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.

Western Specialty Contractors Hires Jillian Chew as National Account Program Manager

Jillian Chew

Western Specialty Contractors has hired Jillian Chew of Wildwood, MO as National Account Program Manager. In this role, Chew will assist in the company’s efforts to identify, establish and develop relationships with large, multi-location customers. Assigned to three to five customers, Chew will also work to establish productive, professional relationships with high-level executives and other key contacts for all assigned client accounts, as well as effectively communicate to customers the benefits of a national account partnership with Western.

Chew has seven years of sales experience, having previously worked as a Retirement Sales Representative for Paychex, an Admissions Advisor for Kaplan University and an Admissions Representative for Corinthian College.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Communication from the University of Missouri St. Louis and an MBA from Kaplan University.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit

Eva Fryar, Vice President of Construction Operations at Payne Family Homes

Named to Professional Builder Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Payne Family Homes, a leading St. Louis, Missouri based homebuilder, is proud to announce that Vice President of Construction Operations Eva Fryar has been selected for Professional Builder magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018, featured in their March 2018 issue. Her contributions are a key reason that Payne Family Homes has become the St. Louis metropolitan area’s fastest-growing homebuilder, growing from $7 million in sales in 2009 to $90 million in 2017. She also is one of a very few women to hold the title of Vice President of Construction Operations in a male-dominated field.

Fryar provides strategic leadership and direction for the homebuilder’s growing portfolio of residential homes in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan region. She oversees 26 people including field superintendents, estimators, and the company’s in-house architecture, purchasing and customer care teams. She also coordinates the efforts of approximately 100 suppliers.

She is charged with opening six new residential developments in early 2018, as well as again leading the campaign and building efforts for the 2018 St. Louis St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house, an effort that has helped raise over $4 million to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2014.

In addition to her achievements at Payne Family Homes, Fryar is chair of the committee for the St. Louis Professional Women in Building Council. She is also an active member of the St. Louis Home Builders Association for which she sits on its board of directors and is helping to start the association’s student education chapter. Fryar has been a judge for the National Home Builders Association Residential Construction Management Competition, which gives college students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom by completing a management project/proposal for an actual construction company. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and helps build a house every year for a low-income family.

“Eva is exceptionally bright and a great contributor to Payne’s executive team and its overall strategic direction,” says Ken Kruse, Payne Family Homes president. “We are very proud of Eva’s dedication, her perfecting of new processes and the way she leads her team. This recognition is well deserved.” 

Professional Builder received more than 150 nominations this year, illustrating the depth of talent among this collection of future and present industry leaders. The magazine’s editors selected the winners based on both personal and professional accomplishments. This year’s class included 15 women and 25 men representing all regions of the United States.

For more information about Payne Family Homes, visit or call 314-477-1218.

Byrne & Jones Construction Adds Christine Lips & Michael Stolze as Accounting Assistants

Christine Lips

Christine Lips and Michael Stolze have joined Byrne & Jones Construction as accounting assistants.  Byrne & Jones is a diversified St. Louis civil site contractor serving clients through six divisions – concrete, sports, asphalt, soil stabilization, marine and micro-surfacing.

Lips received her degree in business administration and management and a minor in mathematics from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.   Stolze received his degree in accountancy from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Michael Stolz

Founded in 1976, Byrne & Jones Construction builds and maintains parking lots, roads and highways, athletic fields, running tracks, tennis courts, underground drainage systems and paved surfaces and performs a variety of marine construction.  Learn more at 

Western Specialty Contractors Promotes Tom Brooks to Chief Operating Officer

Tom Brooks

Western Specialty Contractors proudly announces the promotion of Sr. Vice President of Operations Tom Brooks to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective Jan. 1, 2018. Brooks replaces COO Jim Rechtin, Sr., who retired from Western after 46 years of service.

Brooks will utilize his more than 20 years of construction industry experience to oversee and manage all aspects of day-to-day operations, plus implement strategies for continued bottom line growth. He plans to work closely with Western’s  President Jeff Kelley to develop and propose new programs that support the company’s short- and long-term objectives.

“Tom has demonstrated strong business acumen, along with the ability to lead and mentor others,” said Kelley. “I am very excited for Tom and I look forward to new opportunities in 2018 and beyond.”

Brooks started with Western in 2012 as Vice President – Operations and Business Development, then was promoted to Sr. Vice President of Operations in 2016.

