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KAI Design & Build Announces Acquisition of 51-year-old Volk Construction Company

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KAI Design & Build Announces Acquisition of 51-year-old Volk Construction Company 

KAI Design & Build announces that it has acquired St. Louis-based Volk Construction Company, effective Oct. 1, 2018. The acquisition provides KAI’s clients with a greater pool of construction expertise and talent, and Volk’s clients with a greater depth of integrated design and construction solutions.

“Volk Construction Company has earned a reputation in St. Louis for treating subcontractors and owners fairly and equitably. Their dedication to quality workmanship, ethics and safety is unsurpassed in the industry, and we couldn’t be prouder to have acquired such a reputable and well-respected general contractor to join our team,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. “Each of our great companies bring complementary strengths that combine to a sum much greater than our individual parts.”

Since 1967, Volk Construction has provided construction management, design-build, renovation and general contracting services to a variety of public and private sector clients in the St. Louis marketplace. Over the course of its history, Volk Construction has served hundreds of clients and worked on thousands of projects in the healthcare, commercial, institutional, industrial and financial industries. Some of the significant projects that Volk Construction has been a part of include:

  • Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology Clinical Center for Imaging Research
  • Washington University School of Medicine Genome Sequencing Data Center
  • Cooper Bussmann Headquarters
  • Christian Hospital Northeast Emergency Department Renovation
  • Audubon Center at Riverlands
  • Washington University Danforth Campus Busch and Wilson Hall Renovation
  • Christian Hospital Northeast Kitchen Renovation
  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 6th Floor Renovation
  • Veterans Honor Park Memorial
  • YMCA Trout Lodge Renovation

Founder R. David Volk, Sr. worked in the construction industry for over 20 years before starting Volk Construction Company 51 years ago. His son, David Volk, Jr., became the company’s president in 1995 after working over 40 years in a variety positions at his dad’s company.

Volk Construction Company will complete current contractual commitments with its owners, subcontractors and suppliers. All new opportunities as of October 2018 will move forward as KAI Design & Build.

“Over the last several years, the A/E/C industry has evolved dramatically with innovative technologies, enhanced means and methods, and greater collaboration with customers, staff, architects and engineers, subcontractors and suppliers. In short, our industry has become much more efficient. This modern model of efficiency and collaboration is exactly what has driven Volk to become part of KAI Design & Build. The combination of Volk’s heritage and commitment to St. Louis combined with KAI’s progressive approach to collaborative design and construction solutions aligns perfectly and will create a powerful platform to meet the evolving needs of our industry and national customer base,” said Volk, Jr. “My daughter Melanie Volk and I, along with our other team leaders are very excited about the future with KAI.”

Photo Above: KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. stands between David Volk, Jr. and Melanie Volk.

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

Building Careers

in Homepage Primary/People

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

Mary Weidenbenner Receives SHRM-SCP Accreditation

Mary Weidenbenner

Highly distinguished HR credential sets NewGround apart in competitive market

NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential architecture, design, and delivery firm, recently celebrated Mary Weidenbenner, Vice President of Human Resources, as she earned her SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) accreditation from the Society for Human Resource Management.

The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™) is the foundation for this certification. The SHRM BoCK organizes eight behavioral competencies into three clusters: Leadership (Leadership & Navigation, Ethical Practice), Interpersonal (Relationship Management, Communication, Global & Cultural Effectiveness), and Business (Business Acumen, Consultation, Critical Evaluation).

Human resource (HR) professionals who develop strategies, lead the HR department, influence the community, analyze performance data, and align HR strategies with organizational goals are eligible to take this highly distinguished exam.

“Receiving my SHRM-SCP accreditation was an important accomplishment in my HR career here at NewGround, and this strategic competency-based certification will also give us a more competitive edge to attract and retain top talent,” said Mary Weidenbenner, Vice President of Human Resources.

Earning this credential sets HR professionals apart from their colleagues and keeps organizations more competitive in today’s economy. SHRM certification is the only HR accreditation offered by the world’s largest HR membership organization.

“We are so proud of Mary in her achievement earning the SHRM-SCP accreditation,” said Kevin Blair, President and CEO. “Mary’s hard work and determination to achieve this highly distinguished goal really paid off, and we would love to congratulate her on reaching her goal.”

NewGround is an international, award-winning architecture, design, and delivery firm, providing dynamic, experiential, market-driven environments. For more information, visit NewGround at www.newground.com.

Tamika Cain-Proctor joins Kwame Building Group as Vice President

Tamika Cain-Proctor

Tamika Cain-Proctor has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc., as Vice President. She will oversee KWAME’s infrastructure construction projects, including aviation, tunnel, light rail and roads. With experience on LEED-certified projects, Cain-Proctor brings added value in the areas of site and safety inspections, quality control and cost engineering.

Cain-Proctor has more than 18 years of experience in construction project management and engineering. She holds a Master of Science in Structural/Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Architecture.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. For more information, visitwww.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

November 2, 2018

KAI Hires Dan Forguson as Vice President of Finance 

Dan Forguson

KAI Design & Build proudly announces the addition of Dan Forguson of Columbia, Illinois as Vice President of Finance.

In his new role, Forguson reports to the CFO and is responsible for providing enterprise leadership in the areas of financial planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions, and project controls.

“As KAI continues to experience both organic and acquisitive growth, we are placing a high priority in the area of business analytics,” said Forguson. “We are making strategic investments in talent and ERP enhancements in order to maintain a pulse on our business and to ensure that we are growing profitably.”

Forguson has 10 years of experience in the AEC industry, having previously held the title of Regional Project Controls Director at Jacobs in St. Louis. Forguson has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and his MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He is currently working on a master’s degree in accounting at DePaul University – Chicago, and he is a member of the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE).

“With his depth of experience in corporate financial management within the architecture and engineering industry, Dan brings his knowledge and skills with mergers and acquisitions, business analytics, forecasting and project controls,” said Michael Hein, AIA, PMP, Chief Operating Officer at KAI. “Dan will also be helping us define the right metrics for our internal scorecard allowing us to monitor our business on a weekly basis.”

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

NewGround Promotes Javier Fernandez to Construction Manager

The new role will serve multiple clients across the U.S.

Javier Fernandez

NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential architecture, design, and delivery firm, recently celebrated the promotion of Javier Fernandez to the role of Construction Manager. Javier will be responsible for providing leadership and managing a multitude of construction projects, with a primary focus on Chartway Federal Credit Union (FCU).

Prior to his new role, Javier joined NewGround in 2015 and served as Project Manager on numerous projects throughout the U.S., including Chartway FCU, ESB Financial, Visions FCU, Union Savings Bank, and DATCU.

Javier brings an impressive skill set with excellent client relations and high-quality construction projects to succeed in his new role.

With more than 12 years of experience in the architecture field and 10 years serving as a project manager, Javier has worked in various construction ranks building projects for clients in the New York City and Long Island areas.

