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Missouri Contractors Anticipate Continued Growth In 2017

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Lack of sustainable infrastructure plan and shrinking skilled workforce loom over market

Contractors in both the AGC of Missouri’s Building Division and its Heavy Highway/Infrastructure Division remain optimistic about economic conditions going forward, as reported in a recent quarterly Contractor Confidence (CCI) Index, looking six, 12 and 18-24 months ahead. However, the lack of a permanent, sustainable infrastructure program and a developing critical shortage of skilled workers in some of the building trades and project management roles appear as dark clouds looming over the horizon.

Contractors in the AGC of Missouri’s Building Division report increased optimism for the construction climate across the board, with the six-month forecast moving from 61.3 pts. in Q4 2016 to 63.46 pts. in Q1 2017. Looking 12 months out, their forecast jumped from 62.9 pts. in Q4 2016 to 69.23 pts. in Q1 2017.  Forecasting business conditions 18-24 months ahead, they reported at 56.45 pts. in Q4 2016, jumping to 63.46 pts. in Q1 2017.

Contractors in the AGC of Missouri’s Highway Division remain highly optimistic, but they tempered their outlook somewhat in this latest survey.  For the six-month outlook, their forecast moved from 65.3 pts in Q4 2016 to 66.7 pts. in Q1 2017.  Their forecast for a year from now dropped nearly 20 pts., moving from 91.7 pts. in Q4 2016 to 72.2 pts. in Q1 2017.  Their forecast for 18-24 months rose from 68.1 pts. in Q4 2016 to 72.2 pts. in Q1 2017.

Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president of the AGC of Missouri, notes that any numbers over 50 pts. indicate a favorable construction climate. “Conditions have definitely turned around for our contractors from the bottom we hit in 2008,” said Toenjes. “It’s been a slow and steady recovery, but the future holds some major challenges that could greatly impact this projected growth pattern.”

He noted that the Missouri Department of Transportation still has two years left in its spend-down of its transportation funding reserves, but the lack of long term plans to fund Missouri’s transportation needs and the nation’s infrastructure could stall growth (and jobs) in coming years. “The infrastructure in our state and across the country is crumbling,” Toenjes added.  “Every month our legislators fail to act, the problem worsens. We only need to look at road conditions on I-70, on our state highways, and on our bridges across the state to see the problem is very real. (See:  I would also anticipate that the recent flooding across the state will require major emergency road repairs.

“Investment in infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates economic growth,” he added. “One only need look to neighboring Kansas to understand the economic impact state funding for road and bridge projects can make on a state’s economy. (See:  “Our other neighbors of Iowa and Arkansas also have increased transportation investment in the past several years while nothing has changed in Missouri.

“At the same time, our building contractors across the state are facing major challenges finding enough qualified project managers and skilled craft workers,” said Toenjes.  “These are good paying jobs that can support families, but there just aren’t enough trained workers in the pipeline to meet the demand. The recession that began in 2008 forced a lot of early retirements and workers left construction for other industries.  Now that the jobs are here, we need more trained workers now and moving into the pipeline. Without them, we won’t be able to build the facilities to help fuel the economy and create new jobs.

“I encourage young people to take a serious look at a career in construction,” Toenjes said. “There are excellent employment opportunities available, great new technologies and innovation driving the building arts, and a very positive outlook for our industry. It’s no longer just trenches, concrete and dirt. Today project scheduling is done on mobile devices, job sites are monitored by drones, fiber optics run through most buildings, environmentally-friendly systems and materials comprise structures, and precision logistics and new methodologies drive profits.  It’s a tough, but very rewarding industry for people who want to create and build something of which they can be proud.”



The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing nearly 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri


HBA Announces Sales, Marketing & Construction Award Winners

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The Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (HBA) announced the winners of its annual Sales, Marketing & Construction (SMAC) Awards on Wednesday, April 26 at a ceremony at Greenbriar Hills Country Club in Kirkwood, Mo. The SMAC Awards honor excellence in the home building industry and are divided into three categories: Homes of the Year, Marketing & Advertising and Personal Achievement. Please see the next page for a list of winners.

