People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


KAI Engineering Expands with Addition of Three Mechanical Designers and Electrical Designer

KAI is proud to announce the expansion of their Engineering group with the hiring of Edna Bartolomei-Diaz, EIT, LEED AP BD+C as Senior Mechanical Designer; Khan Okouny Pouch as Senior Mechanical Designer; and Mariliz Peniza as Mechanical Designer at its Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas office; and Rick Hoops as an Electrical Designer in its St. Louis office.

Edna Bartolomei-Diaz

Edna Bartolomei-Diaz, EIT, LEED AP BD+C, as Senior Mechanical Designer

As Senior Mechanical Designer, Bartolomei-Diaz is responsible for the complete analysis, planning and illustration of mechanical and plumbing design for new buildings, renovations, HVAC and plumbing retrofits.

Bartolomei-Diaz has 18 years of industry experience having previously worked as Director of Engineering/Mechanical Engineering at Axxis Building Systems in Fort Worth, Texas; as a Mechanical Engineer at Jacobs Engineering in Fort Worth, Texas and Orlando, Florida; and as an MEP Engineer for Capitol Architectural and Engineering in Lake Mary, Florida.

Bartolomei-Diaz earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of ASHRAE.

She currently resides in Grand Prairie, Texas with her husband and daughter, and when not working, she enjoys meditating, yoga and kayaking.

Khan Okouny Pouch

Khan Okouny Pouch as Senior Mechanical Designer

As Senior Mechanical Designer, Pouch is responsible for the complete analysis, planning and illustration of mechanical and plumbing design for new buildings, renovations, HVAC and plumbing retrofits.

Pouch has a year of industry experience and a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in Mechanical and Energy Engineering from the University of North Texas. Prior to KAI, he worked for 10 years as a Services Sales Representative for The Hertz Corporation.

When not working, Pouch is involved with South Sudanese community development and also enjoys running. He resides in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife, two sons and daughter. 

Mariliz Peniza

Mariliz Peniza as Mechanical Designer

As Mechanical Designer, Peniza will work on a variety of design projects utilizing AutoCAD and Revit software.

Peniza has worked in the industry for 13 years, having previously worked as an Assistant Designer for Adams Engineering & Development Consultants in Southlake, Texas and as an Assistant Coordinator at DynaTen Corporation in Fort Worth, Texas.

She has an Associate in Computer Drafting and Design and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Construction Management from the ITT Technical Institute.

When not working, Peniza donates to such organizations as the Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army Giving Tree. She enjoys photography, cross-stitch, and arts and crafts. She lives in Mansfield, Texas with her boyfriend Kevin and their 4-year-old son. Their blended family includes a daughter and four sons.

Rick Hoops as Electrical Designer

Rick Hoops

In his new position, Hoops will provide engineering design, equipment sizing and layout, and draft electrical plans.

Hoops has been in the engineering industry for four years, having previously worked as an Electrical Engineer for EDM Inc., Project Engineer for Sachs Electric Company in Fenton, Missouri and a Staff Engineer for David Mason & Associates in St. Louis.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from University of Missouri-Saint Louis/Washington University joint engineering program.

Hoops has previously mentored students from his alma matter through Mentor Collective and has also volunteered with the Gateway Men’s Chorus where he also performs. He is also a singer and actor and has performed in various local bands and theatrical productions over the past 20 years.

About KAI Enterprises

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. For more than 40 years, KAI has been instrumental in transforming communities through its expertise in residential, commercial, K-12, higher education, healthcare, science and technology, aviation, mobility, sports and entertainment, government, water and community-focused projects. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services. To learn more about KAI, visit

Square UP Builders Hires Mike Stelzer as Operations Manager of Framing Division

Mike Stelzer

Square UP Builders has hired Mike Stelzer as Operations Manager of its Framing Division. He will be responsible for leading field staff, coordinating tools and equipment logistics, project planning and assisting with cost projections.

Stelzer has had a successful 18-year career in the construction industry, having previously held the title of General Foreman at Cheltenham Construction Services in Washington, Missouri; Foreman at GT Built and Orian Construction in St. Louis; and Apprentice/Journeyman for L&B in Washington, Missouri and Taylor-Morley Homes in St. Louis.

“We are pleased to announce a major investment in our field operations team with the addition of Mike Stelzer. Mike’s passion for leadership, training and development, combined with his subject matter expertise will expand our competitive capacity and further our reputation as the leading framing contractor in the region,” said Brian Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies.

