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KAI Announces Hiring of Aaron Keistler, AIA, NCARB as Director of Architecture

Aaron Keistler

KAI Enterprises is pleased to announce the hiring of Aaron Keistler, AIA, NCARB, as Director of Architecture in its St. Louis office.

As Director of Architecture, Keistler will manage staffing of the architectural and interior design team as well as lead the department’s vision, project guidance and standards. He will also pursue new projects with the team’s project managers and principals.

“KAI is delighted to have Aaron join our architecture and engineering business. I had the opportunity to previously work with Aaron and know what an asset he is to our design teams, our organization and our clients,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Aaron brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm that positively touches everyone. While still considered young in our industry, Aaron has the knowledge and maturity of someone with far more experience. His commitment to design excellence and knowledge of industry-leading technology are the differentiators. We are keen to see Aaron’s impact with our architecture studio.”

Keistler has eight years of industry experience, including four years as an Architect/Associate at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois; two years as an Architect at Jacobs Engineering in St. Louis and two years as an Architect at V Three Studios in Maplewood, Missouri.

He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Young Architect’s Forum St. Louis (YAFSTL). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Registered Architect with the State of Illinois and is registered through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certification (NCARB).

Keistler resides in Affton, Missouri with his girlfriend and their dog Zoey Zobo, a German Shorthair Pointer. When not working, Keistler enjoys home improvement projects, dog training, hunting, fishing, camping and playing recreation league softball.

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

The UP Companies Hires David Schwetz as General Superintendent

David Schwetz

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of David Schwetz as General Superintendent in its new Kansas City office. Through UPCO’s Square UP Builders division, Schwetz will primarily focus on carpentry projects and will also support Regional Director David Murrell with expansion efforts in the Greater Kansas City area.

“In his new position, Dave will be responsible for recruiting, developing and retaining field personnel in the Kansas City area. He will also work to maximize productivity and efficiency on jobsites while creating and maintaining a workforce safety culture,” said UPCO Regional Director David Murrell. “We are pleased to have Dave join our expanding Kansas City crew, as this is an exciting time for UPCO and Square UP Builders in Kansas City.”

Schwetz has 25 years of industry experience. Prior to UPCO, Schwetz was a Foreman for BAM Contracting of St. Louis and Dahmer Contracting Group of Lenexa, Kansas. He also worked as a Superintendent for Fleshman Construction in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Dave is a tremendous asset to the UPCO team. He has built a successful career and has a reputation as a formidable leader, mentor and skilled problem-solver,” said Brian W. Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies. “We are excited to have him on board helping to oversee our many projects as we grow in the Kansas City market.”

Schwetz lives in Blue Springs, Missouri with his wife Katie, who is a vice-president at State Street Corporation, and their two sons, George and Michael. George is in the Air Force and Michael is in the Army National Guard. During his spare time, Schwetz enjoys golfing and fishing.

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 a decade, UPCO has focused on its mission of Building UP Communities Through Innovation, Diversity, and Integrity, providing superior design and contracting services through each of its distinct business units—Power UP, Square UP and Hustle UP. For more information, go to or call 913.787.4063.

Kwame Building Group Hires Katina Shannon-Crawford as Project Administrator

Katina Shannon-Crawford

Katina Shannon-Crawford of Spanish Lake, MO has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as a Project Administrator. Shannon-Crawford’s responsibilities include contract changes, tracking documents and maintaining staff schedules for the construction management firm’s projects, including the new St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium and America’s Center expansion.

Shannon-Crawford has more than 10 years of experience in planning and executing large events and meetings. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in Education from Harris-Stowe 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. 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 or call (314) 862-5344.

Murphy Company Adds Staff

Mary Young

Mary Young joins Murphy Company as accounts payable/payroll clerk. The announcement was made by Marty Coughlin, service accounting manager. With an extensive background in administrative responsibilities, Young most recently served as an accounts payable associate for a mechanical contractor. Prior to that, she held a position as an administrative assistant at an electrical consulting firm. “We are very excited to welcome Mary to the Murphy team,” said Coughlin.