The SMAC Awards were judged by staff and members of the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®. Click here for more information about judging criteria and the full entry packet.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry.

Sales, Marketing & Construction Award Winners

The following HBA members and member companies were awarded for their achievements in 2016:

Homes of the Year Awardees

  • Display Home of the Year, Small Builder, 2,100-2,699 sq. ft. – Bridgewater Communities for the Warson at The Villas at Crimson
  • Display Home of the Year, Small Builder, 3,300-3,999 sq. ft. – McKelvey Homes for The Muirfield at Muirfield Manor
  • Display Home of the Year, Small Builder, 4,000-4,999 sq. ft. – McKelvey Homes for The Bellerive at Enclave Bellerive
  • Display Home of the Year, Large Builder, 1,800-2,099 sq. ft. – Payne Family Homes for The Geneva II at The Villages at Montrachet
  • Display Home of the Year, Large Builder, 2,100-2,699 sq. ft. — Payne Family Homes for The Meridian at The Villages of Provence
  • Display Home of the Year, Large Builder, 3,300-3,999 sq. ft. – PulteGroup for The Deer Valley at Bur Oaks
  • Staging Project of the Year, $200,001-$299,999 – FLAIR Home Stagings & Displays
  • Staging Project of the Year, $300,000-$399,999 – FLAIR Home Stagings & Displays
  • Staging Project of the Year, $400,000-$499,999 – FLAIR Home Stagings & Displays
  • Staging Project of the Year, $500,000-$749,999 – FLAIR Home Stagings & Displays
  • Staging Project of the Year, $750,000-$999,999 – FLAIR Home Stagings & Displays
  • Staging Project of the Year, Above $1 million – FLAIR Home Stagings & Displays
  • Remodeling Project of the Year, Overall Redesign – Liston Construction Company
  • Remodeling Project of the Year, Kitchen – Liston Construction Company
  • Remodeling Project of the Year, Miscellaneous Project – Liston Construction Company
  • Custom Homes of the Year – Hibbs Homes
  • Most Advanced Home of the Year – Hibbs Homes

Marketing & Advertising Awardees

  • Best Brochure Design, Builder – Payne Family Homes
  • Best Brochure Design, Associate – Bennett Premium Building Supplies
  • Best New Floor Plan – PulteGroup for the Meadowview at Chandler Ridge
  • Best Print Ad, Builder – Payne Family Homes 
  • Best Print Ad, Remodeler – Mosby Building Arts
  • Best Social Media, Builder – Payne Family Homes
  • Best Social Media, Associate – Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Select Properties – The Boehmer Team
  • Best Specialty Niche, Builder – Bridgewater Communities
  • Best Specialty Niche, Remodeler – Mosby Building Arts
  • Best YouTube Commercial, Builder – Payne Family Homes
  • Best Sales Office Design, Builder – PulteGroup
  • Best Website, Associate – Titan Granite

Personal Achievement Awards 

  • New Home Community Salesperson of the Year – Lisa Seely, McBride & Son Homes
  • Rookie Salesperson of the Year – Christopher Todd Oliphant, PulteGroup 
  • Assistant Community Salesperson of the Year – Suzie Spasenoski, McKelvey Homes 
  • New Home Sales Manager of the Year – Cyndie Roche, Payne Family Homes 
  • Marketing Director of the Year – Cyndie Roche, Payne Family Homes
  • Construction Manager of the Year – Jay VanDerBeck, PulteGroup 
  • Real Estate Sales Manager/Agent of the Year – Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Select Properties – The Boehmer Team 
  • Mortgage Professional of the Year – Trisha McConkey, Associated Bank 
  • Highest Closer, Dollar Volume – Clyde Oliver, McKelvey Homes 
  • Highest Closer, Number of Sold Units – Lisa Seely, McBride & Son Homes

Missouri S&T Concrete Conference to be Held May 2-3

in Associations/News

Missouri University of Science and Technology will host the annual Missouri Concrete Conference May 2-3 in the Havener Center on campus. Conference registration is $150 per person.