Stelzer is a member of the St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council Local 92, and he has completed training through OSHA 30 and the St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program.

Outside of work, Stelzer enjoys spending quality time at home in Valley Park, Missouri with his wife and three daughters. He is a softball coach to two of his daughters’ teams, and he also enjoys grilling, attending sporting events and concerts, and traveling.

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For a decade, UPCO has focused on its mission of Building UP Communities Through Innovation, Diversity, and Integrity, providing superior design and contracting services through each of its distinct business units. For more information, go to or call 314.865-3888.

S. M. Wilson Hires Nick Martin as Senior Project Development Manager

Nick Martin

S. M. Wilson & Co. has hired Nick Martin as Senior Project Development Manager for the firm’s Southeast Missouri market.

Martin is stationed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The addition comes as part of the company’s efforts to provide more value and personalized experience for their clients and partners in Southeast Missouri. As Senior Project Development Manager, Martin will work closely with the firm’s Client Development team to identify potential opportunities with new clients in the area. He will also serve as the operational lead on these projects.

Martin joins S. M. Wilson with 14 years of experience serving as a Project Engineer, Project Manager and Project Director on education, healthcare, hospitality and facilities/plant operations projects

He holds a B.S. in Construction Management and Design and M.S. in Organizational Management from Southeast Missouri State University. He is OSHA 10 Hour Certified as well as a part of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), Missouri Society for Healthcare Engineering (MOSHE) and Cape Girardeau Noon Lion’s Club.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For nearly 100 years, S. M. Wilson has provided a complete range of services and has become one of the leading general construction and construction management firms in the Midwest. The employee-owned company is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. For more information, visit

St. Louis Regional Freightway’s Mary Lamie Recognized with 2020 Women in Supply Chain Award

Mary Lamie

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the only magazine in the supply chain industry covering the entire global supply chain that focuses on ROI, professional development and change management, announced this week the recipients of its first-ever Women in Supply Chain Award. Mary Lamie, head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway and Executive Vice President of Multi-Modal Enterprises at Bi-State Development, was recognized with the prestigious award that honors female supply chain leaders and executives whose accomplishments, mentorship and examples set a foundation for women in all levels of a company’s supply chain network.

Since 2014 when Lamie was selected to establish and lead the St. Louis region’s new freight district, she has worked with public and private partners to evaluate freight needs in the St. Louis region and the freight network’s operational status. She heads the regional effort to grow the $6 billion of goods traveling through the bi-state area annually and to ensure the freight network can handle the 45% growth in freight volume projected over the next 25 years. Lamie created a foundation for a comprehensive, regional approach to freight management, infrastructure and marketing, and has united the region toward a common focus by establishing partnerships bridging government boundaries, public and private sector, industries and modes of transportation.

“We received over 200 entries for this new award, entries that were submitted from a combination of men and women. This proves that our industry needed an award like this, especially in conjunction with Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 20-year anniversary,” says Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Food Logistics. “According to Gartner’s 2020 Women in Supply Chain Survey, 17% of chief supply chain officers are now women – a 6% increase compared to 2019. This award resembles females supporting other female leaders; men supporting their female counterparts. It resembles the future. It represents growth, evolution and community. And, that future shows that it’s a great time to be a part of the supply chain industry. So, congratulations to these top female leaders. I look forward to seeing what else you do to grow the supply chain industry.”

When it comes to women’s roles aligning supply chain with a company’s broader strategy, Lamie sees clear evidence that women are playing a critical role building reliable and efficient supply chains and the infrastructure that supports them, both of which enable the nation to compete globally.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive and validates the hard work we’re doing to elevate the St. Louis region’s status as a world-class freight hub right here in the heartland of America,” said Lamie. “This award is a testament to the support I and the St. Louis Regional Freightway receive from many public and private sector partners who are all working collaboratively with us to maximize infrastructure funding for the region and to advance our partnerships with other midwest and coastal ports so more cargo moves between Midwest and foreign destinations. All of these efforts will help increase jobs in manufacturing and logistics industries here and, ultimately, improve the nation’s global competitiveness.