“Javier’s work always reflects our core values of quality, teamwork, dedication, and integrity, and I am confident that his construction leadership experience will help him continue to deliver successful projects for our clients at NewGround for years to come,” said Chip Nix, Senior Vice President of Build Operations.

Javier holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology from the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, N.Y.

NewGround is an international, award-winning architecture, design, and delivery firm, providing dynamic, experiential, market-driven environments. Over the last century, NewGround has completed more than 15,000 projects throughout the USA, Canada and in the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NewGround at www.newground.com.

Oculus Inc. Adds to Administrative Team

Architecture and interior design firm brings two new hires to headquarters

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, is growing its administration team with the additions of Amber Wendler and Taylor Wells. Both Wendler and Wells will be based out of the firm’s St. Louis corporate headquarters.

“As Oculus Inc. continues to grow its business, we need a strong support team in order for us to meet our clients’ expectations and bring our work to new levels,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president. “We are excited to have Amber and Taylor on board to help us meet our goals.”

Wendler comes to Oculus Inc. with more than 20 years of administrative experience. She most recently served as an accounting associate for Agency for Community Transit, based in Granite City, Ill. She has also worked for ITP Corporation for the Boeing Company and Helmkamp Construction Company, both located in the St. Louis metro area.

Wells brings seven years of professional experience to Oculus Inc., most recently coming from Hoefert Law in Alton, Ill. She possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.

Outside of its headquarters in St. Louis, Oculus has offices in Dallas and Portland, Ore.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior, planning and move management services that support business change and promote business value. Founded in 1994, Oculus creates high-performance design for clients in the retail, commercial, restaurant, education, government and healthcare industries. For more information, visit oculusinc.com.

October 26, 2018

Oculus Inc. Grows Staff in St. Louis and Dallas Markets

New hires will support architectural services to retail, hospitality and government industries

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Jack Bowe, Justin Kanturek and Lavell Johnson II to serve the retail, hospitality and government industries from its St. Louis and Dallas offices.

“We are very excited about the additions of Jack, Lavell and Justin,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president. “As Oculus continues to evolve in the architectural and interior design industry, we require a team with diverse backgrounds and unique skillsets. Jack, Justin and Lavell will be instrumental in helping us continue to develop state-of the-art work for our national and international clients.”

Bowe joins Oculus Inc. as a project manager and brings a comprehensive architectural design and consulting services background with specialization in complex commercial and restaurant design. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Bowe worked as an independent architectural contractor for projects including the Shaw Burger Station, a competing proposal for the Forest Park Boathouse, and Elmwood Restaurant in the St. Louis-area. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Kanturek also joins Oculus Inc. as a project designer for the St. Louis office, previously working on the Creve Coeur Park Soccer Complex and Weber Workforce Center.  Kanturek also served as an adjunct Teacher at Lewis & Clark Community College. He has a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois and is on schedule to complete his Master of Architecture degree from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in December.

Named a project designer for the firm’s Dallas office, Johnson II brings seven years of professional experience to Oculus Inc., most recently as a designer of residential and commercial roof and floor systems and retail layouts. He has a Master of Architecture with an emphasis in Urban Design, plus a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior, planning and move management services that support business change and promote business value. For more information, visit oculusinc.com.

Karlos Ramirez Joins Midwest BankCentre’s Legal Board of Directors

Karlos Ramirez

Karlos Ramirez, president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre legal board of directors.

As leader of the Hispanic Chamber since 2011, he works to promote business opportunities for Hispanic-owned firms and professionals and to drive economic development in the region. Earlier in his career, he was director of the University Center and conference services at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Ramirez chairs the board of directors for the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, which oversees economic development efforts in St. Louis City and County. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ill., and his master’s degree in educational administration at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. He is a member of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Veiled Prophet and Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, a Latino-based fraternity with a multicultural membership.

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, ranks among St. Louis’ largest locally owned banks with assets of about $1.9 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion. It provides integrated financial services with expertise in commercial, retail and digital banking; business cash management; mortgage lending; consumer lending; and insurance.

Monica Pangaribuan Passes Hawai’i Contractors License Exam

Monica Pangaribuan

NewGround employee meets state requirement for local licensing

NewGround, a St. Louis-based design and delivery firm, recently celebrated Monica Pangaribuan, who successfully passed the Hawai’i Contractors Exam. The state of Hawai’i requires a licensed Responsible Managing Employee (RME) as well as a local, on-island RME. This enables Monica to serve as NewGround’s RME for projects in Hawai’i.

As Project Manager for NewGround, Monica provides direct management of production and schedule milestones, project goals, quality control, and job site safety. Monica also inspects and reviews the construction process to enforce compliance with plans, specifications, building, and safety codes. Bringing nearly 14 years of experience as a Project Manager or Project Engineer, Monica has served at numerous companies, including Bow Construction Management Services, Collawn Building Services, Lendlease, and Kitchell CEM, Nan Inc.

In addition to her recent RME certification, Monica holds certifications in Construction Quality Management for Contractors for the USA Corps of Engineers, Asbestos Awareness, OSHA 30, ACI, and First Aid/CPR.

“We are extremely proud of Monica and glad to have her on our team,” said Chip Nix, Senior Vice President of Build Operations. “NewGround looks forward to the many great things yet to come in Hawai’i with Monica supporting our efforts.”

About NewGround NewGround is an award winning international design and delivery firm that creates custom, brandinfused, experiential environments that accelerate client growth and performance. Over the last century, NewGround has completed more than 15,000 projects throughout the USA, Canada and in the United Kingdom. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, NewGround maintains corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Toronto, Ontario, with a regional presence throughout the US. For more information, visit NewGround at www.newground.com.

Edwardsville Construction Tops $122 Million With 2 Months Remaining

in Homepage Primary/News

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE 

With 60 days left on the calendar, the City of Edwardsville can already say 2018 has been a record-breaking year with regard to commercial and residential construction dollars being pumped into the Metro East community.

Year-to-date figures for the first 10 months of 2018 indicate that construction projects breaking ground in Edwardsville thus far this year total a whopping $122.6 million, a 19.2 percent increase over all of 2017.

“We have another two months to go, and we’re anticipating another $15 million of construction projects coming through in additional permits,” said Walter Williams, director of economic and community development for the city. “This is our best year yet in terms of the number of construction dollars being invested in our community.”

Edwardsville-based Contegra Construction and Highland-based Plocher Construction are leading the way in new commercial construction projects this year, according to Williams.

New Poag Richland Residential Project

Among Contegra’s 2018 projects are the New Poag Richland Residential Project, a $20 million, 9-building, 486-bed housing community on a 15-acre site very near Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Timberlake Village, a $3.2 million retail center along Illinois Route 157 that features Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse.

Plocher Construction’s 2018 work in Edwardsville includes Edwardsville Town Center, a mixed-use development spanning 26 acres at Route 157 and Governors’ Parkway, directly across from SIUE. The $35 million, 75,000-square-foot-plus project will also feature residential apartments with multiple outlots for future tenants.