Conference topics include slag cement concrete; colored concrete; steel fibers in building construction; impact of air quality control on fly ash properties; timing of slab sawing; compacted concrete pavement; internal curing; field testing; factors affecting air content; zero discharge production water at plants; precast update; confirming aggregate quality; regional aggregate issues; ACR street deterioration; CPR specification update; evolution of bridge deck design; St. Louis County materials specification update; ACI adhesive anchor technician certification; and the Missouri Department of Transportation’s current research.

Certificates to document Personal Development Hours will be provided.

Organizers say the conference will be of interest to contractors, public agencies, consulting engineers, testing labs, aggregate producers, ready mix, cement and admixture suppliers, and equipment technical reps.

Additional information, including a complete listing of presentations, is available online at

For registration and sponsor information, contact Missouri S&T’s office of distance and continuing education at 573-341-6576 or

For technical information, contact Dr. David Richardson, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T, at 573-341-4487 or

Contractors Seek Accountability in MSD’s Bidding Process

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MSD Executive Director, Brian Hoelscher

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) unveiled its 2018 fiscal year capital improvement and replacement program on April 17, 2017, but some contractors questioned the accountability of MSD’s bidding process.   That after the MSD board of trustees refused to follow the recommendations of its professiona l staff and inexplicably killed a $145 million contract to the lowest responsible bidder on the Deer Creek tunneling project.  When asked why he changed his vote at an April 13th MSD meeting to void the contract to low bidder Jay Dee/Frontier-Kemper (JDFK) Joint Venture,MSD Trustee Michael Yates told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “I have my reasons, and that’s all I’m saying.”

Abdul-Ghani Mekkaoul

At the fiscal 2018 capital improvement and replacement program Jay Dee Contractors, Inc. Project Manager Abdul-Ghani Mekkaoul sought answers to why MSD trustees refused to follow the recommendation of its staff which had thoroughly vetted and approved JDFK’s low bid.  After the meeting, Mekkauol noted that the JDFK bid met every standard of MSD’s request for proposal, including pricing, schedule, diversity and would have used a St. Louis union workforce.  The meeting attracted reporters from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal and KMOV-TV, which sought answers to how wisely MSD is spending money on its massive $4.7 billion Project Clear.

Electrical Connection Launches Boat Dock Safety Campaign

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In advance of the summer boating season, the Electrical Connection is offering tips to boat dock owners to ensure their docks are electrically safe.    Recently, the mother of two children electrocuted while swimming around a boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks said more needs to be done to avoid fatal electrical shock from unsafe boat docks.   The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“Missouri lawmakers are currently considering boat dock safety legislation in SB 297 introduced by State Senator Jake Hummel,” said Tim Green, director of governmental affairs for IBEW/NECA.  “Members of the state assembly are rightly concerned about recent tragedies on Missouri lakes where people, including children, were electrocuted swimming near docks with electrical hazards.”

“We fully support Senator Hummel’s bill,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection.  “But now is the time that boat dock owners need to make sure their docks – and neighboring docks – don’t have electrical issues that would endanger anyone on the dock or swimming around the dock.”

The Electrical Connection, which is the single largest source of licensed electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the State of Missouri, recommends boat dock owners consider the following:

  • A Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should be on all dock receptacles.  A GFCI measures the current in a circuit. An imbalance of that current, such as a discharge into the water, will trip the GFCI cutting off power.
  • The GFCI should be tested at least once a month or per the manufacturer’s specifications.  The GFCI should be located somewhere along the ramp to the dock so it can be easily found and tested by local fire departments as needed.
  • The metal frame of docks should have “bonding jumpers” on them to connect all metal parts to a ground rod on the shore.  That will ensure any part of the metal dock that becomes energized because of electrical malfunction will trip the GFCI or the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure the switch to disconnect power is at the dock entrance and easily found for first responders.  You don’t want to attempt any kind of rescue from a charged dock.
  • Never use an extension cord on a dock.
  • Neighboring docks can also present a shock hazard.  Ensure your neighbor’s dockside electrical system complies with the National Electrical Code and has been inspected.
  • All electrical installations should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Because docks are exposed to the elements, their electrical systems should be inspected at least once a year.

