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Long-Time St. Louis Developer Kicks Off New Real Estate Venture

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Brian Pratt

BallastCRE Scales Real Estate to Real Life

One of St. Louis’s most influential commercial real estate developers is taking on the region’s overlooked and underdeveloped properties. Brian Pratt, long-time Green Street St. Louis executive, has resigned to launch his own community-focused, commercial real estate development and advisory firm—BallastCRE.

“I am energized to refocus on facilitating neighborhood-scale real estate projects that help mend communities through thoughtful investment,” Pratt said. “BallastCRE scales real estate to real life, which means we concentrate on the connections between people and places.”

“As we concentrate on these connections, we’re able to adapt real estate developments to consumer preferences. Right now, many of those preferences revolve around health and wellness, things like air quality, access to natural light, and walk- and bike-ability,” Pratt said. “BallastCRE leverages those realities to responsibly influence our city’s revitalization.”

Pratt has long been a prominent contributor within the St. Louis region’s commercial real estate market, forging a cross-section of projects such as Chroma, Urban Chestnut, Rockwell Brewing and Sheet Metal Workers SMART Local Union No. 36. His portfolio exceeds $500 million in total commercial real estate valuation and more than 3,350,000 square feet across a diversified portfolio of asset classes and representing design, development, finance, and project management experience.

Ballast Commercial Real Estate (BallastCRE) functions as both an independent developer and a partner to investors, private companies and nonprofit organizations. We specialize in adaptive re-use and mixed-use properties within St. Louis’ urban communities and support our clients’ commercial real estate initiatives through a variety of technical and tactical services. With some of the region’s most game-changing developments as our proving ground, we’ve demonstrated the leadership and expertise it takes to transform challenges into opportunities.

McCarthy, Castle Say 97-acre Next NGA West Project Graded, on Schedule

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

St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies and Castle Contracting provided an update Wednesday on the progress that has occurred on the North St. Louis site of the future western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Next NGA West.

McCarthy VP of Operations Jeff Boyer said the construction schedule has not been impacted by COVID-19 so far because the project itself has involved a limited number of on-site workers. He added that the type of work performed – which requires using heavy equipment – naturally supports social distancing.

Design work, typically involving collaboration, is also proceeding on schedule thanks to remote collaboration via a number of technological applications. The facility’s design itself, Boyer said, has not been altered. Protocols currently inspired and augmented by COVID-19 may well be different five years hence once the NGA’s St. Louis staff of 3,150 workers moves into the new headquarters in 2025. According to Boyer, McCarthy HITT is committed to keeping construction of Next NGA West on track for completion in 2023. The span of time between substantial completion and the move-in of personnel will be spent on NGA instrumentation and commissioning of the facility for operation.

Castle Contracting LLC VP of Operations Mike Pranger said the site, located at the intersection of Jefferson and Cass Avenues in the historic St. Louis Place neighborhood, has provided a healthy challenge in terms of subsurface exploration and geotechnical work because records of what existed – utility locations and more – are incomplete. Castle mass graded and moved more than 775,000 cubic yards of dirt to clear and level the site for construction. Subsurface utility mapping technology, he added, has played a major role in locating underground utility lines, piping and other digging hazards. The technology includes sophisticated geophysical, geomatics and design software tools to accurately locate underground infrastructure before it can potentially delay a construction project.

The $1.7 billion construction project is being managed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and being built by McCarthy HITT Joint Venture, with oversight by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Air Force.

For more information on the project, see https://nextngawest.com/#/home.

McCarthy Building Companies Joins COVID-19 Industry Leadership Initiative

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Construction Safety Challenge seeks rapidly deployable, scalable innovations that address outbreak-related challenges today with an eye towards future

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced shutdowns of many global businesses, a coalition of leading critical infrastructure and construction companies has banded together to launch the “NEXT Coalition” to promote and share industry safety best practices. Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell and McCarthy Building Companies are leveraging their deep safety expertise and best practices in a campaign to ensure the well-being of crews and office team members facing complex challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

The coalition seeks to identify and advance processes and technologies most likely to bolster construction safety in response to the “next normal” ushered in by COVID-19. To that end, the coalition of leading construction and design companies is launching the “Construction Safety Challenge,” an open call to companies, startups and other innovators with emerging safety solutions that can be quickly deployed and scaled.

“This virus, and future pandemics won’t wait for us to catch up,” said Steve Edwards, CEO of Black & Veatch. “The NEXT Coalition recognizes the opportunities that our companies’ collective scale and experience create to quickly begin sourcing, testing and launching solutions that can impact construction safety fast. To accomplish that goal, we needed to look outside of our own companies, hence the need for the open Challenge.”

The NEXT Coalition seeks both new startups and seasoned companies to partner with its members to implement products and processes that will enhance health and safety in the field and back office. Submissions must be as close to market-ready as possible, though proof-of-concept/prototype-stage solutions will be considered. Solutions that are chosen may be deployed by coalition members on active projects around the globe.

“The need for rapid innovation and implementation in our industry has never been greater,” commented McCarthy Southern California Region President Michael Myers. “This coalition has joined together to source the best solutions to ensure the safety and sustainability of all of our projects. As we continue to deliver critical infrastructure across the country, our companies have the reach and the resources to move the needle on an industry-wide basis.”

