You can achieve sales results in a pandemic, during an election year and in the midst of an economic uncertain business climate. Just do what you know you have to do to achieve it. Tom Woodcock, president of seal the deal, is a speaker and trainer for the construction industry nationwide. He can be reached via his website,, or at 314.775.9217.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Plumbers, Pipefitters Training Center Touts Hands-On Training and Learning



CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

The new Plumbers and Pipefitters Welfare Educational Fund training center in Earth City exemplifies a state-of-the-art destination for individuals seeking hands-on instruction that will equip them to embrace a career in the trades. The Plumbers and Pipefitters Welfare Education Fund is the facility’s owner. Members of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 have contributed toward the design and construction costs of the 89,000-square-foot, $15 million facility, located at 3755 Corporate Trail Drive. The new center sits on five acres across the street from the union’s headquarters, located in a former technical college building that the Welfare Education Fund recently renovated. The organization’s headquarters had been in Spanish Lake; its training center was located at Interstate 270 and Lilac Avenue. The Earth City training center build began in December 2018 and reached substantial completion in late June 2020. Local 562 Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer John O’Mara said the new facility is a commitment to its 4,200 members across 67 Eastern Missouri counties to provide the best up-to-date training available. “This facility stands as a resource not only for the trades but for young people interested in seeking an opportunity to build a career with the Plumbers and Pipefitters,” said O’Mara. “We think this training center, the quality of our instructors and the handson method of individualized training is going to double and triple the knowledge base of those already in the trades as well as those entering the profession.” Project partners included Ahal Preconstruction Services as owner’s rep, IMPACT Strategies as general contractor. M+H Architects as designer and SSC Engineering as mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural engineer. Other project partners were Concrete Strategies (foundations, concrete flatwork and tilt wall construction), Atlas Steel (structural steel), Bi-State Fire Protection (sprinkler system), Schneider Electric (electrical), Heggemann, Inc. (plumbing), Charles E. Jarrell Contracting Co., Inc. (mechanical), Cole (civil engineering) and Flooring Systems (flooring). Bill Ahal, president/owner of Ahal Preconstruction Services, said the facility’s open-concept layout, its second-story mezzanine and the building’s 30-foot, clear height ceiling in the main lobby add to its character. “This training facility is equipped to provide education and hands-on training to as many as 130 apprentices at one time,” Ahal said. “The fact that Local 562’s own journeymen built much of what you see within the new training headquarters makes it even more meaningful.” Arguably the most unique construction component of the new training facility are its visible building systems, intentionally exposed as teaching tools. Jarrell Director of Sales and Marketing Greg Harty said the firm installed three 1.5 million BTU hot water boilers, two 90-ton air-cooled chillers, two air handlers twinned to a common duct with hot and chilled water coils in them to supply fresh air, a variable refrigerant flow heat recovery system, ductless split systems, five destratification fans in the open shop area, compressed air systems, a dust/fume collection system for the welding booth area and a building management system to control the systems Jarrell designed and installed. M+H Architects Principal in Charge Larry Valenza said the very design of the building came from visits project partners and O’Mara made to Chicago-area training centers, learning firsthand what worked and what did not. “Our design challenge was how to make it feel like a school with classrooms and hands-on training opportunities,” Valenza said,

AHAL PRECONSTRUCTION SERVICES Preconstruction Services Budgeting & Estimating Owner Representation Construction Management


THE SOLID FOUNDATION TO YOUR PROJECT #10 Strecker Rd., Suite 1560 | Elllisville, MO 63011

Custom Home Elevators of

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


“ Local 562 was extremely involved in the design and functionality of this new facility, guiding us as to how the various building systems and stations needed to perform, where they should be located and how best to design the flow of the layout to maximize teaching opportunities.”

What Is Success?

Before we start any project, we ask ourselves the question, “What does success on this project look like?” Two epiphanies evolve from that question: 1.) We realize that success, whether that’s a satisfied customer or meeting a tough deadline is a process, not a destination. 2.) We recognize that we need to savor, and applaud the little victories of our team along the way, as well as acknowledging shortfalls and acting to improve the process. It’s human nature to believe we’ll be more successful later than we are at any given moment. We should always be growing and trying to be better than we were before. Tony Robbins calls it CANI: Constant And Never-ending Improvement. At Drilling Service, we’ll celebrate all our team’s successes – not just the big ones. As always, we’ll own and learn from our mistakes and have the courage to try new things. Our future and that of our customers, depends on it. Number two in “Murphys’ Laws,” the creed under which we operate is: “Plan for success before we ever set foot on the job.” | PHONE: (314) 291-1111


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whose firm also performed the remodel of Local 562’s headquarters a few years back. “Local 562 was extremely involved in the design and functionality of this new facility, guiding us as to how the various building systems and stations needed to perform, where they should be located and how best to design the flow of the layout to maximize teaching opportunities.” O’Mara said the design and construction also allows for continual upgrading of each system and feature to accommodate the latest tools and technologies in plumbing and pipefitting field methods. The building’s mechanical room was designed as a showpiece and is approximately three times larger than what is typically needed to serve a facility of this size, according to M+H Project Architect Joshua Bender. “We designed a large glass wall on the ground floor so trainers and students can see through the lobby to the mechanical systems and classrooms,” he said. “And we designed similar visibility to the other building systems, too as a means of demonstrating the plumbing and pipefitting crafts to all who enter.” All of the prefabricating and fabricating visitors will see in the new training center was done by Local 562 members. For example, in the plumbing wet lab – where students will build mock-ups of toilet and water fountain installations – the initial plumbing and piping infrastructure was built by local plumbers and pipefitters. Pipe systems are sweated together to demonstrate the technique to apprentices. The facility’s rooftop boasts two separate roof drainage systems – one traditional gravity system and one that is siphonic. M+H Project Manager Matt Bauer said the two systems enable instructors to prepare apprentices to encounter either scenario in the field. “The siphonic system is installed on the north side of the building, with the traditional gravity roof drain system servicing the building’s south side,” Bauer said, noting that the less conventional siphonic system is equipped with an air baffle to prevent air from entering the piping systems at peak flows. Unlike a traditional system, a siphonic roof system is designed to operate when the piping completely fills with water during a heavy rainstorm. “This unique project made us rethink many of the basic building systems that we design for all the time,” Bauer added. “Many if not all of these systems are

typically covered up as the building is being constructed. With this training center design, we had to consider the location of not only systems but other facets as well…for example, if the goal was to position exposed piping systems throughout a hallway corridor, we needed to redesign the positioning of the lights to offset the piping.” SSC Engineers Principal Rich Kwiatkowski said the firm engineered a staircase leading to the roof specifically for students to be able to easily access and study the facility’s roofing systems. Kwiatkowski said project partners collaborated throughout the project to devise optimal locations for positioning the facility’s heating, cooling and plumbing systems so apprentices could see every operational facet. “In contrast with most building projects where the systems are hidden from view, in this project they’re intentionally exposed for training purposes,” he said. “This dictated how and where we positioned the systems.” IMPACT Strategies Senior Project Manager Mike Voss said the open concept layout of Local 562’s new training center made it a creative construction venture. Every square foot of the site is dedicated to training, he added. “Even the fenced-in mechanical yard on the building’s south side is built and equipped as an important teaching opportunity,” Voss said, noting that the yard houses multiple chillers, a state-ofthe-art dust collection system and a gas storage structure occupy the yard. The building is organized into three main sections. The north third includes a second-floor mezzanine area and a large mechanical showroom, administrative areas, labs, lecture space and an area occupied by air handling units. The center third of the facility, Voss said, is open concept with 34-foot ceiling heights, an elaborate and visible network of overhead ductwork, piping, electrical conduit, fire protection piping and more. “Their goal is to show visitors and students, ‘This is how rough-in looks, and here are the devices and systems associated with this work,’” he said. The south third of the building is dedicated to pipefitter work. A total of 50 tech-forward welding booths, each one shop fabricated and installed by Local 562 personnel, and two areas for specialty welding are located here. Steel pipe is delivered to the center, where Local 562 trainers and apprentices slice it into pieces

A full-scale, two-story skeletal model of a home will be another unique feature of the Local 562 training center. Trainees will work inside the shell structure and practice fitting it with any and all common residential plumbing and piping infrastructure.

Jarrell Ad for Approval - Nov./Dec. 2019 Issue sand for training in to digmodification trenches and lay pipe below 1/3pitsquare - how slight to fitgrade. our size of 4.58 The new center also boasts mock-up training structures such as a 25 x 35-foot

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


The south third of the building is dedicated to pipefitter work. A total of 50 tech-forward welding booths, each one shop fabricated and installed by Local 562 personnel, and two areas for specialty welding are located here. Steel pipe is delivered to the center, where Local 562 trainers and apprentices slice it into pieces with torches and plasma cutters for practice in welding them together. with torches and plasma cutters for practice in welding them together. The new center also boasts mock-up training structures such as a 25 x 35-foot sand pit for training in how to dig trenches and lay pipe below grade. Hands-on plumbing stations featuring front, back and underfloor access to toilets, tubs, water heaters and more, paired with a large area equipped with service-related devices, will provide hands-on training in repair. A full-scale, two-story skeletal model of a home will be another unique feature of the training center. Trainees will work inside the shell structure and practice fitting it with any and all common residential plumbing and piping infrastructure. A full-size jib crane, used to train apprentices in rigging, also inhabits the new facility. Unusually high Missouri River levels made it a true challenge early on in the construction project, according to Ahal. “Workers were able to install the ground improvement piers with minimal interference in terms of water levels. But as soon as construction began on the footings and foundations for the building itself in late winter of 2018/2019, the Missouri River had reached flood stage,”


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Ahal said. “The river fluctuated at and above flood stage for many, many months and prohibited the excavation required to put in the footings. They could accomplish some of their work, but they could only go so far.” Project teams focused their attention on what they could do, given the high-water levels. Ahal said the project employed what is known as a wellpoint dewatering system. The system consists of a series of closely spaced, small-diameter shallow wells. The wellpoints are connected to a common header pipe and are pumped with a high-efficiency vacuum dewatering pump to lower the groundwater levels to provide stable working conditions. “We had this system in place for about a month during Spring 2019,” he added. “The high-water levels of the Missouri did not come from local conditions…it was caused by an abundance of snowfall and rain in western Missouri and on up into Nebraska and the Dakotas.” Geotechnology’s services included environmental, geotechnical and construction support for the project. Tony Roth, project manager for geotechnical and special inspections services, said geotechnical services included drilling, seismic cone penetration testing, site-response analysis and an assessment of expansive

clays. “Construction during high-river levels caused challenges for the contractor,” Roth said. “Water from the Missouri River is able to flow through the sand in the ground and into excavations, thus the need for the wellpoint dewatering system. Geogrid and crushed rock was used to stabilize soft ground in areas where groundwater was an issue.” In front of the main entrance stands a piece of nostalgia from the union’s previous long-time headquarters in North St. Louis County: the organization’s logo, depicted in an eight-ton section of tile, 13 feet in diameter, that was originally at the base of Local

562’s swimming pool when it was built 50 years ago. Capri Pools & Aquatics refashioned the large section of tile into a water fountain that will greet teachers and trainees at the new center for years to come. Project partner Waterhout Construction installed all of the wood blocking, doors, frames, hardware and casework, according to Jeff Bunge, Waterhout vice president. The G&S Architectural Products team installed motorized shades in the center’s lecture hall with custom programming for multiple zones, and manual shades in the office area.