More boat dock safety tips can be found at


Stakeholder Advisory Committee Begins Planning Work On Future Development Of Maryland Park Lake District

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The Stakeholder Advisory Committee formed in January to work with the City of Maryland Heights on the preparation of a development plan for the Maryland Park Lake District held its first public meeting on April 6 and began its planning work.  Twenty-one representatives from economic and infrastructure partners got an overview of the City’s vision for the 2,000+ acre area and discussed a wide range of transportation, wastewater and economic development planning issues.  Agencies participating in the meeting included:

  • Louis Economic Development Partnership;
  • Louis County Planning Commission;
  • Louis County Parks and Recreation Department;
  • Louis County Highway Department;
  • Major land owners including Creve Coeur Airport, Penn Gaming/Hollywood Casino, McBride Homes and Riverport Business Park;
  • Transportation agencies including Metro and East-West Gateway;
  • Howard Bend Levee District;
  • Great Rivers Greenway;
  • Public school districts including Pattonville and Parkway; and
  • Fire protection districts including Maryland Heights, Pattonville and Monarch.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is charged with consulting and preparing findings and recommendations for the Maryland Heights City Council, Economic Development Commission and Planning Commission regarding individual elements of the development area’s infrastructure, conceptual develop and economic development plans.

“We are seeking the advice of these highly knowledgeable people and the agencies they represent, and we will share their advice with our City’s elected and appointed officials,” said Wayne Oldroyd, Director of Community Development for the City of Maryland Heights.  “This first meeting fostered a positive atmosphere for a productive dialogue that we hope to continue until the Committee completes its important work.  We are extremely thankful and appreciative for their active participation.”

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will meeting again in May, and plans to hold additional meetings and eventually a public hearing to share their findings with the City.  The meetings are open to the public, and the public may also submit written comments to the Committee through the Maryland Park Lake District website at  This website will be updated regularly with new information from the Committee, including all meeting notices.

Awards Recognize Outstanding Best Practices in Construction

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Best practices in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.   The annual awards recognized successful use of Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to improve project quality, budget and schedule.  Five projects and their teams were presented Best Practices awards.

Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence

The team from MC Industrial and Burns & McDonnell were recognized for use of the Advanced Work Packaging Best Practice on the Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence.  This is one of the newest Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute.  Although new, it did not stop the team from using the best practice, along with Planning for Startup and Change Management for the construction of a 425,000 square foot manufacturing and paint facility for the Boeing Composite Center of Excellence.  As a design build delivery project, it was critical to meet a tight schedule for the expansion to provide protection from the elements for the large equipment procurement which was well underway.

Since the schedule was fast-paced for this enormous facility, numerous design packages were required, 30 in all.  Each was separately tracked and progress reported to stakeholders on a weekly basis.  The packages had to carefully coordinated between each other and monitored to integrate with adjacent and sometimes dependent building systems.  Each package had numerous review stages with the client and construction team.

The team employed a 3D model walk through and cloud based interface systems to facilitate the reviewer comments and to act on them.  The review times were drastically reduced and this provided a coordinated platform to track and archive the documentation, providing a common pool for project information.  As the project progressed, the 3D modeling was published on a recurring basis, allowing stakeholders to visualize the facility as the design progressed.

Since all trades were modeled in virtual space, clashes in the field were identified during the design phase.  This minimized costly delays and re-work in construction.  The models were passed to subcontractors as a starting point for their fabrication models and further reducing the time typically required.

Hospital Realignment at Nellis Air Force Base

KAI Design Build and United Excel Design were recognized a major realignment project for the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.  The project employed the Best Practices of “Planning for Startup” as well as “Front End Planning” and “Project Risk Assessment” for a complicated $93 million hospital renovation across 4 floors.  It involved more than 2 dozen departments in an operational hospital with an antiquated layout that was also undersized for its mission.

With a design charette as a starting point, floor plans were developed for the design build project.  This translated into the architectural, interior, structural, MEP engineering and other renovation needs.  Although the renovation encompassed 3 years, design submittals and pre-planning for the project were necessary early in the project for use by design sub-teams.