Brooks has a degree in Building Construction Management from Purdue University – North Central Campus and an AAS in Electrical Engineering Technology from Southern Illinois University. He was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, a veteran of Desert Storm and a graduate of the Military Police Academy. He is a member of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), Construction Users Round Table (CURT) and U.S. Green Building Council.

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. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit

New Hires at PGAV Destinations
Extensive Staffing Increases Continue in Newly-renovated Downtown Studio

St. Louis-based design firm PGAV Destinations announces the hiring of an additional six new team members, bringing fresh skillsets to newly-created positions. “This group of exciting talent comes on the heels of 16 new hires we announced in November of last year,” said PGAV Principal and Chair Mike Konzen. “PGAV’s explosive growth in new clients and more ambitious, ground-breaking projects require that we greatly expand our abilities. These new passionate and creative team members are ready to embrace that opportunity.”

Matt Halveland

BIM Manager Matt Halveland, from Florissant, MO, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the Kansas State University College of Architecture Planning and Design (’03). He has previously worked as an Associate Designer and Project and BIM Manager at LNB Architecture and Interiors.

Whitney Jones

Receptionist and Hospitality Specialist Whitney Jones, from St. Louis, MO, received her Bachelor of Science and Arts in Applied Behavioral Science from Fontbonne University (’14). She has previously served as a nanny, in animal management for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and as Interim Elephant Manager at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Nairobi.

Jedd Pellerin

Project Architect Jedd Pellerin, from Manchester, VT, received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology with a minor in Management from Keene State College (’00). He has previously served as a project manager for both The McBride Company and Ridberg+Associates, as well as a Principal Architect for Socius Architects.

Kathleen Robert

Senior Graphic Designer Kathleen Robert, from St. Louis, MO, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Kansas (’89) and attended Saint Louis University. She has previously served as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, as well as art director and graphic designer for both Kiku Obata & Company and Zipatoni.

Matthew Scott

Visual Storyteller Matthew Scott, from Chicago, IL, holds his Associates in English and Communication from East-West University (’07). A professional photgorapher and videographer, he has been working as a freelance Cinematographer and Sound Engineer on countless national and international projects, including the 2016 Presidential Debates, Square-Enix, Yoplait, and more.

P. J. Tamayo

Returning designer P.J. Tamayo, from Orlando, FL, is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (’02) with a Bachelor of Arts in Sequential Art with minors in both Video and Drawing. He has previously worked at Oracle as a Principal Multimedia Specialist, and a Creative Manager at Falcon’s Treehouse (now Falcon’s Creative Group).

PGAV has recently completed a $3.2m renovation to accommodate its growing team and the exciting needs of its client base. The expanding design firm is currently hiring Graphic Designers, Designers, Illustrators, Intern Architects, Architects, and Project Architects. Visit to learn more.

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now entering its sixth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal destination-consulting partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects.

Oculus Inc. Announces New National Director of Business Development

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm headquartered in St. Louis, announces the addition of Heather Nauss as National Director of Business Development. In her role, Nauss will lead client relationship management and strategy development for the company’s St. Louis, Dallas and Portland offices, and will be instrumental in growing Oculus’ business in the healthcare, retail, corporate, education, hospitality, restaurant and government markets.

Nauss brings over 15 years of experience in the architecture and design industry where she has held positions in business development and marketing at companies including Working Spaces, Inc., Harley Ellis Devereaux and M2 Architecture Studio. Throughout her experience, Nauss has proven her success in sales as a crucial member of a development team that achieved a 90% project win hit rate, as well as a key member of the largest, most successful design studio that exceeded sales goals by 2%.

Nauss earned a B.S. degree in Marketing Communications from Missouri State University. She is currently a board member for Books for STL Kids and is a member of CREW St. Louis, Urban Land Institute and American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior, planning and move management services that support business change and promote business value. Oculus is WBE-Certified and regularly cited in top industry rankings for retail architecture and design, sustainability, interior design and overall growth.

New Hires at Murphy Company


Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes, P.E., has been appointed senior engineer for Murphy Company, a leading mechanical engineering and contracting firm. The announcement was made by Mike Werdes, manager, design/build. Hughes, a licensed professional engineer, brings more than 20 years of experience creating innovative cost-efficient designs in manufacturing as well as the pharmaceutical, aviation, chemical and life sciences industries.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is licensed in five states, including Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Utah and Arizona. “We are delighted to have someone with Mike’s vast experience and abilities join our team,” said Werdes.  “His project experience and technical knowledge fits well with our highly capable engineering team.”

