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KAI Announces Appointment of Tim McMinn, AIA as Design Principal

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Tim McMinn

KAI Enterprises proudly announces that Tim McMinn, AIA has been named Design Principal. McMinn was previously Director of Architecture at KAI. The transition is recognition of McMinn’s passionate drive to create innovative and highly creative solutions for clients.

As Design Principal, McMinn is responsible for the overall creative direction, solution development and quality of architectural design at KAI supporting offices in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis. In addition, he has a key leadership role in recruiting and developing talent, advancing the architecture practice, business growth, industry recognition and driving innovation.


Prior to KAI, McMinn owned a consulting practice for nine years in Belleville, Illinois named DesignSix; he was Director of Design for EWR Architects in Fairview Heights, Illinois; Sr. Project Manager for Roseman Associates in St. Louis; Vice President – Director of Design for Image Architects in Carbondale, Illinois and Vice President – Director of Design at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois.

McMinn’s designs have been recognized by the Illinois Capital Development Board, United States Department of Defense, American Institute of Architects – SI Chapter, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Boards.

McMinn has an Associates Degree in Architecture from ITT Technical Institute and continuing education in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis; University of Wisconsin-Madison; American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He has also studied Master Planning/Campus Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

He is a Certified Project Manager through the Illinois Capital Development Board and a Registered Architect licensed through the Wisconsin Department of Professional Regulation. He has volunteered for the past 26 years with the American Institute of Architects as a Charrette Architect for communities in distress, working with towns and cities faced with overwhelming environmental or socio-economic challenges.

McMinn is also a published author of two contemporary literary fiction novels, “Fall Darkly” and “Rise Darkly,” both published in 2018.

He and his wife Judi and their daughter Megan divide their time between residences in St. Louis and Dallas.

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. To learn more about KAI, visit

In Memoriam: Bob Elsperman, Past President of Tarlton Corp. and of AGC of St. Louis

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After living his life to the fullest, Robert Pauly Elsperman, PE, 83, past Chairman and CEO of Tarlton Corporation, passed away April 7, 2020, surrounded by his loving family – wife D’Arcy; children Tracy Hart, Dirk Elsperman and Wendy Guhr (and husband Ted); grandchildren Brendan and Dylan Hart, Nina and Stefanie Elsperman, and Theo and Jake Guhr. Born October 21, 1936.

Inspired by his father Art, Bob always wanted to be a builder. He attended Cleveland High School because it was better in math and science at the time. While at Cleveland, he was a multi-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. After high school, he enrolled in civil engineering at Purdue University. On the five-year plan, Bob made the most of his Boilermaker education. He was initiated into the Delta Delta chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity. He remained active in Sigma Chi his entire life and was recognized for his professional accomplishments as a “Significant Sig.”

He also participated in the Naval ROTC program. During his first senior year, Bob met the love of his life, D’Arcy Gifford. While he was taking his victory lap at Purdue and finishing his degree, they began a long-distance courtship. They were married June 4, 1960.

Upon graduation from Purdue, Bob began working full time at Tarlton while also serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve (serving a total eight years and attaining the rank of captain). Always interested in construction, Elsperman started with Tarlton at the age of 14 working as a “cub” apprentice carpenter. Between his summer jobs and full-time employment, Bob worked nearly 70 years at Tarlton, the company his father co-founded. As Bob continued building his career, he took on new challenges and was “all in” with each pursuit and affiliation. He loved the Fraternity of Construction.

He came from an era where contractors had to be tough on the outside, but Bob always cared deeply for the people he worked with, whom he considered his extended family. He appreciated how the toughest jobs brought people together in the end and resulted in a level of mutual respect. He welcomed all sorts of people into the fraternity and mixed well with executives, business managers, competitors and the front-line professionals.