Mackenzie King

Mackenzie King joins Murphy Company as data center services coordinator. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, vice president – Data Center Services. A recent graduate of Missouri University of Science and Technology – Rolla, King received her bachelor’s degree in engineering management with a focus on industrial systems. Prior to that, she graduated from Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO. with an associate’s degree. Mackenzie was recognized for her outstanding academic achievements where she made the dean’s list at each institution. Additionally, she founded an engineering honor society, as well as maintained membership in five other groups for engineering, leadership, and industrial honor societies. Mackenzie comes to Murphy with several years of experience as an engineering intern with a background in telecommunications, chemical engineering, and metallurgy. Aside from being OSHA 10 certified, she has also passed the Industrial FE exam and Systems FE exam. King is also Six Sigma Green Belt certified.

Madison Feldhaus

Madison Feldhaus has joined Murphy Company as service billing specialist. The announcement was made by Marty Coughlin, service accounting Manager. As a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia, Feldhaus was most recently employed as a patient service representative for a local asthma and allergy relief clinic where she was responsible for a variety of administrative duties. Since 2012, Madison has been a volunteer with ManAdvantage, a non-profit association that helps children who have been affected by the death or disability of a parent. “We are very happy to have Madison as a part of our team and to help us grow towards our departmental goals.”, said Coughlin.

Carolanne Dukeman

Carolanne Dukeman has joined Murphy Company as office clerk. The announcement was made by Tina Jones, executive administrative assistant/office manager. For the past two and a half years, Dukeman served as an administrative assistant for Sts. Joachim & Ann Catholic Church & School in St. Charles. From 2008 to 2017, she was a project manager, campus administrator and administrative assistant for EJ4, a video e-learning company. She attended University of Missouri-St. Louis. A dedicated volunteer, she serves as vice president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians-St. Patrick’s Division, arranging Adopt-A-Family participation and helping to organize its annual fundraiser. For the past five years, she has been chair of the silent auction for the Sts. Joachim & Ann annual parish picnic.

Murphy Company is the area’s largest mechanical contractor with offices in St. Louis and Denver. For more information, visit

Carolanne Dukeman has joined Murphy Company

Dennis Voss has been named president of G&S Architectural Products in St. Louis. The company is a subsidiary of Golterman & Sabo, a family-owned supplier of architectural products for the construction industry for more than 100 years.

Voss oversees the company’s specialized service and supply offering in the Midwest.

“We are one of the few suppliers that not only manufactures custom architectural products, we also do our own installation work in the bi-state area,” explains Voss. “Many of our projects are quite complex and our unique expertise in installing our products is highly valued by our construction partners.”

The company has won numerous construction industry awards for their work. “Since Dennis joined us in 1996, he has been a valued player who has continuously contributed to our growth and success, moving from various roles in project management to sales management,” says Herb Golterman, president of Golterman & Sabo. “Dennis is the first non-family member to become an officer of the company in our 75-year history, which underscores the significant contributions he’s made to our business.”

Voss holds a  Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the Keller Graduate School.

Dennis Voss Named President of G&S Architectural Products

Dennis Voss

Dennis Voss has been named president of G&S Architectural Products in St. Louis. The company is a subsidiary of Golterman & Sabo, a family-owned supplier of architectural products for the construction industry for more than 100 years.

Voss oversees the company’s specialized service and supply offering in the Midwest.

“We are one of the few suppliers that not only manufactures custom architectural products, we also do our own installation work in the bi-state area,” explains Voss. “Many of our projects are quite complex and our unique expertise in installing our products is highly valued by our construction partners.”

The company has won numerous construction industry awards for their work. “Since Dennis joined us in 1996, he has been a valued player who has continuously contributed to our growth and success, moving from various roles in project management to sales management,” says Herb Golterman, president of Golterman & Sabo. “Dennis is the first non-family member to become an officer of the company in our 75-year history, which underscores the significant contributions he’s made to our business.”

Voss holds a  Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the Keller Graduate School.   

June 19, 2020

Oculus Inc. Adds to Ownership Team

Brian Kern

Brian Kern named principal, continues to lead retail team

Oculus Inc., a full-service St. Louis-based architecture and interior design firm, has expanded its leadership team with the promotion of Brian Kern, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, to principal. Kern has been with the firm since its inception in 1994 and will continue to hold the position of retail director for the firm’s St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore. offices.

“On the heels of our 25th business anniversary this past year, we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the milestone with the promotion of Brian Kern,” said Ron Reim, executive vice president and co-founder of Oculus Inc. “Brian has truly helped to diversify our client base and expand our book of business outside of the St. Louis area, further positioning us a national firm.”

