People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

Oculus Inc. Grows Staff at St. Louis Headquarters

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Catherine Matthews and Charlene Masona to serve as an entry level intern architect and a marketing assistant, respectively. Both will work at Oculus’ headquarters in St. Louis.

“Catherine and Charlene both bring a variety of skills that will be essential to the growth of Oculus,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president. “We look forward to seeing Catherine add to the talent of our architecture team and Charlene help market our award-winning work. Both are welcome additions to the firm.”

In Matthews’ role, she will work on a variety of projects with an emphasis in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. This includes community-based outpatient clinics in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Corpus Christi, Texas. Prior to joining Oculus, Matthews served as a student intern architect at Corgan and DHC Architects in Texas. She has a Master of Architecture from Kansas State University.

As a marketing assistant, Masona will support both marketing and business development efforts for the firm, specifically in the areas of digital marketing, print production and preparation of proposals, among other responsibilities. Previously, she worked as a social media strategist for the Brian Owens Soul musical brand. Masona possesses a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior design, planning, and move management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities, and spaces. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas, and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design.

 Spellman Brady & Company Hires Nicole Dutton, Artwork Consultant 

Nicole Dutton

Spellman Brady & Company, an award-winning interior design firm, is pleased to announce that Nicole Dutton has joined the firm as its Artwork Consultant & Project Manager.  She will oversee managing the firm’s artwork master planning services for corporate, healthcare, senior living and higher education clients while managing the budget, schedule and installation of the firm’s multiple artwork projects across the country.

Ms. Dutton brings more than 12 years of professional experience focused on arts administration and curation.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Greenville University and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Fontbonne University with a specialty in Painting.  Prior to joining Spellman Brady, she was the curator of the William and Florence Schmidt Art Center at Southwestern Illinois College and worked at Chesterfield Arts as the associate director overseeing the public art master plan and art education.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments.  The firm maintains design excellence by delivering comprehensive interior design, furniture, artwork master planning, and procurement services. For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

December 6, 2019

S. M. Wilson Promotes Mike Ashley To Field Director

Mike Ashley

S.M. Wilson & Co. has promoted Mike Ashley to Field Director. His promotion comes with a recent restructuring of S. M. Wilson’s Field Operations department. The Field Director position will replace the Director of Field Operations to allow for more than one individual to provide direct support, oversight, and mentorship for the field aspects of projects from pre-construction to close-out including support of superintendents and tradespeople.

Ashley was brought into the Field Operations department to assist former Director of Operations, Mike Zick and Ashley has demonstrated great value in the field as well as the company.

Both Ashley and Zick will assume the title of Field Director. In their new roles, they will each be assigned to specific clients and project teams. This will allow every team the benefit of a dedicated Field Director with the resources available to provide guidance and support.

Ashley joined S. M. Wilson in 2004 and has worked on a variety of projects including Ladue Schools, Link in the Loop, City Foundry STL and Clarendale St. Peters. He is OSHA 30 certified and has more than 40 years of experience in the construction industry.

November 29, 2019

Ross & Baruzzini Names Karen Clark Director of Business Development in Kansas City

Karen Clark

International technology consulting and engineering firm Ross & Baruzzini has added Karen Clark as business development director for the firm’s Kansas City office.

“Karen joins us at a time of unprecedented growth. Her experience, not only in business development but in the government sector, will be invaluable,” said John Desch, chief commercial officer of the Kansas City office which since opening in 2017 has grown from a staff of two to 12 designers and professional engineers with 144 years of combined experience.

Clark brings more than 20 years of operations, analysis and business development experience to the Kansas City team where she will be responsible for developing strategies to grow business in the higher education and research, healthcare, government and utilities markets.

Before joining Ross & Baruzzini, Clark graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York with a degree in management and systems engineering. As a commissioned officer, she served for 12 years in various transportation and military intelligence positions. After her time in uniform, she supported the Army for eight years as a contracted military analyst at Fort Leavenworth.

She holds a master’s degree in adult education and a graduate certificate in conflict resolution from Kansas State University.

Clark joins Ross & Baruzzini as it adds to its roster of clients in the Kansas City area including the University of Missouri – Kansas CityKansas State University, University of KansasMRIGlobal and Kansas Army National Guard.

The firm currently has more than 400 employees and executes projects in more than 30 countries. It operates from headquarters in St. Louis with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Miami, New Haven, New York, Seattle and Mexico City.

Keselman Joins TriStar Companies as Senior Analyst

Roman Keselman

Roman Keselman has joined the TriStar Companies as a senior analyst. Making the announcement was Michael Towerman, TriStar president.

In his new position, Keselman will analyze markets across the U.S. and participate in the acquisition and development of institutional grade industrial and multifamily properties.

Prior to joining TriStar, Keselman was an asset manager at Twain Financial Partners, a private equity tax syndicator, where he managed millions of dollars in HistoricLow Income Housing and New Market Tax Credits across the U.S.

He has also worked as a senior financial analyst for Intalere, a subsidiary of Intermountain Healthcare, and in the corporate property and real estate divisions of the St. Louis City Assessor’s office.

