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

NewGround Appoints Paul McAfee as Regional Vice President

Paul McKee

NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential architecture, design, and delivery firm, announced that Paul McAfee joined the NewGround Canada team as Regional Vice President of Business Development. Based in British Columbia, Paul’s primary responsibility will be to manage and lead a regional account acquisition and delivery team.

With more than 30 years of experience, Paul has a proven track record of success in the financial services industry. Prior to joining NewGround, he held numerous executive positions, including serving as the President and COO of NorthPeace Savings & Credit Union in British Columbia where he worked with NewGround on multiple projects.

“Paul’s experience in the financial services industry will complement and expand our industry expertise. We are thrilled to have him on our team and are excited to see how he helps us grow our business in the years to come,” said Greg Ward, President of NewGround Canada.

Paul is heavily involved in numerous regional and national industry committees and holds two certifications from the Credit Union Executive Society University program.

“I look forward to helping grow NewGround’s market share through building positive and rewarding relationships and am happy to be a part of the team,” said Paul McAfee, Regional Vice President of Business Development at NewGround Canada.

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. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, NewGround maintains corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Toronto, Ontario, with a regional presence throughout.

Spellman Brady & Company Hires Jennifer Stockhausen, IIDA, NCIDQ

Jennifer Stockhausen

Spellman Brady & Company, an award-winning interior design firm, is pleased to announce that Jennifer Stockhausen, IIDA, NCIDQ has joined the firm as a Senior Designer. She brings 7 years of professional experience focused on the design of assisted living and memory care communities. Her responsibilities include providing creative and exceptional interior design for all aspects of a project – from initial planning, design concept and construction documents to furniture specifications, procurement and installation.

Ms. Stockhausen earned her Bachelor of Science, Human Environmental Sciences, Architectural Studies degree with an Interior Design emphasis and continued her studies to earn a Master of Arts in Environment and Behavior degree focusing on “Personal Control in the Work Place” degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments. For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

Community Mourning Loss of Nationally Recognized Educator, Civil Rights Activist Dr. Irene Leota Moore Wright

Dr. Irene Leota Moore Wright

Services for Grandmother of KAI CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. Scheduled for Jan. 23

The community is mourning the death of nationally recognized educator and civil rights activist Dr. Irene Leota Moore Wright — mother-in-law of KAI Founder Michael Kennedy, Sr. and grandmother of KAI CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. — who passed away on Jan. 10 at age 91. A Celebration of Life Service honoring her is scheduled for Jan. 23 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Wright enjoyed a long, successful career in education, having earned a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in Atlanta; a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from Washington University in St. Louis; and a Ph. D. in higher education from Saint Louis University. She also studied at Ball State University, New York University, Columbia University and Atlanta University.

She went on to hold faculty positions at Atlanta University, Clark College, Spelman College, Harris Teachers College, Tuskegee Institute, Albany State College and Saint Louis University and was published in the areas of speech and hearing problems, teacher programs, the trainable child and deaf education.

She served as vice president of the Albany Civil Rights Movement and was the Dean of Students at Albany State College but resigned in protest when she learned that students had been expelled for demonstrating against racial violence and discrimination. She held strategy meetings in her home for out-of-town students who wanted to help with voter registration campaigns and braved threat of physical harm as she travelled from Albany to Washington, D.C. to report on racial injustices taking place around her.

Irene Wright is survived by her “Boo” of 58 years, Dr. Thomas V. Wright Sr., and her children: Vicki Hamilton (Harold), Lynn Kennedy (Michael), Traci Wright (Thomas Wright, Jr.), and Marcia Buresch; 10 grandsons: Arthur (Angelica) and Brandon, Michael, Chad, Jon, Sam, Marcus (Sarah), James Trey (Sina), Simeon, and Brett (Betty); and five great-grandchildren: Titus, Bella, Jaz’min, Jaire, and Levi. She also leaves her only living sibling, Jean Collins, and nieces and nephews she adored: Hollie, Wilanna, Robin, Judy, Bobby, James Jr., Michael, Johnnie, Connie, Mitzy, Phillip, Frankie, Neicey, Scott, Bonnie, Albert (Katie), and all of their children. She was preceded in death by her beloved son, Thomas Victor Wright Jr.; her sisters, Augusta Mae, Louise Worthington, and Judelle Shaw; and her brother, Julian Moore.

