News - Page 3

Cuba, Mo. Makes an Engaging Splash


By Dave Wiecher, vice president, Capri Pools & Aquatics

On any given day last summer interesting dynamics unfolded at the Cuba Missouri Municipal Pool and Splash Pad as children played in the spray area. They learned. They developed social skills and motor skills – all safely on a wet surface with water cascading from a colorful playground that fires the imagination. Meanwhile, parents were also free to play with their children and engage one another.

The city of Cuba, Missouri embraced a growing trend in parks and recreation water play by building a splash pad with a purpose.  One that is a safe and fun playground of engagement that drenches the senses in water and is a welcome return of community enrichment stifled by the pandemic.

The Cuba splash pad is eye-catching 1,618-square-foot water playground to cool kids (and parents) off. Water flows from a colorful mushroom, a Mini FlashFlood that releases a suspenseful bucket full of water, two rotating hydrospheres, a WhirFlex mist sprayer, and ground spraying arch jets and a triple arch to create an arching water stream. 

The thoughtful planning process and construction was eight months in the making. It began in the fall of 2020 as the city of Cuba engaged Capri Pools & Aquatics with a $242,210 budget to create the new amenity next to its municipal pool. The splash pad was to be built on the site of a kiddie pool. One of the first decisions was how to utilize the infrastructure in place to save on construction costs.

After thoroughly examining infrastructure needs and pricing materials, Capri determined that the water lines and filtration system could be repurposed to serve the splash pad. The lines were the right size and in good condition. By adapting them to a water playground, the city could save up to $35,000 on cost. In addition, the kiddie pool mushroom was reused for the splash pad.

The splash pad required 125 gallons of water a minute.  That necessitated a new 3,000-gallon storage tank, but the aquatics market was struggling with pandemic-induced supply issues. Capri checked its vendors and came up with a 5,000-gallon storage tank without impacting the budget.  It also had the advantage of giving Cuba the option of expanding the splash pad at a later date. 

Delivering the splash pad to accommodate lower maintenance cost was also important.  A broom-finish concrete surface mitigated slipping on tiny feet. It was also unpainted to allow more of the budget to be devoted to amenities by avoiding yearly repainting. Spray nozzles are easily unclogged and play features are easily replaceable without having to tear up the concrete.

The splash pad debuted on schedule in June 2021 and has been an enormous success for the city of Cuba.  But more than just the numbers, the splash pad engages the senses of toddlers and young children in a number of ways.  Tactile, balance, motor skills and play imagination are all stimulated with the drenching cool of water.  And parents can delight in the fun of childhood themselves and engage one another in a relaxing colorful environment. Cuba definitely made a splash in 2021!


Murphy Company Completes Asset Acquisition of State Mechanical


Murphy Company, a mechanical contractor based in Missouri and Colorado, has closed on the asset acquisition of State Mechanical.  State Mechanical is based in St. Louis and has provided refrigeration construction and service expertise since 1991. 

In its 30 years in business, State Mechanical has provided installation and support of essential refrigeration systems.  State’s additional expertise and resources complement Murphy’s long-standing refrigeration offering.  Murphy Company provides design, installation and planned maintenance services to a variety of customers in the commercial, industrial, and supermarket industries.  Murphy’s refrigeration offering also includes installation and maintenance of refrigeration controls systems and refrigeration equipment across all of the refrigeration manufacturers in the industry today. 

Tom Skaggs, Murphy’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer stated, “The State Mechanical acquisition will greatly assist us in expanding our construction and service offerings. We are excited to add the State Mechanical resources to our team, and look forward to meeting the needs of new customers.”  

With this acquisition, the Murphy Refrigeration team has grown, allowing for more coverage of the company’s expanding customer base. Effective November 8, Murphy Company and its expanded team assumed responsibility to complete several of State’s active refrigeration projects and vow to sustain ongoing maintenance activities across the region.  

The addition of State’s resources will allow for Murphy’s refrigeration team to expand its refrigeration mechanical installation and design services.  

Chris Carter, Executive Vice President of Services for Murphy, added, “The State Mechanical acquisition is in alignment with Murphy Company’s overall initiative to grow service and small project revenues and will enhance the sustainability of our organization.“

Bob Eichelberger, Refrigeration Manager for Murphy commented as well, “State Mechnical is a solid addition to our refrigeration operations, and we are excited to serve the new clients that State has introduced to our business. With the addition of State’s highly qualified refrigeration field team members, we anticipate this acquisition will provide significant opportunities for our team members, both new and existing.”

