News - Page 181

Power UP Electrical Contractors Awarded 2019 IEC-CNA Safety Award


Power UP Electrical Contractors has a reason to celebrate its safety program. The minority-owned electrical contractor was recently awarded the 2019 IEC-CNA Safety Award at The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) National Convention in St. Louis, sponsored by CNA Insurance Company.

A significant achievement, Power UP competed against IEC electrical contracting companies nationwide in the category of 51-125 employees. The IEC-CNA Safety Award is viewed as the elite safety award for the industry, recognizing those companies that excel in multiple areas of their safety program. Winners have taken their safety program to the highest standards and have shown upper management and owner commitment, high employee involvement, active participation throughout the company and effective controls over major exposures to loss.

“I’m extremely proud of our management team and all of our team members who work hard and purposely focus on safety excellence every day,” said Steve Richardson, Corporate Safety Director at The UP Companies. “This award, among other things, lends credibility to the professionalism and qualifications of Power UP. This is truly a team effort by a lot of people who have a passion for their work and consideration for the well-being of their fellow worker.”

Power UP’s commitment to safety is evident by the numerous industry safety awards it has achieved. In 2018, Power UP received an Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) Zero Lost Workdays safety award for having no recordable accidents in the AGCMO charter area for the past year. Additionally, Power UP collected the 2018 award for Accident Prevention in the work hour category of 100,001 to 200,000 hours and was one of four contractors at the 2018 AGCMO convention that qualified for an E.C.L. Wagner Safety Award, the highest safety award honor given by AGCMO for overall safety performance.

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





Home Builders Association Donates More Than $10,000 to St. Vincent Home for Children


On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), Immediate Past HBA President John Suelthaus of Kingbridge Homes (left) and HBA Executive Vice President Celeste Rueter (left) presented a $10,699 donation to Dr. Courtney M Graves, chief clinical officer for St. Vincent Home for Children, and Michael Meyer, chief development officer for St. Vincent.

The donation will be used to replace flooring in a residential unit that is worn and deteriorating. St. Vincent Home for Children’s mission is to provide love, security and professional treatment for troubled children and their families through a fully integrated program of services. On-site residential and home-based programs are tailored for the various levels of support that the kids need and are created to be seamless, so that children and families have as much support as they need for as long as they need it.

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.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


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

Grant Bergman joins Wiegmann Associates as Project Engineer 

Grant Bergman

Grant Bergman of Wildwood, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as a project engineer. Bergman has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He is working towards his Engineer in Training Certification and will ultimately be responsible for designing and engineering heating, cooling and ventilation systems for various Wiegmann Associates projects.

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

Tim Brimer Joins Murphy Data Center Services

Tim Brimer

Tim Brimer has joined Murphy Data Center Services as data center services account manager. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, director, Murphy DCS.

Since 2017, Brimer has served as data center manager for CBRE/Thomson Reuters and, from 2014-2017, held the same position for the facility for Thomson Reuters. From 2012 to 2014, he served as a critical systems engineer/critical facilities manager for Ascent Corporation L.L. C. Prior to that, he served as a project manager/information systems for BJC Healthcare. He began his career as a system technician /communication technician for Southwestern Bell.

Brimer holds an associate’s degree in electronic engineering from ITT Technical Institute. He also has completed numerous technical and management training courses and holds a BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Service International) Technician Level III certification. He also is ITIL-certified in fundamentals.

Murphy DCS is a turn-key data center services solution, providing strategic integration of all facility infrastructure components, from consulting, design and construction to operation and maintenance. For more information, visit

Quentin Gossen Joins Murphy Company

Quentin Gossen

Quentin Gossen has joined Murphy Company as service account manager. The announcement was made by Ryan Kramer, service sales manager for the mechanical contracting and engineering firm.

Gossen has more than 25 years’ experience in the mechanical industry within government, healthcare and higher education markets. Most recently, he he worked on several major chiller service projects.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology from Central Missouri State University and has completed advanced training in HVAC control systems, account management and sales.

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For more information, visit

S. M. Wilson Promotes Josh Weber to Project Manager

Josh Weber

S. M. Wilson & Co. has promoted Josh Weber to Project Manager. As Project Manager, he will be responsible for leadership and coordination for all aspects of the project(s) and is accountable for the project’s success, as well as the success of the project stakeholders.