Lamie’s work building consensus and advocating for funding has been central to these efforts, but she also plays another critical role — marketing the St. Louis region to further elevate its status as a global freight hub.  Lamie developed  FreightWeek STL, an annual event bringing together industry leaders to share ideas and advance the latest innovations shaping the future of the freight industry and impacting supply chains. Due to social distancing requirements, the 2020 conference was held virtually in May and attracted high viewership each day.  From July 1, 2019 through June 2020, nearly 200 news stories published in influential trade publications and targeted newspapers have helped spotlight the various rankings that position the region’s freight network as world-class. More than 50 of the placements stemmed from FreightWeekSTL, which also showcased the region’s ability to support one system or a company’s entire supply chain. Companies such as World Wide Technology, Bunge, General Motors and many others have some or all of their supply chain here, and have been growing as they compete in the global market, a signal that others can be successful in the St. Louis region too.

For more information and the full list of 2020 Women in Supply Chain winners, visit Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s website at The 2020 Women in Supply Chain Award winners will also appear in SDCE’s September issue.

The St. Louis Regional Freightway is a Bi-State Development enterprise formed to create a regional freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri which comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area. Public sector and private industry businesses are partnering with the St. Louis Regional Freightway to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States through marketing, public advocacy, and freight and infrastructure development. To learn more, visit

Supply & Demand Chain Executive
 is the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. Go to

Midas Hospitality Names Two Key Team Members to New Element Hotel

Janessa Corpuz and James Metcalf bring extensive hospitality experience to St. Louis’ first Element by Westin

Leading hotel development, management and investment firm Midas Hospitality recently appointed two key team members to its newest Element by Westin.  The hotel, which is set to open Oct. 30, is St. Louis’ first Element by Westin.

Janessa Corpuz

Janessa Corpuz was named the hotel’s General Manager.  She has more than 20 years of hospitality experience and previously served as GM for Midas Hospitality’s Courtyard by Marriott in St. Peters.  Corpuz has worked in numerous capacities and earned many awards during her noteworthy career.

James Metcalf

James Metcalf was named Director of Food and Beverage.  He will manage the Element’s rooftop UPBAR, which is Midas Hospitality’s first owned and operated bar in its 15-year existence.  Metcalf previously served as Panera Bread’s Operating Partner for nearly nine years.

“Janessa and James possess a wide array of expertise that will benefit both our organization and our newest hotel and bar concept,” said Midas Hospitality’s CEO and Cofounder David Robert.  “We look forward to watching the two of them help create the ultimate guest experience for this vibrant community, as well as for travelers visiting the St. Louis area.”

Located at 3763 Forest Park Ave., the $40 million Element St. Louis Midtown is a seven-story hotel with 153 extended stay rooms.  The property is one of only 68 eco-friendly Element hotels in North America.

Founded in 2006, Midas Hospitality specializes in the development, management and investment of award-winning hotel properties across the U.S.  The firm focuses on select-service and extended-stay experiences for global brands including Hilton, Marriott, and IHG.  Midas’ headquarters are located at 1804 Borman Circle Dr. in Maryland Heights, Mo.  For more information, call (314) 692-0100 or visit

September 25, 2020

Kadean Hires New Vice President of Business Strategy in St. Louis

Kadean Construction has hired Aaron Retherford as Vice President of Business Strategy for its St. Louis office.

Aaron Retherford

Retherford brings with him more than 12 years of experience in the Construction industry. He holds a B.S. in Construction Management from Illinois State University.

Retherford will be Kadean’s Executive Leader for execution of Growth and Business Development across all offices and future expansion efforts. He will focus on filling the St. Louis pipeline through existing relationships and developing plans to execute strategic growth initiatives, which include expanding with current clients, as well as pursuing national clients in new markets. Aaron will also work to market and execute on Kadean’s Design-Build and VDC (Virtual Design & Construction) capabilities and will help to build the Kadean brand both locally and nationally.

“Aaron has established himself as a proven leader of growth in our industry. He truly believes, just as we do, that the sky is the limit at Kadean,” said Mike Eveler, Kadean Construction President. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him as part of our executive team for years to come.”

In his role prior to joining Kadean, Retherford was Director of Business Development for Castle Contracting where he cultivated new business opportunities by building genuine relationships, developed and led pursuit strategies, managed sales activity and oversaw marketing and brand initiatives. Retherford has also worked as a preconstruction manager and project engineer/estimator during his career.

Kadean Construction is a rapidly growing, 55-year-old commercial construction company with 57 employees and annual revenue of more than $100 million. Kadean specializes in pre-construction, design-build, construction management and general contracting services at the local, regional and national level in the industrial & manufacturing, life sciences, healthcare, commercial and multi-family market segments.