Last year, Oculus completed renovations on both its St. Louis corporate headquarters and its Dallas office location. The company is currently working on projects across the U.S. for returning clients including Focus Brands, Lion’s Choice, and Department of Veterans Affairs. The addition of new senior living projects in St. Louis and the design of an out-of-ground boutique hotel for Seaside Lodging in Seaside, Ore., have positioned Oculus for continued success in 2020.

“I’m so honored to continue supporting the company that helped me develop my skills and career path,” Kern said. “Now, 25 years later, Oculus is positioned as a premier national architecture and interior design firm, and is strategically growing in the hospitality, senior living and private healthcare markets.”

Kern is a graduate of Kansas State University’s Interior Architecture program and joined the firm in 1994 when Oculus was founded. Kern most notably designed an electronic inventory system for the firm to help track and manage data in drawings. The early adoption and deployment of these technological innovations became the foundation of the company, establishing them to compete for larger corporate work. This includes bringing on BJC HealthCare, The Federal Reserve Bank, Centene Corporation, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Community College, and AT&T Wireless Retail as clients.

In 2008, Kern earned his MBA in Business Management from Washington University in St. Louis while working at Oculus and assumed the role as director of retail. Kern’s significant experience in prototype design, brand standards management, national roll out, new builds and retail remodels brought the additions of restaurant clients, such as Nestle, Dominos and BurgerFi.

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.

Spellman Brady & Company Hires Danielle Spellman

Danielle Spellman

Spellman Brady is pleased to announce that Danielle Spellman has joined the firm in the role of Art Associate.  In her role as art associate, Ms. Spellman is responsible for creating unique project-specific artwork concepts; making artwork selections to meet the project budget; completing documents for presentations; and assisting with record keeping of all art processes and project-related documents.

Ms. Spellman attended Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film, Video and Photography and became OSHA 10 Certified.  Prior to joining Spellman Brady, she served as a photo assistant with several photography studios, worked with the Maryland Film Festival, and produced a short film for the Baltimore Student Film Showcase.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments.  The firm maintains design excellence by delivering comprehensive interior design, furniture, artwork master planning, and procurement services.  As a Certified WBE Business, Spellman Brady & Company has completed more than 6,300 projects in 43 states and abroad since its founding in 1991.  For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

Kwame Building Group Hires Courtney Prentiss as a Construction Management Intern

Courtney Prentiss

Courtney Prentiss has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as a Construction Management Intern. Prentiss’ responsibilities include assisting the construction project manager on project responsibilities, including scheduling, cost estimating and other aspects of project performance.

Prentiss holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. She will graduate from Washington University this December with master’s degrees in Architecture and Construction Management.

Prentiss is a student member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the American Institute of Architectural Students. She was a first-place winner in the PCI Foundation’s 2020 Project Precast student competition and has been elected 2020-2021 Vice President of Finance for the Washington University Graduate Architecture Council.

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. KWAME’s public and private sector projects include educational facilities, major airports nationwide, light-rail systems, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities and government facilities. KWAME is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

June 5, 2020

Cole & Associates Announces New Shareholder

Eric Morff

Cole & Associates, Inc. announced today that Eric Morff, PE is the newest shareholder of the firm. Morff graduated from University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1997. Eric is a registered Professional Engineer and LEED AP BD+C. He started with Cole in 2012 and works on a wide range of projects with clients nationwide.

When asked about how he came to Cole Morff said, “A friend I used to work with kept telling me ‘You should come to Cole, it’s great here!’, and it turns out that he was right, I love working here.”

Kevin E. Riggs, President/CEO of the firm said, “Eric has been instrumental to the growth of the firm. His professionalism, ability to successfully complete projects of any size, and dedication to develop excellent client relationships has made him invaluable to Cole. We are excited to add Eric to our group of shareholders and we know he will contribute greatly to the continued success of the firm.”

Current shareholders include Riggs, Lisa Baker, CFO; Vice Presidents of Regional Operations ‐ John Harshbarger in St. Louis and St. Charles; Jim Roth in Phoenix; and Sandy Stephens in Dallas; Jeremy Roach, Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture; and Survey Managers ‐ Terry Westerman and Tom Reynolds.

