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Jon Huber Named Aschinger Director of Operations

in Companies/News

Aschinger Communications proudly announces that Jon Huber has been named Director of Operations.  Jon Huber was previously a Project Manager at Aschinger Communications and has been with the company for 15 years.

As Director of Operations, Huber is responsible for the overall manpower and project management leading to successful project completion, from planning through close of job.  In addition, he has a key leadership role working on new client development.  Huber will focus on the achievement of customer satisfaction, business growth and long-term account goals in line with the company vision and values.

“Huber’s field experience, problem-solving capabilities, patience and commitment to success are key to his ability to deeply connect with others to determine solutions in the best interest of our clients and our people.  He is an important part of our success and our future,” said Aschinger Communications President, Scott Aschinger, PE, RCDD.

Huber brings 23 years of experience solving clients’ low voltage challenges.  He joined Aschinger Communications in 2004, spending 12 years as a Systems Technician and 3 years as Project Manager.  Previously, he worked 8 years as a phone system technician at Lucent Technologies / AVAYA

 

Citizens for Modern Transit Teams up with Mission: St. Louis to Increase Access to Jobs in the St. Louis Market

in Associations/News

To positively impact and strengthen St. Louis’ workforce, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) has announced a new collaboration with Mission: St. Louis that will offer participants a chance to try transit for free. The opportunity is made possible through CMT’s Try & Ride program, which provides riders who are new to MetroBus or MetroLink with customized route information, helpful tips and free fare for the first two months.

Mission: St. Louis works to empower people to transform their lives, families and neighborhoods. Its EACH1 community health and workforce development program helps people access the resources they need to achieve sustainable employment, live healthy lifestyles and create real change in their lives. Through this collaboration with Citizens for Modern Transit, Mission: St. Louis will include the Try & Ride Program, which provides complimentary passes and assistance navigating the transit system, as part of its EACH1 program offerings beginning June 1.

“We are very excited to begin this effort with Citizens for Modern Transit,” said Amy Bollinger, Director of Workforce Operations for Mission: St. Louis. “Our hope is to continue to create a sustainable workforce within the St. Louis community, and by connecting people with the resources they need to utilize our public transit system, we can hopefully expand upon our program and reach more individuals.”

The Try & Ride initiative with Citizens for Modern Transit and Mission: St. Louis is open to any Missouri or Illinois residents participating in Mission: St. Louis’ EACH1 program who do not already utilize the region’s public transportation system. Upon registering, each program participant receives a personalized transit route, complimentary tickets for two months, a journal to capture stories and write down reminders, and a list of tips for using transit. Registration also enrolls them in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides the user with subsidized access to ride-hailing services like Lyft, a cab ride or rental car in the case of an emergency or unexpected schedule change at work.

“Public transit continues to be a source of economic development within our region,” said Kim Cella, Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “CMT’s Try & Ride program helps to familiarize people with our transit system to remove any reservations about taking public transit. In doing so, we can use our new collaboration with Mission: St. Louis, as well as our existing relationship with CyberUp, to better connect our St. Louis workforce.”

For more information about Citizens for Modern Transit and how those not affiliated with Mission: St. Louis can also take advantage of the Try & Ride program, visit www.cmt-stl.org.

Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) is the region’s transit advocacy organization. It was established in 1985 to help bring light rail to St. Louis and works to develop, support and enhance programming and initiatives to ensure safe, convenient and affordable access to the region’s integrated public transportation system. CMT champions, challenges, encourages and advocates for public transit in an effort to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life in the St. Louis region. To learn more, visit www.cmt-stl.org.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in Companies/News

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

Feeler S. Architects Promotes Cody Henderson

Cody Henerson

FSA, LLC is excited to announce the promotion of Cody Henderson to Director of Science and Education. Since joining our team more than 10 years ago, Cody has developed a detailed talent for laboratory and higher education design, taking the lead on over 150 laboratories and higher education projects. In his new position he will oversee all laboratory and education projects within the firm. Cody will continue to pursue new clients in these sectors, while enhancing existing relationships by always listening first and pushing for sustainable laboratory and education design that exceeds client expectations.

Outside of the office Cody remains highly involved in the community. He is the 2020 American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter President, a member of Ranken Technical College’s Architectural Advisory Board, a Habitat for Humanity Construction Leader, and a St. Louis Startup Ambassadors Board Member. In his “free time” he enjoys playing softball, attending Cardinals games and traveling.

Lindenwood University President Dr. John Porter Joins Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board

Dr. John R. Porter

Lindenwood University President Dr. John Porter has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board. Lindenwood is a four-year institution founded in 1827 with its main residential campus in St. Charles and a network of extension centers offering evening classes and more than 35 online degree programs.

