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Exploring the Full Potential of Drone Technology

in Associations/Companies/News

Drones are becoming increasingly visible around the St. Louis region and are being operated by a wide variety of users ranging from construction firms, utility and mining companies and first responders to photographers and hobbyists. Despite the growing popularity of drones, all the potential uses are only beginning to be explored. That was the consensus of a diverse group of business leaders and industry experts who met in St. Louis on September 26 to talk about drones in what was the first of a three-part St. Louis Aviation Industry Forum hosted by Bi-State Development and St. Louis Downtown Airport. The forum aims to take a detailed look at the current and future applications of drones, the unique regulatory issues and challenges they present, and their potential long-term impact on aviation.

The forum highlighted the importance of intentional consideration of how new technology is being utilized in current and future economic development efforts. “Most in this room know drones are not coming; they are already here. But the technology is evolving quickly and many businesses and agencies are in a hurry to incorporate the latest technology at great investment, sometimes without a complete understanding of the challenges and opportunities that unmanned aircraft systems can present,” said Julianne Stone, Bi-State Development Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. “How should we be thinking about the need to realign business models with the perceived or real value of using this technology?”

Panelist Tomislav Žigo, Vice President of Virtual Design and Construction for CLAYCO, talked about how his company was fortunate to be one of the first companies in the United States with permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly a drone over the perimeter of its construction sites.

“One of the biggest challenges we discovered in using the technology is reconciling the huge amount of information that is being gathered on a construction site,” Žigo said. “If you have a mission that lasts for 30 minutes, you typically gather between 800 and 1500 images that need to be catalogued to be able to extract usable or useful information that I can convey to superintendents, construction managers and project executives and say this is why we fly drones.”

Žigo gave specific reasons as to why CLAYCO flies drones, including: documenting the location of underground utilities; monitoring safety through deployment of artificial intelligence; and helping to eliminate risk aligned with sending someone to inspect different aspects of a job site. However, with insurance requirements and the need to have certified pilots, he cannot put a drone in everyone’s hands.

“I would like to live in an environment where a drone is nothing but just another tool on a work site . . . where every project manager has one drone at their disposal that can provide instantaneous feedback on jobsite conditions.  But we are still far away from that capability,” Žigo said. He added that the time between when they acquire information and the time when they translate it into usable feedback to share with the design and construction partners is a critical aspect of their deployment.  He believes the software needs to be improved, and storage of all the data is another challenge to be overcome. CLAYCO is committed to drone technology, having created a new company within the organization that is providing a piloting network across the country.

Panelist Ravi Sahu, CEO and Founder of St. Louis-based Strayos, said his company is a drone data backbone software company, analyzing the data collected and processing it into more usable information for their clients that leads to cost savings. Among those are clients in the mining industry who can use drone technology to analyze the geotechnical attributes of a 500-foot tall eye wall without having to send a person to analyze it.

Sahu said how drone data is accessed and how it can be used is key, likening the current rush to embrace drone technology to the period in the 1980s that saw the PC revolution. At that time, the power of massive computing systems suddenly became accessible to smaller businesses who were able to equip individual employees with a personal computer because they instantly saw the business value of the increased productivity it would provide. A similar transition occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s as people adopted laptops and again more recently with the gravitation to various smart devices.

Sahu said, “We are in the phase now where we are shifting more from this being a revolution to where we’re seeing the technology in use to collect the data, job sites being changed in terms of how the data is analyzed and ultimately, shifting the business model to integrate the technology into existing business models based on the use cases. Among those are the role that drones can play in improving transportation of materials from a mining site.”

“Forty percent of the cost in the mining industry is the transportation. Now there is a better way of understanding where you can send the product or how the route is designed,” said Sahu. “It’s not just what’s being collected but how it’s being integrated into the business model.”

The third panelist, Dr. Srikanth Gururajan, focused on how research can help people choose the appropriate drone for their needs. Gururajan suggested that the performance of the flight controller should be a key factor in selecting a drone to ensure that it is capable of completing the required job safely. Common key considerations for most attendees, many of whom are licensed drone pilot themselves, was the ease of use and the quality of data from the sensor. Gururajan is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering at Saint Louis University.

