Home Builders Association Donates $15,000 to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis


On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2021 HBA President Bill Wannstedt of Consort Homes (left) presented a $15,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis director of resource development Harper Zielonko.

The donation will be used for the organization’s 2021 Build with a goal to have 16 families close to moving into their homes by the end of this year. Prospective home buyers will provide sweat equity volunteer hours to help build their homes and also take coursework covering subjects including finance, budgeting, insurance and home maintenance. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis currently has homes under construction in the Gate District, Lookaway Summit and LaSaison developments. 

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.


David Hagee Appointed Commerce Trust Company Chief Investment Officer


Commerce Trust Company is pleased to announce important changes in key leadership roles for its investment management group, which oversees $65 billion in assets under administration for clients across the country.

J. J. Landers Carnal

J.-J. Landers Carnal, who charted the course for Commerce Trust Company’s investment group as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for more than two decades, is retiring from his CIO role in September, but will remain President of Commerce Investment Advisors, Inc. (the SEC registered investment advisor to the Commerce Funds) and senior advisor to Trust Company President John Handy. 

David Hagee will succeed Landers Carnal as CIO, effective September 1.  Hagee, a 20-year veteran at Commerce Trust, is currently serving as Regional Director of Portfolio Management.  Carnal will transition his responsibilities to Hagee over the next several weeks.

Tara McConkey

Tara McConkey will succeed Hagee as regional director next month.  Tara is currently Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager within the family office services group of Commerce Trust Company.

“We are fortunate to have David’s extensive investment experience where he will be able to set the priorities for serving our clients’ investment needs for decades to come,” said Handy.  “Tara will apply her vast experience from her current role in bringing exceptional innovation to managing clients’ portfolios.  With these two key leadership changes and Landers’ continued presence at Commerce Investment Advisors, our clients will greatly benefit from their combined years of experience exceeding 50 years at Commerce alone.”

Carnal arrived at Commerce in 2000 and has been a key member of the team helping to build the company to $65 billion in assets.  He was the chief architect behind the designs for responsible asset management through a gauntlet of economic challenges, including dozens of market corrections, the Great Recession of 2008 and most recently a recovery from the effects of a global pandemic.   

Hagee is a long-time member of the Investment Policy Committee, responsible for setting the successful allocation process Commerce Trust employs and managing its asset strategy teams.  He has been instrumental in building out the company’s enhanced client service model.

During his tenure, Hagee developed a deep understanding of the company’s proprietary investment philosophy, enabling Commerce Trust to highly customize portfolios to meet client needs. Hagee has been instrumental in establishing new investment offerings at Commerce Trust, including alternative investments. 

Hagee earned his Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998.  Additionally, he is a member of the CFA Institute and the St. Louis Society of Financial Analysts as well as a board member and Treasurer of Aim High St Louis, and serves as the chairman of Investment Committee of the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and a member of the investment committee of Forest Park Forever and the International Institute.

Among McConkey’s strengths is her ability to gain a thorough understanding of a client’s needs and goals as well as assessing the client’s entire financial situation.  Over the years she has worked with the investment research team to construct portfolios to help clients achieve their long-term goals.

McConkey represents CTC’s research and goals-based investment process, starting with the initial assessment and creation of an investment objective through ongoing evaluation and adjustments based on changing market and life circumstances.  She has nearly 30 years of experience and previously worked with Northern Trust Company in Chicago as a portfolio manager for high net worth clients.

McConkey received her Master of Business Administration degree and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Saint Louis University. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA St. Louis Society, for which she previously served as director.

Commerce Trust Company, founded in 1906, is a specialized division of Commerce Bank, solely focused on wealth management, investments and planning services for families and institutional clients. With clients in all 50 states and 26 countries, Commerce Trust oversees $64.8 billion in assets under administration, $40.7 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of June 30, 2021, and is ranked 17th nationally based on AUM. 


Altman-Charter Completes Historic Renovation of former YMCA into Living Spaces



Artists, military veterans and other residents are moving into the newly renovated and restored historic building that was once known as the Tri-City YMCA in downtown Granite City, IL.

