People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

Steve Raskin

Steve Raskin has joined Ittner Architects as Senior Associate and Project Manager.

Steve is an architect licensed in both Missouri and Illinois. He specializes in working with both PK-12 and Higher-Education clients. He leads projects through all phases of development, including facility assessments, master planning, community engagement, programming and the design of additions, renovations, and new construction projects. Steve is also active as an AIA Missouri Board Member and serves on a variety of national code writing committees.
Steve has more than 25 years in the St. Louis Architecture industry, including a previous stint at Ittner from 2006 to 2016. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Kansas.

“I’m excited to continue to grow Ittner’s leadership in design and to create long-lasting partnerships with our clients,” Raskin said.

Founded in 1899, Ittner Architects is affiliated with Cordogan Clark Group, the leader in designing 21st-century learning spaces that excite students and stimulate their natural curiosity – safely, securely, on time and on budget. The firm has offices in Chicago, Aurora, and Fairview Heights, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Lafayette, Indiana; and Madrid, Spain.

McCarthy Holdings Names Amanda Skillern Vice President, Quality

Amanda Skillern

Quality construction and a continuous improvement mindset enhance outcomes for clients.

“Quality is a deep commitment to examining results and being thoughtful about how we can continuously improve and deliver better outcomes for our clients,” Wittkop explained. “In that same spirit, we are always looking for opportunities to enhance our already best-in-class approach to quality. We are excited to welcome Amanda to our team and have her lead this process for us at a national level.”

With a decade of experience analyzing and leading quality in construction, energy and other sectors, Skillern brings a history of effective leadership, quality management, strategic planning and a commitment to operational excellence to her new role. Prior to joining McCarthy, Skillern served as senior director, global quality operations for a multi-national energy firm, where she was responsible for developing and executing the corporate quality strategy. In this role, she led implementation of a global root cause analysis software program encompassing quality, health, safety, environmental and security activities, using the data gathered to improve operational effectiveness and profitability. She also oversaw the transition from legacy practices to an integrated, reliable and consolidated quality management system.

A Louisiana native, Skillern earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Southeastern Louisiana University and a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“Quality is a commitment to always improving — doing things just a little bit better each and every time,” Skillern said. “McCarthy is well known for its approach to quality, and I’m excited to help continue to strengthen this continuous improvement mindset.

“I value accountability, and this exists at McCarthy because the firm is 100 percent employee-owned. Everyone is pulling in the same direction, and this aligns directly with a commitment to continuous improvement. I look forward to exploring new ways to better connect and enhance our quality programs to improve outcomes for our clients.”

About McCarthy Holdings. Inc.

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is comprised on McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Castle Contracting, Inc. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work, McCarthy is ranked the 13th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2021). With approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Castle Contracting’s Joel Richardson Earns Professional Engineer License

Joel Richardson, P.E.

Castle Contracting, LLC’s Civil Design Engineer Joel Richardson, P.E., has received his Professional Engineer license in Missouri.

Earning the Professional Engineer designation requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering, four years of applied work experience and passing a full-day exam. The credential communicates that an individual works within standards that protect the public, achieves a baseline standard of qualification and expertise, and serves as a credible and valid engineering professional.

Richardson has 23 years of experience in survey, construction layout and design. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the UMSL/Washington University Joint Engineering Program. Richardson supports Castle’s turnkey civil design-build services for site development work.

“Since the day he has walked in the door, Joel has been dedicated to adding value to the Castle team. He has leveraged his construction field knowledge to apply it to design and continues to grow his breadth of experience and expertise. We are proud of his achievement of becoming a Professional Engineer and are looking forward to all the great things he will do on the Castle team in the future,” said Christie Brinkman, Castle director of design-build.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation and design-build services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast. Castle’s recent civil contracting projects in St. Louis include Gateway Arch National Park, the East End transformation of Washington University’s Danforth campus, Next NGA West, and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

July 9, 2021

NewGround Promotes Julia Weigard to Director of Environments Operations

Julia Weigard

New management role to lead all retail implementation operations

NewGround, a St. Louis-based innovative architecture, design, and project management firm, recently announced the promotion of Julia Weigard to Director of Environments Operations.