“The thing that we do in our lab is to try to evaluate the performance of flight controllers. We are starting to look at how each flight controller performs when you ask it to do the same task on the same flight path. It goes back to making sure that your platform is the right fit,” said Gururajan.

Existing available drone technology is already making a difference in some first responder operations in the St. Louis area. Attendee Matt Pagano, a paramedic and firefighter with University City Fire Department who also serves as the department’s drone coordinator, said the University City Fire Department launched its drone program earlier this year, and already has six drones and six pilots 107 certified to fly them. He said the drones are being used to get a bird’s eye view when a fire is underway to help provide valuable information to influence firefighting efforts.

Looking to the future, all the panelists see great potential for drone technology to be used more widely to deliver products in a better way, deliver a safer job site, or even deliver an entirely new commuting experience, but they agree it will take more collaboration to get there. The collaboration will need to involve the companies that can help to efficiently leverage the vast amounts of data the drones can gather, and the regulatory agencies that manage what moves through the air spaces. Erick Dahl, director of St. Louis Downtown Airport, explained airports do not have control over drones, but rather it is Air Traffic Control, something that will likely be discussed further in future forums.

The next forum session is scheduled for October 11 and will look at issues to consider for local regulation. The third and final forum in the series will take place on October 24 and will examine the integration of drones in the general and commercial aviation landscape. To learn more, visit Details And Registration or contact Julianne Stone at jxstone@bistatedev.org or Erick Dahl at EADahl@stlouisdowntownairport.com. 

About Bi-State Development

Bi-State Development (BSD) owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. BSD is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; a MetroBus vehicle fleet of approximately 400 vehicles operating on 79 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSD also operates the Bi-State Development Research Institute and the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight district.

 

Photo Credit: Bi-State Development

Pictured Above (L to R): Dr. Srikanth Gururajan; Ravi Sahu; Tomislav Žigo; Erick Dahl

 

Western Specialty Contractors Uses Special Skills on Treasured Monuments and Memorials

in Companies/News

Monuments can be powerful, inspiring tributes to a person, place, tragedy or event. But when those treasured monuments start to show signs of wear-and-tear and weather damage and need to be restored to their original glory, or new monuments need the expertise of a specialty contractor to construct, customers call Western Specialty Contractors.

Over the course of its 100+ year history, Western Specialty Contractors has had the privilege of working on some of the nation’s most recognized and revered monuments and memorials, such as the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C.; The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO; Staten Island September 11th Memorial in New York City, NY; World War II Veterans Memorial Globe in Springfield, IL; and the Lincoln Receiving Vault in Springfield, IL.

Whether the memorial or monument is made of stone, concrete or metal, they are all subject to weathering and damage over time. Through proper, routine maintenance, treasured monuments and memorials can be returned to their former glory and protected from future damage for visitors to cherish and enjoy for years to come.

“Each memorial project is unique and requires a special set of restoration skills and care. Repairing spalling and cracking concrete, installing appropriate waterproofing and treating rusting metal consistently will go a long way toward boosting a monument’s longevity. One aspect that remains consistent is Western’s dedication to respecting and maintaining the historical integrity and significance of the memorial or monument that has been entrusted to our care,” said Ben “Butch” Bishop, Jr., CEO of Western Specialty Contractors. 

Staten Island September 11th Memorial in New York City, NY

In 2004, Western assisted in the design and installation of granite victim plaques for The Staten Island September 11th Memorial in New York City. The memorial, designed by architect Masayuki Sono and titled, “Postcards”, is constructed of two, 40-foot wing-like fiberglass walls, each with a 30-foot long window displaying the face profile and name of each victim.

