People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


S. M. Wilson & Co. Expands Operations Team Leadership and Promotes Three Team Members to Directors of Operations

(L to R): Patrick Aylesworth, Kerry Lorts, Jason Gasawski

S. M. Wilson & Co., a St. Louis-based construction manager and contracting firm, has expanded their operations leadership team by promoting Jason Gasawski, Kerry Lorts and Patrick Aylesworth to Directors of Operations.

“Significant growth in revenue coupled with our commitment to go ‘Beyond The Build’ for our clients led to our decision to add leadership,” said COO Mark Cochran. In 2022, the firm had revenue growth of more than $100 million. “We are dedicated to delivering consistent and innovative services to our clients. These newly created roles will help us maintain that mission.” 

In his new role, Jason Gasawski will focus on company office operations in addition to overseeing projects. He is responsible for improving operational processes, integrating construction and project management technology into firm-wide procedures to increase productivity and efficiency, and adequately allocating staffing across projects to ensure delivery and performance. Gasawski has worked at S. M. Wilson for more than 15 years, most recently as a Senior Project Manager, and has 18 years of experience. His vast experience has covered the firm’s education, commercial, retail, and industrial market sectors ranging in value from $250,000 to $105 million.   

Kerry Lorts and Patrick Aylesworth will focus on client development in addition to overseeing projects. Their primary responsibilities include ensuring the overall performance and profitability of multiple project teams and developing company-wide building programs as well as cultivating relationships with new and current clients, subcontractor partners and architects. 

Lorts has worked at S. M. Wilson for 12 years, most recently as a Senior Project Manager. Since joining the firm, he has been primarily focused on healthcare projects ranging from $4 million to $567 million for clients such as Washington University, Blessing Hospital and Illini Community Hospital. As the manager of S. M. Wilson’s Illinois office, he has also overseen projects in the public sector including the City of Highland Public Safety Building, Madison County Transit New Administration Building and the City of Edwardsville R.P. Lumber Center. In his new role, Lorts will continue to manage the firm’s Illinois office.

Aylesworth joined S. M. Wilson in 2018 and has served as both a Project Manager and Pre-construction Manager. He has 18 years of experience. Prior to joining S. M. Wilson, he worked for a large, construction firm in Arizona where he began his career as a virtual construction engineer and progressed to a project management position working on healthcare, civic, sports and hospitality projects. Aylesworth’s work at S. M. Wilson has focused on the firm’s K-12 education projects including building programs for Hallsville School District, Francis Howell School District, Winfield R-IV School District and Pattonville School District. 

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Edwardsville, IL and Cape Girardeau, MO. Founded in 1921, S. M. Wilson is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. The 100% employee-owned company is one of the leading construction management firms in the Midwest. Areas of expertise include K-12 education, commercial, healthcare and industrial projects. For more information, visit

Mike Perry Retires After 40+ Year Industry Career
Mike Perry

After 40+ years of dedicated service to the St. Louis market, Michael (Mike) Perry, former President of HBD Contracting, and current Executive Vice President at Russell, will officially begin a well-deserved retirement, starting May 1st.

Mike has been in the construction industry for his entire professional career with many notable achievements, including fostering positive relationships with numerous clients, including Sansone Group, Dobbs Tire & Auto, Nuovo, Capital Land, Dierbergs Markets, Equis Hospitality, Wehrenberg Theaters, Life Care Centers of America, and O’Reilly Development, to name just a few.

Mike was born and raised in St. Louis and has dedicated the last 40+ years to the construction industry. His passion for construction was directly influenced by his father, who served as the President of R.W, Murray Co. After graduating from college in 1980, Mike joined HBD Contracting and became partner in 1990, President by 2004, and is completing his career as an Executive Vice President at Russell, who acquired HBD in 2020.

Mike has long shown passion for construction and serving the community throughout his career as well, taking part in numerous community and professional boards, including Chairman of the AGC of Missouri, Regional Union Construction Center (RUCC), Youth Lifeline, the American Heart Association of St. Louis, and Hard Hats for Heart.