Bob took pride in the abundance of work Tarlton completed over the years for St. Louis hospitals, universities, utility companies and Anheuser-Busch, including numerous Stockhouse projects, The Tour Center, A-B Corporate Headquarters, the Lauter Tub Building and A-B Warehouse. More recently, he was deeply appreciative of Tarlton’s work for iconic cultural institutions such as The Muny, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Art Museum, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Washington University, to name a few. During his career Bob joined and led associations too numerous to recount. He served as an officer of nearly every national, regional and local organization in the construction industry, most notably as Treasurer in 1999 of the Associated General Contractors of America, the country’s largest construction trade association, and as President of the AGC of St. Louis (now AGC of Missouri) in 1981 (a role his father, daughter Tracy and son Dirk also fulfilled).

Always respected for his work, Bob received the AGC of St. Louis Award; was honored in 2008 with the Al Fleischer Award for Management from The St. Louis Construction Collaborative, formerly known as PRIDE of St. Louis; and was recognized as Construction Man of the Year in 1985 by St. Louis Construction News and Review and PRIDE. An engineer’s engineer, Bob also served as president of the Engineers’ Club of St. Louis in 1974-75. Active in the organization his entire career, Bob was named Young Engineer of the Year and Engineer of the Year.

He bowled in the Engineers’ Club League until he was 81 (winning his only league championship in 1997 but leading his team in high average at age 80). Bob lived a blessed life and felt that giving back to his community came with those blessings. He served as past chairman of the board of St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System (STARSS) and previously served on the advisory council for the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue, the board of the Bach Society of St. Louis, the advisory board for The Salvation Army and the advisory council for the Hope Center, also serving on advisory boards for several banks. He enjoyed affiliations with the United Way, The Salvation Army, Children’s Miracle Network, Boy Scouts of America, Circle Club and Howard Park Center. Bob was an active member of his church, where he led the vestry and was a lay reader and usher.

He embraced the Golden Rule and held firm in his belief that each person can have a positive impact through serving others. He and D’Arcy imparted this vision to their three children and six grandchildren. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date when we can all be together. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Ellisville, MO; St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System Charitable Foundation; or St. Louis Community Foundation COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

Ronald Tindall, Jr. Named New President of the TRRA

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Ronald Tindall, Jr. was named the new President of the TRRA this week.  He replaces outgoing President Mike McCarthy, who retired at the end of March.   Ron comes to the TRRA from Trans-Global Solutions where he was the company’s Compliance Officer. Prior to that, Ron spent over 20 years with the Union Pacific where he started as a brakeman/conductor/engineer and rose through the ranks serving most recently as General Superintendent in the Western Region.  As General Superintendent he directed 1,600 employees and managed a budget of $150 million.  He was responsible for overseeing the largest interchange location on the Western Region which includes areas of Oregon, Washington, California, Canada and Idaho.  Ron is known for leading dramatic turnarounds and reducing costs by developing cultures of accountability, problem solving and risk management.  As General Superintendent, he was responsible for reducing the reportable injury rate from 2.65 to 1.32 in just eight months and was able to trim the budget by $4.6 million.

“Ron brings his years of railroading experience back to St. Louis where he started his career in 1998.  Ron’s leadership, training and expertise in Continuous Improvement and LEAN will be important to the continued growth and success of the TRRA and efficient operation of the third largest rail hub in the U.S,” according to TRRA Chief Legal Officer and Director of Corporate Affairs Asim Raza.  “We are excited to have him lead our Railroad during this time of economic uncertainty in our nation and unprecedented infrastructure renewal of our system”.

Ron received his BS in Criminal Justice/Pre-Law from Kentucky Wesleyan College and his MBA from Kaplan University.

The TRRA is a Class III railroad serving 80 industrial customers in the St. Louis region and provides interchange services to Class I railroads serving the East and West Coasts and the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.  These services provide cost efficient transportation options to area businesses and is a critical hub for connecting the St. Louis region to the national and global market place.

Justin Eilermann of IMPACT Strategies Completes AGCMO Leadership Academy

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Justin Eilermann, Project Manager for IMPACT Strategies, recently completed the AGC of Missouri Leadership Academy. After being nominated by Craig Spidle, Director of Construction Operations for IMPACT Strategies, Eilermann was chosen by an AGC selection committee to complete the course. This five-month course consisted of roughly 20 students and was taught by Ken Bradford, author of Fearless & Persuasive Speaking. It focused on building awareness and proficiency in business and developing skills that will translate into strong project team leadership. Eilermann is a 2006 graduate of Ranken Technical College with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology and joined the IMPACT Strategies Team in December of 2018. Mark Hinrichs, President of IMPACT Strategies, said, “We are very proud of Justin and his accomplishments. He is a great asset to our team and our clients.” -EndIMPACT 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.

