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People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in People
The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

Spellman Brady Hires Robyn Gaynor 

Robyn Gaynor
Robyn Gaynor

Spellman Brady and Company is pleased to announce that Robyn Gaynor has joined its design firm as a Director of Contract Markets. Ms. Gaynor is responsible for client development and project management for the higher education, healthcare and hospitality markets.

Ms. Gaynor attended Southeast Missouri State University where she graduated with an Interior Design degree and minor in Interior Architecture. She brings 18 years of interior design experience to her position and has a proven track-record for managing multiple clients within the higher education, healthcare and hospitality markets. Spellman Brady & Company is a St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in Healthcare, Higher Education and Senior Living environments.

Barry Oliver joins Hastings+Chivetta Architects as Contract Administrator

Barry Oliver
Barry Oliver

Barry Oliver, AIA, has joined Hastings+Chivetta Architects as a contract administrator. In his role, Barry will assist with the quality control review process and representing clients’ interests during construction. Barry has developed a thorough knowledge of specifications, building codes and construction contracts as well as the design and construction process through his work as a contract administrator, architect and project manager for over 33 years. His experience provides him with the ability to lead project teams from the bidding stage of a project to completion. He is currently working on Cor Jesu Academy’s student commons and performance gym and Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School’s new natatorium and stadium.

Barry earned a Bachelor of design and a Master of Arts in architecture from the University of Florida. HASTINGS+CHIVETTA ARCHITECTS, INC. provides architectural planning and design services to clients throughout the United States.

June 3, 2016

Bryan Herberg Joins McGrath As Project Engineer/Estimator

Bryan Herberg
Bryan Herberg

Bryan Herberg of Kirkwood, MO, has joined McGrath & Associates as a project engineer/estimator responsible for estimating, project scope development, subcontractor coordination and scheduling. Herberg has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Missouri-St. Louis/Washington University. He has six years of experience in mechanical contracting with a specialization in process piping installation.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm

Mosby Building Arts New Hires and Expansions

The St. Louis remodeling firm hires a new Consultant, Administrative Assistant and Production Assistant, and expands customer service

Mosby Building Arts is pleased to announce the addition of Courtney Kinsella as Production Assistant, Morgen Nelson as Administrative Assistant, and Kyle Slaughter as Home Consultant. In addition, the customer service roles of Noël Powers and Todd Bachman have expanded in scope and title to Client Experience Coordinators.

Courtney Kinsella has a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies and in her role as Production Assistant works with Mosby Production Managers to keep track of project hours and billings.

Morgen Nelson has a B.A. in Psychology and in her role as Administrative Assistant, she help the company run smoothly, internally, and serves as the external first point of contact as receptionist.

Kyle Slaughter has nearly a decade of experience in real estate and insurance renovation that he brings to his role as a Home Consultant. He works with homeowners to analyze and enact their best home improvement options.

With a title change to Client Experience Coordinators, Noël Powers and Todd Bachmann have assumed a broader range of customer service duties. From initial client intake to social media, events, client surveys and weekly service check-ins, they keep Mosby’s homeowners updated, engaged and satisfied throughout the entire remodeling process.

Mosby Building Arts continues to expand in all areas. For other open positions at Mosby Building Arts,visit their Careers page.

 

IMPACT Strategies Begins Construction on SIUE’s Stratton Quadrangle Project

in Companies/News
  • Stratton-Quad-1.jpg
  • SIUE-1.jpg

Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies today announced that work is underway on a reconstruction project at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s (SIUE) Stratton Quadrangle. The project, IMPACT’s first with SIUE, involves the placement of new brick pavers throughout the 43,000-square-foot outdoor walkway, which is situated between the campus’ core buildings. The renovation is scheduled for completion in early August prior to classes beginning in the fall.

The Stratton Quadrangle, better known as The Quad, was originally designed to give students some exposure to nature as they walk from one building to another. IMPACT Strategies is working carefully to improve safety for SIUE students, staff and visitors. While protecting the existing planters and landscaping, IMPACT Strategies is also ensuring that damage doesn’t occur during construction to The Rock, a four-ton piece of limestone that has been part of the Quad since it opened.

Mark Hinrichs, president of IMPACT Strategies, said, “The Quad is an important component of SIUE campus life, so it needs to be a safe, secure walkway. We will make sure that the existing structure is protected while we work, and that it’s ready for everyone to enjoy when they return to school in the fall. We’re very pleased to be helping SIUE transform The Quad.”
IMPACT Strategies is working with engineering firm Oates Associates, Inc. of Collinsville.

