News - Page 4

PARIC Corporation Announces Mike Rallo as New President


PARIC Corporation, one of the region’s leading general contractor, construction manager and design-build firms, has announced that former Vice President of Operations Mike Rallo is the new president of the company, effective September 1 – just the fifth since the company was founded in 1979. He replaces Keith Wolkoff, who stepped down from the role in March.

Todd Goodrich

The company also has announced that Todd Goodrich, a 25-year PARIC veteran, will become the company’s new executive vice president – chief operating officer.

Rallo, who joined PARIC in 2003 as a project engineer, has held numerous leadership roles in the company’s operations, eventually rising to vice president of operations in 2016. His appointment as president follows an extensive internal and external search.

“Following our search process, it was crystal clear that Mike was the right person to help lead our company to a new era of sustained growth,” said Joe McKee, chairman and CEO of PARIC Corp. “He has a proven history of leadership among our clients and colleagues, and is focused on growing and developing our next generation of leaders.”

One of Rallo’s first major roles was leading the Express Scripts Campus project in north St. Louis County — the largest LEED project in Missouri at the time of completion. He also led the North Park Redevelopment and Park Pacific Historic Renovation, as well as the River City Casino, Washington University Loop Student Housing and two campus repositioning projects for Lutheran Senior Services in St. Louis, among other projects.

Rallo serves on the development board of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and is currently secretary/treasurer for the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri.

Goodrich joined PARIC in 1997. He has served as a vice president for more than 15 years, most recently as chief business development officer.

“Over his 25 years with PARIC, Todd has overseen our significant growth in the not-for-profit senior living market,” McKee said. “And he was instrumental in driving PARIC as an early adopter of virtual design construction technologies.”

In his 10 years as vice president of business development, Goodrich oversaw a nearly threefold growth of PARIC’s valuation.

“We are extremely confident that Mike and Todd are the right leadership team to advance PARIC during this time of significant, ongoing change in our industry,” McKee said.

PARIC is an innovative general contractor and design-build firm. The team focuses on building excellence while also building answers to the unique challenges impacting their customers’ operations. With teams in Kansas City, St. Louis and throughout the Midwest, PARIC’s projects range from multi-family housing and the renovation of historic buildings to colleges, universities, hospitals and industrial facilities. More information is at

Lawrence Group Announces Marketing Department Promotion, New Hire


Lawrence Group proudly announces the promotion of Rebecca DeZeeuw to Marketing Manager and the hiring of Ciara Bell as Marketing Coordinator and Drew Edelstein as Marketing Assistant.

Rebecca DeZeeuw, Marketing Manager – DeZeeuw started at Lawrence Group in 2021 as a Marketing Assistant before being promoted to the Marketing Manager position. In her new role, she is responsible for department leadership, oversight of marketing initiatives, and digital asset management.

She has 10 years of marketing experience, having previously worked as a marketing coordinator for Tammy Mitchell Hines & Co. and as a web designer for St. Matthew United Methodist Church.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media and Web Design from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.

Ciara Bell as Marketing Coordinator – In her new role, Bell helps to strategize and implement the firm’s marketing efforts and supports the Marketing Manager and other team members. Bell leads proposal production, social media campaigns, and conducts secondary market research to help compile a position and supporting strategies.

Prior to Lawrence Group, Bell was a Marketing Coordinator at St. Louis-based Intelica CRE where she coordinated marketing department projects, developed and executed email marketing campaigns, oversaw the department’s budget and purchasing, and planned events.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.

Drew Edelstein as Marketing Assistant – As Marketing Assistant, Edelstein supports the larger marketing and communications team by offering administrative support and completing essential tasks for the department including writing, editing and organizing files, and printing and proofing reports, newsletters and other marketing materials. He also contributes his talents in photography and video production in support of the department’s initiatives.

Prior to Lawrence Group, Edelstein was a Communications Specialist for the City of Maryland Heights where he worked extensively on the city’s print publications, promoted DEI initiatives, collaborated on promotional materials, and produced multimedia content.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies with a Minor in Film Studies from Webster University in Webster Groves, MO. He also has an Associate of the Arts in General Education from St. Louis Community College.