The 48,000-square-foot building, located at Edison Avenue and 20th Street, stood vacant for 14 years before nonprofit developer Rise Community Development and the City of Granite City solidified a plan and multiple sources of funding to redevelop the century-old structure into 37 affordable residential units.

Altman-Charter Co. was the general contractor, with Rosemann & Associates the architect. Total construction costs are approximately $8 million. Construction began in January 2020 and wrapped up in July 2021.

Travis Gocken, Altman-Charter project manager, said about 20 tenants have moved into the one- and two-bedroom units.

“We were able to refinish and restore many of the building’s original doors, its oak trim, much of the flooring and other significant elements of what had long been the Tri-City YMCA,” said Gocken. “A racquetball court – part of a later renovation done by the YMCA – is now a space that includes two-level loft units. The old boiler room off the back of the building will be reimagined as an artist’s space or gallery.”

An old fireplace and a reception desk are also original features of the 1924 building that project partners were able to retain and refurbish.

Four living units are located on the plaza level, some four feet below grade, with large windows that look out onto the Edison Avenue sidewalk. On the main level, former office space, meeting rooms and a dance studio are now home to residents with the original lobby still intact as a common area.

A total of 11 apartments exist on the structure’s main level, said Gocken, including five full-height loft units with 25-foot ceilings – each of which includes a mezzanine that occupies one-half of the living space.

“Each space has its own unique character,” Gocken said. “There is an artist-in-residence unit on the plaza level that the city hopes will attract visiting artists who stay for a time and commission pieces that may remain there at the property. The City of Granite City has been envisioning this transformational development for years. We’re proud to be part of the project team that brough it to fruition.”

Funding for the redevelopment included affordable housing tax credit equity and historic rehabilitation tax credit equity and community development block grant dollars from the federal government via Madison County Housing Authority and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.


S. M. Wilson & Co. & Missouri School Board Association Skilled Centennial Awards Deadline October 1st


With labor shortages in the A/E/C industry at an all-time high, S. M. Wilson & Co.’s trademarked construction career education program, SKILLED®, partnered with the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) to launch the Centennial Awards to inspire the next generation.

The award challenges high school students across the State of Missouri to inspire their local community through science, technology, engineering, art and/or math (STEAM) learning, all with the chance to win $1,000 grand prizes for their creative ideas and achievable plans.

Students or student groups in an MSBA district are challenged to create a process, lesson, activity or product that engages their community with STEAM learning opportunities. Students will then take their creative ideas and develop a feasible plan to inspire the next generation in their community using STEAM fundamental skills.

All high school students in good academic standing who attend an MSBA-member district are eligible to submit. The first place Centennial Award winners will receive $1,000 in prize money sponsored by S. M. Wilson and, a formal Certificate of Award and recognition at the MSBA Annual Conference. The first-place award will be presented at the November 5-7, 2021 MSBA Annual Conference in Kansas City.

Interested students can submit at by October 1, 2021.

MSBA serves as the unified voice of school board members throughout Missouri and provides board member training, comprehensive policy support, legal assistance, superintendent search guidance and other services designed to allow school boards to put maximum resources in the classroom.

S. M. Wilson’s SKILLED program provides hands-on opportunities to integrate academic learning and focus on future employment in the A/E/C industry. S. M. Wilson has been a long-time Affiliate Member of MSBA, and is proud to partner with the organization to create and fund the 2021 Centennial Awards.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Edwardsville, IL and Cape Girardeau, MO. Founded in 1921, and celebrating its 100th year of serving the community, S. M. Wilson is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. The 100% employee-owned company is one of the leading construction management firms in the Midwest. For more information, visit 


Knoebel Constructions Celebrates 40th Anniversary, Begins 19,200-Square-Foot Headquarters Expansion


Knoebel Construction, one of the largest general contractors and fastest-growing companies in St. Louis, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Since 1981, the firm has built thousands of commercial locations across 48 states for major retail, restaurant, grocery health/wellness and automotive brands. Projects range from major regional shopping centers to franchise, chain and independent builds and renovations nationwide. To support ongoing growth, the general contractor, which employs more than 90 team members, is expanding its headquarters in Chesterfield, MO. Knoebel has purchased a 3-acre parcel adjacent to their current headquarters. Construction is scheduled to begin this Winter and complete next Fall. 