Keselman holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University.

Electrical Connection’s Jim Curran Elected Secretary of Missouri Partnership Board

Jim Curran

Missouri Partnership’s Board of Directors recently elected Jim Curran as its Secretary. Curran is the Executive Vice President of the Electrical Connection. Curran develops business opportunities for IBEW/NECA statewide by working with organizations advancing Missouri’s economic development, energy, and technology needs. Curran’s one-year term as Secretary of Missouri Partnership’s Board of Directors is effective January 1, 2020.

“We are honored to have Jim as our new Secretary,” said Subash Alias, Missouri Partnership CEO. “Jim’s deep knowledge and understanding of economic development is invaluable as we work with companies that are considering expanding into the state.”

Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development organization focused on attracting new jobs and investment to the state and promoting Missouri’s business strengths. Since 2007, Missouri Partnership has worked with partners statewide to attract companies that have created 22,000+ new jobs, $1.1 billion+ in new annual payroll, and $2.7 billion+ in new capital investment. Some recent successful projects that led to major investment in Missouri include Amazon, Casey’s General Store, Empire Comfort Systems, Faurecia, Lincoln Rackhouse, Niagara Bottling, Nucor Steel, QRS Products, Square, and USDA.

Missouri Partnership works in partnership with the Hawthorn Foundation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the State of Missouri, and economic development groups across Missouri. Led by an independent Board of Directors and working in collaboration with partners from across the state, Missouri Partnership’s team markets Missouri globally as a strategic business location. Missouri Partnership provides direct support to companies interested in investing in the state and connects them with the best locations and solutions for their business goals.

Western Specialty Contractors Receives ICRI Concrete Repair Project Award for Historic Lancaster Hotel Façade Restoration in Houston

Specialty Contractors – Houston, Texas Branch was honored on Nov. 12 with an Award of Merit from the International Concrete Repair Institute for its work to restore the historic Lancaster Hotel in Downtown Houston.

The International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) conducts an awards program each year to honor and recognize outstanding projects in the concrete and masonry repair industries. Entries are received from around the United States, and the winning projects are honored each year at the annual ICRI Awards Banquet at their annual fall convention.

Built in 1926, the twelve-story, luxury boutique Lancaster Hotel was beginning to show signs of deterioration on its brick and stucco façade and its cast stone units, primarily at the top level of the building on the south and west elevations. The building also exhibited cracks at the spiral columns and mortar joints, as well as surface spalling of the cast stone trim and spandrel panels. Ornamental cast stone spiral columns and brackets were also missing, and the steel lintels and shelf angles were corroded.

Western partnered with Houston-based Walker Restoration Consultants to develop a restoration program to address the façade distress and waterproofing issues to meet Texas Historical Commission requirements.

Western Specialty Contractors – Houston, Texas Branch Manager Patrick Sheeran said he is proud of the restoration team’s efforts and ability to overcome obstacles that arose on the challenging project.

“It was a design-build restoration project at a historical hotel and building in the heart of downtown.  We were only allowed to make noise during certain hours of the day and almost every scope of work created noise. Being a historical building, we had to follow strict historical guidelines set forth by the plans and specifications for the project,” said Sheeran.

M Property Services Director of Construction Management Dr. Ramona Tumblin-Rucker Receives Prestigious MOKAN Award

Work to improve lives, provide jobs within NorthSide Regeneration development her priority

Dr. Ramona Tumblin-Rucker, PEng, MBA, MPM, CHC, D. Mgt., Director of Construction Management at M Property Services (MPS), has been awarded the prestigious “Private Sector Executive of the Year” award by the MOKAN Construction Contractors Assistance Center. Dr. Tumblin-Rucker received her award at the organization’s 45th Annual MOKAN Awards dinner on Nov. 22 in St. Louis.

Since 1974, MOKAN has been at the forefront of efforts to provide opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses on construction projects in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. MOKAN’s goal is to increase the number of qualified MBE and WBE contractors and workers, as well as increase the amount of public and private dollars spent with them.

“I am blessed and I take great pride that an industry trailblazer like MOKAN would find M Property Services and our work worthy of such an important award. Like MOKAN efforts to bring innovation to the industry of construction, we at MPS are bringing innovation to urban development and uplifting economic opportunity by creating jobs and improving the landscape of North St. Louis,” said Dr. Tumblin-Rucker.

Hired by M Property Services in April 2019, Dr. Tumblin-Rucker has been focused on oversite and construction management for projects within MPS Chairman and CEO Paul McKee, Jr.’s NorthSide Regeneration development, a 1,500-acre mixed-use revitalization of underserved North St. Louis located less than a mile from Downtown St. Louis, The Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium.

Dr. Tumblin-Rucker has a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO; MBA in Management from Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City, OK; Master of Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management in St. Louis, MO and Doctor of Management from Webster University in Webster Groves, MO.

She is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, Associated General Contractors of St. Louis, St. Louis Construction Forum, St. Louis Construction Consumers Council, Missouri Society for Healthcare Engineering, American Society for Healthcare Engineering, and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

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