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Rebuilding Together St. Louis Garners Prestigious Award from Focus St. Louis

in Associations/News

Rebuilding Together St. Louis is delighted to announces it has received a “What’s Right In the Region” award, in the category of Promoting Stronger Communities, from FOCUS St. Louis.  For more than 25 years, Rebuilding Together has provided free home repair to veterans, low income and elderly homeowners in need so they may remain safely in their own homes.

“Our organization has rehabbed over 3000 homes, 68 community centers and touched more than 65,000 lives” says Barry Upchurch, president of the board of directors.  “It is a privilege to receive this honor from FOCUS which underscores our mission of a safe and healthy home for every person.”

Each year on Rebuilding Day, scheduled for Saturday, May 4, more than 1500 volunteers are deployed throughout the metro area to revamp 40 to 50 homes in a single day.  The group receives significant support from area skilled trades. In addition, the organization hosts various community and veteran’s builds throughout the year. Financial support is provided through corporate sponsors, foundation grants, and individual donations.  For more information visit or call 314.918.9918.

Each year, FOCUS St. Louis, a civic leadership organization, applauds the efforts of 20 individuals, organizations and/or initiatives making a positive difference in the St. Louis region.

St. Louis Rebuilding Together is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing extensive rehabilitation and modification services to those in need at no cost to those served.  With the help of everyday citizen volunteers, skilled trades people, the support of local business and major corporate partners, Rebuilding Together affiliates in America’s largest cities and smallest towns make life considerably better for thousands of low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live by completing 10,000 projects per year. Rebuilding Together has programs dedicated to, energy efficiency, veteran’s housing, aging in place and gulf coast reconstruction.  

FOCUS St. Louis® is the region’s premier civic leadership organization. FOCUS prepares a diverse base of leaders to work cooperatively for a thriving St. Louis region through our experience-based leadership training, civic issue education and public engagement initiatives. For more information visit or call 314.622.1250.

Women Construction Owners & Executives, Kansas City approved first Board of Directors for the KC Chapter

in Associations/News

WCOE KC is pleased to announce the new Board of Directors for the newly formed Kansas City chapter. The slate for the Board of Directors was approved by the majority of the members of the Women Construction Owners & Executives, Kansas City chapter.

The new Board of Directors are:

  • President: Lisa Garney, President/Owner of LMG Construction
  • Vice President: Elisabeth DeCoursey, President/Co-Owner of KC Testing & Engineering
  • Secretary: Ashley Tumberger, President of Premier Mechanical Products LLC
  • Treasurer: Julie Farrell, President/Owner of Regents Flooring
  • Director At Large: Susan Remington, President/Owner of Pro-Mechanical LLC

In addition to the Board of Directors, WCOE KC would like to recognize two of its’ local members to the National Board of Women Construction Owners & Executives, USA. Dianna Richardson, President of Richardson Hauling has been appointed as the Central Region Director. Sheila Ohrenberg, President of Sorella Group Inc will be inducted as the National President on March 4th at the 2019 Women Build America Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

WCOE, USA is a National Association committed to helping women in the construction industry grow and prosper. Founded over 35 years ago on the purpose of assisting women in executive positions, providing resources to enhance professional development, and creating a legislative network to monitor and pursue legislation advantageous to the industry.

For more information on getting involved with WCOE KC, visit their website at and follow them on social media.

Electrical Connection Salutes Students Excelling in STEM Subjects

in Associations/News/People

A smart infrastructure is taking shape redefining next generation electrical and communications installations and the skilled workforce to engineer and build it.  With that in mind, the Electrical Connection continues to energize STEM education, science, technology, engineering and math.  That ongoing support was on display as the Electrical Connection co-sponsored the annual STEM Celebration Breakfast presented by EDC Business & Community Partners in St. Charles County on March 1, 2019.  The 10th annual salute recognized 22 St. Charles County high school students who excel in STEM subjects.  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).

“Smart infrastructure, including smart cities, smart buildings and smart homes define ever more complex electrical and communications installations that our IBEW/NECA partners excel in delivering,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.  “By embedding technology in our real estate assets, builders, facility managers and governments gain greater understanding of how those assets are performing.  This in turn creates better decision making in how we design, operate and maintain them.  We salute these STEM achievers because STEM education is absolutely critical to our industry investment in workforce development to advance smart technology and more.”