Knoebel built an early, positive reputation by focusing on high-profile interior mall store construction and renovation projects, including at Mid Rivers Mall and St. Clair Square. In 1986, Knoebel gained attention when it simultaneously completed 24 stores in St. Louis Centre before the mall’s grand opening, followed by interior finishes for another 33 retailers. Knoebel also had a dedicated historic renovation department early on that completed high-profile projects such as the transformation of the five-story Traders Building on Laclede’s Landing into an office and retail complex and the renovation of the former Sligo Steel Complex into a headquarters for M.C. Distributors.

By focusing on creating a positive end-user experience with each build, Knoebel has become the preferred national construction partner for many national retail and restaurant brands. Multi-project client relationships include 127 locations for fashion boutique Altar’d State in nine years, 33 Burger King locations for multiple franchisees in 14 states, more than 50 pet wellness concepts and over one million square feet of grocery concepts.  Knoebel’s work on unique restaurant builds has earned numerous awards over the years, including for HopCat in Delmar, Melvin’s Brewing and Drake’s, a restaurant and entertainment venue.  

”To support our clients’ ultimate business success, we understand that our work must facilitate a stellar experience for those who will work, shop, dine and visit those spaces,” said Knoebel Construction President Matthew Mabie. “In today’s retail environment, that perspective is more important than ever. Shoppers no longer even need to visit a store. People shop for the experience. And we know that an exceptional finish of your store design helps create that experience.”

Founded by Jerry Knoebel, Matthew Mabie took ownership of Knoebel Construction in 2013 following an early career in project management and position as Knoebel’s Vice President of Operations.  Since then, annual revenue has grown from $12 million, primarily in local restaurant construction projects, to $106 million anticipated in 2021. Knoebel has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing privately held firms in St. Louis each year since 2017. 

Mabie attributes this longevity and growth to the team’s partnership-driven mentality and dedication to the firm’s other core values of uncompromising quality, innovation and commitment to safety.

“We work hard every day to become a trusted partner to each of our clients, starting at the pre-construction stage and often before we have been awarded the project,” said Mabie. “We work through each aspect of every build to ensure success as if we are in-house members of our client’s team.”

Knoebel’s first headquarters was in a historic building on Laclede’s Landing.  In 2017, the general contractor nearly doubled its space with a relocation to the current headquarters at 18333 Wings Corporate Dr. near the Chesterfield Airport. The new headquarters expansion will add 19,210 square feet and will feature an expanded educational and training area, a rooftop terrace, numerous meeting and gathering areas, a gym and offices for all team members. 

Knoebel has long supported numerous charitable causes, especially those which its employees are passionate about. Knoebel will host the first annual golf tournament next Spring, and the proceeds will support Youth in Need and St. Louis Area Food Bank.

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. Projects range from major regional shopping centers to local restaurants. Celebrating its 40-year anniversary in 2021, Knoebel Construction provides full-service development and general contracting services to real estate development firms, independent restaurant and retail owners, and retailers. Centrally based in the St. Louis region, Knoebel Construction offers services nationwide. Knoebel is ranked among the largest general contractors in St. Louis by the St. Louis Business Journal and the Midwest by Engineering News-Record. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.


Urban Land Institute St. Louis Examines Innovative Affordable Housing Solutions


“Making the Dollars Work” while Creating Safe, Quality & Attainable Housing

Meeting critical affordable housing needs can be enormously challenging, even in a more affordable market like St. Louis. The Urban Land Institute St. Louis (ULI STL) will host a virtual program examining how developers are approaching affordable, high quality housing solutions in ways that create a solid investment while building equity in our community.  The virtual program will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2021. Registration can be found at this link

The affordable housing program “Making the Dollars Work” will be moderated by Colleen Hafner, CDFI director, Rise Community Development and will feature panelists that include:

  • Joel Oliver, managing director & senior vice president, development Green Street St. Louis;
  • Pastor Andre Alexander, president, Tabernacle Community Development Corp. (CDC); and
  • Kaveh Razani, Kranzberg Arts Foundation and director of operations, St. Louis Art Place Initiative.