Michael Kennedy, Jr. attributes his grandmother’s influence on KAI’s commitment to giving back and supporting the community.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to either Albany State University in Albany, Georgia or Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tyler Bick Receives Professional Engineering License

Tyler Bick

Tyler Bick, who joined KPFF in July 2017, recently passed the professional engineering examination and is now a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri. He is working on a variety of projects including Mercy Clinic in Springdale, Arkansas; The Foundry in Midtown St. Louis; and a structural condition assessment at Southeast Missouri State University. Tyler earned his Bachelor and Master of Science in Civil Engineering degrees at Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Megan Schimmelpfenning Receives Structural Engineering License

Megan Schimmelpfenning

Megan Schimmelpfenning, who joined KPFF in August 2015, recently passed the Illinois Structural Engineering examination and is now a licensed Structural Engineer in Illinois. Her KPFF projects include the new Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn blended hotel in Des Peres, Missouri; SSM/Saint Louis University Hospital’s New Patient Tower; and Weil Hall at Washington University in St. Louis. Megan earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree at S

outhern Illinois University Carbondale in 2011.

Founded in Seattle in 1960, KPFF Consulting Engineers is one of the top structural and civil engineering firms, and is known for providing creative, thoughtful, and cost-effective design solutions. 

HBD Construction, Inc. Welcomes New Director of Business Development

Annie Kowert

HBD Construction, Inc is proud to welcome Annie Kowert as Director of Business Development. Annie joins the HBD Construction, Inc team bringing 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry including healthcare administration, senior living, medical supply sales, and marketing. In addition to building strong customer relationships, she will be responsible for market research, strategic planning, and expanding company awareness.

Annie has a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Cleveland State University. She currently resides in Kirkwood with her husband, Brian and children, Lyla and Luke.  She enjoys spending time with her family, exercise, reading, travel, and volunteering at her kids’ school and church.

Cohen Architectural Woodworking Names Nate Cohen Chief Financial Officer 

Nate Cohen

Cohen Architectural Woodworking announces the appointment of Nate Cohen to serve as Chief Financial Officer. Cohen will oversee the finances of the 36 year-old
company that standardizes, designs and builds custom millwork components and casework for clients nationwide. Cohen, age 29, most recently served as a Senior Project Manager. He has performed and excelled in various roles for the family-owned and family-run business for some 24 years, from sweeping the shop floor at age 5, to serving in engineering, and in project management.

In addition to his duties at Cohen Architectural Woodworking, Nate Cohen is
an entrepreneur, real estate investor and professional woodworker. He won
international woodworking competitions in high school for three consecutive
years and, at age 19, built chess tables for Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield,
founders of the St. Louis Chess Club. His tables were used at the U.S. Chess
Championships. Nate’s chess tables can also be found in the St. Louis
Cardinals clubhouse and with other organizations.

Founded in 1982, Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned
architectural design/build woodworking firm headquartered in St. James,
Missouri. For more information visit

Kevin Gremmelsbacher Promoted by HDA Architects

Kevin Gremmelsbacher

Since joining HDA Architects in 2013, Kevin Gremmelsbacher has played a vital role in transitioning the company into Revit and has developed production drawings for numerous unique project types.  He is currently the firms BIM Manager and has recently been promoted to the role of Project Manager.  His attention to detail and dedication to his projects provides the foundation for his work and has proven effective in delivering a quality product from design development stages through project completion.   

