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Amy Rush
Amy Rush
Purchasing Manager

Amy Rush
Green Street Building Group
Purchasing Manager

Where you grew up:  I was an Air Force Brat: Georgia, Georgia, Louisiana, Scott AFB, Nebraska, & St. Louis

Where you went to school or did technical training:  University of Missouri St. Louis

Personal hobbies:  Boating, Crocheting, Attending and cheering on my kids’ sporting events and school activities

What do you do in your profession?  I was brought on to expand our Purchasing efforts and look for opportunities to setup company wide pricing programs and to review and negotiate pricing as needed.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I love working in construction and seeing projects from inception and following the job to the final punch completion.  I look forward to working on larger scale projects that we are involved in.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Obtain as much training in negotiation strategies as you are able to and be open to networking opportunities.  Procurement careers are known for working on the best pricing, but in construction, you need to know what your best alternative to a deal is and be prepared to modify and change plans as needed.  Sometimes pricing is only part of the procurement process, communication with the trade and your team, quality of product, service, geography and knowing the type of trade or supplier and their culture is key to working a deal and a sustainable trade partnership.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Follow your dreams and listen to your parents more.  I would have done more of a deep dive into what I really wanted, but I am not sure if my 16 year old self would have been ready to understand this.  To know that not every degree or path you follow at that age will be where you ultimately land in both your personal and professional life.  To not be afraid to venture and get well rounded in both your education and in your life experiences, so you can make well informed decisions.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  When you come to work in construction, you learn something new every day.  You will encounter a situations that they don’t teach you in textbooks, and be ready, willing and able to accept change, as challenging situations arise.

 

Annalise Regan
Annalise Regan
Vice President

Annalise Regan
iENG Design
Vice President

Where you grew up:  Larchmont, NY

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Villanova University

Personal hobbies:  Tennis

What do you do in your profession?  Mechanical engineering for commercial buildings.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I love designing high rise buildings.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Find a good mentor and learn as much as you can from them.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Speak up more.

 

April Lopinot
April Lopinot
Vice President of Human Resources

April Lopinot
L. Keeley Construction
Vice President of Human Resources

Where you grew up:  Belleville, Illinois

Where you went to school or did technical training:  SIUE, PHR through UMSL

What do you do in your profession?  President of Human Resources for L. Keeley Construction, KDG, Keeley Companies aka In House Therapist

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Drive HR/Recruiting Strategy to build a better experience for our team members

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  My advice is to develop and grow a network of trusted professionals that encounters similar challenges.  Allow them to truly challenge you and provide a fresh perspective on your vision.  Take their input into consideration as you build a unique program that fits your culture and aligns with your specific goals.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  To tell myself to believe in myself sooner and trust my instincts.  It was daunting to develop a robust Human Resources Department for the first time, however, with passion, work-ethic, and dedication anything is possible. Confidence can go a long way.

 

Austin Terbrock
Austin Terbrock
Assistant Project Manager & Business Development

Austin Terbrock
G. Terbrock Luxury Homes

Assistant Project Manager & Business Development Coordinator

Where you grew up:  Lake St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Mizzou, Washington University

Personal hobbies:  Indoor soccer & Music

What do you do in your profession?  I assist in the provision of general contracting and construction management services for high-end, custom residential projects in the St. Louis Area.  Additionally, I am involved in business development and marketing, as well as architectural design, modeling, and rendering.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream career is to lead the development, design, and construction of innovative and positively impactful projects in our community.  In this, I hope to work with others to contribute my capabilities to give back and make our built environment a better place for us all.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  My advice is to know yourself and know the people you want to surround yourself with. Be eager and ambitious, but be humble and patient.  Focus on your communicative knowledge and capabilities, and make sure you know your technical stuff.  Develop a genuine passion that promotes interest in learning new ideas and trends.  Build and maintain your relationships. Be a good person.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Don’t take the easy road.  Apply yourself to doing different things and do them the best you can.  Act like your future self is your best friend, and that you would do anything for them.  Don’t do things for other people’s approval, do them for your own.  Be comfortable and confident in who you are.  Just when you think you know it all or that you do something the best, you are very far from it in reality.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Empathy is my favorite word every young person should know.

 

Brandon Elliott
Brandon Elliott
Apprentice-Second Year Painter

Brandon Elliott
CCIMW- Custom Coating Industrial Mid West
Apprentice-Second Year Painter

Where you grew up:  Alton, Illinos

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Attended and earned an Associate Degree at Lewis and Clark. Attended Ranken Tech and started my Heating and Cooling then completed that degree at SWIC. Currently in my second year term enrolled in the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

Personal hobbies:  Basketball and lifting weights

What do you do in your profession?  I am a commercial painter and specialize in protective coatings. Things such as oil-based paints, epoxy paints, and enamels. As a second-year apprentice, I am learning floor coatings, drywalling, blasting and wall covering.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  My dream career is to be successful. I would like to be a Foreman, then a Ridinboss. Eventually owning my own minority shop. I want to bring more minority people into the trades.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Come to work to work. You have to have thick skin for sure. Bring your tools and ask questions. Communication is the key.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  I would have tried a little bit harder. At the age of 16, I was only thinking about sports. If I had known about the trades earlier, I would have gone straight into it versus going into higher education.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Start your day each day being positive. Listen to anything that will motivate you and keep you uplifted.

 

Brandy Broeckling
Brandy Broeckling
Project Manager

Brandy Broeckling
Millstone Weber LLC
Project Manager

Where you grew up:  Florissant, MO (greater St. Louis area)

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Missouri University of Science and Technology

Personal hobbies:  Softball, golf, biking, snow skiing

What do you do in your profession?  Project manager for a heavy highway construction company.  Oversee all construction aspects for multi-million dollar highway and bridge projects.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Professional softball player.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, the possibilities of what you can do in construction are endless, there are numerous different types of opportunities world wide.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  It is okay to look at careers that don’t require a college degree.  For example going into the construction trades is a fine career path and pays a decent wage.

 

Brandy Scheer
Brandy Scheer
Owner, CEO

Brandy Scheer
Scheer Resources
Owner, CEO

Where you grew up:  St. Louis

Where you went to school or did technical training:  University of Kansas

Personal hobbies:  Cooking, Crafts, Reading

What do you do in your profession?  I’m a connector, consultant, business developer and marketing professional who specializes in the construction industry.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I’m in my dream career right now, and I love creating strategic initiatives that bring people together to accomplish great things for them, their companies and the community at large.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Ask questions, do as many different types of work as you can, meet EVERYONE!

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  NETWORK EVEN MORE!

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  When you are passionate about helping other people and make that your goal each day, your business and professional goals will take care of themselves.