Porter, who earned his doctorate in education at Johns Hopkins University, worked at IBM for 33 years, the last 15 in senior management. Immediately prior to joining Lindenwood University in 2019, he was vice president of services for Gulf Business Machines, a premier IBM business partner, in Dubai. He has served as a member of the board of trustees at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He graduated with an MBA degree from Washington University in 2011.

Porter serves on the Mercy East and Missouri Colleges Fund board of directors. He is a member of the NCAA-Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents.

Midwest BankCentre is St. Louis’ second-largest locally owned bank with assets exceeding $2 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion. A mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, the bank employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. It works to empower people, enable business and energize neighborhoods through the strength of its financial services, including personalized consumer and business banking, business cash management, mortgage lending, home equity loans, financial planning and investments, insurance and digital banking.

The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (formerly 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. It has been recognized for its success in bringing mainstream financial services to unbanked and underbanked citizens in the region and other diversity and inclusion contributions with the 2019 Community Commitment Award from the American Bankers Association Foundation and the 2018 National Community Bank Service Award from the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Partney joins BELOMAN Team

 

Dennis Partney

Bel-O Sales and Service of Belleville is pleased to announce the hire of Dennis Partney as the newest Sheet Metal Manager to team BELOMAN.  As of May 18th, 2020 Partney will be managing the sheet metal division, including estimating HVAC and architectural sheet metal.  After receiving his B.S. in mechanical engineering, he has spent nearly 35 years in the design, estimating, sales and management of sheet metal projects of all types and sizes. Partney will be a great addition to an establish Metro East business.

BELOMAN is a second-generation family owned HVAC, plumbing, indoor air quality and sheet metal business providing quality sales and service to the Metro East for 60 years.  Founded in 1959 by Paul and Leo Lugge with only four employees – today BELOMAN has grown to over 50 employees with a combined 1,249 years of experience.

Bill Smothers Joins Kwame Building Group as Chief Estimator

Bill Smothers

Bill Smothers has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. as Chief Estimator. His responsibilities include compiling project estimates in support of KWAME’s role as an owner’s representative.

Smothers brings 30 years of industry experience, including with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and The United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He completed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Management Program and is a member of the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE), Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the American Society of Cost Engineers (ASPCE). Smothers earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tulane 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. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. For more information, visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

May 22, 2020

Daniela Grushevska Named New Interior Design Director at Oculus Inc.’s Dallas Office

Daniela Grushevska

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Daniela Grushevska as the interior design director for its Dallas office. In her role, Grushevska will oversee interior design services for clients that are served by the Dallas location. She will also support business development for the interior design teams in the St. Louis headquarters and Portland, Ore., office.

Grushevska brings more than 20 years of interior design experience to Oculus with expertise in the hospitality, education and nonprofit sectors. She has a skillset that includes strategic planning, thoughtful design, creative problem solving and building client relationships, among other areas. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Grushevska most recently served as interior design for a St. Louis-based architecture firm. She has also worked for additional architecture and interior design firms in St. Louis and Dallas, where she worked on projects, such as St. Louis Union Station Midway and Pointe 400 in St. Louis and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Nashville and St. Louis. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Maryville University in St. Louis.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior design, planning and move management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities and spaces. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the commercial, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, restaurant and workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design. Oculusinc.com.

May 15, 2020

KAI Announces New Hire Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director 

Connie Northcutt

KAI proudly announces the hiring of Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director.

As Project Controls Director, Northcutt will work with KAI’s Architecture and Engineering leadership to provide oversight, direction and assistance to KAI’s project managers regarding project financials. She will work to improve and standardize project controls processes and best practices to help project managers achieve financially successful projects.

She has over 26 years of experience in the Project Controls profession and has held numerous leadership roles throughout that time. Her experiences have included development of tools, standards and best practice documents for project financial management; development of curriculum and facilitation of training for project controls and project management professionals; analysis of challenged projects; consulting for the development and implementation of a global project controls system; and management of program controls for an international buildings client.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Statistics from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois.

During her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at Baylor University Medical Center, ballroom dancing, taking walks, listening to audio books and spending time with her partner Barry, two daughters and grandson.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Ryan Bader Joins McCarthy as Quality Director in Central Region

Ryan Bader

Bader, who began his construction career at McCarthy 24 years ago, will oversee quality initiatives on projects across 28 states. 

Ryan Bader has joined McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.as Quality Director in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In this position, he guides project teams in the development and implementation of effective quality programs to ensure McCarthy delivers exceptional work to clients throughout all project phases—from preconstruction to closeout. He also collaborates with other McCarthy regional quality directors to share best practices and lessons learned that can be applied to future projects.