IBEW and NECA invest more than $3 million annually in training at the award winning IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center at 2300 Hampton Ave. in St. Louis.  For more than 75 years, the training center has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other education program in Missouri.  It features a five-year, 10,000 hour education program that is industry funded at no taxpayer expense.  Its apprentices are instructed free of charge and have opportunities to earn a living while they learn the electrical trade.

“A strong foundation in STEM education is essential to complete our robust curriculum that will ultimately prepare our skilled and safe workforce to engineer and install not only smart infrastructure, but advanced manufacturing, data centers, integrated communications, renewable energy and more,” said Dennis Gralike, director of the training center.

Gralike was part of a panel discussion on career development at the event.

During the salute to students, Curran announced that through the Electrical Connection’s partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals, students and school officials will be treated to a special behind the scenes look at how STEM education is applied to running the storied baseball franchise.  At a future date, they will be invited to Busch Stadium to hear from team officials in several departments about how they apply STEM subjects.  The learning session will be concluded by a luncheon co-sponsored by the Electrical Connection.

The St. Charles County high school students honored at this year’s STEM breakfast include:

  • Zeke Emerick, Lutheran High
  • Luke McNeil, Christian High
  • Margaret White, Duchesne High
  • Amina Islam, St. Dominic High
  • Brendan Martin-Hilker, St. Charles High
  • Nicholas Schmitz, St. Charles West High
  • David Yang, Francis Howell High
  • Hannah RodeCap, Francis Howell Central High
  • Kevin Tran, Francis Howell North High
  • Brooklinn Liesmann, Orchard Farm High
  • Mahima Shahrawat, Ft. Zumwalt East High
  • Taylor Pachke, Ft. Zumwalt North High
  • Mitual Atul Pandya, Ft. Zumwalt West High
  • Aravind Kalathil, Fr. Zumwalt South High
  • Ian Deal, Wentzville Holt High
  • Michael Coyle, Wentzville Liberty High
  • Nate Beattie, Wentzville Timberland High
  • Eric Reininger, Lewis & Clark Career Center

Students honored in the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) Program include Chris Morell, Allana Guffey, Mikayla Bowman and Colten Smith.

The STEM breakfast is one of several educational initiatives support by the Electrical Connection.  Others include partnerships with the FIRST Robotics, the Saint Louis Science CenterMissouri Energy Initiative (MEI), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and more.

The STEM Celebration Breakfast and panel discussion was held Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Piazza Messina in Cottleville, Mo.

Electrical Connection members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit

Museum at Gateway Arch Cited in National Engineering Competition

in Companies/News

Innovative Building Systems Enhance Expanded Cultural Landmark

IMEG Corp. of Rock Island, Ill., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 52nd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for its role in the renovation and expansion of the Museum at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo.

IMEG provided mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications design for the $108.9 million, 50,000-square-foot addition and 100,000-square-foot renovation project, located underground beneath the famed Gateway Arch. The project updated all infrastructure, modernized exhibits and galleries, and added new spaces including a learning center and a new west entrance facing the heart of downtown St. Louis.

Along with meeting historic preservation requirements and ambitious energy-efficiency goals, the project team incorporated technology to support “micro-climates” for special museum exhibits in order maintain specific and constant temperature and humidity levels. The result is a safe and comfortable environment for visitors and staff, properly conditioned spaces for the exhibits, and long-term energy savings through the use of high-performance building systems technologies.

The project is among 196 engineering achievements from throughout the nation and the world being recognized by ACEC as the year’s finest examples of engineering excellence, and eligible for additional top national honors. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February, conducted by a national 30-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focuses on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top commendations—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities.   Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.

Loop Trolley Company Delivers Mobile Ticketing App

in Associations/News

Riders can now purchase tickets ahead of time 

The Loop Trolley Company announced that its mobile ticketing app for Apple’s iOS is now live.  The free app is available for download by searching ‘Loop Trolley’ in the app store. In addition to purchasing tickets, users can also track their ticket history and trip log, and view station stops and attractions on the Trolley map.

“We are excited about our new app and the convenience it offers to Trolley passengers. Passengers can purchase tickets ahead of time, activate their ticket when they’re ready to ride and come aboard the trolley,” Loop Trolley Company Executive Director Kevin Barbeau said.

Trolley passengers can purchase tickets anytime and tickets do not become active until passengers choose to do so within the app.  Once activated, passengers will scan their mobile tickets at the on-board validators located at each trolley entrance. There is a $0.35 transaction fee on all purchases.  All major credit cards are accepted.  The Android OS version is expected to go live mid-March.

