People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


IWR North America Welcomes Billy Marks as Prefabrication Manager

Billy Marks

IWR North America is pleased to announce and welcome Billy Marks as Prefabrication Manager. With an impressive career spanning over 25 years in the construction industry, Billy brings a wealth of expertise and a passion for finding innovative and efficient ways to deliver exceptional results.

Throughout his career, Billy has held various key roles, including Prefabrication Manager, Chief Estimator, and Project Manager. He has established himself as a trusted building enclosure professional with a special focus on prefabrication.

“IWR North America is excited to welcome Billy Marks as our new Prefabrication Manager,” said Eric Youngblood, Vice President of IWR North America. “His exceptional track record and passion for pushing the boundaries of construction align perfectly with our commitment to being a true building enclosure partner for our clients. Billy’s expertise is sure to play a pivotal role in further strengthening our position as a building enclosure leader locally and nation-wide.”

Billy has been involved in many notable projects throughout his career, both with IWR North America and in his past roles. Some notable projects include the Covidien Pilot Plant in Webster Groves, Mo., the expansion of the University of Missouri Memorial East side football stadium in Columbia, Mo., and the University of Florida Malachowsky Data Center in Gainesville, Fla. These projects have been acknowledged within the industry with national awards and best-in-class recognitions.

Known for his problem-solving skills and collaborative approach, Billy is dedicated to helping his team succeed and building strong relationships with clients and project partners. As he anticipates collaborating on world-class projects, his passion for prefabrication and commitment to innovative methods align with IWR North America’s focus on delivering cutting-edge building enclosure solutions.

Bringing talented employees like Billy into the fold reaffirms IWR North America’s unwavering dedication to providing value-added solutions and exceeding client expectations. We look forward to the positive impact he will undoubtedly have on our existing and future projects.

Malachi Rein, Director of Building Energy Exchange St. Louis, Named Smart Buildings Center’s 2023 Building Operator of the Year

Malachi Rein

Malachi Rein, Director of the Building Energy Exchange St. Louis (BE-Ex STL), has been named the 2023 Building Operator of the Year by the Smart Buildings Center (SBC) and the Building Operator Certification (BOC) program. The award recognizes people working to improve the energy efficiency of their work environment using skills they learned in the organization’s Building Operator Certification (BOC) program. Part of a national network of regional resource hubs, BE-Ex STL provides programs and resources to support the large-scale improvement of the St. Louis region’s building stock. As the second leader of BE-Ex STL, Rein is paving the path for the organization’s work.

“Malachi believes in the investment in building operators who instrumentally support society and have great potential to be needed agents of positive change in their everyday work and advocates for more people to have the opportunity to attend BOC training,” said the BOC of Rein in a statement.

Building Operator Certification (BOC) is professional development training for operations and maintenance staff working in public, commercial and institutional buildings. The training offers a series of courses on the energy and resource-efficient operation of buildings. Malachi is working with utility company Spire to promote and increase participation in upcoming classes .

In his role at BE-EX STL Rein develops and delivers educational programs, facilitates industry connections, advises stakeholders on regulation and financing and helps the building and design community acquire advanced skills. Through this work Rein has become a respected leader in conversations about energy efficiency, workforce development, building performance standards, and more. His leadership in this area has helped elevate the role of St. Louis as an example to other cities.

August 18, 2023

Western Specialty Contractors Hires Abi Jackson as Sales/Project Manager at KC Sheet Metal Division

Abi Jackson

Western Specialty Contractors announces the hiring of Abi Jackson as Sales/Project Manager at its KC Sheet Metal Division in Kansas City, KS.

In her new position, Jackson works to fulfill the division’s marketing and sales goals, develop project schedules, ensure quality work on projects, and develop estimates for proposals.

Western’s Sheet Metal Division has over 20 years of experience and is fully equipped to fabricate complex metal projects in a wide variety of sheet metal materials, including metal wall panel systems; metal roofing systems; gutters, downspouts, scuppers and expansion gaps; and custom metal fabrications and detailing.

Prior to Western, Jackson worked five years in Sales/Project Management for Commercial Openings Inc. in North Kansas City.

In her spare time, she enjoys smoking meat on the weekends and loves the opportunity to cook for others. She is married with one daughter. Along with coaching her daughter’s soccer, t-ball and flag football teams, she enjoys philanthropy and helping others. She is also a member of the Kansas City North Elks Lodge.            

Kwame Building Group Adds Three Team Members

L to R: Junior Theolus, Chris Draper, Patrick Jeep
Photos courtesy of F. D. Finch Photography

Kwame Building Group (KWAME) has added three new team members: Junior Theolus as Project Administrator and Diversity Monitor, Patrick Jeep as Project Controls Scheduler and Chris Draper as Project Engineer and Construction Manager.