 

Brian Vaughan
Brian Vaughan
Engineering Manager - Industrial

Brian Vaughan
Murphy Company
Engineering Manager – Industrial

Where you grew up:  St. Charles & North County. A brief stint in Panama City Beach Florida in 7th grade.

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Hazelwood Central High School & the University of Missouri.

Personal hobbies:  Family. Sports (Cardinals, Chiefs, Blues, MMA). Running (more like jogging). Heavy Metal Music. Collegiate Wrestling. Professional Wrestling. Bad Movies.

What do you do in your profession?  I lead a team on all aspects of the Pre-Construction phase of a project which includes: Sales, Estimating, Engineering and Design, and BIM (Building Information Modeling). I also support the operation groups during the Construction phase as required.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  My dream career would have been a Bad Guy Wrestler in the WWE. I recently got to work on a dream task which was the Mizzou NextGen Precision Health Institute project. I really enjoyed working for the University that I got my engineering degree. It also helped that the project went great and all team members are very happy with the outcome.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Work hard and overcommunicate! Soft skills are just as important as technical skills.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Puka shell necklaces are not cool and will never be cool….throw them away!

 

Carly Tribout
Carly Tribout
HR Coordinator

Carly Tribout
Geotechnology, Inc.
HR Coordinator

Where you grew up:  Millstadt, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Missouri State University – Go Bears!

Personal hobbies:  Hanging out with my dog, Heinz, boating, exercising, sand volleyball, & traveling

What do you do in your profession?  Every day is different in HR!  My main responsibilities are assisting employees, recruiting, onboarding new employees, benefit administration, running our wellness program, employee engagement, and assisting with our safety program.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream job would’ve been to be a podcast/radio host.  I don’t have a specific dream “task,” but I love working on tasks that have a positive impact on peoples lives, such as Geotechnology’s Wellness Program.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Get your degree in HR, make connections with your professors, get involved with the Student/Local SHRM chapter, find a HR related internship and get exposure to as many areas in HR as possible.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take on challenges outside of your comfort zone.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Not to stress about the little things and that it’s okay to not have everything figured out.  Don’t get so caught up in what the future holds that you forget to enjoy where you are right now.

 

Chris Stafos
Chris Stafos
Superintendent

Chris Stafos
Green Street Building Group
Superintendent

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Mehlville High School & Carpenter’s Apprenticeship Program

Personal hobbies:  Fishing, Boating

What do you do in your profession?  Manage all the people doing the actual construction and hold them accountable for the duties.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Building natural habitats, a zoo or an underwater aquarium.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Do it!  It’s really rewarding.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Do it sooner. 🙂   Don’t procrastinate.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  So many opportunities and disciplines available.  It’s not just hammer and nails now.  The industry changes constantly.

 

Christie Sielfleisch
Christie Sielfleisch
Marketing Coordinator

Christie Sielfleisch
Millstone Weber, LLC
Marketing Coordinator

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Lindenwood University

Personal Hobbies:  Reading, writing, working out

What do you do in your profession?  I manage the social media accounts, create content for all platforms, assist in proposal production, photograph job sites, assist in planning events, design and order MW gear and promotional items, manage website and all content, advertising, etc.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream is to work in a creative field and to be constantly challenged, so MW is very fulfilling in that way.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Reach out to people and make real connections.  Apply for the job that interests you, and if you’re not qualified, do what it takes to become qualified.  Work hard and care about your work.  If you care, it shows; and people will want to work with you.  Never stop asking questions and trying to learn something new.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Relax.  You don’t need to know everything right now.  Things don’t work out the way you want them to; things work out better.  Trust the journey you are on and you’ll end up where you’re meant to go.

Any other comments or information you would like to include:  Don’t be afraid to try something new!  I changed my major five times before majoring in something that I love.  And even after I graduated I tried multiple different roles within the industry before landing this job.  You’re not wasting your time and it’s never too late to go for it.

 

Christopher Ackels
Christopher Ackels
Director of Business Development

Christopher Ackels
Steel Solutions USA
Director of Business Development

Where you grew up:  St. Louis

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Mizzou

Personal hobbies:  Golf, chess, sports, reading, food, vinyl records

What do you do in your profession?  We specialize in high end casework for medical facilities, educational buildings, and the hospitality industry

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Dream career: run my own company in the e-commerce space.   Dream task: Edwards Jones Dome gets knocked down and we help with the new stadium for the new St. Louis football team.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Take the chance when the opportunity presents itself, you will never know everything and need to be constantly learning.  Don’t hold yourself back because you think you won’t know what to do.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Don’t care so much what other people think about you or what you are doing because they probably couldn’t care less.

 

Clay Arvola
Clay Arvola
Vice President

Clay Arvola
Lockton
Vice President

Where you grew up:  Edwardsville, Illinois

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Indiana University, Finance Degree, SLU MBA

Personal hobbies:  I have three little girls I spend a lot of time with!

What do you do in your profession?  I lead the Construction and Real Estate Practice at Lockton and help contractors and developers with property & casualty insurance, employee benefits and bonding needs.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I love working on new developments that are reshaping St. Louis.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  “Do the job every day.”  Business development and sales can often lead to day to day frustration.  Never take days off and commit to your process!

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Find an industry you are passionate for and dive in!  No matter what your first job is you will learn more about the industry and your career path can evolve.  If you have a passion it makes going to work every day easy!

 

Cody Henderson
Cody Henderson
Director of Science and Education

Cody Henderson
FSA, LLC
Director of Science and Education

Where you grew up:  Ste. Genevieve, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Ranken Technical College, then SIU Carbondale

Personal hobbies:  Playing softball, fishing, working on old cars, traveling

What do you do in your profession?  I am an architect and in charge of all laboratories and higher education facility projects that come into our office.  I am involved in the preliminary design through the end of construction.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Sometimes I feel like I am living it already.  I get to create spaces for others to enjoy while creatively problem solving.  I would like to design a full laboratory building with a budget that would allow for WELL Building accreditation for energy efficiency and wellness.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Architecture like many careers, is one that you get what you put into it.  Work hard and be dedicated and you will be rewarded.  Also, networking is important.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Network, go out and talk to people, make connections (even if it is uncomfortable).

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  I am also the 2020 American Institute of Architects Chapter President

 

Cody Norbeck
Cody Norbeck
Driller

Cody Norbeck
Geotechnology, Inc.

Driller

Where you grew up:  Carlyle, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Penn Foster

Personal hobbies:  Working on cars

What do you do in your profession?  Drill geotech soil borings, rotary wash, rock core

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Never really had a dream career. I want to be the best driller I can be.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  The job does get better.  Not all of the jobs are hard.  Don’t give up.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Definitely make better life decisions.

