People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


Oculus Inc. Adds Lilly Touchette to Marketing Team 

Touchette brings social media, marketing skills to firm 

Lilly Touchette

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has added Lilly Touchette as a marketing assistant. Touchette will be based at Oculus’ St. Louis headquarters, but will also assist the marketing needs of the firm’s Dallas and Portland offices, respectively.  

“We would like to welcome Lilly to Oculus Inc.,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president. “She will play an instrumental role in helping our talented marketing team continue to get the word out about the great work we are doing all over the country. Her experience in marketing and social media will be essential in these efforts.”  

In her current role of marketing assistant, Touchette will assist the marketing team in the execution of marketing and business developing endeavors. Prior to Oculus Inc., she worked as the social media community manager for a marketing firm in St. Louis. She also has additional experience with marketing in the construction industry. Touchette is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communication.   

Oculus Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis and 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. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the commercial, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, restaurant and workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design. 

IMPACT Strategies Adds Three New Field Staff Members

Fechte, Liszewski, and Reed expand the firm’s on-site capacity.

IMPACT Strategies’ field staff has grown by three – the firm has added Ron Reed as a Superintendent, and Brett Fechte and Corey Liszewski as Carpenters.

Ron Reed

Ron Reed is a 30+ year construction industry veteran, having worked primarily in residential and multifamily construction as a foreman. In his new position at IMPACT, his responsibilities will consist of all field operations including safety, quality control, daily scheduling of on-site work activities and subcontractor coordination. An avid hockey and football fan, Ron also enjoys off-roading on his ATV or cruising on his motorcycle down the area’s most scenic roads. He and his wife, Susan, live in Collinsville, IL.

Brett Fechte

Brett Fechte holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He joins IMPACT Strategies after more than five years working in exterior/interior carpentry construction. Fechte lives in Troy, Illinois with his wife, Katie.

Corey Liszewski

Corey Liszewski brings nearly three years of experience in carpentry to his new position at the firm. He and his wife live in New Minden, Illinois. In his spare time, Corey enjoys music, target shooting, and all things vehicle related.

Scott Manning, Director of Construction Operations at IMPACT Strategies said, “We are thrilled to have Ron, Brett, and Corey on board. Their varied experience and backgrounds add depth to the already robust teams at each jobsite. We’re pleased to welcome all three of them to the IMPACT Strategies family.”

Castle Contracting Promotes Tanner Bunch and Charles Danner to Senior Project Engineer

Castle Contracting, LLC has promoted Tanner Bunch and Charles Danner from Project Engineer to Senior Project Engineer.

In their new roles, both will take on greater project management responsibilities and expand their leadership capabilities.

Bunch began his Castle career as an intern in 2016 and joined the company full-time as Project Engineer in 2019. A member of Castle’s MEP/Utility team, he estimates and manages a variety of civil electrical projects.

Bunch earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, Mo.

Danner joined Castle in 2018 as Project Engineer on the Estimating team. He currently coordinates civil sitework on the Next NGA West campus under construction in north St. Louis city.

Danner earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technologies from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. He’s a member of the Young Executives of SITE Improvement Association, an independent construction contractor group representing more than 220 contractors and businesses. Danner previously served in the U.S. Air Force.

“Both Tanner and Charlie are essential members of the Castle team, and these promotions recognize their diligence, professional growth and leadership potential,” said Castle Vice President of Operations Michael Pranger.

AGC of Missouri Names 2022 Leadership

Branco Enterprises, Inc.’s Sean Thouvenot to Lead Statewide Organization

Sean Thouvenot

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) announced its 2022 officers and board of directors for the statewide association representing contractors and suppliers in 110 counties throughout Missouri.

Sean Thouvenot, vice president of Branco Enterprises, Inc. has been elected chairman of the board.  Branco Enterprises, Inc., with offices in Neosho and Springfield, MO, was founded in 1933 as Branham Construction and has grown to be a leading provider of general contracting, design build and construction management services in the four state region. Branco Enterprises, Inc. has been a member of AGC since 1986 and Thouvenot has served on the AGC of Missouri board since the merger with AGC of St. Louis in 2015. 