KAI Hires Respected Industry Leader Brad Simmons, FAIA as New Managing Partner

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Brad Simmons

KAI Enterprises proudly announces the hiring of Brad Simmons, FAIA, to the new position of Managing Partner. Simmons is a recognized and respected leader in the industry with more than 35 years of regional, national and global experience.

Simmons had worked collaboratively with KAI on joint projects for the past 20 years through his former employer, Jacobs, and predecessor company, Sverdrup. “He is a distinguished and exciting addition to the design-build firm,” said KAI Enterprises CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr.

“We didn’t want to settle for just anyone in this new position,” said Kennedy. “We needed a proven closer, a person who could be a catalyst to recruit top talent across our multiple disciplines, promote business growth and drive culture and practice development. Brad is that person.”

As Managing Partner, Simmons will collaborate daily with Kennedy, KAI Enterprises President Darren L. James, FAIA and the leadership team on market positioning, industry partnerships, major project pursuits, managing new clients, hiring key employees and strategic business direction.

In addition, Simmons will provide oversight to the company’s professional services portfolio and directly lead the Architecture & Engineering business as President of KAI Design. Simmons will divide his time between KAI’s offices in St. Louis, Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta.

 “After a nearly three-decade journey growing a significant global buildings business at Jacobs, it was time for a pause,” Simmons said. “I took a six-month ‘life sabbatical’ to reflect and determine what a next career chapter might look like. KAI presented a unique opportunity to get back to my roots, work hands-on with community projects, and serve as a catalyst to drive this already successful business enterprise to new growth plateaus. I knew the KAI culture and values, had a productive history with the leadership and was impressed with Michael’s vision for the next evolution of KAI. It was a perfect storm for me—and a great alignment of chemistry and mutual respect.”

Simmons joined Sverdrup in 1990 where he worked as a Project Manager, Principal and Vice President. In 1999, Jacobs acquired Sverdrup and he served in a wide range of senior leadership roles at the regional, national and global level, including General Manager for Jacobs’ Americas Buildings & Infrastructure business and as a member of the Building, Infrastructure & Advance Facilities global management leadership team.

Simmons took an early retirement from Jacobs in May 2019, where he held the title of Global Vice President – Built Environment. As the senior executive leader, he was responsible for growth and strategy, industry thought leadership, executive project sponsorship with key client accounts, senior customer relationships and attracting and developing top organization talent. Jacobs’ Built Environment business provided a full range of planning, design and construction services to a diverse mix of public and private sector clients around the globe.

A licensed architect, Simmons earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University in 1984 and has been a member of the Texas A&M College of Architecture Advisory Board for nearly two decades. He is a 1998 graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture recognized Simmons’ professional contributions by bestowing him with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2007.

Simmons was elected to the prestigious AIA College of Fellows in 2000, becoming one of the youngest architects honored in the organization’s over 150-year history. From 2000-2003, he served on the National Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architects and served as National Chair of the AIA’s 2005 National Convention in Las Vegas. In 2006, his peers at the American Institute of Architects of Missouri honored him with the AIA Missouri Distinguished Service Award for a career of leadership and commitment to the profession. He was also Jacobs’ Executive/CEO representative to the AIA’s Large Firm Roundtable for the past several years.

Simmons has been an active community leader, having served four terms (1991-99) on the City of Shrewsbury’s Board of Alderman. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Municipal League from 1994 to 1999. He is a 1995 graduate of Leadership St. Louis and was named one of the Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young St. Louisans that same year. In 1996, he was named by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the “40 Under 40.” In 1999, he graduated from the Leadership Missouri program. He also served from 1994 until 2001 on the Board of Directors for Scenic Missouri and is a past member of both the FOCUS St. Louis Board and the Epworth (Children’s) Board.