 

David Hunt
David Hunt
Superintendent

David Hunt
Green Street Building Group

Superintendent

Where you grew up:  Wentzville, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Wentzville High School, Carpenter’s Apprenticeship Program

Personal hobbies:  Fishing, hunting, family, creek time

What do you do in your profession?  Supervise job sites, manage subcontractors, manage safety, quality and production.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Dream career – would have loved to be a stone mason and build castles.  It was true craftsmanship.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Takes hard work and dedication.  Must be flexible and ready to adapt to many different situations.  Need to stay focused on big picture construction, the office side and the field side.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Get a college degree.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

 

Dawn Fleming
Dawn Fleming
Carpenter

Dawn Fleming
McCarthy
Carpenter (Commercial)

Where you grew up:  St. Louis

Where you went to school or did technical training:  MO College, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, and currently enrolled in Ivy Tech

Personal hobbies:  Traveling, going to the movies, exploring museums, and anything nature related

What do you do in your profession?  I am a carpenter.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Being a carpenter is my dream job.  I love that there are so many different opportunities to learn many different things.  I have so far put office furniture together, done finish carpentry work, concrete forming, and some framing.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Don’t ever limit yourself.  You can do as much as you allow yourself to do.  Be motivated.  Stay prepared.  Stay educated on how to better yourself for your profession.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  I wish I would have known about the apprenticeship programs.  I definitely would not have a student loan in a profession I never pursued.  Most importantly do not limit yourself.  Two of my degrees are in a profession that I picked because I was trying to be in a profession where women were expected, but that wasn’t where my heart was.  I’ve always had a passion for construction but just felt intimidated.  I had to build confidence and courage.

 

Donte Haire
Donte Haire
President/Owner

Donte Haire
The Haire Corporation
President/Owner

Where you grew up:  Washington Park, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training:  HCCTP (East St. Louis) & CJAP Southern Illinois

Personal hobbies:  Framing and gaming

What do you do in your profession?  Acting as President/Owner and lead carpenter, I perform all duties needed to ensure a successful company.  I act as accountant, project manager, contractor and lead journeyman carpenter for all jobs.  The Haire Corporation is a small company, which is my dream come true, that will grow into a large minority owned business in the Metro-East area by completing quality work in a timely manner.  I will make a name for myself and my company!

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I am living my dream – I became a journeyman carpenter, working both commercial and residential jobs – honing my skills and dreaming of my future as a small business owner.  I now am on my way to achieving my ultimate goal of The Haire Corporation.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Be patient–it takes time to achieve your goals.  Have confidence in yourself.  If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.  Learn, learn, learn!  The Highway Construction Careers Training Program (funded by IDOT) offered by Southwestern Illinois College at the East St. Louis campus is a great place to begin.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  I would stay away from the “in-crowd”–other people don’t have your best interest at heart.  I learned the hard way.  I would be “open-minded” towards new opportunities and educational possibilities.  You never know what’s behind that closed door – open it and walk through.  Lastly, I would be aware of my personal standards and protect my status.  Always trying my best to live up to those standards and reputation!

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  The Highway Construction Careers Training Program is responsible for my start in construction.  There I learned the basic skills for the trades such as reading a tape measure, basic blue prints, welding and to operate power tools.  I was uncertain of what I wanted to do with my life and it showed me the endless possibilities of a career in the construction industry.  I chose carpentry and have never looked back.  I became a journeyman carpenter working both the residential and commercial sides and now I own my own business.  With all the training, hard work, dedication and pride, I am able to provide a better life for my family.  I envision a bright future for us!

 

D’Von Johnson
D’Von Johnson
Painter

D’Von Johnson
PM Leach
Painter

Where you grew up:  Ferguson, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  McCluer and North Technical High School

Personal hobbies:  Reading, searching for real estate, and working out

What do you do in your profession?  I am a commercial union painter which consists of mostly painting tilt ups and commercial real estate.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream career is becoming a successful real estate investor and owning a painting company.  As of right now I own two properties and I’m attending college for construction management.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Stay focused, professional and make sure you know how to deal with people that want to get under your skin.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  To go the exact route that I took to get where I am now.  I’m only 20 and can say it’s a blessing that I’m where I am now knowing what I’ve been through in my life.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Saving your money and investing it is a important key in becoming wealthy, forget the partying (do that later) and focus on building your foundation.  I’m not there yet but I can tell you that I will be.

 

Eli Knight
Eli Knight
Preconstruction/Project Manager

Eli Knight
Green Street Building Group
Preconstruction/Project Manager

Where you grew up:  Gulf Shores, AL and St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Southwestern IL College and Indiana State University

Personal hobbies:  Reading and hanging out with family

What do you do in your profession?  It’s like being the conductor of an orchestra – tell everyone when to go and when to stop.  Oversee a project, managing the money, managing the subs, front-end pricing in pre-construction to then hand off to the construction team.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  A Disney Imagineer – would be incredible to manage a project at Disney, the happiest place on earth!

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Go for it!  Absorb everything you can, and don’t be afraid to try it.  There are so many opportunities and positions available for every personality.  If you’re outgoing and a leader, project management is a great route.  If you’re more of an introvert and detail-oriented, try estimating or designing.  Consider matching your personality to the position.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Don’t let anyone tell you to slow down.  Keep going and do what makes sense to you.  And be a bit selfish and do what you wanna do.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Construction is not all labor and field work.  Find people who will help you discover all the opportunities available in construction.  Check out all of them and just go for it!

 

Elvis Phung
Elvis Phung
Low Voltage Planning Engineer

Elvis Phung
Ameren
Low Voltage Planning Engineer

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Missouri University of Science and Technology

Personal hobbies:  Exercising, reading, playing video games, and enjoying time with friends and family

What do you do in your profession?  As a low voltage planning engineer, I analyze how best to serve new customers based on their power requirements, assist in creating software models for conversion projects, and evaluate solar installation on residential and commercial buildings.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I currently enjoy what I do in my profession! It’s very exciting that I am a part of the renewable energy group that is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. My dream is to progress into a leadership role in the renewable energy sector.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Engineering offers a diverse field of disciplines to go into. My advice is to gain as much experience as you can through internships. Through internships, you will find likes and dislikes in your field which will help you decide on an emphasis area to go into.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Live in the moment. There is no need to rush to get to a destination, instead enjoy every moment of the destination.

