News - Page 3

Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School Completes Athletic Complex Expansion & Renovations


Construction is complete on the expansion and renovation of the new weight room at Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School in St. Louis. Kwame Building Group (KWAME) served as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). The project included updating the building’s footprint in order to expand the current weight room by approximately 1,200 square feet. The upgraded facility will help Cardinal Ritter develop and extend their athletic program and create a space that enhances the learning experience for students. 

Compared to the previous facility, the new weight room adds collegiate level exercise equipment, a large amount of natural light and direct access to outdoor fields. It also features a commercial washer and dryer and a charging station for student use. The KWAME team managed the design and construction process, performed cost estimates, produced project schedules and reviewed the design team’s deliverables. Knoebel Construction was the general contractor partner for the project. The architect was JEMA.

A new athletic field and track is also part of the school’s athletic complex update. The upgraded complex will be a community resource for other elementary schools, youth clubs and community-based organizations. It will serve the more than 10,000 youth and adults who will use the school’s athletic facilities each year.  

“This facility is nothing short of state of the art. It’s on a collegiate level and fits nicely into our strategic health and wellness plan,” said Tamiko Armstead, president of Cardinal Ritter.

Cardinal Ritter alumna Jasminn Jones was KWAME’s project manager for the renovation. While a student, she participated in the Intern Leadership Program and interned for two summers at KWAME. Jones, a graduate of Alabama A&M University, joined KWAME in 2018.

“It is an honor to be working as a project manager at my Alma Mater. I would have never imagined that I would have this opportunity and it is completely full circle. I enjoy Construction Management and I loved my time at CRCP, so to merge the two together, has been very rewarding and impactful,” said Jones. “Cardinal Ritter’s unique afrocentric style of teaching set the foundation for me to be a young black professional in the corporate world with confidence.”

“It was gratifying to witness how this has gone full circle through Jasminn, who is Cardinal Ritter graduate, former Kwame intern and now working as a full time project manager,” said Armstead. “We need more businesses like Kwame to invest in our students as interns, so they can experience careers like Jasminn and stay in St. Louis to live, work and give back.”

The renovation is part of the Cardinal Ritter’s Health and Wellness Initiative, funded in large part by the Taylor family and Enterprise Holdings Foundation, with support from our other donors, including Centene Charitable Foundation, Edward Jones and William T. Kemper Foundation.

Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School (CRCP) was established in August of 1979 as the first African American co-educational Catholic college prep high school in the country. The mission of faith development, academic excellence, and leadership has withstood the test of time, providing an exemplary college preparatory educational experience for more than 3,000 St. Louis metropolitan area youth since 1979. Graduating classes achieve 100% college acceptance rates, and CRCP college persistence rates of 82% are higher than the average of all high schools nationally. Learn more about Cardinal Ritter College Prep at

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2021, the employee-owned company provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. KWAME’s public and private sector projects include educational facilities, major airports nationwide, light-rail systems, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities and government facilities. KWAME is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


Holland Construction Services Hires Stacey Martin as Director of HR &Talent Strategy

Stacey Martin

Mike Marchal, president of Holland Construction Services (Holland), is pleased to announce that Stacey Martin has joined the Holland team as the new Director of Human Resources and Talent Strategy.  

Martin has 14 years of human resources experience, and brings a wealth of knowledge in providing strategic leadership in the planning and implementation of quality-based, integrated human resources programs for employees. In her new role with Holland, she will be responsible for managing all aspects of talent management including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, professional development, engagement and total rewards.

Martin’s key responsibilities will be to develop and coordinate HR activities and strategies across all departments within the organization.  She will be working closely with department heads throughout the company to design and implement plans that will benefit employees, especially around recruitment, employee satisfaction and professional growth.

Martin graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and is a certified Strategic HR Business Partner through the Human Capital Institute (HCI). Outside of work, she is actively involved in the community, and has volunteered her time with Ronald McDonald House Charities, Operation Food Search and the nonprofit, KidSmart. She has also raised thousands of dollars over ten years volunteering her time with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm guided by the principle of providing clients the best possible build experience on every project. Holland has been providing quality construction services throughout Illinois and Missouri since 1986, and is led by founder and CEO Bruce Holland, President Mike Marchal, and Vice President & Multi-Family Director Doug Weber. For more information, visit Holland’s website at

Brad Hilton joins Wiegmann Associates as Project Engineer
Brad Hilton

Brad Hilton of St. Charles, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as Project Engineer. He is responsible for designing energy-efficient, cost-effective and high-performing HVAC systems. He also performs heating and cooling loads for HVAC systems, selects appropriate HVAC equipment and uses 3D modeling software to generate design and construction documents.