Founded in 1983, Lawrence Group is an integrated planning and design firm headquartered in St. Louis, MO with professional staff in Texas, Florida and New York. Using the power of people with great ideas to bring their clients’ dreams to life, Lawrence Group specializes in architecture, interior design, master planning, landscape architecture and furniture procurement. Lawrence Groups’ talented team of professionals work nationally and locally in healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, housing, senior living and workplace with the common goal of providing legendary customer service.

To learn more about this powerful alignment of experience and expertise, visit or contact Enterprise Director of Marketing Rommel Medrano at

Southern Illinois Builders Association Soliciting Scholarship Applications


The Southern Illinois Builders Association began offering scholarships in 2012 and have awarded 127 scholarships totaling approximately $238,400.00. 

SIBA solicits candidates for the SIBA Scholarships in the fall and requests that all information be submitted by November 3, 2023 for the SIBA Education Committee to meet and make their selections. 

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

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

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

Ryan Spinner joins Mia Rose Holdings as Business & Financial Analyst


St. Louis-based real estate developer Mia Rose Holdings (MRH) has added Ryan Spinner of Oakville, Missouri as Business & Financial Analyst. He was promoted after completing two internships with the firm. In his role, Spinner is responsible for studying financial data to spot trends and make forecasts that will help the developer determine viable locations for new multi-family housing communities. He will focus on the firm’s current key markets of St. Louis, Northwest Arkansas, Indianapolis and Dallas as well as new potential markets. Spinner also will work with the firm’s partners to learn all aspects of the development process.

Spinner last attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and on the chancellor’s list (4.0 GPA). He graduated from St. Louis University High School (SLUH) where he was on the Dean’s List for eight semesters and was a member of the SLUH National Honor Society.

Mia Rose Holdings also develops hockey and other community sports facilities. Spinner’s involvement on those projects will draw from his experience as a member of SLUH’s hockey team when they won two state championships, and as captain of the Chesterfield Falcons U18 club hockey team when the team won the national championship.

Mia Rose Holdings LLC (MRH) is a commercial real estate development company that actively acquires and develops real estate to support the needs and vision of local communities. Since 2014, MRH has become a dominant player in fast growing markets like Northwest Arkansas, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The firm has more than 2000 units complete or underway in 12 high-end communities. MRH’s in-house team has a depth of experience providing comprehensive real estate development services from site acquisition and design oversight to scope development and in-house construction management. In addition to multi-family and mixed-use developments, MRH has a strong niche developing and consulting for ice rinks and other youth athletic facilities, including Maryville University Hockey Center, Pacific Ice Rink and Chesterfield Sports Complex. For more information about Mia Rose Holdings, visit or follow on LinkedIn.

Trivers’ Broadway Tower Atrium Transformation Wins 2023 Metamorphosis Award


Firm’s renovation of downtown St. Louis office building earns national recognition.

The renovation of the atrium at 100 N. Broadway in downtown St. Louis by local architecture, planning, urban design and interiors firm Trivers was recently named a winner of retrofit magazine’s 2023 Metamorphosis Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the Metamorphosis Awards recognize architects, designers and contractors from across the United States for outstanding work retrofitting commercial, industrial, institutional and residential buildings. Trivers’ project earned first place in the Whole Building category.

Constructed in 1975, 100 N. Broadway is a 21-story commercial office tower that occupies an entire city block. Its unleasable two-story atrium was originally a banking center complete with waiting areas and a wall of teller windows. In June 2020, the building’s new owner, Larson Capital Management, engaged Trivers to make interior and exterior improvements to both the atrium and surrounding plaza with the goal of repositioning the structure as a premier office building destination.

“The future of the workplace has dramatically shifted since the COVID-19 pandemic, and many organizations are reassessing the importance of having a physical environment for their employees,” said Amanda Truemper, AIA, senior project manager and associate at Trivers. “This uncertainty was top of mind for the design team as we worked to transform the largely vacant tower into a beautiful, inviting space that would encourage people to return to the office.”

Trivers updated the building façade and site to make it more inviting from the street and increase its compatibility with surrounding landmarks like the Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch National Park. Greenhouse-like projections were removed to increase natural light and space between the streets as well as make room for native plantings. New glass canopies were added to the entrances while obtrusive granite staircases were removed from the site’s corners.