Project risks were identified for renovation of different areas of the hospital in phases while keeping occupied areas operational.  A project rating index and project risk assessments were employed throughout the project to provide sufficient scope definition and to assess risks.  This empowered decision makers to evaluate parts of the project prior to moving forward with design and construction. Mock-up rooms were built for major rooms, such as operating rooms, intensive care and labor and delivery to coordinate equipment and utility outlet locations such as power and data, medical gas and headwalls.  Sustainable design concepts were incorporated into the project which is tracking for LEED Silver Certification.

American Optometric Association Headquarters Renovation

The challenge to build new or renovate was faced by the team recruited to support the American Optometric Association (AOA).  Initial plans called  for constructing a new facility for the 44,000 member trade association with offices on Lindbergh Boulevard.  Team members including Northstar Management, Gray Design and BSI constructors, completed a pre-planning effort which indicated a cost of $14 million for a 30,000 square foot new building.  Then when they compared this option and the associated project budgets, including land acquisition and additional Owner operational costs, with an alternative option for a full gut renovation, the latter option’s lower cost of $10 million altered plans.

The design and construction team worked in close alignment to devise a plan for the renovation.  To support ongoing operations of the association’s staff during construction, the project included 2 phases in which staff relocated to one half of the building, while the other half of the building went through renovation in Phase 1.  Then staff moved to the completed half to make room for renovation of the 2nd half the building. This also enabled the team to address lessons learned from work on the Phase 1 when the project moved to Phase 2.

The team created a project organizational chart to implement a level of governance for the project.  This included representation from the Owner and the team members together with a steering committee to develop project goals & objectives, to review crucial decisions and to relay them to the Owner’s Board of Directions.  Subcommittees were formed to assist with interior finish and furniture selections and with review design of casework, café, and print copy rooms.  Town Hall meetings were conducted with the association staff to discuss the process for relocations during the construction phasing plan.

Quantifiable results included a 29% savings from the original new building concept while adding 50% more square footage and providing all new infrastructure.  Lessons learned from Phase 1 that were implemented on Phase 2 created resources for added scope as well as paving a smooth transition for Owner activities and occupancy.  The alignment best practice provided for a well informed team to make team decisions resulting in a project completed on time and 5% under the project budget.

Elanco Formulation Fill Facility

McCarthy Construction was awarded a Best Practices award for front end planning of a project for the Elanco Animal Health division of Eli Lilly and Company.  After experiencing significant damage to critical processing equipment in a prior project,  Elanco wanted to avoid a repeat.   Front End Planning was critical for construction of a new 41,000 square foot pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  Located in Augusta, Georgia, the 3 story building houses production areas and process support spaces to create a fully automated process manufacturing environment.

A major challenge was assembling the large, critical processing equipment.  The complexity and precision necessary to mate the equipment would have been physically impossible inside the building because the building’s interior height constraint eliminated the opportunity to stack equipment.  Two pieces of the equipment were being built by different manufacturers in different countries, Germany and Switzerland.

With Front End Planning, a temporary outdoor enclosure and concrete pad were constructed for assembling the equipment so that it could be put together and tested.  With the assembly and testing completed in the temporary enclosure, the equipment was slid into the new facility in one piece.  Over $ 3/4 of a million in savings in logistics and labor were saved with this approach.

Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Health Care Mid Campus Center

Construction of the Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Mid Campus Center

called for the effective and timely integration of construction knowledge into the planning, design, construction and field operations of a project.  A team, including Clayco, KAI Design Build and Christner, employed the “Constructability” best practice for this 12 story, 517,000 square foot office building in the heart of the growing medical campus in the St. Louis Central West End.

Having design documentation ready to meet critical benchmarks, such as for civil, structural, shell, core and fit-out packages was critical to avoid delays for this project as well as future projects in the overall campus.  An overriding goal was to design a structure that could be erected quickly.  To accomplish that goal, the project team pursued a cost effective unitized curtain wall system to conform with the Owner’s construction budget.

