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MCA-EMO Recognizes Scholars/Volunteers

in Associations/News
Julie, Reyes, Michael Hughes, Caitlyn Reilly, Rhiannon Hall

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri celebrated outstanding scholars and industry leaders at its annual awards dinner held May 2nd at the Danforth Plant Science Center. Four outstanding high school students entering college and two University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter Scholars were presented  with $36,000 in student scholarships.  Four local leaders in the mechanical contracting industry also were recognized for their volunteerism and dedication to the industry.

The four high school students, each recognized with an $8,000 four-year scholarship ($2,000 per academic year), were:

Julia Reyes from St. Peters, MO (63376). Reyes, a student at Francis Howell Central with a 4.59 GPA, plans to attend the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She is the daughter of AJ and Shelley Reyes. AJ Reyes is employed by Pipe & Ducts Systems as a 4th year apprentice construction pipefitter.

Michael Hughes from St. Clair, MO (63077). Hughes is a student at St. Clair High School with a 4.02 GPA. He plans to attend Missouri S&T.  He is the son of Matt and Michelle Hughes. Matt Hughes is employed by C&R Mechanical as a service fitter.

Caitlyn Reilly from Fenton, MO (63026). Reilly is a student at Ursuline Academy with a 4.08 GPA. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas. She is the daughter of Pat and Sharon Reilly. Pat Reilly is employed by Haberberger, Inc. as vice president of construction marketing.

Rhiannon Hall from Troy, IL (62294). Hall is a student at Metro-East Lutheran High School with a GPA of 4.18. She plans to attend the University of Kentucky. She is the daughter of Cory and Michaele Hall. Cory Hall is employed by C&R Mechanical as a sales engineer.

The Mizzou MCAA Student Chapter Scholars also were each presented with a $2,000 scholarship:

Thomas Walsh from St. Charles, MO (63303). The son of John and Dina Walsh, Thomas Walsh is enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at Mizzou and is treasurer of the student chapter.

Ahmad Atallah, Thomas Walsh

Ahmad Atallah from Columbia, MO (65203). The son of Wajih Atallah and Bassmat Atallah, Ahmad Atallah is enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at Mizzou and is president of the student chapter.

According to Kristy Stephens, executive director of MCA-EMO, the event also presented an ideal opportunity to recognize the organization’s outstanding industry leaders.   “These four members have dedicated countless hours to the betterment of our industry, both on a local and national level.  From serving on national committees or working on labor and legislative issues, to serving on our board of directors or mentoring our student chapter, these individuals have strengthened our organization and the industry as a whole.”

MCA-EMO members recognized included:

Dennis Corrigan, president, Corrigan Brothers, Inc. from Clayton, MO (63105). Corrigan served on the MCA-EMO board of directors from 2007-2019 and was president, 2011-13. He served on several committees over the years and was a strong voice in joint endeavors with labor organizations. As a trustee, he was one of the first people to tackle pension reform on a local level by researching and presenting alternate plans to the existing defined benefit plan. He has served on that MCAA national board of directors since 2015 and currently serves on the MCAA Government Affairs Committee. He also has been a leader in Washington, D.C. and on Missouri legislative affairs.

Mike Hurley, senior project manager, Rock Hill Mechanical from Wildwood, MO (63005). Hurley was a member of the MCA-EMO board of directors from 2011-19, serving one year as treasurer then as president from 2013-16.  He’s been an outstanding volunteer, focusing on budget and financial responsibility, work issues and involvement by outstate members, as both president and as a board member, he helped establish and has promoted the UMC MCAA Student Chapter, and has participated in several MCAA national conventions.

Nick Kneische, project engineer-commercial, Murphy Company from St. Louis (63139). Kniesche was recognized as Emerging Leader.  While a university student, Kniesche led Mizzou’s MCAA Student Chapter as they went on to win the national student chapter competition and were recognized as the Outstanding Student Chapter at the 2017 MCAA National Convention. He has given back to his student chapter by mentoring the 2019 student project team. He serves on both the education and young professionals committee within MCA.