IMPACT Strategies, Inc. specializes in Retail, Commercial, Medical, Senior Housing and Education construction and offers comprehensive construction services including design-build, general contracting, construction management and pre-construction management.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. The SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 14,000.

ASA Midwest Council Hosts St. Louis Construction Showcase & BBQ

in Associations

Free event scheduled for June 15th in Queeny Park

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council has assembled more than 70 companies to participate in its 4th Annual St. Louis Construction Showcase and BBQ on Wednesday, June 15th in Queeny Park.  The event is free for all to attend! Visit www.asamidwest.com for a full list of exhibitors scheduled to be in attendance.

The free event is open from 2:00-7:00 p.m., with judging of the BBQ competition to begin at 5:00 p.m.  Attendees will be able to visit with companies that represent all aspects of the St Louis construction industry, while enjoying some fantastic FREE BBQ samples and refreshments.

“The event provides an ideal opportunity for anyone in the construction industry to network and experience the latest innovations in construction technology, software, equipment, tools and supplies,” said ASA Midwest Council president Kevin Douglas. “We are looking forward to a great turnout and are excited about the more than 70 companies already signed up to exhibit at the annual showcase.”

New this year, ASA’s Showcase & BBQ will play host to the Bricklayer 500 Regional Competition.          The winner of the Missouri SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional Qualifier will advance to compete at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas in January 2017. Come and cheer on Missouri’s most skilled bricklayers as they battle for 1st place, and a free trip to the World of Concrete in Las Vegas.  The Bricklayer 500 Competition will take place during the ASA Showcase & BBQ on June 15th at Queeny Park.

For more information about the FREE TO ATTEND ASA Construction Showcase & BBQ, visit www.asamidwest.com or email info@asamidwest.com

About American Subcontractors Association – 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. The ASA 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 www.asamidwest.com or contact executive director Susan Winkelmann at 314-845-0855.

Rules of Engagement….How Competitors Collaborate

in Companies
Stephanie Woodcock
Stephanie Woodcock

By Stephanie Woodcock

The two largest wall and ceiling contractors in St. Louis, Niehaus Building Services and TJ Wies Contracting, team up on the BJC Campus Renewal Project, a 558,000-square-foot, 12-story expansion of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and 222,000-square-foot, 12-story expansion of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

This complex project demanded new ways of working together from the start. ACW Alliance, comprised of general contractors, Alberici Corp., Clayco Corp., and S.M. Wilson Co, came together specifically for the purpose of capturing this project. In similar fashion, the wall and ceiling scope demanded a unique relationship between top specialty contractors.

TJ Wies and Niehaus Building Services took on the challenge, but not without a few ground rules first. While neither company leader goes as far as subscribing to the term “friendly competitors,” aspects of trust and cooperation are present.

President of Niehaus Building Services Kyle Lopez, said, “Tim Wies (CEO of TJ Wies) and I have a ‘trust but verify’ deal. We were open about the rules of engagement at the beginning of the project and have stuck to them. We share this project, but we both understand we are competing on everything else. We both take pride in our work and are proud of our company’s history. From the office to the field, wearing our brands is a badge synonymous with quality and that’s what makes us both successful and able to deliver for our clients and for this project.”

Though both company brands are worn on shirts in the field, the craftspeople operate as one team. This team approach was designed before the project bid as a prerequisite for collaboration. Each company designated a point person as PM leader, and TJ Wies took the lead as contractor with Niehaus Building Services as the subcontractor.

Wies said, “we felt that our customer (ACW) and their customer (BJC) would be best served with one strong project management team, one point of contact, and therefore one set of learning curves. This project is extremely complex, has a very demanding schedule, and has a very tight jobsite footprint. With the TJ Wies/Niehaus team, we are able to provide two of the largest and most sophisticated wall and ceiling contractors, who could handle the complexity, speed / manpower requirements, and the financial demands of this large of a project. Also, by teaming up with Niehaus, neither of us are stretching our capacity to compete for and complete other projects for our other customers.”

He added that a “teaming effort would have to make sense for both parties” and “for teaming to be successful, transparency and trust are essential.” Each company needs the other for different but significant reasons. While the partnership makes sense for business reasons, it goes beyond putting numbers in a bid for the sake of securing the project.

First and foremost, each company has to trust the other, as well as create a “checks and balances” approach.

Lopez said, “both companies have assigned project managers, who work closely together to keep things balanced,” and both companies “report monthly to each other and have open books for this deal.” He calls the deal “really simple,” because “we agreed at the onset on a profit and cost split and we manage to that… with a few ground rules of course.”

Wies said, “our history helps to reinforce the trust we have in each other,” because “both companies have roots in the industry that precede our current endeavors and our predecessors have always held each other in high regard.”