Williams said that in all of 2017, new construction dollars permitted by the City of Edwardsville totaled $102.8 million.

The Korte Company Earns USPS Supplier Excellence Award

in Companies/News

Agency recognizes completion of distribution center six months ahead of schedule 

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that The Korte Company is among five nationwide firms honored with Supplier Excellence Awards for the 2017 fiscal year, and the only Design-Build facility contractor included among the awardees.

“The Korte Company is very thankful for this award. It is an acknowledgement of a mutually beneficial strategic partnership between The Korte Company and the USPS that spans almost 40 years,” said Michael L. Tubbs, Executive Vice President and Project Executive for The Korte Company. “The USPS and Korte have together delivered the best-quality, best-value projects with superior design. We look forward to our future together.”

The award was given based on successful completion of the construction of an 818,000-square-foot Processing and Distribution Center in Portland, Oregon. The facility, which also includes 29,000 square feet of vehicle maintenance space, sits on 43 acres of reclaimed land adjacent to the city’s main airport.

Despite one of the worst winters on record, construction teams stuck to an aggressive schedule and finished the distribution center six months ahead of schedule. That helped the USPS realize overall operations cost savings.

Supplier Excellence Awards recognize Postal Service suppliers “that have demonstrated exemplary contract performance, innovation and supply chain integration, or played a significant role in helping the Postal Service reduce costs or achieve other strategic objectives.”

According to USPS Supply Management Vice President Susan M. Brownwell, the awards give the USPS “the opportunity to acknowledge—and celebrate—the contributions of our top-performing suppliers.”

“The focus that these suppliers have placed on performance, communication, innovation and continuous improvement has been instrumental in helping the Postal Service deliver high quality service to our customers,” Brownwell said.

Founded by Ralph Korte in Highland, Illinois in 1958, The Korte Company is a national leader in Design-Build construction and founding member of the Design-Build Institute of America. In addition to its Highland, Illinois headquarters, The Korte Company has satellite offices in St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Erik Kocher and Dan Sullivan to Speak at Athletic Business Show in New Orleans

in News/People
Erik Kocher

Design Principal, Erik Kocher, and Project Architect, Dan Sullivan, have been invited to speak at the Athletic Business Conference, November 7-10 in New Orleans. The conference is a solution-focused event for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals offering the latest trends and innovations from industry experts.

Dan Sullivan

Erik and Dan’s presentation, “Master Planning Collegiate Recreation Facilities: The Foundation to a Successful Programming and Feasibility Study” will be a start-to-finish discussion on how to develop a successful collegiate recreation facility master plan.

In this session, attendees will learn how to:

  • Determine what steps are involved in a facilities master plan.
  • Identify what master plans cost, how long they take to complete and who should participate in the process.
  • Recognize some of the limitations, missteps and political bomb shells that can be a part of the master planning process.

Additionally, Erik will be part of a panel session during the conference called, “Fad or Fixture? Innovations in College and Community Recreation and Aquatic Center Design and Programming.” The panel of experts will discuss new innovations and technologies in recreation and aquatics facilities, and whether they are fads or fixtures.

Erik has been involved in the design and construction of more than 130 collegiate sports, recreation and wellness facilities and 70 community center projects across the country. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences and has been a juror five times for Athletic Business’ Facility of Merit Awards.

Dan is a passionate sports designer. Creating transformative spaces for students and athletes drives his design process.

For more information about the conference, click here.

Building Careers

in Homepage Primary/People

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

KAI Hires Dan Forguson as Vice President of Finance 

Dan Forguson

KAI Design & Build proudly announces the addition of Dan Forguson of Columbia, Illinois as Vice President of Finance.

In his new role, Forguson reports to the CFO and is responsible for providing enterprise leadership in the areas of financial planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions, and project controls.

“As KAI continues to experience both organic and acquisitive growth, we are placing a high priority in the area of business analytics,” said Forguson. “We are making strategic investments in talent and ERP enhancements in order to maintain a pulse on our business and to ensure that we are growing profitably.”

Forguson has 10 years of experience in the AEC industry, having previously held the title of Regional Project Controls Director at Jacobs in St. Louis. Forguson has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and his MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He is currently working on a master’s degree in accounting at DePaul University – Chicago, and he is a member of the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE).

“With his depth of experience in corporate financial management within the architecture and engineering industry, Dan brings his knowledge and skills with mergers and acquisitions, business analytics, forecasting and project controls,” said Michael Hein, AIA, PMP, Chief Operating Officer at KAI. “Dan will also be helping us define the right metrics for our internal scorecard allowing us to monitor our business on a weekly basis.”

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

NewGround Promotes Javier Fernandez to Construction Manager

The new role will serve multiple clients across the U.S.

Javier Fernandez

NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential architecture, design, and delivery firm, recently celebrated the promotion of Javier Fernandez to the role of Construction Manager. Javier will be responsible for providing leadership and managing a multitude of construction projects, with a primary focus on Chartway Federal Credit Union (FCU).

Prior to his new role, Javier joined NewGround in 2015 and served as Project Manager on numerous projects throughout the U.S., including Chartway FCU, ESB Financial, Visions FCU, Union Savings Bank, and DATCU.

Javier brings an impressive skill set with excellent client relations and high-quality construction projects to succeed in his new role.

With more than 12 years of experience in the architecture field and 10 years serving as a project manager, Javier has worked in various construction ranks building projects for clients in the New York City and Long Island areas.

“Javier’s work always reflects our core values of quality, teamwork, dedication, and integrity, and I am confident that his construction leadership experience will help him continue to deliver successful projects for our clients at NewGround for years to come,” said Chip Nix, Senior Vice President of Build Operations.

Javier holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology from the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, N.Y.

NewGround is an international, award-winning architecture, design, and delivery firm, providing dynamic, experiential, market-driven environments. Over the last century, NewGround has completed more than 15,000 projects throughout the USA, Canada and in the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NewGround at www.newground.com.

Oculus Inc. Adds to Administrative Team

Architecture and interior design firm brings two new hires to headquarters

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, is growing its administration team with the additions of Amber Wendler and Taylor Wells. Both Wendler and Wells will be based out of the firm’s St. Louis corporate headquarters.

“As Oculus Inc. continues to grow its business, we need a strong support team in order for us to meet our clients’ expectations and bring our work to new levels,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president. “We are excited to have Amber and Taylor on board to help us meet our goals.”

Wendler comes to Oculus Inc. with more than 20 years of administrative experience. She most recently served as an accounting associate for Agency for Community Transit, based in Granite City, Ill. She has also worked for ITP Corporation for the Boeing Company and Helmkamp Construction Company, both located in the St. Louis metro area.

Wells brings seven years of professional experience to Oculus Inc., most recently coming from Hoefert Law in Alton, Ill. She possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.