The building is organized into three main sections. The north third includes a second-floor mezzanine area and a large mechanical showroom, administrative areas, labs, lecture space and an area occupied by air handling units. The center third of the facility is open concept with 34-foot ceiling heights, an elaborate and visible network of overhead ductwork, piping, electrical conduit, fire protection piping and more. Hands-on plumbing stations featuring front, back and under-floor access to toilets, tubs, water heaters and more, paired with a large area equipped with service-related devices, will provide hands-on training in repair.






The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020



The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association comprised of quality specialty contractors and suppliers serving the St. Louis region. The organization’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy and cooperation.


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

2020 General Contractor of the Year

Winner 2019 & 2020 Contractor of the Year Category A: BSI Constructors, Inc. (pictured) Category B: McGrath & Associates Category C: BEX Construction Services

2020 Outstanding MEP Subcontractor

Reduce The Risk of Spreading Infectious Diseases in Your Facility Category A: PayneCrest Electric




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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


2020 Outstanding Specialty Subcontractor

2020 Service Provider/ Supplier of the Year

Category A: Vee-Jay Cement Contracting (pictured)

J D Kutter

Category B: Golterman & Sabo


GC Field Employee of the Year

GC Office Employee of the Year

Jeff Bueckendorf BEX Construction Services

Steve Cronin Tarlton Corporation

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

ASA Safety Cup

McGrath & Associates, Inc. wants to thank the ASA Midwest Council for their efforts in improving the quality of construction throughout the Midwest.

Murphy Company

McGrath has had the honor of being named “General Contractor of the Year” by the ASA seven times and nominated twenty-one.


2019 Safety Award Winners Division I Murphy Company

Division IV BAZAN Painting Co.

Division II Vee-Jay Cement Co.

Division V Parkway Construction Services

Division III Professional Installers, Inc.

Division VI George McDonnell & Sons


Thank you to the ASA and our clients for your confidence and trust in us.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020





Whether communicated directly or implied, every firm has a company culture, one that dictates expectations from values and accountability to operations protocols and dress codes. In much part due to its history as a design-bid-build, vendor-oriented way of doing business, the construction industry’s company culture bears unique qualities.

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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


“The notion of contractors and subcontractors being vendors, paired with our background of employing a traditional design-bidbuild delivery system – since for a long time that’s all there was. We created a culture that evolved out of adversarial relationships,” said Steve Bannes, professor of graduate studies in construction management and program director at The Henry Edwin Sever Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. “As a construction firm, your objective was to ‘get low’ and, consequently, form an adversarial relationship with the owner and the design team because you were selected as a vendor – not a service provider,” Bannes said. “For a long, long time, our company culture in this industry was based upon the notion that ‘We’re going to have to fight for everything we get.’” Fast forward 40 years, when alternative project delivery methods such as design-build, construction manager at risk and more came into being. The choice of methods through which to deliver a construction project increased, yet Bannes said the culture arguably hasn’t changed much. “Many construction companies today still struggle with who they are as a reflection of the business they’re in,” said Bannes. “Construction is what you do, but it’s not what business you’re in. People in construction today really need to view themselves as a PSP, a professional service provider,” he added. “When we begin studying the relationships and the kinds of things that owners genuinely want, we found that many in the construction industry still tend to do this in reverse order. We have this expert’s point of view, where we – the contractor, subcontractor or supplier – often try to sell or promote our technical expertise and credentials. We’re pushing that up to people who may not see the value in what we bring to the table. But the client’s perspective is more top-down. What the client really wants is someone who will become a trusted building advisor, like an architect or engineer. The client’s point of view begins with looking at personal chemistry and building a relationship…as the quality of the interpersonal relationship deepens, the more trust is earned and the more value perceived.” The notion of construction companies building their culture and their identity as that of a trusted business advisor, rather than as price-competitive and technically capable, is a distinct shift from the industry’s roots. Bannes said culture no doubt takes years and years to make this transition. “Everybody in the office usually gets it more than the folks in the field,” he said. “And yet, the folks in the field are our frontline company representative. If construction employees on a job site are thinking in the old-school, adversarial mindset, that’s counterintuitive to the thinking in the office, where the marketing and business development people are. It’s these differing approaches and values that create challenges for construction firms as their hone their culture. Culture needs to transcend from the top down and from the inside out,” he added. David Chassin, founder and principal of Chassin Consultancy LLC, works with companies in the architecture, engineering and construction industry, many of them which have roots as familyowned businesses. Chassin said that heritage is an important component that drives and shapes their company culture, as it manifests in a hands-on, project-based one. “Many construction firms’ cultures are derived from the history and traditions of these companies over time,” said Chassin, “and that often involves the personality traits and attributes of the founders. A construction company’s culture is molded by the next generation of family members and honed and developed by other non-family members who serve in leadership.”


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Chassin agrees with Bannes in that construction companies’ field employees may not share the same cultural values that their office counterparts do. “The beliefs and values that the basis of culture, along with the values that translate into behaviors, are visible on job sites and in offices,” he said. “Examples of these are honesty and integrity, safety, quality, responsiveness, teamwork – particularly among trades workers and subcontractors – and attention to detail.” Building and maintaining a construction company culture often entails introspection. Chassin said defining the way individuals behave within the organization is essential. “It’s these shared values, as established, communicated and reinforced by a company’s leaders, that ultimately shape employees’ behaviors as well as their perceptions and understandings. Consistent communication from the top is paramount,” he said. “Following up, recognizing, celebrating and rewarding those in the firm who do it right is also crucial.” Reflecting a construction company’s culture externally, according to Chassin, is important in order to do two key things: 1) attract and retain the best talent, and 2) attract and retain business. Pam Duffy, president of Rhodey Construction, knows all of this firsthand. Duffy began working for the company’s founder, her father, in the basement of their home in 1972. “When I went off to college, I took Rhodey Construction paperwork along with me and kept on working,” Duffy said. “I never thought I’d wind up running the company. But when my dad began looking for a successor, he said I was the best and most obvious choice. I became president in 1999. My dad passed away in 2006, but he grew and modeled our company culture that remains in place to this day.” Rhodey Construction’s people are “known as the nice guys,” according to Duffy. “We really do care, we really do take on projects as our own and we have a family environment where we treat our people, our clients and our subs as members of our family. I’d like to think that we’re the same company inside as the one we reflect to our clients and our community every day, because that’s really who we are.”

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Excavation Experts Equip Owners AND Contractors with Safe, Efficient Trenching and Shoring Systems By KERRY SMITH 20

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Before commercial construction even begins, the subsurface activities of trenching and shoring play an integral role in ensuring a firm foundation for the project. Trenching is a narrow excavation that is generally deeper than it is wide, and narrow as compared with its length. This construction method is employed when installing, replacing or repairing utilities and for commercial building projects. Shoring is the technique of supporting the excavation to relieve a structural load and prevent the movement of soil during a subsurface repair job or during new construction. Regardless of the depth, trenching is a potentially hazardous activity. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, an average of 25 workers are killed each year in trench-related mishaps. Cave-ins are responsible for three out of four fatalities, with other causes including falls, falling loads, hazardous atmosphere and incidents involving mobile equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates trenching and excavation under OSHA law known as Subpart P. Howard Nute, business development manager for Sunbelt Shoring Solutions, and one of 15 industry leaders who founded the North American Excavation Shoring Association, says since the late 1980s, every person performing trenching work has to complete training and have a “competent person” on site during excavation work. Nute and other NAXSA members regularly provide input to OSHA as industry leaders, business owners and execs. Two years ago, Sunbelt Rentals acquired Nute’s company, Underground Safety Equipment.

“We’re appreciative of the opportunity to serve OSHA as supplier industry experts,” said Nute. “Subpart P provided a construction industry standard and really turbocharged this cottage industry with regard to trenching and excavation. One of the pivotal rules it introduced is that if you’re excavating greater than five feet in depth, you have to have a protective system in place. Many project partners were renting trenching and shoring equipment, and they needed expertise about which equipment to use and how to use it.” There are really only three ways to make an excavation safe, according to Nute: 1) Remove the hazard via a technique known as sloping; 2) Proactively shore the site to support the soil; and 3) Utilize shielding products to ensure that if a trench fails, the workers inside it will be protected. “The industry has evolved from only using trench shields that were big, heavy boxes weighing as much as 6,000 to 8,000 pounds and built out in the field to more sleek, modular, lightweight aluminum shields, often brought in by a small excavator or backhoe. A trench shield can be an effective production pipe-laying tool and allows workers to be protected as the job moves along, laying sanitary sewer or other types of pipe,” Nute said. “This generally eliminates the need for excavating long lengths of trench and shoring it up.” Many new products offer features such as cut-outs, also known as dog doors, which are an example of an incremental innovation, he said. These sliding panels, within which utility infrastructure is installed or lines can be pulled through, are particularly helpful in urban settings where space is tight. “Octagonal shields and four-sided, pinned together shields are also popular today, as compared with the two-sided trench shields of the past,” Nute said. Terry Briggs, executive director of the SITE Improvement Association in St. Louis, represents a large sewer utility division of members. Rising and falling levels of the Missouri, Meramec and Mississippi Rivers manifest into a variety of soil conditions that challenge those who are working on sanitary sewer infrastructure as well as those building commercial projects. “Sewers are always located at the bottom of a hill or next to a stream because you want gravity to feed them,” said Briggs. “Moving soil is the worst thing that occurs in trenching. Workers excavate

Earth retention was a major component of subsurface activity that ensued on Washington University in St. Louis' East End Transformation project which concluded in May 2019 on the institution's Danforth Campus.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Subsurface Contractors' work includes Forsyth Pointe, the one million-square-foot, mixed-use development in downtown Clayton. Drilled shafts for a tower crane and earth retention with tie-backs represent some of the shoring expertise utilized on this project.