Hilton previously interned with U.S. Steel as a Mechanical Engineer. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. Since 1995, Wiegmann Associates has engineered and installed innovative, energy-saving and cost-efficient HVAC solutions, refrigeration systems and automation controls for clients in a wide range of industries, including senior living, food and beverage distribution, warehouse, healthcare, commercial and industrial. Wiegmann also provides 24-hour preventative maintenance programs and service in the St. Louis region. Wiegmann is ranked among the top 50 specialty contractors in the Midwest by Engineering News-Record and the largest mechanical contractors by the St. Louis Business Journal. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

April 23, 2021

Joe Dietz Creates Dietz Architectural Products Will Rep WINCO Window Company

Joe Dietz

WINCO Window Company, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural and commercial aluminum windows, has announced that its vice president Joe Dietz will be now managing its Midwest sales operations, replacing Tim Cox, who has retired.  

Dietz will work as an independent rep covering Missouri, Southern Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska . He will continue to support his current Winco responsibilities until September, 2021.  Dietz is also opening his own independent company, Dietz Architectural Products, LLC., which he believes will allow him to better serve WINCO customers directly.

WINCO will continue to benefit from its relationship with Dietz. “With his extensive knowledge of the company, estimating, and technical aspects of aluminum windows, we believe that Joe will continue to be a great value to WINCO customers,” says Bill Krenn, president of WINCO.  “His skill set is unique, and we are confident he’ll bring insight to the architectural community we serve.”

One of Dietz’s first goals is to help schools and essential facilities design safe rooms for tornado and intruder protection.  “Winco is one of the few companies to offer storm-resistant products tough enough to meet the new FEMA 361 requirements.”

 “I have always had a passion to problem solve and build relationships,” explains Dietz of the new career step. “Last fall, I was cleaning out our basement and found a box of papers that I wrote in college. One was a career planning paper, where I wrote that when I am 45, I will own my own company. Then Tim (Cox) announced his retirement, and the opportunity was there.”

Dietz has been with WINCO for 11 years. He has a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing/Management and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

For more information, contact WINCO Window Company at (314) 725.8088 or visit

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. Promotes Two

Patrick Devero

McCarthy Holdings, Inc., a premier national builder, has promoted Pat Devero to the position of Vice President, National Safety. Based in St. Louis, this veteran safety professional will focus on advancing the company’s industry-leading safety program and genuine safety culture throughout the U.S. His focus will be on supporting McCarthy’s Central, Southern and Southwest Regions.

Devero joined McCarthy in 2005 and initially served as an onsite Safety Coordinator and Manager on several commercial and industrial projects throughout the Midwest. He relocated to Atlanta in 2011 to lead that team’s overall safety program as McCarthy Southern Regional Safety Director. In 2018, he was appointed National Safety Director.

Devero earned a bachelor’s degree in safety management from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. His professional designations include Certified Safety Professional and Construction Health and Safety Technician from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

“Pat has achieved exceptional safety results throughout his McCarthy career,” said Kevin Maitland, McCarthy Senior Vice President, National Safety. “Our construction teams will benefit from his leadership, expertise and commitment to prioritizing safety and health.” 

Rob Graham

McCarthy Holdings, Inc., a premier national builder, has promoted Rob Graham to the position of Vice President, National Safety. Based in St. Louis, this veteran safety professional will focus on advancing the company’s industry-leading safety program and genuine safety culture throughout the U.S. His focus will be on supporting McCarthy’s Southern California, Northern Pacific and Southwest Regions.

Graham’s McCarthy career began in 2002 as a Project Safety Coordinator in the Central Region. He relocated to San Diego to work as Project Safety Coordinator and was promoted to McCarthy Southern California Regional Safety Manager in 2005 and Regional Safety Director in 2008. He was named National Safety Director in 2019.  

Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental health & safety from Illinois State University in Normal. He’s a Certified Safety Professional from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a Certified Industrial Hygienist from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.

“During his 19-year McCarthy career, Rob has delivered outstanding safety results,” said Kevin Maitland, McCarthy Senior Vice President, National Safety. “He’s a valued resource whose expertise and resourcefulness will benefit the safety and health of McCarthy teams across the U.S.” 