The renovated interior includes shared tenant amenities such as a best-in-class conferencing center and co-working lounges. With a mind toward wellness, a new terrazzo-clad monumental stair leads to a walking track around the atrium on the second floor. Skylights provide an abundance of natural light for tenants as well as numerous trees and other plantings, including the largest preserved moss wall in the region. Accessible outdoor workspaces are located on both levels with newly created carve-outs for large, covered patios. Column finishes reference the Old Courthouse, which is visible through massive windows. Natural materials like wood and stone and a nature-inspired color palette for the textiles complement the atrium’s indoor-outdoor feel. The first floor also includes space for a new café.

Attention to equity and accessibility completes the building’s transformation. On the outside, the east plaza staircase was replaced with a sloped walk and terraced landscaping, and all-gender restrooms were added to the building’s interior.

“The re-imagined atrium has given a former underutilized space at 100 N. Broadway a new lease on life,” said Kelly Eisenloeffel, chief operating officer of Larson Capital Management. “The bright, modern design is the perfect fit for today’s workforce and fosters an inspiring atmosphere based in coworking and collaboration.”

The atrium at 100 N. Broadway also won a 2022 AIA St. Louis Design Award from the St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Trivers, an architecture, planning, urban design and interiors firm, was founded in 1975 on values that still characterize it today: creating architecture of lasting positive consequence. By establishing a reputation for thoughtful design that responds to context, Trivers’ early focus on historic renovation and adaptive reuse grew to include ground-up construction. Based in St. Louis, Trivers works with a range of clients across the country providing expertise in civic, education, hospitality, housing and workplace architecture. More information is available at

HDA Architects Elevates Growth with New Principals, Expanded Leadership Team


HDA Architects, one of the nation’s leading architectural, interiors and master planning firms, enhanced its leadership team with the recent promotions of Patrick Holleran, Brice Zickuhr and Angela Feddersen to Senior Principal, and Josh Goodman and Kent Wagster to Principal. As new or elevated Principals of the firm, these individuals join Jack Holleran, President of HDA, in spearheading the continued growth and expansion of the firm throughout the U.S. and into new markets.

“I’m thrilled to announce our new leadership team that will help shape HDA Architects’ future. Patrick, Brice, Angela, Josh and Kent are all tremendous individuals with unique, complementary skill sets and talents, which make for a formidable group,” said Jack Holleran, HDA President. “This team has substantially grown our business through new markets, insights and innovations. Their promotions are well deserved and reflect their integral status at HDA.”

Patrick Holleran

Patrick Holleran was promoted from Vice President to Senior Principal, Business Development. Over the past 23 years at HDA, Holleran’s skills in business development, marketing and public relations have been instrumental in the firm’s brand awareness, market expansion and growth. His role in day-to-day operations of the firm and strategic business solutions solidify the firm’s pipeline of work. Holleran is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Brice Zichuhr

Brice Zickuhr, AIA, NCARB, was promoted from Director of Operations to Senior Principal, Operations. His three decades of experience as a licensed architect allows for optimal oversight of all firm construction documents, operational resources, schedules and quality control. He has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from warehouse/distribution to multi-family to institutional and specializes in design-build/integrated delivery project methods. Zickuhr joined HDA in 2019 and has been key in implementing seamless operational procedures for the firm.

Angela Feddersen

Angela Feddersen, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, was promoted from Principal to Senior Principal – Denver. Feddersen joined HDA in 2022 to lead the firm’s newly formed Denver, Colorado office and has a strong track record for nearly three decades of expertly guiding clients through the design process. Feddersen is active in the Denver community, including the Denver Downtown Partnership, United States Green Building Council, NAIOP and Urban Land Institute.

Josh Goodman

Josh Goodman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, was promoted from Project Director to Principal. With over two decades of experience, his extensive knowledge particularly in the industrial, beverage, high-rise/mixed-use and automotive markets allows for continued successful client relationships and facilities that serve end users well for decades. Goodman joined HDA in 2004 and has volunteered with Rockwood School District’s Partners in Education program, teaching an accelerated class and reviewing student architectural projects, since 2010.

