People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.


Kirby-Smith Names John Arapidis as Vice President of Major Accounts

John Arapidis

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc., a leading Komatsu distributor, has announced the hiring of John Arapidis as Vice President of Major Accounts.

Arapidis will be responsible for the management and development of long-term strategic partnerships between Kirby-Smith and its large-scale customer base. He will office out of Kirby-Smith’s Dallas location. Executive Vice President & COO for Kirby-Smith, Jeff Weller, believes Arapidis will make an immediate impact in his new role. “John boasts an impressive pedigree in this industry,” said Weller.  “I believe with his abilities, there is no doubt we will be able to offer an entirely new level of customer satisfaction.”

Arapidis brings over 29 years of industry experience with Komatsu into the position. Most recently serving as National Accounts Manager for Komatsu, he began his career with the Dresser Finance division, later leaving the finance group and moving to the role of Manager, Distribution and Planning for Komatsu Mining Systems.  He has also served roles as Director of Region Sales/Marketing for the West and Vice President – Rental & ReMarketing for Komatsu.

Arapidis is proud to say he has worked with customers across all regions of the United States and Canada. In every market he has served, the key to success has been creating an outstanding customer experience. “I want to create great and memorable experiences for our customers,” said Arapidis. “The type of experiences that will ensure our customers continue to return.”

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. was established in 1983 and is recognized as one of the premiere new and used heavy construction equipment and crane dealers in the country.

New Hires at Oculus Inc.

Lee Bruner

Oculus Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Lee Bruner to its professional staff as a Job Captain/Project Designer.

Lee brings nine years of experience to Oculus Inc. with expertise in building code analysis and design development. His duties will include client communication, design and construction document development, engineering coordination, specifications, estimating, and construction administration. His skills include client management, code review, ADA compliance & specifications. He has worked nationwide on projects for retail, commercial office clients, and federal projects.  Specifically, Lee has experience with The Ohio Veterans Memorial Museum, The AEP Transmission Group Headquarters, The Streets of Saint Charles, MO and One World Trade Center.

To compliment Mr. Bruner’s work experience, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture Technology from Ranken Technical College and a Master of Architecture from Southern Illinois University. Lee is an Associate AIA, LEED Green Associate, NCARB and REVIT Architecture Certified Professional.

“We are excited to have Lee join our St. Louis team,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. President.  “He brings tremendous project experience, an impressive past portfolio, and professional attitude to our firm.”

Christy Johnson

Oculus Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Christy Johnson to its professional staff as a Project Manager/Project Architect. Christy brings over ten years of experience to Oculus Inc. as a licensed architect with a history of working on award winning projects. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas and a Master of Architecture from the University of Chicago. She is experienced with creating construction documents, writing project specifications and coordinating with city and engineer officials.

Christy will be working with project and programming data, synthesizing information into floor plans and space layouts, developing approved layouts into developed designs and assisting with the preparation of construction details and drawings for permit. She also provides invaluable support to our interior design staff.  Ms. Johnson obtained her Arkansas Licensure is April 2014 and delivers expansive national experience working on award winning school and municipal projects.
“We knew as soon as we interviewed Christy that she would be a great fit for our team,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. President.  “Her history of work with award winning projects is invaluable and we are excited to watch her continue to excel in the industry.”

Anthony Dallessandro

Oculus Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Anthony Dallessandro to its professional staff as a Job Captain/Project Manager.
Anthony brings experience to Oculus Inc. through work with national retail brands as well as a well-rounded set of skills in all other areas of architectural practice. He holds a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a Schreyer’s Honor College Scholarship as well as a Design Excellence and St. Louis AIA Student Awards. He possesses a set of creativity and production skills that allow for strong problem solving during design, production, and construction administration phases. Anthony’s duties consist of schematic design development, conceptual and construction documents, digital model construction, and interacting with clients. His graphic skills include drafting in AutoCAD, REVIT, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Rhino, SketchUp and 3Ds Max.
To compliment Mr. Dallessandro’s academic background and extensive work experience on the East Coast, Anthony is also pursuing his NCARB accreditation.

“Anthony has been a fantastic addition to our team,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. President.  “He brings extensive experience on not only a local level but also a national level which we couldn’t be more excited about.”

Morgan Perry

Oculus Inc., is pleased to announce the addition of Morgan Perry, AIA as a Project Manager/Project Architect to its professional staff.