About McCarthy Holdings. Inc.

McCarthy Holdings, 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. McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is comprised of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Castle Contracting, Inc. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 9th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2020). With approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

April 15, 2021

Charles Wiseman Joins Muprhy Company as Refrigeration Project Manager

Charles Wiseman

Charles Wiseman has joined Murphy Company as Refrigeration Project Manager. The announcement was made by Bob Eichelberger, Manager – Refrigeration Solutions.

Wiseman has several decades of experience in the mechanical construction industry. Having started his career as a journeyman sheet metal worker, Charles moved into a maintenance manager role. From there, he served as COO, project manager and estimator. Most recently, Charles held a position as mechanical project manager. For more information, visit

Castle Contracting Expands Design-Build Team with Addition of Joel Richardson as Civil Engineer

Joel Richardson

In this position, Richardson will support Senior Design Manager James Parks, P.E., and Design Manager Amy Huller, P.E., in delivering turnkey civil design-build services for site development work. This streamlined delivery method combines “civil design” and “civil construction” as a single, integrated client deliverable.

Prior to joining Castle, Richardson was Manager of Survey, CAD, and Machine Control Operations at Millstone Weber in St. Charles, Mo. After 15 years of laying out projects in the field, he adds a valuable perspective about functional design to the design-build process and brings a wealth of field expertise to the Castle team.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the UMSL/Washington University Joint Engineering Program.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation and design-build services; site utilities; earthwork; and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast. Castle’s recent civil contracting projects in St. Louis include Gateway Arch National Park, the East End transformation of Washington University’s Danforth campus, Next NGA West, and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

KAI Build Hires Linn Curtis as Senior Project Manager

Linn Curtis

KAI Build is pleased to announce the hiring of Linn Curtis as Senior Project Manager at its St. Louis headquarters. As Senior Project Manager, Curtis is responsible for overall project profitability and customer satisfaction. He also manages owner relations and oversees subcontractor and KAI personnel performance.

“Linn is a strong program and project management professional. His extensive experience in project estimation, construction, preconstruction, contract management and submittals will be an asset to our team and to our clients,” said KAI Build President Brian Arnold.

Curtis has a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. Prior to KAI, he worked 14 years as a Project Manager for JE Dunn Construction in Kansas City, Missouri.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry.KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services. To learn more about KAI, visit

Southern Illinois Builders Association Receives Heritage Award


The Southern Illinois Builders Association recently received the 2020 Heritage Recognition Award from the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce for 75 years of continued service in the area. SIBA, a trade association for commercial contractors, started in southern Illinois in 1945 in East St. Louis and has grown to approximately 500 members covering the southern 39 counties in Illinois.  Donna Richter, CEO of SIBA (left) accepts the award on behalf of SIBA and Cindy Helmkamp (right), President of the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce presented the award.

American Subcontractors Association – Midwest Council Meet the General Contractors Expo on May 19th, 2021


The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) – Midwest Council will host its annual Meet the General Contractors Expo on May 19, 2021 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, MO.
The yearly event gives area subcontractors and construction professionals the opportunity for valuable networking time with some of St. Louis’ top general contractors.  This year will be especially important, for our industry to reconnect after the challenges of 2020 and early 2021, and the limits on gathering and networking we have all faced since March 2020.  ASA will follow all safety precautions during the expo, to ensure the safest possible environment for our exhibitors and attendees.

The expo provides an ideal opportunity for construction industry professionals to network with general contractors, all in one place and in a relaxed setting. The expo is specifically designed for networking and building relationships with multiple representatives from the area general contractors.  As of today, there are 30 GC exhibitors participating in this must attend event.

2021 General Contractor Exhibitors

  • Alberici Constructors
  • BEX Construction Services
  • Brinkmann Constructors
  • BSI Constructors
  • Contegra Construction Company
  • Conway Contracting, Inc.
  • Eagan Building Group
  • Echelon Constructors
  • Green Street Building Group
  • Holland Construction Services
  • Impact Strategies
  • Interface Construction Corporation
  • Kadean Construction
  • KCI Construction Company
  • The Korte Company
  • L. Keeley Construction
  • McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
  • McGrath & Associates
  • Paric
  • Pinnacle Contracting, Inc.
  • Poettker Construction Company
  • Rhodey Construction
  • River City Construction
  • Russell HBD, LLC
  • Tarlton Corporation
  • United Construction Ent.Co. of St. Louis
  • Wright Construction Services

Advance Expo Registration is $65 for ASA Members and $95 for Non-Members. Registration includes hosted bar and appetizers. Register online at by May 5th
After the 5th  there is a $15 surcharge on late registration, so register today for early bird discount.