Matt Hoffman joins Wiegmann Associates as Project Engineer 

Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman of St. Louis, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as a project engineer. Hoffman is responsible for designing and engineering HVAC systems for various Wiegmann Associates projects. Prior to joining Wiegmann Associates, he worked as a contract mechanical engineer for Monsanto Company on a large industrial seeds processing project. Hoffman holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

January 11, 2019

Castle Contracting Expands In-House Civil Design Team with Hiring of James Parks and Amy Huller

Castle Contracting, LLC has expanded its in-house civil design expertise with the hiring of James Parks, P.E. as senior design manager and Amy Huller, P.E. as design manager. This experienced design team will work collaboratively to strengthen Castle’s capabilities to secure, manage and deliver civil design-build projects across the St. Louis region and beyond.

James Parks

James Parks joins Castle with a broad range of expertise that encompasses civil engineering; design and consulting; geotechnical engineering and materials testing; general contracting; construction management; estimating and project management. His hands-on project experience includes numerous project types: municipal, trails, roadways, retail, commercial, institutional, industrial, pipelines, residential, riverfront developments, hospitals and healthcare facilities. He also has overseen master planning for developments ranging from less than an acre to hundreds of acres.

Parks previously served as senior project manager at Glasper Professional Services, and he also worked as assistant project manager at CDG Engineers and project engineer at Crafton, Tull & Associates.

A licensed professional engineer registered in Missouri, Illinois and Arizona and a LEED-accredited professional, he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in Rolla, Mo.

Parks has been active in the American Society of Civil Engineers and served as a mentor in the ACE Mentor Program, which helps inspire high school students to pursue careers in design and construction. He and his family live in Florissant.

Amy Huller

An experienced design engineer, project manager and GIS specialist, Amy Huller’s expertise includes the design of residential, condominium and subdivision sites; commercial sites; and industrial sites and subdivisions. Her responsibilities have included the design of sanitary sewers, storm sewer systems, water systems, paving and grading, as well as managing the permitting process for a wide variety of public works, commercial, residential and military projects.

Prior to joining Castle, Huller served as a project manager at Glasper Professional Services. She previously worked as design engineer and GIS specialist at Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen.

A licensed professional engineer registered in Missouri, she earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Huller has served as a troop leader and camp coordinator for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois for the last 10 years. She and her family reside in Belleville, Ill. 

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. 

Kay Koonce Joins HOK’s St. Louis Office as Marketing Manager

Kay Koonce

Kay Koonce, has joined HOK in St. Louis. She will lead the marketing department in the St. Louis studio as a marketing manager. Her professional experience will aid HOK in the continued success of project acquisition and fortified brand awareness.

With 20 years of A/E industry marketing experience, Koonce joins HOK from TBE Architects, Inc. in St. Louis, and prior to that, working for firms like KAI, Cannon Design, David Mason & Associates and the Farnsworth Group, Inc.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 24 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence consistently ranks HOK as a leader in sustainable, high-performance design and technology innovation.​

Benjamin Dryer Appointed Service Account Manager

Benjamin Dryer

Benjamin Dryer has been named service account manager for Murphy Company. The announcement was made by Chris Carter, vice-president, service, for the mechanical contracting and engineering firm. Dryer has three years’ experience in service and sales, providing estimates and project management for a local mechanical contractor. A graduate of Pattonville High School, he also studied business at both Webster University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Jeffrey (“Mike”) Gumm Joins Murphy Company

Jeffrey (“Mike”) Gumm

Jeffrey (“Mike”) Gumm has joined Murphy Company as service project manager.  The announcement was made by Chris Carter, vice-president, service, for the mechanical contracting and engineering firm. A union pipefitter with more than six years’ experience, Gumm is highly experienced at HVAC installation and system troubleshooting. He attended both St. Louis Community College-Meramec and Lindenwood University.  He also achieved his HVAC technology certification from the Midwest Institute.