In January, the Loop Trolley Company began testing its third trolley car – a 1920s model from Melbourne, Australia. Its capacity is 100 passengers with 50 seated and 50 standing.  The car is expected to be ready for service in late spring 2019. The Trolley Company will expand service to seven days a week at that time.

The Loop Trolley Company currently operates two heritage streetcars Thursday through Sunday starting at noon each day.  Standard two-hour passes are $2 and all-day passes are $5.  Seniors, children and passengers with disabilities may purchase tickets for a reduced fare. For information, please visit

Follow the Loop Trolley on Twitter at @LoopTrolley, on Instagram at @LoopTrolley and on Facebook.

The Loop Trolley system is owned by the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District and operated by the Loop Trolley Company, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. The system is a 2.2-mile fixed-track that runs from the University City Library near Kingsland Avenue east on Delmar Boulevard to DeBaliviere Avenue and then south on DeBaliviere to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park and back. 

The Loop Trolley Transportation District (TDD) is a political subdivision of the State of Missouri organized under the Missouri Transportation Development District Act. The District was formed in 2008 to fund, promote, plan, design, construct, maintain and operate a fixed-track trolley car system.

Tech Capabilities of Future SSM Health SLU Hospital Apparent in Scope of Enormous Construction Project

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News


Of the $550 million total budget for building and equipping the future SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, $101 million is allocated to medical technology that will equip all facets of the operation and provide the latest means of patient care.

Donald Wojtkowski, executive director of design and construction for the SLUH Medical Campus Renewal Project that’s rising from the earth along Grand Boulevard in Midtown, says medical technology investments in the brand-new hospital include not only clinical IT but also IT that will connect and power all business functions throughout the hospital and adjacent ambulatory care center.

“Relative to overall clinical technology, we’re equipping 16 operating rooms, five cardiac interventional rooms, seven special procedure rooms, seven CTs, three MRIs, three nuclear medicine suites and eight endoscopy suites,” Wojkowski said. “Approximately $12 million in IT equipment is going in that’s specific to computerized medical records. The IT elements of this – every piece of clinical equipment in the new facility and most of the hospital’s medical devices – will link with its IT networks so we can capture data and assist nurses with all of that information right at their fingertips.”

IMEG is providing mechanical-electrical-plumbing, fire protection and technology design for the new medical center, which will replace the existing, adjacent SLU Hospital. Alberici Constructors Inc. is the project’s construction manager. The Lawrence Group is architect of record, in partnership with planning firms HGA and FZA.

The mammoth construction project is a joint effort between SSM Health, SLUCare Physician Group and Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

The project has been designed solely with 3D modeling since the beginning, years ago, when plans were first being etched for the future hospital.

“That’s the most amazing thing in my mind with regard to this whole project,” said Wojtkowski. “We began our commitment to building information management 12 years ago when we designed (SSM Health) St. Clare Hospital in Fenton,” he said. “Even then, we were committed to BIM and to lean construction delivery. It was a bit awkward because we were really pioneering things back then. We had a great team, we got it done and we learned a lot. Today, when you’re walking through this construction project, you don’t see anyone looking at blueprints anymore…they’re holding up their iPads…for a project of this magnitude not to have any trailers filled with blueprints, it’s truly a testament to how far technology has come.”

Substantial completion of the new hospital is on track for May 2020, according to Wojtkowski, at which time the facility will be turned over to its owners to begin the operational and staffing transition from old hospital to new. Sept. 1, 2010 is the date when the first patients will move into the new space.

Building Careers

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.

Rick Reams Rejoins Murphy as Corporate Safety Director

Rick Reams

Rick Reams has rejoined Murphy Company as corporate safety director.  The announcement was made by Tom Skaggs, chief operating officer for the mechanical contracting and engineering firm. Reams has an extensive safety background with experience in various industries. Previously, he served as general manager for QualSafe Solutions, a safety consulting and services company which is an affiliate of Murphy Co. Most recently he served as corporate safety director for Hayden Wrecking, a nationwide demolition firm based out of the St. Louis area.

“We are delighted to have Rick return to lead our safety initiative,” said Skaggs. “He brings a passion, energy and vision to help achieve our goal of zero injury performance. He joins our exceptional safety team already in place.”