Outside of its headquarters in St. Louis, Oculus has offices in Dallas and Portland, Ore.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior, planning and move management services that support business change and promote business value. Founded in 1994, Oculus creates high-performance design for clients in the retail, commercial, restaurant, education, government and healthcare industries. For more information, visit oculusinc.com.

October 26, 2018

Oculus Inc. Grows Staff in St. Louis and Dallas Markets

New hires will support architectural services to retail, hospitality and government industries

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Jack Bowe, Justin Kanturek and Lavell Johnson II to serve the retail, hospitality and government industries from its St. Louis and Dallas offices.

“We are very excited about the additions of Jack, Lavell and Justin,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president. “As Oculus continues to evolve in the architectural and interior design industry, we require a team with diverse backgrounds and unique skillsets. Jack, Justin and Lavell will be instrumental in helping us continue to develop state-of the-art work for our national and international clients.”

Bowe joins Oculus Inc. as a project manager and brings a comprehensive architectural design and consulting services background with specialization in complex commercial and restaurant design. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Bowe worked as an independent architectural contractor for projects including the Shaw Burger Station, a competing proposal for the Forest Park Boathouse, and Elmwood Restaurant in the St. Louis-area. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Kanturek also joins Oculus Inc. as a project designer for the St. Louis office, previously working on the Creve Coeur Park Soccer Complex and Weber Workforce Center.  Kanturek also served as an adjunct Teacher at Lewis & Clark Community College. He has a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois and is on schedule to complete his Master of Architecture degree from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in December.

Named a project designer for the firm’s Dallas office, Johnson II brings seven years of professional experience to Oculus Inc., most recently as a designer of residential and commercial roof and floor systems and retail layouts. He has a Master of Architecture with an emphasis in Urban Design, plus a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior, planning and move management services that support business change and promote business value. For more information, visit oculusinc.com.

Karlos Ramirez Joins Midwest BankCentre’s Legal Board of Directors

Karlos Ramirez

Karlos Ramirez, president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre legal board of directors.

As leader of the Hispanic Chamber since 2011, he works to promote business opportunities for Hispanic-owned firms and professionals and to drive economic development in the region. Earlier in his career, he was director of the University Center and conference services at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Ramirez chairs the board of directors for the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, which oversees economic development efforts in St. Louis City and County. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ill., and his master’s degree in educational administration at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. He is a member of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Veiled Prophet and Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, a Latino-based fraternity with a multicultural membership.

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, ranks among St. Louis’ largest locally owned banks with assets of about $1.9 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion. It provides integrated financial services with expertise in commercial, retail and digital banking; business cash management; mortgage lending; consumer lending; and insurance.

Monica Pangaribuan Passes Hawai’i Contractors License Exam

Monica Pangaribuan

NewGround employee meets state requirement for local licensing

NewGround, a St. Louis-based design and delivery firm, recently celebrated Monica Pangaribuan, who successfully passed the Hawai’i Contractors Exam. The state of Hawai’i requires a licensed Responsible Managing Employee (RME) as well as a local, on-island RME. This enables Monica to serve as NewGround’s RME for projects in Hawai’i.

As Project Manager for NewGround, Monica provides direct management of production and schedule milestones, project goals, quality control, and job site safety. Monica also inspects and reviews the construction process to enforce compliance with plans, specifications, building, and safety codes. Bringing nearly 14 years of experience as a Project Manager or Project Engineer, Monica has served at numerous companies, including Bow Construction Management Services, Collawn Building Services, Lendlease, and Kitchell CEM, Nan Inc.

In addition to her recent RME certification, Monica holds certifications in Construction Quality Management for Contractors for the USA Corps of Engineers, Asbestos Awareness, OSHA 30, ACI, and First Aid/CPR.

“We are extremely proud of Monica and glad to have her on our team,” said Chip Nix, Senior Vice President of Build Operations. “NewGround looks forward to the many great things yet to come in Hawai’i with Monica supporting our efforts.”

About NewGround NewGround is an award winning international design and delivery firm that creates custom, brandinfused, experiential environments that accelerate client growth and performance. Over the last century, NewGround has completed more than 15,000 projects throughout the USA, Canada and in the United Kingdom. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, NewGround maintains corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Toronto, Ontario, with a regional presence throughout the US. For more information, visit NewGround at www.newground.com.

October 19, 2018

New Hires at S. M. Wilson

Jake Fenster

S. M. Wilson & Co., has hired Jacob Fenster as an Estimator, Janell Lanahan as a Job Accountant/Project Assistant, Gary Parker as a Project Engineer, Ryan Brockmann as Assistant Project Manager and Patrick Aylesworth as Project Manager.

Fenster will be responsible for assembling cost estimates and developing constructability reviews and value engineering studies for construction projects. He holds a BS in Technology Management with a dual Major in Construction Management and Design and Facilities Management and Sustainability from Southeast Missouri State University.

Janell Lanahan

Lanahan is S. M. Wilson’s new Job Accountant/Project Assistant. She graduated from Hickey College and has 17 years construction experience.

Gary Parker

Parker will be responsible for helping establish procedures with the design professionals, consultants and Owner of projects for information flow, approvals

meetings and reporting. He 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. Parker joins S. M. Wilson with 19 years construction experience.

Ryan Brockmann

Brockmann joins S. M. Wilson with 13 years construction experience. He will be responsible for helping establish procedures with the design professionals, consultants and Owner of projects for information flow, approvals, meetings and reporting. He 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. Brockmann holds a BA in Finance from Missouri State.

Aylesworth, a LEED Green Associate, 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. Aylesworth has a background in Virtual Design & Construction and holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State.

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

Nonyameko H. Waddell joins Kwame Building Group as Vice President

Nonyameko H. Waddell

Nonyameko H. Waddell has joined KWAME Building Group, Inc., as vice president, bringing construction management, legal and real estate development experience to the position.  Waddell will oversee Kwame’s healthcare and higher education construction management projects, and will lead the firm’s pre-construction services.

Waddell has more than nine years of experience in project management and commercial real estate development.  She holds a Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Southern Polytechnic State University.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. For more information, visitwww.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

Rob Koester Named Executive VP & CFO for Murphy Company

Rob Koester

Rob Koester, CPA, has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer for Murphy Company, the area’s largest mechanical contractor and engineering firm. The announcement was made by Patrick J. Murphy, Jr., president and chief executive officer.

Koester joined Murphy Co. in 2003 and has served as CFO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Truman State University and began his accounting career with Deloitte.

In making the announcement, Patrick Murphy, Jr.  noted that Koester has shown tremendous financial acumen and strategic thought leadership and has taken on additional responsibilities.

“Rob has worked diligently to ensure Murphy is always in the soundest of financial positions to tackle multiple large projects and, when necessary, to weather any temporary downturns in the construction cycle,” said Murphy.

Koester oversees Murphy’s accounting, finance, human resources, IT, risk management, procurement and facilities departments.  Under Koester’s leadership Murphy has implemented numerous best practices in these areas that have helped support the company’s growth over the past 15 years.    During Koester’s tenure with Murphy he played an instrumental role in the successful implementation of Murphy’s ERP system, development of a robust employee wellness program and continued investment in leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art data and communications systems.  Murphy has also significantly expanded talent and resources in those key areas under Rob’s leadership.