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s largest and privately held mechanical contracting firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial, and institutional markets. Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design/build, piping fabrication, building automation systems, and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Boulder, Northern Colorado, and Southern Colorado. For more information, visit


Guarantee Electrical Company Acquires Aschinger Electric Co.


St. Louis-based electrical contracting firm Guarantee Electrical Company announced it will acquire fellow St. Louis firm Aschinger Electric Co. The deal will finalize on Dec. 31, and the merged operations will have a combined revenue that approaches $300 million and 1,000 employees.

Guarantee’s acquisition of Aschinger is a merger of two of the St. Louis region’s largest electrical firms and will leverage their individual strengths.

Aschinger Electric joins the Guarantee platform as an independent business unit and will continue to be recognized as Aschinger Electric, a Guarantee Electrical Company.

Fourth generation Aschinger owner Emily Martin will join the Guarantee leadership team as Executive Vice President on January 1, 2022 and is the named successor-Chief Operating Officer to Rich Ledbetter, who in October 2022 will succeed Rick Oertli as CEO of Guarantee. Oertli will continue as the Guarantee Chairman of the Board of Directors, leading the governance of the growing platform that is the Guarantee family of companies.
“Emily and I have worked side-by-side for many years on the NECA Board of Directors, as joint-venture partners, and collectively on many of the area’s landmark projects,” said Dave Gralike, president of Guarantee Electrical Company. “She has displayed exceptional leadership in growing a fourth-generation, award-winning business in the construction industry. We are fortunate to have Emily bring her fresh, innovative, and diverse perspective to our leadership team. She is an added catalyst to our company and will help in achieving our aggressive internal and external goals.”

Two of the region’s largest contractors, Guarantee Electrical and Aschinger Electric, have been longtime St. Louis peers, creating mutual respect through association leadership and many successful joint ventures over the years. Having shared an operational footprint in the St. Louis area for more than 100 years, the companies have come to understand and appreciate what each has to offer.

“Our company cultures, markets served, and business styles complement each other well. Coming together as a single force will have so many benefits for our customers, our employees and our community,” said Martin. “The combination of Guarantee’s support structure and resources with Aschinger’s entrepreneurial energy and personal approach to service creates a synergy unlike anything else. We believe in building lifetime relationships through trust and this new partnership will allow us to focus on doing exactly that.”

The companies’ similar values, culture and shared focus on operational excellence – combined with Guarantee’s employee-ownership and governance structure – provides a solid foundation for seamless transition to a combined entity with expanded resources, shared best practices and more opportunities for future success.

“Aschinger is an incredibly successful company with a shared vision and sterling reputation in the St. Louis market and beyond. We are committed to integrating our talented teams and preserving the client focus and entrepreneurial energy they bring.” said Guarantee COO Rich Ledbetter.

Guarantee specializes in preconstruction, electrical engineering, electrical construction, intelligent-building-systems installation, and quick-response services. Aschinger Electric Co. offers a wide range of electrical services, including commercial, industrial, data/comm, solar, lighting maintenance, and electric-vehicle-charging expertise. The resulting acquisition will expand Guarantee’s regional presence with enhanced capacity, capabilities, and a focus on serving special projects, service work, and energy solutions.

The acquisition of Aschinger marks Guarantee’s second such transaction this year. In April, Guarantee acquired 100-year-old Berwick Electrical Company, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado – expanding its presence in Colorado, California, and the broader western region.

“Over the past 20 years, our team at Guarantee has developed a unique employee-owned platform for growth, achieved both organically and through acquisition.  I am thrilled that Aschinger is joining our platform,” said Guarantee CEO Rick Oertli. “For a 120-year-old organization, I can say with confidence that the future has never been brighter.”

Founded in 1902 to electrify the 1904 World’s Fair St. Louis, Guarantee Electrical Company is among the oldest electrical contracting firms in the United States. Consistently ranked among the top electrical contractors in the country, Guarantee has expertise in electrical engineering, electrical preconstruction, electrical construction, design-build/design-assist, communications, data, security, life-safety systems and 24/7 emergency and quick-response service.
For more information, visit

Aschinger Electric Company is among the region’s largest electrical
contractors and among the largest women-owned businesses, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. It is also one of the nation’s Top 600 Specialty Contractors, according to the industry trade publication Engineering News Record (ENR). Aschinger was founded in 1940 in St. Louis and is in its fourth generation of family leadership in the electrical contracting business.

