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.

Spellman Brady Promotes Beth Arokoyo 

Beth Arokoyo

Spellman Brady & Company is excited to announce the promotion of Beth Arokoyo to Senior Designer.  She is now responsible for managing every phase of interior design projects.  She works on all aspects of interiors, including selection of finishes and furniture while bringing a strong passion for research and evidence-based design to senior living communities.  

Ms. Arokoyo has 13 years of hands-on interior design experience.  Since joining Spellman Brady & Company in 2011, she has honed her skills in space planning, design elements and finishes in over 50 projects.  She is a certified interior designer by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ®) with a Bachelor of Science, Human Environmental Sciences Interior Design from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Spellman Brady & Company is a St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in Senior Living, Healthcare and Higher Education environments

Stephanie Moore joins Knoebel Construction as Project Coordinator

Stephanie Moore

Stephanie Moore of the Central West End in St. Louis, MO, has joined Knoebel Construction as a project coordinator responsible for supporting the firm’s retail, shopping center, restaurant, healthcare and grocery project construction teams. She also works on client relations and new client promotions. Moore has four years of experience in the construction industry. She is a graduate of the St. Louis Community College – Forest Park.

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, restaurant, grocery and retail store construction.

Jeff Verkamp Joins HOK’s St. Louis

Jeff Verkamp

Jeff Verkamp, has joined HOK in St. Louis. He will continue to support the HOK team as a project architect working a variety of projects currently in design. Verkamp joins HOK’s St. Louis office after having served at HOK’s Kansas City office with considerable work on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium project in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas University.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

September 22, 2017

Dr. Majid Talebi, P.E. Joins Marino Engineering Associates, Inc.

Dr. Talibi

Marino Engineering Associates, Inc. (MEA) of St. Louis, Missouri is proud to announce that Dr. Majid Talebi, P.E. has joined the company as Geotechnical Engineer. In this role, Dr. Talebi oversees geotechnical analyses, designs, project budgets and schedules, and project specifications.

Talebi comes to MEA from the University of Delaware, where he earned his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering. He has also previously worked as the Head of the Geotechnical and Structural Division of the Iranian Water, Power, & Resources Development Company in Tehran.

MEA is a leading expert in advanced subsidence and geotechnical engineering challenges. With over 37 years of experience, Marino Engineering Associates, Inc. (MEA) has provided services across a wide ranging scope of geotechnical engineering and subsidence engineering. In addition, MEA provides subsidence and geotechnical services including shallow and deep foundation systems, all types of retaining structures, and underground excavations, as well as numerical 2D and 3D seepage, soil-structure interaction analyses, sophisticated slope stability analyses, and rock engineering.

Dr. Gennaro G. Marino, President and founder of Marino Engineering Associates, Inc. said of Dr. Talebi, “We are so proud to have Dr. Talebi join MEA, given his level of training, experience, and competence”.

Busby Rejoins Murphy Co. as Inside Sales Representative

Anabelle Busby

Annabelle Busby has rejoined Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm, as an inside sales representative. The announcement was made by Chris Carter, vice president, service.

Busby served as a service coordinator for Murphy from 2013 to 2016 and, most recently, was as an inside sales representative for an HVAC supply company.  Prior to that, she served as  a service coordinator and a national  facilities account manager in the HVAC industry.

Between 2010 and 2012 she worked as an executive assistant for NISA Investment Advisors. In Kentucky, she served as a workshop coordinator/title insurance analyst for Prism Title & Closing from 2007 to 2010, and as an administrative assistant for the Northern Kentucky Health Department from 2000 to 2007.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Northern Kentucky University and also has completed two years of studies at Barnes College of Nursing.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design-build, piping fabrication, energy solutions and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Northern Colorado.  Murphy is ranked No. 17 on Engineering News-Record’s list of largest mechanical contractors in the United States. Founded in 1907, the firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

September 15, 2017

McGrath hires Jacob Morten as Project Estimator

Jacob Morten

McGrath & Associates has hired Jacob Morten of Bethalto, IL, as project estimator. Morten, who previously worked at McGrath as an intern in estimating, has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and an OSHA 30-hour Construction Safety and Health certification. 

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983.

Western Specialty Contractors Hires Douglas Martin as Branch Manager of its Tulsa, OK Branch

Douglas Martin

Western Specialty Contractors has hired Douglas Martin as Branch Manager of its Tulsa, OK branch. Douglas comes to Western with 26 years of industry experience. In his new position, Douglas will be responsible for marketing, sales, estimating, oversight of operations and administrative functions, as well as the safety of all branch employees and the productivity of the office staff and field crews. Additionally, he will be responsible for ensuring the branch’s profitability by forecasting and managing the budget, identifying market trends, ensuring quality control, and building and maintaining customer relationships.

Douglas is certified in the following: Project Manager Professional (PMP), Colorado Carpenter’s Apprenticeship Program, OSHA 40-Hour, Air Borne Pathogen, CPR and First Aid, IICRC-WRT, Applied Structural Drying, Applied Microbial Remediation and Xactmate.

He is a member of the International Facility Managers Association (IFMA) and the Oklahoma Hospital Engineers Association (OHEA), and is involved with the Tulsa United Way, Rebuild Tulsa and Habitat for Humanity.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

Balles Named Data Center Services Account Manager at Murphy

Michael Balles

Michael Balles has been named data center services account manager at Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, director of data center services.