Cole & Associates, Inc. is a Missouri Corporation d.b.a. Cole Design Group, Inc. in Texas & Arizona. Cole was founded in 1990 and is a multidiscipline design firm providing civil engineering, surveying, planning, landscape architecture, GIS, and ADA transition planning services nationwide. Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Cole has additional offices in St. Charles, Mo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Dallas, Texas.

Wiegmann Associates Promotes Kyle Boschert to Service Manager

Kyle Boschert

Kyle Boschert of St. Charles, has been promoted to service manager at Wiegmann Associates. Boschert will lead Wiegmann Associates’ HVAC service operations. His responsibilities include overseeing service contracts and equipment installations, developing and managing a high-performing team and creating repeat business opportunities. With more than 25 technicians, Wiegmann Associates is one of the largest commercial heating and cooling service providers in the St. Louis region.

Boschert joined Wiegmann Associates as an estimator in 2010 and became a service project manager in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Lindenwood University.

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. Since 1995, Wiegmann Associates has engineered and installed innovative, energy-saving and cost-efficient HVAC solutions, refrigeration systems and automation controls for clients in a wide range of industries. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

May 29, 2020

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 or call (314) 862-5344.

IMPACT Strategies Provides Pre-Construction & Construction Management Services for Autohaus BMW of Maplewood Redesign

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IMPACT Strategies recently completed a full redesign of Autohaus BMW of Maplewood to be consistent with BMW’s latest showroom prototype. The sleek new design involved an expanded car delivery area, reconfigured offices, service advisory area, customer lounge, and a revamp of the showroom. Upgrades to the lighting and final finishes completed the new the look.

Modern finishes and upgrades were also made to the exterior of the building including an updated façade, automatic sliding doors, and an exterior canopy for the new car delivery area.

The dealership remained open during the makeover. IMPACT Strategies worked closely with Autohaus to ensure the safety of employees and customers on the premises during construction.

IMPACT Strategies has been proud to partner with Autohaus on numerous occasions, including renovations to the dealership’s parking lot last summer and the construction of the $4.5 Million MINI of St. Louis facility in Maplewood. IMPACT Strategies worked with TR,i Architects on this project and the MINI of St. Louis project.

IMPACT Strategies provides client-focused construction management, design/build, and general contracting services. The firm offers a full continuum of innovative design/build service capabilities including proven construction management processes and site development. IMPACT Strategies serves a regional and national client base in the Healthcare, Senior Living, Multifamily, Office, Retail, and Warehouse/Distribution markets. To learn more visit or call 618-394-8400 or 314-646-8400.

St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium Workforce Construction Update

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As part of the construction of the new St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium and district, the ownership group is committed to engaging the community and creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses in St. Louis and the surrounding area. While still in the pre-construction phase of the project, Kwame Building Group, the project manager and representatives of the ownership group for St. Louis’ Major League Soccer team, has committed 21 of the 55 contracts to-date to Women and Minority Business Enterprises (Seven to Women Business Enterprises and 14 to African American Enterprises) which equals approximately $52.5 million (Approximately $10.6 million to Women’s Business Enterprises and $41.8 million to African American Business Enterprises).

The City of St. Louis has an overall goal of 24% of a project’s contract dollars go to minority-owned businesses, and this construction team has made it a top priority to achieve that goal. The project team is actively engaging with minority-owned businesses and creating opportunities for them to grow and succeed by conducting outreach events and establishing an inclusive, transparent bidding process.

The construction team held events about bid opportunities on February 26 and June 17 and plan future events. Bid events and opportunities are communicated widely to all St. Louis City Certified MBE/WBE firm via St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) email blasts and also through Alberici SmartBid, St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center (MOKAN), St. Louis Minority Business Development Agency, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce, African Chamber of Commerce and Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to creating opportunities for minority-owned contractors, the joint venture and the ownership group are committed to maximizing additional workforce opportunities. Over the course of the stadium construction project, approximately 500 local construction jobs will be created.

Statement Attributed to Tony Thompson, CEO of KWAME Building Group:

“As a Minority Business Enterprise with extensive female and African American leadership on this project, KWAME knows that a diverse business community and workforce are essential to St. Louis’ success and competitiveness. Our project team has a strong track record in workforce inclusion and supplier diversity. The ownership group’s vision from the beginning has been to be an exceptional club and neighbor on and off the field.  We all share a commitment to community engagement for this monumental project, with strong opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses, as evidenced by their commitment to having us lead the effort as the owner’s representative.”