Kent Wagster

Kent Wagster was promoted from Project Director to Principal. With nearly three decades of experience, Wagster offers clients a well-versed and practical approach to executing successful senior living, hospitality, multi-family and commercial projects. He joined HDA in 2021 and has been an essential element to the firm’s expansion into the senior living and multi-family markets. Wagster is actively involved in mentoring younger staff and participating in business development initiatives for the firm.

The new and elevated Principals are each responsible for growing specific market sectors for the firm in which they have extensive experience. All Principals will work closely with Jack Holleran on HDA’s strategic planning, business development and organizational growth.

“As part of our long-term leadership planning and the continued success of HDA, I am excited to see Patrick, Brice, Angela, Josh and Kent tackle their new roles. Each exhibits the core values that HDA is known for and has a track record of success throughout their career,” said Jack Holleran. “I’m confident they will take our best-in-class staff and the firm to new and extraordinary heights.”

It starts with a vision. More than just a motto, this is the philosophy that first formed HDA Architects and has continued to bolster its exponential growth as one of the nation’s leading architectural, interiors and master planning firms. Since 1986, HDA has executed creative and timeless design with exceptional customer service, resulting in over 100 million square feet of dynamic space in 44 states at a construction value over $3 billion. The firm, with offices in St. Louis, MO, and Denver, CO, specializes in a variety of markets including beverage wholesaler, industrial/distribution, adaptive reuse, office/commercial, auto dealerships, multi-family, mixed-use, hospitality, and craft brewery projects. For more information, visit or follow us on social media using the hashtag #itstartswithavision.

Concrete Strategies Honored with Namesake Classroom Following Lift for Life Academy Partnership


A brand-new construction and shop classroom at Lift For Life Academy was named in honor of Concrete Strategies, a full-service concrete contractor headquartered in St. Louis, after the company lent a much-needed hand with some new amenities at the school.

The shop room, as well as a new locker room and auditorium, were completed at Lift For Life in the 1700 block of South Broadway. When Concrete Strategies found out the school was raising donations for new facilities, the cement pros chipped in hundreds of hours of pro bono work, along with several partners.

“It’s an honor to be able to make this happen for the students and community,” said Pat Moriarity, President of Concrete Strategies. “Not only is Lift For Life a worthy institution for this kind of support—but we’re also helping these kids get exposure to the trades at a young age through the construction classroom, which is obviously a very big deal for us. We’re thrilled to contribute to Lift For Life Academy’s mission of educational excellence.”

In 2000, Lift For Life Academy became the first independent charter middle school to open in St. Louis. It has been a pillar of the community, offering a comprehensive educational program for students in kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school—all on a single campus. The new amenities from this project will benefit students at every grade level. The academy focuses on preparing students for success by providing them with a rigorous curriculum, individualized support, and extracurricular  programs including externships and shadowing opportunities to explore career options.

“The generosity of local companies like Concrete Strategies makes our community all the better—and we’re so grateful,” said Marshall Cohen, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Lift For Life Academy. “Now we can offer even more to our student body, including upleveled exposure to career paths in the trades.”

Students have been participating in construction class for several years now, Cohen said, but with the new classroom built by Concrete Strategies, students can get more hands-on experience and familiarity with the skills required for a successful start in the trades.

“Plus, now they can use the table saws without disrupting the other classes,” Cohen said. “But good humor aside, corporate giving has slowed down recently—so this was a game changer for kids on campus.”

Concrete Strategies has a long-standing reputation for delivering high-quality construction projects on time and within budget. The company exhibits its philosophy of “More to the Pour” by enlisting high-caliber people to execute on projects big and small. The company used its expertise to create top-notch facilities that will enhance the learning environment at Lift For Life Academy. The new facilities will not only provide students with modern and functional spaces but will also foster a sense of pride and ownership within the community.

By partnering with Lift For Life Academy, Concrete Strategies reinforces its More to the Pour” philosophy and commitment to corporate social responsibility, giving back to the communities where it operates, investing in education and empowering future generations. The company firmly believes that providing equitable access to quality education is crucial for the development and success of individuals and communities.

“We’re just very proud to have been a part of this,” Moriarty said. “And to have the school decide to name their construction classroom after us—it’s just humbling and we really are touched.”