Mike’s wry sense of humor and positive energy will be missed as he transitions into a well-deserved retirement. Thank you for all you have done for your company, St. Louis community, and for Russell.

A retirement celebration is planned for April 28th to celebrate Mike’s retirement. This is a by invite-only event, however, if you want to learn more information, please reach out to

Tarlton Promotes Sondra Rotty and Jason Bretz to Senior Vice Presidents

The Board of Directors at Tarlton Corp. has promoted Sondra Rotty and Jason Bretz to senior vice presidents at the St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management company.

“Over the past several years, Sondra and Jason have continued to excel in their respective areas of expertise, while also taking on additional corporate responsibilities and leadership,” said Tracy Hart, Tarlton president. “They naturally exhibit the values that Tarlton is known for and personify our guiding principles, while advancing the growth of Tarlton and its team.”

Sondra Rotty

Rotty, LEED AP BD+C, has 19 years of industry experience, serving 17 of those years at Tarlton. In addition to directing construction project teams, she focuses on the company’s team member development, inclusion and diversity. “Sondra continues to excel in the oversight of many of our significant projects while providing leadership on key corporate initiatives and being engaged in our community,” said Hart. “We look forward to her continued leadership.”

Rotty has directed projects for clients including Washington University in St. Louis; Logan University; St. Louis Community College; Missouri Botanical Garden; the U.S. General Services Administration; and the National Park Service. A role model for women at Tarlton, as well as in the St. Louis and regional construction industries, she has received many industry and community honors, including being named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s “30 Under 30,” and “40 Under 40” classes; the “30 Under 30” Award from Missouri S&T Magazine; and the Civil Engineering Exemplary Young Professional Award from the Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers.

Jason Bretz

Jason Bretz, PE, LEED AP, DBIA, has 28 years of industry experience, including 23 years at Tarlton. He most recently served as a vice president overseeing work acquisition efforts. Bretz served as director of preconstruction from 2007 to 2010 and continues to lead Tarlton teams providing outstanding estimating and pre-planning critical to project success.

During his tenure at Tarlton, Bretz has worked with clients that include the Cortex Innovation Community; Saint Louis Zoo; Wexford Science & Technology; Washington University in St. Louis; BJC HealthCare; the U.S. General Services Administration; and the National Park Service. He has been instrumental in Tarlton being awarded many significant contracts, including the current historic renovation of the Old Courthouse at Gateway National Park as part of the $380 million CityArchRiver project in downtown St. Louis. 

“Jason has been a strong driver in pursuing work,” said Dirk Elsperman, Tarlton executive vice president and chief operations officer. “The services his team provides after winning the work are continually cited by our clients as best in class.” In addition, Bretz is leading several short- and long-term corporate strategic initiatives, Elsperman said. Hart added that Rotty and Bretz have “complementary strengths,” and that they make a great team to help lead Tarlton into the future.

April 14, 2023

Poettker Industrial Adds Robert (Trey) Wiegmann as Vice President of Construction 

Robert (Trey) Wiegmann

Poettker Industrial Services, a woman-owned utility, energy, and infrastructure contractor, is excited to announce the addition of Robert (Trey) Wiegmann as Vice President of Construction.  

Wiegmann has over 16 years of experience working with award-winning contractors to expand their utility, energy, and infrastructure programs on average by 30-50% annually.  

As Vice President of Construction, Wiegmann will provide leadership and technical direction for Poettker Industrial’s project teams, as well as oversee preconstruction and relationship-building initiatives to ensure projects are constructed in accordance with design, budget, schedule, quality, and sustainability requirements. 

“Utility and infrastructure construction requires strong safety and quality control performance. Trey has a laser-sharp focus on sustaining zero accidents and achieving the highest quality in all aspects of construction and self-perform capabilities, which makes him a perfect fit for this role,” said Kimberly Luitjohan, president of Poettker Industrial. “He is an exceptional leader and I’m excited for him to make his mark on Poettker Industrial.” 