Malcolm Sweet, general manager, Integrated Facility Services from Affton, MO (63123). Sweet has been a tireless leader, working on several major initiatives, including serving as leader of the steering committee to form the UMC MCAA Student Chapter. He has been instrumental in revisions to the organization’s By-Laws and Policies, legislative drafts on licensing and codes, and other important industry issues.  He also is active with the Plumbing Industry Council.

MCA-EMO offers programs crucial to the ongoing success of contractors and vendors operating within the construction industry in Eastern Missouri. For 120 years, the MCA has sponsored cost-effective educational opportunities taught by qualified and experienced professionals in the MCA Training Center. MCA-EMO also offers industry events, networking opportunities, and sponsors a 16-member student chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia which recently placed in the national Final Four student competition.   Visit:

Electrical Connection Contractors Rank Among St. Louis’ Largest Electrical Contractors

in Associations/News

The strength of Electrical Connection member contractors is again evident in an annual ranking of the largest electrical contractors in St. Louis.   Nineteen of the top 23 electrical contractors ranked by the St. Louis Business Journal are members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA). NECA partners with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection labor-management partnership.

The rankings are by gross billings in 2018 and can be found at this link:  Among the 19 St. Louis NECA electrical contractors on the April 26, 2019 listing and their revenues are:

  • Sachs Electric — $327.5 million
  • J.F. Electric Inc. — $205.5 million
  • PayneCrest Electric Inc. — $160 million
  • Guarantee Electrical Co. — $154 million
  • Aschinger Electric Co. — $47.3 million
  • Kaiser Electric — $45.85 million
  • TSI Global Cos., LLC — $35.61 million
  • Bell Electrical Contractors Inc. — $28.4 million
  • K&F Electric Inc., a Zak Co. — $28.21 million
  • Kaemmerlen Electric — $28 million
  • Schaeffer Electric Co. Inc. — $24.6 million
  • RJP Electric LLC  — $19.9 million
  • TD4 Electrical and Communications LLC — $19 million
  • Pyramid Electrical Contractors — $18.75 million
  • Schneider Electric of St. Louis LLC — $18.61 million
  • Vision Electric & Systems – $18 million.
  • Kay Bee Electric — $16 million
  • M.R. Bathe Electric – $13.4 million
  • J. Bathe Electric — $8.5 million

NECA members in the rankings include minority and women-owned contractors.  The industries served by the NECA contactors on the list span residential and commercial, including healthcare, power, industrial, retail, multifamily, renewable energy, institutional, R&D, data centers, schools and more.

St. Louis NECA contractors employ IBEW electricians and communication technicians.  The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information,

Electrical Connection Volunteers Repair Electrical Systems in 21 St. Louis Low Income Homes

in Associations/News

For 58 years, Irma Gaines has lived in her home on Natural Bridge Road in North St. Louis.  She and her late husband bought the home in 1961 and raised four children there.  But at 84-years-old and on fixed income, her home had become a burden.  Like a lot of St. Louis’ aging, low income housing stock, the house had electrical issues and had fallen into disrepair. Then Saturday, April 27, 2019 came with a knock on the door from volunteers with the Electrical Connection. Gaines’ home was getting a free electrical upgrade curtesy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) partnership.

Gaines’ home was one of 21 homes that received free electrical repairs and much needed improvements as part of a 16-year commitment by Electrical Connection to help Rebuilding Together St. Louis.  More than 150 IBEW electricians and 13 NECA electrical contractors fanned out that morning into low income communities in the city and St. Louis County to make repairs.

“For many of our members, these were neighborhoods they grew up in,” noted Dave Roth, business representative for IBEW Local 1.  “So it was great to not only make these homes more electrically safe and functional, but their service improves the overall quality of the neighborhood.  That helps our entire community.”

For Gaines, powering a chair lift for her stairs was particularly important.  In addition, the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership fixed a number of electrical hazards in home, including exposed wires and addied GFCI receptacles to mitigate shock hazards.  They also added new light fixtures and energy efficient LED lighting.  See the complete story on the repairs to Gaines home on KMOV-TV.

“These are life changing improvements that the Electrical Connection is making to these homes and we are grateful to the skills they donate and the quality of their installations,” said Dave Ervin, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis.