The panelists will detail where they believe affordable housing challenges and opportunities are the greatest, where the tools need adjusting or reinvention, and how they think St. Louis can rise to the challenge of providing safe, quality, attainable housing for all who need it.

With more than 250 members, ULI St. Louis unites thought leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.  Its members include real estate, design, construction, institutional, legal and accounting professionals along with civic leadership.   For more information, visit


Southern Illinois Builders Association Soliciting Scholarship Applications


The Southern Illinois Builders Association began offering scholarships in 2012 and have awarded 119 scholarships totaling approximately $222,500. 

SIBA solicits candidates for the SIBA Scholarships in the fall and requests that information be submitted by mid-November (deadline to submit all information is November 5, 2021) for the SIBA Education Committee to meet and make their selections. 

  • To be eligible for an SIBA Scholarship: 
  • candidates must be pursuing a degree in the field of Construction Management / Construction Related Engineering / Architectural;
  • cumulative minimum grade point average of 3.0/4.0;
  • submit a personal recommendation from person unrelated to the applicant; planning to enroll as a full-time student and maintain full-time student status (12 hour minimum); part-time students working full-time in the construction industry will be awarded partial awards (written verification from full-time employer required);
  • show evidence that individual applying is related to an individual employed full-time by an SIBA Member firm for a minimum of 4 years (written evidence from employer required); and
  • a typewritten report (minimum of 500 words) on career goal and what events they have experienced in their life that made them decide to decide to pursue a career in the construction field and the quality of the essay will be judged. 

To obtain a complete list of requirements for the SIBA scholarships, please contact Donna at the SIBA office 618-624-9055. 

The Southern Illinois Builders Association is a trade association of contractors representing approximately 500 commercial and industrial building, highway and utility construction contractors throughout Southern Illinois.


People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


Julie Donovan Joins Dark Light Design as Senior Lighting Designer

Julie Donovan

Julie Donovan has joined Dark Light Design in their new St. Louis office. Donovan has more than 30 years of lighting design experience, including aviation, corporate, commercial, healthcare, science and technology, justice, and hospitality projects throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Donovan is an associate member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and is a LEED AP BD+C.  Her award-winning projects include the Wexner Medical Center, NISA Investment Advisors and Cannon Design St. Louis Office.

Jill Cody, Dark Light principal and founder said, “We’re excited to have Julie join our team – her experience is a great complement to Dark Light’s corporate, aviation, healthcare, and science and tech project work. We’re looking forward to enhancing the experience we offer our clients with Julie’s leadership and expertise.”

Donovan’s deep commitment to industry involvement includes service on the committee developing the ASHRAE 90.1 standard, the IALD’s Energy and Sustainability Committee, and the IESNA Committee for Recommended Practices for Lighting Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities. Donovan holds an architectural degree from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Webster University. 

Prior to joining Dark Light, Donovan was a senior associate at HOK. Her previous project experience includes LaGuardia Airport in New York City, New York Presbyterian Hospital’s David H. Koch Ambulatory Care, and many commercial and corporate projects across the country.

Dark Light Design, based in Seattle, was established in 2008 to provide lighting design services to the design community, institutions, and owners.

September 10, 2021

Zig Piwowarski

Zig Piwowarski has joined BEX Construction Services as vice president. He joins BEX with more than 30 years of construction management, development services and construction craft experience on the teams of real estate companies and general contractors.

Through his work in new construction, capital improvements and tenant remodels, Piwowarski has developed strong organizational and communication skills to leverage effectively in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented business. His skills in strategic planning, business development, client relations, estimating, service integration and project management will help sustain BEX’s rapid growth and strong client retention.