Poettker Industrial’s project experience includes transmission and distribution, substations, utility infrastructure, and renewable energy solutions.  

Under Wiegmann’s leadership, Poettker Industrial is currently working with a regional power company on a new delivery approach that streamlines the construction of a transmission line, from site clearing and access to the civil, electrical, and restoration work. The Limestone Ridge project features a new, approximately 15.3 mil 138Kv transmission line consisting of 1192 KCMIL 54/19 “Grackle” ACSS conductor and two AFL-DNO-11706 72 Fiber OPGW supported by self-supporting galvanized steel monopoles on over 90 reinforced concrete pier foundations and is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2023 

“I’m thrilled to take on this role and further enhance Poettker Industrial’s reputation as a safety-first culture,” said Wiegmann. “I look forward to helping in all aspects of the growth and success of the company moving forward.” 

Wiegmann is an associate member of St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SL3C). He earned a degree in Construction Management from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  

Poettker Industrial Services is a women-owned business that specializes in general contracting and self-perform services with a focus on transmission, distribution, substation, utility infrastructure, and renewable energy construction. Its vision is to build relationships that help clients achieve their construction initiatives by providing safe, quality, and sustainable solutions. For more information, visit  

Spellman Brady & Co. Director of Design, Alicia Nicolay, Named to “Environments for Aging” Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board

Alicia Nicolay

Spellman Brady & Co. is proud to announce that “Environments for Aging” (EFA) Magazine has selected Alicia Nicolay, IIDA, NCIDQ, Spellman Brady’s Director of Design, to join its Editorial Advisory Board.  As a member of the publication’s board, Ms. Nicolay joins some of the brightest and most passionate design professionals and owners/providers in the senior living industry.  Together, they provide insight to industry professionals where the senior living market is as a design community and where senior living is heading.

When asked about her passion for senior living design, Ms. Nicolay responded,

“Living with my father, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the young age of 56, it was at that point I decided to change gears in my design career to follow a path of design that could provide more purpose and meaning to residents and loved ones.”

Environments for Aging Magazine is the industry’s premier source of insight, information, and inspiration, delivering to readers the latest senior living design news and in-depth coverage of new projects and trends.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis-based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, higher education, and multi-family environments. The firm maintains design excellence by delivering comprehensive space planning, interior design, furniture, artwork master planning and procurement services. As a Certified WBE Business, Spellman Brady & Company has completed more than 6,300 projects in forty-three states and abroad since its founding 29 years ago. For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

IMPACT Strategies Announces New Hire & Promotions

L to R: Bryce Reeves, Jordan Grant & Andrew Michel

In support of its vision for growth, IMPACT Strategies is bolstering its construction operations staff with the addition of a new Project Engineer and the promotion of several team members.

The firm has added Bryce Reeves of Edwardsville, Illinois as Project Engineer. Reeves, who interned at IMPACT Strategies in 2022, is a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. Construction runs in Bryce’s blood – he credits his uncle, who is a construction manager, with fostering his love of the industry. Mr. Reeves said, “I’m excited to be at IMPACT Strategies where I can continue to grow and gain knowledge in the construction industry, while challenging myself to become the best that I can be.” In his spare time, Bryce enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling, and fitness.

IMPACT Strategies has also promoted two Senior Project Engineers, Jordan Grant, and Andrew Michel, to Assistant Project Manager.

Since joining IMPACT Strategies in 2018, Jordan Grant has demonstrated leadership on the jobsite, from coordinating owner meetings and correspondence, to taking a lead role with subcontractors. Grant graduated from the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Construction Leadership Institute in March 2022.

Andrew Michel started as an intern at IMPACT Strategies in 2019. Over his nearly four-year tenure at the firm, he has successfully taken on ever-increasing project responsibilities. Michel holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He is passionate about construction, having grown up around the industry, even working as a laborer for his father’s masonry business before college. “I enjoy that every day is different and comes with new challenges and opportunities,” said Andrew. “I aspire to become a leader in the construction industry and help develop buildings that will benefit the surrounding communities.”