About Concrete Strategies
Concrete Strategies is a national, full-service concrete contractor headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. With regional offices across the country, Concrete Strategies provides industry-leading turnkey, design-build concrete construction services using architectural site cast concrete, structural concrete, flatwork, site utilities and all types of self-performing concrete for commercial projects. Concrete Strategies completes over $500 million in revenue annually. For more information, visit

About Clayco
Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely and sustainably delivers the highest quality solutions to clients across North America on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $4.9 billion in revenue for 2021, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential-related building projects. For more information, visit

Construction Job Gains Outpace Overall Economy in August


Submitted by the AGC.

Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled 7,993,000 in August, a gain of 22,000 from July and 212,000 (2.7%) year-over-year (y/y), according to AGC’s analysis of data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted today. The y/y growth rate of 2.7% outpaced the 2.0% increase in total nonfarm payroll employment. Nonresidential construction employment (building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms) rose by 21,000 for the month and 169,700 (3.7%) y/y—the largest monthly and y/y gains since January. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty contractors) rose by 1,400 in August and 42,400 (1.3%) y/y. Seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction (craft and office) rose 5.7% y/y to $34.40 per hour. The “premium” for nonsupervisory construction workers rose to 18.6% over the private sector average of $29.00, still considerably below the average premium in 2000-2019 of 21.5%. The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience rose from 401,000, not seasonally adjusted, in August 2022 to 424,000 but the unemployment rate for such workers was unchanged from a year earlier at 3.8%.

There were 385,000 job openings in construction, not seasonally adjusted, at the end of July, matching the July record set in 2021 and an increase of 5,000 (1.3%) y/y, BLS reported on Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. Hires for the full month totaled 435,000, a decrease of 7,000 (-1.6%) y/y. The relative stability of both the unemployment rate and these numbers suggests that overall demand for workers—and difficulty in filling positions—has remained strong in the past year. In contrast, total private-sector openings declined by 11% y/y and hires by 14%, not seasonally adjusted, as employment gains have slowed.

Construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $1.97 trillion in July at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 0.7% from the upwardly revised June rate and up 5.5% y/y, the Census Bureau reported today. However, without a deflator, it is impossible to say how much of the y/y gain is in units vs. price. Private residential construction increased 1.4% for the month, with single-family homebuilding up 2.8%, multifamily construction spending up 0.2%, and owner-occupied improvements up 0.3%. Private nonresidential construction spending was rose 0.5% for the month. The largest private nonresidential segment (based on the seasonally adjusted July rate)—manufacturing construction—rose 1.1% (including computer/electronic/electrical, up 1.4%, and chemical and pharmaceutical, up 3.9%). Commercial construction inched up 0.1% (consisting of warehouse, up 1.5%; retail, down 2.4%; and farm, up 1.5%). Power inched up 0.1% (with electric power up 0.5% and oil and gas field structures and pipelines down 1.6%). Private office and data center construction increased 0.3%. Public construction spending slid 0.4%. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, declined 0.6%. Public education edged up 0.1%. Public transportation construction slumped 1.9%.

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, rose from July 2022 in 226 (62%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS posts construction employment data, fell in 80 (22%), and was unchanged in 52, according to an analysis AGC released on Wednesday. (AGC treats as construction-only the totals for metros in which BLS reports only combined totals for mining, logging, and construction.) The Dallas-Plano-Irving division added the most jobs (18,100 combined jobs or 12%), followed by New York City (13,400 combined jobs, 9%) and Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (9,700 construction jobs, 12%). The largest percentage gains (13%) were in Corvallis, Ore. (200 combined jobs) and Yuba City, Calif. (400 combined jobs), followed by 12% gains in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, and Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky. (500 combined jobs). The largest loss occurred in Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (-3,300 construction jobs, -6%), followed by Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. (-2,300 combined jobs, -3%); St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. (-2,100 combined jobs, -3%); and the Los Angeles-Long Beach Glendale division (-2,100 construction jobs, -1%). Kankakee, Ill. experienced the largest percentage job loss (-13%, -200 combined jobs), followed by 9% losses in Huntington-Ashland, W. Va.-Ky.-Ohio (-1,400 combined jobs); Binghamton, N.Y. (-400 combined jobs); and Pittsfield, Mass. (-200 combined jobs).