Steven Bruening

Steven Bruening has joined Murphy Company in the role of plumbing designer. Bill McKanna, plumbing supervisor for the mechanical engineering and contracting firm, made the announcement. Bruening holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management and design from Southeast Missouri State University.  With more than 10 years in the construction industry, Bruening worked four-and-one-half years as a plumbing/fire protection designer and, earlier, as a CAD technician for two different Midwestern engineering firms. He also is an active member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE). He is background includes the Boy Scouts of America where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and was elected to the “Order of the Arrow” after having held several leadership positions. He attended Marquette High School where he attended college preparatory courses and utilized AutoCAD.

Trish Munsell

Trish Munsell has been appointed contract administrator at Murphy Co., a leading mechanical engineering and contracting firm.  The appointment was announced by Brian Norvell, general counsel. Munsell, who holds a bachelor of science degree from Southeast Missouri State University, has worked in contract administration for both Centene Corp. and Express Scripts, Inc., among others. She previously served as assistant vice president/director of business development for Ansira Marketing. Prior to that, she served as a paralegal with TLC Vision Corp. and a legal assistant in the legal/compliance group at NISA Investment Advisors, L.L.C.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. Founded in 1907, the firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

March 2, 2018

Spellman Brady Increases Staff of EDAC Designers

Amy Shoemaker

Amy Shoemaker Receives Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC).

Spellman Brady & Company is proud to announce that designer Amy Shoemaker has earned her Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC). Ms. Shoemaker is the most recent Spellman Brady designer to receive EDAC , which brings the firm’s designers to 20% certified.

Evidence-Based Design (EBD) is the process of basing healthcare facility planning and design decisions about the built environment on credible research to achieve the best possible patient, staff and operational outcomes. Research evidence attests to the fact that the physical environment impacts patient stress, patient and staff safety, staff effectiveness and quality of care provided in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

In order to earn EDAC, Ms. Shoemaker passed a two-hour, 110-question multiple-choice exam. The exam’s five sections tested her on EBD in healthcare, the research process, the pre-design process, construction, and occupancy. The exam certifies professional’s ability to practice the EBD process.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments. For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

IMPACT Strategies Welcomes Craig Spidle

Craig Spiele

IMPACT Strategies is excited to welcome Craig Spidle to the team! Craig with be filling the newly created role of Director of Construction Operations focusing on the delivery of expert services, the execution of construction projects, and helping guide them to a successful completion.

Hailing form Wildwood, Missouri, Craig has 38 years of construction industry experience, most of which was spent in executive level roles in the St. Louis region. Craig has held the senior level positions of Vice President of Sverdrup Corporation, President of CRB Builders, and most recently Regional Manager for Burns & McDonnell. His industry executive level experience and finely tuned skill set are a welcome addition to the IMPACT Team and will aid in the continued growth of the company.

Mark Hinrichs, President of IMPACT Strategies, said “We’re ecstatic to have Craig on our team as his talents will certainly benefit our company. We have a great opportunity for growth by attracting someone with his knowledge and leadership experience.” 

Relationship Builder Joins Holland Construction Team 

Steve Schomaker

Steve Schomaker has joined Holland Construction Services as the newest member of its business development team. However, he is anything but new to commercial construction. Schomaker has been building relationships and generating business in the commercial building industry throughout the Metro East for more than 30 years. He also serves as the mayor of Albers, Illinois.

“I began working in commercial construction as Poettker Construction’s first business development guy back in 1986 and was there until 2004,” Schomaker said. “It was then that I went to work for GRS Construction in Columbia, Illinois for 12 years. When the owner of GRS decided to retire and close the company, I wasn’t quite ready to retire yet.”

A close friend of Schomaker’s told Holland CEO Bruce Holland that Schomaker was looking to continue building commercial building relationships. It wasn’t long before Holland offered Schomaker the opportunity to work for him.

“I’m thrilled to be working as part of the Holland team,” said Schomaker. “Holland is built on integrity and they’re the nicest people I’ve ever met. In the construction business, it’s all about integrity and relationships, trying to help people acknowledge and realize hopes and dreams. Holland is not just there to build a building for clients. Holland is there to build long-term relationships that are built with honesty and integrity. I look forward to sharing the contacts I’ve cultivated over the past 30 years,” he added.

Holland said Schomaker’s down-to-earth, genuine work ethic pairs well with the company’s values and mission.