Balles has more than 30 years’ experience in the design and construction of data centers, network switching facilities, call centers, cable television head ends, cell sites, and healthcare facilities. Most recently, he was director of design services for Venyu Solutions LLC, a Baton Rouge, LA-based company offering datacenter colocation; hosted exchange; cloud and virtual hosting; cloud backup; and managed hosting services.  Prior to that, he served as technical director for  Data Specialties, Inc. From 2001 to 2012 he was director of design services, then vice president of design services for the Bick Group.  Earlier, he served as a project manager, senior designer and CAD-IS manager for The Wischmeyer Architects.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects and a member of the AutoCAD Users Group International.  He is a past member of the Construction Specification Institute, AFCOM, Uptime Institute, ICOR, and BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Service International).

Finnegan Joins Murphy Co. as BIM/HVAC Designer

Brad Finnegan

Brad Finnegan has joined Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm, as a BIM/HVAC (Building Information Modeling/Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) designer. The announcement was made by Patrick Bastow, supervisor, BIM production.

A 2017 graduate of Saint Louis University, Finnegan holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.  He studied mechanical engineering in Madrid, Spain in spring 2015.  While an undergraduate he also was an intern at Hunter Engineering and a computer aided design (CAD) teaching assistant at Saint Louis University.

An active community volunteer, Finnegan was a Jesuit Community Scholar and also held an Ignation Scholarship while attending Saint Louis University.  He also  received a Presidential Service Award in May 2013 for his community service work.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  


Ben Haberberger

Haberberger, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of two new team members. Ben Haberberger, who represents the fourth generation in the 69-year-old family owned mechanical contracting firm, has joined as a project manager/estimator in the plumbing department. Additionally, Jennifer Wilson has been hired as a receptionist and will also be in charge of accounts payable for the company.

Jennifer Wilson

Haberberger, of Ballwin, Mo., most recently worked as a project engineer for the Tinuum Group – formerly Clean Coal Solutions Services – located in St. Louis. He also previously served as a facility manager at the company’s Creek Power Plant in Fannin, Texas. Haberberger holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In his new role at Haberberger, Inc., he will be responsible for assisting in the growth of the new plumbing department.

Prior to joining Haberberger, Inc., Wilson served in Accounts Payable and Payroll roles at Sachs Electric and Bobcat of St. Louis. In her new position, she will be responsible for performing receptionist duties, processing invoices and issuing payments. Wilson resides in Barnhart, Mo.

Haberberger, Inc. is a 69-year-old mechanical contracting company that offers complete HVAC installation, customized maintenance programs, process piping and piping fabrication, plumbing and refrigeration and energy management services to a variety of industrial and commercial customers.

Business Development and Marketing Veteran Joins Guarantee Electrical Company

Cindy Bambini

The executive management team at Guarantee Electrical Company (GECO) is thrilled to announce long-time industry veteran, Cindy Bambini has joined GECO as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. With 20+ years as a Business Development leader, Cindy will lead, organize and coordinate efforts of the GECO team-based business development activities as well as oversee the company marketing efforts, including marketing strategy, brand positioning, and budgeting.

Prior to joining GECO, Ms. Bambini was the Director of Business Development for CRB, a national engineering, architecture and construction manager with a focus on BioPharma, Food & Beverage and Science & Technology markets. Additionally she has served in various roles such as Ameren Partnership Manager on the “Pure Power” program; Director of Business Development Manager for Brightergy; and spent 17 years in engineering and business development with AT&T.

In addition to her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Cindy is a LEED/Green Associate. Cindy also currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for St. Louis Earth Day, as well as President of the Board of Directors for the Kirkwood School District Foundation.

Founded in 1902, St. Louis based Guarantee Electrical is consistently ranked among the largest electrical contractors in the United States.  

Margaret McDonald Elevated to Marketing Principal for HOK’s St. Louis Office

Margaret McDonald

Margaret McDonald, LEED AP, has been named to oversee client and community outreach for HOK’s St. Louis studio as its new marketing principal and one of four office leaders. McDonald assumes this new role after serving over two years as HOK’s director of interiors in St. Louis, during which she led significant workplace and hospitality projects with clients including Ameren, Square, Microsoft, Missouri Foundation for Health and Koman Group.


In her new role, McDonald will work to expand regional awareness of HOK’s brand and its reputation as a leader in architecture and design.
“I have established three-month, six-month and nine-month goals for the marketing team to determine how we can better showcase our fantastic people and work,” said McDonald. “We want people to hear about us and say, ‘Wow! I need to work with them!’”

“Margaret was the natural choice for this position,” said Lance Cage, LEED AP, managing principal for HOK’s St. Louis office. “She is remarkably connected within the community, has a great rapport with clients and partners and understands how to create great experiences for clients. I’m elated that she will take on this role while still acting as key client contact and principal-in-charge of several projects.”
McDonald joins the senior leadership team at HOK’s St. Louis office during a time of remarkable growth. The St. Louis Business Journal recently recognized HOK as both the region’s largest architecture and interior design firm based on the number of full-time professionals. Eric Mersmann, formerly of Perkins+Will in Chicago, has returned to St. Louis, his hometown, to assume McDonald’s role as director of interiors.

“The interiors team is in great hands with Eric,” said McDonald. “But I don’t plan on being too far removed from the design practice. I see my new role as marketing principal as more of an expansion of my responsibilities rather than an outright change.”

In addition to her more than 20 years of experience as an interior designer, McDonald has served on numerous St. Louis nonprofits and boards. She is currently the vice chair of the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District Board, president of the board of Perennial STL and part of the Women’s Leadership Society for the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Her past volunteer work includes serving as chair of St. Louis Design Week, participating in Leadership St. Louis® and serving on the boards of the Laumeier Sculpture Park building committee and Metro Theater Company. She is a past recipient of a “40 Under 40” honor from the St. Louis Business Journal.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 23 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence consistently ranks HOK as a leader in ​​sustainable, high-performance design and technology innovation.

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