Julia joined NewGround two years ago and has been instrumental in the development of the company’s Environments Team in Chicago. She will be coordinating all retail implementation operations working with multiple disciplines, from project design to installation. In her management role, she will also contribute to various strategic initiatives as the company continues to grow new business in the financial institution, retail, and hospitality sectors.

“My previous role as Project Manager has introduced me to Operational Development, which I have become highly passionate toward,” said Julia Weigard, Director of Environments Operations at NewGround. “I thrive in a collaborative, organized, yet challenging environment, and I am excited to advance my career further with NewGround.”

With over five years of industry experience in the retail design field, Julia’s background focuses on project management, supply chain management, fabrication, and installation.

“We are proud of Julia and her many accomplishments thus far growing our Environments Team and business operations, and we know she will continue to excel in her new leadership role to make great strides for our extensive portfolio of clients across the country,” said Scott Florini, Vice President of Strategy at NewGround.

Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts in interior architecture from Harrington College of Design and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University.

NewGround is the industry leader in planning, designing, and building branded spaces for financial institutions, organizations, and retailers. With over 100 years of experience, we deliver dynamic, customized solutions for clients across North America, with a regional presence from coast to coast. For more information, visit NewGround at

July 2, 2021

Cheryl D.S. Walker Joins Midwest BankCentre’s Legal Board of Directors

Cheryl D. S. Walker

Cheryl D.S. Walker, interim president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and an experienced attorney, has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre legal board of directors.

Walker leads the Walker Commercial Law Group LLC, where she applies 30 years of legal experience to creating innovative business and legal solutions for clients; structuring complex commercial transactions; and negotiating commercial design and construction agreements. In her role with Deaconess Foundation, she leads a faith-based grantmaking organization supporting child well-being in St. Louis through philanthropy, advocacy, and organizing for racial equity and public policy change.

Walker possesses notable skills in capacity building, visioning, strategic planning and executive search leadership through her varied professional and community leadership roles. She serves as chair of the Missouri Ethics Commission, president of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, vice president of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, board member for St. Louis Business Empowerment Center and as a commissioner on the Tower Grove Park Board. She is an Alexis de Tocqueville cabinet member for the United Way of Greater St. Louis and a trustee for the Whitaker Foundation, centered on enhancing the arts and encouraging use of urban parks.

She formerly served on the University of Missouri Board of Curators, which she chaired in 2008. She co-chaired the Presidential Search Committee that selected Dr. Mun Y. Choi as the 24th president of the University of Missouri system.

Walker has been recognized among St. Louis’ Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal and as a Most Inspiring St. Louisan by the NAACP, St. Louis chapter. She was recognized for impactful leadership by Women of Achievement and received the Excellence in the Legal Profession award from the National Society of Black Engineers, St. Louis Chapter.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology and her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Midwest BankCentre’s current assets exceed $2 billion and deposits total more than $1.5 billion. A mainstay of the greater St. Louis community banking scene since 1906, the bank employs a staff of about 280 working at 18 bank locations in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties in Missouri and St. Clair County in Illinois. It works to empower people, enable business and energize neighborhoods through the strength of its financial services, including personalized consumer and business banking, business cash management, mortgage lending, home equity loans, financial planning and investments, insurance and digital banking.

The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (formerly the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force) and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative. Since 2001, Midwest BankCentre has consecutively achieved the Bauer Financial 5-Star Superior financial rating each quarter. It has been recognized for its success in bringing mainstream financial services to unbanked and underbanked citizens in the region and other diversity and inclusion contributions with the 2019 Community Commitment Award from the American Bankers Association Foundation and the 2018 National Community Bank Service Award from the Independent Community Bankers of America®.

Ryan Neff Joins Castle Contracting as Project Manager

Ryan Neff

Castle Contracting, LLC has hired Ryan Neff as Project Manager. In this position, Neff will lead and oversee the day-to-day operation of earthwork and site utility projects for a variety of owners and general contractors. He is responsible for the planning, execution and closeout of projects and overall project performance.

Prior to joining Castle, Neff was a Project Manager and an Assistant Project Manager at Korte & Luitjohan Contractors in Highland, Ill. He earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Cincinnati.

“Ryan is a great addition,” said Michael Pranger, Castle Contracting vice president of operations. “His expertise in estimating, project management and a variety of project types is an asset to the Castle team.”