“Ryan’s extensive construction knowledge, years of experience as an owner managing projects and commitment to continuous improvement make him an ideal person to lead our quality initiatives across the Central Region,” said Brian Boeglin, McCarthy Vice President and leader of the Central Region’s quality group.

Prior to joining McCarthy, Bader served as Executive Director of the Facilities Planning, Design and Construction team at Mercy. In this role, he supervised feasibility, planning, design, construction and closeout of more than 200 projects in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.

Bader began his construction career working for McCarthy as a laborer in 1996, and he spent the bulk of his early career working on McCarthy projects in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha and Oklahoma City. During his McCarthy tensure, he delivered a range of healthcare, education and mixed-use projects.

Bader earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering and construction management from Oklahoma State University. A LEED-accredited professional, he is active in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Lean Construction Institute (LCI), Missouri Hospital Association and Oklahoma Hospital Association. He also serves on the advisory board for Oklahoma State University College of Engineering Technology and Construction Engineering.

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 www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Laura Haralson Joins Hastings+Chivetta

Laura Haralson

Laura Haralson joined Hastings+Chivetta Architects as an Executive Assistant. As such, she provides administrative support to Erik Kocher, the firm’s Design Principal, and collaborates with President and CEO Christopher Chivetta and Executive Assistant Debra Derleth to keep the firm running smoothly. Laura discovered her love for administrative and clerical work at age 14 as a hospital volunteer exploring a potential future in nursing. Outside of work, Laura loves all styles of dance and is a Zumba and yoga instructor. She completed her coursework at St. Louis Community College, Meramec.

Payne Family Homes Breaks Ground on $400 Million Residential and Mixed-Use Project in O’Fallon, MO

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Payne Family Homes Breaks Ground on $400 Million Residential and Mixed-Use Project in O’Fallon, MO

Project includes 657 single-family homes and townhomes located in the Wentzville School District’s Liberty High School community 

St. Louis homebuilder Payne Family Homes has broken ground on The Streets of Caledonia, a new $400 million mixed-use project in O’Fallon, Missouri, at Highway 64/40 and Route DD.

Payne will be building 657 single-family homes and townhomes on 153 acres. The project will also include 93 acres targeting a mix of retail development, entertainment, office, medical and hospitality space located to the north and east of the homes.

“We are very excited to break ground on this project,” said Ken Kruse, Payne Family Homes president. “This is a large project, and over the past two years, we have been working hard to get everything in place. This development will offer our home buyers a great location, top-quality home construction, green space, amenities adjacent to parks, and a quality school district.”

Home sales at The Streets of Caledonia will start in the fall of 2020. The development will offer traditional single-famil

y homes featuring ranch, 1.5 story, and two-story homes with open floor plans and lots available that back to 7,000 acre Busch Wildlife Reserve and O’ Day Park. The townhomes will feature two- and three-bedroom units, attached single-car garages, and an open-floor concept. The homes will be appealing to first-time buyers, families, active adults, and empty nesters. Lombardo Homes will join Payne, also building a section of the new home community.

The Streets of Caledonia will also offer 30 acres of common area, including several lakes with fountains, walking trails with benches and gazebos, a neighborhood pool with covered pavilion, playground, dedicated bocce ball area, and pickleball court.  The neighborhood is situated right next to O’Fallon’s crown jewel, the 57-acre O’ Day Park, which opened in the fall of 2019. Residents will have easy access to the Caledonia soccer park and eight acres of lakes with miles of meandering walking trails connecting Busch Wildlife to O’ Day Park, to which residents will have a new entrance and parking lot. Nearly $2.5 million will be invested in the creation of community amenities that complement and support the natural beauty of the surrounding area. This project is anticipated to take five years to reach final completion.

The Streets of Caledonia and neighboring areas will benefit from the millions of dollars already in place for regional improvements, which include:

  • $4 million for approximately one-half mile of DD, including additional right of way, a new traffic signal, a new roundabout, additional traffic lanes, and additional off-ramps at the highway interchange.
  • $5 million for between two and five lanes of connectivity between Highway N and Route DD. Caledonia Parkway, as it is named, will be finished late in 2020.
  • $3 million in two to three lanes called Dalriada Boulevard.

The Streets of Caledonia will include 93 acres of mixed-use commercial development, which will be available in early 2021 and is targeting retail, entertainment, office, medical, and hospitality businesses. The retail space is being marketed by Evan Barnett and Patrick Willett from Pace Properties. Mark Palmer and Artie Kerckhoff of CBRE are marketing the office space.