Outside of Murphy, Koester serves on the boards of SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, American Contractors Insurance Group and St. Clair Stars Baseball Club. Koester is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  For more information, visit www.murphynet.com. 

Skaggs Named COO of Missouri Operations for Murphy Company

Tom Skaggs

Thomas C. Skaggs has been named chief operating officer of Missouri Operations for Murphy Company, the area’s largest mechanical contractor and engineering firm. The announcement was made by Patrick J. Murphy, Jr., president and chief executive officer.

Skaggs has been a member of the Murphy team for more than 25 years, serving as vice president of operations since 2014. He recently led the Missouri Operations Group through a realignment of resources.  Earlier, he oversaw the company’s safety program for two decades, building Murphy Co.’s training program and establishing an enviable record for safety performance.  He also started and served as general manager, then COO, of QualSafe Solutions, a subsidiary division of Murphy Co. that provides safety related services to owners and other contractors.

Skaggs has been active on an industry national level, serving for over a decade as a past chairman of the National Safety and Health Committee for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), which represents approximately 2,600 firms.  Locally, he serves on the board of directors for the MCA of Eastern Missouri.

“Tom’s leadership to streamline Missouri operations and expand our safety programs while also maintaining high-quality standards has been a tremendous asset,” commented Patrick Murphy, Jr.  “I’m delighted to have him take on this expanded role for the company.”

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For more information, visit www.murphynet.com.

Manor Real Estate Hires Director of Acquisitions Adam Brandvein to Represent Residential Real Estate Buyers & Sellers

Adam Brandvein

Manor Real Estate, a locally-owned real estate company, recently hired Adam Brandvein as Director of Acquisitions.  In this position, Brandvein will source and negotiate acquisition opportunities for both single-family and multi-family properties.  He will identify and research target property markets that align with Manor Real Estate’s ongoing growth and brand objectives.

Prior to joining the company, Brandvein worked as a Commercial Loan Analyst for a national residential finance company.  He previously served as a Transaction Manager for a global real estate services business.

Brandvein is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in Missouri.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

“Adam will be instrumental in researching and managing real estate opportunities for a wide array of residential buyers and sellers,” said Manor Real Estate Owner Don Cherry.  “His real estate background will truly be an asset to our company, and we look forward to his joining our team.”  Cherry added that “Adam will also be in charge of renting our company’s apartment buildings located in the popular University City and Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhoods.”

Founded in 1971, Manor Real Estate is a full-service firm that handles residential and commercial real estate, as well as apartment property rental.  The company is located at 3270 Hampton Ave.  For more information about Manor Real Estate, call (314) 647-6611 or visit http://www.manorrealestate.com.

October 12, 2018

Christina Dancy Joins Midwest BankCentre as Assistant Vice President and BankCentre Leader

Christina Dancy

Christina Dancy has joined Midwest BankCentre as assistant vice president and leader of the bank’s Pagedale branch. Midwest BankCentre Chairman and CEO Jim Watson made the announcement.

As branch leader, Dancy cultivates relationships with new and existing customers, fosters a positive work environment and focuses on branch growth. She also serves as a community liaison, providing financial education to area residents and business owners and by partnering with community organizations to help their members achieve their financial goals. Current partners include the Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce, Beyond Housing, Prosperity Connection, Grace Hill Women’s Business Center and the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Taskforce.

Prior to joining Midwest BankCentre, Dancy was assistant vice president at U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation.

Dancy earned her bachelor’s degree in public policy and administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her master’s degree in management and leadership at Webster University. She is a certified anti-money laundering compliance specialist (CAMS) and is an alumna of Focus St. Louis’ Diversity Leadership Fellowship

A 2018 recipient of the St. Louis American’s Salute to Young Leaders Award, she is a member of the Regional Business Council’s Young Professionals Network-Leadership 100.She serves as a board member of Dream Builders 4 Equity and previously served on the board of Lutheran Family & Children’s Services. Dancy also is a member of the Urban League Guild of Metropolitan St. Louis and the St. Louis Diversity and Inclusion Consortium. She supports the United Way of Greater St. Louis as a member of the Charmaine Chapman Leadership Society Cabinet.

Joe Dietz Promoted to Vice President, Order Development and Engineering at Winco Windows

Joe Dietz

Joe Dietz has been named Vice President, Order Development and Engineering at St. Louis based Winco Windows.

“Dietz is committed to streamlining and improving how Winco handles the order process and ensures quality control,” said Bill Krenn, Winco President and CFO.

As Vice President of Order Development and Engineering, Dietz will oversee estimating, design, shop drawings, paper fabrication and submittals. He is also responsible for Quality Control and Field Service.

Dietz has been with Winco for nine years. Dietz has a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing/Management. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

Kurtis Suellentrop Promoted to Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Winco Windows

Kurtis Suellentrop

Winco Windows, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural and heavy commercial aluminum windows sold across the United States, is pleased to announce the promotion of Kurtis Suellentrop, one of the company’s Leadership Team members to Vice President, Sales and Marketing.

“Kurtis has positively impacted our relationships with customers and architects,” said Bill Krenn, Winco President and CFO. “His creative approach to marketing, and sales can be directly linked to our steadily increasing business.”

As Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Suellentrop, will focus on securing new business opportunities and transforming how Winco markets itself. This will include independent, and corporate sales representatives, architectural relationship development, territory sales development, marketing, promotional, and brand development.

Suellentrop has been with Winco for 16 years. Prior to Sales and Marketing, Suellentrop managed Winco’s R&D program, including multi-threat systems encompassing psychiatric, dynamic, acoustic, thermal, tornado, and hurricane windows.

He graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla, earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in design and thermodynamics.

For more information, contact Winco Window Company at (314) 725.8088 or visit www.wincowindow.com.

Christie Brinkman Joins Castle Contracting as Business Development Manager

Christie Brinkman has joined Castle Contracting, LLC as business development manager. In this position, she focuses on building relationships with potential clients to understand their needs and deliver solutions to complex civil contracting challenges. Brinkman collaborates with internal teams to establish and execute growth strategies for target clients and markets. This includes supporting division leaders in identifying, qualifying, tracking, prioritizing and positioning pursuit opportunities to maximize success for the St. Louis-based civil contracting firm. Brinkman also represents Castle at industry events and within professional organizations.

Brinkman joined Castle with a wide range of relevant sales, marketing and business development experience. Most recently, she served as business development director at Horner & Shifrin, Inc., where she helped guide the 85-year-old engineering firm to achieve record revenues. Her experience also includes positions with a national educational resources company, a local MBE/DBE civil engineering firm, a regional healthcare system and an international consulting firm.