In his role as Project Administrator and Diversity Monitor, Theolus’ responsibilities include tracking contract changes, submittals and RFIs, creating presentations, managing, and maintaining project document control systems and processing invoices for several projects such as the St. Louis Convention Center and St. Louis Community College. In addition, Theolus is responsible for monitoring, tracking, and reporting the active involvement of Minority, Women, and/or Emerging Small Business (MWESB) firms to ensure project compliance for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. Theolus holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Supply Chain Management & International Business from University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Draper brings more than seven years of experience in commercial construction. He is currently working on renovation projects for McDonald’s and Harris Stowe State University. Draper holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from NewSchool of Architecture & Design and Bachelor of Graphic Communications from the University of Missouri St. Louis. He has numerous industry certifications including OSHA 10, First Aid CPR AED and A D Lift Truck Forklift, Scaffold and Highway Construction.

As Project Controls Scheduler, Jeep is responsible for overseeing scheduling and coordination on various projects, ensuring efficient resource and manpower allocation and timely completion. He develops and maintains accurate project schedules, tracks progress and mitigates potential issues to ensure successful project delivery. Jeep brings valuable industry experience as a construction field technician. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a focus in Construction Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology and is a certified Engineer in Training (EIT). He has numerous industry certifications including OSHA 10, American Concrete Institute (ACI) Testing and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Aggregate Technician.

Poettker Announces Promotions in Preconstruction, Estimating & Project Management 

Poettker Construction Company, one of the nation’s top-performing construction firms, recently promoted six team members to the Preconstruction, Estimating, and Project Management Teams.

In Poettker’s Preconstruction and Estimating department, promotions include Gary Richter to MEPFP Director, Justin Luitjohan to Preconstruction Manager, Justin Dulle to Lead Estimator, and Mike Smith to Senior Estimator.

Gary Richter

Richter joined Poettker in 2021 as Assistant Director of Estimating. He has over 35 years’ experience in operations, electrical engineering, and refrigeration, with management experience in financial, operational and maintenance projects. Richter received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. In his new role, Richter will work across multiple departments to strengthen relationships and coordination with Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection trade contractors.

Justin Luitjohan

Luitjohan has over nine years of experience in the Infrastructure, Commercial, Industrial, Distribution, Federal, and Education markets. He joined Poettker in 2016 as a Project Engineer and most recently served in the role of Estimator. Luitjohan received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Justin Dulle

Dulle has over 12 years of experience in the Commercial, Industrial, Distribution Center & Warehouse markets. He joined Poettker in 2015 as a Project Engineer and most recently served in the role of Estimator. In addition to leading estimates on complex projects, Dulle will be providing mentorship, oversight, guidance, and training for the estimating team.

Mike Smith

Smith has over 18 years of experience in the Retail, Industrial, Distribution Center & Warehouse markets. Since joining Poettker in 2008, Smith has served in roles as a Project Engineer and Estimator. In his new role, Smith will lead estimates for more complex projects.

Both Dulle and Smith received their bachelor’s degree in construction management from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Peter Ratermann

For Poettker’s Project Management team, Peter Ratermann was promoted to Senior Project Manager and Nick Stockard was promoted to Senior Project Engineer.

Ratermann has over 11 years of experience in the Commercial, Industrial, Distribution, and Education markets. He joined Poettker in 2016 as a Project Engineer and most recently served in the role of Project Manager. Ratermann received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Nicholas Stockard

Stockard joined Poettker in 2022 as a Project Engineer with seven years of experience in electrical systems design and commercial construction. Prior to joining Poettker, Stockard served in the United States Navy providing construction support of operating forces. Stockard is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied management from Rankin Technical College.

“It has been a remarkable year for growth at Poettker and that is a testament to our team’s commitment to proactive safety, quality, preconstruction, and project management initiatives, whether it be in the field or at the office,” said Ryan Poettker, president of Poettker Construction. “Congratulations to these talented and diverse individuals on their much-deserved promotions.”

IMPACT Strategies Breaks Ground on Hoyleton Youth & Family Services New Residential Campus

IMPACT Strategies broke ground on Hoyleton Youth & Family Services (HYFS) new residential campus at the end of July with special guests, Governor JB Pritzker, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director, Marc D. Smith & Hoyleton Youth and Family Services President and CEO, Chris Cox. As the design builder on the project, IMPACT Strategies collaborated with TWM Engineering & Hurford Architects during the planning and design stages.

The new campus will include six Cottages, an administrative building, maintenance building and renovation of the existing gymnasium. The cottages will provide appropriate sensory space, lighting, private bedrooms, and semi-private baths. The new campus, which will cost approximately $16 million, is funded by federal and state grants along with capital campaign support by private and corporate donors.