Spiegelglass Construction Welcomes Joe Sneed as Vice President, Construction

Spiegelglass Construction Company announces the addition of Joe Sneed, LEED AP BD+C as Vice President, Construction. Joe brings more than 35 years of construction industry experience in carpentry, project management, estimating and much more.

Joe Sneed

In this newly created role, Joe will be managing small to medium-sized commercial construction projects including laboratories, restaurants, educational/medical/manufacturing facilities, event/office spaces, cannabis dispensaries, retail shops, churches, temples and more.

“Joe’s unique blend of skills and proven experience will contribute to our company’s ongoing and organic growth,” said Tim Spiegelglass, co-owner, Spiegelglass Construction Company. “We pride ourselves in longstanding relationships with clients, partners and subcontractors and Joe’s commitment to long-term relationships fits right into our culture and philosophy.”

Joe is proudly involved in the St. Louis community, both personally and professionally, and lends his expertise to organizations including U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), American Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE) and many more.

Founded in 1904, Spiegelglass Construction Company is a St. Louis-based general contractor focused exclusively on small and medium-sized commercial construction projects. Learn more at

September 4, 2020

Akshay Nirbhya joins Wiegmann Associates as Project Engineer

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Akshay Nirbhya

Akshay Nirbhya of Maryland Heights, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as a project engineer. Nirbhya will be responsible for designing and engineering commercial HVAC systems for various Wiegmann Associates projects.

Nirbhya has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has three years of experience in the industry, particularly in Building Information Modeling for large scale commercial projects. 

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. Since 1995, Wiegmann Associates has engineered and installed innovative, energy-saving and cost-efficient HVAC solutions, refrigeration systems and automation controls for clients in a wide range of industries, including senior living, food and beverage distribution, warehouse, healthcare, commercial and industrial. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

KAI Engineering Welcomes Barry Timms, CPD as Director of Plumbing and Fire Protection

Barry Timms

KAI Engineering is excited to announce the addition of Barry Timms, CPD as Director of Plumbing and Fire Protection.

In his new position, Timms will lead plumbing, industrial and fire protection design for a wide variety of projects, in addition to managing accounts and processes within the Engineering department.

Timms has had a successful career of more than 30 years, having previously worked as Senior Plumbing and Fire Protection Designer for Horner & Shifrin, Inc. in St. Louis, Director of Plumbing at BSW International and Engineering Manager at DynaTen Corp., both in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We are quite enthused about Barry joining the KAI team,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Barry is a veteran plumbing and fire protection design expert who brings a wealth of industry knowledge and proven experience to our engineering practice. His portfolio covers a wide range of markets, projects and geographies. Barry brings a tenacity for product excellence and is a terrific cultural fit at KAI.”

Timms is a Certified Plumbing Designer (CPD) with the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Notable past projects he has had a significant role in include: Wise County Natatorium in Wise County, Texas; Lincoln Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri; Sun Bank Center in Orlando, Florida and Maritime Plaza in Washington, DC.

He and his wife, Shirley, reside in Webster Groves, Missouri and have 27-year-old twins, Michael and Margaret. When not working, Timms enjoys working on cars and anything related to the garage.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit

August 28, 2020

Bob Morton Joins Murray Company as Business Development Manager

Bob Morton

Bob Morton has joined Murray Company as a Business Development Manager to lead business expansion efforts across the Midwest. He brings Murray an extensive list of clients and a history of successful growth across the U.S. Bob has spent his career helping executives and teams develop the right strategies for growth. This expertise, along with his entrepreneurial style, has allowed Bob to expand multiple industries and markets, including healthcare, technology, insurance, architecture, and manufacturing. He has held various leadership roles with organizations of varying sizes, both regionally and globally, from start-up to Fortune 500. He has a demonstrated history of driving high performance organizations to deliver double-digit revenue and profit growth in highly competitive markets. He is a past chapter president of the local DBIA (Design-Build Institute of America).

Alton Turner Joins Kwame Building Group as a Project Engineer

Alton Turner

Alton Turner has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. as a Project Engineer. His responsibilities include project budgeting and estimating, contractor and subcontractor communications, site management and responding to RFI’s and submittals for select projects. 

Turner is certified as a Certified Technical Professional (CTP).  He earned bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Engineering Technology from Elizabeth City State University. He has over three years of undergraduate research experience with the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation and Department of Navy. He also was a member of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program. 

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

Bob Frey Joins Murphy Company as Controls Specialist

Bob Frey

Bob Frey has joined Murphy Company as Controls Specialist. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, Vice President – Data Center Services.