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first, then lay a bedding of aggregate and/ or rock, drop in the trench box and then workers enter the box to guide the piece of pipe. Then the workers get out of the trench, pull the pipe forward another 20 to 30 feet and repeat this process. It’s painstaking, but it absolutely has to be done this way,” he added. In Midtown St. Louis, trenching is often a heightened challenge because there is a lot of existing pavement that first has to be broken up, Briggs said. A typical sewer line in the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District measures anywhere between 8 to 30 inches in diameter and the length of the pipe ranges from 100 feet to 6,000 feet. “You must have experienced people who know what they’re doing with deep excavation,” he said, noting that MSD certification is generally the accepted standard for the region. National Trench Safety works as a shoring and traffic safety specialist and supplier on projects nationwide, including MSD work. St. Louis Branch Manager Scott Emmitt said each and every trench and hole is unique. “There are a lot of variables,” Emmitt said. “You can run into crossing utilities at various depths, and soil conditions change. You might dig in one site and 50 feet away hit a different soil type, depending upon if it has groundwater seeping in. The utilities are not always marked correctly, so that’s another challenge. And there are overhead obstacles, too such as power lines and phone lines.” Dee Deslatte is currently St. Louis branch sales manager National Trench Safety and has been in the trenching industry for 23 years, working much of that time in southern Louisiana. “There are the worst soils imaginable in that region,” said Deslatte. “You can dig three feet down and you’re in water. New contractors need to ask these questions: 1) Can I step this or slope it? 2) What size machine should I operate and what are my below-ground and above-ground obstacles I anticipate running across? More people die at three to four-foot depths than at deeper excavations,” he added. “If their head is below the surface, they have to slope the trench.” Shoring methods for deep excavations specific to new construction require engineering expertise provided by companies such as St. Louis-based Subsurface Constructors, Inc. Director of Business Development Lyle Simonton said the Neuroscience Research Building on the

School of Medicine Campus at Washington University in St. Louis, currently under construction, is one of several St. Louis earth retention projects Subsurface has completed in 2020. The project broke ground in March. “We had earth retention totaling 1,350 lineal feet with excavation depths up to 32 feet,” Simonton said. “Shoring is critical in retaining the earth to protect everyone working within that excavation and any adjacent existing structures.” Subsurface Constructors performs earth retention engineering consulting on projects across the St. Louis region and beyond. “Our in-house design engineers embrace the challenging aspects on these sites,” he said. “We assess the geotechnical site conditions and design and construct a safe, efficient and cost-effective system.” Beam spacing, the number of tiebacks required and the type of facing used for the wall are just a few of the considerations when designing the best earth retention system, according to Simonton. Urban environments typically demand vertical face retention systems as space is too tight to allow a wider excavation. “There are several shoring methods that come with a wide range of costs,” he said. “Our goal is to engineer the best option for the project, with safety being the number-one priority.”

“ Shoring is critical in retaining the earth to protect everyone working within that excavation and any adjacent existing structures.”




The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Although women comprise 10.3 percent of the U.S. construction workforce, only 1.1 percent of them work on jobsites. These numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey are sobering for those who are recruiting, supervising and working alongside their female colleagues in the built environment.



CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

FEW WOMEN WORKING IN THE FIELD, MANY MORE IN MANAGEMENT, ADMIN ROLES National Association of Women in Construction President-Elect Doreen Bartoldus, a licensed engineer and water/wastewater construction management leader at Jacobs, agrees with Past NAWIC North Central Region Director Rita Brown that the construction industry must welcome and support more women wearing hard hats, operating tools and driving machinery in the field. “Women are increasingly assuming roles in construction management, sales and service, but out in the field the majority of work is still being performed by men,” said Bartoldus. “We hope this will be changing, but the reality is that construction work hours are tough. We commonly work in the field from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and because these hours are at a job site, there’s very little flexibility. As more women assume roles in construction leadership, it’s becoming more flexible, but the industry and the unions are still holding onto these hours,” she added. The latest detailed employment numbers reflect that of the 10.3 percent total of women working in the construction industry, 44 percent are in professional management positions, 28 percent work in sales or office administration, 21.1 percent are employed in construction service-related occupations and 5.9 percent work in production, transportation and material moving, leaving only 1.1 percent who are working in the field. “Women are always going to feel like outsiders if they don’t have someone around to support them,” Bartoldus said. “Companies and trade unions are definitely making an effort to change this. We’re getting there as an industry, but it’s occurring slowly.” Brown is president and CEO of BCC+, a structural and miscellaneous steel detailing company that also does workforce and corporate culture development consulting. Additionally, she is the founder of The Build Initiative, Project Accelerate, an industry

funded exposure program – free to participants and dedicated to transformative solutions on issues impacting women and other underrepresented minorities – specifically in construction, engineering, design and the skilled trades. According to Brown, the traditional pool of applicants to the building industry and related industries is at an historic low. “It’s about industry survival,” said Brown. “We need our female workforce. Construction-related training is not as accessible for a woman as it is for a man. That’s a problem. Quite often, women are the last hired and the first to be let go, limiting their time on the job and their access to the training and advanced certifications required to move ahead. Clearly now more than ever, technological advances have enabled women to perform many of the same construction activities as men. When that’s not the case, there are ways to talk about accommodating, and accommodation isn’t a bad thing. Women are the majority of the overall workforce. We’re just nowhere near the majority of the construction workforce,” she added. “The reality is that those industries and companies that embrace the opportunity in channeling the female workforce will emerge stronger and more able to service their industry.” Amy Berg is president of St. Louis-based S. M. Wilson & Co., an employee-owned company with 26 percent women ownership. Berg said because it’s difficult to recruit enough talented women to fill active construction positions, S. M. Wilson empowers its internal recruiting teams to offer jobs on the spot – at career fairs and elsewhere – to women they have vetted and see as excellent job candidates. “We’re having to be progressive and thoughtful about it,” Berg said. “We empower our internal recruiters and let them know that if the individual is one of their top five candidates, to go ahead and extend a job offer. We have to be proactive about it or we’ll lose these excellent candidates to another firm.” S. M. Wilson’s “SKILLED” program is a construction career education program for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. SKILLED offers hands-on opportunities to integrate academic learning and focus on future employment in the industry. To mentor and support current women employees, the company’s Wilson Women, an internal peer group, regularly engages in informal discussions about work and family life. Tracy Hart is president of Tarlton Corp., another St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm. Hart, like Berg, has been working in the construction industry for more than three decades. “When I first began working in construction, it was intimidating to walk into a room where I was the only woman,” Hart said. “As leaders of construction companies, we can help more women attain and retain jobs and careers in this industry through mentoring, supporting and conveying advancement opportunities to women in our companies…not showing favoritism, but just making sure we’re paying attention.” Hart said her firm’s workforce manager is a woman, which is somewhat unusual in the industry. Becky Mehaffy’s role includes day-to-day coordination of Tarlton’s workers in the field. Hart noted that on the company’s construction site for the new Siteman Cancer Center in North St. Louis County, Tarlton and BJC HealthCare jointly opened a career resource center to attract diverse candidates to careers in construction and healthcare. Tarlton internships and a separate summer experience program for high school seniors and college freshmen also serve as avenues for recruiting more women and minorities into the industry. Beth Barton is a Tarlton superintendent and a union carpenter.

She also heads the nonprofit organization known as Missouri Women in Trades. Barton has been with Tarlton for eight years and has worked as a carpenter for 17 years. “When people talk about the percentage of women working in construction and cite that 10 percent statistic, they really need to separate out the percentage of how many women are wearing tool pouches,” said Barton. “It’s an extremely low rate, and it varies by location.” Factors impacting the number of women in the field, according to Barton, include: 1) It’s a nontraditional career path that many women don’t consider to begin with; 2) It entails a work environment and a type of work that women may believe they’re incapable of performing, which Barton says is not true; and 3) The construction environment can range from welcoming to unwelcoming to challenging and sometimes even hostile, making it difficult for women to remain in the field. “Construction owners are the most important key to solving the problem,” she said. “Contractors and unions also play a critical role, but owners are in the driver’s seat because the project team listens and heeds what they have to say.” If the contractor’s scope of work is small on a project – say a total of 120 hours – and the owner requires 10 percent of that work to be performed by women, Barton said if the contractor or subcontractor doesn’t know any women in the specified trades union, they may write this off, telling the owner that a “good faith effort” was made but that no women could be found to fulfill the role. “There aren’t many repercussions to this,” she said. “It is proven, time and time again, that if the project owner institutes goals – with repercussions for not including women in the workforce on that build – it makes a true and lasting difference.”



The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020



St. Louis Construction News and Review Magazine proudly announces its inaugural Top 20 Women in Construction Awards. As community leaders and industry pioneers in their own right, each of these women – as determined by a cadre of their peers and colleagues – exemplifies excellence, a hard work ethic, dynamic leadership, creativity, vision and generosity of time and service to build and encourage future female leaders and help clear a pathway for more women to excel in a traditionally male-dominated industry. We salute each one of these winners, and we sincerely thank dozens more who were nominated, along with those who nominated and evaluated their accomplishments, for their daily commitment to designing, engineering and building people, buildings and infrastructure in and around St. Louis.

Hard hats off to the inaugural 2020 class of St. Louis CNR Top 20 Women in Construction.


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

As president of the design firm Oculus, Inc., Lisa is responsible for business management, employee recruitment, personnel moves, marketing and sales and project management on interior architecture design and move management projects. Lisa also sets policies and determines the direction of the company, making all major purchasing decisions and overseeing office management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and has worked in the industry for 36 years. As a child, Lisa’s fascination with miniature models of interior spaces like old doll houses led her to create replicas of interior spaces using shoe boxes and chip board. She also enjoyed drawing and painting as a hobby, enrolling in nearly all the available art classes at her middle school and high school. Lisa’s high school counselor recommended drafting as a career path. With an aptitude for math and art, architecture provided the ideal opportunity to blend her passions and skills. Lisa says her greatest industry accomplishment is running a successful business for 25 years that has survived multiple recessions. A notable team accomplishment is establishing Oculus as a national presence in the retail sector after winning its first project with AT&T in 2003 amongst an array of national design firm competitors. Her mentors include her university professor Leslie Laskey from WUSTL, her supervisor Dave Jeffries from one of her earlier design firm positions and Vickie Berry, a successful corporate architect and an industry role model. A mentor herself, Lisa inspires and encourages young girls to consider professions utilizing STEM. She has served the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri in several capacities, advocating for the design industry and letting girls know that a career in architecture and in the construction industry overall is within Inc. their reach.

Lisa Bell-Reim President - Oculus,

Thank You, Judges St. Louis CNR is grateful to our inaugural panel of eight judges for sharing their time, talents and experience in selecting our publication’s very first


Lisa Bell-Reim Oculus Inc. President Top 20 Woman In Construction 2020

Top 20 Women in Construction award recipients. Many thanks to the following individuals, exemplary industry professionals in their own right: Nicole Adewale, ABNA; Paola Badea, jEMA: Nora Bresnahan, Castle Contracting; Tammy Dotson, Negwer Materials; Angelica Gutierrez, Great Rivers Greenway; Kelly R. Jackson, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers; Sandra Marks, Clayco; and Kiran Satwani, Mueller Prost.