Simmons is married to Dr. Michelle Simmons, an educator with the Kirkwood School District, and has three grown children, Sidney, Sloane and Tyler. An avid boater, Simmons spends as much time as possible at his family’s vacation home on Table Rock Lake.

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. To learn more about KAI, visit


Poettker Construction Finance Executive Receives St. Louis Business Journal Honor

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Kimberly Juitjohan

Poettker Construction Company’s vice president finance, Kimberly (Kim) Luitjohan, has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class of 2020. Luitjohan, along with other young business leaders in the St. Louis area, was honored for her contributions to the company and community at a special awards gala on Thursday, Feb. 13.

“We are very proud of Kim for receiving this award,” said Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction. “She truly exemplifies the kind of dedicated professionalism and strong community relationship culture that we value at Poettker, and I am honored to call her family.”

The St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards salute young professionals making a difference in their organizations and communities. More than 600 nominations were submitted and reviewed by a panel of previous 40 Under 40 winners who helped the Business Journal choose members of the new class, who appeared in the February 14 print edition of the St. Louis Business Journal.

Luitjohan began her career at Poettker in 2001, where she worked in a variety of roles learning the processes of all company operations. She is a member of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) and graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville’s business program, the latter of which she earned while working full-time at Poettker. In 2010, at the age of 26, Kim was promoted to Vice President Finance, where she has been instrumental in managing the firms’ growth, by overseeing accounts payable, project accounting, payroll, human resources, IT, and asset management.

Under Luitjohan’s direction as Vice President Finance, revenue for the company has increased by more than 600 percent. She has also been instrumental in the company’s philanthropic pursuits, giving back to the community through fundraising and educational efforts.  Luitjohan serves on the HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese Foundation Leadership Council (FLC), which has raised more than $250,000 in the past the years, as well as organizes the First United Methodist Church’s “Cookie Walk and Craft Bazaar” fundraiser, raising more than $16,000 since she founded the event in 2015.

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

CREW St. Louis Appoints 2020 Officers & Directors

in Associations/News/People
Tracy Howren
Nancy Petersen

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) announced its executive officers and board directors for 2020.

CREW-St. Louis officers for 2020, including their respective companies, are: 

  • President, Tracy Howren, UMB Bank
  • President Elect/CREW Network Delegate, Nancy Petersen, Enterprise Bank
  • Immediate Past President, Michelle Yates, Lawrence Group
  • CREW Network Delegate, Stacey Kamps, Koch Development
  • Secretary, Angie Drumm, Carmody MacDonald
  • Treasurer, Mickey Warriner, Jacobs

Board directors for 2020, and their respective companies, are:

  • Sharon Henderson, Lawrence Group
  • Dawn Humphreys, First American Title
  • Christine Ramsdell, St. Charles County
  • Rebecca Randolph, Brinkmann Constructors
  • Erin Torney, Colliers International
  • Erin Valentine, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

CREW-St. Louis is one of the largest of CREW Network’s global chapters. Its more than 200 members come from all disciplines in commercial real estate. The mission of CREW-St. Louis is to advance, educate and support women to influence the region’s commercial real estate industry. For more information, visit Follow CREW-St. Louis on Twitter @CREWSTL.

Hank Rohwedder Elected SIBA President

in Associations/News/People

Effective January 1, 2020, Hank Rohwedder (photo above), Hank’s Excavation & Landscaping, Inc., Belleville, Illinois will become the President of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.

Other officers for 2020 are:  First Vice President – Jeff Limbaugh, Limbaugh Construction Co., Inc., Granite City, Illinois; Second Vice President – Scott Plocher, Plocher Construction Company, Inc., Highland, Illinois; and Secretary/Treasurer – Richard Boyer, Boyer Fire Protection, St. Louis, Missouri.

Three year Directors elected were:  Jim Mundy, Contegra Construction Company, L.L.C., Edwardsville, Illinois; Andy Poirot, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Collinsville, Illinois; Dale Steinmetz, Charles E. Mahoney Company, Swansea, Illinois; Dave Murrary, Samron Midwest Contracting, Inc., Murphysboro, Illinois; Jason Litteken, Litteken Construction Company, Breese, Illinois; Mark Christ, Christ Brothers Asphalt, Inc., Lebanon, Illinois; and Mark Harms, SCI Engineering, Inc., O’Fallon, Illinois.