Brinkmann Tops Out Downtown Multifamily Development


Brinkmann Constructors is celebrating a milestone in its construction of a 152,000-square-foot multifamily development just a block and a half west of Busch Stadium.

Just two weeks ago, crews placed the final beam atop the structure, which represents new construction in the midst of the historic Cupples Station Historic District. The project, located at 11th and Spruce Streets downtown, was the site of a century-old warehouse that the city condemned and razed in 2013.

Now, 10 years later, the Brinkmann project is on schedule and headed toward completion in early 2024.

San Francisco-based Balboa Real Estate Partners is the project’s developer. The infill construction will match the red brick exterior aesthetic of its historic surroundings.

The yet-to-be-named multifamily community will include 148 residential units and 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Brinkmann’s construction of the U-shaped building touts a second-floor courtyard, plus an array of upscale amenities such as a fitness center, club room, courtyard, pet spa, dog run, rentable work-from-home space and onsite storage.

Tenants will benefit from a long-term leasing agreement for parking spaces in the city-owned parking garage next door at Cupples Station.

Brinkmann and fellow project team members are aiming for project completion in February.

Lawrence Group Providing Pro Bono Design on New Collinsville, IL Space for Non-Profit 3 Little Birds 4 Life


Since its founding, integrated planning and design firm Lawrence Group has strived to make a positive impact on the community by leading through heart and caring for others.

To that end, Lawrence Group has recently undertaken a pro bono project to design a new community support space in Collinsville, IL for 3 Little Birds 4 Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading kindness like confetti and granting wishes to families impacted by cancer.

Inspired by the lyrics of popular Bob Marley & The Wailers’ song Three Little Birds – “Don’t worry about a thing ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right” – Ashley Swip founded 3 Little Birds 4 Life after losing her 28-year-old brother Guy “Tyler” Gifford to malignant melanoma in November 2010. It was through all his treatments, surgeries and the final stages of his battle with cancer that Ashley realized that her brother needed to have one more great day doing the things that he loved, which for Tyler meant spending a day with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Ashley was able to make Tyler’s wish come true before he passed, just like she continues to do for others today through her volunteer organization.

Lawrence Group was introduced to 3 Little Birds 4 Life through Senior Interior Designer and Associate Principal Lisa Morrison, NCIDQ, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador. Her neighbor and friend, Megan Barbour, reached out to ask if she could recommend any good space planning programs online. Barbour has played an integral role in 3 Little Birds 4 Life for many years. Probing a little bit on what Barbour was working on, Morrison offered to assist with their small space planning exercise. After meeting with the organization’s team and learning about their goal for a new space, Morrison, backed by Lawrence Group, decided that she would lend her design expertise to the cause.

“I love being able to use my talents and resources to help out an organization like 3 Little Birds 4 Life. It’s such a small ask from me, but it creates such a huge return for this organization and my community. Consider it my small act of kindness,” said Morrison.

Morrison started designs in April on the organization’s new 1,230-square-foot-space, named The Nest, located at 9500 Collinsville Road in Collinsville, IL. The space will include a retail area for visitors to choose a gift for someone in their life going through a rough time. There are also reach-in coolers for frozen, prepared meals and fresh flower bouquets. The hub of the space is the multipurpose gathering area featuring comfortable seating and monitors for educational events and training sessions. This area can be rearranged for parties, events and even yoga classes for the community. The space will be the center of operations for the charity with some desking and office space as well. A major part of the budget is going towards upgrading the current facility to be accessible, which includes renovations for an accessible restroom.

“The inspiration for the space really originated from my meeting with Ashley and Megan on-site and hearing the joy in their voices for what this space could do for their organization,” said Morrison. “We wanted to create a bright, welcoming and cheerful environment with biophilic touches and possibly a few neon installs for some great Instagram-able moments. This community space would give a face to an organization that has been doing such great work for the past decade. The design utilizes bright, bold brand colors, hand-painted murals and graphics that showcase the organization’s various programs.”

Construction on the project is expected to begin in November 2023 and be completed in spring 2024. The organization is currently raising funds for the construction portion of the project. For more information about The Nest project and 3 Little Birds 4 Life, visit