“We’re open for business doing smaller projects,” Holland said. “Smaller projects are managed in a different way. The numbers are different and the process is different. We’ll do almost anything for our clients, and we welcome the job no matter the size. Steve Schomaker’s many longstanding relationships with companies and individuals across the region will benefit us greatly. We welcome the opportunity to work with him.”

Schomaker is a native of Albers, Illinois and a graduate of Mater Dei High School in Breese and Kaskaskia College in Centralia. He has been married to Debbie Schomaker for 33 years; the couple has a son, Cole, who is a public school teacher in Mascoutah.

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, Ill., guided by the principle of providing our clients the best possible building experience on every project.  Holland has been providing quality construction services throughout the Midwest since 1986, when it was founded by company CEO Bruce Holland.

Luby Equipment Services Promotes Jim Bailey as Equipment Manager

Jim Bailey

Luby Equipment Services, a St. Louis-based CASE Construction Equipment Dealer, has announced the promotion of Jim Bailey to Equipment Manager effective immediately. Bailey has been the Rental Manager for the past 15 years and is replacing long time Equipment Manager, Larry Valco, who has retired after 30 years of service.

“Jim has done an outstanding job developing the rental department and has shown a keen ability to mentor and develop employees,” said Doug Juergensen, COO, Luby Equipment Services.

In his new role, Bailey will be responsible for adjusting to industry trends, configuring stock machines, and ensuring the appropriate time to buy, sell, and transfer equipment. “Jim has developed strong relationships with our customers over the last 15 years which will give us the ability to forecast what our customers will need, when they will need it,” said David Kedney, Sales Manager, Luby Equipment Services.

“I am very excited to have such a tenured and customer-centric manager on our team, and look forward to the positive impact he will have on our customers as well as the company,” said Kedney.

Luby Equipment Services operates out of its headquarters in Fenton, MO., and seven other branch locations. The company serves its customers equipment needs with a variety of new, used, and rental equipment. The company represents several manufacturers, including CASE Construction, Takeuchi, Doosan, Indeco, Atlas Copco, Wacker Neuson, Oshkosh Airport Products, Eager Beaver and Towmaster trailers.

Randall Burke and Thomas Everett Join Castle Contracting  

Randall Burke

Castle Contracting has expanded its St. Louis-based team with the hiring of Randall Burke and Thomas Everett. Randall Burke joined Castle as Estimating Manager. In this role, he reviews project plans, interacts with subcontractors and material vendors, and collaborates with project teams to provide accurate cost estimates to customers for site grading and site utility projects. Prior to joining Castle, Burke served as estimator/project manager at Plattin Creek Excavating in Arnold, Mo. His previous experience also includes serving as an excavating contractor, riding superintendent and heavy equipment operator. Burke earned a certificate in the heavy equipment operations program at Linn State Technical College in Linn, Mo.

Thomas Everett

And Thomas Everett joined Castle as Warehouse Logistics Manager, where he serves as the first point of contact for foreman needs and deliveries, including equipment, small tools and warehouse stock items. Prior to joining Castle, he was a laborer in concrete construction at Buchheit Construction in St. Charles. Everett earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting systems and forensics from Maryville University in St. Louis. He is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

“Randy and Tom are great additions to the Castle team, and our clients will benefit from their specialized expertise,” said Michael Pranger, vice president of operations at Castle Contracting.

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. The company’s subsurface utility mapping service provides industry-leading underground utility investigation and mapping.

February 23, 2018

Luby Equipment Services Hires Jenny Swafford as Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Jenny Swafford

Luby Equipment Services, a St. Louis-based CASE Construction Equipment Dealer, has announced the hiring of Jenny Swafford as its Sales & Marketing Coordinator effective immediately. Prior to Luby Equipment Services, Swafford has served as the Customer Service Manager at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers for the past 7 years out of the Caseyville, Illinois location. There she was responsible for ensuring an excellent customer experience on auction day along with supporting the sales team’s efforts throughout the year. “Jenny has always shown initiative in the performance of her duties, going above and beyond what was expected of her, and consistently delivered exceptional customer service,” said David Kedney, Sales Manager, Luby Equipment Services. “I know the same level of dedication and commitment will be applied in her new role as she leads the sales support efforts.” As the Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Swafford will develop marketing plans, with a heightened focus on social media efforts, customer and community outreach, plus the managing of the company’s digital marketing efforts. “I am very excited to have such a strong talent on our team and look forward to the favorable impact she will have on both the sales & marketing departments and the company,” said Kedney. Luby Equipment Services operates out of its headquarters in Fenton, MO., and seven other branch locations. They serve their customers equipment needs with a variety of new, used, and rental equipment. The company represents several manufacturers, including CASE Construction, Takeuchi, Doosan, Indeco, Atlas Copco, Wacker Neuson, Oshkosh Airport Products, Eager Beaver and Towmaster trailers.