Morgan brings seven years of experience working in the architectural industry. She will be providing project and client management, design and construction document development, and construction administration for our retail portfolio. She has healthcare and retail project experience that spans from the east to west coast, dealing with both new construction and renovations. She is adept at resolving functional, programmatic and design issues to meet the needs of projects and communicating design intent.  Her work related software skills are Revit Architecture, AutoCAD, SketchUp, InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

To compliment Ms. Perry’s national work experience her education background is international with an Architectural Graduate degree from Helsinki University of Technology (Otaniemi, Finland) and Master of Architecture from Washington University. Morgan is a registered Architect in the state of Missouri.

“We could not be happier to gain Morgan as a new Architect,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. President.  “We’re positive her previous experience will bring invaluable benefits to our firm.”
Oculus Inc. is a nationally, WBE-Certified, full-service architecture and consulting services firm with offices in St. Louis & Dallas.

January 6, 2017

New Hires at Castle Contracting

Brian Carlson

Castle Contracting has hired Brian Carlson as project director. In this role, Carlson will oversee the delivery of prime contracts for civil construction projects and pursuits, focusing on design-build and other alternative delivery opportunities. He will leverage Castle’s unique expertise in self-performing civil site-work from concept through construction and closeout.

“Throughout his career, Brian has a strong track record of helping his clients achieve considerable recognition for their projects,” says Mike Myers, vice president of Castle Contracting. “He is a terrific addition to the Castle team.”

Prior to joining Castle, Carlson spent 14 years managing large-scale highway construction projects as senior project manager at Millstone Weber, LLC (formerly Fred Weber, Inc.). He has worked on several major interstate projects throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, including managing MoDOT’s $75 million Route 364 Phase 3 Design-Build project and the $32 million I-270 Dorsett/Page Interchange project.

A member of the Design-Build Institute of America and DBIA Mid-America Region, Carlson recently achieved Designated Design-Build Professional status from the organization’s certification board. He received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, Mo., and has earned certification as a Master Drainlayer for St. Louis city and county.

Matthew Groves

Matthew Groves Joins Castle Contracting as Project Director. In this role, Groves will help lead solar project pursuits and assist with the national expansion of the company’s CastleGPS service, which provides industry-leading subsurface utility investigation and mapping to construction projects.

“Matthew’s hands-on project leadership experience makes him a great addition to the Castle team,” says Mike Myers, vice president of Castle Contracting. “His broad construction expertise will benefit our clients and contribute to Castle’s market and geographic expansion.”

Groves joined Castle from Byrne & Jones, where his roles included serving as a general manager for site work and special projects as well as a project manager/estimator. He also worked as a project manager at Saint Louis University.

Groves received his bachelor’s degree in computer-aided drafting and design from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo., as well as an MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. He is a member of the American Public Works Association and Young Executives of SITE Improvement Association.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection contractors.

Steve DeBarry Named Geotechnology CFO

Steve DeBarry

Geotechnology, Inc., a leading provider of geotechnical and environmental engineering, geophysics, water resource management, materials testing and drilling services, announced that Steve DeBarry has joined the company as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

DeBarry will report directly to Geotechnology President and CEO Ed Alizadeh, and will oversee all accounting and finance functions.

“Steve has strong technical and financial skills gained through 15+ years of hands-on experience as a Controller, CFO & CIO,” said Alizadeh. “I am confident that Steve’s knowledge and leadership skills will have a positive impact on our growing company and its operations.”

DeBarry is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Missouri and received a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from Washington University. He began his career in public accounting but has spent most of his career in the private sector.

Established more than 30 years ago, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, water resource management, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling.

New Hire at McClure Engineering

McClure Engineering welcomes Mechanical Designer, Ashley Mansfield. Ashley received her Associates of Science degree in CAD Technology and Design from Lewis & Clark Community College. She joins McClure with 10 years of mechanical design experience and is proficient in AutoCAD, Revit and Navisworks.

Midas Hospitality Promotes Chris Shinkle to Senior Director of Development

Chris Shinkle

Midas Hospitality, a premier hotel management group, recently promoted Chris Shinkle to Senior Director of Development.

Shinkle will manage the day-to-day operations of the company’s development team, which focuses on new hotels and acquisitions, as well as the organization’s renovation life cycle.  His responsibilities include overseeing a variety of services the company provides including project planning, procurement, information technology, scheduling, budget management, and project execution.

Prior to this position, Shinkle served as the company’s Director of Information Technology, as well as its Director of Operations.  He joined Midas Hospitality in 2011 as a general manager and has held key roles within the company throughout the years.  He has more than 15 years of hospitality experience.

“Chris has been with our company for more than five years, and he has truly earned this new position and all that it encompasses,” said David Robert, Midas Hospitality’s Managing Member and CEO.  “We are excited to see all that Chris will accomplish in his new role.”


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