Other AGC of Missouri officers for 2022 are: chairman-elect of the board – Tom Huster, KCI Construction Company; secretary/treasurer – Andy Ernst, Pace Construction Company; and immediate past chair – Scott Drury, Bloomsdale Excavating Co., Inc.  Also serving on the 2022 board of directors are highway & transportation division chair – Steve Bubanovich, H. R. Quadri Contractors, LLC; building division chair –Michael Kennedy, Jr., KAI Enterprises; and Steve Sellenriek of Sellenriek Construction, Inc. who recently was elected chair of AGCMO’s new utility infrastructure division. 

Serving on the board as directors representing contractor members are Doug Fronick, APAC-Central, Inc.; Mike Rallo, Jr., PARIC Corporation; Earl Ming, Alberici Constructors, Inc.; Mike Luth, Fred M. Luth & Sons, Inc.; and Kyle Phillips, Herzog Contracting Corp.

Jeff Montgomery of IWR North America also will serve as a director, representing specialty contractors, while Nalini S. Mahadevan of MLO Law LCC will serve as director, representing supplier/service providers. Collin Greene of Wright Construction Services, Inc. will serve ex-officio, representing the Construction Leadership Council. John LoBello of Travelers will serve ex-officio, representing the Young Executives Club.

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) represents the united voice of the construction industry throughout the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri represents nearly 550 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties across the state of Missouri. AGCMO operates offices in St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield. Visit:

Kyle McKenna to Lead the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) As Executive Vice President

Kyle McKenna

The St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has named Kyle McKenna its new executive vice president.  NECA represents more than 150 electrical and communications contractors located in eastern Missouri.  All NECA contractors are signatory to collective bargaining agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).  NECA partners with IBEW Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection.  McKenna succeeds Douglas R. Martin, who has led NECA for more than 40 years.

A labor and employment attorney, McKenna has served as assistant executive director of NECA for the past two years. He will be responsible for negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with three local unions of the IBEW, under which approximately 5,000 electricians and communication technicians are employed.  He will also serve as a management trustee on multi-employer health, pension, and other employee benefit funds.  In addition, McKenna will coordinate education, marketing, and public relations programs for member contractors and serve as a spokesman before governmental agencies in connection with legislation impacting the electrical and communication contracting industry. 

McKenna earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and has a degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He has previously served as a labor and employment attorney with Armstrong Teasdale, LLC and as a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. 

Like its IBEW partner, NECA can trace its roots to the first commercial use of electricity.  NECA was founded in 1901, 10 years after IBEW Local 1 in St. Louis founded the first electrical union in 1891.  The St. Louis Chapter NECA received its charter in 1940 and with the IBEW, established the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center the following year, pioneering apprenticeship training in Missouri for the electrical and communications industry. Together, NECA and IBEW Local 1 have trained more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other education program in the state. Learn more about NECA at

The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership markets member skills and safety, invests in workforce development, develops strategic business and education partnerships, fortifies STEM education, and develops IBEW/NECA as a valuable resource to meet Missouri’s future energy and technology needs. Sixteen Electrical Connection-member contractors are among the 17 largest electrical contractors in the region ranked annually by the St. Louis Business Journal.  Learn more at

December 31, 2021

In Memoriam:

Donald R. Carmody, Co-Founder and Principal of Carmody MacDonald P.C., Remembered

Donald R. Carmody

Donald R. Carmody, founder and long-time principal at St. Louis-based law firm Carmody MacDonald P.C., died peacefully on December 19, 2021, from cancer. He was 79 years old. Don is survived by his wife Pat, three sons, three grandchildren, and countless close personal friends.

“We are deeply saddened by Don’s passing. He will be greatly missed by everyone at our firm as well as his many friends and clients,” said Jerry Carmody, Don’s brother and law partner. “In addition to being a great lawyer and mentor, Don built the firm by cultivating personal relationships and forming lasting friendships. He greatly influenced the culture of unity and dedication to excellence that is the core of our firm’s identity today.”

Don founded Carmody MacDonald in 1981 with Leo MacDonald, Sr., Jack Hilton, and Tim Wolf.  Since its founding, and with Don’s leadership, the firm has grown to become one of the largest single-office law firms in St. Louis with 85 employees, including 55 attorneys.