As a graduate of South County Technical School and Rankin Technical School, Bob has received certifications in industrial electronics, HVAC, and refrigeration.  In addition, he holds three certifications with Tridium, two with Siemens, and one with Novus (PEAC).

Steve Davis Joins Murphy Company as Business Development & Data Center Services

Steve Davis

Steve Davis has joined Murphy Company as Business Development – Data Center Services. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, Vice President – Data Center Services.

With more than 30 years industry experience, Mr. Davis has been involved in the planning, design, operations, and support of mission critical facilities. Additionally, his operations experience includes installation services, managed maintenance programs, project management and consulting services.

As a graduate of University of Missouri with a degree in Business Administration, Steve began his career as an entrepreneur and partner/president of St. Louis-based records management company before merging with an international company. He is past president of CompTIA AITP- St. Louis Chapter, formerly Association of IT Professionals, and has spoken on off-site data security and data center infrastructure management to a number of professional organizations. 

Mr. Davis is currently a member of the board and Director of Programs and Membership for AFCOM St. Louis Gateway Chapter. 

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s largest and privately held mechanical contracting firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design/build, piping fabrication, building automation systems, and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Boulder, Northern Colorado and Southern Colorado. For more information, visit

August 21, 2020

S. M. Wilson Promotes Jordan Sanders To Senior Project Manager

Jordan Sanders

S. M. Wilson & Co. has promoted Jordan Sanders to Senior Project Manager.

Sanders started as an S. M. Wilson Intern in 2010 and has proven to be a valuable asset to the team. He has worked on a variety of projects including Alton Community Unit School District Renovations, Continental Cement Plant, School of Osage R-II School District Heritage Building Addition and Renovation, BJC Campus Renewal Project and Tallgrass Creek Residential Building 1.4 and 1.5. Most recently, he assumed the role of Project Manager for COCA’s facility expansion project.

As Senior Project Manager, Sanders will lead the pre-construction and construction process, managing multi-million dollar projects. His duties include project planning, scheduling, tracking costs and maintaining logs for all project information. He holds a B.S. in Construction Management from Southeast Missouri State University and is OSHA 30 and ASHE certified.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For nearly 100 years, S. M. Wilson has provided a complete range of services and has become one of the leading general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area. For more information, visit

August 14, 2020

Lossie Erin Morris Promoted to AAIC Principal

Lossie Erin Morris

AAIC Inc. proudly announces the promotion of Lossie Erin Morris to Principal.  Erin joined AAIC in 2001, in the Construction Administration department and has risen through several management positions, most recently Director of Operations.   Erin is the third generation Morris to be named Principal, joining founding partner Charles C. and managing partner Calvin C.

AAIC, founded in 1963, provides Architecture, Master Planning, Project Management, and Construction Management services.  As a graduate of Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, Erin has a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management and is a LEED Accredited Professional. 

AAIC inc. is a privately held firm offering architectural and planning services in the Midwest market. Founded in 1963, we have built our business on the personalized service and attention of a small firm while also providing the technical expertise and resources of a larger firm.

We believe each project is unique, presenting its own challenges and requiring its own thoughtful solutions. Our comprehensive team of professionals, interior designers, planners and construction managers are fully committed to meeting our clients’ project needs.

Industry Veteran Todd Lesher Joins Payne Family Homes as Vice President

Todd Lesher

Will Oversee Sales, Marketing, and Design Studio at Leading St. Louis-based Homebuilder

Todd Lesher has joined Payne Family Homes as vice president of sales and marketing. Lesher brings over 20 years of homebuilding experience in both single-family and multifamily residential homebuilding. He has a strong passion for helping individuals and families obtain their dream of homeownership. In his new role, Lesher will be instrumental in spearheading Payne’s sales and marketing strategies, and management of their design studio.

Most recently, Lesher served as area sales manager for national homebuilding giant, DR Horton. Lesher was responsible for all facets of sales and marketing for 20 communities, including 50 employees, in the southern part of the Chicago market.

Prior to DR Horton, Lesher was director of sales at Lexington Homes, a Chicago based homebuilder. Before this, he was an associate sales manager for the Chicago division of Taylor Morrison Home Corp. where he earned the “Certified Sales Coach” award in 2015 and 2016, an award given to only one employee who is a top seller each year. He was also previously a sales representative for 14 years at Ryland Homes (now part of CalAtlantic Homes, a national homebuilder), where he sold more than 500 single-family homes and townhomes in the Chicago area.