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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


A Waukesha, WI native, Amy Berg is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse who entered the industry early on by working on small construction projects for her father’s company. Her tenure in the construction industry spans 31 years. Amy quicky learned to embrace the challenges and opportunities available in construction. When she joined the construction industry in 1989, Amy had few female peers. Amy’s greatest accomplishment has been increasing S. M. Wilson & Co.’s workforce from fewer to 5 percent female to 26 percent female and growing the company to 38 percent female leadership. She was instrumental in establishing S. M. Wilson’s employee stock ownership plan in 2005; in 2014, the firm became 100-percent employee owned. Mentoring is an important and active component of Amy’s leadership. Her first mentor was her father, who taught her that the worst thing she could do was to answer a question without knowing the answer. He told Amy it was okay to say, “I don’t know but I will get back to you.” That has served her well over the years. Amy’s many external leadership and volunteer commitments, past and present, include service to these organizations: Missouri Growth Association, Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, AGC Missouri, Wyman Center, Epworth Children & Family Services and Habitat for Humanity

Amy Berg

St. Louis.

President S. M. Wilson & Co.

Now president of Pearl Street Electric, LLC, Megan D’Angelo says she was attracted to the business of building as a child, working with her family. At age three, Megan’s father gave her a wooden box, nails and a hammer, and she would pretend to help him by hitting the nails into the box. When she was nine, Megan’s dad and grandfather were attempting to reverse a staircase but ran into difficulty with reassembly in the opposite direction. Megan delighted in helping them put the pieces back together so they could nail the stairs back in place. At 11, she began taking apart toasters, stereos and other electronic devices to study their inner workings. Megan’s fascination for how to make a product – or a project – better, faster and easier to use continued into young adulthood and beyond. She celebrates the fact that she is the first woman to pass the electrical license exam and start her own company from the ground up. These accomplishments have opened doors to opportunities in partnering with other prime electrical contractors on notable projects with BJC HealthCare and the St. Louis Zoo. Megan graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in major electrical engineering and a minor in mathematics from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville while attending the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee and working fulltime. Her career in the construction industry totals

Megan D’Angelo President Pearl Street Electric, LLC


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

32 years. Her mentors include Lynn Laws, Ken Naumann, Steve Glacin, Julie Ledbetter and Becky Spurgeon.

Cory entered the construction industry by less conventional means. She already had an established career in health care, having graduated with a Master of Health Administration and Master of Arts in Human Resources from Washington University in St. Louis after earning a bachelor’s degree in communications and English from Saint Louis University. During her initial career in health care, Cory oversaw the renovations of several hospital facilities in the St. Louis area. While she loved her health care work, Cory soon developed a keen interest in the construction facets of the projects she was overseeing and was drawn to the creative process of construction. This realization motivated Cory to launch CMT, LLC, seeing her firm as a vehicle for providing more work opportunities for those who might not otherwise have had them. Her belief that the construction industry offers careers to women, minorities and all persons – despite their upbringing or their academic credentials – inspired Cory to take the entrepreneurial leap and create a company that could improve the quality of individuals’ lives while improving cities and communities, too. One of her greatest accomplishments is having been able to “feed families” one week at a time for the past 8 years. Another noteworthy accomplishment, she says, is having built a solid team of professionals at CMT, LLC, creating true opportunities for her staff to grow and advance in the industry.

Cory A. Elliott CEO - CMT Roofing, LLC (CMT, LLC)


Cory’s mentors include Ron Unterreiner, Lorri Keenum, Mary Quigg, Dennis Lavallee, Armand Paulet and Greg Smith. Her construction industry career spans more than 25 years, eight of them as CEO of CMT Roofing, LLC (dba CMT, LLC).

Pearl Street Electric Congratulates Our Founder and President

Nicole Adewale Nicole Adewale is co-founder of ABNA, a full-service civil engineering firm that provides structural and civil engineering design services. Nicole earned her BS in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing an urban affairs degree at Harris Stowe State University. One of her greatest passions is opening doors of opportunity for young people to pursue careers in architecture, engineering and construction. She fuels this passion through support of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the National Society of Black Engineers, FIRST LEGO League, The Ethics Project, School District of University City, Saint Louis University’s Parks College Advisory Board and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for the University of Missouri –St. Louis.

And All of CNR’s 2020 Top Women in Construction We salute Megan on her mission to offer customers the highest quality electrical services and premier energy savings products and for inspiring the next generation of women to become leaders in the construction industry.


The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


A Missouri S&T graduate with a master’s degree in geotechnics and a bachelor’s degree in geotechnical engineering, Shawnna chose her career path because it allows her to combine her passion for geology and the outdoors with her love of creating and problem-solving. In 2006, Shawnna was awarded Young Engineer of the Year by the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers. In 2018, she was named a Diplomat of Geotechnical Engineering, and in 2019 she became an American Society of Civil Engineers Fellow. Among her greatest accomplishments, Shawnna celebrates the opportunity to be part of iconic St. Louis engineering and construction projects such as the Gateway Arch grounds renovation and expansion, Ballpark Village and Next NGA West. She says her greatest accomplishment is the relationships and trust she has built with countless industry partners while working on these projects. Her career spans 19 years in the engineering/construction industry. Shawnna’s mentors are plentiful, for which she’s thankful. They include: T. Michael McMillen, Allen Minks, Elise Ibendahl, Erin Valentine, Marsia Murphey and Mark Harms. She believes in inspiring women by showing them that they can excel in this industry and raise a family, too. Shawnna has four children under the age of

Shawnna Erter Vice President of Geotechnical Services - SCI Engineering, Inc.

15 and says they are her focus. She hopes to inspire her daughters and other women to see that this is not “a man’s world” by any means. \

Congratulations Shawnna!


From Everyone at 30

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Denise Hasty mana ges AGCMO’s St. Louis regional and statewide lobbying activities with the assistance of contract lobbying firms, developing legislative strategies and political action committee investment strategies. In addition to performing other legislative-specific duties, Denise organizes and coordinates AGCMO’s annual Construction Keystone Awards program, its Specialty Contractor of the Year Awards program and three annual PAC fundraising events. She manages the association’s PR efforts and overall communications program, including its weekly AGCMO e-newsletter. Denise’s work in the industry began in 1980 when she was hired as a secretary for a mechanical and electrical consulting firm. During her 18-year tenure there, she advanced from the secretarial role to office manager/executive assistant, to marketing/development and ultimately to the role of vice president. She later worked for nearly eight years at the St. Louis Regional Chamber as executive secretary for public policy. It was here that Denise’s paths crossed with Len Toenjes, AGCMO president. Her work at the AGCMO began in 2005. Denise is proud of her accomplishment in building the AGCMO’s advocacy department over the past years to be one of Missouri’s leading authorities on commercial construction industry issues. She also celebrates her work in

Denise Hasty Vice President, Advocacy & Public Relations - Associated General Contractors of Missouri

expanding the association’s annual Build St. Louis Week/BuildMO Week. She has worked in the construction industry for more than 15 years. Len Toenjes is Denise’s mentor, along with Tom Irwin and Sally Herman.

At Trivers, Amy Gilbertson is responsible for developing and promoting the firm’s vision, mission, core values and long-range plans. Amy also shares in stewardship of the firm through securing new work, successful design, recruitment, client satisfaction, profitability, strategic partnering and leadership development. She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s in architectural studies from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. She has worked in the design and construction industry for 19 years. Amy’s greatest accomplishments in the industry include completion of the first ownership transition in Trivers history, an achievement that she and two fellow partners celebrate. She is also proud of her work to spearhead the effort to secure Trivers’ first JUST Label, a platform for voluntary disclosure of organizational policies that improve social equity and enhance employee engagement. The firm is the only one in Missouri to commit to JUST. Her biggest mentors, Amy says, are her parents who made her believe that any career was attainable. And more recently, her group of running friends – all strong women from differing professions – have mentored her, helping Amy navigate the ups and downs of being a professional woman in a male-dominated field. Amy is acutely aware of the opportunity she has to pave the way for future women leaders in the industry. Working diligently to ensure that team members have access to the resources, support and professional development necessary to succeed is critical, she says, to recruiting and retaining those who will continue to propel the industry forward.

Amy Gilbertson Principal - Trivers

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020




CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Tracy Hart President and CEO Tarlton Corporation

She is a third-generation owner of Tarlton Corporation. Tracy grew up learning about and listening to construction talk from her father, who ran the business, and from his father, one of Tarlton’s original owners. Tracy didn’t initially intend to work for the family business. Yet upon graduating from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a bachelor’s in English and communication, she soon found herself working for Pepper Construction in Chicago. Tracy later relocated to St. Louis, deciding it made sense to work in the family business. Her first position with Tarlton was as a project engineer. Under her leadership, Tarlton has tripled its size and further solidified its market share. The firm is a certified WBE. Tracy also serves as president and CEO of Waterhout Construction, which Tarlton acquired in 2019. Several mentors have guided and supported Tracy through the years, including her father (the late) Robert Elsperman, her brother Dirk Elsperman, (the late) Jerry Gassel, Beth Barton, Pat Whitaker and Renee Bell. As one of very few women CEOs in the construction industry, Tracy intentionally advocates for women. She says focusing her work on people’s passion to build, get things done and make a difference has helped her transcend the gender difference. Tracy celebrates having served as the first female chairman of the AGC of St. Louis (now known as the AGC of Missouri). Her tenure in the construction industry totals 35 years. In addition to her many professional affiliations Tracy also serves and volunteers for numerous nonprofits in the region, including the Saint Louis Science Center and The Muny.


Paola Badea NPaola Badea is a project designer at jEMA. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She is an associate member of the AIA, a LEED Green Associate and one of the few Fitwel Ambassadors in St. Louis. Paola is privileged to be part of the Hawthorn Leadership School of Girls committee that assists AIA St. Louis Women in Architecture in the advancement of young women. At her first job in Saint Louis, Paola was responsible for managing the creative presentations and interactive visualization techniques for collegiate STEM, science and athletic buildings as a holistic mini-city and introduced the mentor and mentee program, "Let's LEAD H+C.”

Every week CNR’s Weekly Update goes directly to the inbox of more than 4,000 professionals in the St. Louis commercial construction industry. Unlike other e-newsletters, CNR’s Weekly Update has an opt-in success rate of 80%. On average, Weekly Update is opened and read by more than one-third of all subscribers.