For more information, visit


BHMA Publishes New ANSI/BHMA Standard for Hardware for Architectural Glass Openings


The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA®) announced the publication of a new ANSI/BHMA standard, A156.44: Standard for Hardware for Architectural Glass Openings. This is the 43rd ANSI/BHMA standard that has been established to date.

ANSI/BHMA A156.44 establishes performance requirements for exit device hardware used on swinging architectural glass doors.

“Architectural glass is being employed with higher frequency because it is an environmentally friendly building material and it allows for better use of natural light and other advantages,” said BHMA Standards Director Michael Tierney. “The development of this standard is an opportunity for BHMA to provide further value to the construction industry.”

When employed as a decorative element in doors and walls, glass is desirable for its design versatility and durability. These points align with BHMA’s mission towards sustainability & product stewardship.

Each ANSI/BHMA standard can be purchased on the BHMA website, and summaries of each standard can be accessed on the Hardware Highlights page. For more information on ANSI/BHMA standards, please contact Larry McClean, BHMA’s program manager, at

The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is an industry leader in building safety and security. BHMA is the only organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop and maintain performance standards for locks, closers, exit devices and other builder’s hardware. The widely known ANSI/BHMA A156 series of standards describes and establishes the features and criteria for specific types of hardware products. In addition, BHMA sponsors third-party certification of hardware products, which is a requirement for a product to bear the “BHMA Certified” mark — ensuring that the product meets the ANSI/BHMA standard. For more information, visit


People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


Electrical Connection’s Timothy Green Named to St. Charles County Convention & Sports Facilities Authority

Timothy Green

Timothy Green of the Electrical Connection has been named to the St. Charles County Convention and Sports Facilities Authority as a commissioner.  He was nominated to the position by St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann

The St. Charles County Convention and Sports Authority will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its founding next year. The authority oversees the spending of the revenues to promote and expand convention and sports facilities throughout St. Charles County.

With the Electrical Connection, Green serves as director of governmental affairs for the IBEW/NECA partnership. He served in the Missouri General Assembly for eight years as a State Senator and 14 years as a State Representative.  Green has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 for 40 years and was the president of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO for 20 years.  He also served as a member of the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees.

Green earned a degree in business administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) and is a graduate of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. 

The Electrical Connection is a partnership of IBEW Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  The partnership includes 7,000 IBEW members, including more than 5,400 skilled electricians and communications technicians and 150 electrical and communication contractors.  Collectively, they provide safe and reliable commercial, industrial and residential electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri.  It is an important resource for business and civic leadership for new technology, advancing electrical and communication infrastructure.  Learn more at

New Public Works Director for the City of Saint Charles

The City of Saint Charles has announced that Nicholas Galla will serve as the new Director of Public Works. Galla has been employed with the City of Saint Charles since 2015 and has over 17 years of experience in civil engineering. Previously, he has served as the Assistant City Engineer for the City of Saint Charles as well as Interim Director of Public Works.

Prior to the City of Saint Charles, Galla was a Senior Transportation Engineer at Olsson Associates and a Squad Leader at HNTB, responsible for managing a team of engineers. A local of Missouri, Galla graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T) and has been a licensed professional engineer with the State of Missouri since 2009. He also grew up in the Saint Charles area and graduated from Francis Howell North High School.

“I am extremely proud of our Public Works department and their service to our community,” says Mayor Dan Borgmeyer. “I believe Galla’s knowledge and experience will help bring a fresh perspective to the Public Works department and ensure that Saint Charles remains a beautiful and safe place to live, work and play.”

The Department of Public Works has around 90 employees that help maintain the City’s streets, water mains, sewers, facilities, and other infrastructure, along with 460 miles of right-of-way.

Nick Ellis Promoted to BEX Project Manager

Nick Ellis

Nick Ellis was recently promoted to project manager at BEX Construction Services. He joined BEX Construction in June 2020 as a project engineer assigned to several tilt-up warehouse projects.

At BEX, he works on a wide variety of commercial construction projects. Ellis began his career in transportation design after earning bachelor of science degrees in civil engineering and architectural engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology in 2017.