 

Emily Thorne
Emily Thorne
Contracts Administrator

Emily Thorne
ADB Companies

Contracts Manager

Where you grew up:  DeSoto, Missouri

Where you went to school or did technical training:  St. Louis Community College

Personal hobbies:  Hiking, kayaking, 4×4 trails

What do you do in your profession?  In my role today, I manage subcontracts, purchase orders and owner contracts.  I help our project teams coordinate their compliance documents, such as insurance and change orders for both subcontractors and clients.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer.  But my dream career isn’t too far from what I do now!  Seeing how I play a role in shaping the landscape of St. Louis and the people in the region is a dream task that I get to work on every day.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  I would say don’t limit yourself to the conventional learning path.  In any direction you choose, make sure to keep your eyes and ears open to the world around you.  For me, the most important learning happens outside of a classroom.  Take advantage of networking and professional association opportunities.  Some of my best teachers were personal mentors I met along the way.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Slow down.  Dreaming about the future is great, but don’t forget to be who you are in the present moment.  You’ll constantly grow and change with every new phase of life, which shows progression.  Take time to check in with yourself and make sure you are growing into a person you can be proud of.

Any Other Comments or Information that you would like to include.  Never be afraid to approach someone you look up to, whether it be professional or personal.  Ask questions.  Get to know them.  More times than not, that person would love to help you reach your goals.

 

Halee Schermerhorn-Barnhart
Halee Schermerhorn-Barnhart
Quality Control Technician

Halee Schermerhorn-Barnhart
Millstone Weber LLC
Quality Control Technician

Where you grew up:  Columbia, Missouri

Where you went to school or did technical training:  State Technical College of Missouri

Personal hobbies:  Hunting, Dancing

What do you do in your profession?  Ensure the quality of product that gets used throughout a construction project.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  As of right now I would say Quality Management or Project Management eventually.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Go for it, if you want to get into this field then all you have to do is try it out.  It’s pretty neat to say you’re part of something as big as building a highway or a bridge and see the final product of a project.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Focus more on school than outside activities, get excited about the engineering classes you were forced into.  Learn more about the field you’re going into (Civil), because I had no idea until I walked into my tech school classes on the first day.

 

James Tillman
James Tillman
Superintendent

James Tillman
Tarlton Corporation

Superintendent

Where you grew up:  North St. Louis City

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School

Personal hobbies:  Cooking, Photography

What do you do in your profession?  Oversee general construction projects, work with owners, owner reps, architects, inspectors, and contractors (and the public on occasion)

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream career is to work for myself as a general contractor and on any project that is still standing years after I am gone.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Never stop listening to others, as a small amount of experience from another goes a long way.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Save for the future and make investments in your future.

 

Jane Meagown
Jane Meagown
President

Jane Meagown
Elastizell of St Louis
President

Where you grew up:  Saint Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  University of MO-Columbia

Personal hobbies:  Golf, Swimming, Walking dogs

What do you do in your profession?  I am the owner of a construction firm that specializes in Lightweight cellular concrete. I do just about everything that the business requires.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  My dream is to do anything that makes a positive difference and helps others with their needs and goals.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Don’t give up and follow your dreams and desires.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Know that you aren’t expected to have everything in life figured out. Learn as much as you can and follow your passions. Go out of your comfort zone and get to know as many people as you can.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Nobody is perfect and mistakes are a great learning experience. Focus on your core values and have them resonate in everything you do.

 

Jasminn Jones
Jasminn Jones
Project Engineer/Project Manager

Jasminn Jones
Kwame Building Group, Inc.
Project Engineer/Project Manager

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Alabama A&M University

Personal hobbies:  Acting, working out, traveling, writing, sports, trying new things

What do you do in your profession?  I oversee and manage construction projects including design, schedule, budget, and implementation.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  To be an executive of a company. A dream task would be to be on an amusement park project from the ground up.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Seek internships and co-ops! Gaining experience will not only give you a hands-on approach and put you ahead of the curve, it can show you what your interests are and aren’t. An internship can aid in gaining appreciation of the importance and fascination of construction.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  There will be road blocks in the future, but with your faith, persistence, hard work, focus, support, and love, you will succeed and feel happiness and fulfilment.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Don’t be afraid or discouraged by a challenge. You’ll be surprised what you are capable of and what/who you could be.

Excellence withers without an adversary.” — Seneca

 

Jeff Krus
Jeff Krus
Project Engineer

Jeff Krus
Kwame Building Group, Inc.
Project Engineer

Where you grew up:  Arnold, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Southeast Missouri State University

Personal hobbies:  Mountain biking, hiking, camping, working on cars

What do you do in your profession?  Assist Project Managers in any way that I can to make the projects happen, from reviewing pay applications, change orders, and submittals to quality control, providing daily progress reports, and running down any miscellaneous information as needed.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream career/task is anything that allows me to always do something different on any given day and be exposed to something new.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Be open to anything and always willing to learn something new. It makes you more valuable as an employee and you may find a slightly different path that you will enjoy more. Network with others as much as possible, and be familiar with roles before choosing a path.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Start exploring careers early to find what you like, and take your time in choosing the right path. Take advice from others, but ultimately do what is best for you and something you will be proud of.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  The construction industry is a broad field that allows you to expand into many different areas of expertise. If you are someone who enjoys learning and variety in their work, it may be the field for you.

 

Jeffrey Murphy
Jeffrey Murphy
Executive Vice President

Jeffrey Murphy
Drilling Service Co.
Executive Vice President

Where you grew up:  Florissant, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  The University of Missouri – St. Louis and my master’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis.

Personal hobbies:  I like to read but my favorite activity is spending time with my wife and four children

What do you do in your profession?  I run the company along with my two brothers. I’m involved in estimating, project management, banking, insurance, accounting, HR, and everything else

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  This job. I love my job and it’s the only job I’ve ever had. It gives me satisfaction knowing that our company provides a good living for everyone who works here and their families.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Do as well as you can while in school. Always do your best work for your company. There are occasional bumps in the road but it’s worth the effort.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  I started working at Drilling Service Co. when I was a kid. I used to sweep floors, cut grass, and empty trash cans. Now I’m one of the owners of the company. I didn’t get my undergraduate degree until I was 45 years old and my master’s degree when I was 47. I took an unconventional path but it worked for my situation. It’s never too late to start working on your goals.

 

Jessica McBride
Jessica McBride
Senior Interior Designer

Jessica McBride
BSA LIFESTRUCTURES
Senior Interior Designer

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  The University of Missouri – Columbia (Mizzou)

Personal hobbies:  Bike riding/Hiking/traveling/yoga/art.