History, track record, trust, transparency, and communication are all necessary elements in the rules of engagement for a successful collaboration. Those elements must be in place even before the magic of teamwork and cooperation materializes.

While Lopez called the process “simple,” getting to that point of simplicity took some work. Getting systems in place, managing and determining expectations, setting parameters and trust dynamics all happened at the top first, before numbers or bids were submitted. The rules of engagement were in place before any actual “engagement” took place.

Wies explained, “We are working as one because it comes from the top down.  Both organizations feel that this teaming arrangement was the best option for our organizations as well as our customer. This spirit of teamwork is then promoted and reinforced on the craftsperson level. A successful project is a product of successful team work.”

When asked what struggles have occurred as a result of working with a competitor, each company head demurred, explaining that having an “agreement up front” to provide their top craftspeople and team to this project has helped keep the project on track.

Lopez said, “deciding what to expose about our business was a short-term concern, but our businesses don’t run the same way. We don’t try to be like TJ Wies, and I know they don’t try to be like Niehaus, so there really haven’t been many struggles.” He added, “When you have two very competitive companies with leaders that have Type A personalities, it always makes things more difficult, but we both understand who the lead is and what responsibilities each handle.  Both teams have great estimators and project managers, and each has a unique skillset.”

In fact, the two owners talk about how the differences between the companies has become a strength rather than a detriment, as the individual capabilities of each company is learned by the other. Niehaus brought technological expertise with PlanGrid and Ipads, as well overall experience on the BJC campus. TJ Wies brought a large craftsperson workforce, financial stability, and experience with a Total Station Robotic layout.

Yet, before each company gets warm and fuzzy with the other, they remind us and each other that they remain strong competitors on all other projects. Wies summed up the sentiment well: “I am handsomely paid to try to ‘beat your brains out’ from 7am until 5pm. After that, we can have a beer and have fun.”

When asked to interpret the term “friendly competitor,” Wies said, “A friendly competitor is an oxymoron. If you compete, you compete to win, period. You can be friends that compete, but in my mind, you can’t be ‘friendly competitors.’”

Lopez agreed that the term doesn’t work for him either, saying, “This is a business deal in the purest sense. When we first sat down to discuss the deal, the first question was about our customers and the advantage for them. When we both agreed and understood that answer, the next question was about us. The two answers aligned, and we went after it.”

While they both continue to “go after it” together and “go after each other” on other projects, they adhere to their rules of engagement. “We both know the implications if we go against what we agreed to,” Lopez said.

“The negotiation on the front end proves vital to the success of an extensive collaboration. Knowing the process and expectations going into the project ensures confidence among our teams. Leadership, at every level, makes this happen.” 

As President of Seal the Deal Too, Stephanie Woodcock works with companies in overall brand development and cultivating their digital identity through electronic newsletters, social media management and websites.

Amazon to Open Two Fulfillment Centers in Edwardsville, Illinois, to Employ 1,000 Full-Time Workers

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Amazon.com, Inc., announced plans to open two fulfillment centers in Edwardsville, Illinois, and create more than 1,000 full-time jobs between the facilities when they open. The company also recently announced plans for a new fulfillment center in Joliet, Illinois, and the creation of 2,000 full-time jobs. Amazon has an existing fulfillment center in Joliet where it currently employs 1,500 full-time employees.

“Illinois has been a great place to do business for Amazon and we look forward to adding two additional fulfillment centers and creating another 1,000 full-time jobs with benefits on day one in the state,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North American operations. “The elected officials throughout the city and state have been very supportive of Amazon and we thank them for helping make this possible. We’re excited to soon call Edwardsville home and become an active member of this vibrant community.”

“Amazon’s newest investment in Illinois is a commitment to the future of our state,” Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said.

Each fulfillment center will span more than 700,000 square-feet where employees will pick, pack and ship items for customers. One of the buildings will specialize in handling larger items like big-screen televisions, sports equipment or kayaks and the other building will handle smaller items such as books, toys and electronics.

Mayor Hal Patton of Edwardsville stated, “We would like to thank Amazon for selecting Edwardsville as the location for their newest fulfillment centers. The construction of these two enormous warehouse buildings in the Gateway and Lakeview Commerce Centers will employ hundreds of construction professionals and bring over 1,000 full-time jobs to our region. The professional staffs from the City of Edwardsville, Madison County and the State of Illinois worked seamlessly with our local developers to deliver a much needed employment opportunity for our talented workforce. We are excited to show Amazon the quality of life that makes Edwardsville a great place to live, work and play.”

Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan applauded the news from Amazon. He said Madison County’s premiere location and transportation network was key to attracting one of the world’s largest e-commerce retailers.

