Building Careers

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

Ashley O’Neal Promoted to Senior Vice President-Retail Market Manager at Midwest BankCentre

Ashley O’Neal

Ashley O’Neal, formerly vice president of sales support and consumer product manager at Midwest BankCentre, has been promoted to senior vice president-retail market manager. The announcement was made by Erin Erhart, executive vice president-fee services and consumer banking.

O’Neal leads team member training and development and consumer sales efforts. She also coaches bank teams to sustain client-focused branch operations and supports the bank’s extensive community engagement, working in partnership with branch teams. Now in her 12th year of banking, she was previously vice president and branch manager for PNC Bank before joining Midwest BankCentre in 2018.

O’Neal has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® and currently serves as president of the Omicron Eta Omega Chapter. Ashley is a board member of the Ivy Foundation of St. Louis.

Helmkamp Construction Expands Project Management Team

Kyle Vahling

East Alton’s Helmkamp Construction Co. is pleased to announce the addition of Kyle Vahling to their project management team. Vahling, who is on the Dean’s list and President of the Constructors Club, will graduate from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville’s School of Engineering in May.  He now joins Helmkamp as their newest Assistant Project Manager.

The 80-year-old general contracting company is no stranger to onboarding quality individuals from the Construction Management program at SIU-E.  They currently have three Assistant Project Managers and an intern who are products of the program.  Rob Johnes also joined Helmkamp as an intern from SIU-E in 1997 and grew his career to President and eventual owner upon the retirement of former CEO, Brad Farrell, in early 2018.  Johnes personally mentors Helmkamp’s young project management team in a bi-weekly training session that focuses on “The Helmkamp Way.”  These training sessions teach the processes that uphold the company’s commitment to safety, quality, integrity and the balance between hands on experience with the growing technology available to the industry today.

Since 1938, Helmkamp Construction Co. has built relationships based on quality, integrity and safety leadership.  Helmkamp is the builder of choice for the repeat, professional buyer of construction in Industrial, Institutional and Life Science markets. To learn more, visit

March 22, 2109

Haberberger Welcomes Three New Employees to Its Growing Team 

St. Louis-based Haberberger, Inc., is pleased to announce the addition of Jeremy McKinney, Ed Schaffer and Michelle Scott to the mechanical contracting firm’s growing team.

Jeremy McKinney

McKinney has joined Haberberger, Inc. as a project manager, where he will be responsible for overseeing projects and project estimation. He is a registered Professional Engineer with more than two decades of heavy industrial experience that includes process and mechanical engineering design and construction and the management of several $100 million projects. McKinney holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and resides in Swansea, Ill.

Ed Schaffer

With over 17 years of experience in the commercial and industrial HVAC industry in the St. Louis area, Schaffer, of Villa Ridge, Mo., has joined the Haberberger team as a service project manager. In his new role, he will be working with building owners and facility end-users to deliver engineered HVAC-R mechanical solutions and services. Prior to his career in the HVAC industry, Schaffer served in the U.S. Army, where he was deployed to Kosovo in 1999 and to Germany until 2001. He received an associate degree from Vatterott before joining UA Local 562 as a service pipefitter. Schaffer also earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from St. Louis Community College.

Michelle Scott

Scott, of Oakville, recently joined Haberberger, Inc. as a service administrative manager. She is responsible for dispatching service calls, providing administrative support to the service department and overseeing customer service. Scott has over 20 years of experience, including roles at CK Power, Fabick Cat and Integrated Facility Solutions.

Haberberger, Inc. is a 71-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. For more information, call 314-631-3324 or visit

Knoebel Construction Promotes Bryon Muir to Senior Project Manager 

Bryon Muir

Bryon Muir of Saint Peters, MO, has been promoted to Senior Project Manager at Knoebel Construction. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of select retail center, restaurant, grocery and retail store construction projects, both in St. Louis and nationally. He joined Knoebel Construction as Project Manager in 2011.

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

August Schlafy Joins Midwest BankCentre Central Region Advisory Board

August Schlafly

August Schlafly, a broker with the full-service commercial real estate firm of Schlafly Corp., has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre Central Region Advisory Board. Schlafly Corp. specializes in office leasing, tenant representation and investment sales.

Schlafly earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Mississippi. He has served on the board of directors of KDHX since 2014.

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, employs a staff of about 280 working at 19 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties.

Brian Vaughan Promoted to Senior Engineer

Brian Vaughan

Brian Vaughan has been promoted to senior engineer at Murphy Company. The announcement was made by Mike Werdes, vice-president, engineering for the mechanical contracting and engineering firm.

“Since joining Murphy Company after graduating from Mizzou in 2011, Brian has been a key contributor to design/build projects primarily in our industrial and commercial groups,” said Werdes. “His focus on quality designs and customer relationships has resulted in numerous successful projects.”

Vaughan began his career as an engineering intern at Murphy, joining the company full-time as an engineer in July 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (cum laude) from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society.

Vaughan is a member of the St. Louis chapter of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and serves on the Young Professionals Committee of MCA-EMO (Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri.)  He also is a Procore® certified engineer, superintendent and project manager.

Shackelford Joins Murphy Data Center Services

Tim Shackelford

Tim Shackelford has joined Murphy Data Center Services as service account manager. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, manager, Murphy DCS.

Shackelford previously served as territory manager for a manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies, electronics peripherals and data center products. He is certified as both a data center and energy management associate, and as a CISCO collaboration sales expert. He also is certified as a Microsoft Partner University Sales Readiness and holds a Symantec Security Sales Knowledge Award.

He attended both Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL and the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL.

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For more information, visit


February 15, 2019

Gianna Favignano Joins Murphy Data Center Services

Gianna Favignano

Gianna Favignano has joined Murphy Data Center Services as service coordinator. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, manager, Murphy DCS. Since 2011 she has been employed as service coordinator/supervisor/administrative service manager for a company providing facility and consulting services. She joined the company in 2007 as an office assistant and then advanced to assistant project coordinator and later, project coordinator.  A graduate of Saint Thomas Aquinas Mercy High School, she attended St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and the University of Phoenix.

Murphy DCS is a turn-key data center services solution, providing strategic integration of all facility infrastructure components, from consulting, design and construction to operation and maintenance. Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  The firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

March 8, 2019

Ali Summerford Named New Interior Design Director at Oculus Inc.

Ali Summerford

Firm enhances interiors expertise in healthcare, corporate and education sectors

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Ali Summerford as the interior design director. In her role, Summerford will oversee interior design services for clients in the healthcare, corporate and education sectors, as well as support business development for the interior design teams in the St. Louis, Dallas and Portland offices.

James Standing, who was temporarily serving as acting interior design director, will remain in a leadership role supporting the creative work of the interior design team at Oculus. He will also serve as a lead interior designer on numerous high-profile projects.

Summerford brings more than 20 years of interior design experience to Oculus with an emphasis in management, client relations, specifications, space planning and design presentations, among other areas. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Summerford most recently served as the director of interior design for a local architecture firm. She also served as project manager and system planner for BJC Healthcare, one of the largest nonprofit health care organization in the United States. Summerford has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Design from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Outside of its headquarters in St. Louis, Oculus has offices in Dallas and Portland, Ore.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior design, planning, and move management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities, and spaces.

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