“I learn something new every day by listening and paying attention to details in close communication with our team,” Ellis said. “Seeing our clients’ projects come together after months or years of hard work is rewarding for the owners as well as for me and the whole BEX team. We know we’ve succeeded when our clients are happy and want to work with us again.”

Founded in 2014, BEX Construction Services is among St. Louis’ fastest growing general contractors. It is a service-oriented firm that tackles projects ranging from interior buildouts and remodels to massive distribution centers. BEX is active in the commercial, educational/institutional, health care, industrial/process, restaurant, retail and warehouse markets throughout the St. Louis region.

November 12, 2021

Clayco Announces Mary Person as Senior Vice President of Public-Private Initiatives

Mary Person

Person will establish public-private market expansion opportunities across the Clayco enterprise, as well as lead programmatic efforts to promote and increase diversity on Clayco projects

Clayco, a full-service turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm, has hired Mary Person as Senior Vice President, Public-Private Initiatives. Person will develop public and public-private sector business development opportunities for Clayco, as well as lead strategic initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through community engagement.

“With her expertise in community and economic development initiatives that help establish a diverse and local workforce on projects, Mary brings senior executive leadership and vision that will enhance Clayco’s integrated approach to real estate development, design, construction and planning, as well as further our commitment to strengthening the communities where we work,” said David Reifman, president of Clayco’s Chicago Business Unit.

Person will work closely with the Chicago Business Unit of Clayco on business development to enhance public-private market expansion opportunities in Chicago and nationwide. Her vast experience implementing utilization programs for subcontractors, unions and community groups will also enhance Clayco’s DEI initiatives and address the industry’s ongoing labor shortage.

Person joins Clayco from F.H. Paschen where she oversaw DEI strategy as well as client relations with a particular focus on the mass-transit market. Previously, she was Director of Diversity Programs at CTA, where she oversaw the Disadvatange Business Enterprise and EEO Program. Person also led CTA’s diversity strategy for the Red Line South and 95th Street station reconstruction projects.

“Clayco brings the rare combination of creativity, process driven discipline and deep in-house technical expertise to emerging markets. That pedigree, in combination with their ‘people first’ philosophy, makes them an ideal fit for my work ethic and skill set,” said Person. “Joining this team is an honor—loaded with opportunities and challenges. I am excited to dig in with the Clayco team as we drive to become the Contractor/Designer of choice not only in Chicago, but in other developing markets where need and opportunity converge.”

Person holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Loyola University Chicago. She is a board member of Revolution Workshop. Person was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Women in Construction and Design for 2020, and received a Diversity First Award from the Illinois Diversity Council.

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. For more information visit

November 5, 2021

Michele Bugh Joins Alberici as Senior Executive, Project Development

Michele Bugh

Michele Bugh joined Alberici Constructors, Inc. as Senior Executive, Project Development in the firm’s building and healthcare business unit.

In her position, Bugh will act as a key leader in preconstruction and project development efforts at Alberici.  She will nurture partnerships with clients and consultants within the commercial and institutional building sectors. Her focus is to expand Alberici’s presence and build upon its success in the healthcare, research, office, civic, and higher education markets throughout the Midwest.

Bugh joins Alberici with an impressive 28-year track record of successful project development and construction leadership experience. Most recently, Bugh served as a vice president for a national developer/contractor based in Columbus, Ohio where she led the firm’s strategic planning and positioning efforts, client account management, new project development, corporate communications, and marketing.   

“Michele brings in-depth knowledge of design and construction to this role and will be an excellent resource for our clients as they evaluate future building needs,” said Alberici Executive ice President Kevin Williams. “She has a strong reputation for helping clients achieve their business goals through tailored building solutions and will be a great addition to our growing team.”

Alberici’s building and healthcare markets include a diverse portfolio of local projects including Mercy St. Louis’ 272,000-square-foot, Multispecialty Center and Garage; the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the new St. Louis CITY SC Stadium and Campus in Downtown West.

“Alberici has been incredibly successful at building complex and technically challenging projects.  I am thrilled to be joining a firm that is not only best-in-class in our industry, but also has a reputation for being one of the most thoughtful and caring of its clients and employees,” said Bugh.  

An active industry and community supporter, Bugh is past board present of the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Columbus Chapter, and has served as committee chair at several prominent education and art institutions.  She currently serves on the Parent Council Advisory Board at Eckerd College.