Statement Attributable to Don Johnson, President, Steel Rebar Manufacturing LLC, SRM Construction Material and Supply:

“As a minority-owned small business, SRM Construction Material and Supply appreciates the opportunities that large-scale projects like the MLS Stadium offers through creating jobs for local residents of the community. The St. Louis City Diversity Program in addition to agencies such as the Associated General Contractors (AGC), St. Louis Apartment Association (SLAA), St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) and St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center (MOKAN) have all been instrumental in coordinating efforts to bring together contractors supporting the efforts of minority and women-owned businesses.”  

“SRM Construction Material and Supply looks forward to growing as a company while offering both skills training and job placement incorporating a diverse workforce in cooperation with the union trades. It is important that local leadership continue in their efforts of supporting minority-owned small businesses while elevating the bar to not only set but meet diversity goals through efforts similar to what the MLS Stadium Project has established.”

Statement Attributable to John Wilson, President & CEO, Penn Services:

“Penn Services is very excited and grateful to have been chosen to provide steel services on this amazing project. We are so delighted to see the ownership plan, develop and invest in the local St. Louis community! We look forward to working with a dynamic and first-class group of GC’s.”

Holland Construction Begins Renovations on Historic Lofts on the Square Project

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Holland Construction Services is beginning the $14.2 million renovation of the former Meredith Home/Hotel Belleville, now known as Lofts on the Square. The highly anticipated senior living project, located at 16 S. Illinois Street in Belleville, will include 47 apartments, common areas, activity spaces, a library/computer lab, an exercise room and storage facilities. The six-story building will also include 3,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the first floor.

Holland Construction Senior Project Manager, Tim Simon, said renovating the nearly 90 year-old building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, comes with a unique set of challenges, but his team is ready to get the project moving.

“We know this is a project that means so much to the entire community and the opportunity to help bring a building back to life that was built in 1931, is exciting,” said Simon. “Structurally, we expect to encounter unexpected surprises as we open up the walls, but our team excels at troubleshooting and thinking outside the box, so I think this project will challenge us in a lot of good ways.”

The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA) and St. Louis-based Bywater Development Group purchased the property from the City of Belleville for $600,000 and are the developers on the project. SWIDA executive director Mike Lundy said their goal is to retain the building’s original interior and exterior historic character-defining elements, while re-purposing the building as residential apartments, bringing new vitality to Downtown Belleville.

“This is a building that was once slated for demolition, and now has the chance to become a focal point of our city,” said Lundy. “It was very important to us that we selected a construction partner for this project that would help us find innovative ways to maintain as much of the original integrity of this building as possible and we know Holland’s team will collaborate with us to do that.”

Lundy said the Lofts on the Square apartments will be available to senior citizens, 55 and older, who meet income requirements. The senior apartments will be on the second through sixth floors and the first floor will feature a restored lobby area and street-level commercial space. The project is expected to be completed by July of 2021.

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, Ill., guided by the principle of providing clients the best possible build experience on every project.  Holland has been providing quality construction services throughout Illinois and Missouri since 1986, when it was founded by company CEO Bruce Holland. For more information, visit Holland’s website at

Cohen Architectural Woodworking Building Sneeze Guards For Businesses Nationwide

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Texas Roadhouse Orders 12,000 Units for Restaurants Coast-to-Coast 

Cohen Architectural Woodworking has ramped up production to meet the growing nationwide demand for sneeze guards.

Restaurants, supermarkets, and other establishments need sneeze guards to protect patrons and employees against COVID-19.

One client, Texas Roadhouse, has ordered 12,000 units. The sneeze guards will be installed in their restaurants from coast-to-coast. The Texas Roadhouse sneeze guards feature plexiglass and wood finished to match their wood interiors. Cohen also customized designed sneeze guards for Vino Volo at the New Orleans International Airport.

Phil Cohen, Founder and CEO, says the firm custom design sneeze guards to meet each client’s specifications, in any size or quantity, and using most any materials.

“We have the equipment and personnel to churn out large quantities of sneeze guards and do so quickly to meet the demands of the client. Whether thousands of locations or just a few, we can meet their needs. Our design team will custom design sneeze guards in line with the branding specifications of their business,” Cohen said.

