People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


Oakland Group Adds Paul Norman as Project Manager

Paul Norman

Kevin Buchek and Mike Duffy, Principals of the Oakland Group, a St. Louis-based real estate development company, announced today that Paul Norman has joined the firm as Project Manager. The Oakland Group was founded in 2020 to bring affordable and mixedincome housing to the neighborhoods that need it most.

Paul Norman brings more than six years of construction project management to the Oakland Group. Most recently, Paul worked as a Project Manager for Alco Management, an affordable housing developer based in Memphis, TN. During his time there, Paul managed $75M in multifamily rehab contracts from preconstruction through closeout. Paul began his career in non-profit work, leading construction, workforce training, and community development projects. While working for Harambee Youth Training, a St. Louis-based non-profit, Paul led a youth crew that tuckpointed four homes. After this experience, Paul decided to pursue a career in construction, and became an Apprentice, working on residential, commercial, and industrial projects. From there, he became a Construction Job Training Manager for Binghampton Development Corporation, a Memphis-based non-profit, where he managed rehab projects, trained construction crews, and collaborated with a local technical college to create a carpentry course. When he joined Alco Management in 2019, Paul began learning about affordable housing development, assisting the development team on various 4% and 9% acquisition deals before leading the projects throughout the construction process.

As Project Manager for the Oakland Group, Paul will lead the acquisition and financing of new development deals and will act as the owner’s representative during construction. He will direct teams of design, construction, finance, accounting, and legal professionals, while coordinating with non-profit partners, residents, and other community stakeholders to bring high-quality, service-enriched affordable and mixed-income housing projects to fruition. Paul expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, saying, “I am thrilled to join The Oakland Group and help carry out their values-informed approach to preserving and developing affordable housing in our region.”

“What first struck me about Paul is how we came to know him,” Duffy said. “Paul took the initiative to research St. Louis-based development groups and cold-call those of us he felt a connection to. It’s that kind of bold action that we look for in people we hope to bring aboard. We’re very pleased he picked us!” Buchek added, “We are excited to have Paul join the Oakland team. Paul’s extensive construction and development expertise coupled with his mission driven focus will make him an invaluable addition to our company.”

Kwame Building Group Adds Three Project Team Members

L to R: Lee Anderson, Davidra Smith & Tarun Kumar

Kwame Building Group (KWAME) has added three new project team members with Davidra Smith as Accounting Manager, Lee Anderson and Tarun Kumar as Project Engineers.

Smith brings more than 25 years of accounting experience with a focus on the construction and commercial real estate industries. As Accounting Manager, she ensures the integrity and accuracy of financial reporting and analysis and provides company financial information to guide decisions about strategy. Smith holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Detroit College of Business.  

As Project Engineers, Anderson and Kumar are responsible for assisting project managers with quality control, project budgets and cost reports, reviewing and coordinating submittals and RFIs, subcontractor management and maintaining communication with the client and the entire project team. 

Anderson brings more than 25 years of industry experience and is currently working on runway projects at Lambert St. Louis International Airport. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Lincoln University and also served as a Army Engineer Officer.

Kumar has three years of construction experience focusing on multi-family, commercial and retail projects. He is currently working on Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park project. Kumar holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

KWK Architects Principal Paul Wuennenberg Received ACUHO-I Outstanding Corporate Friend Award

KWK Architects, a Lawrence Group Company, is proud to announce that Principal Paul Wuennenberg, AIA, LEED AP has been awarded the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I) Outstanding Corporate Friend Award.

Wuennenberg received the distinguished award during the association’s annual Conference & Expo held this year on June 26-29 in Portland, Oregon. The Outstanding Corporate Friend Award recognizes corporate individuals who make significant contributions to the association and to the student housing profession.

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Wuennenberg has more than 25 years of experience designing student housing and dining facilities. He has worked on more than 50 college campuses nationwide and designed nearly 50,000 beds of student housing. He has even developed a popular programming tool for student housing professionals called “The Game of Residence Life.”

Wuennenberg gives back to the association and the higher education community through published articles, participation in national webinars and lectures, and serving as faculty for ACUHO-I’s Senior Housing Officer Institute – a valuable resource for emerging senior housing officers to discover how they can make a pronounced impact on their residence life and housing program, campus and beyond.

Jim Cavallo Promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations and Marketing for Midas Hospitality

Jim Cavallo

Jim Cavallo, a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, is taking the taking the reins of operations and marketing at St. Louis-based Midas Hospitality, a leading hotel management firm.  Cavallo was promoted to senior vice president of operations and marketing for Midas Hospitality.

In his new position, Cavallo will lead all sales, revenue management, digital marketing, procurement, and hotel operational teams for Midas Hospitality.  “Jim’s vast operations and managerial experience in the hospitality industry has been a great asset,” noted Linda Emmenegger, president, Midas Hospitality. “His industry knowledge and operational excellence approach will energize future growth for Midas Hospitality.”