Weber joined S. M. Wilson in 2017 working on Tallgrass Creek Residential Building 1.4 and 1.5. Weber then transitioned to a lead role in managing a new client for S. M. Wilson, Dry Goods, which is a high-end retail brand owned by long-time client, Von Maur.

Weber’s commitment to the success of his projects, attention to detail, strong communication skills and client-focused approach has elevated him to his new position. Weber is OSHA 30 Hour Construction Safety and Health for Construction Industry certified and earned his B.S. in Construction Management from Southeast Missouri State University.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For nearly 100 years, S. M. Wilson has provided a complete range of services and has become one of the leading general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area. The employee-owned company is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. For more information, visit

January 31, 2020

Murphy Company Names Paige Theby as Engineer

Paige Theby

Paige Theby has joined Murphy Company as an engineer. The announcement was made by Mike Werdes, vice president, engineering for the mechanical contractor.

A 2019 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Theby holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering.  While at UMC, she was active in the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) student chapter where Theby and her fellow students competed in the final four of the Student Chapter Competition in Phoenix, Arizona, where their proposal was rated third in the nation among 28 student mock projects. She also was active in the UMC Society of Women Engineers student chapter, traveling to area middle schools twice a month to talk with students about math and science-related careers.

Prior to joining Murphy, Theby worked as a building engineering sales engineer intern in the St. Louis office of Johnson Controls International Earlier she worked as a demand planning intern for Novus International.

Brian Vaughan Promoted  to Engineering Manager

Brian Vaughan

Brian Vaughan has been promoted to engineering manager at Murphy Company. The announcement was made by Mike Werdes, vice-president, engineering for the mechanical contracting and engineering firm.

“Since joining Murphy Company after graduating from Mizzou in 2011, Brian has been a key contributor to our Design/Build offering, and he has demonstrated an exceptional ability to develop relationships with customers,” said Werdes. “His focus on quality designs and customer relationships has resulted in many successful projects. His experience will help us continue to win and successfully execute projects in the Industrial Group.”

Vaughan began his career as an engineering intern at Murphy, joining the company full-time as an engineer in July 2011. He was promoted to senior engineer in early 2019. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (cum laude) from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society.

Vaughan is on the Board of Governors for the St. Louis chapter of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and is a member of the Young Professionals Committee of MCA-EMO (Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri.)

Orvin T. Kimbrough Promoted to Chairman of Midwest BankCentre

Orvin T. Kimbrough

Orvin T. Kimbrough, who joined Midwest BankCentre as CEO in January 2019, has been elected chairman by the Midwest BankCentre board of directors.

He succeeds James A. “Jim” Watson, who continues as vice chairman of the board of Midwest BankCentre and the bank’s holding company, Midwest BankCentre, Inc. Philip Stupp remains chairman of Midwest BankCentre, Inc. Midwest BankCentre is St. Louis’ second largest locally owned community bank.

Kimbrough, 45, became CEO of Midwest BankCentre in January 2019 after leading entrepreneurial, community-focused nonprofit organizations for nearly 20 years. As president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis from 2013-2019, it grew into the nation’s largest affiliate, raising nearly $80 million annually.

His promotion sustains the bank’s long tradition of carefully planned leadership transitions since its founding in 1906. Watson recruited Kimbrough to the Midwest BankCentre board in 2015, and led efforts to attract Kimbrough as CEO of Midwest BankCentre. Kimbrough will continue to serve as bank CEO.

Jim Watson

Watson has devoted half of his 40-plus years in banking to serving middle-market businesses, institutions and nonprofits at Midwest BankCentre. He also has been deeply involved in many social service agencies and arts organizations as a director and board chair.

Sarah Geske Promoted to Purchasing Administrative Assistant

Sarah Geske

Murphy Company has promoted Sarah Geske to purchasing administrative assistant. She originally joined Murphy in 2015 as office clerk. In her new role she is providing administrative support to the mechanical contractor’s purchasing  team.

January 24, 2020

Staffing Changes at N.B. West Contracting 

New Hire – Kristen Westbrook-Tatum

Kristen Westbrook

Kristen Westbrook-Tatum has been hired as N.B. West Contracting’s HR Director, bringing over a decade of HR experience to the team.  Prior to joining West, she managed the Human Resources function in mid-size companies in the Digital Print Marketing and Sign Supply Industries.  Currently, Kristen is partnering with West’s Leadership Team, serving all levels of employees. Her areas of expertise include HR start-ups, process improvement, and organizational development. Kristen is a proud member of the Society of Human Resources Management and holds a BA in Organizational Leadership from Maryville University St. Louis.