“With our culture center around a Familial Approach, it is exciting for us to be a part of a project that will help our disadvantaged foster youth acquire fundamental life-skills to hopefully shorten their need for support and prepare them to successfully live independently.” stated Mark Hinrichs, President of IMPACT Strategies.

“Kids come to us with so many different challenges, we work with them at their level and give them the space they need to grow.” said Monte Mister, Director of Therapeutic Residential Care at HYFS. This project will help support the developmental & intellectual needs of children in the foster care system who have been traumatized by life experiences by giving them the appropriate space they need to thrive.

Phase 1 for the Cottages is set for completion January 2024 with Phase 2 for the Administrative Building following in December 2024.

August 11, 2023

Oculus Inc. Adds Claire Strube to Marketing Team

Claire Strube

Oculus Inc., an award-winning, WBE-certified architecture and interior design firm, has added Claire Strube to the Marketing Team as a Proposal Coordinator. Strube is based at the St. Louis Headquarters and will assist in the firm’s marketing efforts across the country.

“Claire is an excellent addition to the team and her previous experience in the architecture industry will be a big support to Oculus moving forward,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president.

In her new role, Strube is instrumental in crafting submittals and proposals in all Oculus’ major markets, including government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, and workplace. Strube is also involved in coordinating marketing efforts across various markets, including client pursuits, branding, social media, and collaborating with the public relations team to continue to promote Oculus.

Strube brings extensive marketing experience to the team at Oculus Inc. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Strube was a Proposal Specialist for an Architecture Firm in St. Louis. Strube is a graduate of Webster University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications.

Oculus Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis with branch offices in Dallas, Portland, Ore., Orlando, Fla., Hampton, Va., and Mesa, Ariz.

IFMA ST. LOUIS Honors Members, Facility

Members of the St. Louis Chapter of IFMA (International Facility Management Association) recognized two industry members and an outstanding commercial facility. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual Summer Social in July.

Distinguished Facility Manager of the Year: Tauquincy Neal Logan, FMP, SFP, Facilities Manager for the St. Charles City-County Library District.

She was lauded for her work and commitment to the profession. She joined the St. Charles City-County Library District in August 2015. She has received certification as a Facilities Management Professional (FMP) and Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP). Certification taps into the experience and educational backgrounds of facility managers and tests for professional competence.

Associate of the Year: Andy Knudtson, Sales Consultant, Royal Papers

Knudtson was honored for finding solutions to meet the needs and challenges of facility managers. After joining IFMA St. Louis last year, he also became involved in the organization’s activities.

Facility of the Year: Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Opened in August 2022, planning for the center started back in 2016. Completely funded by private donations, the $100 million center mirrors nature and connects people with plants. The new visitors center uses many environmental and sustainability features. It carries a LEED project Gold certification and may attain a Platinum level.

S. M. Wilson & Co. Names Rebecca Cornatzer as Interim President

Rebecca Cornatzer

S. M. Wilson & Co. has named Rebecca Cornatzer as Interim President following the departure of Amy Berg.

Cornatzer has twenty years of management experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She currently serves as the firm’s Chief Human Resources Officer and has been with S. M. Wilson since 2017.

S. M. Wilson’s core leadership team established in 2019, will remain in place. In addition to Cornatzer, the firm will be led and managed by four additional executive committee members Mark Cochran, Chief Operating Officer; Mike Mangiore, Chief Financial Officer; Steve Meeks, Vice President of Pre-Construction and Estimating and Amanda Bohnert, Chief Marketing Officer.

Earlier this year, S. M. Wilson strengthened its leadership team by adding three Directors of Operations, Kerry Lorts, Jason Gasawski and Patrick Aylesworth.

“We are grateful to Amy for her contributions during her time with S. M. Wilson and wish her our best. We are solidly positioned to continue on our path of growth and success and look forward to the future,” stated Cornatzer.

S. M. Wilson will be conducting an extensive search for the next president.

S. M. Wilson & Co. was founded in 1921 and is a 100% employee-owned construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with a track record of excellence. The firm’s revenue is up nearly 70% year over year and is one of the top general contractors/construction managers in the area.

Devin Schild joins Wiegmann Associates as Chief Financial Officer

Devon Schild

Devin Schild of Warson Woods, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Schild replaces long-time CFO, Dan Ebert who is retiring in October after 10 years with Wiegmann Associates.

As CFO, Schild will lead all accounting functions for the St Louis-based mechanical contractor’s project construction and HVAC service work. He also will oversee Wiegmann’s overall financial management and growth strategy. He will establish the company’s financial plans, policies and accounting practices and also maintain fiscal records, prepare financial reports and implement effective financial strategies, systems and controls. In addition, he will oversee insurance, treasury and human resources functions.

Schild brings 10 years of experience in public accounting with a focus on construction and manufacturing market sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Missouri.

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