The Streets of Caledonia has been thoughtfully designed to provide easy access to work, grocery, shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreational amenities. Its walkability and range of affordability will serve families throughout all stages of life. Live. Work. Shop. All at the Streets of Caledonia.

 

Commercial Construction Generally on Schedule in Southern Illinois In Spite of COVID-19 Because of Safety Programs and Procedures

in Associations/News

Because of enhanced personal safety programs and procedures, most commercial construction projects in Southern Illinois generally are progressing on schedule during the pandemic, according to Donna Richter, chief executive officer of the Southern Illinois Builders Association and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program.

State and federal guidelines both consider construction work as “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With about 600 construction crafts people working at 175 job sites in mid-March when the pandemic began to affect the area, about 80 percent of the projects have been able to continue while utilizing new safety guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most of the other 20 percent of the projects were halted only temporarily, most for less than a week. Included in that 20 percent were 24 projects for which the owners asked that work on their specific jobs be stopped.

The survey of builders also indicated that of the 600 workers, fewer than five showed a positive COVID-19 test, and only about 35 workers required a stay-at-home quarantine to safeguard other workers. The forced quarantines were implemented when an individual either was in contact with someone with symptoms or had symptoms themselves.

In announcing results of the survey, Richter noted the year-around, routine and regular compliance of both workers and contractors with safety training programs made possible the quick adoption of new and additional safety procedures to avoid the COVID-19 and to safeguard all workers.

The Southern Illinois Builders Association and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program work for the betterment of all aspects of the construction industry, especially by promoting safety and accident prevention and by supporting educational seminars and training programs for all industry personnel.

More information is at www.siba-agc.org.

 

St. Louis Women’s Real Estate Org Survey Reflects Impact of COVID-19

in Associations/News

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

A five-question survey completed by 30 CREW-St. Louis (Commercial Real Estate Women) members in late April reflects the impact that COVID-19 has had on members’ day-to-day business.

A regional chapter of a national organization, CREW-St. Louis’ membership includes 200 female professionals connected to the commercial real estate industry via occupations such as real estate, banking, architecture, engineering, construction, law and more.

Tracy Howren, 2020 President of CREW-St. Louis and SVP of Commercial Lending at UMB Bank, said 50 percent of respondents indicated that everything remains “business as usual,” but nearly 37 percent reported that there have been temporary pay cuts or reduced work weeks in their company.

More than 55 percent of respondents indicated that their firm’s workload pipeline has been affected by COVID-19. Only 20 percent reported that their company has taken advantage of furloughs requiring staff to file for unemployment. A total of 65.3 percent of those completing the CREW-St. Louis survey said their employer has filed for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

“The reason we conducted this survey was to understand in real time the challenges our members are facing with the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Howren. “By understanding the specific challenges they’re facing, we are able to best support our members. Our organization’s membership includes a lot of different levels of real estate expertise and experience, from those who have been part of the industry for three years or fewer to those with decades of experience. We feel our organization, CREW-St. Louis, has the expertise needed to lead in the (economic) recovery, lift our industry and support each other.”

 

Mueller Prost Webinar Shares Expertise on How to Build and Safeguard a Remote Workforce

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

Three St. Louis-based companies with clients in the construction industry shared their expertise on how to prepare and equip a firm’s IT systems in the wake of a scenario like COVD-19.

St. Louis-based Mueller Prost CPAs + Business Advisors, Chameleon Integrated Services and Western Specialty Contractors hosted a webinar May 19 about the steps that companies need to take to minimize the impact of unanticipated events such as the current pandemic.

“We really didn’t have to prepare for COVID-19 because more than two years ago we put a plan in place to position ourselves for a global, remote workforce,” said Shawn Nichoalds, operations IT director for Western Specialty Contractors, an exterior building restoration contractor. “So, when COVID hit, we were ready.”

Gaining executive management buy-in, standardizing and streamlining organizational processes and migrating relevant services to the cloud rather than on-premise are all components of a strategy for building a global, remote workforce, Nichoalds said. Reducing cybersecurity risks, minimizing down time and reducing a firm’s dependence on a few virtual employees for company information that can leave a firm vulnerable.

Chameleon Integrated Services President Drew Acree said the IT consulting firm’s longstanding resume of defense industry clients – including the Dept. of Defense and Scott Air Force Base – shape the company’s holistic perspective on analyzing and designing IT systems for construction companies and others that stand the test of cyber-attacks. “Our defense experience has really ingrained in us the sense for following a strict set of policies and procedures to protect the organization’s information from falling into the hands of an unintended audience,” Acree said during the webinar. “Chameleon strongly recommends having a cybersecurity assessment done now to determine the steps necessary for protecting your company’s ability to preserve and contain a risk that no organization can control.”