What do you do in your profession?  I am an interior designer. I help our clients reach their vision for the space however large or small the scope is. Together we accomplish their goals while maximizing design aesthetics. It is crucial I hear your concerns and address them appropriately while managing the logistics of how the overall form and function come to fruition! Your ‘return on investment is the way to understand interior design. I believe interior design has the power to make or break an atmosphere and can either lead you to stay longer or send you running for the next best hangout! Ambiance probes curiosity even if you can’t vocalize how it makes you feel and contributes to future visits. Don’t underestimate the power of “word of mouth” praise and the additional influx of people that will come to support that business/flex space/library/art museum/restaurant/casino/hospital, etc.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  I believe my dream career involves what I am currently doing. I have a simple mantra that I hold myself to: keep the client’s wishes close to your heart, provide them the tools to be successful. Repeat business will form organically when serving those around you. The rest falls into place, I am happiest when I see the client is pleased with the outcome! Dream task: I would love to lead someone with a similar passion as me towards understanding their potential and the impact of their future, specifically in interior design.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  I would say you need to possess great people skills. Half the battle of what I do is directly related to how you interpret your clients’ vocalized needs list and the other part is managing their concerns and not leaving them hanging in that department. You cannot sell an interior palette without doing your technical homework, with that being said, know that you will need to back up durability concerns, lead times, pricing, and daily maintenance on all interiors products shown. Materiality has a lot to do with the reasons why an interior space is failing and why facilities and clients want to renovate or create from new, building that will properly function for their latest concerns. Second, be passionate! That word is often overused but in this case, you will be required to share a particular level of energy and enthusiasm. This is a fun and fulfilling career where the sky is the limit. Allow yourself to be engulfed in the massing of the interiors. Allow for push and pull where needed to create the most potential for opportunity and variation of materials you select. Stretch your mind and capabilities and allow for endless opportunities to learn and educate yourself on the latest materials. Provide unique solutions instead of stamp and repeat what you already know. Be daring and create an experience within the composition and push your client out of their comfort zone to accomplish something greater together.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  I can’t say that I am not already doing everything I had hoped to be doing at that age. I was fortunate to know from a really young age that this is the profession and the avenue I wanted to pursue. For those who feel they wished they had known sooner what it is that they should pursue, I would say that you are more likely not alone in that. There are great resources to look into and groups or platforms to join to see if that sparks something in you to make a change that better suits your abilities and empowers you to wake up every day and love what you do! I don’t believe it is ever too late to find your true passion, you just need to be your own pillar to go accomplish that drive. Hard work, determination, and perseverance are attributed greatly to where I am today.

 

Jim Dunard
Jim Dunard
General Superintendent

Jim Dunard
Green Street Building Group
General Superintendent

Where you grew up: Hawk Point, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training: Troy, MO

Personal hobbies: Competing in physique shows and reading

What do you do in your profession? Set up projects, maintain schedule, logistics, planning, and mentoring younger talent to succeed.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I’m in my dream career position! Dream task would be to run a project that my son is a tradesman on. He is a union electrician.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Be consistent! Explore several different disciplines and pick a couple that match your interests, then try an internship or some trade courses.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Always keep a positive mindset and never be afraid to challenge yourself.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. Construction has many different aspects and great opportunities to have a great life – professionally and financially.

 

Joe Darmody
Joe Darmody
Vice President - Safety & Risk Management

Joe Darmody
Geotechnology Holdings, Inc.
Vice President – Safety & Risk Management

Where you grew up: St. Louis, Missouri

Where you went to school or did technical training: St. Louis University; Central Missouri State University

Personal hobbies: Trout fishing

What do you do in your profession? I develop and manage safety, risk management and loss prevention programs designed to protect our employees and the assets of the firm.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? Being an educator is my dream career. As that relates to the construction industry, I enjoy developing and delivering training of all kinds – practical and hands-on safety programs, as well as educating people on the business and financial advantages and opportunities of safety, risk management and loss prevention.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Gain a firm understanding of all aspects of the business and operations of the field you are in. Talk to individuals throughout your organization about what they do and how you can help them succeed safely. Search for resources outside of your firm to obtain additional business knowledge and acumen. Armed with this knowledge, strive to merge the “practical” with the “ideal” – they are often just different shades of the same color.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Be open to all possible paths in front of you. Your career may change many times throughout your life; that may likely be for a purpose. Identify that purpose and pursue it with passion and faith.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. There is such a wide diversity of opportunity in the construction industry; that’s what makes it both interesting and challenging. Even though my role is not really operational in the traditional sense, it’s rewarding to see completed projects that Geotechnology has contributed to and think, “We helped build that.”

 

John C. Bostwick
John C. Bostwick
Vice President, Central Region Drilling Manager

John C. Bostwick
Geotechnology Exploration, LLC
Vice President, Central Region Drilling Manager

Where you grew up: St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training: Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Personal hobbies: Sports, Coaching, Home Projects

What do you do in your profession? Manage drilling projects, administrative duties, supervise and schedule 6 drilling crews (approx. 15-20 employees).

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? My dream career would have been to be an astronaut.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Work hard in school in a science or engineering degree. Subsequently, have a detailed focus on the role you wish to achieve.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Spend more time with my parents. They taught me so much and I didn’t realize it at the time.

 

Johnny Prazma
Johnny Prazma
Project Engineer

Johnny Prazma
Green Street Building Group
Project Engineer

Where you grew up: Granite City, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training: Eastern IL University (Project Management Degree) and SIUE (Civil engineering courses)

Personal hobbies: Golfing, hunting, hanging out with friends, working out

What do you do in your profession? New to the role, but currently supporting the other Project Engineers in numerous ways by assisting with project management, keeping meeting minutes, and primarily reviewing RFI’s and submittals. Also assisting with project estimating.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? As a kid, it would be to flip homes, but now commercial construction in general. I enjoy larger scale, quicker paced projects. I don’t know what my dream task would be, but hopefully I can discover it and achieve it at Green Street.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Don’t give yourself tunnel vision. Construction is so much more than just being a laborer. Once I learned what else was out there, it led me down the path of Project Management and engineering, which is what I do now.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Don’t be so small-minded about what you want to do. Do your research and investigate further into what you can do. There are plenty of options out there, especially in the construction field.

 

Jumoke Abass
Jumoke Abass
Field Engineer

Jumoke Abass
Millstone Weber LLC
Field Engineer

Where you grew up: Lagos, Nigeria

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Nigeria (B. Eng.) and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Msc. Civil)

Personal hobbies:  Reading, traveling and cooking

What do you do in your profession?  Perform and supervise daily field operations, revise plans and ensure designs are done to specifications. Perform change orders, procure materials, and subcontractor mobilization. Use software programs to track quantities, record processes and daily job activities. Designed non motorized (side walks, bike paths) modes of transportation, created plans and design documents.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Be a Project or Construction Manager in charge of infrastructural developments that can impact and improve the community (All Highway and Structural infrastructures)

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  It’s a beautiful career path with lots of learning, and very exciting to see what you designed and built, then become an essential in the society for peoples use.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  I would be on the field more, learning directly from the foremen, laborers and all, because you get the most important knowledge you need in the construction industry, then take relevant classes in school to support that field experience.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Stay dedicated and motivated, It only gets better.