The Construction Safety Challenge seeks solutions in areas that include safety policy compliance, screening, tracking and tracing, real-time communication, incident tracking, data analytics and others. Technologies of solutions may include screening, mobile apps, disinfection, wearables, contact tracing, personal protection equipment (PPE) and more.

“Keeping workers safe can best be accomplished through collaboration,” said Michelle Gray, one of DPR’s safety leaders. “As we face the pandemic, the world has again shown that safety can be open-source. Providing a safe workplace is a duty of all employers and the NEXT Coalition is excited about contributing to open-source safety to protect people and keep jobs open.”

Such considerations are paramount in the construction sector where work cannot be done remotely, and social distancing can be challenging. This makes developing solutions to minimize or quickly mitigate the onsite transmission of COVID-19 and future pandemics essential.

“The peer companies in the Next Coalition are combining distinguished cultures of safety, operational excellence, and innovation to accelerate impactful change within our industry, and beyond,” said Jim O’Leary, President and CEO of Haskell. “The abrupt and global impact of COVID-19 reinforces and amplifies these cultural expectations.”

The Construction Safety Challenge is facilitated by Brightidea, the leading innovation management platform that accelerates the success of modern approaches by harnessing the creative potential of organizations. Developed ideas are submitted through a web portal, a mobile app or by email, then reviewed by subject-matter experts at each company.

“The Construction Safety Challenge is another example of organizations turning to crowdsourcing as the best way to generate reliable and vetted solutions for mitigating the impact of this pandemic,” said Matt Greeley, Brightidea’s CEO. “The solutions that come out of the Safety Challenge will surely be applicable to other industries as they start to grapple with what the `next normal’ looks like.”

Editor’s Notes:

  • To learn more about the NEXT Coalition’s Construction Safety Challenge, including a full list of applications, visit co.
  • Requests for interviews or more details should be sent to media@nextcoalition.co

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world’s most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2019 were US$3.7 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.

About DPR Construction

DPR Construction is a forward thinking global general contractor and construction manager specializing in technically complex and sustainable projects for advanced technology/mission critical, life sciences, healthcare, higher education and commercial markets. Founded in 1990, DPR is a privately held, employee-owned company that has grown to a multi-billion-dollar organization with offices around the country, making it one of the largest general contractors in the nation and a great story of entrepreneurial success. For more information, visit http://www.dpr.com.

About Haskell

Haskell delivers Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with 1,600 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across commercial and industrial markets, supporting both private and public sector clients. Haskell’s core markets include Consumer & Packaged Goods; Infrastructure & Transportation; Healthcare; Federal; and Advanced Manufacturing. With over $1 billion in annual revenue and 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell (as well as its family of specialized brands Benham, FreemanWhite, Catalyst, and Seiberling) is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients. For more information, visit www.haskell.com.

About McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

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. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. More information is available at www.mccarthy.com.

Jon Huber Named Aschinger Director of Operations

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Jon Huber

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

 

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

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

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.

 

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.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

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

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.

Cohen Architectural Woodworking Named A Forbes 2020 ‘Small Giant’ Among America’s Best Small Businesses

in Companies/News

Forbes has named Cohen Architectural Woodworking one of its 25 ‘Small Giants’ for 2020, recognizing America’s top small businesses. The exclusive list is represents a select group of companies committed to greatness over fast growth, enabling them to best serve their customers, employees and communities, while maintaining profitability.

Each year, Forbes teams up with the Small Giants Community to identify the top 25 best small companies in America (a.k.a. Small Giants). These companies are honored at a celebration during the Small Giants Community Summit and in Forbes magazine. The winning companies share six common qualities: purpose, leadership, culture, finance, relationships, and community.

The magazine highlighted Cohen’s humble beginnings, started by Phillip Cohen, Founder and CEO, making wooden porch swings in a neighbor’s barn as a way to recover from a life of violence and drug abuse. It discusses the formation of the company in 1982, multiple woodworking awards for architectural design and the company’s mission of helping those seeking a second chance at life.

“Forbes is one of the leading media companies in the world. To be named on their list of Small Giants is humbling.  I credit our entire team for this, for believing in our vision and working together. Our people are our strength. We are like a little village all pulling together to serve our clients and our community,” Cohen said.

The Small Giants Community was started with the best-selling book, Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. Small Giants digs deep into the stories of fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to prioritize purpose and people over profit. In his book, Burlingham explores these Small Giants and shares what gives these special companies their unique “mojo.” The Small Giants Community is a business community for purpose-driven leaders who want to share stories of incredible businesses and learn new practices and systems to implement in their own organizations. For more visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/maneetahuja/2020/05/12/forbes-small-giants-25-companies-that-believe-smaller-is-better/#739165fe1432

Founded in 1982, Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned architectural design/build woodworking firm headquartered in St. James, Missouri. The firm has won multiple awards including the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Award of Excellence for six separate projects, and the 2016 Small Business of the Year award from the Rolla Chamber of Commerce. Recently, Phillip Cohen, President and Founder, was presented with the 2017 SBA Small Business Person of the Year award for the State of Missouri and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award while being named to the St. Louis Small Business Hall of Fame. For more information visit https://cohenwoodworking.com

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