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As a project manager and estimator for Castle Contracting’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing civil excavation projects, her responsibilities include managing projects ranging in value from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars. Stacey has worked in the industry for 19 years, but her entree into the field was unconventional. She took a chance answering a newspaper ad for an entry-level position, wound up loving the construction industry and then returned to school, earned her degree and made it her career. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and construction from Southeast Missouri State University. Stacey celebrates the industry accomplishment of utilizing her expertise and resources to make dreams a reality for nonprofit organizations such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Missouri, Make-a-Wish and Operation Clean Sweep, an effort to revitalize neglected neighborhoods in the city of St. Louis. When the Civic Entrepreneurs Organization brought the Gateway Dragon Boat Festival to Creve Coeur 14 years ago, Stacey volunteered to chair a group of 20-plus paddlers for seven years, teaching her former Tarlton colleagues the rewards of working as a team. Her mentors include: Lisa Hupfeld, Kimberly Staats, Marsia Geldert-Murphey, Tracy Hart, Julie Ledbetter, Angie Lovatto and Pat Ahrens. Stacey hopes to inspire more women to enter the construction industry by telling her story, being honest and serving as an advocate for women. She says it is possible to be a successful woman in this industry while raising a family and uplifting others.

Stacey Lampe

Project Manager/Estimator Castle Contracting, LLC


Nora Bresnahan Nora Bresnahan is marketing manager for Castle Contracting. She has been marketing in the AEC industry for 15 years. Nora is responsible for establishing and leading the marketing at the civil construction and design-build firm. Nora previously worked as marketing manager at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Nora has been an active member of SMPS St. Louis since 2005, serving as a board member, as chair of the 2017 Missouri Valley Regional Conference and as a committee member and mentor. Nora is an SMPS immediate past president. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. She has volunteered for the American Heart Association, Pedal the Cause, GO! St. Louis Marathon, St. Louis Women’s Shelter and Flags of Valor.


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Linda Little has been educating individuals in the construction industry for 40 years. As assistant director and instructor, she is actively involved in managing apprenticeship instruction and continuing education at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center. She has been instrumental in developing its 78-course curriculum. Linda’s career path took shape when she was introduced to the trades by a friend, who with his father was a union pipefitter. The two recommended that Linda look into the electrical trades and connected her with IBEW. This was in the 1980s, when not many women went into the trades, but that didn’t stop Linda. Today, she is shaping much of that continuing education while also playing a leading role in updating the National Electrical Code and guiding other code requirements locally and nationally. Linda earned a Doctor of Philosophy in curriculum and instruction from Saint Louis University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University and a mathematics degree from Fontbonne University. As one of the few women entering the trades four decades ago, Linda’s mentors were leaders who saw her potential. They included Francis Telle, former IBEW financial secretary, who saw Linda’s potential as she taught chemistry at Seckman High School. John Kahrhoff, Sr., former assistant director of the training center, was also impressed with Linda’s teaching skills and encouraged leadership to hire her as a math instructor in 1996. In addition to many other professional affiliations, Linda was recently named to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s Building Energy Improvement Board that is tasked with making the city more energy efficient.

Linda Little, Ph.D

Assistant Director and Instructor - IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center

Jane Louer

When Jane Louer began her career, there were very few women in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. Jane was hired by The Korte Company to launch their interior design and furniture group. In 1984, she became the firm’s first female vice president. She found it both challenging and fulfilling to contribute to the design of the entire interior space, in addition to specifying the interior selections. Jane’s next career move was starting her own company, Louer Facility Planning. The company has grown and thrived for 24 years, she says, and is regularly regarded as one of the largest office furniture dealerships in the St. Louis region. More recently, the Collinsville-based company has been ranked on the list of the largest interior design firms in the region. Jane and her staff believe that Louer Facility Planning’s loyal client base attests to the quality of its products, expertise and services. Jane holds an MBA from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in interior design from the University of Illinois. Her career in the design and construction industry spans 45 years. She is highly supportive of all women working in the industry. Jane says that when she first entered the workforce in 1975, with the exception of women working in clerical positions, women in the construction workforce were considered a novelty. They weren’t taken seriously and often were not allowed to work in decision-making positions. Jane is delighted to say that much of this has changed through the years. She hopes that the respect she earned along the way has made it a little easier for each woman who has joined the workforce after her.

President and CEO Louer Facility Planning, Inc.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Amy Luchun has been working in the design industry for 23 years. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri (Columbia and St. Louis) and the University of Kansas. Amy’s listening skills, problem-solving acuity and her love of investigating and studying detailed solutions that join construction materials together attracted her to the industry. She says this business requires all of these talents, and that choosing her career was a natural decision. Early in her career, Amy was fortunate to have been mentored by William Odell, a pioneer in sustainable design and the former long-time president of HOK Architects. Amy says Bill Odell taught her the principles of LEED before they formerly existed. Thanks to his mentoring, Amy gained respect and identity in a large design firm, being made an associate in year five of her career. She also credits architects Dave Hirschbuehler and Lance McOlgan as mentors who taught her the business side of architecture and influenced her own style of design. These mentors played a significant role in Amy’s advancement to become a principal at LJC. Today Amy mentors a solid network of young female designers. In addition to her professional affiliations, she has taught as an adjunct professor at Maryville University and her volunteer endeavors include service to the Tilt-Up Council of America and the Construction Owner Association of America.

Amy Luchun

Principal/Higher Education Market Leader - Lamar Johnson CollaborativeCenter



UNIQUE Solutions. THOUGHTFUL Design.

VISIT OUR SHOWROOM 1604 Eastport Plaza Drive, Collinsville CALL US 618-344-9610

Tammy Dotson

KERRY SMITH CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review - 36 By

A Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)

Tammy Dotson is accounts receivable manager for Negwer Materials, Inc. She has been in the construction industry for 15 years, beginning her career as a collections representative for Midwest Aerials. She was promoted 3 years later as the firm’s first female credit manager. In 2013, Tammy joined Negwer Materials as a credit manager where she manages credit and collections for five locations. In 2019, she was promoted to accounts receivable manager for both Negwer Materials and Negwer Door Systems. Tammy currently serves as Negwer’s first female minority in a management role. She has served as an advisor and mentor for the financial and credit aspects of introducing North County Tech High School minority students to the various aspects of Negwer’s involvement in the construction industry.

Emily Martin

As president of Aschinger Electric, Emily Martin manages all operations at Aschinger and also serves as chairman of the board. She has worked in the construction industry for 22 years, but she admits that she did not initially see herself running an electrical contracting business. She began her career as a lawyer, earning her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri – Kansas City after earning a history degree from Fontbonne University. But an opportunity arose, with its own unique challenges, to enter the family business and advance the next generation of family entrepreneurship. Emily embraced that opportunity, learning the business from her father, Eric Aschinger. Since taking the reins as president of the company in 2007 as the fourth generation of family leadership, revenues have increased by 75 percent as the firm continually adapts to rapid advancements in technology. Aschinger Electric is now the fifth-largest St. Louis-based electrical contractor and the largest woman-owned electrical contractor in the region. Emily counts among her mentors her father Eric, Aschinger General Foreman Doug Noelke, her National Electrical Contractors Association peers and St. Louis NECA Vice President Doug Martin. Inspiring more women to enter the construction industry is a huge priority for Martin. She does so by example and through mentoring and speaking engagements to women and women’s groups, emphasizing the importance of developing business relationships and community involvement as steps toward building a rewarding career in the industry.

President - Aschinger Electric


Amy Luchun


Angelica Gutierrez Angelica Gutierrez is an industrial engineer and project manager for Great Rivers Greenway. She is responsible for advancing the St. Louis region’s park and trails district’s vision by developing greenways that connect people to their rivers, parks and communities. Her background includes more than 16 years in public works and production management. She has been a member of the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers’ diversity committee for the past three years, where she has volunteered and served as a panelist for its diversity workshop. A native of Bogota, Colombia, Angelica earned a BS in industrial engineering from the University of America in Bogota.

Architect. Leader. Mentor. Thank you for your dedication to the A/E/C industry, the St. Louis community, Lamar Johnson Collaborative, and aspiring designers. Congratulations, Amy!

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Virginia Pankey has worked in the industry for 32 years and she traces her fascination with design back to the eighth grade, when she was assigned an interior design project. Virginia then discovered a whole new profession in which it was possible to design an entire building, from the roof to the façade to interior spaces, right down to specifying the style of the doorknobs. During that same time, Virginia took an aptitude test and scored 98 percent in spatial understanding. Her dream of becoming an architect had begun. Virginia’s love of lifelong learning manifested in a career of designing projects spanning several industry sectors including health care. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Virginia earned her bachelor’s in architectural studies and her master’s in architecture there. One of the projects of which she is most proud is the medical planning, medical equipment planning, project architecture and construction administration of 48 operating rooms at Barnes-Jewish Hospital over the course of five years. Virginia recalls that during her architecture studies only about 20 percent of her classmates were female. That lack of female mentors sealed her commitment to become a resource, role model and mentor to women in the industry. She credits her own mentors, including Diane Desmond at BLJ HealthCare and Paul Whitson at HOK, along with her peer mentors and former classmates for their long-time support.

Virginia Pankey Principal, Senior Medical Planner and Architect – HOK


a round of applause...

Virginia Pankey

St. Louis CNR’s Top 20 Women in Construction 2020


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Kelly R. Jackson Kelly R. Jackson is executive director of the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers. She assumed this position in September 2018, becoming the first woman in the role. The SLCCC’s key focus is to better the St. Louis region through best practices in project delivery, diversity and inclusion, and safety. Kelly is a graduate of Webster University with a BA in advertising, marketing and media communications. She has spent 21 years in the design and construction industry and founded KRJ Marketing, an agency she led for 7 years. She dedicated a significant portion of her business to small and mid-sized minority and women-owned businesses, many that are in the AEC industry. Kelly is a past president of SMPS St. Louis.

As the founding principal and sole owner of Envision Lighting Design, Lisa Reed’s duties are those of creative director, coach and cheerleader for the entire team. Lisa’s entrepreneurial talent hails from her upbringing as the firstborn of two daughters whose parents encouraged them to reach for their dreams and attain them. Her interest in engineering and design began very early as a child, building entire cities of buildings and tunnels in her sandbox. By middle school, Lisa was drawing floor plans as a hobby. She still possesses the book she created as a fifth grader: One Hundred or More Expensive Floor Plans. Lisa’s formal education includes a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Kansas with an emphasis in lighting. It was during this time that she discovered a keen interest in lighting design, which she says is the perfect blend of art and science. She began her career as a CAD technician for an engineering firm and was mentored by an electrical engineer. She later earned her PE license and shortly thereafter began concentrating exclusively in lighting design. Her experience in the industry totals 27 years. In 2013, Lisa launched the Ladies of Lighting in St. Louis, an affinity and networking group for women in the lighting industry. Her most influential mentor is Lesley Wheel, the first woman to practice architectural lighting design in the U.S.