Piwowarski’s management approach is informed by his seven years as a residential and commercial carpenter and foreman. He augmented that valuable hands-on field experience with an applied science degree in computer-aided drafting from ITT Technical Institute in St. Louis. He holds OSHA 10-Hour Safety Training and is also certified in 10-Hour Asbestos Training.

SWT Design Welcomes Julian Sabin as a Designer

Julian Sabin

SWT Design is pleased to announce Julian Sabin has joined our team as a Designer for our Kansas City studio after working in Detroit for the past 4 years.  Julian has a diverse project background across multiple scales and sectors and had the opportunity to work on the Motown Museum Plaza, Hudson’s Site Redevelopment and Merit Park. Julian earned his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University in 2017 where he began his passion for design and creating impactful spaces.

For 26 years, SWT Design has developed a diverse and award-winning portfolio of outdoor spaces, approaching planning and design as a living, breathing thing with a passion for innovation. SWT Design has grown to become one of the largest landscape architecture firms of its kind in the Midwest. As a strong proponent of sustainable design, the firm was at the forefront of developing the Sustainable Sites Initiative, working closely alongside other founding partners and agencies to develop what has become the world’s first comprehensive rating system for the design, development, and management of sustainable landscapes around the globe. Sustainability continues to be a core principle addressed in all the firm’s projects. SWT Design is located in Kansas City, MO, St. Louis, MO, and Louisville, KY.

For further questions, please contact Lance Klein, KC Studio Manager for SWT Design by e-mail at or call 816-221-0825.

Anya Robey Earns FMP Designation; Scott Kapper Attains SFP

Two members of IFMA (International Facility Management Association) St. Louis have attained professional credentials.

Anya Robey, facilities manager with Centene Corp., received her credentials as a Facility Management Professional (FMP).

Robey took an extensive course and passed assessments in four focus areas to achieve the FMP designation. Professionals who earn the designation demonstrate a proven comprehension of the foundations of facility management and knowledge in the core facility management topics deemed critical by employers.

Robey joined Centene in March 2018 as a facility coordinator and was promoted to facility manager in April 2020. She oversees construction, renovations, repairs and maintenance for the healthcare services company. Centene provides its services throughout all 50 states and around the world.

Scott Kapper, HVAC supervisor with St. Charles County, earned his Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) designation. Kapper took an extensive online course and passed assessments in three focus areas to achieve the SFP designation. These credentials focus on the knowledge, skills and tools needed to develop sustainable facility management practices.

IFMA St. Louis offers its members a learning and networking environment among its diverse membership and supplies its members with the tools to achieve their professional goals. Started in 1985, IFMA St. Louis has nearly 200 members representing small and Fortune 500 companies throughout the region. Considered a leader among local chapters, IFMA St. Louis holds monthly programs to enhance members’ knowledge and provide networking opportunities. For more information, visit

September 3, 2021

Gaus Acoustics & Gaus Scott Company Welcomes Sue Noce

Sue Noce

“Gaus Acoustics and Gaus Scott Company welcomes Sue Noce, previously with The Lawrence Group, to the growing team at Gaus Acoustics and Gaus Scott Company where she will manage all administrative functions as well as assist in project management.  

Gaus Acoustics is an eight year old acoustics design/consulting and acoustics material provider firm owned and managed by Patty Gaus.  Gaus Scott Company, owned and managed by Tom Gaus, is celebrating their sixtieth year in business serving the HVAC side of the industry as an expert in noise control, vibration isolation, seismic restraints, noise barriers and air distribution products. 

Sue will play an integral role in leading both firms into the future as the importance of sound control and acoustic design in major commercial projects is being recognized by architects and engineers in a more pro-active manner in our industry.”

McCarthy Promotes Nik Corno to Project Director 

Nik Corno

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Nik Corno to Project Director within the firm’s Industrial business unit.

In this role, Corno will lead onsite construction teams on industrial and process projects throughout McCarthy’s 28-state Central Region. His current project work includes an expansion of the Nestle Purina PetCare plant in Dunkirk, New York, to increase production capacity.

Since joining McCarthy in 2015, Corno has managed a wide range of complex projects throughout the region, including assignments at Ameren Missouri, Saint Louis University and Afton Chemical.