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design-build, piping fabrication, energy solutions and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Northern Colorado.  Ranked 23rd largest mechanical specialty contracting firm in 2018 ENR/Engineering News-Record and ranked 22nd largest mechanical contracting firm by the 2018 Contractor Annual Report, the firm has national capabilities and is licensed to do business in 44 states.  Also in 2018, Contractor’s Book of Giants listed Murphy Co. as the fourth largest mechanical contractor in the Midwest and ENR ranked the company sixth in the nation in sheet metal revenue.

The firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

Jennifer Krafka joins Murphy as HR Coordinator

Jennifer Krafka

Jennifer Krafka has been appointed HR coordinator for Murphy Company by Kathy Johnson, the company’s human resources director. Krafka previously served as an HR generalist for Tharaldson Hospitality Management, recruiting and hiring staff for Marriott, Hilton and IHG brands throughout the U.S. She also worked with hiring managers to ensure compliance with all federal/state laws and regulations and helped coordinate employment offers. Previously, she worked as a paraprofessional/educator for a local private school and as a marketing analyst for Fleischmann’ where she developed and implemented advertising and brand awareness for industrial product lines.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing from Southern Illinois University. She was a member of the National Honor Society, the Marketing Club’s vice-president, and a member of the American Management Association.

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design-build, piping fabrication, energy solutions and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Northern Colorado.  Ranked 23rd largest mechanical specialty contracting firm in 2018 ENR/Engineering News-Record and ranked 22nd largest mechanical contracting firm by the 2018 Contractor Annual Report, the firm has national capabilities and is licensed to do business in 44 states.  Also in 2018, Contractor’s Book of Giants listed Murphy Co. as the fourth largest mechanical contractor in the Midwest and ENR ranked the company sixth in the nation in sheet metal revenue.

The firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

Gary Mindel Named President and COO of Color Art Palette, Inc.

Gary Mindel

New Leadership Announced Within Color Art Governing Body 

The Board of Directors of Color Art Palette Inc., the governing body of St. Louis company, Color Art, announces Gary Mindel as President and Chief Operating Officer. Color Art Palette is the holding company and strategy development component for St. Louis-based Color Art and Scott Rice Enterprises out of Kansas City, Kansas. Color Art is St. Louis’ largest interior solutions provider and has been family and employee owned for more than 70 years.

“In his many capacities, Gary has provided leadership and guidance to the development and standing of where the Company is today,” remarked Joe Steiner, Board Chairman and CEO for Color Art Palette. “Gary has earned a stellar reputation as a leader in our industry and the business community. We congratulate Gary on his success and this promotion.”

In addition to his present duties as CEO of Color Art, Mindel assumed the position of President and COO of Color Art Palette effective January 1, 2019. In this additional role, Mindel is responsible for strategic implementation and operational effectiveness, enterprise-wide. Additionally, he is a voting member of the Palette Board, and ensures a strong linkage between Board and operational strategies.

Mindel has been with the company for more than 30 years and is a proven performer and key member of its leadership team. Mindel was initially hired in 1985 as a Sales Manager for New Business Development, was promoted to leadership for the entire sales team, was named President of the Furniture Team, and is now CEO of Color Art.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Marquette University. Following graduation, Mindel worked professionally as a golfer before moving to St. Louis, Missouri. After his move, Gary earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance from St. Louis University. It was in St. Louis that Mindel worked for Service Bureau Company (a division of IBM) selling data processing and timesharing services. Mindel and his college sweetheart – now wife – Mary, live in Webster Groves.

Recently, Color Art announced the appointment of Jeff Bauer, Troy Garner, Mick McIntyre and Ed Wills as Board Advisors. Color Art’s vision is to create and provide the best places for people to do their best work. Color Art does this through understanding and leading practices in connecting architecture, technology, furniture, and services for healthcare, education, corporate and large venue environments.

Color Art is the largest commercial interiors solutions provider in the Midwest and serves clients in 30 states as well as internationally. For more information visit

February 22, 2019

Maggie Stamm Joins HOK’s St. Louis Office as Marketing Coordinator

Maggie Stamm

Maggie Stamm is the newest member of HOK’s growing St. Louis studio and will serve as a marketing coordinator assisting the office in branding, client engagement and project pursuits.

A native of the greater St. Louis area, Stamm earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has spent the past three years in California where she held a similar marketing role in HOK’s San Francisco office.