Since 2003, the Electrical Connection has donated labor and more than $875,000 in materials to improve more than 540 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.

The annual effort is also reminder to all residents living in older homes in the area to be aware of issues with aging electrical infrastructure.  Studies have shown the frequency of electrical fires is higher in homes more than 40 years old.  Because older homes are the dominant housing stock in St. Louis, the Electrical Connection offers the following advice:

  • Aluminum wiring was introduced to homes in North America in the mid-1960s as a cost-efficient alternative to copper wiring.  Be aware that aluminum is softer and if wrenched into junction boxes and switches can be more easily damaged.It also tends to expand and contract with heat as it conducts electricity causing the wiring to become loose at connections.  It is not code compliant in all jurisdictions and should never be integrated with copper wiring.  Homeowners need to be a aware that insurance companies charge higher rates in homes with aluminum wiring.
  • Knob-and-tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before 1940. It may still comply with code, depending on the jurisdiction, but it has no grounding wire and connections are not terminated in a junction box.  The wire sheathing can decay after many decades of use.  The Electrical Connection recommends that knob-and-tube wiring be replaced with modern wiring that meets up-to-date electrical code requirements.
  • Flickering lights, switches that feel warm to the touch or buzzing switches can be a sign of a hidden electrical hazard.
  • Wiring should always be properly terminated in junction boxes with wire caps securing connections.
  • All electrical outlets installed close to a water source (think bathroom, kitchen, laundry area) should have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Older electrical infrastructure was not designed to handle the load of today’s modern home appliances and technology and is not always suitable to optimized energy efficiencies.  A licensed electrical contractor can provide recommendations and install electrical upgrades to meet load requirements. Electrical consumption has increased 70 percent over the past 25 years.

The Electrical Connection offers the largest number of licensed commercial and residential electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the region with a searchable data base at

NECA contractors who donated service trucks and tools in the Rebuilding Together effort this year included:

  • Bell Electrical
  • Guarantee Electrical Contractors
  • Concept Electrical Services, LLC
  • Grasser Electric
  • Fusion Electrical Systems
  • J Bathe Electric Co.
  • MR Bathe
  • PayneCrest Electric, Inc.
  • Riley Electric
  • Sachs Electric Company
  • Schaeffer Electric
  • Vision Electric & Systems
  • Kaiser Electric, Inc.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

McCarthy Building Companies to Break Ground on New Omaha Office Building

in Companies/News

New office and warehouse will accommodate national construction company’s continued local expansion, underscoring its long-term commitment to Omaha.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and development partner Tetrad Property Group, LLC, will break ground May 8 on a new office building and warehouse that will serve as the national construction company’s new local office location. Since establishing a full-service Omaha office in 2007, McCarthy has continued to build its local presence and reputation for delivering complex, challenging projects across a wide variety of market sectors and project types. The company is currently overseeing more than $200 million in construction work throughout Nebraska.

Situated at the intersection of 132nd Street and I Street in West Omaha, the 15,000 sq.-ft. industrial-flex office development will include a single-story office building, warehouse and adjacent construction yard. The new office will enable McCarthy to expand its services to clients within the company’s core markets of Healthcare, Education, Advanced Technology & Manufacturing, Commercial, Arts & Entertainment and Industrial projects.

“We’re thrilled to expand our Omaha presence and reinforce our commitment to our employees, clients and industry partners throughout the region,” said McCarthy Vice President and Omaha Office Leader Ryan Sawall.

The office will include high-tech conference facilities and flexible gathering spaces, encouraging collaborative work among employees, clients and industry partners. The adjacent, climate-controlled warehouse will accommodate the delivery and short-term onsite storage of construction materials, as well as space for pre-assembly of building components. This flexible, multi-purpose warehouse environment will also be available to host a range of employee training sessions, client and partner appreciation events and other community gatherings. An adjacent patio will extend the gathering space outdoors.

Other project partners will include DLR Group (architecture and engineering) and Thiele Geotech (geotechnical services and materials testing).

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2019.

McCarthy’s current local project work includes an $86-million, 57,000-sq-ft. Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center (scheduled to open in 2020) and a $70 million new high school under development for Omaha Public Schools. The firm is also completing a $10 million Emergency Department renovation for Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE and a $38 million cancer center and surgery addition at St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island, NE.