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation and design-build services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast. Castle’s recent civil contracting projects include Gateway Arch National Park, the East End transformation of Washington University’s Danforth campus, Next NGA West, and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

June 25, 2021

Castle Stone Products Welcomes Jim Tovo as Director of Operations

Jim Tovo

Castle Stone Products is pleased to announce that Jim Tovo has joined the Castle Stone team as Director of Operations. In his new position, Jim will be responsible for leading production, QC, shipping & receiving and further positioning the company for operational efficiencies and growth. Jim will also be instrumental in the company’s launch of its new line of Laticrete products. Jim brings nearly 15 years of industry operational & sales experience in his new role, as the Company continues to expand its reach in multiple states.

Castle Stone Products is a STL-based, business-to-business manufacturer of 12 different styles of stone veneer, distribute a full range of cast stone materials & granite and recently was approved as a distributor for masonry veneer installation products from Laticrete.

IMPACT Strategies’ Growth Prompts Promotions of Teresa Whittaker & Scott Manning

Teresa Whittaker

IMPACT Strategies is excited to announce the promotions of Teresa Whittaker to Chief Financial Officer and Scott Manning to Director of Construction Operations.

As Chief Financial Officer, Teresa Whittaker will execute IMPACT’s financial strategic initiatives, develop long-term financial goals, and play an integral role in driving the success of IMPACT by monitoring financial performance. In this role, Whittaker will continue to lead IMPACT’s accounting team and HR operations, identify critical trends, and develop new company best practices, projections, and solutions.

Prior to joining IMPACT, Whittaker received her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Robert Morris College and worked in the public accounting sector for 10 years. Whittaker has been with IMPACT since the company’s inception—she was hired as an Accounting Manager in 2002, promoted to Controller, and is currently an active member of IMPACT’s Executive Committee.

“Teresa has grown substantially throughout her career with IMPACT,” said Mark Hinrichs, President of IMPACT Strategies, Inc. “She has done an excellent job in preparing the department to support our growth–from the early founding days of the company to where we stand today. She has continually challenged herself and others around her to find ways to streamline our processes and procedures with an innovative focus on technology.”

Scott Manning

Scott Manning brings 10+ years of construction management, business knowhow, and a vast understanding of IMPACT’s company culture to the position. In addition to managing IMPACT’s team of Project Managers, Project Engineers, and Superintendents, Manning’s role will also supervise the safety and quality control efforts on IMPACT job sites. As Director, Manning will oversee the execution of field construction activities—ensuring the delivery of timely, safe, and quality construction and completion of IMPACT projects.

Manning’s career with IMPACT began early. While in college, Manning served as an intern for IMPACT. In 2009, he graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a degree in Construction Management and a minor in Business. Post-graduation, Manning worked for the Corps of Engineers at Scott AFB. But, after 18 months, he decided to continue his career at IMPACT.

During his tenure, Manning started as a Project Engineer and progressed from Project Manager to Senior Project Manager. He managed an array of projects—from retail and commercial, to large-scale senior living and multi-family housing developments. “Scott’s hard work ethic, construction knowledge, and commitment to the IMPACT team are why he was chosen for this position,” said Hinrichs.

“He is an integral part of the IMPACT culture and, through his efforts, has helped IMPACT expand its presence as a leading provider of premier construction services. In this role, we will continue to expect amazing things from him.”

IMPACT’s continued growth is guided by their Executive Committee which is comprised of six members of its senior leadership team: Mark Hinrichs – President, Mike Christ – Executive Vice President, Nick Walker – Vice President, Project Development & Strategy, Teresa Whittaker – Chief Financial Officer, Jason Toennies – Senior Estimator, and Scott Manning – Director of Construction Operations. This Committee meets regularly to review the tactical functions within all departments of the company while also establishing accountability to the objectives of our regularly updated strategic business plan.

IMPACT Strategies provides client-focused construction management, design/build, and general contracting services. The firm offers a full continuum of innovative design/build service capabilities including proven construction management processes and site development. IMPACT Strategies serves a regional and national client base in the Healthcare, Senior Living, Multifamily, Office, Retail, and Warehouse/Distribution markets. To learn more visit or call 618-394-8400 or 314-646-8400.

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