 

Justin Schmeltz
Justin Schmeltz
Parsons Engineer I

Justin Schmeltz
Parsons
Engineer I

Where you grew up: Newburgh, Indiana

Where you went to school or did technical training: Saint Louis University

Personal hobbies: Weight lifting and exercising, volunteering and community service, church activities

What do you do in your profession? I am a bridge engineer, meaning that I work to design and assess either existing or new bridge structures. I work on all components of the bridge, from deck to foundation. I also work with other engineers to coordinate large scale projects and make sure that things can be built easily by the contractors per the schedule.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? My dream task to work on is a large scale suspension bridge, similar to the Stan Musial Bridge. My dream career is to be involved in large scale projects that will be impactful to the community and recognizable to the world.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Make sure to study hard in math and physics classes. Fundamentals from those courses hold true throughout engineering, so a good foundation from those courses will help throughout a career in structural engineering. Take any opportunities to either meet with professionals in the industry or any internship or part time positions available. A little bit of experience and exposure goes a long way.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? When it comes to applications and future planning, get things moving earlier. There are no downsides to getting applications in early, but a lot of upsides. Planning in advance also opens up opportunities for greater collaboration, whether for a future in graduate school or for scholarship opportunities. Relevant experience is invaluable, so making sure that internships translate toward a future career is a good move as compared to just finding a position that pays.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. Bridge engineering is a great field which allows for problem solving on a large scale. It’s fun to be a part of big structures, and designing each component and making sure the pieces all fit together. Engineering provides a large diversity of opportunities and professions, and exploring one will give you the ability to see the others.

 

Kara Wurtz
Kara Wurtz
Senior Financial Analyst

Kara Wurtz
Clayco

Senior Financial Analyst

Where you grew up: St Louis area

Where you went to school or did technical training: Creighton University in Omaha

Personal hobbies: Biking, hiking, traveling, and cooking

What do you do in your profession? Main focus is on the budgeting and forecasting for my company. I also work with business leaders to gather and review different metrics and operational analysis for various construction projects and sales.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? Dream task would be putting together a system that promotes biking and walking within a city. Something that includes green space and artwork.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Diversify your education courses or experience. I took more than just finance and accounting classes and it helped me see business on a larger level and allows me to work well with leaders in every department from Institutional projects to internal IT or marketing.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Don’t make decisions for anyone but yourself. Follow what makes you happy and the rest will fall into place.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. I’ve always found it crucial to find ways to get involved with my community. Through non-profits, local government, or other organizations. It’s a great way to not only give my strengths in a way that improves my community, but a way to meet new people, explore new areas of my city and learn new things.

 

Keith Howell
Keith Howell
Carpenter General Foreman

Keith Howell
Keeley & Sons
Carpenter General Foreman

Where you grew up:  Belleville, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Southern Illinois Carpenter Joint Apprentice and Training Program

What do you do in your profession?  I am responsible for hiring carpenters needed for a particular size and type of construction job.  I manage the day-to-day operations of the job, overseeing the apprentice and journey workforce adjusting as needed as tasks arise.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I am living the dream I have had since my installation into the Carpenters Union.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  If you do not understand something–ASK!  Watch the journeyman and mimic what they’re doing.  Try to learn as many aspects of the trade as possible, it will increase your employability as a tradesman.  Take each day as a learning opportunity, never get complacent as there is always someone who knows more than do or has a better idea!  Enjoy your “work” and it will not become a four-letter word.  You can certainly make a good living wage, but you need to look forward to coming to the job.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Stay on the path you’re on.  It may wind, dip, perhaps even make you climb sometimes, but in the end it will get you to where you want to be.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. After 40 plus years as a carpenter I have seen a lot.  I’ve survived during recessions where there was little work, as well as boom times when I could  pick the job I wanted to do.  I’ve worked jobs I loved and jobs I haven’t, but I’ve always tried to learn something positive from the experience.  I consider myself very lucky, as I’ve worked many more jobs where I’ve felt fulfilled and am proud to say “Yeah, I built that” than those I did not.  I look back and realize I chose a vocation that I am good at and more importantly–I love.

 

Kim Warner
Kim Warner
Compliance Engineer

Kim Warner
Green Street Building Group
Compliance Engineer

Where you grew up: Granite City, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training: Technical training is self-taught/worked way up and SWIC – Associates Degree in Business Administration

Personal hobbies: Boating, fishing, Cardinals baseball, Chiefs football, bike riding

What do you do in your profession? Making sure subcontractors are compliant within their contracts, making sure we have their pre-qualification documents and certificates of insurance before any boots are on the ground, as well as overseeing paperwork for diversity for the City of St. Louis.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? My dream task is to work where I’m needed, as I’ve done every position in the construction industry. I started as a receptionist and worked all the way up to Project Management.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Respect. Learn how to earn the respect of your peers, as well as show respect for them. Once you learn how to respect someone and what they do, everything falls into place.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Stay focused, and go for your dream.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. It’s an unknown, hidden industry. People can drive by a construction site seeing work going on, but no one really knows the work that goes on day in and day out to get that structure built. It takes a lot of expertise, a lot of patience and teamwork. Have an open mind and be a team player.

 

Linda Denison
Linda Denison
Environmental Manager

Linda Denison
ATON Environmental
Environmental Manager

Where you grew up: Newark, Ohio

Where you went to school or did technical training: Purdue University

Personal hobbies: Girl Scout leader, camping, and reading

What do you do in your profession? I manage the environmental permits and reporting requirements for environmental remediation sites across the US.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I love what I do right now. There is always something different to work on and new challenges to solve.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learning about a new project site, regulation, or process is what keeps the job interesting.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Push yourself to do the things you find hard. If it’s too easy, there won’t be any challenge, and nothing is worse than being bored in a job.

 

Luke Ducey
Luke Ducey
Environmental Geologist

Luke Ducey
Geotechnology, Inc.

Environmental Geologist

Where you grew up:  Small 3,000 person town of Tolono, IL ~ 15 minutes south of Champaign, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Holy Cross Elementary, The High School of St. Thomas More, and Saint Louis University

Personal hobbies:  Hanging out with my two French Bulldogs, Nola and Chiclet, playing Settlers of Catan, trying new beers, running 5Ks and half marathons, playing softball (3 nights a week), DIY woodworking projects, and traveling!