Changes in management structure part of strategic, succession planning

Vern Remiger

Vern Remiger, president of Remiger Design, the architectural, planning and interior design firm, has positioned the company for future growth with the recent promotions and staff addition. Cara McKedy and Denny Crain will assume more operational responsibilities as well as continuing to grow and diversify the firm’s portfolio. Mike Favazza Jr. will provide financial oversight as the company moves forward.

“These promotions certainly reward Cara and Denny for their contributions to our firm’s success,” Remiger said. “Equally important, Cara and Denny will be positioned to carry on my vision when the time comes for me to step aside. Mike provides the financial expertise to ensure that we sustain our success.”

McKedy joined Remiger Design in January 2011. As a senior project and client relationship manager, she has been charged with overseeing interior design services and maintaining relationships with the firm’s clients. She will maintain this role as a principal while expanding the firm’s business by focusing on the corporate office, retail and hospitality sectors.

McKedy has led projects across the country and globe for Remiger’s clients. Her career as an interior designer started in May 2005.

Denny Crain started with Remiger Design in April 2014 as a project leader and he became a licensed architect in January 2016. His primary responsibilities range across all design and construction phases of projects for the firm’s clients. As a principal, he will further develop the firm’s business while focusing on the education, institutional and industrial industries.

Crain also has more than 10 years of experience from other local design firms before his move to Remiger Design.

Crain and McKedy work closely with the firm’s staff of designers and architects to ensure each project works seamlessly and all services are coordinated to finish on time and on budget.

Mike Favazza has more than 14 years of both public and private accounting experience, including specializing in accounting services for small businesses and working as a controller for a $50 million retailer based in St. Louis.

Favazza served as an outside financial consultant before recently accepting the CFO position in January 2018. In this role, he will oversee several initiatives to improve profitability and efficiencies in Remiger Design’s business processes.

“This gives Remiger Design a talented management group to lead and grow our respective services in interior design and architecture,” Remiger said. “I will continue to oversee the company’s operations but Cara and Denny will become more involved as we move forward. And Mike will keep us on track financially.

“These changes in our management structure are part of our strategic and succession planning. Eventually, this group will assume the reins to take Remiger Design into the future,” he said.

Remiger founded the firm back in August 2010. Since then, it has grown to 15 employees. Its revenues doubled in the past three years, ending 2017 at $3.3 million. The company serves clients across the country in several industries: corporate offices, education, institutional, retail and hospitality.

Clients include, Cass Information Systems, a global pharmaceutical company, MasterCard, Cushman and Wakefield, Washington University, Great Rivers Greenway and Gateway Arch Park Foundation. The latter includes coordinating work done by designers and architects on the St. Louis Riverfront and Jefferson National Memorial Expansion. Nearing completion, the $380 million project integrates the iconic region’s Gateway Arch, riverfront and downtown.

Before starting his own firm, Remiger’s experience included 25 years as the chief architect and chief operating officer at his previous firm.

Based in St. Louis, MO, the firm provides architectural, planning and interior design services in several environments: educational, institutional and industrial facilities, corporate offices, and retail and hospitality. The firm was founded in 2010 by Vern Remiger, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in architecture, interior design, planning and facilities management.

Kappel Named General Manager of Micro-Surfacing Division for Byrne & Jones Construction Co.

Mike Kappel

Mike Kappel has been named general manager of the micro-surfacing division for St. Louis-based Byrne & Jones Construction Co.  Byrne & Jones is a diversified St. Louis civil site contractor serving clients through six divisions – concrete, sports, asphalt, soil stabilization, marine and micro-surfacing.

Kappel joined Byrne & Jones in 2002 as a project manager. In his new position, Kappel will oversee the micro-surfacing division which serves commercial and municipal customers, building and maintaining parking lots, roads and highways.   Micro-surfacing is a preventative maintenance paving product used to prolong the life of roads and parking surfaces.

Kappel holds a degree in construction management from Purdue University.  He is a member of the SITE Improvement Association and served as its board president in 2016 and 2017.

Founded in 1976, Byrne & Jones builds and maintains parking lots, roads and highways, athletic fields, running tracks, tennis courts, underground drainage systems and paved surfaces and performs a variety of marine construction.  Learn more at



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