            Don received his Bachelor of Science degree from Spring Hill College in 1964 and his law degree in 1967 from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He concentrated his practice in business law, banking and finance, and real estate.  He served as lead counsel in many complicated real estate transactions and was the lead litigator in a variety of trial and appellate court cases. For over a decade, Don appeared on the list of Best Lawyers in America and in 2018 he received the inaugural ICON Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly in recognition of his exemplary career and longstanding commitment to the Missouri legal community.

Don served as vice chairman of a Missouri banking corporation and was a Past Chairman of the Bar Association’s Legal Issues Affecting the Disabled Committee. In the early 1980s, he received the St. Louis Grand Jury Good Citizenship Award for assisting police in apprehending a hit-and-run drunk driver who had struck a pedestrian.

He had a passion for serving his church and for helping families.  He served as an Ambassador with St. Louis Healthy Families and as a board member of the Missouri Family Policy Council.  Don was also a member and Past President of Legatus, an international association of high-level Catholic business leaders and laypersons exploring the intersection of faith and business as they live their Catholic identity. 

Outside of law and serving the community, he was honored to be inducted into the Chaminade College Preparatory School Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 for his outstanding achievements as a student-athlete.

For more information on Carmody MacDonald, visit

December 24, 2021

Amber James Joins Knoebel Construction as Director of Human Resources

Amber James

Amber James, PHR of O’Fallon, MO, has joined Knoebel Construction as Director of Human Resources. She is responsible for developing and administering strategic Human Resource Management programs, policies, and procedures that are designed to develop employee contributions to company goals and objectives while creating a positive environment through effective employee-employer relationships. 

Amber James brings eight years as a strategic Human Resources professional focused on improving the employee experience by personalizing each stage of the employee life cycle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Technical Management from DeVry University and received her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification through the HR Certificate Institute (HRCI).

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. Projects range from major regional shopping centers to local restaurants. Celebrating its 40-year anniversary in 2021, Knoebel Construction provides full-service development and general contracting services to real estate development firms, independent restaurant and retail owners, and retailers. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

Kadean Construction Adds Three New Professionals to St. Louis Headquarters

Kadean Construction has added three professionals in the design-build contractor’s St. Louis headquarters, including a newly created human resources position, to support the company’s continued growth.  Ryan Grass has joined Kadean as Project Manager, Jacob Davis as Senior Project Engineer and Sarah Farias as Human Resources Administrator.  Kadean also added three additional professionals in its Kansas City office and was recently ranked the 12th fastest growing company between 2018 and 2020 by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Ryan Grass

Grass will be responsible for all aspects of a project and has provided project engineering and management working on large scale projects around the country. He has ten years of professional experience and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Jacob Davis

Davis will assist in preconstruction efforts to secure new clients for Kadean.  He has five years of professional experience and holds a BS in Construction & Project Management from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.

Sarah Farias

Farias will focus on hiring talented new people and fills a new position created at Kadean due to the company’s continued growth.  She holds a BA in Communications and Advertising from Universidade Salgado de Oliveria in Recife, Brazil. 


Kadean Construction is a 58-year-old design-build focused commercial construction company specializing in pre-construction, construction management and general contracting services at the local, regional and national level in the industrial, healthcare, multifamily, cannabis, science & technology, institutional, food & beverage and commercial markets.  For more information, visit

Brinkmann Constructors Hires Samantha Cook as Chief Financial Officer

Samantha Cook

Cook brings more than 15 years of experience to the role

Brinkmann Constructors has hired Samantha Cook as Chief Financial Officer. Samantha has more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry managing financial services.

Samantha will be responsible for aligning Brinkmann’s accounting, finance and technology with plans for future growth as well as setting overall financial strategy for the organization.

“Samantha’s knowledge and understanding of the construction industry, coupled with her experience with strategic growth and financial planning, make her the perfect fit for Brinkmann,” said Brian D. Satterthwaite, President of Brinkmann Constructors.

Prior to joining Brinkmann, Samantha managed more than $4 billion in revenue for a general contractor while developing strategic market and segment analysis forecasts, leading teams to implement technology and change management and directing strategic segmentation of projects to drive revenue and profit.