With offices around the globe, HOK designs buildings and spaces that respond to the needs of people and the environment. HOK designers are rooted in technical excellence, driven by imagination and focus.

Color Art Governing Body Appoints Four to Board of Directors

Jeff Bauer

Color Art, St. Louis’ largest interior solutions provider, announces additions to its governing Board of Directors. Four new members join a roster of more than ten distinguished individuals responsible for directing the company’s growth strategies, acquisition decisions and financial planning. The Board of Directors for Color Art Palette, the company’s governing body, shares the appointment of Jeff Bauer, Troy Garner, Mick McIntyre and Ed Wills as Board Advisors. Color Art has been family and employee owned for more than 70 years.

Troy Garner

“I look forward to serving stockholders and team members as an Advisor,” remarked Jeff Bauer. “It’s a privilege to continue building on the family legacy that started 71-years ago. Color Art is a great place to work and grow.”

Mick McIntyre

Color Art’s vision is to be the clear knowledge leader for connecting people and space, an irreplaceable partner to each of its customers, and a place where highly talented and engaged people can thrive. Its vision is to create and provide the best places for people to do their best work. Color Art does this through understanding and leading practices in connecting architecture, technology, furniture, and services for healthcare, education, corporate and large venue environments.

Ed Wills

Recently, Color Art announced the hires of 15-year executive Todd Nixon as Executive Vice President of Furniture, and Jennifer Clark as both Vice President Operations of Furniture and General Manager of Color Art’s non-union Installation and Moves Team. Additionally, long-time employee Christine Hoffmann was promoted from Executive Vice President to President of Color Art Furniture, the company’s largest and longest-standing division.

Color Art is the largest commercial interiors solutions provider in the Midwest and serves clients in 30 states as well as i

nternationally. For more information visit

S. M. Wilson Promotes Andrew Ahlers, CM-BIM, A.C. To Project Manager

Andrew Ahlers

S. M. Wilson & Co. has promoted Andrew Ahlers, CM-BIM, A.C. to Project Manager. As Project Manager, he will be responsible for handling all administrative functions for a project, including scheduling, holding progress meetings, generating meeting minutes, tracking costs and maintaining logs for all project information.

Ahlers joined S. M. Wilson in 2014 and has worked on a variety of projects including  numerous projects at Blessing Hospital, the Chaddock School Education Center Addition and Ignite Medical Resorts in Kansas City, MO. Currently, he is serving as the Project Manager on the Blessing Hospital Tower Expansion project. The vertical expansion includes adding two floors to the existing four-story patient tower which was originally built by S. M. Wilson in 2015. Ahlers’ strategic planning and attention to detail on this challenging project have been a tremendous asset to ensure the two fully-functioning hospital floors below are not impacted during construction.

He holds his CM – BIM Certificate of Management in Building Information Modeling from the AGC of Missouri. He has his AC (Associate Constructor) certification from the American Institute of Constructors and his ASHE – HCC (Health Care Construction Certificate). Ahlers is OSHA 30 Hour Construction Safety and Health for Construction Industry certified and earned his B.S. in Construction Management from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For more information, visit

February 15, 2019

Castle Contracting Hires Four

Castle Contracting, LLC has expanded its team with the hiring of four new employees: Charles Danner, project engineer; Dan Schaefer, estimator; Cory Howell, project manager; and Cody Hobbs, safety coordinator.

Charles Danner

As project engineer, Charles Danner supports the estimating department in compiling accurate project bids, as part of a three-step development program instituted by Castle for all project engineers. Prior to joining Castle, Danner served as an engineer at Kiewit Corporation in Federal Way, Wash. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technologies from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. Before college, he served in the U.S. Air Force and earned the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He lives in St. Louis.

Dan Schaefer

In his role as estimator, Dan Schaefer prepares complete, accurate quantity take-offs to build detailed cost estimates and prepares comprehensive proposals for Castle clients. He previously served as estimator/project manager at Kuesel Excavating Co. in O’Fallon, Mo. and an estimator/project manager at Septagon Construction in Columbia, Mo. Schaefer received a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. He and his family live in St. Peters, Mo.

Cory Howell

As project manager, Cory Howell oversees the day-to-day operation of projects, including budget reporting, submittal review, subcontractor coordination, material ordering, scheduling maintenance and trade coordination. Prior to joining Castle, he served as project manager at Crossland Construction Company in Kansas City and held several roles at Hensel Phelps Construction Co. Howell received a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. He and his family reside in Spring Hill, Kansas.