Chris West

N.B. West Contracting Company has promoted Chris West to Vice President of the company. In his new role, he will assist in the management of daily operations for both construction and material supply. N.B. West Contracting has been an asphalt paving & concrete contractor, and asphalt supplier serving all of east central Missouri since 1956.

January 17, 2020

KAI Expands with Addition of Senior Project Manager, Controller and Senior Project Accountant

KAI has expanded with the addition of three new team members — Michelle Huber as Controller, Kevin Jacobsmeyer as Senior Project Manager and Tonya Valentine as Senior Project Accountant.

Michelle Huber

Michelle Huber, Controller

As Controller, Huber will oversee accounting functions, internal and external financial statement reporting, monthly close activities and cash flow forecasting, plus provide oversight of the professional services project accounting team.

Huber has 10 years of industry experience, having previously worked as a Controller at Kaskaskia Engineering Group in Belleville, Illinois and as a Senior Tax Accountant at Brown Smith Wallace in St. Louis. She has a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an MBA from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.

Huber resides in O’Fallon, Illinois with her husband, two sons and a daughter who attends Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In her spare time, she stays busy attending her son’s football, basketball and baseball games.

Kevin Jacobsmeyer

Kevin Jacobsmeyer, Senior Project Manager

As Senior Project Manager, Jacobsmeyer is responsible for overall project success, which includes managing owner relations and subcontractor and KAI personnel performance. His overall objective is to project profitability and customer satisfaction.

Jacobsmeyer has 31 years of industry experience, which includes prior positions as Project Director at JW Fuller Construction in Webster Groves, Missouri; Project Manager at Brinkmann Constructors in Chesterfield, Missouri; Project Manager at Korte Construction in Highland, Illinois and Estimator at Clayco Construction and C. Rallo Construction, both of St. Louis.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla and resides in Columbia, Illinois with his wife. He has a son and three grandchildren. He is a member of the Columbia Illinois Lions Club and enjoys golfing in his spare time.

Tonya Valentine

Tonya Valentine, Senior Project Accountant

As Senior Project Accountant, Valentine will provide construction accounting support for the KAI Build project management team. She has 25 years of industry experience, having previously worked as Lead Project Accountant/Accounting Manager Industrial Division for Fowler Management Services in Edwardsville, Illinois; Accounts Payable/Subcontractor Payment Coordinator at Holland Construction Services, Inc. in Swansea, Illinois; and Full Charge Bookkeeper at Gravois Planing Mill in St. Louis. She has an associate degree from Southwestern Illinois College.

Valentine lives in Highland, Illinois. She has two grown children – a daughter who teaches Pre-K in Hazelwood and a son who is a chef in New York City. She enjoys traveling and visiting wineries in her spare time.

Industry Leader Paul Hilton Officially Joins BurkHill Real Estate as Managing Principal

Paul Hilton

BurkHill Real Estate LLC, a St. Louis-based private real estate investment company, announced today that industry veteran Paul Hilton will take on the role of managing principal at the company he co-founded with Mark Burkhart, former CEO of Cassidy Turley, in 2016.  Hilton will step down from his current executive director position at Cushman & Wakefield.

Hilton brings nearly 35 years of commercial real estate experience to his new company. For the last 26 years, he was a commercial real estate investment specialist with Turley Martin through its evolution to Cushman & Wakefield.

Both Hilton and Burkhart will continue to consult on corporate real estate portfolios as well as identify investment opportunities and establish short- and long-term strategies for the Fund. They will also oversee the property management and leasing teams to ensure the strategy is being implemented in accordance with their vision. The firm’s fund invests in retail, industrial, office, and multi-family real estate assets, with a minimal asset size of $1 million.

Hilton has consulted with many of the major real estate owners across the United States with regard to portfolio strategy, including acquisition, disposition, financing and valuation of their properties. His career transactions total over $8 billion.

N-STORE Services Promotes Five

Brent Ricci

Brent Ricci, Director of Operations – Brent joined the company in 2003 as a Project Coordinator. Through his dedication and performance, he has successively earned promotions to Project Manager, Project Manager – Team Lead, Operations Manager, and now Director of Operations. With his advancement, Brent now oversees and leads N-STORE’s Operations department in planning, estimating, and execution of our construction projects. N-STORE is proud of Brent’s achievements and thankful for his contributions to the company over the past 16+ years.