Founded in 1982, Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned architectural design/build woodworking firm headquartered in St. James, Missouri. Recently named a Forbes Small Giant as one of the top 25 small businesses in America, two things are obvious to anyone walking through our doors–we care about relationships and we care about excellence. For more information visit

Tarlton Serving As General Contractor For New Tower Tee

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St. Louis-based Tarlton Corporation is providing preconstruction and general contracting services for the reimagining of St. Louis landmark Tower Tee into a 27-acre golf and recreation complex set to open next year in South St. Louis.

The cornerstone of the new Tower Tee Golf Complex will be a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse that includes a welcome desk, indoor training facility and lounge area. The team also will construct two single-level driving range structures, a two-story driving range structure, covered practice tee boxes, a new nine-hole golf course, expanded outdoor training area, concession area and two covered outdoor pavilions. For non-golfers, the facility will include a new miniature golf course, bocce courts, playground, batting cages and a course for foot golf, golf played with a soccer ball.

Site work is underway, with construction slated to begin in July. Completion is estimated for February 2021, with an anticipated grand opening in late spring. “The grading process is well underway and grassing of the driving range and short game area will take place soon,” said Mike Shamia of Tower Tee. “Special care was taken to create a facility that will appeal to the most accomplished golfer and novice alike. The greens will begin to take shape soon, with the goal of growing grass late summer on the course.”

The new facility will pay tribute to the original Tower Tee in various ways. Originally opening in 1963, Tower Tee was a South St. Louis staple, with batting cages, an 18-hole golf course, driving range and miniature golf. In 2018, after 55 years in operation, the original owners closed the business and plans began for a new subdivision. Passionate area residents lobbied against the residential development. The site was purchased in May 2019 by Steve Walkenbach with a different plan in mind.

The new ownership team promises golfers “the best public practice area in the region,” boasting a 15,000-square-foot putting green and a short game practice area. The former 18-hole golf course will be replaced by a new nine-hole course, with greens meeting U.S. Golf Association construction guidelines. Each of the nine greens is designed after a world-famous green. Art Schaupeter, a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, is the course architect. FGM Architects is the project architect.

The Tarlton team includes Andy Kovarik, project executive; Bridget Fischer, project manager; Greg Sweeso, project manager – preconstruction; and Emily LeGrand, cost engineer. Fischer, who grew up a half mile from Tower Tee, said, “This is a very important project not only for me, but for the community as well. I can remember walking there to go to batting practice. I can’t wait to take my little guy to enjoy some time there, as I did when I was a kid.”

Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that provides outstanding preconstruction and construction solutions to clients in the life science, higher education, health care, commercial, power and industrial markets. In business since 1946, the Midwest general contractor/construction manager also has special expertise in concrete construction, restoration and maintenance. Tarlton has completed many landmark St. Louis projects and is committed to improving lives through inclusive construction, civic engagement and service to others.

Trace on the Parkway Makes Innovative Move to Utilize Solar Energy

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Trace on the Parkway, located at the intersection of Governors Parkway and Route 157 in Edwardsville, now has an additional reason to be considered a unique development. The residential living complex will be one of the first in the area to be primarily powered by solar energy.

Trace on the Parkway Developer, Scott Plocher, said a 291.2 Kilowatt solar array system was installed on the apartment buildings this month. The array is net-metered and should provide at least 60 percent of the expected electricity needs to the Trace, with standard electric providing the remainder. The system is made up of 728 each 400-watt individual solar panels, with an 85 percent performance guarantee for 25 years, plus 6 DC to AC power inverters.

“We decided to add solar as a long-term investment in green energy for this unique facility,” said Plocher. “Part of what makes Trace unique is the easy access it provides to outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities and we want to do what we can to encourage environmental stewardship. We believe the solar panels will add to the distinctive qualities of this development,” said Plocher.

Day and Night Solar provided the solar solution for the project. Plocher said the company did utilize several state and federal tax credit incentives to help supplement some of the initial installation cost for the project.

Edwardsville Community Development Director, Walt Williams said, thanks in part to current tax incentives, it’s an idea he’d like to see more local businesses consider.

“As a community that strongly believes in maintaining its green spaces, we are excited to see Trace on the Parkway make an environmentally sound move such as this,” said Williams. “I’m not aware of many businesses or commercial properties who have made the move to solar energy, but from a long-term sustainability standpoint, it will enable them to lock in electricity prices and reduce reliance on an unpredictable expense, which helps them plan better for the future.”