Brinkman earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration and international studies from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. She is active in several industry organizations, including Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC), Missouri Society for Healthcare Engineering (MOSHE), Urban Land Institute (ULI), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Construction Forum STL, American Public Works Association (APWA) and Missouri Association of County Transportation Officials (MACTO). 

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. 

October 5, 2018

St. Louis Community College Foundation Taps PARIC Vice President Hayes For Board of Directors

Howard Hayes

Howard Hayes, PARIC Corp. vice president of diversity and inclusion, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Community College Foundation. The role of the Foundation is to build awareness and understanding of the college while raising funds to help meet continuing financial needs of students and of the college. The Foundation is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization with assets of more than $8.5 million and an endowment of $3.5 million, according to Jo-Ann Digman, the Foundation’s executive director. “The STLCC Foundation has awarded almost $2 million in financial assistance to thousands of students,” Digman said. “We’re pleased to have Mr. Hayes working to help us meet the financial needs of students so they may successfully complete their program of studies and move into the work force as productive citizens.”

Hayes, in his role as PARIC vice president, is responsible for developing and executing initiatives to create and to foster open and inclusive work environments as well as supporting small, local, minority-owned and women-owned companies seeking to do business with PARIC. Before joining PARIC, Hayes worked for the St. Louis Development Corporation overseeing inclusion and workforce goals on large-scale projects including Ballpark Village, Cortex Innovation Center, Union Station and Scottrade Center. He earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration at St. Louis University and a Master of Business Administration at Webster University.

Established in 1979, PARIC specializes in commercial and interiors, education, healthcare, historic and urban redevelopment, hospitality and entertainment, municipal, science and technology, senior living and sports complexes. More information is at www.paric.com .

OCULUS INC. GROWS INTERIOR DESIGN STAFF

Architecture and interior design firm adds five new hires

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm headquartered in St. Louis, announces the addition of five new interior design staff members to the St. Louis and Portland offices. The new hires will better support the firm’s expanded design services in the hospitality, retail and healthcare markets.

Carolyn Fava

“As Oculus Inc. grows into new and more sophisticated markets, we are dedicated to adding strategic resources to provide our clients with high-end, truly innovative designs that eloquently communicate their message and brand through physical spaces,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. President. “These new, talented additions to the interior design team will strengthen Oculus’ capabilities and we’re thrilled to have them on board.”

Mallory Smith

Joining the St. Louis office are interior designers Carolyn Fava and Mallory Smith. Fava’s background includes an emphasis on green design, design-build and architecture. Smith previously worked as a Project Designer at Cushman & Wakefield. Also joining the St. Louis office is project designer Carlos Goldberg. Goldberg comes to the team after working as an interior architectural designer with a focus on senior living, hospitality and luxury residences.

Carlos Goldberg

The Portland office welcomes Jaime Merrill as interior designer. Merrill joins the staff with a residential interior design background.

Jamie Merrill

Oculus Inc. has made significant strides in the hospitality industry, most notably the recent acquisition of Staicoff Design Company in Portland, Ore. Oculus employs 50 professional architects, designers, and corporate staff in the St. Louis headquarters and the Dallas and Portland offices.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior, planning and move management services that support business change and promote business value. Founded in 1994, Oculus creates high-performance design for clients in the retail, commercial, restaurant, education, government and healthcare industries. For more information, visit oculusinc.com.

M+H Architects Announces Expansion of Ownership

Pictured L to R: Mark Hugeback, Justin Bruce, Mike Deane, Larry Valenza, and Larry Mitchell

M+H Architects announced earlier this week that they have expanded the company’s ownership to drive its ongoing mission and help their clients realize their goals by providing creative design solutions. M+H Architects will have three new Shareholders/Principals: Mike Deane, Larry Valenza, and Justin Bruce.

As the firm’s first Vice Presidents they will continue to advance the company vision through extended target markets and fostering client relationships.  “We want to continue our collective success and add in a fresh, vibrant attitude,” said Larry Mitchell, Principal and President of M+H Architects.  “We also want to create new opportunities for our staff regarding our approach to marketing, design and the execution of architecture. The new Shareholders are all great leaders and influencers with positive attitudes and proven track records. They are willing to challenge the status quo and inspire a future generation of leaders.”

M+H’s future will uphold its consistent philosophy of a transparent, focused, and responsive company.  “We will have additional and expanded opportunities for relationships and collaboration that will build a stronger organization to galvanize our momentum for the unfolding future of M+H,” said Mark Hugeback, Principal and Secretary/Treasurer of M+H Architects. “This announcement is just another step in our journey to structure M+H for future growth and continued success.”

Construction Safety Expert Joins Guarantee Electrical Company as Corporate Safety Director

Todd Cook

The executive management team at Guarantee Electrical Company (Guarantee) is excited to announce long-time construction safety veteran, Todd Cook, CSP has joined the company as Corporate Safety Director.  With nearly 20 years in safety program management, Todd will lead, organize and administer efforts of the Guarantee corporate health and safety programs including, jobsite safety inspections/evaluations; claims management; regulatory agency interaction, insurance programs; and fleet management.

Prior to joining Guarantee, Mr. Cook was the Director of Safety and Health for Thomas Industrial Coatings where he successfully developed, implemented and monitored the company’s safety, health, and training programs.  Additionally he has served in various safety roles for general contractors on many high profile transportation, power generation and heavy industrial projects during his 20 year career.

According to Rick Oertli, CEO Guarantee Electrical Company, “We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Todd’s leadership, experience and insights in bringing our already robust safety program to another level.  His experience working on projects for global construction companies as well as on private and public projects will help us to continue to be a nationwide leader in corporate safety.”

In addition to his B.S. Construction Management from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene from Montana Tech, Todd holds several other safety certifications including Certified Safety Professional (CSP).  Todd is also a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals, the American Hygiene Association, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

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Founded in 1902, St. Louis based Guarantee Electrical is consistently ranked among the largest electrical contractors in the United States. Its operations include branch offices in Granite City, IL. and Denver, CO, plus ongoing operations in California.   The company provides full-scope electrical contracting, including preconstruction, construction, engineering and design, design-build, design-assist, value engineering, procurement, electrical and communications systems, service and preventive maintenance.  To learn more, visit www.geco.com 

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

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 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.  For more information visit the web site at www.ascconline.org or call (866) 788-2722.

Orvin T. Kimbrough Elected CEO of Midwest BankCentre and Its Holding Company 

Extends Entrepreneurship at Nation’s Third Largest United Way to Bank’s Community Focus

Orvin T. Kimbrough, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis, has been elected by the board of directors as CEO of Midwest BankCentre and its holding company, Midwest BankCentre, Inc. He will remain a member of the bank board, on which he has served since 2015. The appointment is effective Feb. 1, 2019. Kimbrough will stay in his current role with United Way until then.

Midwest BankCentre CEO and Chairman Jim Watson will continue in his current role until Kimbrough joins the bank, and then serve full-time as executive chairman of Midwest BankCentre while remaining vice chairman of Midwest BankCentre, Inc. Dale Oberkfell continues as president and chief financial officer of Midwest BankCentre.