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.  For more information, visit

January 4, 2019

Jim Contratto joins CRB as director of business development 

Jim Contratto

Jim Contratto, a design and construction professional with 37 years of experience, has joined CRB’s Central region as the director of business development. Contratto has a wide range of knowledge in the construction industry, previously working in the areas of pre-construction, operations, design and business development. His understanding of complex construction projects in the life sciences and advanced technology industries bring an added level of expertise to CRB and CRB’s clients.

Contratto has previously assisted dozens of clients across the Unites States in building or renovating their facilities. Facility types he’s collaborated on include pharmaceutical manufacturing, research and development laboratories, food and beverage manufacturing and other highly technical projects.

“In my previous positions, I’ve played a key role in the delivery of major construction projects. I’m happy to continue that responsibility here at CRB and I’m excited to deliver some of the most technically advanced facilities with the industry’s most technically knowledgeable staff,” Contratto said.

Contratto will focus on providing customized construction solutions to new and existing clients. He will help clients determine which of CRB’s services will add value to their project and assist them in reaching their business goals. Contratto is based in St. Louis and will support clients throughout the United States.

“We are eager to introduce Jim to our clients, so they can take advantage of his knowledge,” regional leader Russ Sheppard, said. “I’m confident they will find his past project experience and grasp of the local construction market extremely beneficial.”

CRB is a full-service network of engineers, architects, constructors and consultants, assisting advanced technology organizations in the planning, design, construction and operational support of facilities across the globe. For more information, visit

New Hires at FSA

Kelsey Jordan

FSA welcomes its newest Associate, Kelsey Jordan. Kelsey graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Master of Architecture degree, a bachelor’s in Architectural Studies, and a minor in Environmental Studies. She is currently working towards her Registered Graphic Designer Certification, her Architectural License in Missouri, and her NCIDQ qualifications to become a Certified Interior Designer. Kelsey is also actively involved in the AIA STL Young Architects Forum and AIA STL Women in Architecture group.

Zoe Wang

Zoe Wang joined the FSA team as an Associate in August 2018. She received her Master of Architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently working towards becoming a licensed Architect. While attending school at WUSTL, she designed and programmed lighting effects for a rock n’ roll concert and participated in the Chamber Choir as a soprano. Her favorite part about working in architecture is the process of solving design issues.

December 28, 2018

S. M. Wilson Promotes Josh Weber to Assistant Project Manager

Josh Weber

S. M. Wilson & Co. has promoted Josh Weber to Assistant Project Manager. As Assistant Project Manager, he will work with the Project Managers in coordinating the activities of a project to ensure schedule, document control and quality standards are met and projects are completed safely, on time and with approved budgets.

Weber joined S. M. Wilson in 2017 from a Kansas City contractor where he quickly demonstrated his perseverance as well as his ability to remain composed after joining a challenging project at the midpoint of Tallgrass Creek Residential Building 1.4. After working on Tallgrass Creek Residential Building 1.5, Weber became more involved in the project management aspects of the project.

Weber has begun work on the Von Maur Dry Good Stores and will be responsible for continuing to grow the long-standing relationship with high-end retailer, Von Maur. He has six years of construction experience, holds a B.S. in Construction Management from Southeast Missouri State University and is OSHA 30 certified.

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

Clayco Hires Key Technology Executives

Construction firm brings on Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Information Officer

Clayco recently announced the hiring of two digital and innovation executives: Matthew Porter as Chief Innovation Officer and Simona Rollinson as Chief Information Officer. Porter will oversee all aspects of technology at Clayco, continuing to drive the company’s message and implementation of innovation forward in the design-build industry, while Rollinson will be responsible for overseeing all elements of the information technology function.

Matthew Porter

Porter will oversee traditional IT entities such as service and storage and search for new ways to integrate IT into Clayco’s day-to-day operations through new technologies such as virtual construction and augmented reality. With more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, he most recently served as Clayco’s interim Chief Information Officer while leading the effort to hire a permanent CIO. Seeing Porter’s experience and unique perspective he brought to advance the company, Clayco created the role of Chief Innovation Officer for him.