Lisa J. Reed Founding Principal Envision Lighting Design, LLC

As a member of Geotechnology’s 39-member ownership team, Anna Saindon joined these ranks as one of the youngest stockholders and one of only two women. She has been working in her field for 16 years. As senior project manager of the company’s environmental group, Anna’s forte includes experience in environmental projects, from environmental due diligence and leaking underground storage tanks to Superfund sites in Missouri and Illinois. Anna says she grew up in an environment where women were expected to pursue more “traditional” careers. She was in unchartered territory when she began college at the University of Missouri – Rolla (now known as Missouri S&T) best known for its engineering programs. Anna initially studied chemical engineering and transitioned into civil engineering. But she soon found that her passion was geotechnical engineering. Anna earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree in geological engineering from Missouri S&T. Despite her numerous professional achievements, Anna believes that her biggest accomplishment has been breaking down barriers for women in her field. She has often been the first or second woman to perform a given type of project work in the regions in which she is working. Anna actively invites young women into the field and into decision-making meetings to encourage them to enter or continue in the profession. There were no women to mentor Anna when she entered the field nearly 20 years ago. This fuels her dedication to mentoring women today. Her own mentor early on was long-time geologist and educator John Rockaway, Ph.D., who brought her on field excursions early in her career.

Anna Saindon

Ph.D., Senior Project Manager – Environmental Group Geotechnology, Inc.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Amy Tongay

Amy Tongay has been fascinated with how things are constructed since the age of five, when she made furniture for her Barbie dolls and she helped build and repair items on her family’s farm throughout her childhood. Amy’s love of drawing sparked her interest in exploring design ideas, and a high school drafting course ignited her passion in the industry. Amy holds a master’s degree in architecture from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in advanced technical studies in architecture from Southern Illinois University. She has been working in the industry for 25 years. Her design expertise in laboratory design includes K-12 lab learning environments, community college and university teaching labs, medical education, high-fidelity simulation spaces and clinical diagnostic labs. Amy leads HERA’s academic and clinical lab market practices and is responsible for new clients and projects. Amy mentors younger staff members and says her own mentors are HERA laboratory planners colleagues Laurie Sperling and Barbara Spitz, along with AAIC Architects’ Barry Moyer. Reaching girls at an early age to make them aware of the opportunities in the construction industry is paramount, Amy says. She regularly engages in K-12 career days, industryrelated skills development and job shadowing programs to encourage and equip future generations of women to become successful in the field of construction. Amy has also hosted a number of Girls Empowered by Math and Science workshops. She recently participated in Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls’ “Cool Women/Hot Jobs” program.

Principal HERA laboratory planners



AMY TONGAY We are so proud of you!


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Sandra Marks is senior vice president for the Office of Government & Community Affairs at Clayco and has 27 years of industry experience. Sandra and Clayco’s diversity team’s focus includes the assessment of subcontractor resources for future and specific bidding opportunities and MBE/WBE partnering/mentor-protégé planning and outreach efforts. She holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and a BS in business administration (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Missouri St. Louis. Sandra’s honors include the University of Missouri St. Louis’ Distinguished Alumni Award, the St. Louis Minority Supplier Development Council’s Advocate of the Year Award, the SBA’s Advocate of the Year Award and the Minority Youth in Construction Program’s “Make a Difference” Award. Sandra chairs the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers’ diversity committee.

Wendy Wilke’s tenure in the construction industry spans 40 years and her fascination with construction began as a child, watching her dad building houses as a hobby. Wendy spent her childhood poring through house plan books, visualizing what those homes would look like. Shadowing her dad, Wendy climbed dirt piles, watched walls being built and erected and she crawled around on roofs with him to lay down shingles. Returning home after college, Wendy assumed an active role in working alongside her dad to complete his fifth and final house. It was this early hands-on experience of working with her dad that led Wendy into pursuing a career in design, construction and ultimately interior design. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Wendy’s company, Faith Group LLC, has repeatedly ranked in the top 40 largest women-owned businesses in St. Louis. In 2019, Faith Group ranked as 15th largest, according to the business journal. The firm specializes in information technology consulting and in the planning, designing and engineering of building systems. Amy’s first boss, architect Ted Hoener, was instrumental as a mentor, as was aviation industry mentor Pat Askew and project manager Don Ruble. She encourages women to seek careers in design and construction and to seek avenues that will help them make the most of their career.

Wendy Wilke Managing Principal Faith Group, LLC


Kiran Satwani Kiran Satwani is a senior business valuations analyst in the Business Valuations Consulting Services Group at Mueller Prost. She has been with the team since 2015. Her valuation experience includes an emphasis on closely held businesses operating in a range of industries. A chartered financial analyst and accredited in business valuation, Kiran is a member of the CFA Society of St. Louis and the American Institute of CPAs. She earned an MS in finance and economics from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and an MBA in finance from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


As president and co-owner of Wiley Robb & Associates, she is responsible for business development, procedure implementation and oversight of all corporate operations. Tristen is a problem-solver at heart and the opportunity to exercise that passion attracted her to the construction industry. Tristen loves to think outside the box to find solutions in an effective, tangible manner and she has devoted 32 years to the construction industry. Tristen holds a master’s degree in environmental science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. Tristen also attended the U.S. Air Force Regional Equipment Operators Training School. She names her father as her greatest mentor. Despite the fact that he raised all daughters, Tristen’s dad taught each of them how to fix a car, how to build a house, how to provide for the family and how to stand up for one’s self. Among her honors and awards is the Winner of the MoDOT Entrepreneurship Program business competition sponsored by American’s Small Business Development Center, Small Business Empowerment Center and MoDOT. Her greatest professional accomplishment, she says, was launching Wiley Robb & Associates, LLC, and obtaining the firm’s MBE/WBE/DBE certification. In addition to serving an array of industry-specific boards and associations, Tristen’s volunteerism includes support of the Kirkwood Athletic Association, St. Louis All-Stars Baseball and as a founding member of the Galen T. Wiley Foundation for Literacy

Tristen Wiley

President/Co-Owner Wiley Robb & Associates, LLC

Lauren Williams has been part of the construction industry for 15 years. As the virtual design and construction manager on the $1.7 billion Next NGA West Campus project, she serves as the point of contact for all construction management processes specific to VDC. Lauren’s responsibilities include streamlining and managing any process using technologies that McCarthy has at its disposal to implement design solutions. Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Stanford University. Growing up, she excelled in math and science and was captivated by unique buildings. Lauren began her career designing curtainwall systems for high-rise structures. Wanting to play a broader role in bringing buildings to life, she transitioned to the construction side of the design business. One of her proudest accomplishments is the creation of S. M. Wilson’s BIM division in 2012. Being elected the first women chairperson of the AGC of America’s IT forum steering committee in 2019 is another achievement she celebrates. Lauren’s most influential mentors hail from her athletic background. Earning an athletic scholarship to Stanford afforded her an opportunity for physical, mental and emotional development and equipped her with the support of her parents, siblings and her gymnastics and diving coaches. Her diving coach taught Lauren a strong work ethic, how to learn and rebound from mistakes and how to receive and apply feedback. An active mentor to young women seeking construction careers and a mom of two young sons, Lauren says she’s thrilled to demonstrate that it is possible to build a successful construction career while also building a family.

Lauren Williams

Virtual Design & Construction Manager, Central Region McCarthy Building Companies


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Leadership Energizing The Electrical Industry The Electrical Connection Salutes these Top Women in Construction

Emily Martin President, Aschinger Electric

Dr. Linda Little Assistant Director, IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center

Megan D’Angelo President, Pearl Street Electric

Congratulations! For a FREE Guide to Electrical Connection contractors, contact: Jim Curran 314-781-0755 • The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


WildHorse Delivers Luxury Living, Ruth’s Chris, Hotel and Retail to Chesterfield By KERRY SMITH 44

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Chesterfield is preparing to welcome its first fully mixed-use development.

Recent Projects:

• WildHorse Apartments • One Cardinal Way • Altair at the Heights • Mason Pointe Senior Living

Since 1946

(314) 241-4798

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Brinkmann Constructors is building the multi-phase $80 million project which includes 188 luxury residential units, a 128-room AC Hotel by Marriott, retail spaces and the largest and newest Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The development, spearheaded by owners Tegethoff Development (formerly Pearl Companies) and Great Lakes Capital, is located on 10 acres at the southwest corner of Chesterfield Parkway and WildHorse Creek Road. Project design partners are TR,i Architects and RD Jones + Associates. Phanomen Design is the architect for

Ruth’s Chris Steak House. WildHorse’s luxury units, retail and Ruth’s Chris Steak House broke ground in August 2019, according to Dan Gronek, senior project manager at Brinkmann Constructors. The living and retail developments are scheduled to finish in March 2021. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is on track for a mid to late November 2020 opening. The hotel – which includes a 5,000-square-foot conference center – broke ground in October 2020 and is estimated to open in November 2021. Three separate construction teams for the restaurant, living units and hotel – are


Waterhout Construction is an equal opportunity employer



CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

on site. “We typically have from 175 to 225 construction workers on the entire site daily,” Gronek said. One unique construction challenge at WildHorse has been the simultaneous construction and interior finishing of Ruth’s Chris while the third and fourth floor living units were being built adjacent to the restaurant. When completed, residents and hotel guests will be able to travel indoors via the restaurant’s second floor. $4.2 million in interiors is being devoted to Ruth’s Chris, said Gronek. The 15,600-square-foot upscale restaurant has a full bar on both floors and a collection of outdoor eating areas, some public and some reserved for private groups. It also boasts a grand staircase. “This restaurant will be like none other in St. Louis,” said TR,i Architects Principal Rich Obertino. The 182,000-square-foot living portion of the development touts luxury-class living units, nearly all of which have private balconies. Obertino said eightfoot windows in all units, wood floors throughout, stone kitchen countertops and islands, walk-in closets, tiled bathroom walls and floors are common to all 188 units. The floor-to-ceiling glass is a huge differentiator,” he added. “This community truly has a top-class resort feel.” Two courtyards – one with a 16x60-foot swimming pool and cabana, barbecue grills, firepits and bocce ball court, and the other for quieting reading and reflecting – are easily accessible by residents. Additional amenities include a dining room, cyber lounge, game room, fitness and yoga space, dog wash and gathering area near the completely automated package delivery system reception area. Visitors to WildHorse can stand at the front round-about and look through the all-glass lobby to see the pool area. In cool seasons, they may opt to spend time near the 10-foot-tall fireplace located in the clubroom and lounge area. Six retail spaces spanning a total of 12,000 square feet are available for lease. Retail spaces and the restaurant share access to a back-of-house shipping and receiving corridor. Below-ground, access-controlled parking for residents spans 85,000 square feet. Above-ground and valet parking are available for steak house and conference center guests. Lawrence Fabric and Metal Structures manufactured and installed a series of

flat metal canopies and louvered canopies on the east elevation and for the secondfloor patio at Ruth’s Chris. Regional Sales Manager Tom Schoeffel said the company also manufactured and installed louvered canopies on the ground floor near the restaurant and lobby entrances, and a row of canopies in the retail area. In addition, Lawrence Fabric and Metal Structures is installing two motorized, aluminum-free standing shade pergolas in the resident courtyard areas. Shade, Shades & More President Brett Balber said the firm is installing more than 600 blinds at the project site. Waterhout Construction Vice President Jeff Bunge said his company installed all of the hollow metal doors, frames and hardware as well as wood doors in the living units and in the parking structure. The firm also installed all millwork and casework in the living units. Additional project partners include investment firm Reinsurance Group, structural engineer Bob D. Campbell & Co., G&W Engineering, Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, Design Aire Heating & Cooling Inc., Birkel Electric, Finch Plumbing Co. Inc. and Excel Fire Protection Inc.