Bugh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Communications from The Ohio State University and resides in St. Louis.

Alberici is a leading North American construction company serving the civil, energy, building, healthcare, heavy industrial, manufacturing, water/wastewater, and automotive industries. Founded in 1918 in St. Louis, Alberici is a recognized leader in the construction industry focused on providing clients with rock-solid reliability, the highest standards of quality and safety and innovative solutions for the most complex building needs. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

IMPACT Strategies Adds Cole Loftus as Market Development Manager

Newly created position will serve the firm’s multiple geographical markets.

Cole Loftus

Cole Loftus joins the team at IMPACT Strategies in the newly created position of Market Development Manager. In his new role, Cole will continue in IMPACT’s core purpose of developing industry relationships by identifying, qualifying, and developing project pursuit opportunities across the firm’s multiple markets which include Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio/Northern Kentucky.

Cole brings an impressive background in outside sales with experience working at several companies. A native St. Louisan, he graduated from CBC High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Rockhurst University.

“I’m excited to get to work developing new relationships and opportunities for IMPACT Strategies,” said Loftus. “Connecting clients in both the St. Louis and Cincinnati metro areas with the proven construction services IMPACT offers is something I’m extremely proud to do.”

Cole and his wife, Molly, live in St. Louis County; they have one child and another on the way.

Nick Walker, vice president, project development and strategy at IMPACT Strategies, said, “The addition of Cole to our team will help us continue to grow as a company, while still providing excellence in construction to our clients. His passion for people and connecting makes him a valuable resource for both our clients and the IMPACT Strategies team.”

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 from its offices in Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio.


Electrical Connection’s Timothy Green Named to St. Charles County Convention & Sports Facilities Authority


Timothy Green of the Electrical Connection has been named to the St. Charles County Convention and Sports Facilities Authority as a commissioner.  He was nominated to the position by St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann

The St. Charles County Convention and Sports Authority will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its founding next year. The authority oversees the spending of the revenues to promote and expand convention and sports facilities throughout St. Charles County.

With the Electrical Connection, Green serves as director of governmental affairs for the IBEW/NECA partnership. He served in the Missouri General Assembly for eight years as a State Senator and 14 years as a State Representative.  Green has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 for 40 years and was the president of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO for 20 years.  He also served as a member of the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees.

Green earned a degree in business administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) and is a graduate of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. 

The Electrical Connection is a partnership of IBEW Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  The partnership includes 7,000 IBEW members, including more than 5,400 skilled electricians and communications technicians and 150 electrical and communication contractors.  Collectively, they provide safe and reliable commercial, industrial and residential electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri.  It is an important resource for business and civic leadership for new technology, advancing electrical and communication infrastructure.  Learn more at


First ASCC Safety Summit Held


The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, MO, and the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA), Mt. Vernon, IA, held their inaugural ASCC/TCA Safety Summit in Houston, TX, on November 12. The event brought together those responsible for safety in their companies for a day of information exchange. Safety professionals from ASCC and TCA members across the country came together to share best practices and their most daunting challenges,” says Bev Garnant, executive director of the ASCC.

The summit opened with keynote speaker, Tim Manherz, operating manager, Encore Concrete Construction, Houston. Manherz is a winner of ASCC’s prestigious Owner/Executive Safety Award, a past president of TCA, and a board member of ASCC.

The remainder of the day was devoted to breakout sessions, the heart of the program. Attendees discussed Medical Case Management, Safety vs. Production, Medical Marijuana on the Job, Root Cause Analysis and Implementing Change, among other topics. “The goal was for every attendee to leave armed with new ideas and contact information from fellow members, eager to continue the conversations, and with renewed energy for keeping their companies safe,” says TCA executive director Mitch Bloomquist. “I have no doubt this is exactly what took place.”

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them with a unified voice in the construction industry. Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers, and others interested in the concrete industry, such as architects, specifiers, and distributors. There are approximately 720 member companies in the United States and 12 foreign countries. For more information visit the website at or call (866) 788-2722.

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) is the international nonprofit trade association for the global tilt-up concrete construction industry and was founded in 1986 by a dedicated group of contractors, professionals, and manufacturers with the interest of improving the quality and acceptance of tilt-up construction. For more information, please visit


How Credit Worthy Is Your Construction Business?