John Bracy

John Bracy, Senior Project Manager – N-STORE Services is pleased to announce the promotion of John Bracy to Senior Project Manager. In 2012, John began his career with N-STORE as a student intern, where his capabilities were quickly recognized and he was hired permanently as a Project Coordinator. John continued his development within Operations and was promoted to Project Manager a few years later. In this role, John excelled in new business estimation, project management, and training – all of which has allowed him to earn his most recent promotion.

Jeremiah Miller

Jeremiah Miller, IT Services Manager – Jeremiah Miller has been promoted to IT Services Manager for N-STORE Services. Jeremiah has been with the company for 13 years, where his specialized abilities in graphic design, web development, and system support have advanced him from previous positions of IT Help Desk to his latest role as Technology & Multimedia Specialist. Technology within the construction industry is ever-changing. Within his new role, Jeremiah will ensure N-STORE is at the forefront of industry trends and advancements in technology. N-STORE Services is proud of Jeremiah’s success and countless contributions in managing the delivery of our IT Services.

Mark Harris

Mark Harris, Estimating Manager – N-STORE Services is excited to recognize Mark Harris for his promotion to Estimating Manager. Mark started with the company over 17 years ago. Providing leadership and supervision through his many career advancements, Mark has been successful in managing many types and sizes of work. Mark is responsible for delivering estimating for N-STORE’s new business onboarding, ensuring program success, and driving estimating improvements for our existing client-partners. N-STORE is honored to recognize Mark for his expertise and dedication with this career advancement.

Allison Smith

Alison Smith, Accounts Payable Associate – N-STORE Services is excited to announce Alison Smith’s recent promotion to Accounts Payable Associate. Alison joined the N-STORE team one year ago as Accounting Assistant. She brings extensive value to our Accounting department and entire company with her strong organization skills and quick learning ability. In addition to her capabilities, Alison is highly valued for her positive attitude, work ethic, and for continually upholding the company’s core values. N-STORE is excited for Alison to continue her career development as she undertakes new responsibilities.

McCarthy Completes Construction of New Patient Tower on Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas Campus


Construction team’s innovative logistical strategies minimized disruption while expanding services on the active hospital campus. 

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has wrapped up construction of a new eight-story patient tower on the campus of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers, Ark. The $147 million project significantly expands Mercy’s capacity to serve patients in one of the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas.

The 275,000-square-foot new tower has added 68 new patient beds, including 17 neonatal unit beds. The project also included full renovation of the hospital’s core support services departments: materials management, central sterile, environmental services, lab and pharmacy. In addition, a two-story vertical expansion above the existing Emergency Department added five new operating rooms to the surgery suite.

The building’s lower three levels accommodate an operating room expansion, diagnostic facilities and other hospital support spaces. Patient rooms are housed on the facility’s upper levels, with shelled space on the 6th and 7th floor to accommodate future growth. A mechanical penthouse is located on the facility’s 8th floor.

Situated to the west of the existing hospital building, the new tower seamlessly ties in to the original structure at each level. Coordinated construction phasing enabled the building team to minimize disruption during the expansion while enabling the renovation of each core department to increase its overall capacity and enhance patient care.

“The McCarthy team went above and beyond to coordinate logistics of this complicated project to minimize disruption and ensure safety of all patients, visitors and staff,” said Stephen Gilbert, regional manager of construction at Mercy.

Building the new tower within the site’s tight footprint required the construction team to relocate the loading dock and key mechanical/utility components as well as to erect a temporary loading dock facility and environmental services department to serve the hospital campus throughout construction.

Other project elements included a 9,500-square-foot addition to the north side of the existing hospital to create a new front entry and enhanced gallery space. Infrastructure improvements included expanded surface parking lots at the north end of the property and modifications to the existing entry drive areas at the north and west building elevation.

The McCarthy construction team integrated advanced technology, including virtual design and construction (VDC) and laser scanning, to optimize precision and efficiency.

“Throughout the project, we worked closely with the Mercy leadership team and hospital staff to ensure this complex project progressed safely and with minimal disruption to patients, visitors and staff,” said McCarthy Project Director Tate Jacobitz. “The new tower helps meet the region’s growing demand for healthcare services and strengthens Mercy’s positive impact in the community.”

McCarthy Building Companies served as the project’s construction manager and general contractor. Other project team members included Lamar Johnson Collaborative (architecture); bTME (MEP engineering); Crafton Tull (civil engineering); Toth and Associates (structural engineering) and Heideman Associates (commissioning).