The company’s current office space is located at 14217 Dayton Circle, Suite 8.


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.

Square UP Builders and Power UP Electrical Contractors Recognized at AGCMO Annual Convention

in Companies/News

Industry leaders are taking notice of The UP Companies’ commitment to safety, as evident by the numerous safety awards its carpentry and electrical contractor divisions received at the Associated General Contractors of Missouri’s (AGCMO) recent annual convention in Branson, MO.

Square UP Builders and Power UP Electrical Contractors both received an AGCMO Zero Lost Workdays in 2018 safety award. These awards are presented to firms that had 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 convention that qualified for an E.C.L. Wagner Safety Award, the highest safety award honor given by AGCMO for overall safety performance. To qualify for this award, each of the work hour category winners were asked to submit a 250-word essay explaining the company’s safety systems, culture and management philosophy on safety.

“All of these awards are a testament to the hard work, commitment, dedication and integrity of all our folks associated with each of our business units who strive every hour of every day to achieve safety excellence and accomplish our corporate goal of completing each task, every day injury and incident free,” said UPCO Corporate Safety Director Steve Richardson.

Matt Cowell, AGCMO Vice President of Safety, said the awards Power UP and Square UP received are reflective of UPCO’s commitment to keeping their workers safe on the job at all costs.

“Business will always have a tug of war between safety and production,” said Cowell. “Safety is more than complying with the OSHA standards, but it is about how you care about making sure your employees go home safe each day. Winning this type of safety award is a huge accomplishment because it is not easy to do, because it shows more than just compliance, it shows the company cares.”

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 $15,000 to DOORWAYS

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2019 HBA President John Suelthaus of Kingbridge Homes (left) presented a $15,000 donation to Jim Timmerberg, development officer for DOORWAYS.

The donation will be used to build an emergency exit ramp at DOORWAYS’ Cooper House residence. Cooper House is a 36-bed, 24-hour care facility for homeless individuals with HIV/AIDS and additional illnesses that restrict their independence. The ramp will allow the residents with ambulatory issues to easily exit the building in case of fire or other disasters. DOORWAYS is an interfaith non-profit organization which provides housing and related supportive services to improve quality of life and health outcomes for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

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.

MODOT Inclusion Advocate Award to Dennis Lavallee

in Associations/News

The Inclusion Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Dennis Lavallee by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) on April 25, 2019.  The Award was presented at the Annual Civil Rights Symposium in St. Charles, MO.  Lavallee is the former President of the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC).

“Through the Diversity Committee of the SLCCC,” Lavallee noted, “we have been able to drive and lead efforts for inclusion in the construction industry.  These have focused on women and minority owned business as well as work force.  This award recognizes the progress that has been achieved.”

MODOT is the state agency that oversees the transportation system and maintains over 10,000 miles of roads and bridges.

Photo caption: Lester Woods, MODOT External Civil Rights Director (l) presents the MODOT Inclusion Advocate of the Year Award to Dennis Lavallee

AGC Urges Industry to Garner Support From Users for Federal Highway Funding

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News


The Associated General Contractors of America says Tuesday’s agreement between President Donald Trump and House and Senate Democrats to work together on a $2 trillion highways, roads, bridges and rail investment program builds the beginning of momentum that will need to accelerate to make a big, bold federal transportation initiative a reality.

“We’ve got a long road – pun intended – ahead of us before we reach agreement on an infrastructure spending bill,” said AGC Spokesman Brian Turmail, “but the fact that this bipartisan agreement has been forged amidst other pressing (non-transportation-related) issues on Capitol Hill is encouraging. Now we need to keep the momentum going toward creation and passage of a broad-based infrastructure package long before the current program expires in September 2020, because by then we’ll be in the middle of an election year.”

The AGC of America and its affiliates across the U.S. – including the AGC of Missouri – are advocating for a bill that does more than fund road, rail and bridge projects. The organization wants to see a solid workforce development component as well, according to Turmail.