Plocher Construction Company is the local developer for the $50 million mixed-use Trace on the Parkway project. The Trace will make up the residential portion of the complex, consisting of 166 luxury apartments which will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units. The project will also include 8 townhomes which are available for purchase. The project includes multiple amenities as well as convenient connections to the Madison County trail system.

Kunkel Wittenauer Group, the residential property management company for Trace, can be contacted at (618) 224-3320.  For additional details about this project, visit

Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Roofing Branch Receives ESP Commercial Roofing Award

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Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Roofing Branch was recently honored with a prestigious 2020 Excellence in Single-Ply (ESP) award from Carlisle SynTec Systems, manufacturers of roofing membranes, components and specialty roofing products. The Excellence in Single-Ply award is one of the top accolades in the commercial roofing industry.

ESP status is given out annually to a small percentage of Carlisle’s most dedicated and professionally-minded applicators. Selection into this elite group is based on a company’s volume and quality of workmanship of Carlisle single-ply roofing systems.

The St. Louis Roofing Branch has installed and warranted over 12.8 million square feet of Carlisle single-ply roofing systems and has completed 563 Perfect 10 installations as judged by Carlisle’s final inspection process.

“Western Specialty Contractors prides itself on using the highest quality roofing materials and delivering a quality roofing installation every time,” said Region Manager Bob Gender. “Realizing this recognition from Carlisle is further testament of Western’s roofing expertise and dedication to quality workmanship. We are proud to have been selected for this prestigious award.”

Established in 1998 as a means to recognize Carlisle Syn Tec Systems’ most loyal and dedicated authorized applicators, the Excellence in Single-Ply award has become one of the most recognizable and prestigious achievements in the commercial roofing industry. Inclusion in ESP is an acknowledgment that a contractor is an industry leader. As membership in this exclusive group has grown throughout the years, one thing has remained the same – the bond between Carlisle and all of its ESP contractors is solidified by a mutual commitment to roofing excellence.

“Only the most accomplished applicators achieve ESP status, a designation that provides customers with confidence that they have partnered with the very best in the industry,” according to a Carlisle Syn Tec Systems statement.

About Western Specialty Contractors

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including: industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit

Photo Above: L to R Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Roofing Branch Project Manager Thom Belgeri, Region Manager Bob Gender and Branch Manager Jack Schneider with the ESP award.

Four Steps to Maintaining High Cash Balances During Busy Season

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Submitted by: Schmersahl Treloar & Co.

When the busy season comes, the last thing on your mind is accounting for your projects. You and your employees are concerned with only one thing: keeping up in delivering quality projects on time.

Bookkeeping comes long after your firm’s other priorities such as…

  • a broken down delivery truck with five pallets of job-site materials on the highway,
  • a crew locked out of a public building job-site on a graveyard shift electrical installation,
  • a big change directive coming from an owner that adds work and totally changes the design of work already underway.

Your back office can support your busy season by taking certain steps to increase your cash on hand. Here are some good ones:

Step 1: Insure Job Profitability

The best way to insure cash flows stay high is to keep jobs profitable. Yes, profitable. That means current job expenses should be less than current job revenues at all times.

Think of profits as one of the dials in the cockpit of a large jet airplane, with you as the pilot. Job profits signal to you where your cash flows will be in the next 30 to 90 days, like an altimeter might signal your plane’s altitude as it dips and jumps. Accrual-based accounting, when properly done, insures that job profits tell you in which direction your cash balances are heading: up or down.

Step 2: Plan For The Pipeline

Many construction executives know well in advance of a new project’s start date. You usually get lead time when you are awarded a big project that is going to eat up a lot of your resources: manpower, equipment, vehicles and cash. In other words, you are not going to be told today that you are starting a half-million dollar project tomorrow.

That “lead time” is one of the most valuable pieces of information you’ll ever have. That’s your backlog. Using this lead time to finance your projects wisely can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges on working capital lines of credit and short-term loans that will no longer be necessary.

In fact, self-financing big construction projects is worth the trouble. Specifically, this involves setting aside enough cash in bulk at the beginning of the project to fund all the payrolls, materials, supplies and subcontractor cash payments necessary until the incoming payments on the project start to carry the entire weight of the project’s expenses.

Step 3: Meet The Infrastructure Demands

Your technology and manpower needs will change as your workload of current projects changes. If you anticipate this and lay out the cash to meet these demands at the start of the project, you will stay ahead of the curve. The alternative is to always play “catch up.”