Western was responsible for overseeing the selection and production of granite in Victoria, Brazil and Barrie, VT that would make up the 274 granite plaques. Each victim profile was designed by the architect and family members and downloaded to an electronic file that guided a waterjet machine over the granite to create each victim’s profile and name inscription. Western’s crew took great care in joining these special plaques to the memorial’s fiberglass walls. Over 3,000 family members and friends of the victims, city officials and a cast of devoted workers dedicated the memorial, which was awarded the New York Construction “Best of 2004 Annual Award.”

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO

Western Specialty Contractors completed a project in 2017 to restore and waterproof the roof of the Museum of Westward Expansion located underground beneath the iconic Gateway Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront.

After the concrete roof was exposed, Western crews identified and repaired any leaks, then installed a 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board. An electronic leak detection system followed by a permanent leak detection grid system were installed over the protection board.

The next phase of the project involved waterproofing the 42,000 SF horizontal lid and 37,000 SF vertical walls of the museum addition. Additional waterproofing of the north and south museum entrances and each Arch leg was also completed. The museum was largely operational during construction and a lot of the time Western crews were working over occupied space. Western sequenced the removal of existing roofing material so that they could remove, clean and install new roofing material daily to keep the museum dry during construction.

World War II Veterans Memorial Globe in Springfield, IL

In 2015, Western Specialty Contractors was tasked with repairing and re-coating the World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Globe in Springfield’s historic Oak Ridge Cemetery. The exterior of the concrete Globe was showing signs of wear, with cracking and spalling concrete evident near the top of the memorial where a previously applied protective coating was flaking off.

Western crews removed damaged areas and repaired them with a polymer-modified concrete repair mortar. The shapes of the continents and the Globe’s longitude and latitude lines were reformed and finished, under the watchful eye of the artist, to match the existing profile. Crews wet-abrasive blasted the Globe’s surface to remove any remaining coating and provide profiling for the new coating.

After the surface had dried, Western applied a Sherwin Williams Loxon Concrete Primer and two coats of ConFlex XL Elastomeric Coating in flat white to match the original color.

Restoration of President Abraham Lincoln Receiving Vault in Springfield, IL

In 2015, Western Specialty Contractors restored the historic receiving vault in Springfield, IL that once held the bodies of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln and his son, Willie. Constructed in the 1860s, the stone and marble vault had major deterioration due to decades of water penetration.

Western crews repaired the vault’s walls using a system of low cement ratio mortar and brick infill in areas where the brick had deteriorated away from the wall. After infilling the voids in the walls, Western applied a layer of low cement ratio mortar to the entire wall surface to create a smooth surface to accept the bentonite sheet waterproofing. Western used stone fabrication methods to repair two serpentine retaining walls that extended outward away from the vault entrance.

The restoration project was completed on May 1, 2015 in time for commemoration and funeral reenactment ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s funeral.

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool – Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool was constructed in 1923 following the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. The pool is over a third of a mile long, 167 feet wide and 30 inches deep in the center. In 2004, Western waterproofed the pool, which had begun to leak, and cut-out and re-caulked joints with urethane grout and silicone sealants.

About Western Specialty Contractors

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including: industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with over 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Tim Manherz, TAS Commercial Concrete Recipient of ASCC Member Owner Safety Award

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The Safety and Risk Management Council (SRMC) of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, is pleased to announce that Tim Manherz, senior vice president of operations, TAS Commercial Concrete, Houston, TX, is this year’s recipient of the ASCC Member Owner Safety Award, presented September 20 at the association’s Annual Conference in Charlotte.  The purpose is to annually recognize one owner/executive of a contractor member company that displays a clear focus and passion for safety, and provides the leadership that creates a best-in-class safety culture.

Manherz received a B.S. in construction from Arizona State University where he graduated with honors and was named “Outstanding Graduate” of his class. He is a member of the ASCC board of directors and current president of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association.

TAS works over 3,000,000 man hours annually.  For the past three years they have had an RIR average of 1.9 and an average EMR of 0.45. In nominating Tim, TAS’ employees wrote, “Safety has always been priority for TAS management, with Tim as one of the TAS Safety Team’s biggest champions. Tim is the live wire conducting the energy that binds production and safety into a unified force at TAS, now operating in Houston, Dallas, and several cities in central Texas. His close work with, and mentorship to the Safety Team, ensures a constant line of communication between production and safety, thus facilitating a unity of action that ultimately benefits every TAS employee.”