Cody Hobbs

And Safety Coordinator Cody Hobbs is responsible for the overall administration of safety guidelines on Castle projects, including monitoring the safety efforts of employees and subcontractors. He earned a bachelor’s degree of safety in the health sciences program at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. A Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP), Hobbs is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals. He lives in Belleville, Ill.

“As Castle continues to expand our business in St. Louis and beyond, these new professionals will play key roles in strengthening our team and enhancing our services to clients,” said Michael Pranger, Castle Contracting vice president of operations.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast.

New NGA CTO Announced

Mark Munsell

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency appoints a new chief technology officer to lead NGA’s technology transformation and modernization efforts, while also attracting IT talent.

Mark Munsell, currently the deputy director of the CIO and IT Services Directorate, will fill the role of chief technology officer at NGA beginning immediately. Munsell is based at the agency’s St. Louis, Missouri, location and will remain in his CIO-T deputy director role as he steps into the CTO job.

The CTO role was created in 2018 to focus on increasing the agency’s ability to instill next-generation technology, tradecraft and innovative approaches to the geospatial intelligence community, enterprise and mission.

Munsell began his career in 1990 with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where he was awarded the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his software engineering work transforming the nation’s nautical charting production system. He joined an NGA predecessor agency, the Defense Mapping Agency in 1996 where he led the update of the agency’s aeronautical production systems. After a stint with a government contractor, Munsell founded the Internet Marine and Aviation Planning Services, or IMAPS, in 2000 to offer flight and maritime planning services to individuals, industry and government via the Internet. He returned to government service at the NGA in 2006. Munsell is also the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award and NGA’s Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

Kevin Kopp Named BIM Manager at Murphy

Kevin Kopp

Kevin J. Kopp has been named BIM manager for Murphy Company. The announcement was made by Mike Werdes, vice president, engineering.

Kopp holds an associate’s degree in drafting and design technology from ITT Technical Institute and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He is certified in numerous computer software and design programs, and has extensive experience in Revit, Navisworks, Fabrication, Plant 3D,Revizto, AutoCAD, BLK360 and Microsoft environments.

He recently served as BIM Director for a global engineering, architecture and project/construction management firm. . With over 18 years’ experience in BIM/CAD modeling and design as well as integrated project delivery, he previously served as a BIM coordinator and manager for several area engineering and contracting companies. He began his construction career in 2001 as CAD manager/IT support for Tensar Corp., a BIM/CAD manger/senior IT support for Planners and Engineers, and a Bentley Admin/BIM for Hydro-Chem – all in Georgia.

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. The firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

Woody Miller Promoted to Vice President, Operational and Facilities Development at WINCO Windows

Woody Miller

WINCO Windows, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural and heavy commercial aluminum windows, is pleased to announce the promotion of Woody Miller, one of the company’s Leadership Team members, to Vice President, Operational and Facilities Development.

“WINCO’s Leadership Team was formed late 2017 and took effect early 2018,” said Bill Krenn, WINCO President and CFO. “Woody’s success at coordinating plant operations to increase efficiencies and enhance communication, as well as bringing employees’ ideas to fruition keeps the company moving forward in a positive light.”

As Vice President of Operational and Facilities Development, Miller will work with team members Brian Scott and Sharon Gamble to continue evolving WINCO’s manufacturing systems. Integrating new equipment, technologies and processes is vital to serve the demands of WINCO’s expanding presence in the window industry. Miller is one of several family members who have leadership roles in WINCO. The company has been family-owned for more than 100 years.

Miller is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Over the years, Miller has worked as the owner/operator of a construction company, property developer, consultant, and business owner/entrepreneur. Miller was recently named to this year’s class of 40 Under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal. This honor recognizes young business leaders for their accomplishments, professional excellence, and contributions to their community. In his spare time, Miller is an avid rock climber.

For more information, contact WINCO Window Company at (314) 725.8088 or visit

New Hires at S. M. Wilson

S.M. Wilson & Co., has rehired Mary Anderson as a Project Engineer and former S. M. Wilson Interns Travis Schmitt, Chris Watkins as Field Engineers as well as Emily Echele as Project Engineer.

Schmitt and Watkins will be responsible for supporting and assisting field and office personnel on job sites to produce successful projects, ensure safety, quality, cost control, schedule and overall compliance with applicable laws and regulations are achieved.