Advance Registration is required, and space is filling up very quickly!

This year the  Expo has moved to an expanded location in the lower level, to allow for social distancing, and extra area to spread out and allow our exhibitors to be set up safely. We will follow all safety guidelines to ensure the best possible event for our exhibitors and attendees, while respecting local guidelines for gathering.

ASA will have a booth at the expo with information about the St. Louis chapter, and details of upcoming industry events for 2021.  The event is open to ASA Members only from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and then open to all registered attendees from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

About American Subcontractors Association – Midwest Council

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty subcontractors and suppliers serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois. The ASA Midwest Council’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy and cooperation. For more information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit or contact Executive Director,
Susan Winkelmann at 314-845-0855. ASA Midwest Council – Building. Community. Est. 1967

Electrical Connection Volunteers Repair Electrical Systems in 15 St. Louis Low Income Homes


After the pandemic forced a year-long suspension, Electrical Connection volunteers are back at work to improve electrical systems and safety in low income homes.  For the 18th year, the labor-management organization mobilized an army of electrical contractors and electricians to help Rebuilding Together St. Louis make much needed repairs to 15 homes. On Saturday, April 24, 2021 teams fanned out into area neighborhoods to provide free electrical improvements for the elderly and disabled courtesy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) which form the Electrical Connection partnership.

“We had a lot of catching up to do since the pandemic limited our access to volunteer resources as we continued serving our neighbors in need,” noted Elaine Powers, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis. “We are grateful to the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership for its enduring service to make much needed safety improvements and improve the lives of low income residents.”

The day began with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page addressing 150 IBEW electricians and 22 NECA and IBEW signatory electrical contractors gathered at the IBEW Union Hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave.  They then fanned out into communities in the city and St. Louis County to make repairs and install improvements such as ceiling fans and better lighting.

“While everyone has struggled during the pandemic with unprecedented challenges, it has been especially hard for those who do not have the means or ability to make home repairs themselves,” said Frank Jacobsbusiness manager, IBEW Local 1. “Our workforce and contractors believe it’s important to help stabilize lives and communities, especially after such a challenging year.”

St. Louis Chapter NECA Executive Vice President Doug Martin also noted the potential danger of residents making repairs themselves or hiring the unskilled to make repairs. “Safe electrical work requires a unique skill set that comes with a thorough understanding of the National Electrical Code,” said Martin. “The pandemic may have forced some to make repairs themselves or hire the unskilled creating potential shock or fire hazards, particularly with aging electrical infrastructure in these older neighborhoods. Our Electrical Connection team was mindful to look for faulty electrical issues as they made repairs.” Studies have shown the frequency of electrical fires is higher in homes more than 40 years old.

Since 2003, the Electrical Connection has donated labor and more than $880,000 in materials to improve 555 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.

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

Electrical Connection, NECA and IBEW signatory contractors who donated service trucks and tools in the Rebuilding Together effort this year included:

·         Bell Electrical·         Sachs Electric Co.
·         Guarantee Electrical Contractors·         BRK Electrical Contractors
·         Akron Electric·         Branson Electric
·         Grasser Electric·         House Electric
·         J Bathe Electric·         J West Electrical Contractors
·         JCS Electric·         Kaiser Electric
·         Kay Bee Electric·         Liberty Electric
·         Lynn’s Electric·         M. R. Bathe Electric
·         PayneCrest Electric·         RJP Electric
·         Vision Electric·         Ultra Electric
·         X-Cell Electric·         SAEC Electric

For more than 25 years Rebuilding Together St. Louis has provided free home repair to low income homeowners and veterans in need so they may remain safely and comfortably in their own homes. Since its founding, the organization has rehabbed more than 3600 homes; 68 community spaces and touched more than 57,000 lives. For more information visit or call 314-918-9918.

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.

Autodesk Study Finds Commercial Bidding Activity Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Levels


A Spring 2021 study by Autodesk, Inc. sheds light on the construction industry’s health one year after the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Autodesk’s “Construction Outlook 2021: Risks & Opportunities” study tracks five industry trends – growth, health and construction safety, labor, supply chain and design – and analyzes how each of these has been affected as the compounding effects of the pandemic and resulting economic instability and uncertainty manifest.