With planning and scheduling, the joint venture team juggled demands of a rigid phased delivery schedule with the needs and desires of the Owner.  This included engaging a host of design assist subcontractors to perform constructability exercises and to source materials early in the process.  Other processes used to promote constructability included logistical plans and aerial photos to maximize lay down area and to develop hoisting plans for the tower cranes; early involvement of the curtain wall contractor to size its buck hoist dock and to accommodate large material crates; coordination meetings between the Clayco-KAI joint venture team, designer, subcontractors and Owner to maintain accessibility while minimizing impact on surrounding buildings and vehicular and pedestrian traffic; safety reviews on all sides, including 2 active roads, a substation and an overhead pedestrian link; and use of Building Information Modeling from the beginning to coordinate the trades in the ongoing architectural design.  In conjunction with “Advanced Work Packaging” efforts and “Change Management,” this project was completed on schedule in just under 20 months.

There are seventeen best practices which have been validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to provide savings in cost and schedule.  Validation is based on results from projects throughout the country.  The CII is recognized as a principal construction industry forum for improving the business effectiveness and sustainability of capital facilities.

Diversity and inclusion champions in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) is the owner organization representing major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration


Awards Recognize Diversity and Inclusion in Construction

in Associations/News

Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.  Awards were presented to St. Louis Lambert International Airport for Organizational Excellence, to Brandt Contracting as the Minority Business Enterprise of the Year and to Sal Valadez of the Laborers Union and to Dan Lester of Clayco for Inclusion Champions.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport Wins Organizational Excellence Inclusion Award

Piloting the journey for Excellence was the Business Diversity Development team at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  The scope of their efforts extended beyond the local and federal programs for inclusion and are designed to level the playing field for minority and women owned firms.  Contract proposals included provisions for participation in all areas, including construction, professional services, concessions and goods and services.  The 2016 annual report encapsulated their success.  For federally funded construction projects, DBE’s received 28% of over $25 million spent.  Under the local program for construction and professional services, MBE’s received 32% and WBE’s received 7% of the $45 million spent.

The Business Diversity Development program has promoted diversity and inclusion by making it easier for companies to manage contract compliance through tools such as an online portal to streamline reporting requirements and to manage their records.  They also provided an online certification process through a re-vamped web site that has seen a dramatic increase in the number of companies certified.

Lambert also partners with other organizations for inclusion.  This has included collaboration with the SLCCC, Missouri Department of Transportation, Justine Petersen, the St. Louis Development Corporation and the Missouri Regional Certification Commission, as well as their own Annual Business Diversity Forum.

Lambert has implemented diversity and inclusion with their own policies and practices including their own programs and employment and with support for active mentoring programs for women and minority owned firms..

Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award

The Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award was presented to Brandt Contracting, a specialty contracting firm that provides excavation, grading and cleaning services.  Formed in 2007, the business has grown to $3 million in annual volume.  That growth has been guided by an advisory committee through the Regional Union Construction Center and includes participation from a construction attorney, insurance industry and general contractor.

The successful growth of the company was also attributable to the company’s principal, Sedrick Brandt.  He received his B.S. in Information Systems from Maryville University, graduating cum laude.  This was while working as a full time operating engineer in the construction industry and raising a young family.  His entrepreneurial spirit led him to participate in a Small Business Administration entrepreneurial forum.  From that, he purchased a commercial cleaning franchise which he operated successfully while maintaining his full time construction job.

In 2011, Brandt Contracting completed development of the “Brandt Works Safe” policy.  This was developed with the assistance of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri and Fred Weber Inc. with the goal to promote an accident free work environment.  He has made sizeable investment in information technology to support estimating and bid proposals catapulting the firm into a technology realm comparable to much larger firms.  Brandt Contracting developed a strategic plan with prescribed milestones for growth and has since expanded their foot print to work in Joplin, Jefferson City and Byrnesville, MO.

Brandt Contracting has been certified as a minority owned business, disadvantaged owned business in both Missouri and in Illinois and was also certified as a Section 8(a) through the U. S. Small Business Administration.

Inclusion Award Presented to Dan Lester of Clayco

As a fierce advocate for minorities, a diversity and inclusion award was presented to Dan Lester of Clayco.  He has leveraged his experience as a diversity and inclusion educator with his talent as a professional speaker to work with management and field personnel in construction.  He came to the construction industry from DeSmet Jesuit High School where he served as the first African American faculty member and administrator.  At DeSmet, he trained faculty, staff, students and the DeSmet community on factors of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural awareness.  He has leveraged that experience to create viable and realistic solutions to educate the construction workforce on diversity and cultural competence.