Chris Watkins

Watkins recently graduated from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville where he received his B.S. in Construction Management. He spent the summer working as an intern for S. M. Wilson on an apartment complex project

Schmitt holds an Associates in Applied Science – Construction Management Technology from Southwestern Illinois College with 10 years of construction experience. He also worked as an intern and co-op for S. M. Wilson on the Ladue Horton Watkins High School project.

Mary Anderson

Echele and Anderson will be responsible for helping establish procedures with the design professionals, consultants and Owner of projects for information flow, approvals, meetings and reporting. They will also track shop drawings, submittals, material deliveries and RFIs through the duration of projects and assist the Project Manager with MBE/WBE participation and workforce inclusion. Anderson rejoins S. M. Wilson with four years construction experience. She holds a B.S. in Construction Management from Southeast Missouri State University and is OSHA 30 certified.

Emily Eschele

Echele recently graduated from Missouri S&T where she received her B.S. in Civil/Architectural Engineering. She also worked for S. M. Wilson on an apartment complex project as an intern over the summer.

S.M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For more information, visit

KAI announces the appointment of Matt Westphal as President of KAI Design and KAI Engineering

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CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. announced in January that KAI had undergone a corporate restructuring as parent company KAI Enterprises with four new subsidiaries—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services (KAI 360 CS)—each with its own president. Darren L. James, AIA, a shareholder with the firm since 2010, transitioned to President of KAI Enterprises, overseeing the holding company.

“Matt was an excellent candidate for this new position,” said James. “His previous work experience combined with his attention to detail and his strong leadership skills were exactly what we needed to lead the new KAI Design and KAI Engineering.”

Westphal is responsible for leading, managing and maintaining accountability for the KAI Design and KAI Engineering companies. To enhance KAI’s multi-office approach to executing work, Westphal will travel between offices in Atlanta, Dallas and St. Louis.

“I am thrilled to be appointed to this new dual position at KAI,” said Westphal. “This is an exciting time for the company, with the restructuring and the rebrand. I am really proud to be playing a key role in KAI’s efforts as they continue to grow.”

Planning, programming, and architectural and interior design services are now exclusively channeled through KAI Design. Under the new restructure, KAI Design will focus on providing design services at all KAI office locations throughout the U.S.

In addition to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing & Fire Protection Engineering Design services, KAI Engineering is an industry leader in BIM technology, and its engineering professionals have decades of combined experience in project leadership, design execution and advanced engineering concepts on a wide variety of building types. Through the recent acquisition of Atlanta-based Dorsey Engineering, KAI expanded its reach, enabling greater opportunities in a prime engineering-focused role to owners, architects, federal and state government agencies, and design-build contractors nationwide.

Prior to joining KAI, Westphal was the President of Hospital Designers, Inc., a subsidiary of HBE. Over the past nine years, he successfully led a team of 100+ architects and engineers specializing in the design-build of healthcare projects across the United States.

“Matt brings a unique set of skills to KAI, including executive and project leadership, operational excellence and structural engineering experience,” said Michael Hein, AIA, PMP, COO of KAI Enterprises. “We are excited to have him as part of our team.”

Westphal has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an Emphasis on Structures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.



HOK Named Among World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company

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HOK earned the No. 3 spot on Fast Company’s 2019 most innovative architecture firms list “for embracing parametric modeling to build the unbuildable.” 

Fast Company magazine selected global design firm HOK as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.  The list honors businesses making a significant impact on both industry and culture. Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out businesses across 35 industries and every region, as well as judged nominations received through an application process.

The accolade recognizes HOK’s engineering team, which developed a parametric modeling and optimization tool called HOK STREAM™ that dramatically speeds up the design process. This tool combines several modeling and structural analysis programs and processes to generate a single, streamlined solution for optimizing a structure across multiple disciplines and based on expertise specific to that project type.

“We’re committed to continually pursuing innovative ways to advance our design processes and the solutions we create for cities, communities and people,” said Margaret McDonald, LEED AP, senior principal for HOK’s St. Louis practice. “Fast Company’s recognition of HOK’s commitment to innovation through the development of our proprietary design tool STREAM is a nod to the culture we’ve worked hard to build. It’s a culture where exploration and discovery are encouraged and where creativity is leveraged to benefit our clients.”