According to aggregated product data from the company’s preconstruction platform, BuildingConnected, in January 2021 real-time bidding activity surpassed pre-pandemic levels and reached an all-time high.

Construction Analytics Economist Ed Zarenski said increased levels of bidding activity, paired with a consistent level of construction project volume, signals the industry is getting back to work and breaking ground at an energetic pace.

“While it’s not an indication that we’re entirely out of the woods, the real-time bidding data from BuildingConnected suggests that delayed or rescheduled projects may be coming back online,” said Zarenski.

Also according to the study, while bidding activity was initially on the rise at the beginning of 2020, it dropped roughly 34 percent in the 60 days following the first U.S. stay-at-home orders in mid-March. Bidding activity slowly began to recover between March and October 2020, hitting a high for 2020 in November.

Compared to a three-month pre-pandemic average, total bidding activity was up 15 percent in November and 36 percent in January 2021. The rate of new projects being added to the Autodesk platform remained constant, indicating increased bidding activity may be related to project restarts, not new projects.

“In the early days of the pandemic, the construction industry turned to technology to readjust,” said Jim Lynch, senior vice president and general manager of Autodesk Construction Solutions. “Now that the industry looks to be picking up and teams are headed back to the jobsite, adopting technology, digitizing workflows and upskilling employees is more important than ever to handle the increased workload.”

To download the full report, see

Kirby-Smith Hires Matt Nelson as Sales & Operations Manager for St. Louis


Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. (KSM) has hired Matt Nelson as Sales & Operations Manager for its St. Louis location. Nelson will be responsible for St. Louis’ branch operations, including oversight of its parts, service, sales and rental departments. Nelson most recently served as Director of Product Improvement for Terramac, where he also previously served in roles including Director of Dealer Support and Regional Sales Manager. Nelson brings a strong understanding of the greater Missouri construction market to the position from his time in the region as a general contractor and commercial carpenter. His background in construction project management also includes various roles leading teams for maintenance and production activities at the Lafarge Holcim Ste. Genevieve cement plant.

Jeff Weller, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for KSM, believes Nelson is a true “renaissance man” with the abilities and character necessary to ignite new life into the St. Louis location.

“Matt has achieved amazing marks in engineering in his career despite not being papered in it. He is a devoted father with three children who have all pursued engineering because of his example. I also think of how Matt used his background as a carpenter to build a 23-acre home where his family could thrive and grow. In my opinion, Matt will build a new legacy for Kirby-Smith in St. Louis in much the same way – with ample amounts of patience, teaching and a strong vision for success. We are fortunate to have him join our team.”

Nelson takes great pride in joining KSM and embraces the opportunity to engage the St. Louis construction community.

“I am very excited to become part of the Kirby-Smith family and to work with the highly skilled team already in place in St. Louis,” said Nelson. “By striving to be an indispensable resource for our customers new and old, together we are going to reach new levels as a premier dealer for the area.”

KSM is a full-service equipment dealership in St. Louis offering sales, rentals, parts, and service and is the authorized dealer for Manitowoc lattice boom crawler cranes, Grove mobile telescoping cranes, National Crane boom trucks, and Broderson industrial cranes. In addition to cranes and boom trucks, the St. Louis rental fleet includes a wide selection of JLG and SkyTrak telehandlers.

About Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. was established in 1983 and is recognized as one of the premier new and used heavy construction equipment and crane dealers in the country. Kirby-Smith Machinery and its hundreds of dedicated professional employees are committed to providing reliable new and used equipment for sale and equipment rentals, as well as responsive service and equipment parts for multiple makes and models. Kirby-Smith Machinery has 12 branch locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, as well as a dedicated Pipeline Services Division. For more information about Kirby-Smith Machinery, call 888-861-0219 or visit

IMPACT Strategies Completes Two New Locations for Proper Brands


When Proper Brands decided to venture into Missouri’s expanding retail cannabis industry, they partnered with IMPACT Strategies to launch their retail customer-experience locations. In collaboration with Eddy Design Group and Case Engineering, IMPACT Strategies has completed two new cannabis dispensaries, both of which were a dramatic repositioning of existing retail buildings located in South County and Warrenton, MO. Extensive work was performed on these building to fit the vision and desired experience for Proper Brands.

