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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

KAI Design Expands with Addition of Senior Project Architect, Project Architect and Interior Designer

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KAI Design has expanded its architectural and interior design department with the addition of three new team members — Terry Hanselman, AIA, LEED AP, as Senior Project Architect; Ken Hoernschemeyer, AIA, LEED AP, as Project Architect; and Renee Cohen, IIDA, NCIDQ, as Interior Designer.

Terry Hanselman

Terry Hanselman, AIA, LEED AP – Senior Project Architect

Terry Hanselman of Creve Coeur, Missouri, has 30 years of industry experience, having previously worked as a Senior Project Architect at Christner, Inc., a Senior Project Architect at Cannon Design and a Project Architect at Ross & Baruzzini.

In her role as Senior Project Architect at KAI, she will be responsible for functional space planning, the development of design documents and the production of construction documents working within a multi-disciplinary team format to maintain design continuity and constructability of the building project.

She has a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in mathematics from Louisiana Tech University. She is married and has a son and a daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys such outdoor activities as hiking, canoeing the Missouri Scenic Riverways, camping and photography.

Ken Hoernschemeyer, AIA, LEED AP – Project Architect

Ken Hoernschemeyer

Ken Hoernschemeyer of St. Louis has 27 years of industry experience. In his new role as Project Architect at KAI, he will be responsible for overseeing construction documents, consultation and coordination on projects and construction administration.

Prior to KAI, he worked as a Project Architect for nine years at Christner, Inc. and for five years at Hastings+Chivetta Architects, both located in St. Louis.

Hoernschemeyer has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management with a minor in fine arts from Missouri State University. He is married with two daughters and has a pet Samoyed. In his free time, he enjoys woodworking and boating.

Renee Cohen, IIDA, NCIDQ – Interior Designer

Renee Cohen

Renee Cohen of Fenton, Missouri, has five years of design experience. Prior to KAI, she worked as an Interior Designer at VERVE Design Studio and Killeen Studio Architects, both located in St. Louis.

In her new role at KAI, Cohen will be responsible for selecting and presenting interior finishes, completing drawings and renderings for clients and coordinating design projects with KAI’s architects and engineers.

Cohen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning. She also serves as Vice President of Advocacy for the IIDA Gateway Chapter.

In her spare time, she fosters dogs for Gateway Pet Guardians and loves to cook for friends and family. She is married and has three dogs – Sammy, Joey and Marshall.

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

St. Louis County Honors Aschinger Electric President Emily Martin With 2019 Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Award

in Companies/News/People

Aschinger Electric President Emily Martin is being honored for her business and civic leadership by St. Louis County government.  Martin was named the winner of the county’s 2019 Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Award.  The award honors “outstanding business acumen, industry leadership and community service.”  It was presented during St. Louis County’s inaugural vendor fair on September 18, 2019 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“Emily leads by example,” said Doug Martin, executive vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association. “She’s a leader in both her business and our NECA chapter and devotes countless hours to improving our industry and the St. Louis community.”

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

“Emily is strategically growing Aschinger’s business opportunities, expanding its services,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  “We have been proud to partner with her firm for decades on its many diverse electrical and communications projects.”

Under Martin’s leadership, Fenton-based Aschinger has expanded its service to build and maintain commercial electrical needs.  Its key recent projects include:

  • St. Louis County Librarybranch modernization
  • Renovations to the GatewayArch grounds including improvements to the Arch tram
  • Robert A. Young Federal Building seismic renovation
  • Ameren Missouri community solar array

In 2018, Martin grew Aschinger’s workforce to 170 with the merger with Briner Electric.

Martin is president of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors

Association (NECA).  NECA partners with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 form the Electrical Connection, a business development and civic leadership organization for the electrical industry. Martin serves on the AGC of Missouri Diversity Committee and the NECA National Diversity Engagement Council.

“Emily is well known to business and civic organizations locally and statewide,” said Jim

Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.  “She’s an invaluable resource to the state as we help Missouri adapt to new technology that is changing the energy, electrical and communications industry.”

In addition, Martin serves on the St. Louis County Electrical Examining Board which oversees electrical contracting licensing in the county.  She is also an executive board member of AAIM Employer’s Association and serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity – St. Louis and the capital campaign committee for Tower Grove Park.

Martin earned her law degree from University of Missouri – Kansas City and her degree in history from Fontbonne University.

Louer Facility Planning Named To List Of Largest Office Furniture Dealers

in Companies/News/People

For the fourth year in a row, Louer Facility Planning has been on the list of the Largest Office Furniture Dealers in the metro St. Louis area, as published by the St. Louis Business Journal, in the March 22, 2019 issue.

Founder and CEO, Jane Louer, reflected, “When I started the company 23 years ago, I never imagined that it would rise to such a prominent position in the entire metro St. Louis region.  This is a tribute to my talented and hardworking team, to the quality furniture products we represent, and the on-going service that we provide our clients.”

Louer offers the latest trends and innovations in smart workplace furniture for clients in the corporate, financial, healthcare, government and educational sectors.

St. Louis CNR Magazine Welcomes Brandy Scheer

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Brandy Scheer

St. Louis Construction News and Review Magazine welcomes Brandy Scheer as the publication’s newest team member.

Bringing 25-plus years of local industry marketing, sales and networking experience to the table, Scheer will work as St. Louis CNR’s marketing director and sales associate.

In her new position, Scheer will assist the St. Louis construction community in connect with one another and with St. Louis CNR’s readers.

Having previously worked with numerous local engineering and architectural firms and having worked as an editor and contributor to several local industry publications, Scheer understands key relationships that exist between readers, advertisers and community organizations. She embodies the professionalism, mission and values of St. Louis CNR.

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