The new patient tower is part of a $277 million expansion of Mercy facilities and services throughout Northwest Arkansas. About 10 miles from the hospital campus, McCarthy recently completed construction of a new $47 million Mercy multispecialty facility in Springdale, Ark. The 63,000-square-foot center, which combines a two-story multispecialty clinic with a 24-hour emergency department, is Mercy’s largest outpatient clinic in northwest Arkansas.

Photo credit: Sam Fentress and McCarthy Building Companies.

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems from 2016 to 2019 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

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


IMPACT Strategies Completes Work on Siteman Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital East


IMPACT Strategies has completed construction on the new Siteman Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital East’s Shiloh campus. The new building added approximately 70,000 square feet of treatment facilities and office space to this Illinois campus.

The first floor of the three-story building is occupied by Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute – designated Comprehensive Cancer Care Center in the region. The new facility contains 2 reinforced concrete vaults for Siteman’s LINAC (linear accelerators). It also houses labs, a pharmacy, medical oncology infusion clinics, and radiation oncology clinics, giving patients access to innovative, lifesaving technology and treatments. Paintings by regional artists will be featured at the facility and a healing garden will be located on the west side of the building. Approximately half of the second story has been finished out for primary care physicians.

IMPACT Strategies received critical support from several design professionals on this project including Archimages Architecture, David Mason & Associates Structural Engineering, and IMEG Corp. Engineering. The project was constructed by over 25% minority and women-owned business entrepreneurs.

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

The UP Companies Teams UP with Hip Hop Recording Artist Chingy to Produce “Old Construction Road” Song, Music Video


While the construction industry may be booming and the need for new buildings and structures has increased, the workforce needed to complete those projects has decreased considerably. In fact, workforce shortages remain one of the single most significant threats to the construction industry today.

A significant part of the problem is the lack of interest from younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, to work in construction despite the surplus of well-paying positions and low-cost or free education and training. In many high schools and colleges around the U.S., four-year degrees and white-collar jobs are emphasized over skilled labor training, with certain vocational programs being cut altogether. A staggering 80% of U.S. construction firms are having trouble hiring talent, and the trend is predicted to worsen.

The current state of the construction industry was one of the key motivators behind The UP Companies (UPCO) of St. Louis releasing a parody song and music video of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X, appropriately named “Old Construction Road” featuring international hip hop artist Howard “Chingy” Bailey, Jr.

UPCO, one of the region’s largest full-service MBE-certified contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facility management professionals, consists of Power UP Electrical Contractors, Square UP Builders and Hustle UP Laborers. These three distinct business units have each felt the effects of workforce shortages on their projects. In order to recruit new talent for job openings at its three divisions, UPCO decided that it needed a fun and innovative way to attract the next generation of worker.

“We wanted to do a unique project that establishes The UP Companies as an industry leader who is not afraid to have fun and take risks to get the job done,” said UPCO President Michael B. Kennedy, Jr. “We also wanted to create awareness among potential employees, particularly minorities, that we are the premier destination for careers and to motivate them to consider working for us.”

Back in August while Kennedy was traveling on vacation, like much of the country, he could not get the hit song “Old Town Road” out of his head. During his flight, inspiration struck, and he found himself writing his own lyrics to the popular song with words related to construction and UPCO. Shortly thereafter, “Old Construction Road” was born.

Upon returning home to St. Louis, Kennedy enlisted close friend and well-known rapper Chingy to help produce the song. Chingy grew up in St. Louis and began writing music at age 7. His debut album “Jackpot” sold three million copies in 2003 and featured hit singles “Right Thurr”, “One Call Away” and “Holidae Inn”. Chingy would go on to record more albums throughout his career, making him an international recording artist with 50 million records sold worldwide. He is currently on the “Millenium Tour” and plans to release a new album in March 2020.

Chingy organized the recording session for “Old Construction Road” as well as lent his voice talents to a key verse in the song. Kennedy sings several verses, while the hook and chorus are sung by Square UP employee Cornelius Blanks. A music video featuring the trio and other UPCO employees was produced soon after through St. Louis-based video production company Unbridled Media and released to the public on Dec. 20. The video is featured on YouTube and at  

Chingy, who started the Chingy For Change Foundation to educate inner-city children on how to become positive leaders in their communities, said he was happy to help Kennedy with his unique project that gives minorities and young people a life changing, positive career path.