The interiors of both facilities feature design details in a modern apothecary feel, with high end millwork finishes, a crisp black and white design with light wood accents, botanicals, geometric fixtures, and midcentury modern furniture. Specialized security measures were taken in both locations with the installation of ballistics glass and drywall and specialty vaults. The building elevations had a full makeover for the rebranding to create a clean, modern architecture that is congruent with the Proper Brand experience.

“Everything we do at Proper revolves around quality, which is why we worked with IMPACT Strategies on our dispensary buildouts. Their professionalism, eye for detail, and excellent communication made the entire process easy,” says John Pennington. CEO of Proper Brands.

IMPACT Strategies delivers Confidence in Construction with their expertise in retail construction for stores such as Walgreens, Starbucks, HomeGoods, Panera, Dollar Tree, Old Navy, and many more.

IMPACT Strategies

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.

Proper Brands

Proper Brands is a fully vertical medical marijuana company in the state of Missouri with a vision to lead and inspire their community through the power of cannabis. Headquartered in St. Louis County, Proper Cannabis has established an ethos of improving the lives of others through the use of cannabis—to be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled people. Proper aims to provide service to the entire state of Missouri.

St. Clair County Transit District Approves Final Design for Transit Stop Transformation


Construction to Commence in June and be Completed by Late Summer 2021

After getting input from transit riders, area residents, elected officials and stakeholders through a series of virtual Design Workshops, surveys and community events, the St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD), has approved a finalized design concept for the “Transit Stop Transformation Project” at the Emerson Park Transit Center. The project, being completed in conjunction with Citizens for Modern Transit, AARP in St. Louis and Metro Transit, will transform the concrete area between the bus bays and MetroLink entrance into an interactive, playful, engaging space that gives a nod to the history of music in East St. Louis and makes it part of the fabric of the community.

The finalized design – developed by the CBB/PGAV team – boasts a vibrant-colored jazz theme, featuring spaces to gather, greenery, shaded seating, canopies and more (see rendering). The team, along with Added Dimension, LLC, is working with East St. Louis High School students on design concepts for a mural for the site.

“This project got underway in January and has been a very engaging process ever since,” commented Herb Simmons, Chair of the St. Clair County Transit District. “We were thrilled with the input we received from the community and are excited about the finalized design. This transformation project is going to do just that – transform this space into a colorful, engaging corridor.”

The “Transit Stop Transformation Project” serves as an extension to Citizens for Modern Transit and AARP in St. Louis’ ongoing efforts to raise awareness about “placemaking” around transit. This is a concept that transforms places people simply pass through in route to their next destination – like MetroLink and MetroBus Transit Centers – into active, engaging corridors that connect individuals and neighborhoods by offering access to products, services, activities and green space.

The “Transit Stop Transformation Project” at the Emerson Park Transit Center is the second project of its kind in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Last summer, a MetroBus Stop in Maplewood, Mo., was transformed and now boasts enhanced bus shelters, a public art installation, a hopscotch game, vibrant colors, improved lighting and sightlines, and better access to surrounding green spaces.

“Permanent placemaking projects like the one underway in East St. Louis can serve as a transformational tool to reconnect a community, promote social equality, increase accessibility, position an area for growth, activate and beautify the public space, and enhance neighborhood safety,” added Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit.

The Transit Placemaking Program is an opportunity for communities, corporations and non-profits to partner with Citizens for Modern Transit, Metro Transit and AARP in St. Louis to transform transit stops in their neighborhoods. Sites are selected based on local government/municipal support, corporate or non-profit partners, and community engagement. Citizens for Modern Transit has a Pilot Funds Program to assist with such projects. To learn more, call 314.231.7272, email or visit

About St. Clair County Transit District 

Founded in 1981, St. Clair County Transit District oversees 11 MetroLink stations and 18 bus routes in St. Clair County, Ill. If commuters have questions about service, they can call (618) 628-8090 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit 

About Citizens for Modern Transit

Citizens for Modern Transit is a nonprofit, member supported organization that leads efforts for an integrated, affordable, and convenient public transportation system with light rail expansion as the critical component that will drive economic growth to improve quality of life in the St. Louis region.