Mueller Prost is performing such risk assessments for construction industry firms in St. Louis and beyond. Tim Grace, director of technology risk advisory services at Mueller Prost, said risk remediation strategies typically include a risk assessment followed by a phased approach where Mueller Prost analyzes the data obtained from the company’s key stakeholders and others to determine gaps, issues or opportunities so the client can then implement any necessary corrective actions.

“As we have all discovered through COVID-19, business continuity is critical,” Grace said. “Minimizing the impact to organizations during times like these is essential.”

Teri Samples, partner and director of real estate and construction services at Mueller Prost, said firms’ IT plans and infrastructures are a crucial facet leading to their overall health and prosperity, particularly when times are uncertain.

“An integrated IT plan and infrastructure is an important part of your overall business plan,” said Samples. “It is crucial to be able to serve your customers with as much ‘up time’ as possible. While everyone is especially concerned with expenditures during these times, keeping your company operating seamlessly will help to maintain your revenue and business growth.”

Do You Have a Technology Road Map?

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Marty Hooper, Account Manager Common Sense Solutions

What’s your technology plan for the future? Do you have one? Should you have one?

In today’s fast-paced world it can be challenging to take the time to pause, take a breath, and see where your business is headed. It’s equally as challenging to understand how current technology, and any future technology, can help you get where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years.

That’s especially true for companies in the construction industry. From estimating to bidding to managing jobs and projects, it’s sometimes all you can handle just to keep up. It’s easy to forget about long-term planning when all hands are on deck just to manage the current workflow. Planning for technology, when you don’t even know what might be available, can be a daunting task. Even planning with current technology is difficult since there is so much out there that may or may not be of value to your company.

Should you have a technology road map? The answer is definitely yes! Technology helps companies be more efficient, more productive and more profitable. Applying the proper technology for your business is critical to being competitive, and ultimately successful. The right plan should augment and support your overall business plan, thereby helping you attain your revenue goals.

So, where to start? The good news is, just committing to creating a plan, and starting on that plan, is the biggest and most important step. You are making a commitment to the process and dedicating resources to create your individual road map.

The next step is to put the right people in place. This is probably the most crucial step, since those people are going to lay out the final road map and help implement it. The biggest mistake I see is companies that draft the most technical person in their employ to find the technology that might serve them. Too often, those folks don’t have the breadth of knowledge and experience to find technologies that they are not familiar with. The most successful companies may leverage internal staff, but also look to outside consultants to assist in the planning phase. Find a consultant or managed service provider that knows your business and industry but is also well versed in current and up and coming technology.

The other good news is that you don’t need to worry about finding the latest and greatest new technology. Other than cutting-edge high-tech companies, most companies don’t need and won’t want untested software and devices. The key to finding the right fit for you is to task your team with finding practical and proven technology that has been successfully employed in similar industries. It’s not uncommon to see companies that have adopted the latest and greatest software, only to find out it doesn’t really fit in their organization or current workflow. They end up abandoning it, or underutilizing it, and must start a new search for something that really fits.

After the road map is developed, the next step is to get everyone on board. Change is always a challenge for a lot of folks. Some may resist overtly, while others seemingly accept the new direction but may not be fully invested enough to make it work the way you had intended. It’s important to help everyone in your organization understand the importance of the changes that are happening and get their full cooperation during implementation. Without a full commitment from both internal staff and field personnel, your road map will never realize its full potential. That’s why a phased approach may be best for your organization. Small steps are easier to accept and implement.

A technology road map can, and should be, a road map to success. The key is to plan carefully but start planning now.

Port Collaboration Is Key To Growing Business On The Inland Waterways

in Associations/News

Second virtual session of FreightWeekSTL 2020 spotlights how individual ports and industry are working together 

FreightWeekSTL continued on May 19 with an engaging panel discussion featuring the directors of four ports in the bi-state St. Louis region and Kansas City, Mo., who enthusiastically affirmed it is their ability to work together and with various other entities that is key to current and future success. Returning for its third consecutive year with a virtual format that honors the current social distancing requirements, FreightWeekSTL’s latest session provided an update on the relationships between the participating ports, significant investments that are fueling growth and the surprisingly minimal impact of COVID-19 on port operations to date.

Opening the session, Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director of America’s Central Port (ACP), used his own port facility to reinforce the significance of all ports in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis.

“Like many others in the freight industry, we are classified as essential. We have access to six Class I railroads, two multimodal harbors, four interstate highways, and millions of square feet of warehouse space, plus manufacturing areas and developable sites,” said Wilmsmeyer. “With our transportation and logistical advantages, we have attracted 80-plus commercial tenants and our Harbor operators transport more than three million tons of goods valued at more than $1.1 Billion annually.”