Excerpted from Fast Company:

A few years ago, HOK’s in-house structural engineers developed a proprietary design tool called HOK STREAM, which uses parametric model and structural analysis to vet architectural ideas and quickly gauge whether they can feasibly be built. The process has allowed HOK to design “buildings thought unbuildable,” as the firm describes it. Case in point: For the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, HOK designed two 900-foot-long, translucent canopies over a terminal to shield passengers from inclement weather. STREAM allowed the six-person design team to generate more than 500 design options, then whittle down the list, in just three weeks. A conventional design process would’ve required 100 people working for three months. The first canopy was completed in 2018.

Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March-April 2019) is now available online at and will be on newsstands beginning February 27th.

HOK designs buildings and spaces that respond to the needs of people and the environment. HOK designers are rooted in technical excellence, driven by imagination and focused on a solitary goal: to deliver solutions that inspire clients and communities.


ZOOM Solar-Powered Gulf Gas Station, Convenience Store and Car Wash Opens in NorthSide Regeneration Development

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Unique Convenience Store Offers Chef-Inspired, Healthy Meals and Locally Sourced Produce

It’s an exciting time in north St. Louis City. Along with the multibillion-dollar National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) project proceeding and new residential homes being built, St. Louis Grocery Group has opened the ZOOM Gulf gas station and C-Store at 1300 N. Tucker Blvd. An official grand opening celebration is scheduled for mid-April.

“NorthSide Regeneration’s vision is to create a healthier, more vibrant community in north St. Louis City,” said NorthSide Regeneration developer Paul McKee, Jr. “We have identified five economic and social deserts within this underserved area of St. Louis City that include health, food, jobs, digital divide and safety. Our proposed NorthSide Regeneration development is working to address these areas, with ZOOM being the first. ZOOM is powered by solar energy, plus it brings farm fresh healthy food options and more than a dozen full- and part-time jobs to the area. Additionally, ZOOM’s construction generated several construction jobs that exceeded the city’s minority participation requirements on the project in both contractors and boots on the ground working.”

In addition to the typical products sold at most convenience stores, ZOOM also offers farm fresh produce and local artisan products provided by St. Louis area entrepreneurs and Good Natured Family Farms, an alliance made up of 150 family farms located in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Initial locally-sourced food offerings at ZOOM include a variety of jams, jellies and pickled items from Blackberry Hill Farms in Rich Hill, MO and honey from Hawley Honey Bee Farm in Iola, KS.

ZOOM also sells seasonal items and holiday gift baskets, plus healthy meals-on-the-go such as pizzas, sandwiches, salads and wraps made fresh in ZOOM’s GoCafé by Executive Chef Philip Kurrus and his staff. Chef Kurrus brings nearly 30 years of foodservice and hospitality experience to ZOOM. He previously served in a variety of positions ranging from Executive Chef to Kitchen Manager. Chef Kurrus earned his Associates in Culinary Arts degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT and interned under Todd English at Michaela’s in Cambridge, MA and with Marcel Keraval at Café de France in St. Louis, MO.

Another first for the St. Louis area, with the support of Ameren electric, ZOOM’s unconventional-looking canopy over its gas pumps supports a state-of-the-art, two-way solar panel system capable of producing 109,000 kWh of electricity annually – enough to power most of the gas station, convenience store and car wash.

Manufactured by Prism Solar Technologies, the glass-on-glass solar panels are capable of generating 35% more energy per watt than traditional modules through its use of advanced bifacial N-type silicon cell technology that can generate electricity on both its front and back surfaces. The panels also offer exceptional performance in low light conditions due to the additional energy produced by its back surface, which allows ZOOM to maximize its solar investment.

ZOOM’s high-tech solar panel system is expected to produce energy equivalent to 216,208 lifetime gallons of gasoline not consumed, 2,014 new trees planted each year, 722 lifetime tons of recycled waste and a lifetime of 438 cars taken off the road, all consistent with NorthSide Regeneration’s commitment to sustainability.

ZOOM is open Monday through Sunday, 5 a.m. to midnight. For more information, coupons and other news about ZOOM, visit

About NorthSide Regeneration St. Louis

NorthSide Regeneration (NSR) is a mixed-use community development – a self-sustaining neighborhood of people, cultures, economic opportunity, safety and education with the infrastructure and growth to support key, necessary services for the community. The original development encompasses over 1,500 acres and borders downtown St. Louis. Jobs have always been the primary motivator for NSR with a goal of more than 43,000 construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs generated by the development’s activity.

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