Joining Clayco’s Concrete Strategies division in 2015, his efforts supported the company’s effort to increase their employment minority percentage from 11% up to 17%.  He has worked with the ACW Alliance team on the BJC Campus Renewal Project as the Workforce Relations Manager where he has worked with companies to help them meet contractual work force obligations to include staffing with minorities and women.  He created a curriculum that trains on integrating basic cultural competence into safety orientations and started the ACW Divergence Newsletter which highlights diversity and inclusion on the project.  That project currently enjoys 20% minority participation and 6% female participation in the field work force.

Other achievements include his work with organizations such as the Missouri Governor’s Collegiate Fellows program, Construction Forum Education Foundation, PEOPLE of Construction Board Member, FOCUS St. Louis Diversity Leadership Fellowship participant,  Job Corps, Building Union Diversity (BUD) program, Diversity Committee of the SLCCC, and the Construction Career Development Initiative.

Inclusion Award Presented to Sal Valadez of Laborers Union

A second Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to Sal Valadez of the Laborers International Union of North America – Midwest Region as a champion for immigrants.  Born in Mexico, his father was one of the World War II railroad Braceros —Mexicans who were sent under arrangements between the U.S. and Mexico to keep the railroads running in the U.S. during the war.  They were subject to racism, unsafe working conditions and poor living arrangements.

After the family arrived from Mexico with his family, this inclusion champion grew up in Aurora, IL.  He dropped out of high school, served in the U.S. Army and subsequently earned his GED, high school diploma, Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He acquired extensive experience in the non-profit and higher education sectors prior to joining the Laborers International Union of North America.  He is currently the greater St. Louis Diversity, Outreach and Marketing Representative for the Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region.

Valadez has been someone who has helped to connect newest arrivals with resources to make them feel welcome in the region.  Among his achievements, he single handedly designed and organized events from Central and Southern Illinois to Franklin County to connect immigrants and other at risk populations with resources.  This included employment opportunities in construction as well efforts to address health, education, shelter and basic human needs.  One project has been a health fair at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church which completed its 3rd annual event last year.  The fair offered free health screens, immigration and education resources and live music.  The region’s labor unions are invited participants to help focus on establishing relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Valadez has built working relationships with community resources such as the St. Louis Mosaic Project, Immigrant Service Provider Network,  Human Trafficking Collaborative Network, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Cambio De Colores and the Gateway Welcome Project.

Best practices in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) is the owner organization representing major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration.

ASA Awards Gala Winners Announced

in Associations/News

ASA Midwest Council Celebrates Glitter & Gold Awards Gala Winners on April 1st 2017 (St. Louis, MO, April 4, 2017) – The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council announced the winners of its Glitter & Gold Awards Gala, April 1. ASA Midwest Council hosted 366 people, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown St. Louis, for the 24th annual event. The gala was capped off by fireworks to celebrate the chapter’s 50th anniversary, and all of the evening’s nominees and winners.

The four categories for awards were General Contractor of the Year, Outstanding MEP Subcontractor, Outstanding Specialty Subcontractor, and Service Provider/Supplier of the Year. The ASA Legacy Award, GC Field & Office Employees of the Year, and Owner of the Year, were also recognized at the gala. The ASA Midwest Council awarded special safety awards to qualifying ASA members who have achieved work safety excellence in 2016.

2017 General Contractor of the Year

  • Category A BSI Constructors
  • Category B Kadean Construction
  • Category C LANDCO Construction

2017 Outstanding MEP Subcontractor

  • Category A Guarantee Electrical
  • Category B Aschinger Electric

2017 Outstanding Specialty Subcontractor

  • Category A Flooring Systems, Inc.
  • Category B Golterman & Sabo

2017 Service Provider/Supplier of the Year

  •  Fabick Rents

ASA Legacy Award:

  • Tom Heeger, AME Constructors

GC Field Employee of the Year

  • Ralph Reckamp, G.S. & S. General Contractors

GC Office Employee of the Year

  • Greg Zuzack, LANDCO Construction

Owner of the Year:

  • Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM), Robert O’Loughlin

2016 Safety Award Winners

  • Division I – Sachs Electric Company
  • Division II – PayneCrest Electric, Inc.
  • Division III – Kirberg Company
  • Division IV – BAZAN Painting Co. and Golterman Sabo
  • Division V – Benson Electric AND Drilling Service Company AND Grant Masonry Contracting
  • Division VI – American Steel Fabrication AND George McDonnell & Sons

“I would like to congratulate this year’s award winners and thank everyone for their continued support for the ASA-Midwest Council and the St. Louis area subcontractors,” said ASA-Midwest Council President Amy Heeger, with AME Constructors. “Our awards Gala is about celebrating excellence in the St. Louis construction industry. Our nominees and winners are an outstanding example of what is possible when a project team works together towards their common goal.”

General contractors were nominated based on bid ethics practice, equitable contract/purchase order provisions, safety policy and practices, payment practices, jobsite supervision, scheduling coordination, subcontractor/vendor relations and administrative procedures/paperwork. Sub-contractors were judged on bid ethics and practice, safety policy and practices, jobsite supervision, communication, scheduling coordination, project relations, administrative procedures/paperwork and quality workmanship. The vendor/suppliers were nominated based on pricing consistency, equitable contract/purchase order provisions, accessibility, timeliness of service/delivery, customer relations and administrative procedures.

The general contractor and subcontractor categories were divided into sub-categories based on sales volume. ASA members nominated and cast votes for the general contractor and service provider/ supplier awards. Past nominees and previous general contractor award winners submitted nominations for the subcontractor categories, which were voted on by previous general contractor winners.

Midwest Council The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty contractors and suppliers serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois, for the past 50 years. ### GC Field Employee of the Year Ralph Reckamp, G.S.& S. General Contractors GC Office Employee of the Year Greg Zuzack, LANDCO Construction ASA Legacy Award: Tom Heeger, AME Constructors

The Midwest Council’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy and cooperation. For more information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit or contact executive director Susan Winkelmann at 314-845-0855. ASA Midwest Council – Building. Community. for 50 years. Est. 1967

Electrical Connection Sponsors Saint Louis FC’s Third Season in St. Louis

in Associations/News

Saint Louis Football Club (Saint Louis FC) kicks off its third season with a new look and a continuing prominent sponsorship by the Electrical Connection.  Saint Louis FC made significant roster changes in the off season, including naming Preki Radosavljevic its new head coach, and unveilednew jerseys emblazoned with the Electrical Connection logo. The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The home opener is April 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in a match against the Ottawa Fury FC at Toyota Stadium in World Wide Technology Soccer Park.  On March 17, 2017, Saint Louis FC celebrated the start of the 2017 campaign at Hollywood Casino, unveiling its new jersey and saluting its fans. Reflecting the growing interest in Saint Louis FC, 10 games will be televised on KPLR-TV.  As it did last year, the Electrical Connection is offering a free jersey giveaway for every home game at

“If you have attended any of the home games, you know that St. Louis has embraced Saint Louis FC with great enthusiasm,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “We are proud to support the team and leverage our partnership to advance other beneficial community initiatives supported by IBEW/NECA.”

Last year, the Electrical Connection sponsored Saint Louis FC’s “Christmas in July” fundraiser at its July 30, 2016 soccer game to raise money for the Saint Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program and reenergize the “Shop with a Cop” program in Ferguson, Mo.  In addition, Saint Louis FC hosted a “going green game” presented by the Electrical Connection to raise awareness of energy conservation and a cleaner environment.  Planning is underway to renew both initiatives this year.

“The Electrical Connection has been a great partner of Saint Louis FC since its inception, said Jim Kavanaugh, CEO, Saint Louis FC.  “It not only helped bring outdoor professional soccer back to St. Louis, but it has helped Saint Louis FC broaden its outreach in the community.”

Saint Louis FC is playing 32 games this year, including 16 home games at Toyota Stadium in World Wide Technology Soccer Park. The park features a Biergarten, Corner Flag Hospitality Patios, a Fan Zone, space for tailgate parties, a Craft Beer Corner, and great food options. For game tickets,

Saint Louis FC plays in 30-team United Soccer League (USL).

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