The newest Ruth's Chris Steak House, which opened at WildHorse Nov. 16, is 15,600 square feet, has a full bar on both floors and a collection of outdoor eating areas, some public and some reserved for private groups. It also boasts a grand staircase. When the WildHorse project is completed, residents and hotel guests will be able to travel indoors via the restaurant’s second floor.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


Developers, Builders Investing in Amenity-Driven Senior Living


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -


As many seniors live longer and transition from their homes to senior living communities, contractors, developers and operators are collaborating as they build and renovate facilities to meet increasing demands for amenities.


Cold-formed steel framing provides considerable project savings through: • Site security savings • Reduced scaffolding • No risk of dry rot and termite damage • Shorter construction timelines • Reduced carpentry-man hours • Lower financing costs and builders risk insurance Learn more by calling Karl Klostermann at (314) 581-3351.

Truss Supplier: Engineered Steel Products Building: Stonecrest at Claytonview

senior living facility building solutions delivered





636 -349-2920 Sielf leischRoof The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


“What we’re seeing from a construction standpoint is that the CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities) have an independent living benchmark where they’re building an assisted living/memory care model that is tied to a neighborhood setting for independent living options in a separate yet connected area on site,” said Hank Bellina, president of ARCO Senior Living | MultiFamily Construction. “Developers see this as an opportunity to partner with the operator. A good senior living operator’s expertise is critical to be successful financially while still providing the best care for seniors and their loved ones. Without the senior living operations piece in place as part of the investment, developers quickly find out that this isn’t as simple as just brokering building leases.” Developers are currently seeing attractive senior living projects offering between an 11 percent and 13 percent return on investment, according to Bellina, which is markedly above a typical commercial/office/industrial real estate deal of 6 percent to 8 percent right now. “This ROI potential is definitely driving the CCRC development and construction market,” he added. ARCO Senior Living | Multi-Family is currently building 14 mid-sized to large independent living projects nationwide. One is a 400-unit combined assisted living/memory care/independent living community in Washington, UT. Another is a similar 375-unit assisted living/memory care community in Omaha, NE. “You’re seeing all kinds of amenities in these communities such as spas, self-contained barber and beauty shops, fitness centers, movie theaters, bocce ball and pickleball courts and dining options that are available not only to residents but also to those across town to enjoy,” Bellina said. The location of a senior living community within a city is also a defining factor of success, according to Bellina. “We’re building a large project in the Greater Sacramento (CA) region

next to a community college and arts center,” he said. “Developers are seeking placement of these communities near existing populations so seniors can feel secure, and also so that residents have convenient access to quality of life add-ons that educational institutions offer. Developer/operator teams are truly driving the senior living marketplace these days,” Bellina added. “When you pair a developer with a senior living community operator, the facilities design and amenities can be compared to the investment financials to provide a better opportunity for success.” Senior living developers are calling on operator expertise nationwide to examine how best to build and renovate facilities in a way that the independent living components are able to be converted into more of an assisted living facility model, should occupancy trends change over the next five years, said Bellina. “Data shows that in 2019, approximately 95 percent of the independent living units built across the U.S. – some 25,000 units, three times more volume than was constructed annually over the previous eight years – were occupied. This has resulted in the push for more flexible independent living/assisted living/memory care models to continue to be developed to serve the ever-changing market metrics at various levels of affordability.” Development of senior living communities in rural areas across the U.S. is markedly different in terms of product, price point and purpose, according to The Korte Company. Anthony Walker is healthcare director and Stephen Dailey is director of healthcare consulting at The Korte Company. Both agree that the connected continuum of care, manifested in a seamless community offering independent, assisted and memory care options, remains the development of choice for rural communities as well as urban ones. But in rural cities and towns, these developments often need to fulfill an additional requirement as a citywide public events/cultural space. “There are differing approaches across the country as to how



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the connected community development approach is designed and delivered,” Walker said. “In remote areas, it’s more of a holistic community approach. In rural America, it’s less of a ‘this is our solution’ and more of a ‘this is a community solution.’ Primary healthcare providers in rural areas – where the next city or town is 45 minutes away – recognize the need for resources that serve not only seniors but the whole community.” At least 10,000 individuals are retiring in the U.S. every day, Dailey said, and these are largely Baby Boomers, the first phase of nuclear families whose grown children do not necessarily live nearby. “People who no longer want, or are able, to take care of their large home and yard are opting for independent living alternatives,” he said. “The typical path is 20 months in independent living, then a move into assisted living, and ultimately into a nursing home community. Small, rural areas often do not have the resources to upgrade a senior living community with dining options and amenities for use solely by senior living residents. In rural parts of the U.S., they often look to the entire town for the resources to build a senior community with common spaces and amenities that can be utilized by all ages.” The Korte Company recently completed a 47,000-square-foot senior living community in rural Dimmitt, TX, 70 miles north of Lubbock, TX in partnership with the Castro County Hospital District. Dimmitt’s population is 4,400 and the county’s entire population is only 8,000. The development includes 54 long-term care rooms, 14 semi-private rooms, 24 private rooms, a chapel, community room and activity room. Residents will also be able to utilize the facility’s rehab area and wellness center, as will those living in Dimmitt and anywhere in Castro County. Walker said amenities such as these plus a dining offering supports interaction between seniors, their families and the public, while equipping the entire county with a much-needed asset. “There are six assisted living rooms located near the independent living units for spouses whose level of care differs,” said Walker. “We’re proud to team with Castro County Hospital District to not only meet the needs of the elderly, but also to equip the entire population in this rural area with a top-notch community resource.” Holland Construction Services is also an active builder of senior living developments across the Midwest. Project Director Rob Ruehl said senior communities such as the 170,000-square-foot Keystone Place at Richland Creek in O’Fallon, IL are an example of developments that adapt their footprint and convert a portion of assisted living units to independent living to meet ever-changing marketplace demand. The 152-unit Keystone project is scheduled to wrap up in early 2021. “We continue to see the trend of more inclusive living communities, those offering a continuum of care, and this is driving the redevelopment of existing senior living communities to bring more independent living units online,” Ruehl said. “Another trend we’re seeing is the development of town centers or mixeduse communities that not only include a variety of levels of living and care options but also a small grocery store, hair salon, tennis courts, a pool and more.” Todd Goodrich is vice president and senior living market leader for PARIC. Goodrich says master planning and repositioning existing senior living campuses that were originally built 30, 40 and 50 years ago is a major thrust of the development that’s occurring nationwide. Right-sizing these campuses and bringing the facilities up to modern-day expectations – with regard to room sizes and amenity spaces – remains a strong trend. “In some cases, that may mean divesting properties, tearing down facilities that are past their useful life and building new,” said Goodrich. “With that comes complexities in moving residents as seamlessly as possible while this work is taking place, so they return to a world-class facility that fulfills its mission for another 40 to 50 years.” One of the trends PARIC is seeing is that the average age of

independent living move-ins is continually decreasing, according to Goodrich. “The average age has dropped three to four years over the past 15 years, from age 84 or 85 to 80 or 81. Sometimes move-ins are younger than that, making the transition because it’s a relaxed lifestyle with every amenity they need. With this trend, we’re seeing different demands for dining options, often less formal, on-the-go, casual bistros all the way up to a fine dining experience. Dining is definitely a big driver.” State-of-the art fitness centers are also an expectation of independent senior living residents and prospects, Goodrich said. “All of the elements of an active lifestyle are an expectation these days,” he added. “It’s a trend that has moved from a differentiator to a must-have.” There is a sizable opportunity for developers and operators to build senior living inventory that serves what Goodrich identifies as the middle market – communities that include quality units and attractive amenities with a price point that’s greater than affordable housing yet less than luxury. “When you look at senior living communities, we are still consistently serving 20 percent of age-qualified individuals,” said Goodrich, “10 percent who can afford to move into an allencompassing community with all the top-class amenities and 10 percent who qualify for an affordable housing product. But there’s a huge gap in between, the middle market, whose clientele may not be able to afford to pay for the pool, the state-of-the-art fitness center and fine dining but don’t qualify for affordable housing product. It represents a huge opportunity to find and serve this 80 percent. It will no doubt continue to drive more creative collaboration amongst all stakeholders.”