“Nik is an experienced project manager whose technical skills and leadership talent will benefit our clients, building teams and project partners,” said Aaron Lich, Vice President and McCarthy’s Industrial business unit leader.

Corno earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

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 approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Zachary Vanelli Joins Wiegmann Associates as Account Executive

Zach Vanelli

Zachary Vanelli of Ballwin, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as an Account Executive. He is responsible for communicating with customers about potential project opportunities, developing conceptual designs, performing engineering loads and calculations and generating construction proposals. 

Vanelli has previous experience as a Controls Engineer where he designed and managed projects for the Department of Defense across their entire lifecycle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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 $1 billion in 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.

August 27, 2021

Adfast Corp’s Calli Lafolette Promoted

Calli Lafolette

Adfast Corp. customer service representative Calli Lafolette has been promoted to an Admobile store on wheels technical representative in St. Louis. Admobiles are stocked with a full range of sealants, adhesives, caulking, insulating foams and application accessories. Lafolette will travel to St. Louis construction jobsites, offering supplies and technical expertise.

IWR Names Joe Sharamitaro Director of Project Management

Joe Sharamitaro

Sharamitaro to oversee delegation of project management at IWR

IWR North America, one of the longest-standing building enclosure contractors in the U.S., promotes Joe Sharamitaro to director of project management. In this role, Sharamitaro will supervise the project management team, while maintaining the departmental structure and goals of IWR. He will ensure projects are executed effectively and efficiently, aligning internal methodologies and processes with the needs of IWR’s projects. Additionally, he will also monitor the quality, safety, cost and schedule standards for all project management operations.

“Having a person like Joe in this role is essential to our long-term plans and goals at IWR,” said Todd Staley, president of IWR North America. “As we continue to grow, we are excited to see how his experience and operational excellence will elevate our project management operations. Joe has been a valuable asset to IWR and that will continue to be the case in his new position.”

Prior to this new role, Sharamitaro has served as a project manager at IWR since 2015. Before joining IWR, he has also worked as a project superintendent, assistant superintendent and project engineer at a nationally recognized general contractor in the St. Louis-area for nearly a decade.

Sharamitaro is a graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., IWR North America is one of the longest-standing contractors in the nation, specializing in building enclosures since 1895. With design, fabrication and installation capabilities, IWR delivers value-added solutions as a single-source building enclosure partner. For more information, please visit or call 314-633-4958.

August 20, 2021

Castle Contracting Promotes Zach Kelly to Assistant Project Manager

Zachary Kelly

Castle Contracting has promoted Zach Kelly to assistant project manager from senior project engineer. In his new role, Kelly will assume more responsibility in the management of Castle projects, including overseeing and reporting on cost, production tracking, project planning and execution, as well as training implementation.

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 East End Transformation of Washington University’s Danforth Campus. He also contributed to Castle’s civil construction work on the Gateway Arch National Park, IKEA, City Foundry and numerous 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 serves on the Young Professionals Board for HomeFirst STL, a social services agency that connects homeless people with affordable housing. He and his family live in Ballwin, Mo.

“Zach always steps up when you ask for help, whether it involves travel, supporting a new office, launching a new technology or taking on additional workload,” said Michael Pranger, Castle vice president of operations. “As a result, he has gained experience in many aspects of running projects and assisting with general operations that will serve Castle well in his new role.”

 Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation and design-build 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.


National Design-Build Firm Clayco Hires Ryan Spies as Inaugural Vice President of Sustainability

Clayco, a full-service turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm, has hired Ryan Spies as the company’s first vice president of sustainability. In this newly formed role, Spies will develop a holistic strategy to reduce Clayco’s overall carbon footprint, identify sustainable business opportunities for leadership, and oversee sustainability practices and training for the enterprise.

“I’m honored to be selected for this inaugural leadership position at Clayco and look forward to having a more profound impact on the firm’s sustainable practices in the lifecycle of our building processes,” said Spies. “Clayco is uniquely positioned in the built environment to truly deliver on our mantra, ‘beyond these walls,’ through a comprehensive, progressive and industry-leading sustainability strategy. The visionary leadership of the company over the last 37 years has shown that when we tackle the largest challenges, we solve them through innovation and resolve. The climate crisis is the largest challenge of our lifetimes, and we aim to position Clayco as the firm of the future in meeting that challenge head on.”