One of Porter’s key goals as he begins in his new role is to break down silos across the construction landscape. Particularly, he hopes to make data accessible throughout the construction process to ensure that the best tools are available to the marketplace, creating a seamless process from the moment planning begins to the moment the keys are handed over to a building’s owner.

Simona Rollinson

Rollinson will spend much of her time working with Porter, planning to outline a strategic roadmap in the technology space, and identify new opportunities that will allow Clayco to develop innovative initiatives. She comes to Clayco with more than 20 years of experience as a technology professional. Following 17 years in the private sector at a software company, she spent four years in the public sector before joining Clayco.

As Rollinson begins her tenure at Clayco she is planning to outline a strategic roadmap in the technology space and establish an IT investment council, as well as identify new opportunities that will allow Clayco to develop innovative initiatives that change the field.

Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering and construction firm that delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. For more information visit

Caroline Devereux joins Knoebel Construction as Accounts Payable Coordinator

Caroline Devereux

Caroline Devereux of the Central West End in St. Louis, MO, has joined Knoebel Construction as Accounts Payable Coordinator. She is responsible for monitoring accounts payable, processing invoices and issuing payments.  Devereux holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Saint Louis University.
Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

December 14, 2018

New Hires at HDA Architects 

Tom Young

HDA Architects hired Tom Young as a Senior Designer

Jim Gabel

HDA Architects hired Jim Gabel as a Senior Project Manager

HDA Architects hired Stephanie Jack-Moore as Marketing-Administration

Mirella Mosquera

HDA Architects hired Mirella Mosquera as a Graphic Designer



Ed Hogue Named Senior Plumbing Designer

Ed Hogue

Edward Hogue, CPD, has joined Murphy Company as senior plumbing designer in the mechanical contracting and engineering firm’s Engineering Group.  The announcement was made by Bill McKanna, supervisor, plumbing (Missouri Engineering). An ASPE “Certified plumbing Designer” (CPD) certification professional, Hogue has more than 12 years’ experience as a plumbing department manager/project manager and senior plumbing designer.  From 2007 to 2014, he was owner/principal of Zion MPE, specializing in HVAC, electrical and plumbing design and CAD production for client projects.  He holds an associate’s degree in applied science for computer-aided drafting from ITT Technical Institute.

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.  For more information, visit

Kevin Ridgeway Joins McCarthy as Project Director

Kevin Ridgeway

Kevin Ridgeway, P.E., has joined McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. as project director in the firm’s solar and renewable energy group.

Ridgeway has 15 years of diverse experience as an electrical engineer, senior project manager and director of operations. In his new role, his focus is on expanding McCarthy’s presence in utility-scale solar installations and other renewable energy projects across the company’s 28-state Central Region. McCarthy’s national solar and renewable energy group ranked No. 7 on Solar Power World’s 2018 Top Solar Contractors list and No. 5 among the “Top 10 Solar EPCs” (engineer, procure, construct).

“Communities across the Midwest increasingly see the positive economic impact of solar and renewable energy projects, particularly in rural communities,” said John Buescher, president of McCarthy’s Central Region. “Adding Kevin to our growing team will strengthen McCarthy’s ability to serve as an expert partner in overseeing the construction of these complex systems.”

Prior to joining McCarthy, Ridgeway held a range of leadership, engineering and project management positions at Ross & Baruzzini and PayneCrest Electric. A licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Missouri, he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. 

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and Google+.

Susan Bowen joins Knoebel Construction as Director of Business Development

Susan Bowen

Susan Bowen of Ballwin, MO, has joined Knoebel Construction as Director of Business Development. Bowen is responsible for developing the overall corporate growth strategy for retail, retail center, restaurant, grocery, multi-use, healthcare and financial markets. She provides research and market analysis on existing and new markets while forecasting future growth and revenue.

Bowen has eight years of experience in the construction industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is an active member of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Missouri Society for Healthcare Engineering (MOSHE) and the St. Louis Council for Construction Consumers (SLCCC) diversity committee. 

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction.For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

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