To be on the safe side, make sure you have the capacity to hire enough workers and create inroads to tap into more manpower. Do this by building relationships with union halls, trade schools, and workers themselves so that a large deployment is possible if you land a very big project. Sign-on bonuses are always a good incentive to draw back good workers from their “time-killing” second jobs. And the bonuses will wash right out when the big job becomes profitable due to effective deployment of skilled manpower.

Don’t underestimate the value of state-of-the-art technology, either. If you don’t upgrade when the need arises, you might have a hard time in future projects where that technology would be needed. Mobile devices are getting more prevalent and more powerful on job-sites. Make sure all the key men have adequate handheld devices before a big project hits. You’ll need the infrastructure already in place and well established, if you want to keep up with the demands of a new, much bigger project.

Step 4: Fully Utilize Your Estimating Department

The estimates are where the money is either made or not made on construction projects. A good estimate leads to profit while a bad estimate leads to a project where the foreman is always playing “catch up.” It can also mean that your firm has to rely on getting change orders approved in order to make any money.

Just remember where your estimator’s expertise comes from: cost data. The price you quote your customer per square foot, per square yard, or per piece is a summation of the costs and profit of producing that work in the field. And what better source of cost data than from your current projects? Your construction accounting system is a storehouse of information on current cost levels for both materials and labor.

Electrical Connection Partnership Advances Work on St. Jude Dream Home

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Tickets to Win the 4,100 SF Home Sell at a Record Pace on June 11, 2020 

Payne Family Homes reports that tickets for the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home® in O’Fallon Mo. are selling at a record pace. The annual free home giveaway to benefit the renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® sold half of the tickets to win the home on the June 11, 2020 opening day of sales.  The goal is to raise more than $1.1 million for the hospital.

To kick off the opening of ticket sales, Payne Family Homes had building partners, include the Electrical Connection, sign the floor of the home.  Dave Roth, business representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 joined Josh Grasser, a third generation manager at family-owned Grasser Electric, in signing the floor.  Grasser is a member of St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) which partners with IBEW Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection.  The labor-management partnership is donating services and materials to build the home.

The 2020 St. Jude Dream Home broke ground on January 30, 2020 at 318 Old Forester Drive in Payne Family Homes’ Legends Pointe subdivision.   The 1.5-story, 4,100 square-foot-home will feature a number of amenities including a home cinema and security system, four bedrooms and 4.5 baths, plus a three-sided sculptural fireplace, interior stone wall, spacious loft area, cozy reading nook and more.

This is the seventh St. Jude Dream Home built by Payne Family Homes with the help of IBEW/NECA.  Grasser Electric has donated services to build five of those homes.  The seven-year-long charitable endeavor has raised more than $6.1 million locally for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the families it serves never receive a bill for treatment, travel housing or food – because all they should worry about is helping their child live.

Tickets to win the home can be reserved for $100 each and only 11,500 will be sold. For more information about the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home, call or text 314-477-1218 or visit the St. Jude Dream Home page at to join the VIP list for updates and more info. Illinois ticket buyers call 800-667-3394.  The winner of the home will be drawn on August 20, 2020.

The 2019 St. Jude Dream Home, which was also built with donated services from the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership earned numerous honors. It was recognized at the annual St. Jude Dream Home Builder Summit in Memphis as one of the best in the country, winning awards for Best Master Suite, Best Special Features, and Zero Hero. Zero Hero is a title exclusively awarded to builders that deliver a 100% donated home to the fundraising effort. Payne Family Homes has received the title Zero Hero every year it has participated in the Dream Home Giveaway campaign.

Established as one of the Payne Family of companies in 2007, Payne Family Homes has quickly risen to be the St. Louis metro region’s second largest homebuilder and recently was named one of the area’s fastest growing companies by the St. Louis Business Journal. Payne Family Homes was also just voted Best Home Builder in St. Louis by readers of St. Louis Magazine.  For more information, visit  or call 314-477-1218.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook ( and following us on Twitter (@stjude).

The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership includes more than 5,000 highly skilled and safe IBEW electricians and the more than 150 NECA electrical contractors who employ them.  For more than 75 years, the partnership has trained more electricians/communication technicians than any education program in Missouri. Its award-winning work provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Learn more at

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