What do you do in your profession?  That’s a great question because every day is different and that’s what makes work fun. As a geologist, I spend a lot of time behind the drill rig logging rock and soil as well as testing the samples in the soils lab. I also assist with deep foundation inspections and, quarterly groundwater sampling events for landfills/ash ponds. One of my favorite responsibilities is operating our one-of-a-kind CPT rig which has taken me to 12 different states over the past few years. I assist our drilling department when they need a hand, manifesting soil, underground storage tank pulls, Phase I’s and many more tasks. Recently, I have been learning more geophysics practices and recently had to complete a bat survey study!

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I have always wanted to work in and for a quarry doing underground mining. I have worked in a lot of mines and got a little taste of that dream job. One of my personal dream tasks has actually already happened: working on some high-profile jobs within the St. Louis Area including the drilling and observation for the St. Louis Arch Grounds, The Muny Stage renovations, and out at the Lambert airport!

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  When you’re in college, make sure to find related internships during the summer or the last couple years of school. This will help you get a job and make your resume stand out when you start applying for jobs. I also really wish I would have taken a water or hydrology class in college. Also, I would say to be open to new experiences. I never saw myself doing exactly what I do today and a lot of my responsibilities seemed impossible at first, but if you stick with it and are open to being curious and learning, you will be set up for success.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Enjoy being 16! This is the only time in your life you have very few responsibilities and can explore everything. Get out there and make friends, try new things, and soak it all up. I would also say to spend more time with your parents and grandparents and cut them some slack, they are doing their best!

Any other comments or information that you would like to include:  When picking a career or job make sure it is something you love and has some variety otherwise you will get burnt out on it very quickly and struggle to enjoy every day. If you are able to look at work as something you GET to do every day and not HAVE to do, it will never feel like work.

Michael Loseille
Michael Loseille
Senior Engineer

Michelle Loseille
Crawford, Murphy & Tilly
Senior Engineer

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Saint Louis University

Personal hobbies:  Playing the keyboard, video games, watching Anime (One Piece is the best!), spending time with family and friends

What do you do in your profession?  I work in the Surface Transportation department where I design different roadways for clients. I am also a construction inspector. During construction, I go to the field with the plans that we designed and make sure the contractor is building everything according to plan and specs.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream career is to work on a big construction project that would be recognized by everyone from now and years into the future. I want to design and build a new globally recognized monument.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  The simple answer…GO FOR IT!! Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from pursuing what you want to do. There will be rough times, but it’s nothing you can’t get through if you really want to be an engineer. To be able to design a project from scratch and see it through full construction is really something, especially if you are out in the field and observing it being constructed. You can look back years from now look at your project and tell you kids..”I did that!”

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  My advice would be to tell my 16 year old self to STUDY and LEARN as much as you can. Don’t think that just because YOU think you are smart that you don’t need to study anymore. Alway seek out new things and don’t be afraid to take on challenges. Be more involved also whether it’s in some sort of school club or in a sport. That experience really builds character and helps with teamwork and communication.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  “Follow your dreams”. We hear it all the time. What we don’t say enough is to not give up on your dreams when everything and everyone is against it. Doubt sets and then you start questioning YOUR dreams. So “Follow your dreams” and “Don’t give up on them”. The dream only ends when YOU don’t believe it.

Nick Arb
Nick Arb
Vice President, Market Strategy

Nick Arb
Guarantee Electrical Company
Vice President, Market Strategy

Where you grew up:  St. Louis – South County

Where you went to school or did technical training:  St. Louis University High and Santa Clara University (Bachelors in Business)

Personal hobbies:  Fishing, Golf, Hiking, Hunting, Cooking, Running and hanging out with my 2 year old.

What do you do in your profession?  My role is to help guide marketing, sales, business development and preconstruction strategy. This boils down to understanding the markets in which we operate, identifying partners who can benefit from our services and delivering exceptional service.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I think I’m living it. I am passionate about St. Louis and seeing my community thrive. I believe that I am helping this area grow in my own way through redevelopment, new construction and sustainability initiatives.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  I didn’t set out to be in this field or set on a specific career path. My advice would be to try many things, invest in yourself and give yourself a diverse background of experiences. This will make you dangerous/valuable. You don’t have to necessarily have to have a profession that aligns with your passions (that certainly doesn’t hurt) just set out to be the best at whatever you do.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Don’t take it too seriously. The future will be here before you know it so enjoy the ride.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  I would be happy to connect with anyone looking to explore career paths within the construction industry or just wants to see whats out there.

 

Nicole Laurain
Nicole Laurain
Regional Manager

Nicole Laurain
Hilti
Regional Manager

Where you grew up:  Florissant, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  University of Toledo

Personal hobbies:  Running, working out, plant enthusiast, crafting

What do you do in your profession?  Support contractors in achieving their goals through Hilti’s innovative solutions and services.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  Any career that allows me to be myself and is a proponent of work/life balance

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Always look for ways you can expand your network.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Say “yes” to all of the opportunities that come your way; no matter how intimidating they might seem.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Don’t EVER let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or that you can’t do something. “When someone says you can’t do something, do it twice and take pictures.” -Anonymous

 

Quinton Bellamy
Quinton Bellamy
Engineering and Construction Supervisor Ameren

Quinton Bellamy
Ameren
Engineering and Construction Supervisor

Where you grew up:  Tallahassee, FL

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Florida A&M University

Personal hobbies:  Weight Lifting, Chess, Golf, Community Service

What do you do in your profession?  Supervise construction job sites, Review and approve design drawings, Manage project schedule and budget, Quality control & quality assurance.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  To manage the engineering and construction of a large skyscraper building in a big city such as Miami or Atlanta.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Always set goals that are challenging but achievable. Never “chase” the money in your career instead seek innovative experiences and the money will come exponentially.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Invest in your long-term goals and success early. Don’t get distracted by peer influences or temporary trends that may derail your success.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Stay hungry and thirsty for personal success but be humble once success has been achieved.

 

 

Rachel Boemer
Rachel Boemer
Program Director

Rachel Boemer
Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI)
Program Director

Where you grew up: South St. Louis County

Where you went to school or did technical training: Lindbergh, MO State, UMSL

Personal hobbies: traveling, coaching sports, reading

What do you do in your profession? I am the director of CCDI which is a nonprofit with a mission of bringing diversity and inclusion to the design and construction industry. I help to facilitate construction education, mentorship, real-world experience, job placement, academic scholarships and to build an awareness of pathways in the construction industry.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I am living my dream! Prior to taking over the CCDI program, I spent 7 years teaching history and career development in St. Louis Public Schools. I’ve always dreamed of being able to impact my students lives beyond the classroom and now I get to do that in a very big way! My most memorable moment has been surprising a CCDI student with a car!