He added they are well positioned to handle all products and when the demand for one product wanes,  there is usually another right behind to fill the void; something that is helping to keep volumes as usual even as the pandemic results in necessary changes to protect workers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. That trend also seemed to be playing out at the other ports and the consensus is the port industry has largely been unimpacted and will do OK with any resulting deglobalization.

While not moving the level of volume ACP does, Richard Grenville, Vice President of Multimodal Logistics for Port KC, noted that his port has been growing. When the Kansas City Port Authority rebranded as Port KC in 2015, it was seeing approximately 300,000 tons of cargo other than sand and gravel move on the Missouri River, and by 2019 that had grown to more than 600,000 tons of cargo moved along with 3.1 million tons of sand and gravel. That number is only expected to continue to grow in the wake of recent investments, which include $750,000 for new moorings and $1.7 million for a new storage facility. Those are in addition to Port KC’s 2018 acquisition of a shuttered steel mill east of city, which it is redeveloping into a rail and water intermodal terminal to serve Kansas City and the region.

“The existing port is long and narrow and only nine acres. That’s why we purchased the 415-acre steel mill site that is rail, river and road served and right off I-35,” said Grenville. “We hear from shippers all over the country that they want options and don’t want to be tied to one gateway. I think the inland waterway system with the expansion of the Panama Canal moving the line from east coast to west coast has really helped us develop this concept of container-on-vessel (COV) on the Mississippi and adjacent rivers, and it’s going to be huge for the industry.”

COV service would pair with container-on-barge service as part of a hub and spoke system that would include the various other ports on the panel, as well as the port of Memphis.

The Jefferson County Port Authority was represented on the panel by Executive Director Neal Bretweiser, and since his port in Herculaneum has been identified as a hub for a key terminal in the proposed COV service, he expanded on the opportunities it presents. He clarified that all the public ports are collaborating with the same goal in mind in partnership with American Patriot Holdings (APH) and the Port of Plaquemines in southern Louisiana. That goal is to use patented vessels APH is developing that would be capable of carrying mass quantities of containerized freight at more rapid upriver speeds on an all-water route, connecting ports in the St. Louis region and elsewhere in the Midwest to the a gateway port at the Port of Plaquemines on the lower Mississippi River — and ultimately to Asia, Europe and other foreign ports. Hybrid vessels would also connect with other ports on the tributary rivers, where they could pick up additional freight and COB services would also support the hub-and-spoke system. Two independent, third-party studies reveal shippers using the new service could see cost savings ranging from 40 to 44 percent.

We’re in this together. We’re not competing as we all have the same goal of making an efficient waterway system that’s unlike any other in the world,” said Bretweiser. “I believe together we can do this.”

This desire to innovate and adapt is also evident at the Kaskaskia Regional Port District (KRPD), which actually includes five different terminals at five different locations and has grown to be the 10th largest inland port in the nation.  General Manager Ed Weilbacher said the port didn’t have that ranking when he began. As a port that predominantly moved coal, KRPD saw that commodity drop from a high of 4 million tons annually to just 400,000 and realized the need to diversify the product line and invest in infrastructure to succeed. That started with a 50-ton overhead crane at KRPD #2 that built some added capacity and attracted a steel processor, then a fertilizer company located there too.

“We started shipping slag, frack sand, steel, fertilizer and more and were fortunate to be able to improve one of our locations to serve a new power plant, the last coal fired power plant in the country that meets air quality requirements,” said Weilbacher. “We got to 1.5 million tons through those investments.”

KRPD continues to add improvements to address the need to move fly ash and gypsum outbound from the plant to markets around the country, and it has plans for a second rail loop, moving some outbound conveyers and some sidings. It is a $9 million project Weilbacher hopes to get funded through the state capital program in partnership with the Economic Development Agency. A new entrance for KRPD 2 was recently completed and there is a new master plan for the port that will lead to further investments at that location and open it up for additional public private development.

Grenville highlighted how each port has a unique book of business and how, by forming relationships, it sends a message of developing an integral transportation system to the industry.

“This is important when marketing your region and it sends a message of industrial cooperation,” said Grenville. “The goal of our port and the system in general is to get more barge loads on the river and keep freight rates competitive, and I think we’ve been very good at cooperation. We’ve seen the industry embrace ports that work together.”

Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President of Multi-Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development, which operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway as one of its enterprises, moderated the panel and commented on the significance of the collective ports’ commitment to collaboration.