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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


C O M PA N I E S Construction of Expo at Forest Park, a multifamily/retail transit-oriented development within walking distance of the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, is underway. Brinkmann Constructors is general contractor for the project that includes more than 278,000 square feet of residential and amenity space and 30,000 square feet of retail. The project developer is Tegethoff Development in partnership with BiState Development. Trivers is the project architect. Two multifamily apartment buildings totaling 287 market-rate luxury apartments represent the living portion of the development. The south building will span 285,400 square feet and eight stories. The north building will total 172,600 square feet and six stories. Clayco completed the company’s first cross-country, work-site excursion, “The Job is The Boss Tour 2020”, where Clayco Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Clark traveled to each of the company’s 45 active job sites, personally sharing his gratitude and delivering gifts to on-site employees. The tour was launched in recognition of the resiliency of Clayco’s integral construction workforce who quickly adapted to working amid new health and safety guidelines during the pandemic. Clayco leadership provided the originally approved Center for Disease Control guidelines to continue construction activity across the country. The guidelines are a roadmap to working during COVID-19. Western Specialty Contractors’ Great Plains Roofing and Sheet Metal branch of Kansas City, KS recently completed installation of a decorative metal panel system and TPO roofing on the new Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City. Opened on October 23, the 30,000-square-foot museum features 10 dynamic exhibit spaces focusing on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), birthday party rooms, classroom spaces and a half-acre of outdoor educational space. McCownGordon was the general contractor and Haizlip Studio was the architect. Green Street St. Louis and HDA Architects have joined forces to create a fully integrated development company. HDA


will assimilate under Green Street Building Group’s umbrella of services led by Paul Giacoletto to provide a full spectrum of design related opportunities for Green Street’s development and construction teams, while continuing to provide professional design services to its multi-state platform of clients in the office, industrial, beverage, multi-family, mixeduse and craft brewery market sectors. Signature Craft (formerly Woodard Contract LLC), a regional provider of window treatments and acoustical panels for office buildings, churches, auditoriums, public buildings, hospitals, nursing homes and casinos, has been purchased by Alec Sorensen of St. Louis. S. M. Wilson & Co. has been selected by the City of Highland to perform as the general contractor for its $6.5M public safety building. The 27,930-square-foot building will house the city’s police, fire and EMS departments under one roof. The project officially broke ground on October 15. Loyet Architects is the architectural firm. Midwest BankCentre, Inc. has acquired Taylored Analytics to launch a new subsidiary, Rising Analytics. At the onset of the pandemic, S. M. Wilson’s construction career education program, SKILLED, began developing an online learning curriculum. Wilsonites came together to develop virtual aids such as at-home STEAM activities, online project presentations, videos on construction career information, construction storytimes and more to continue to bring construction career education to the classroom. Melton Machine & Control Company is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Washington, MO. Contegra Construction Co.’s design/build services completed the high-performance, energyefficient 367,000-square-foot facility. The new location replaces MMCC’s existing 154,000-square-foot building and is designed to improve collaboration with the firm’s nearby subsidiary, Computech Manufacturing Company. Wiegmann Associates was the engineer of record. Gray Design served as architect.

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Project partners McCownGordon Construction and BSA LifeStructures have completed a nine-story, 392,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art pediatric research facility in downtown Kansas City, MO. Within its walls, researchers will discover new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent complex childhood diseases. Haberberger, Inc. has received five 2020 Outstanding Mechanical Installation Awards by the Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri for its work on a variety of projects across the St. Louis area. Haberberger has been honored with the mechanical installation award 33 times over the past several years. SAK Construction, LLC has been selected by Trenchless Technology Magazine as a winner of its 2020 Project of the Year award. When the pandemic sent students and staff home last spring before the scheduled end of the school year, McCarthy Building Companies identified innovative ways to streamline project schedules and save costs for clients such as the Parkway School District in St. Louis County. Despite the numerous pandemic-related challenges, including supply chain slowdowns, newly implemented safety protocols and labor shortages, McCarthy successfully completed the first phase of a three-year program for the district. The $55 million work program involves nearly every school building in the district. McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has moved into its newly constructed office building and warehouse that serves as the national construction company’s new Nebraska headquarters. KWK Architects and CannonDesign have completed a 15- to 20-year renovation masterplan for the University of Central Missouri’s Elliott Student Union, a 165,000-square-foot social hub. S. M. Wilson donated construction services and a field team to assist Epworth Children & Family Services for its residential facility renovations. With residential dorms having not been upgrading in decades, Epworth wanted

C O M PA N I E S to transform the physical environment to make it more trauma-informed and homelike to better aid in the treatment and healing of its residential youth. Thousands of individuals turn to Epworth each year for foster care case management, residential and intensive treatment, psychological evaluation, in-home family therapy and emergency shelter services. S. M. Wilson has partnered with the organization for more than 16 years through donations and contributions that support their programs and services. S. M. Wilson President Amy Berg has also served on the nonprofit organization’s board. IMPACT Strategies has completed renovations to Covenant House’s Wellness Center in St. Louis, designed by Oculus Inc.

CONT. The new Drake’s Come Play in O’Fallon, IL is complete, with Knoebel Construction serving as the general contractor. The 6,014-square-foot restaurant and entertainment venue features two fullservice bars, a DJ booth and a covered patio. Midas Hospitality recently opened St. Louis’ sole eco-conscious Element by Westin, a $40 million, seven-story hotel in St. Louis Midtown. Tarlton Corp. has received a 2020 Award of Merit in the Best Projects category from ENR Midwest for completion of a COVID-19 alternate care facility in Florissant, MO for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For the second year in a row, Ameren Corporation has been named to the top 10 2020 Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production list by Great Place to Work

and FORTUNE. The list was determined by analyzing responses from more than 160,000 employees at Great Place to Work-Certified organizations in the manufacturing and production industry. The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, constructed by St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., has earned top recognition in the 2020 Best Projects competition, sponsored by ENR Midwest. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport announces that a key phase of its planned terminal expansion is moving forward this fall, thanks to nearly $6.5 million in grant funding recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funds, awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program, will be used for a variety of critical infrastructure and safety improvement projects to enhance overall operations at the airport.

PROMOTIONS Castle Contracting has promoted Christie Brinkman to senior business development manager and Cody Hobbs to assistant project safety manager.

Bryon Muir has been promoted to director of business development at Knoebel Construction.

HIRES Jack Huang joined the FSA team as an architectural associate.

KAI Build announces the hiring of Eva Chapin as project manager.

Preconstruction Leticia Lago and Chief People Officer Christie Judd.

Jason Appel has joined Knoebel Construction as project manager.

Justin Nack has joined Murphy Company as project engineer.

Kadean Construction has hired Aaron Retherford as vice president of business strategy.

Castle Stone Products has hired Brandon Barklage as sales and estimating manager.

Ryan Palmer has joined Murphy Company as BIM/CAD designer.

Enterprise Bank & Trust announces the hiring of Jada D. Reese as senior vice president of human resources.

Frank Houston has joined Murphy Company as refrigeration project manager.

Spiegelglass Construction Company announces the addition of Joe Sneed, LEED AP BD+C as vice president of construction. Josh Eckert of has joined Wiegmann Associates as a project engineer.

Ross & Baruzzini I EDI has named Don Fowler director of business development for its 16-state western region. PARIC Corporation has strengthened its executive leadership team by adding two of the organization’s more experienced senior leaders – Vice President of

KAI announces the expansion of its engineering group with the following hires: Edna Bartolomei-Diaz, EIT, LEED AP BD+C, and Khan Okouny Pouch, as senior mechanical designers; Mariliz Peniza as mechanical designer and Rick Hoops as electrical designer. Square UP Builders has hired Mike Stelzer as operations manager of its framing division.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020


A S S O C I AT I O N S The Home Builders Charitable Foundation presented a $15,000 donation to Lucas Rouggly, executive director and founder of LOVEtheLOU to finish stabilizing an apartment complex that was donated to LOVEtheLOU’s STL | LIVE, a housing program designed to alleviate the stress of high rent and provide necessary resources to families. The HBCF also donated $15,000 to Habitat for Humanity St. Louis to support its 2020 build program. Youth in Need also received $15,000 from the HBCF to fund improvements at the organization’s supported apartments. Recently 14 trainees graduated from CHAMPIONS, a new pipe trades diversity initiative sponsored by the Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 562 and the Plumbing Industry Council. Creating Hometown Advantages through Minority Participation in Our

Neighborhood is an innovative program designed to expand membership diversity in the city of St. Louis while also strengthening the Local 562 workforce. The St. Clair County Transit District board of trustees has approved a $9.4 million contract with WSP USA for engineering and design services for a 5.5-mile, light rail expansion project set to extend the MetroLink alignment in Illinois from the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. This project is being completed in partnership with Bi-State Development/Metro Transit and Gonzalez Companies. The project team includes EFK Moen, Millennia Professional Services, SCI Engineering and TWM.

addition to members, CREW-St. Louis presented its fifth annual Woman of Influence Award to Maxine Clark. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region. The HBCF recently presented a $12,157 donation to Courtney Noto, chief development officer for Marygrove. The donation will be used to repair, refinish and reinstall industrial-grade metal cabinets in two of Marygrove’s residential treatment units. Marygrove is dedicated to providing a safe living environment for children and youth while addressing their mental health needs.

The St. Louis chapter of CREW continued its tradition of honoring members with its 15th Annual Networking Awards. In

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HONORS Dr. Linda Little, who for more than 20 years has taught and helped shape the curriculum for IBEW apprentices, has been named assistant director of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. The Concrete Council of St. Louis is awarding its annual scholarships funded by the proceeds of the Concrete Council | Fenix Construction Golf Tournament. This year’s recipients are Paityn Jansen of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


and Austin Richardson of Missouri University of Science & Technology. Square UP Builders has promoted Tim Cayou to field operations manager in its finish carpentry and trim division. KAI Enterprises announces that Senior Project Manager Joel Kerschen,

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AIA, CSI, LEED AP BD+, has been appointed president of the Construction Specifications Institute – Greater Saint Louis Chapter. S. M. Wilson Director of Client Development Kristyn Newbern has joined the Aligned Advisory Board.







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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2020




The Coming Decade: A Revolution in Technology, Education and Impact of Women The 2020s will see further transformation of business and society around the world because of technology. This means unheard of levels of productivity across every discipline of the construction industry – actually, across every Industry. At the core of this movement is information technology and the ability to access and harness huge volumes of data, the ability to put the insights from this data at the fingertips of every worker and the ability to create software, programs and visualizations that increase the usefulness and relevance of that information to businesses and to everyday lives. But this engine of productivity, like any engine, needs fuel. In this instance, that fuel is savvy, creative, motivated people with the right skills who understand how to isolate the business requirement and focus the myriad of IT tools and techniques to best effect. And we will need a lot of them, which means that the 2020s will bring a revolution in education – one that will inspire more women and young people of color to choose careers in IT. According to Sarah K. White, senior writer for CIO Online magazine (January 2020), women comprise 47 percent of all employed adults in the U.S., but as of 2015, they hold only 25 percent of computing roles, according to data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology. Of the 25 percent of women working in tech, black and Hispanic women accounted for 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

What is happening to reverse this trend? Alignment and collaboration between educators and employers who are opening their doors to young people earlier and more powerfully than ever before. Nonprofits like the Girl Scouts are also increasingly working with school districts and employers to encourage young women to consider careers in industries such as construction and IT. Jennings School District in St. Louis and Superintendent Art McCoy exemplify this STEAM movement. McCoy starts children thinking about possible careers as early as in the 3rd grade. Each school year, they are increasingly exposed to employers and a wide range of professional occupations. During their high school years, Jennings students focus on completing key certificates for their chosen fields. McCoy has partnered with area businesses to not only fund creative in-school STEAM learning experiences but integrate on-site learning experiences into the curriculum. At Jennings, students engage in internships with and site visits to companies and institutions such as World Wide Technology, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Clayco. From seniors leveraging their internship experiences into job opportunities to graduates going on to higher learning, our collective community’s collaborative spirit is fueling the surge of the coming decade’s need for women and young people to enter the technology workforce. Lee J. Metcalf is vice president of community engagement at Daugherty Business Solutions and a retired Navy Reserve Rear Admiral.

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