July 7, 2023

Poettker Construction’s Tom Albers Announces Retirement After 43 Years

Tom Albers

VP Field Operations to retire on company’s anniversary

Poettker Construction Company’s Vice President of Field Operations, Tom Albers, announces his retirement after 43 years. As one of Poettker’s first employees, along with the company’s founder Charles “Chuck” Poettker, Albers helped grow the business into one of the largest contracting firms in the country. Albers’ official retirement date is June 26, which also marks the 43rd anniversary of the company’s inception.

“On behalf of the Poettker family, we extend our sincerest congratulations to Tom and thank him for being a pillar of our company for over four decades,” said Keith Poettker, Chairman and CEO of Poettker Construction Co. “My father Chuck was adamant that his most important resources were his employees. Tom’s leadership, dedication, loyalty, passion, and mentorship has helped solidify the culture that Chuck instilled and believed in. Thank you, Tom, for your monumental impact on the success of Poettker Construction over these 43 years.”

Albers joined Poettker as Project Superintendent in 1980 after completing his Carpentry Apprentice Program. By 1986, Albers was named Vice President of Field Operations responsible for providing overall leadership and technical direction for field operations, including site safety and quality, continuous field technology improvements, and innovations in construction processes that helped Poettker expand regionally and enter new markets. Albers was also instrumental in growing the company’s self-perform workforce in the carpentry, and selective demolition trades, which currently represents 21 percent of Poettker’s business. Over the course of his career, Albers was involved in numerous safety committees through the Associated General Contractors and served as a board member for the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust’s Southern & Central Illinois chapter.

During his tenure, Poettker has grown from one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s Top 25 St. Louis Small Businesses to one of the area’s top five largest general contractors with 245 employees.

“It has been amazing watching Poettker Construction grow from a small-town commercial contractor into a nationally recognized and award-winning firm,” said Albers. “It will be hard to walk away from a family-owned business that has treated me and my family as their own. Chuck held safety and family as core values to the company and I know he would be incredibly proud of how his children and the next generation continue to honor that legacy.”

After retirement, Albers is planning to spend time with his family and friends, work on his antique cars, and continue to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans through projects like the Standin’ Proud Museum at Carl’s 4 Wheel Drive in Bartelso, Ill.

Oculus Inc. Adds Mandi Jenks, NCIDQ, as Interior Designer

Mandi Jenks

Jenks brings 15 years of interior design experience

Oculus Inc., an award-winning, WBE-certified architecture and interior design firm, has added Mandi Jenks, NCIDQ, as an interior designer to the company’s Portland office. Jenks brings with her over 15 years of experience as a designer and project manager – specializing in programming, design, construction documents, and environmental graphic design.

“We are thrilled to grow our talented group of interior designers with the addition of Mandi Jenks,” said Robert Hoffman, AIA, Oculus Inc. Portland Office Managing Principal. “Her passion and drive for creating built environments and spaces that have a direct positive impact on the human experience is a perfect fit for Oculus’ firm culture and service offerings to our clients.”

Jenks has extensive experience as a designer on projects in hospitality, residential, and commercial design. In her current role as an Interior Designer, Jenks is supporting the Portland offices with interior design services for projects including an exciting new 81-key hotel near the Oregon Health Sciences University campus.

Over the course of her professional career, Jenks has contributed her design expertise to numerous high-profile project types, including workplace design, higher education, retail, hospitality, and multi-family. Notable projects include Nike Headquarters in Portland, Ore.; Oregon State University’s Withycombe Hall in Corvallis, Ore.; and Square Hair Colour Spa + Salon in Las Vegas. Jenks received her degree in Interior Architecture & Design from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In addition to its location in Portland, Oculus Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis with another office in Dallas; it also has staff locations in Orlando, Fla., Hampton, Va., and Mesa, Ariz.

Tarlton Promotes Lindsey Widmer to Senior Preconstruction Manager

Lindsey Widmer

Tarlton Corp., a leading St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, promoted Lindsey Widmer, LEED AP, to senior preconstruction manager.

From her time as a project engineer intern, Widmer has advanced through the organization in preconstruction and operations roles for various projects. Most of her time has been spent in preconstruction and estimating, where she has provided critical project pre-planning for clients including Cortex Innovation Community, St. Louis Community College, The Muny, Washington University in St. Louis and Wexford Science & Technology.

“We are fortunate to have Lindsey serving in such an important role for our customers,” said Jason Bretz, Tarlton senior vice president, who oversees Tarlton’s work acquisition efforts. “Our clients benefit from her attention to detail and her complete understanding of complex projects from preconstruction through completion. Creatively achieving our customers’ goals is always Lindsey’s main focus.” 

Widmer’s first project with Tarlton was the construction of Seigle Hall at Washington University in St. Louis, where she was mentored by Sondra Rotty, then a project manager and today a Tarlton senior vice president. Widmer has provided preconstruction and estimating for multiple laboratory renovations in the St. Louis region and for the Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s lower-level gallery expansion, which earned a Keystone Award for excellence in construction from the Associated General Contractors of Missouri. She managed a half dozen Nordstrom Rack buildouts in Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Oklahoma.