“Industry is appreciative of that collaboration,” said Lamie. “It helps to support affordable transport rates as a whole for the inland waterways.”

FreightWeekSTL 2020 continues online through May 22 and will feature a variety of additional engaging educational and collaborative sessions with industry experts and leaders in freight, logistics and transportation. The week-long event being delivered by St. Louis Regional Freightway, The Waterways Journal and Bi-State Development is sponsored by Burns McDonnell and Lochmueller Group, with Arco, Contegra, CMT and Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) serving as supporting sponsors. To learn more and view each of sessions for FreightWeekSTL 2020, visit www.freightweekstl.com.

About St. Louis Regional Freightway

The St. Louis Regional Freightway is a Bi-State Development enterprise formed to create a regional freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri which comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area. Public sector and private industry businesses are partnering with the St. Louis Regional Freightway to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States through marketing, public advocacy, and freight and infrastructure development. To learn more, visit thefreightway.com.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in Companies/News

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

Daniela Grushevska Named New Interior Design Director at Oculus Inc.’s Dallas Office

Daniela Grushevska

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Daniela Grushevska as the interior design director for its Dallas office. In her role, Grushevska will oversee interior design services for clients that are served by the Dallas location. She will also support business development for the interior design teams in the St. Louis headquarters and Portland, Ore., office.

Grushevska brings more than 20 years of interior design experience to Oculus with expertise in the hospitality, education and nonprofit sectors. She has a skillset that includes strategic planning, thoughtful design, creative problem solving and building client relationships, among other areas. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Grushevska most recently served as interior design for a St. Louis-based architecture firm. She has also worked for additional architecture and interior design firms in St. Louis and Dallas, where she worked on projects, such as St. Louis Union Station Midway and Pointe 400 in St. Louis and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Nashville and St. Louis. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Maryville University in St. Louis.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior design, planning and move management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities and spaces. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the commercial, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, restaurant and workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design. Oculusinc.com.

May 15, 2020

KAI Announces New Hire Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director 

Connie Northcutt

KAI proudly announces the hiring of Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director.

As Project Controls Director, Northcutt will work with KAI’s Architecture and Engineering leadership to provide oversight, direction and assistance to KAI’s project managers regarding project financials. She will work to improve and standardize project controls processes and best practices to help project managers achieve financially successful projects.

She has over 26 years of experience in the Project Controls profession and has held numerous leadership roles throughout that time. Her experiences have included development of tools, standards and best practice documents for project financial management; development of curriculum and facilitation of training for project controls and project management professionals; analysis of challenged projects; consulting for the development and implementation of a global project controls system; and management of program controls for an international buildings client.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Statistics from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois.

During her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at Baylor University Medical Center, ballroom dancing, taking walks, listening to audio books and spending time with her partner Barry, two daughters and grandson.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Ryan Bader Joins McCarthy as Quality Director in Central Region

Ryan Bader

Bader, who began his construction career at McCarthy 24 years ago, will oversee quality initiatives on projects across 28 states. 

Ryan Bader has joined McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.as Quality Director in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In this position, he guides project teams in the development and implementation of effective quality programs to ensure McCarthy delivers exceptional work to clients throughout all project phases—from preconstruction to closeout. He also collaborates with other McCarthy regional quality directors to share best practices and lessons learned that can be applied to future projects.

“Ryan’s extensive construction knowledge, years of experience as an owner managing projects and commitment to continuous improvement make him an ideal person to lead our quality initiatives across the Central Region,” said Brian Boeglin, McCarthy Vice President and leader of the Central Region’s quality group.

Prior to joining McCarthy, Bader served as Executive Director of the Facilities Planning, Design and Construction team at Mercy. In this role, he supervised feasibility, planning, design, construction and closeout of more than 200 projects in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.

Bader began his construction career working for McCarthy as a laborer in 1996, and he spent the bulk of his early career working on McCarthy projects in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha and Oklahoma City. During his McCarthy tensure, he delivered a range of healthcare, education and mixed-use projects.

Bader earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering and construction management from Oklahoma State University. A LEED-accredited professional, he is active in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Lean Construction Institute (LCI), Missouri Hospital Association and Oklahoma Hospital Association. He also serves on the advisory board for Oklahoma State University College of Engineering Technology and Construction Engineering.

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 www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Laura Haralson Joins Hastings+Chivetta

Laura Haralson

Laura Haralson joined Hastings+Chivetta Architects as an Executive Assistant. As such, she provides administrative support to Erik Kocher, the firm’s Design Principal, and collaborates with President and CEO Christopher Chivetta and Executive Assistant Debra Derleth to keep the firm running smoothly. Laura discovered her love for administrative and clerical work at age 14 as a hospital volunteer exploring a potential future in nursing. Outside of work, Laura loves all styles of dance and is a Zumba and yoga instructor. She completed her coursework at St. Louis Community College, Meramec.