This award is in keeping with Goal #1 of the ASCC Strategic Plan: Increase the Number of Contractor Member Owners Who Truly Demonstrate a Personal Commitment to Safety.

“Strong safety cultures thrive in organizations where leaders take an active role,” says Mike Schneider, SRMC council director.  “Contractor member owners that understand this know that building a true safety culture begins and ends with them: the priorities they set, the choices they make and their expectations of others.  It requires effort and commitment from the top, but employees will tell you that it makes a difference.”

The Safety and Risk Management Council (SRMC) is a specialty council dedicated to making ASCC contractors the safest in the industry.  The Council board consists of safety and insurance professionals from all aspects of the concrete contracting industry.  The group meets three times a year and spends countless additional hours overseeing safety matters for the organization.  Council activities include publication development, review and monitoring of ASCC events and materials for safety compliance, member education, a safety awards program, and a safety/insurance hotline.

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them a unified voice in the construction industry.  Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry, such as architects, specifiers and distributors.  There are approximately 730 member companies in the United States and 11 foreign countries.  For more information visit the web site at www.ascconline.org or call (866) 788-2722.

The Beldon Group Flooded in Pink

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More than 450 home improvement team members are sporting pink safety vests, hard hats and lanyards for the month of October as The BELDON™ Group of Companies introduces The BELDON Cares Program to increase awareness of breast cancer and raise funding for research. As part of this, The BELDON Cares Program is matching up to $10,000 in contributions to the Susan G. Komen Foundation made through www.Beldon.com.

“Unfortunately, many of us have been affected, or know someone who has been affected, by breast cancer,” said Brad Beldon, CEO of The BELDON™ Group of Companies. “We are committed to helping find a cure for this awful disease.”

With this in mind, TEAM BELDON is installing gutters, windows, insulation, roofing systems, and house siding in 11 markets across the United States—all while dressed in pink attire to show their support for people who have been affected by breast cancer.

“For generations, we have been proud to ensure that houses are comprised of long-lasting quality materials—but we know that it’s the people who live there that make each of these houses a home,” added Brad Beldon. “Through The BELDON Cares Program, we are honored to support families who have been affected by breast cancer. We’re dedicated to increasing awareness and raising funds for research.”

About Beldon

Beldon®, an award-winning family owned business founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1946, specializes in the installation of products such as LeafGuard® gutters, vinyl replacement windows, blown-in fiberglass insulation, siding, and residential and commercial roofing systems. The company operates branches in 11 major markets including San Antonio, Austin, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis and Springfield. For more information, visitBeldon.com.

Pipe Systems Promotes One of Their Own to New General Manager

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Dan Tucker

Pipe Systems Mechanical would like to announce the promotion of Dan Tucker to General Manager. As Pipe Systems’ first employee, Dan’s initial responsibilities were both selling work and establishing a level of customer service that Pipe Systems continues today. Dan has over 18 years’ experience in the field as a service technician, and has worked with both large, corporate customers and small business owners to address their HVAC and mechanical needs. Over the past 10 years, Dan has grown from a Service Technician, to Service Manager, to Vice President of Service, to now General Manager of Pipe Systems.

In large part due to Dan’s efforts, Pipe Systems has grown from a single employee mechanical contractor, to a full-service contractor with over 50 employees specializing in HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection both in construction projects and service projects. In addition, Pipe Systems now has over 18 service technicians to better serve our customers. Sherryle Watrovich was hired as the new Service Manager. She has been in the industry for over 25 years, and has experience in mechacial HVAC, plumbing, refrigeration, and food service. Congratulations to both.

Midas Hospitality Opens First Newly Built Brooklyn Park, MN Hotel in 20 Years

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St. Louis hotelier to complete area’s second new hotel later this year 

Two hotels are better than one, especially when an area hasn’t experienced new hotel construction since 1998.