She holds the LEED Accredited Professional designation and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.  

SLC3 Adds Marketing and Membership Coordinator

Lydia Meyer

Lydia Meyer has joined the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLC3) as Marketing and Membership Coordinator at their headquarters in Ballwin, MO. Lydia will be responsible for marketing and promotional efforts, as well as supporting members with resources, committees, onboarding needs, and membership growth for the Council. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Management and a Minor in Advertising from Webster University in St. Louis. She was most recently the Marketing Coordinator at Royal Banks of Missouri.

June 30, 2023

Clayco Appoints Lucy Villanueva as Vice President of Healthcare for California 

Lucy Villanueva

In this newly created role Lucy Villanueva will bring decades of experience in developing and successfully executing large-scale projects throughout California

Lucy Villanueva has been added to the Clayco senior executive team to serve as Vice President of Healthcare for California, the full-service, turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm announced today.

Villanueva brings to Clayco26 years of experience in the construction industry. Most recently a project executive at DPR Construction, a global firm, Villanueva has specialized in healthcare project development, overseeing numerous large-scale healthcare projects throughout California representing billions of dollars and millions of square feet in development.

“We are delighted to have Lucy join Clayco as we continue to strengthen operations in California,” said Ryan McGuire, Executive Vice President and Shareholder of Clayco. “When hiring for this position, we knew we wanted a strong leader with a track record of delivering world-class work in Southern California. I’ve worked with Lucy firsthand in the past and she not only meets but exceeds the requirements for success. Her extensive experience in delivering major, high-quality and important healthcare projects to communities throughout Southern California will be an invaluable asset to our clients.”

From development and construction of acute care hospitals to renovations and additions to existing facilities, Villanueva’s rich experience and unparalleled expertise will propel Clayco’s healthcare projects to the next level. 

“I am thrilled to join such an outstanding team at Clayco,” Villanueva said. “Healthcare facilities are a major part of the fabric and well-being of every community, providing critical care and hundreds or thousands of jobs, so this is a role I take very seriously.”

Before her time as a project executive at DPR Construction, Villanueva began her career at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., starting as a project engineer and having roles of increasing responsibility. 

In addition to Villanueva’s extensive professional experience, she is a member of the California Society of Healthcare Engineers (CSHE) OC Chapter and a founding member of the Women in Operations (WiOps) Board of Directors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering construction management from California State University, Long Beach.

“Not only has Lucy demonstrated her ability to do the work through her extensive resume, but her involvement in professional organizations also speaks volumes of her commitment to mastering her craft and setting and maintaining industry standards — a commitment we know will serve Clayco and our clients well,” McGuire said.

June 23, 2023

David Tomasula Joins Alberici as Director, Design Integration

David Tomasula

His role will leverage his design expertise to enhance collaborative project delivery and seamlessly integrate design and construction.

David Tomasula has joined Alberici Constructors, Inc. as director, design integration. Tomasula brings expertise in the design-build delivery method with a focus on cost effective building shell design and value engineering. Alberici is one of the largest privately-held companies in St. Louis and one of the nation’s largest construction firms. Alberici reported revenue of $3.1 billion in 2022, including $296 million from St. Louis area projects. It employs 3,500 companywide. 

Tomasulawill play a key role in Alberici’s $1.2 billion in active design-build projects. He will leverage his nearly 30-year background in architecture and engineering to enhance Alberici’s approach to collaborative project delivery and value through the life-cycle of the project.

Tomasula joins Alberici after spending 27 years at LJB Inc., a civil and structural engineering firm where he served as the vice president of buildings & safety practices and a key member of the executive leadership team.

“Dave’s unique skill set, blending engineering design and constructability, will strengthen our in-house design-build capabilities and be an excellent resource for our clients,” said Alberici Vice President, Market Leader John Smith.

Alberici utilizes collaborative delivery methods in all of its markets. The company’s design-build portfolio includes Wichita’s Northwest Water Treatment Plant, the James River Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Facility and James River Treatment Plant Advanced Nutrient Reduction Improvements (ANRI) in Newport News, Va. and the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy – New Nursing Home & Domiciliary.

“Alberici’s legacy, collaborative culture and commitment to maximize value to clients on their most complex construction challenges really spoke to me. I’m excited to join the Alberici team and contribute my experience toward optimizing designs as we build signature structures throughout North America,” said Tomasula.

mber of the firm’s executive leadership and will act as a mentor and coach for Toennies and Schaefer. Christ will also continue to lead IMPACT Strategies’ virtual design and construction (VDC) initiative.

IMPACT Strategies President Mark Hinrichs said, “As part of our long-term leadership planning and the continued growth of our firm, I am very excited to see Jason and Derek step into their new roles.

Each is a strong, capable leader with a track record of success – they will be instrumental in taking our already high-performing preconstruction department to new heights.”

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