Submitted by Schmersahl Treloar & Co

As you probably know, construction businesses are frequently scrutinized for their creditworthiness and financial stability by sureties, banks, insurers and other parties. Your ability to build and protect your financial reputation is critical to winning work and managing risk.

Building creditworthiness is a daily and monthly process. But the payoff is worth the effort: easier access to equipment financing and surety bonds, and the ability to negotiate favorable loan terms and conditions. What’s more, contractors with good business credit ratings are likely to win more contracts because they’re usually seen as more reliable by project owners and potential partners.

Eight Tips for Building and Preserving Credit
Review the following eight tips for enhancing your business’s credit.

1. Separate business and personal credit. Among the first critical steps for anyone establishing a company is to separate business from personal finances. Opening a commercial bank account and credit card, and paying bills in your company’s legal name, will create a distinction between your business and personal credit. You also should apply for a federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS. All of this helps to establish a business credit profile.
2. Establish lines of credit. It may sound like a Catch-22, but you need credit to build credit. Set up lines of credit with your trade-specific vendors or suppliers and make sure you pay bills in full on time. A positive history of on-time payments shows your company is reliable and can effectively manage its debt. A late payment history, on the other hand, will ding your business credit rating.

Many lenders don’t consider a company’s credit history to be established until it has three business credit cards, two loans fully paid off and five “trade credit” accounts reporting financial transactions to credit bureaus. You can establish trade credit accounts by securing payment terms, such as net-60 or net-90, with vendors or suppliers that report those payments to business credit reporting agencies.

3. Get a D-U-N-S number. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), Equifax and Experian all gather financial information on businesses to generate credit reports. However, D&B is the only credit bureau with which you must register to start tracking your business credit. Registering is important because some insurers require their insureds to maintain specific D&B scores and ratings.

The D&B application is free and ensures that a credit file is established under your company name. You’ll receive a D-U-N-S number that enables you to review your credit file and make changes to your business and demographics information. Be proactive about maintaining D&B scores. You may need to pay fees to activate your credit report and add trade references (trade credit accounts). But the expense generally makes sense because it helps ensure that businesses are reporting your company’s financial transactions with them to D&B.

4. Monitor your credit history. Do you know your company’s credit scores? Periodically check your scores and review credit reports for errors and inaccuracies that may lower them. Even simple errors, such as a wrong address, can negatively affect your credit reports. If you do find an error, file a dispute with the credit bureau. Any mistakes should be corrected as soon as possible.

5. Reinvest in your business. Congratulate yourself on having a profitable business — but don’t just spend the proceeds. Use profits to establish a cash reserve, pay down debt and reinvest for growth. Setting monthly and annual targets will help you meet your reinvestment goals.

6. Don’t max out accounts. If you consistently max out business credit cards, it can lower your credit score. Aim for a credit utilization (the percentage of available credit you use) of 30% or less and a debt-to-income ratio at 45% or less. You should also know that closing out credit accounts and removing them from your credit report just because they’re paid in full may have an adverse effect on your credit rating. In fact, it may limit the amount of credit at your disposal.

7. Maintain accurate records. Good recordkeeping and documentation will be critical at tax time. Maintaining accurate records also helps protect your business from fraud losses.

8. Monitor partners’ business credit. Construction is a collaborative industry. To prevent other companies’ financial troubles from affecting your projects and harming your credit, check the credit reports of customers, partners and suppliers before you agree to work with them.

Peace of Mind
Building and maintaining creditworthiness is an important objective for every contractor. Your business credit rating plays a key role in providing peace of mind to sureties, lenders, insurers and potential customers that your company is financially sound, reliable and trustworthy.


Back To Business: 75th Edition National Hardware Show a Success


New featured areas, educational programs, awards and sustainability initiatives brought the hardware and home improvement industry back together safely

NORWALK, CT. – November 12, 2021 – After pivoting to a virtual format in 2020 and adding a year-round, digital component in 2021, the National Hardware Show (NHS) returned in-person from October 21-23 for its 75th edition event, gathering exhibitors, industry leaders and other attendees for a safe and successful return to business at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new West Hall.

All in all, the Show garnered 690 exhibitors (including 259 new exhibitors), 225 featured products and 97 inventors. Notable exhibitors included Stanley Black & Decker, MTD, Traeger, Ukiah, Flex Seal and Costco.