“Yes, we’ve got to fix the Highway Trust Fund, which is based upon a user-pay system that is fundamentally American,” Turmail said, noting that the revenue that funds the fund – 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline purchased – hasn’t been updated since 1993. “But we think the infrastructure package also needs to include workforce development since creating jobs through these construction projects is paramount. What better opportunity to marry these investments in infrastructure than with the ability to create well-paying jobs?”

Construction industry members can help further development and passage of a new, multi-year federal transportation infrastructure funding bill, he said, by engaging support from individuals and organizations beyond the construction sphere.

“One of the things our AGC members and lobbyists hear all the time (from Congress) is, “’We hear from construction industry people all the time, but we also need to hear from others outside your industry such as those who use our highway system,’” Turmail said. “We’re asking AGC members to ask shippers, manufacturers, drivers and consumers – neighbors, church friends and others – to contact their federal elected officials and communicate the importance of maintaining our transportation system for all.”

The nation’s current multi-year transportation funding program, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) was signed into law by former President Barack Obama in December 2015, authorizing $305 billion over fiscal years 2016-2020.

Hampton Inn Farmington Wins 2018 Lighthouse Award

in Companies/News

Midas Hospitality-managed hotel recognized for stellar service and accommodations 

Hampton Inn by Hilton Farmington was recently named a 2018 Lighthouse award winner by Hampton Hotels.  This recognition is given to the top 5% of Hampton Hotels based on high rankings in accommodations, service and quality.

Midas Hospitality – a leading hotel development, management and investment firm – manages the hotel located at 850 Valley Creek Dr. in Farmington, Mo.  Cheyenne Wolf is the hotel’s General Manager.

In addition to the Lighthouse award, Midas Hospitality-managed Hampton Inn by Hilton Poplar Bluff was honored with the 2018 Circle of Excellence award.  This is presented to the top 10% of Hampton Hotels based on performance ratings in regard to accommodations, service and quality.  April Jones is the General Manager of the hotel, which is located at 2420 Crestwood Dr. in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

“Winning the Lighthouse award shines a light on the tremendous people and sense of teamwork that exists at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Farmington property,” said David Robert, Midas Hospitality’s CEO and Co-Founder.  “Awards exist for a moment in time, but the people at both of these hotels do an amazing job every single day to create great experiences for our guests and each other.  And for that we are most grateful.”

Pictured holding the 2018 Lighthouse award is General Manager Cheyenne Wolf along with her Hampton Inn Farmington team.

For more information, call (314) 692-0100 or visit

Founded in 2006, Midas Hospitality specializes in the development, management and investment of award-winning hotel properties across the U.S.  The firm focuses on select-service and extended-stay experiences for global brands including Hilton, Marriott, and IHG.  Midas’ headquarters are located at 1804 Borman Circle Dr. in Maryland Heights, Mo. 


Poettker Construction Takes On Seven Gables Project in St. Louis

in Companies/News

Poettker’s hospitality expertise to be showcased in renovation project 

Poettker Construction, a second-generation family-owned professional construction company, has been awarded the historic Seven Gables Inn renovation project. As the Seven Gables Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the $3.5 million project requires Poettker’s historic renovation expertise. The expected completion date is summer 2019.

“The entire Poettker team is excited to be part of this great project for a client dedicated to enhancing communities in St. Louis,” said Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction. “We pride ourselves on our historic renovation capabilities along with our detailed project management skills. This project allows us to showcase our team’s great work in these areas.”

Poettker Construction’s hospitality experts were engaged by Restoration St. Louis for overall interior restoration updates and accessibility layout adjustments. The restoration updates will include historic window replacement and interior finish upgrades. The accessibility portion of the project will consist of constructing a bridge between the 2nd and 3rd floor guest wings, adding an elevator, removing extra unused staircases and adding more hallways for better guestroom access.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Poettker Construction for this renovation,” said Amrit Gill, president of Restoration St. Louis. “Poettker’s reputation, particularly in hospitality and historic renovation is second to none, and we’re anxious to see how it will turn out.”

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

Established in 1980, Poettker Construction is a second-generation, family-owned and veteran-owned business specializing in construction management, design/build, general contracting and self-perform services with an emphasis to exceed the client’s expectations.  For more information, visit

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