May 8, 2020

The UP Companies Hires Mike Marshall as Estimator & Project Manager

Mike Marshall

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of Mike Marshall as Estimator and Project Manager for the Square UP Builders Drywall Division.

In his new position, Marshall will be pricing and running drywall and acoustical ceiling work for Square UP’s diverse customer base along with bringing new relationships to the firm. Mike also has a painting background and will add capacity to further service Square UP’s select painting accounts.

Prior to UPCO, Marshall was an Estimator and Project Manager at Sundermeyer Ltd. in Bridgeton, Missouri and at Vetter Construction in Arnold, Missouri. He has 25 years of industry experience.

“Mike has the core values, experience, and relationships needed to continue to expand our Drywall Division,” said Brian W. Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies. “We are excited to have him on board managing some of our larger drywall projects. His skills and industry reputation are a real asset to our team and to our clients.”

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 314.865.3888.

KAI Announces Appointment of Tim McMinn, AIA as Design Principal

Tim McMinn

KAI Enterprises proudly announces that Tim McMinn, AIA has been named Design Principal. McMinn was previously Director of Architecture at KAI. The transition is recognition of McMinn’s passionate drive to create innovative and highly creative solutions for clients.

As Design Principal, McMinn is responsible for the overall creative direction, solution development and quality of architectural design at KAI supporting offices in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis. In addition, he has a key leadership role in recruiting and developing talent, advancing the architecture practice, business growth, industry recognition and driving innovation.

Prior to KAI, McMinn owned a consulting practice for nine years in Belleville, Illinois named DesignSix; he was Director of Design for EWR Architects in Fairview Heights, Illinois; Sr. Project Manager for Roseman Associates in St. Louis; Vice President – Director of Design for Image Architects in Carbondale, Illinois and Vice President – Director of Design at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois.

McMinn’s designs have been recognized by the Illinois Capital Development Board, United States Department of Defense, American Institute of Architects – SI Chapter, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Boards.

McMinn has an Associates Degree in Architecture from ITT Technical Institute and continuing education in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis; University of Wisconsin-Madison; American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He has also studied Master Planning/Campus Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

He is a Certified Project Manager through the Illinois Capital Development Board and a Registered Architect licensed through the Wisconsin Department of Professional Regulation. He has volunteered for the past 26 years with the American Institute of Architects as a Charrette Architect for communities in distress, working with towns and cities faced with overwhelming environmental or socio-economic challenges.

McMinn is also a published author of two contemporary literary fiction novels, “Fall Darkly” and “Rise Darkly,” both published in 2018.

He and his wife Judi and their daughter Megan divide their time between residences in St. Louis and Dallas.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Castle Contracting Promotes Austin Anway and Zach Kelly to Senior Project Engineer

Castle Contracting has promoted Austin Anway and Zach Kelly to senior project engineer. Both previously served as project engineer.

In their new roles, Anway and Kelly assume more responsibility in support of Castle projects, including daily tracking of field time and materials, subcontractor management and coordination, document control, change order control, production tracking, and punch list execution.

Austin Anway

Anway joined Castle as project engineer in 2017. Prior to signing on, he worked in the engineering division of the City of St. Charles Department of Public Works. He is a licensed drone pilot and has been on site at the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility project in Johnson County, Kan. Anway earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia. A veteran and former member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, he served as a Platoon Sergeant and Reserve Administrative Chief. Anway currently resides in Overland Park, Kan.

Zachary Kelly

Kelly joined Castle in 2014 as an intern. He is a licensed drone pilot and has spearheaded the use of drone footage to help quantify sitework production and inform scheduling on projects such as the Washington University East End Transformation of the Danforth Campus. He also contributed to Castle’s civil construction work on the Gateway Arch National Park, IKEA, City Foundry and many solar projects. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. He volunteers regularly with his alma mater, Chaminade High School, and he is on the Young Professionals Board for HomeFirst STL, a community organization that connects homeless people with affordable housing, community resources and volunteer advocates. He and his family live in Ballwin, Mo.

“Austin and Zach are two partners who just take the lead to do what needs to be done for the team and the client. They are focused on developing a full understanding of civil construction and applying technology to bring efficiencies to our projects,” said Michael Pranger, vice president of operations, Castle Contracting.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast. Castle’s recent civil contracting projects in St. Louis include Gateway Arch National Park, the East End transformation of Washington University’s Danforth campus, Next NGA West, and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

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