“I got involved with the project to bring awareness to the opportunity that the construction industry is providing for everyday people who are looking for work. UPCO is providing job opportunities to folks in need who want to work and better themselves,” said Chingy. “With me, it’s always about helping and healing. I do things out of love and compassion, so I am excited to be a part of this project and touching lives one at a time.”

In an effort to provide workforce shortage solutions and address the immediate need for staffing, The UP Companies is working on plans for a job fair in March 2020 at its offices at 2060 Craigshire Road in Maryland Heights, Missouri. Representatives from each of the UPCO service lines, Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) and various local labor unions will be available to discuss opportunities with interested jobseekers. Applicants will also get the chance to meet the stars of the “Old Construction Road” video, Chingy, Cornelius Blanks and, of course, UPCO President Michael B. Kennedy.

Leonard Toenjes, president of AGCMO, an association dedicated to serving the construction industry and providing solutions for the workforce shortage said, “AGC of Missouri has been working at every level to help everyone in our community. AGCMO has staff and volunteers working with high schools, career and technical education schools, community-based organizations, workforce boards, career days and project owners to get out the word.”

AGCMO recently created a website, Build Your Future – Build Missouri at, that provides specific entry information for construction careers 24/7, plus the organization has a very active scholarship program to help those who need financial support to be successful in construction.

“The construction industry offers great career opportunities for anyone who gains satisfaction from seeing the results of their work every day,” said Toenjes. “Construction industry careers have many personal and financial benefits for anyone willing to build their future.”

For more information about a career in construction, visit The UP Companies at; AGCMO at; Build Your Future – Build Missouri at; St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council at; Associated Electrical Contractors Local Union 57 – St. Louis at; Painters District Council 58 at; and Laborers Local 42 at




YouTube –

UPCO Website – 


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

Construction Underway for 2020 St. Jude Dream Home


Payne Family Homes kicked off construction on the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with an early morning groundbreaking celebration Thursday, January 30 at Legends Pointe in O’Fallon. The homebuilder, one of St. Louis’ largest, has been leading the annual St. Jude Dream Home effort since 2014, raising over $6.1 million to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This world renowned hospital helps battle childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Patient families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food—because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

We are thrilled – for the seventh consecutive year – to again be building the St. Jude Dream Home,” says Eva Fryar, vice president of construction operations at Payne Family Homes. “Having seen firsthand the incredible work, leading edge research, and compassionate care offered by St. Jude to children from around the world battling life-threatening diseases, all of us on Team Payne are eager to continue helping the children and families served by St. Jude.”

Payne and St. Jude representatives were joined by its generous trade partners and sponsors from around the region who volunteer materials, labor, and time to help build the St. Jude Dream Home at no cost. Last year, 100s of vendor volunteers worked nearly around the clock, giving up weekends and holidays to help construct the most-visited St. Jude Dream Home in St. Louis campaign history. The 2019 St. Jude Dream Home was recognized at the annual St. Jude Dream Home Builder Summit in Memphis as one of the best in the country, winning awards for Best Master Suite, Best Special Features, and Zero Hero. Zero Hero is a title exclusively awarded to builders that deliver a 100% donated home to the fundraising effort. Payne Family Homes has received the title Zero Hero every year it has participated in the Dream Home Giveaway campaign.

National sponsors of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway campaign include BrizoTraneShaw Floors, and Bosch Appliances.

The 2020 St. Jude Dream Home, is a 4,100 sq. ft. total finished area 1.5 story modeled after Payne Family Homes’ all-new Adelaide II floor plan. The home will feature 4 bedrooms and 4 and a half baths, plus a 3-sided sculptural fireplace, interior stone wall, spacious loft area, cozy reading nook, home cinema, and more. Tickets can be reserved beginning June 11 for $100 each, and only 11,500 will be sold. The St. Jude Dream Home will be open to the public for free tours beginning with the grand opening on Saturday, July 11. Tours will continue on Saturdays from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm and Sundays Noon until 5:00 pm until August 16. One lucky ticket holder will be awarded the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home live on-air at FOX2 KTVI on August 20, 2020.

For more information about the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home, call or text 314-477-1218 or visit the St. Jude Dream Home page at to join the VIP list for updates and more info.