Local Lighting Designer Featured in National Healthcare Magazine

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Tom Kaczkowski, director of lighting design at HOK in St. Louis, figures prominently in a May 31 Healthcare Designfeature on lighting.

Kacskowki noted that lighting technology has reached a “tipping point” where “every lighting system” in healthcare can use LEDs. He noted that lighting manufacturers have embraced the technology for a wide variety of uses, and most of the LED systems they produce are dimmable out of the box, “permitting cost-effective daylight harvesting, load shedding, or simple preset high/medium/low lighting level settings.” 

However, he warned against “disposable” LED fixtures, which don’t allow for replacing just the LED, but require an electrician to replace the full fixture when the LED gives out.

Deadline To Be Extended To June 30 For Maryland Park Lake District Redevelopment Proposal Submissions

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The City of Maryland Heights will extend its submission deadline for receipt of proposals from parties interested in developing an approximately 1,800-acre area located along the Maryland Heights Expressway known as the Maryland Park Lake District (MPLD) to June 30, 2016, at 4:00 p.m.

“Due to a recently proposed ice sports complex development to be located adjacent to the MPLD, the City Council believes it would be prudent to extend the submission deadline to June 30, 2016, so prospective developers have sufficient time to consider the impact of the proposed hockey complex on any potential MPLD redevelopment proposal,” said City Administrator James S. Krischke.  “A resolution to extend the city’s MPLD real estate development submission deadline to June 30 is currently before the City Council and we expect that resolution to be approved by the City Council at its June 2 meeting.”

On February 4, 2016, the City Council authorized staff to seek requests for proposals for redevelopment projects within the MPLD and set April 15, 2016 as the proposal submission deadline, which later was extended to May 31, 2016.  The City will consider proposals from qualified developers interested in redeveloping all or a portion of the area in a manner consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the MPLD. The Comprehensive Plan for the MPLD contemplates that the area will be redeveloped for a mix of uses, which may include regional retail, office campus, hospitality and entertainment venues, regional sport venues, and residential developments, together with appropriate accessory commercial uses carefully integrated into a town center development.

On Monday May 23, the St. Louis Blues hockey team announced plans for the proposed development of a $35 million practice facility next to Creve Coeur Lake Park, which is located on Marine Avenue in Maryland Heights on land owned by St. Louis County. With seating for 1,800 spectators, the proposed complex would host youth and collegiate hockey as well as St. Louis Blues practice sessions, according to St. Louis Blues officials. Team officials said they hope to open the ice complex in late 2018.

“We plan to announce the proposals we have received and the next steps in the development process at the conclusion of the submission period on June 30,” Krischke added.

Nine Young Women Now College Engineering Majors After Completing Cor Jesu Academy’s Summer Engineering Experience

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2016 Program Starts June 6 With 16 New Juniors and Seniors

A partnership between Cor Jesu Academy and local corporate partners that provides real world experiences in a variety of engineering disciplines to high school girls will start its third annual session on June 6 after leading nine previous participants to major in engineering in college.  Called the Summer Engineering Experience (S.E.E.), this week-long learning adventure enables rising junior and seniors to work side-by-side with engineers from each hosting corporation in a hands-on immersion that encourages and promotes awareness of career opportunities in the field of engineering.  The 2016 edition of S.E.E. will include 16 Cor Jesu Academy students and participation from Watlow, Hastings + Chivetta, Monsanto, Barry-Wehmiller Design Group, Inc., Aschinger Electric and S. M. Wilson & Co.

“It is extremely important to get more women employed the engineering field because of the exceptional opportunities that await them,” said Melissa Lanham of Watlow, a founding sponsor of S.E.E.  “The success of this program speaks to the potential that women see in this traditionally male-dominated field once they get exposed to it.”

Watlow helped design the S.E.E. program and also established a scholarship which covers one participating student’s senior year tuition at Cor Jesu Academy as well as a paid internship for the summer after graduation.  Previous S.E.E. corporate partners include Peabody Energy, M3 Engineering Group, Access Engineering, DJM Ecological, Ameren and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

“The continuing shortage of women professional engineers creates a tremendous career opportunity for our students,” said Sr. Barbara Thomas, ACSJ, President of Cor Jesu Academy.  “This program provides participants the opportunity to put into action the things they have been learning in their STEM-related classes during the school year.  Through quality partnerships with these corporations, we are making engineering relevant to our students’ lives and empowering them to live out the Cor Jesu mission of transforming the world of their future.”