“We are grateful for all exhibitors, attendees, staff and media who made this Show possible and successful,” said Beth Casson, Event Leader, National Hardware Show. “Despite a smaller footprint, we made important investments this year to ensure NHS remains the top destination for industry members to make meaningful connections and celebrate successes for years to come.”

Specialty Areas


NHS’ new HABITAT Pavilion resided at the main Show floor entrance in the West Hall and consisted of three components: HABITAT New, HABITAT Next and the HABITAT Innovation Showcase. The HABITAT Innovation Showcase was framed by five pillars impacting the evolution of hardware and home improvement businesses for 2021 and beyond: Self-Service; the Extra Mile; Health and Wellth; Trust the Process; and Safe the World. It featured a curated selection of products from companies paving the way in innovation. HABITAT New was a discovery zone for the latest product launches and included novel products from the likes of Bear Mountain BBQ Woods and Inventor Lady. Additionally, HABITAT Next allowed inventors to showcase inventions that embody how the industry can rise to meet the changes in our world – including a series of educational seminars and pitch panels hosted by the United Inventors Association. Key inventors included Stinger Brush Co. and Quick Car Dry, among others.

NHS Backyard

The new NHS Backyard section was the place to be for much of the Show – an outdoor component that came alive through exciting content on the NHS Backyard Stage. Following a Welcome Back Reception, NHS Backyard hosted a Cook-Off with Ukiah, Live Building & Refurbishments with Make48, NHS Favorite Finds presentations, grilling demonstrations and more. NHS Backyard was also home to the Backyard Beer Garden where attendees were able to gather, network and unwind.

“National Hardware Show has let the home and hardware industry know trade shows are back and better than ever,” said Kathryn Emery, NHS Correspondent. “It was wonderful to greet people in person, see products in action and hear from industry leading speakers. One of my favorite areas, this year, and every year, is NHS Backyard! The NHS Backyard stage was constant action – from Traeger and Pit Boss chefs, to influencers showing off their favorite finds and inventors showing how their products work. My taste buds had the honor of judging the TikTok Cook-Off hosted by Ukiah, with some of the best flavors I’ve ever experienced. The energy, events, products and people that came out for NHS made it amazing to be back in person. I’m already looking forward to April 2022!”

Made in USA

Made in USA featured domestic, best-in-class products and services that value high labor standards, top quality manufacturing and safer products that keep Americans working. Featured exhibitors included Big Gator Tools, Flex-Safe USA, Lasko Products, Shurtape Technologies, Warp Brothers and more.

Area 75

To celebrate the 75th edition of the National Hardware Show, the 2021 event featured Area 75 – a curated exhibit commemorating each decade within NHS’ history. The installation took attendees down memory lane showcasing nostalgia-inducing home trends, vintage tools, products, past event directory programs and more, truly showing the evolution of the industry and the Show!

NHPA All-Industry Conference

Co-located with NHS, the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) All-Industry Conference consisted of educational seminars, networking opportunities and awards programs. This year’s Conference focused on supporting independent retailers’ evolution with a variety of presentations from retailers, subject matter experts and wholesaler and manufacturer representatives. Key sessions and speakers that took place include:

  • KEYNOTE: Locked on Leadership: The Secret to Self-Directed Teams – Presenter: Dave Rosenberg, Speaker, Podcaster and Author
  • Young Retailer Insights: The Future of Retail – Panelists: Robin Smith, Vice President, Petersburg Hardware; Cody Goeppner, Director, Bleyhl Co-op; and Jonathan South, Manager, Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware
  • A Supplier’s Perspective – Panelists: Charlotte Mustard, Director of Marketing, Sashco Sealants; Geff Lynch, President, Lancaster; and Paul Green, Chief Merchandising & Procurement Officer, True Value
  • KEYNOTE: The New Normal for Kitchen and Bath – Presenter: Bill Darcy, CEO, National Kitchen and Bath Association 
  • KEYNOTE: Focus on the Customer and the Employees as a Person – Presenter: Alex Genov, Head of Customer Research, Zappos 
  • Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good: Taking Care of People & Business – Presenter: Rich Benninghoff, President and CEO, Malco Products, SBC
  • Top-Down Sustainability – Presenter Josh Prigge, Consultant, Sustridge Consulting
  • E-Commerce: What I Wish I Knew Then – Presenter: Jake Wilson, Director of Marketing & eCommerce, Wilco 
  • The New Paradigm for Home Improvement – Presenters: Dan Tratensek, NHPA; and Grant Farnsworth, President, The Farnsworth Group

Award recipients included three Top Gun Award winners – retailers who are growing their operations through strategic leadership with consideration for their communities and teams:

·       Mike Brackin, President, HomCo Lumber & Hardware

·       Ian McNaughton, Owner, Gravenhurst Home Hardware

·       Greg Templeman, President, Sunpro

Additionally, a panel of independent retailers chose 40 Retailers’ Choice Award winners from the thousands of products on display at NHS.