Established as one of the Payne family of companies in 2005, Payne Family Homes has quickly risen to be the St. Louis metro region’s second largest homebuilder and was recently named one of the area’s fastest growing companies by the St. Louis Business Journal. For more information, visit or call 314-477-1218.

KAI Hires Chris Upton, AIA as Education Practice Leaderat its Dallas-Fort Worth Office

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Recent KAI new hire Chris Upton, AIA brings a unique perspective to his position as Education Practice Leader in the firm’s Dallas-Fort Worth office, having previously managed construction for Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in Grapevine, Texas.

In his new role, Upton will focus as a practice leader in the educational market and directly lead major projects and programs. He is responsible for comprehensively managing client relationships, driving design delivery and ensuring quality performance and successful business results.

Upton has nearly 20 years of industry experience. Prior to KAI, Upton was Senior Program Construction Manager for Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in Grapevine, Texas; Studio Leader for Toll Brothers in Grapevine, Texas and Architectural Project Manager for Parkhill Smith & Cooper in Midland, Texas. He also previously worked briefly for KAI as a Senior Project Manager.

Upton has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Texas Tech University and attended Midland College for Pre-Engineering. He is a Licensed Architect in the states of Colorado, Utah, Washington and Texas.

Upton’s volunteer experience includes Board Member of the West Texas Food Bank for the past 10 years and membership in the Rotary Club of Trophy Club, Texas where he resides with his wife Brandi and their three daughters and son. Upton is also a past Vice President, President and Chapter Director and current member of the West Texas Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit

August 8, 2020

Brinkmann Constructors Hires Chris Bub as Chief Financial Officer

Nick Kniesche

Brinkmann Constructors has hired Chris Bub as Chief Financial Officer. Bub will oversee accounting, finance, information technology and human resources in this newly-defined role and will be the key advisor for Brinkmann’s employee ownership. He is based at the general contractor’s St. Louis headquarters.

Bub joins Brinkmann from Peak Resorts, Inc., where he first served as corporate controller and was later promoted to vice president and chief accounting officer. Prior to Peak Resorts, he spent more than nine years in finance roles with Nortek Global HVAC, as well as with Boeing and Deloitte.

Bub has extensive experience in financial reporting, enterprise systems, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, strategic planning, corporate governance and human resources, and is well versed in driving change within entrepreneurial organizations.

Bub received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Missouri – Columbia and is a licensed CPA. He is a member of the St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” class of 2019, a former board member of the St. Alban Roe School Board and a coach for multiple youth sports teams.

Brinkmann Constructors is a national employee-owned construction company with a passion for finding innovative opportunities to save clients time and money. Connect at

Nick Kniesche Promoted to Market Leader

Nick Kniesche

Nick Kniesche has been promoted to Market Leader. The announcement was made by Conrad Philipp, Vice President – Commercial.

“Nick interned with us in 2015 and 2016, then joined the organization fulltime is 2017. During this time Nick has demonstrated an ability to quickly grasp and then lead our process and procedures, and continuously demonstrated an ability to prepare and plan for virtually any task or assignment.”, said Philipp. “We are confident that Nick has the skill sets, knowledge and work ethic required to ensure our success in this area.”

Kniesche has 5 years in the industry managing successful projects utilizing BIM (Virtual Construction), which has proven to be especially beneficial. He manages projects to ensure they are on time and within budget. As a past member of the Murphy Safety Committee, Nick ensures our field crew has the proper precautions in place and follows our safety program diligently.

For more information, visit

Dan Blanton Promoted to Vice President

Dan Blanton

Dan Blanton has been promoted to Vice President. The announcement was made by Tom Skaggs, Executive Vice President.

Since Joining Murphy in 2017, Dan has been a key contributor to our continuous improvement effort. During this time, he has had direct oversight of the very successful SLU Hospital project, has taken on the day-to-day leadership in our Virtual Construction group, and has demonstrated strong leadership in the overall pre-construction success with the MIZZOU Nextgen project. Most recently, Blanton will now have direct day-to-day oversight in the WUSM NRB project.

“Each and every day, Dan leads with integrity and professionalism while remaining focused on the needs of our customers. These characteristics, along with his support of our “Murphy Way” initiatives, have earned him this promotion and we look forward to his many contributions to the organization in the future.”, said Skaggs.

Murphy Company is the area’s largest mechanical contractor with offices in St. Louis and Denver. For more information, visit


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