In their new positions, Grant and Michel will continue to take on greater leadership roles with management level responsibilities, including financial and contract management. Mark Hinrichs, President at IMPACT Strategies said, “We’re excited to see the great things Bryce, Jordan, and Andrew will accomplish in their new roles.”

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 from its offices in Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio.

April 7, 2023

Justin Kohlman, P.E., Named President of St. Louis-Based Schaeffer Electric Co.

Justin Kohlmann

One of the St. Louis area’s oldest electrical contracting companies has announced new leadership.  Justin Kohlman, P.E., has been named president of Schaeffer Electric Co., succeeding Timothy Chettle who will serve as chief executive officer.  Founded in 1935, Schaeffer has grown to become one of the region’s leading residential, commercial and industrial electrical contractors.  Schaeffer is an employee-owned company that reported revenues of $25.5 million in 2021 and employs 96. 

“Since joining Schaeffer in 2011, Justin has pushed the company to evolve in all areas of business,” noted Chettle. “From accounting and technology to BIM and estimating systems, he has been a part of each transformation.  After taking over the estimating department in 2016, the company has grown 20% in overall revenue and continues to take on larger, more complex projects.” 

Schaeffer is an IBEW-signatory contractor and performs a broad array of complex projects. Most recently that includes:

  • Electrical and communications installations for the new KMOV-TV headquarters in Maryland Heights, Mo.
  • Smart parking garages for MercySSM SLU Hospital and Washington University
  • A data center expansion for Verizon in Downtown St. Louis
  • The new Rehabilitation Hospital for Mercy on its South St. Louis County campus
  • Medium voltage loop work along with power and lighting for the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park’s animal barns in north St. Louis County
  • The Streets of Caledonia medical office building for SSM Health in O’Fallon, Mo.

Kohlman has orchestrated industrial electrical projects for nearly 20 years.  He is actively involved in the electrical industry serving the board of directors St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and chairing the NECA management development committee. Kohlman earned degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Kohlman will be supported by a leadership team that includes Senior Vice President David

Bradley and vice presidents, Carolyn Conboy and Michael Lucas.  As CEO, Chettle will remain on the Schaeffer board of directors and help guide the leadership team.

Schaeffer Electric was founded during the Great Depression by Carl Schaeffer, who initially ran the business out of his Soulard home.  He was succeeded by his son Gerald in 1969. Daniel Schaeffer succeeded his father, Gerald, as the third generation of owner in 1990. Chettle became the first “non-Schaeffer” to lead the company in 2011 after joining the firm in 1990. The firm is headquartered at 4667 Green Park Rd in South St. Louis County.

Terracon Announces Don Dracon as Senior Vice President of Client Development

Terracon, a leading provider of environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services, has named Don Dracon, senior vice president of client development. He will be responsible for business and client development strategy, national accounts and national business sector oversight, and collaboration with operations development staff to link company and operational client development goals.

“I’m excited to become part of Terracon’s team as we continue to build upon the company’s long history of success and continuous growth,” Dracon said.

Dracon brings more than 30 years of business development and operational experience in the public and private sectors, including professional and technical services, consulting and engineering, and construction. He earned a Bachelor of Science in marine engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration in marketing and finance from Rutgers University. He is based in Terracon’s Charlotte office.

WINCO Window Company Promotes Katherine Hahn to Marketing Manager

Katherine Hahn

WINCO Window Company announces the promotion of Katherine Hahn to Marketing Manager. Hahn joined WINCO’s Sales and Marketing department in 2018 and has been instrumental in rebranding products, adding digital marketing, creating new websites, and increasing the company’s overall market presence.  

“We have experienced tremendous growth with our enhanced marketing efforts and look forward seeing how Katherine’s creativity continues improve our customer experiences,” says Kurtis Suellentrop, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, WINCO Window Company. 

Hahn is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional with the American Marketing Association.  

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