Recorded content will be available on NHS Connects soon!


The 75th edition of NHS was the most sustainable yet, with help from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s water conservation and energy efficient light initiatives, plus an events contractor, Freeman, which helped deliver positive social and environmental impact. Specifically, NHS swapped out paper for a digital directory, used reusable, sustainably sourced signage and eliminated aisle carpet to reduce CO2 emissions.

Save the Date

NHS revealed the dates for its 2022 Show, set for April 5-7, once again in the West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Stay tuned for more information!

About the National Hardware Show® 
The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning 76 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War 2 housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, NHS is the most comprehensive event, education and networking platform serving the hardware and home improvement industry. As the industry spearhead, it keeps a focused eye on the cultural, environmental, and technological developments shaping the future of modern living. NHS unites and guides the industry at its live events and on its interactive channels by delivering unparalleled opportunities for fostering connections, deepening insights, and building innovative and profitable strategies for growth. For more information on the National Hardware Show, visit  

About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. RX elevates the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.


Pfund Construction Building Edwardsville’s First Luxury Condos



A five-story landmark continues to emerge as the first-ever mixed-use, for-sale luxury condominium development to take root in Edwardsville.

Pfund Construction President Matt Pfund said the 35,000-square-foot high-rise known as ONE57 is on schedule and progressing toward completion.

“We’re confident that Edwardsville is ready for this unique product,” he said.

Construction began in Spring 2021. Peel Wood Fired Pizza, a popular Edwardsville restaurant and bar, will expand four-fold to occupy 10,000 square feet of the ground floor. It is projected to open in mid-December.

The eight condos on floors two through five – each spanning 2,200 square feet and featuring three bedrooms and two and a half baths – are expected to be completed in March and April 2022.

Pfund Construction Vice President Kristen Pfund said each residence has its own private exterior balcony, fireplace, large master bedroom suite, an abundance of storage, laundry facilities and detached garage. High-end tile, quartz, commercial-grade appliances, walk-in showers and walk-in closets. “All units are fully customizable at this point,” she said. “There are two distinctive designs – modern and traditional modern – on each floor. These luxury units are the size of a freestanding home.”

The 2.5-acre development site, located along Illinois Route 157 just one mile south-southeast of downtown Edwardsville, offered hilly terrain – much of which Pfund Construction left in place. Matt Pfund said the contractor worked with the City of Edwardsville early in the project to position 200 parking spaces on a hilltop in the rear of the structure, not visible from the highway. Pfund also worked with the city and Madison County Transit to add a large sidewalk and connect to the bike trail network. Green space preservation in front of the site was a priority.

“We’re at the peak of construction now,” said Matt Pfund. “We’ve got 70 to 75 tradespeople working on site. The views of Edwardsville from the top floors are stunning.”

Pfund Construction is a well-known firm in Edwardsville. The company has repurposed several historic landmark structures downtown into mixed-use lofts and retail storefronts. The firm also builds high-end, single-family residences.

Matt Pfund retired from his long-time position at a general contractor two years ago to devote all his energies to Pfund Construction. The company, which began 25 years ago, has experienced more than 100 percent year-over-year growth for the past three years.

ONE57 project partners include:


Nickas Architecture

Henderson Associates Architects

Gray Design Group


Crawford, Murphy & Tilly

SCI Engineering

303rd Engineering Group

02 Structural Engineers


Keller Construction

CNC Foundations

Vee-Jay Cement

Diecker-Terry Masonry

The Gateway Company

Acme Erectors

Erlinger Crane Service

Martin Roofing

St. Jacob Glass

Pella Windows

MPM Industries


Titan Carpentry

Phillips Plastering

TJ Wies Contracting

Bazan Painting

Missouri Terrazzo

Flooring Systems Inc.

Ford Hotel Supply

Zumwalt Corporation

P & N Plumbing


Pyramid Electrical

KONE Elevators

Boyer Fire Protection