SIBA Staff Members:  Donna Richter, Chief Executive Officer; Kristin McCaw, Office Manager; Shari Schutzenhofer, Administrative Assistant; John Holt, Director of Safety and Education; Logan Ankeny, Planroom Manager; Cassidy Dowling, Administrative Assistant; and Joko Tasich, Safety Training Instructor.

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.


In Memoriam – Patrick Joseph Murphy, Sr.

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Patrick Joseph Murphy, Sr.

Patrick Joseph Murphy, Sr., born on September 30, 1940 and Baptized with the Hope of Christ’s Resurrection, passed away peacefully November 7, 2019.  Married for 53 years to Jean (nee Pape); loving Father to Patrick Jr. (Laura), Heather, Michael Shea (Laurie), and Sean Christopher; affectionately called Pops by his grandchildren Megan Murphy, Anne Marie Murphy, Michael Murphy, Patrick Murphy III, and Joseph Murphy; son of the late Jerry J. and Ruth C. Murphy; brother of the late Mary Fuegner (Rich); uncle, cousin, and friend.

A real character and full of life, he spent 58 years as a Vice President of the Company that he loved, Murphy Company Mechanical Contractor and Engineers, the largest mechanical contractor in St Louis.  He treasured his time working closely with the skilled crafts who also became his life-long friends.  A rancher at heart, he and Jean purchased a property in Beulah, Missouri in 2003.  “It’s a Boy” and “It’s a Girl” flags proudly raised whenever a new cow was born into the herd.

A perfect mix of his Irish and German heritage; hard working, dedicated, stubborn, always right, and quick to turn any situation into an opportunity for a story or joke.  He lived by the mantra LTD, “Listen, think, do”, which his children always heard him say anytime when an important decision was required.

Services: Monday November 11, 2019, Visitation 9:00 am, Catholic Mass 10:00 am, Ascension Catholic Church, 230 Santa Maria Drive, Chesterfield, MO  63005.  Internment for family at Calvary Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Pat’s name to The St. Patrick Center, 800 N Tucker Blvd., St Louis, MO  63101 would be greatly appreciated.

J West Electric Founder and President Sabrina Westfall Earns 2019 Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Award

in Associations/News/People

Sabrina Westfall’s journey from IBEW Local 1 electrician to entrepreneur has earned her the 2019 Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Award from St. Louis County  The award honors “outstanding business acumen, industry leadership and community service.”

Westfall founded J West Electrical Contracting in 2014 and is a member of the Electrical Connection, a partnership of with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  Westfall was profiled earlier this year in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis American.

Westfall’s J West has worked on a number of major projects including Lambert St. Louis International Airport, Washington University, the ongoing work at Ballpark Village and the revitalization of Union Station.   She launched her career in 2002 when she entered in the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis, graduating in 2005.  Westfall worked on a number of projects, but when work dried up with the Great Recession she tapped two programs supported by the Electrical Connection partnership to not only broaden her skills, but also ultimately launch her own electrical contracting company.

“Sabrina is an inspiring entrepreneur,” noted Doug Martin, executive vice president of the St. Louis NECA.  “She has exceptional skills as an electrician and also the determination to grow her career as an electrical contractor.”

Certified as a master electrician in 2010, Westfall found her skills in greater demand and later launched J West Electrical Contracting.  Westfall is now one of three women-owned electrical contractors enrolled in the Regional Union Construction Center, which is supported by the Electrical Connection to help minority- and women-owned union construction companies fortify their business skills.

“What’s most impressive about Sabrina is how she is shaping her future,” said Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1 business manager“She is relentless about learning and improving her skills as an electrician and entrepreneur with the goal of finding better ways to serve the buyers of construction services and other contractors.”

“Sabrina’s professionalism and her customer-focused approach to her business is invaluable as we engage business and civic leadership daily on their electrical and communication needs,” added Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “She is that next generation of highly proficient electrical contractors that reflects the growing diversity in our industry.”

Learn more about Westfall and J West Electrical Contractors at

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