Kimbrough, 43, joins Midwest BankCentre after a nearly 20-year career leading entrepreneurial, community-focused nonprofit organizations. As president and CEO since 2013 of United Way of Greater St. Louis, it has advanced from the fifth to the third largest United Way in the country, generating more than $82.5 million annually in private and public funding to create social impact. It is among the region’s leading nonprofits.

Kimbrough’s entrepreneurial approach has been shaped by his educational background in social work, business and theology. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. He earned his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Kimbrough also graduated from Aquinas Institute of Theology with a master of arts in theology. He currently serves as adjunct professor in Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work, designing a post-graduate course on teams and leadership.

“We are deeply grateful to Orv for his decade of service and leadership with United Way of Greater St. Louis,” said Rich McClure, board chair of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “Orv has made a lasting impact in the St. Louis region during his time with United Way. As CEO, he led the community through five successful campaigns, raising more than $370 million to help others live their best possible lives. In addition, Orv has guided the organization through a strategic transformation in how United Way engages with stakeholders and supports our community. United Way’s board and staff remain focused and committed to the important work of our agencies and partners, and we look forward to continuing a strong relationship with Orv in his new role with Midwest BankCentre.”

According to McClure, United Way has convened a search committee of the board to conduct a national search for Kimbrough’s successor. The committee expects to have a president and CEO named and in place before Kimbrough’s departure.

The appointment of Kimbrough, who will become the region’s only African-American bank CEO, affirms the transformation begun by Midwest BankCentre in 2011, when it enlarged its vision of service to the community. About the same time, the bank entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, which expired in mid-2016. The bank committed to open a bank branch in an area of St. Louis populated primarily by African-American citizens; invest in a special financing program to expand loans to St. Louis area neighborhoods with majority African-American residents; allocate funding for consumer financial education and credit repair; and expand marketing.

About Midwest BankCentre: Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, employs a staff of about 280 working at 19 bank locations in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. In April 2015, it acquired Southern Commercial Bank, formed in 1891. In July 2016, it purchased Bremen Bank & Trust Co., founded in 1868. It ranks among St. Louis’ largest locally owned banks with assets of about $1.9 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion. It provides integrated financial services with expertise in commercial, retail and digital banking; business cash management; mortgage lending; consumer lending; and insurance. The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative. Since 2001, Midwest BankCentre has consecutively achieved the Bauer Financial 5-Star Superior financial rating each quarter. Further details are available at www.midwestbankcentre.com.

About United Way of Greater St. Louis: United Way of Greater St. Louis mobilizes the community with one goal in mind — helping people live their best possible lives. Located throughout 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, United Way helps one in three people in the region build a foundation for a good quality of life through basic needs, financial stability, education, health and strong communities. For more information, contact 314-421-0700 or visit www.HelpingPeople.org.

Editor’s note:     Orvin T. Kimbrough, born in East St. Louis, currently lives in St. Louis County with his wife, Latriece, and their two children, Maddison and Matthew.

Ross & Baruzzini Acquires Atlanta-based EDI, Ltd.

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Firms Combine Operations to Leverage Opportunities to Expand Technology Service Offerings in Healthcare, Education

Ross & Baruzzini, Inc., an international consulting and engineering firm, has acquired EDI, Ltd., based in Atlanta, Ga. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Established in 1986, EDI is a leading technology consulting and design firm that offers advisory services, technology system design, data-center-specific services and technology program management in the healthcare, corporate, education and commercial markets.  In addition to Atlanta, EDI has offices in Denver, New York and Pensacola, Fla. It employs approximately 30 professionals.

“The acquisition strengthens our already robust technology group,” said Craig Toder, Ross & Baruzzini chairman of the board. “EDI is widely respected in the markets it serves for its design and program management expertise in information technology, audio/visual, security and various technology systems. The acquisition gives us capabilities we’ve sought to more fully serve our markets and provides a broad platform for EDI’s long-term growth.  EDI has a strong leadership team and an excellent track record. We’ve been pursuing them for years.”

Don Kinser, EDI founder and chairman of the board, said the acquisition will benefit EDI clients and employees. “EDI and Ross & Baruzzini are a natural fit. We are thrilled to join a forward-thinking global organization with a superior reputation in the industry.  The new partnership provides great value to our clients and tremendous opportunities for our employees.”

Like Ross & Baruzzini, EDI serves a global clientele. Prominent clients in the U.S. include Memorial Sloan Kettering, EBay, Georgia Tech University and Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.

Ross & Baruzzini, which has 300 employees, executes projects in more than 30 countries and operates from headquarters in St. Louis with offices in Chicago, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Kansas City, New York, Hamden, Conn., and Mexico City, with staff in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Added Mark McComb, president and chief executive officer of EDI: “Joining a larger organization affords us access to expanded resources for serving current and future clients and creates new professional growth prospects for our staff.” McComb will team with Bill Overturf, Ross & Baruzzini president, to integrate the two firms.

Overturf remarked: “Both firms have a strong desire to grow. We recognize what we can accomplish together is effectively limitless. The alignment of EDI’s core markets with our existing business makes this a great addition to our family.  More so, these are really good people.”

The EDI acquisition is the third consummated by Ross & Baruzzini since 2016.  As with previous acquisitions, EDI will maintain its strong brand in the marketplace as an independent operating division while being integrated into the well-established culture of Ross & Baruzzini.

Founded in St. Louis in 1953, Ross & Baruzzini (http://www.rossbar.com) is an international consulting and engineering firm continually ranked among the top companies in the nation. The company provides advanced design solutions in the transportation, healthcare, government, higher education and mission-critical markets.  In recent years the firm has been named a “best place to work” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Business Journal.

Image Above: Craig Toder

Four St. Louis NECA Electrical Contractors Ranked Among Top Specialty Contractors by Engineering News Record (ENR)

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The national construction industry trade publication, Engineering News Record (ENR), has ranked four St. Louis National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) contractor members among it “Top 600 Specialty Contractors.”  The four contractors – all members of the Electrical Connection – are Sachs Electric Co.Guarantee Electrical Co.PayneCrest Electric, Inc. and Aschinger Electric Co. Inc.  The ranking can be found in the Oct. 22, 2018 cover story, “The Top-600 Specialty Contractors”

In its annual listing of the top specialty contractors nationally, ENR ranked Sachs 101st, Guarantee ranked 173rd, PayneCrest ranked 234th and Aschinger ranked 436th.   Meanwhile, Bell Electrical Contractors, Inc. is part of the MDU Construction Services Group, Inc. which ranked 11th in the national rankings.  All five ranked in the top 10 among St. Louis’ largest electrical contractors in the St. Louis Business Journal’s annual ranking last spring.  A total of 18 of the 22 contractors listed in the Business Journal rankings were St. Louis NECA contractors.