Enter Midas Hospitality, a premier hotel management group, which is the owner and manager of the recently opened 100-room Hampton Inn Brooklyn Park.  The hotel is part of a $28 million development that includes a 107-room Home2 Suites which will open later this year.

The 52,000-square-foot Hampton Inn is located at 9470 W. Broadway in Brooklyn Park, MN across from Target’s Corporate North Campus.  The hotel features an indoor pool, meeting room, and fitness area.  It is only 20 miles from Downtown Minneapolis and the home of Mall of America and the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, as well as 30 minutes from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Brooklyn Park has 47 miles of trails and 67 parks including the Rush Creek Regional Trail and the northern section of the Palmer Lake Park.

Midas Hospitality will manage the hotel that was built by sister company MC Hotel Construction, a general contractor specializing in new hotel construction.  Midas Development provided all hotel development services from site selection to opening day, with  Gray Design as the architecture firm.  All four companies are headquartered in St. Louis, MO.

“This is our company’s first hotel property development in Minnesota, and we feel confident that our Hilton dual-branded concept hotels will accommodate the requirements of all our guests,” David Robert, Midas Hospitality’s CEO and Managing Member.  “Brooklyn Park is the perfect location to experience everything from extensive shopping to outdoor adventures, and we look forward to serving the area’s growing needs with both of our new hotels for many years to come.”

“Minneapolis Northwest Tourism is excited to have the Hampton Inn property open in our market along with Home2 Suites scheduled for the near future,” said Minneapolis Northwest Tourism’s Director of Business Development Josh Anderson.  “They both will be a great asset and help drive the economic impact in the Brooklyn Park area.”  Anderson added that the hotel’s location is “in an underserved area off of Highway 610 so corporate, sports and business travelers will now benefit from these conveniently accessible properties.”

Midas Hospitality

Founded in 2006, Midas Hospitality has developed, opened and currently manages numerous properties including 40 hotels in 14 states.  The company serves global brands including Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Starwood.  Midas Hospitality’s headquarters are located at 1804 Borman Circle Dr. in Maryland Heights, Mo.  For more information, call (314) 692-0100 or visit http://www.midashospitality.com.

Midas Development

Midas Development provides a full suite of hospitality-focused services for new construction and renovations including interior design, procurement, and project management.  Midas Development provides clients with a turn-key solution for cyclical renovations and property improvement plans.

MC Hotel Construction

MC Hotel Construction, which is also located at 1804 Borman Circle Dr. in Maryland Heights, Mo., specializes in hotel construction and renovations with projects currently underway in six states.  MC Hotel Construction builds for leading brands such as Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Starwood, and Legacy Suites.  For more information, call (314) 339-6600 or visit http://www.mchotelconstruction.com.

 

Holland Construction Services Begins Construction On New Fire Station In Glen Carbon

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Holland Construction Services, Inc. (Holland) recently joined with the Glen Carbon Fire Protection District and community leaders at a ground breaking ceremony for a new fire station in Glen Carbon.

The new 19,531 square-foot building will replace Station #1 built in 1957.  It will be constructed on the baseball field directly behind the current station located at 199 South Main Street.

The Fire Protection District is building the new station to better serve the district’s growth and the expansion of the EMS services.

The new building will include 5 bays, living quarters for fire and EMS crews, a training room and administrative offices. Once construction is complete, demolition will take place on the existing structure.

“This is an exciting project for the Glen Carbon Fire District,” said Miranda Stevens, Project Manager with Holland. “The design of the building had feedback from several of the firefighters who will use this building every day. We are excited to be part of the team and look forward to a successful project.”

White and Borgognoni is the architect on the project.  Work on the new fire house is scheduled to be complete in late spring of 2019.

About Holland:

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, Ill., guided by the principle of providing our clients the best possible building experience on every project.  Holland has been providing quality construction services throughout Illinois and Missouri since 1986, when it was founded by company CEO Bruce Holland.