Samantha was named a 2019 Top Influential Women in Real Estate by the RE Journals and won the 2019 Inclusion Award from SLCCC. She is on the board of directors of NAWIC and is a CREW STL member.

Brinkmann Constructors is a national general contractor offering design/build, design/assist and construction management services to a wide variety of commercial industries, including student housing, senior living, industrial and retail. Visit or call 636-537-9700 for more information.

December 17, 2021

Mia Rose Holdings Adds Entrepreneur Jim Cook as Principal

Jim Cook

St. Louis-based developer Mia Rose Holdings, led by Tom Kaiman, has added entrepreneur Jim Cook as Principal. Jim Cook is a commercial real estate developer, restaurateur and a private lender that makes investments worldwide. He and his wife Amy are co-owners and partners of several Sugarfire Smokehouse restaurants and are one of the largest franchisees of Imo’s Pizza locations in St. Louis. 

Mia Rose Holdings began partnering with Cook five years ago. Their first project was The Junction in Wentzville, a $60 million mixed-used development. Cook is co-developer of several Mia Rose Holdings mixed-use and multi-family properties currently being built in St. Louis and St. Charles counties, including 44 West Luxury Living in Valley Park, The Prairie in Dardenne Prairie, The Meadows Luxury Living in Lake Saint Louis and The Station in St. Peters. Mia Rose Holdings also is developing multiple luxury apartment communities in Northwest Arkansas. 

“After successfully working together on developments for many years, we are excited to formalize our partnership through Mia Rose Holdings and look forward to delivering Class A developments to the region and other strategic locations in the United States,” said Tom Kaiman, Founding Principal of Mia Rose Holdings, LLC. “The level of trust, commitment and accountability we share in one another is absolutely off of the charts! I couldn’t be prouder to call Jim my partner and more importantly my friend.” 

Cook brings more than 25 years of experience investing in and developing commercial and residential properties as well as franchising and operating restaurants. Cook opened his first Imo’s Pizza franchise in 1993 and now operates seven locations throughout the region. In 2014, he and his partner Matt Martin opened their first Sugarfire Smokehouse in a retail center that Cook owns in Winghaven. The team now own three Sugarfire Smokehouse locations. The popular restaurant began franchising locations in 2014 and there are now 15 restaurants in Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Texas and Florida. One of Cook’s newest ventures is a startup called Durabox, which sells job-site storage boxes to end users such as construction companies.

“I am very excited about cementing the business relationship moving forward with Mia Rose Holdings and Tom Kaiman. My involvement with Mia Rose Holdings has been a lot of fun so far, and is a great way for me to continue to help and serve others on a bigger scale,” said Cook. “Integrity, compassion and attention to detail is what comes to mind when working with Tom Kaiman and I want to be part of that!” 

Mia Rose Holdings LLC (MRH) is a Chesterfield, MO-based commercial real estate development company that actively acquires and develops real estate to support the needs and vision of local communities. For more information about Mia Rose Holdings, visit

Hank Rohwedder Re-Elected SIBA President

Effective January 1, 2022, Hank Rohwedder, Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping, Inc., Belleville, Illinois was re-elected as President of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.

Other officers for 2022 are:  First Vice President – Jeff Limbaugh, Limbaugh Construction Co., Inc., Granite City, Illinois; Second Vice President – Scott Plocher, Plocher Construction Company, Inc., Highland, Illinois; and Secretary/Treasurer – Richard Boyer, Boyer Fire Protection, St. Louis, Missouri.

Three year Directors elected were:  Lyle Simonton, Subsurface Constructors, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri; Jon Carroll, Poettker Construction Company, Breese, Illinois; and Thomas Cramer, Casper Stolle Quarry, Dupo, Illinois.

SIBA Staff Members:  Donna Richter, Chief Executive Officer; Shannon Partington, Executive Assistant; John Holt, Senior Director of Safety and Education; Shari Schutzenhofer, Administrative Assistant; Stephanie Foster, Administrative Assistant; and Naomi Reyes, Administrative Assistant.

The Southern Illinois Builders Association is a trade association of contractors representing approximately 500 commercial and industrial building, highway and utility construction contractors throughout Southern Illinois.

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