The ENR cover story article accompanying the ranking noted a robust construction market.   “As a group, the Top 600 generated revenue of $124.04 billion in 2017, up 10% over the $112.72 billion in 2016, and a 23.5% hike from $100.43 billion the year before. Top 600 revenue now has risen for seven straight years.”

“For St. Louis NECA contractors, service comes first as part of a disciplined approach to growth,” said Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis NECA.  “Some have strengthened their practice through merger and financial partnerships while others are broadening services and strengthening proficiencies through additions to engineering and project management staff.”

This year, Aschinger merged with St. Louis NECA contractor Briner Electric Co.  Both companies are more 100 years old and will operate under the Aschinger name.  Meanwhile, in 2017, Sachs Electric entered into a partnership with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”) to provide capital and strategic resources to support Sachs’s growth.

“Our joint annual training investment of $3 million with our NECA partners ensures our contractors always have the most skilled and safe workforce for all projects,”  said Frank Jacobs, business manager International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1. “That includes continuing education and an education partnership with St. Louis Community College to offer college degrees.”

This dedication to keeping pace with the growing complexities of electrical and communication installations has made the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership an important resource for economic and workforce development in Missouri.  The Electrical Connection serves on the Missouri Governor’s Workforce Development Task Force, the “Talent for Tomorrow” program and the “Best in the Midwest” economic development strategic planning initiative.

“Our NECA contractors and the skilled IBEW workforce they employ are a great asset to Missouri’s future business development because all that is changing with technology,” noted Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “We are on the forefront of smart technology and infrastructure that is creating greater value in the built environment.  That includes building automation, smart manufacturing, smart roads, smart cities and other advanced electrical and communications infrastructure powering our future.”

St. Louis NECA contractors partner with IBEW Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection, providing safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit www.electricalconnection.org.

 

Talking Transit Event Set for Nov. 16 to Highlight Transit Security Best Practices

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Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT), the St. Louis Regional Chamber and East-West Gateway Council of Governments are inviting area residents to take part in a special “Talking Transit” event that will highlight transit security best practices from systems in other major metropolitan cities. Representatives of these public transit systems will share key insights on their respective security programs and weigh in on the issues surrounding St. Louis’ public transit system. The event is being held on Friday, Nov. 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Louis Regional Chamber Collaboration Center, located at One Metropolitan Square, Ste. 1300, in downtown St. Louis, Mo., which is accessible via the MetroLink or MetroBus.

Lurae Stuart, project manager of WSP USA, Inc., which is leading the MetroLink Security Assessment, willprovide a brief overview of the peer review process of the assessment set to wrap up in December. Panelists from TriMet in Portland, Ore.; SacRT in Sacramento, Calif.; Metro Transit in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and WMATA in Washington, D.C. will then share best practices as it relates to the security of their public transit systems and offer insight on how these successes might be able to be emulated on the St. Louis MetroLink system.

“Transit safety and security remains a key priority for the region,” said Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “We are looking forward to this discussion and the opportunity to learn more about the successes of other systems in hopes of finding workable solutions to take into consideration in our community.”

Registration for the Talking Transit event can be completed online at https://cmt-stl.org/ or by arriving early to the event. The cost is free for CMT members and $10 for non-members. For non-members that would like to attend but have personal financial constraints, CMT offers a limited number of scholarships for each of the Talking Transit events. To learn more about the event, or for more information on Citizens for Modern Transit and its efforts to further transit development in the St. Louis region, call (314) 231-7272, find the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl.

Citizens for Modern Transit is a nonprofit, member supported organization that leads efforts for an integrated, affordable, and convenient public transportation system with light rail expansion as the critical component that will drive economic growth to improve quality of life in the St. Louis region.

Elsperman to Serve as 2019 President of AGC of America

in Associations/Companies/News/People

As Tarlton Corp. celebrates its Founders Day, the company looks forward to another year of industry service and leadership: Dirk Elsperman, Tarlton executive vice president and chief operating officer, will be sworn in as president of Associated General Contractors of America in April 2019. When he takes office, Elsperman will become one of only four AGC principals from the bi-state area to lead the national organization.

The announcement coincides with an important milestone in Tarlton’s history – Founders Day, a day of companywide celebration each fall that marks the Oct. 2 birthday of Arthur Elsperman, one of the firm’s founders and first generation of leaders. Arthur Elsperman served as the first president of the AGC of St. Louis (now the AGC of Missouri) in 1950.

Locally, five others from Tarlton have served as president or chairman of the state association: J. Al Riley in 1967, Robert Elsperman in 1981, Bob Siess in 1995, Tracy Hart in 2008 and Dirk Elsperman in 2013. Hart, Tarlton president, began her service to the St. Louis chapter in 1996 and also has been active with the national AGC.

Three AGC of Missouri members have served as treasurer of the AGC of America, including Robert Elsperman in 1999. In addition, over the last 20 years Tarlton employees collectively have held more than 100 committee positions with the national association and more than 520 committee positions with the St. Louis/Missouri chapter. In those 20 years, 26 Tarlton employees have chaired or served on AGC of St. Louis/Missouri committees.

As president of AGC of America, which is celebrating its centennial this year, Dirk Elsperman will have the unique opportunity to speak with AGC chapter leaders and members across the United States to glean important industry insights on issues and concerns facing general contractors today.

A leader in the construction industry, Elsperman has 30 years of experience and a history of service in local and national capacities for AGC. In addition to serving as chairman of the board for AGC of Missouri, he has been a contributing member on 10 committees for AGC of America that focus on construction education and training; project management and delivery; Lean construction; government affairs; and labor policy, negotiations and agreements. He also is certified in the AGC of America Advanced Management Program.

In his year as AGC of America president, Elsperman will promote workforce development and diversity in construction. He seeks to further educate and engage young people in considering the many rewarding careers in the construction industry. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve AGC of America as we continue in the mission to provide advocacies that help shape our industry’s future,” he adds.

Elsperman has worked in all aspects of Tarlton’s operations, including apprenticing as a carpenter, estimating, project engineering and management and executive management. He holds OSHA 30 Hour and First Aid certifications. He is a member of the Southern Illinois Builders Association and served on the executive board for the St. Louis Construction Collaborative, a labor-management group that works to improve the construction industry in St. Louis.

Elsperman is a LEED Accredited Professional. He earned a bachelor’s degree in applied economics and business management from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis. He serves on advisory boards for The Salvation Army, Olin Business School and the Foundation for St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Elsperman enjoys hiking, rafting, swimming, cycling and running. He regularly participates in philanthropic races and events with Tarlton and individually.

The AGC of America is the leading association for the construction industry, representing more than 26,000 firms, including more than 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors and more than 9,000 specialty contracting firms. More than 10,500 providers and suppliers are associated with the AGC through a nationwide network of chapters.

St. Louis-based Tarlton Corp. is a leader in general contracting and construction management throughout the Midwest. The firm has completed many landmark projects in and around St. Louis and holds steadfast to its goal to improve the lives of St. Louisans through construction, civic involvement and philanthropy.

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.

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