Holland offers pre-construction, construction and building information modeling services to retail, office, healthcare, educational, multi-family, recreational, municipal, and light industrial clients. The St. Louis Business Journal ranks Holland as a “Best Places to Work” and one of the top 15 contractors in the St. Louis area. For more information, visit Holland’s website at www.hollandcs.com.

Contact:

For more information on the Glen Carbon Fire Station or other municipal projects at Holland Construction Services:

Tarlton Serves as Construction Manager on Multi-Level Parking Garage for Cortex

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Tarlton Corp., a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, is serving as construction manager for a new $12 million multi-level parking garage at 4217 Custom Steel Dr. near Duncan Avenue in the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis’ Central West End.

The five-level parking garage will have spaces for 678 vehicles. Construction scope consists of 400 pieces of precast concrete and 3,500 cubic yards of excavation and backfill. Tarlton Concrete will self-perform the cast-in-place concrete, including 50 drilled piers and 2,000 cubic yards of grade beams, walls and slabs, as well as the installation of an elevator. The construction of the new parking garage in the Cortex Innovation Community marks the first phase of three parking garage projects that are planned in the district. The parking garage is slated for completion in May 2019.

The team includes Brian Gibson, project director; Brian Shaffer, project manager; Michael Vemmer, project engineer; Jon Stemme, project superintendent; and Laurie Howell, cost engineer. HOK is the project architect.

“The Custom Steel Drive Parking Garage builds on our success as one of the region’s top construction managers and concrete experts,” said Tracy Hart, president, Tarlton Corp. “We are delighted to work on a project that will have such a positive impact on the Cortex Innovation Community.”

Tarlton also is working with Cortex on Innovation Hall, a 13,800-square-foot networking and event space at 4220 Duncan Ave., next to the Custom Steel Drive garage, where the firm also completed interior fit-outs for building tenants BJC WellAware Center, Microsoft and Cambridge Innovation Center.

Tarlton has completed more than 20 projects in the Cortex District, including the @4240 (4240 Duncan Ave.) core and shell historic renovation; tenant fit-outs in @4240 for Cambridge Innovation Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Boeing, Husch Blackwell and Park Avenue Coffee; BioGenerator lab and office expansion, Cortex 1 building; new lobby conference rooms, Cortex 1; CIC@CET renovations, 20 S. Sarah St.; 4260 Forest Park Ave., new core and shell; Alcami fit-out, 4260 Forest Park Ave.; Duncan Avenue storm sewer extension; various parking lot projects; and work by Tarlton HydroVac Services.

About Tarlton

In business since 1946, Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that completes projects for wide-ranging clients in the life science, higher education, health care, commercial, power and industrial markets. Tarlton also has special expertise in concrete construction, concrete restoration and hydro excavation services.

About Cortex Innovation Community

Founded in 2002 through a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Cortex Innovation Community (CortexSTL.com) is a nationally and internationally recognized hub of innovation and technology commercialization. It serves as an anchor in St. Louis’ growing ecosystem of innovative startups and established companies. Cited by the Brookings Institution as a Best Practice among global urban innovation districts, Cortex is home to 350 technology-related businesses, and it provides a deep pool of entrepreneurial support programs available to the entire St. Louis community.

 

Bangert, Inc. Announces New Partnership with Acumatica

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Bangert, Inc. today launched its new partnership with Acumatica, a developer of cloud and browser-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for small to medium-sized businesses. Founded in 2008, Acumatica recently secured a $25 million Series C round of funding that it will use to stimulate further growth – a pursuit that Bangert, Inc. has been aligned with for the past 35 years. Acumatica Construction Edition strengthens Bangert, Inc.’s portfolio of technology products for construction companies and will empower their clients to stay on the cutting-edge.

“In this era, technology offers significant opportunity for our clients,” said Kurt Bangert, CEO of Bangert, Inc. “Acumatica opens doors that traditional on-premises or hosted solutions don’t even know exist. As processes evolve and people adapt, cloud-based solutions are a good investment to ensure everything stays streamlined, organized, and available when you need it.”