Spies joins the firm from Saint-Gobain, the largest manufacturer of building products in the world, where he served as director of sustainability, energy and stewardship. There he was responsible for developing strategy and programs to manage energy, water, waste and CO2 reductions in over 130 facilities in North America, including direct work on climate change policy and renewable energy deployment. After various roles in engineering and strategy, Spies has focused on corporate sustainability for the last 10 years for three Fortune 500 companies.

Spies’ position as Clayco’s first vice president of sustainability comes with the charge of implementing the forthcoming sustainability plan that contains the following organizational goals:

  • Discovery and analysis of Clayco’s existing carbon emissions associated with a building’s entire lifecycle, including development, design, construction and operation. 
  • Establishing enterprise-wide emissions targets that align with scientific consensus and leading industry practices.
  • Increasing the use of embodied carbon analysis in selecting building materials for all Clayco projects.
  • Explore additions to Clayco’s offerings, including renewable energy construction, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and resiliency as core lines of business.


“We’re thrilled to add this important position to our leadership team,” said Bob Clark, Clayco’s Executive Chairman and Founder. “Ryan’s vast experience in advancing sustainable practices at the corporate level for Fortune 500s and a building product manufacturer—a fundamental component to our business—positions him well to help Clayco maximize our sustainability efforts. The issues surrounding climate change are more urgent than ever, and we are taking this step to help lead our company and industry in the right direction.”

In 2019, Spies was presented the IETC Award for Leadership in Energy Conservation and Environmental Stewardship, and in 2020 he was recognized as the AEEE Region 1 Energy Manager of the Year. Spies holds an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University. For more information on Clayco’s commitment to sustainability, please visit here

Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $3.8 billion in revenue for 2020, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential related building projects. For more information visit


Spellman Brady Develops Interior Design for Eye Clinic Prototype

Spellman Brady & Company (SBC), an award-winning interior design firm, developed the design for a prototypical eye clinic in Pekin, Illinois for Illinois Eye Center (“IEC”).  In addition to developing the overall interior design and interior branding concept for the clinic, Spellman Brady was responsible for managing product selections, specifications, procurement and installation of furniture, artwork, and signage.

Challenged to develop an interior design concept that would serve as a prototype for additional facilities in the area, Spellman Brady began with the design of the client’s main office in Peoria, Illinois. The 15,750-sf eye clinic consists of a waiting area, business office with check-in/check-out desk, exam/procedure rooms, lab, private offices, employee break room and an optical boutique.

In developing the overall design concept for the clinic’s interiors, Spellman Brady implemented a contemporary style featuring slate blue-gray accent walls, bold patterned fabrics, streamlined furniture and a mix of LVT and carpet tiles to tie the adjacent spaces together. The colors and materials were inspired by the Illinois Eye Center’s branding and local topography – highlighted by the Illinois River, river bluffs, mature wooded areas and a large base of the land devoted to agriculture.  An upscale retail treatment was applied for the optical boutique by utilizing specialized lighting, unique graphics, and signage following an optician theme.  In addition, the SBC team collaborated with local Illinois artists to obtain nature photography for the space and created a natural wood wall adorned with IEC’s logo the focal point of the waiting room.

Maintenance and durability were both priorities for this project. The interior finishes and furniture materials selected are approved for use with healthcare-grade cleaners and can withstand high traffic.

Spellman Brady collaborated with Architectural Research & Design for the building design and P.J. Hoerr for construction, both of Peoria, Illinois.

Illinois Eye Clinic has provided comprehensive eye care to thousands of families throughout Central Illinois for more than 60 years. With locations in Peoria, Pekin, Kewanee and Washington, Illinois, they provide a continuum of collaborative care between specialties so that patients experience optimum visual health.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis-based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, higher education and multi-family 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 27 years ago.

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