S.E.E. is part of Cor Jesu Academy’s Corporate Partners Initiative, which was launched in 2013 to take learning outside the confines of the classroom and expand the meaning and scope of college preparatory.  The Corporate Partners Initiative also includes engineering scholarships, internship opportunities, academic program support and professional job shadowing for Cor Jesu students.

For more information on the S. E. E. program, the Corporate Partners Initiative and Cor Jesu, visit www.corjesu.org/stem .

Cor Jesu Academy is a leading Catholic college-preparatory high school for young women founded in 1956 and operated by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Students from 61 zip codes across the St. Louis metropolitan area currently attend the school and come from 106 different Catholic, public, private and home schooling learning environments.

New Liability for Contractors?

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As the effects of a recent ruling from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals work their way through the industry, owners of construction companies may be in for a surprise when they try to sell or value their business, said John Moellering, a construction law expert at Lewis Rice LLC. Owners may find they can’t get as much money for their companies as they thought.

The ruling that Moellering was talking about came last year in a case called Resilient Floor Covering Pension TrustFund Board of Trustees v. Michael’s Floor Covering, Inc., or Resilient for short.

Under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act, if an employer withdraws from a multiemployer pension plan, it is obligated to pay a withdrawal liability. If the owner is considering selling or shutting down the company, he can get an estimate of his withdrawal liability, which is the amount owed to meet the pensions promises made to the employees with vested pensions he is leaving behind.

However, since the 1980s, Moellering said, there has been an exemption to the withdrawal liability for the construction industry. If a construction company that contributed to a multiemployer pension plan left the jurisdiction of that plan for five years, it would not owe any withdrawal liability.

The idea behind the exemption was that if a member of a multiemployer pension fund goes out of business (and from the point of view of a seller that is exactly what the seller is doing), customers would just patronize other contributors to the fund, so the fund itself would not be harmed.

“In Resilient Flooring, the Ninth Circuit said that is not necessarily true,” Moellering said. “This is the first time a court has said a construction industry employer can be responsible even as a successor for withdrawal liability.”

Traditionally, Moellering explained, “when someone buys your business, they are buying the assets; they are not buying the liability. They may even state that in the contract.”

The ninth circuit, he said, decided that if the buyers are aware of the contingent withdrawal liability, they may be responsible for paying it.

As a result of the ruling, “there seems to be multiple definitions of a corporate successor,” he said. The NLRB looks at whether the new company employs the same workers. The Ninth Circuit Court looked at whether the bulk of the customer base of the successor company was part of the customer base of the old company.

“In Resilient Flooring, a former company salesman bought assets of the company, but didn’t keep the employees on. He used independent contractors, but many of the customers of the new company were customers of the old company,” Moellering said.

Because of the underfunding of pension plans, the withdrawal liability is becoming a bigger and bigger potential liability, he said.

“As the Ninth Circuit ruling makes buyers more cautious, they will reduce the purchase prices they are willing to pay or put a part of the purchase price aside in escrow, either way there will be less money going to the seller,” Moellering said.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in People
The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

Bryan Herberg Joins McGrath As Project Engineer/Estimator

Bryan Herberg
Bryan Herberg

Bryan Herberg of Kirkwood, MO, has joined McGrath & Associates as a project engineer/estimator responsible for estimating, project scope development, subcontractor coordination and scheduling. Herberg has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Missouri-St. Louis/Washington University. He has six years of experience in mechanical contracting with a specialization in process piping installation.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm

Mosby Building Arts New Hires and Expansions

The St. Louis remodeling firm hires a new Consultant, Administrative Assistant and Production Assistant, and expands customer service

Mosby Building Arts is pleased to announce the addition of Courtney Kinsella as Production Assistant, Morgen Nelson as Administrative Assistant, and Kyle Slaughter as Home Consultant. In addition, the customer service roles of Noël Powers and Todd Bachman have expanded in scope and title to Client Experience Coordinators.

Courtney Kinsella has a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies and in her role as Production Assistant works with Mosby Production Managers to keep track of project hours and billings.

Morgen Nelson has a B.A. in Psychology and in her role as Administrative Assistant, she help the company run smoothly, internally, and serves as the external first point of contact as receptionist.

Kyle Slaughter has nearly a decade of experience in real estate and insurance renovation that he brings to his role as a Home Consultant. He works with homeowners to analyze and enact their best home improvement options.

With a title change to Client Experience Coordinators, Noël Powers and Todd Bachmann have assumed a broader range of customer service duties. From initial client intake to social media, events, client surveys and weekly service check-ins, they keep Mosby’s homeowners updated, engaged and satisfied throughout the entire remodeling process.

Mosby Building Arts continues to expand in all areas. For other open positions at Mosby Building Arts,visit their Careers page.

 

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