Acumatica’s true cloud accounting platform enables companies to manage their data in real-time on any device: mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, PC, iOS, or Android. A few of Acumatica’s key features include:

  • SaaS subscription-based, unlimited user licensing – no hardware needed, no updates to install
  • Construction-specific solutions with a broad set of core functions beyond standard job cost & accounting such as CRM, distribution, and sales, all available through a single login
  • Large ecosystem of integrations for many products such as Procore, Docusign, Power BI, Avalara, and many more

“In our own case, we have just gone through a massive overhaul of our internal IT stack and have moved completely to the cloud – in every aspect of our business,” said Kurt Bangert. “Do I love the decision I made? 110%! If I were CEO of a construction company right now, I’d be looking hard at how the cloud can revolutionize my business.”

“We’re excited to welcome Bangert, Inc. to our growing partner ecosystem,“ said Ajoy Krishnamoorthy, VP of Platform and Head of Construction Division at Acumatica. “Over many decades in the construction industry Bangert, Inc. has continually presented their customers with the best technology solution available to meet their needs.“

 

Bangert, Inc. understands that construction companies don’t have one-size-fits-all business needs. Founded in 1983, Bangert, Inc. has cultivated strong relationships by investing in people and technology that are dedicated to helping their clients save time and money. If you’re a construction company who’s been thinking about change, contact Bangert, Inc. today at bangertinc.com/acumatica-construction-edition.

Midwest BankCentre Winner of 2018 National Community Bank Service Awards

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The September 2018 edition of ICBA Independent Banker features Midwest BankCentre employees who have been integral to the bank’s dedicated service to unbanked and underbanked customers in the St. Louis region: (clockwise from left) Mortgage Officer Kathleen Spies, Chairman and CEO Jim Watson, Executive Vice President Alex Fennoy and LaTonya Jackson, who leads the bank’s Friendly Temple branch in St. Louis’ Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood, opened in April 2017. Paul Nordman

St. Louis’ Midwest BankCentre is featured in the September 2018 edition of ICBA Independent Banker as the national winner of 2018 National Community Bank Service Awards, sponsored by the Independent Community Bankers of America®. The bank’s impact on bringing mainstream banking services to “unbanked” or “underbanked” families in the St. Louis metro area is featured in a two-page story headlined, “Reaching the unbanked – for everyone’s benefit.”

“A first-time homebuyer in St. Louis recently broke down at closing. The single mother of two had come to Midwest BankCentre with a dream of owning her own home. She took the bank’s financial empowerment and education classes, and attended homebuyer classes from a local housing partner. And as she signed the papers, she became the first person in her family to ever own a home,” the article began.

“That’s why we do what we do,” said Alex Fennoy, executive vice president of community and economic development at Midwest BankCentre. “It’s all about giving those families that have been historically locked out an opportunity to make their lives better.”

Since a 2009 FDIC survey of the most populated U.S. cities found that St. Louis had the greatest disparity between unbanked African-American households (31 percent) and unbanked white households (1.1 percent), the bank’s multifaceted efforts have helped reduce the percentage of unbanked African-American households in St. Louis to 13.3 percent.

The bank has opened branches in African-American-majority neighborhoods, hired African-American and woman-owned contractors to build its branches, and staffed banks with neighborhood residents. The bank has greatly increased the diversity of its staff and legal board to be more representative of the communities it serves. “That has really helped us – from making connections in the community, to sorting out the best strategic partners for us to further develop our franchise, and even down to product development and tracking our progress in the community,” said Chairman and CEO Jim Watson.

The bank’s next goal is to help grow African-American-owned businesses by working with the Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce, a unit of the US Black Chambers of Commerce. Veta T. Jeffery, senior vice president of community and economic development at the bank, was recently elected to the US Black Chambers’ board as national director of chamber relations. In that role, she will work to connect top African-American-owned businesses with Fortune 500 companies to generate economic growth.

Midwest BankCentre was selected from more than 100 nominees for the ICBA honor.

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, employs a staff of nearly 300 working at 19 bank locations in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. Further details are available at www.midwestbankcentre.com.

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