About Metro Transit

Metro Transit operates the St. Louis region’s public transportation system which includes more 400 clean-burning diesel buses that serve 68 MetroBus routes in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois. Metro also operates MetroLink light rail vehicles on 46 miles of track serving 38 stations in the two-state area, and operates Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 123 vans. Metro Transit is a Bi-State Development enterprise.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit

Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri 2021 Scholars


The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri awarded $36,000 in scholarships as part of the annual scholars’ program. Four outstanding high school students received $8,000—

$2,000 each per academic year—to begin their college experience this fall. Two scholars from the University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter each received one-time awards of $2,000.

Landon Vuagniaux

Landon Vuagniaux from Edwardsville, IL (62025) is the son of Tara and Brett Vuagniaux. Brett Vuagniaux is employed with Mechanical Solutions, Inc.

Landon is passionate about environmental issues and will pursue a degree in environmental engineering at Purdue University this fall, with an aim to work in renewable energy.

He is active in a variety of academic and sports clubs and has volunteered as a Spanish language tutor. Throughout his time at Edwardsville High School, Landon maintained a cumulative GPA of over 4.0 while taking honors courses across science, math, language, and history. In addition to school activities, Landon is self-employed, running a landscaping business.

Natalie Busch

Natalie Busch from Columbia, IL (62236) is the daughter of James and Susanna Busch. James Busch is employed by Integrated Facility Services (IFS). Natalie will pursue a degree in communication disorders at Murray State University with a plan to become a speech-language pathologist and a basketball coach. Natalie is passionate about helping others overcome communication barriers and helping young girls build confidence to pursue their passions.

Natalie ranks #1 in her class at Columbia High School. She is President of their National Honor Society chapter, the Class President, and also serves as Vice President of Student Council. She is captain of the varsity basketball team, plays volleyball, and has other leadership roles for arts-related clubs and activities. Outside of the classroom, Natalie has completed over 100 hours of community service over the past four years.

John Meert, Jr.

John (Jack) Meert, Jr. from Ballwin, MO (63011) is the son of John and Deborah Meert. John Meert is employed by C&R Mechanical. Jack is pursuing the dual degree program in applied mathematics and engineering offered through Fontbonne and Washington University. A scholar athlete and soccer MVP at Parkway West High School, Jack exceled in several AP/Honors courses, including Honors Introduction to Engineering and Honors Principles of Engineering. He leads by example, volunteering at his church, the STL Food Pantry, the Ronald McDonald House, and by helping on his family’s tree farm. Jack also founded a small business in 2016, Meert Brothers Lawn Care.

Taylor Klipfel

Taylor Klipfel from Cape Girardeau, MO (63701) is the daughter of Travis Klipfel, who is employed by GWS Contractors, Inc.

Though currently undecided on her college of choice and major, Taylor is passionate about game design, graphic design, and interactive digital media, and is seeking ways to plans to pursue her interests in the fall.

At Notre Dame Regional High School, Taylor’s academic drive is demonstrated by her success in the most challenging courses offered, including Calculus and Advanced Chemistry. She is in the National Honors Society, National Arts Honor Society, and acts as Treasurer of her National French Honor Society. She participated in the Girls Cross Country Team, All School Band and Pep Band, to name only few. Outside of school, Taylor has been a dedicated Girl Scout, receiving numerous awards, including the Girl Scouts of Missouri Gold Award in 2019 – the highest offered by the organization. She trains in aerial arts training and is an understudy for the Southeast Missouri State University Spring into Dance Program. Still Taylor finds time to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Special Olympics, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Evan Taylor

Evan Taylor (65201) is currently the President of the MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri – Columbia.

Evan is graduating this spring with a degree in mechanical engineering and excited to begin his career in the industry. At Mizzou, he is a recipient of the Excellence Award and has made the Dean’s list every semester. He participated in the in two Student Chapter Competitions during his tenure and continues to support the chapter by working diligently to recruit new members. Evan continues to stay involved in events and seminars at the College of Engineering and volunteers with a community-based organization in Columbia and with a campus ministry group.

Elizabeth Henshaw

Elizabeth Henshaw (65201) is the current Treasurer of the MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri – Columbia.

Ellie will graduate this May with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. Her goal is to begin a career in technical sales, dealing specifically with fluid systems. An active member of the student chapter for the past two years, Ellie helped write many key aspects of the competition projects in 2020 and 2021. She is involved in several organizations within the College of Engineering and serves as President of the Society of Women Engineers, the King/Queen Chair of Engineers Week (E-Week), and Engineers Without Borders. In her free time, she plays recreational soccer and is a mentor to at-risk children in her hometown.