The 2020 Dream Home address is:

318 Old Forester Drive

Behind Aldi at the Intersection of Hwy N and Hawk Ridge Trail


O’Fallon, MO 63367

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

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

Louer Completes Furniture Project For SIUE Engineering Design Lab


School of Engineering student project teams have a new space where they can collaborate to develop conceptual designs and use the same space to fabricate and bring their projects to life.  It was important that the space would be borderless, without walls isolating the teams, but open to allow the creative buzz to energize the students.  Located on the second level of The Fowler Student Design Center Building, and known as “The Innovation Loft”, it has an airy feel with movable tables, chairs and display devices that can be easily rearranged depending on the user group’s size and need for concentration.

The Louer team listened closely to the School of Engineering when they talked about how they wanted the space to work, and chose furniture that could be moved about and still withstand the rigors of heavy student use.  Different heights of tables and chairs were employed to give the space visual interest as you enter and to offer a variety of settings for student collaboration. Even the modular lounge furniture can be rearranged and used as seating for presentations or for a more relaxed meeting space.

Numerous large monitors are on stands with over-sized casters so they can be easily rearranged to accommodate the task, and also act as dividers between work groups.  Rearrangement of all furniture pieces is made possible by wireless internet, integrated technology and strategically placed power in the floor.

Louer Facility Planning has been in business for 23 years, offering the latest trends and innovations in smart workspace furniture for clients across the St. Louis metro region. Louer Facility Planning’s clients include those in the corporate, financial, healthcare, government and educational sectors.  For more information on workspace design and furniture, go to

Extender Legislation Offers Energy-Efficiency Deduction, Mueller Prost CPA Says



Mueller Prost CPA, Partner and Director of Real Estate and Construction Teri Samples (photo above) says end-of-year extender legislation, signed Dec. 20, has extended the opportunity for construction project owners and partners to gain a tax deduction and accelerated depreciation specific to energy efficiency.

At Mueller Prost’s “”Foundations for Success: What to Expect in Real Estate and Construction in 2020” event last week, Samples articulated the details of IRS Code Section 179-D, which offers a $1.80-per-square-foot deduction to project owners, contractors, subs, engineers and designers if they meet certain criteria with regard to new construction or improvements in three components: lighting, HVAC or the building envelope.

“Up to 60 cents per component is eligible for a deduction,” said Samples. “The firm needs to meet 50 percent energy efficiency above the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) standard of 90.1-2007,” she added, noting that has been the standard to meet minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of most commercial buildings.

Any buildings that have been built or improved from 2006 to the end of calendar 2020 are eligible. The applicant may combine this deduction with a cost segregation study for additional benefits and even shorter depreciation, according to Samples. Companies do not need to file an amended return in order to apply for the deduction, she says, but rather just claim missed deductions in the current year by completing and filing IRS Form 3115.

If the energy-efficient project belongs to a public entity (such as a government building or a school), because that entity does not pay federal income taxes, it may allocate the 179-D deduction to the project partners who performed the work – such as design and engineering firms. “In that situation, the (government) organization would have to amend its tax return and their window of opportunity is shorter…but they are able to go back three years,” Samples said.

Poettker Construction Completes Seven Gables Inn Renovation



Breese, IL-based Poettker Construction has completed the Seven Gables Inn renovation in Clayton. The hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, remained operational during construction.

The $3.5 million historic renovation started and finished in 2019.

“The entire Poettker team was honored to have played a part in this great project for a client dedicated to enhancing communities in St. Louis,” said Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction. “We were truly blessed to have been chosen by Amy and Amrit Gill with Restoration St. Louis in order to help them deliver on their vision of this historic landmark in order to better serve their guests and provide them with a memorable and intimate experience. This project allowed us to showcase our team’s great work and detailed project management skills to complete this project on time and in budget.”

Poettker’s hospitality experts were engaged by Restoration St. Louis for overall interior upgrades, accessibility layout adjustments and replacement of the existing restaurant with an American Bistro called “Seven.”

The renovation entailed interior finish updates with new bedroom furnishings, flooring and bathroom fixtures and exterior improvements such as new windows. For easier guest access, Poettker constructed a bridge between the second and third floor guest wings and added an elevator.

“Poettker’s reputation, particularly in hospitality and historic renovation, is second to none,” said Amrit Gill, president of Restoration St. Louis. “We’re excited that the project turned out so well. The response from our guests and team members on the renovation has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re thrilled that our 1926 historic gem has been restored to her former glory.”

Checkmate Design, LLC served as the architect for the renovation of Seven Gables Inn.

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