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Nonprofit management is a unique sector in St. Louis as so many entities work in silos. My advice would be to study the landscape of groups already out there and find ways to partner and support each other, network like crazy along the way (build that LinkedIn page!!), but most importantly be passionate about your mission and wake up every single day ready to break down barriers and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? I would tell my 16 year old self to not live my life on a timeline, to not rush and feel unaccomplished if I didn’t hit a goal by a certain age, that all things happen when they are supposed to and to always search for the meaning behind the lessons we are given.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. “So rather than struggle against time and waste it, let’s dance with time and redeem it, because we don’t live longer when we try not to die, we live longer when we are too busy livin.” –Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights

 

Rebekah Serna
Rebekah Serna
Project Administrator/Project Accountant

Rebekah Serna
Green Street Building Group
Project Administrator/Project Accountant

Where you grew up: All over (military brat) – Most of high school in Waterloo, IL, but graduated in Naples, Italy

Where you went to school or did technical training: Illinois College (Bachelors in Accounting), UMSL (Bachelors in Early Childhood Education), Webster University (Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language)

Personal hobbies: Reading, playing with daughter, Netflix, singing at church

What do you do in your profession? Everything! 🙂  A lot of project accounting and administration – payment applications, billings, contracts, subcontractor paperwork, process invoices, lien waivers, process employee time sheets and expense reports, executive assistant to Vice President. I am also our on-site IT for easy fix computer issues.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? Counselor. I somewhat fill that role here by being a patient listener helping people talk through project problems and personal issues. In terms of construction, accounting has always been a love of mine, and I love working with contracts and the team to present the numbers in a neat package.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. If you follow the project administrator/account career path, get a comfortable chair! However, don’t let yourself be constricted to that chair. Stand up for yourself to get added to the projects and get out in the field to meet the superintendents, project managers and engineers. Get to know them personally, so when you need an answer, they will get back to you quickly. Be personal and respectful with everyone on your projects.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? It’s okay to make different choices and career paths. You don’t have to be stuck with just one. There are so many choices in construction. I wanted to be an accountant, and I thought I was stuck heading down a CPA path, but when I entered the construction world, there are many different paths I could follow, and even more I can learn outside of accounting.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. Ask a lot of questions and be open to new ideas. Always take every moment as an opportunity to learn or to mentor. You are valuable!

 

Richard Kinsey
Richard Kinsey
Project Engineer

Richard Kinsey
Green Street Building Group

Project Engineer

Where you grew up: Arnold, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training: Missouri University of School & Technology

Personal hobbies: Woodworking, grilling/cooking, house renovation

What do you do in your profession? Quarterback and conduit of the work to happen. In between for financial/contract side to the day-to-day operations of the project. A good steward of the project’s goals.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I love my career! I want to keep following my career path up and get my hands on more of the back end duties going on. Dream task – another large tower job.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Be as versatile as you can while moving up. Wear as many hats as you’re allowed to.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Focus on real world knowledge that you can and learn/do more!

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. It’s ever-growing, and one of the biggest industries affected by the technology boom. It’s a huge part of our day-to-day activities. Construction takes all different kinds of minds.

 

Robert Grossman
Robert Grossman
Senior Estimator

Robert Grossmann
Murphy Company
Senior Estimator

Where you grew up:  St. Louis Metro – North County and St. Charles County

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Jennings / Wentzville HS; Missouri S&T

Personal Hobbies:  Music, Hiking, Skiing, Photography

What do you do in your profession?  Primarily estimating / sales but also technical assistance for projects. We review drawings, specs, models, and site conditions to come up with cost estimates and prepare proposals for our customers. In addition to my regular job, I am also on the Sheet Metal Contractors (SMACNA) Board and sit on various committees within the local construction industry on behalf of the Sheet Metal Contractors.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I’ve always enjoyed problem solving. Construction offers a pretty steady diet of problems to solve. In commercial construction, we never or rarely build the same thing twice so every project presents it’s own unique set of problems that need to be resolved.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Learn the “why” not just the “how”. When we understand why things are done a certain way or why things work a certain way, we can extend that knowledge to situations that we maybe haven’t experienced before. It’s great to know how to do something but when the conditions change, we may not understand what we need to do differently. Learn to be a problem solver. Understand how to define the problem and determine what information you need to solve the problem. The world will always need problem solvers.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Always do the extra credit. Don’t just do what is asked. Always see if you can do a little extra. The extra is what people will notice and that can be what sets you apart.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Construction offers many great career choices. It nice to be able to drive around and point out projects that you had a hand in. The construction industry needs a wide variety of personality types and training backgrounds. It needs people that are skilled with their hands as well as their minds. It needs engineers, accountants, craftsmen, CAD operators, planners, safety professionals, sales people, quality control professionals, …

 

Ryan Tune
Ryan Tune
Project Engineer

Ryan Tune
Green Street Building Group
Project Engineer

Where you grew up:  St. Charles, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  University of Central Missouri – Degree in Construction Management

Personal hobbies:  Outdoors – hunting, fishing, hanging with friends

What do you do in your profession?  RFI’s, submittals, managing the money and subcontractors

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Dream project – building a new Pittsburgh Steelers stadium.    Dream career – owning my own construction business.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  You’re always changing as you move from project to project. You’re always dealing with different subs, project managers, etc. It’s an ever-changing environment, so be open to meeting new people.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Pay attention in school more. 🙂   Get more hands on experience and knowledge.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Don’t knock it til you try it. Construction is more than wearing tools and playing in the mud. Even if you start out as a carpenter or another trade, you can always work your way up to the office side of things. Never give up on yourself or your abilities to work hard.

 

Samantha Bievenue
Samantha Bievenue
Marketing Coordinator

Samantha Bievenue
Guarantee Electrical Company
Marketing Coordinator

Where you grew up:  Saint Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Missouri State University

Personal hobbies:  Hiking with my husband and pup, dinner & game nights with friends, exploring the U.S., house projects, cooking, and more.

What do you do in your profession?  As the Marketing Coordinator at Guarantee Electrical Company, I manage our social platforms, internal intranet, & website. I also assist with project proposals, content creation, event planning, photography, video editing, promotional items & employee swag, and help with the overall internal and external communications for the company.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  I have a few passions in life. One of those passions is helping people. Another passion is “making things look good”. When it came time to pick my major in college, graphic and web design was an easy answer. But when I graduated and needed to actually make a career out of it… the question that always came to mind was/still it “How can I use these skills to HELP people?”. So, I am not sure if there is a DREAM job, more like dreaming of MAKING AN IMPACT. Working at Guarantee Electrical Company, I get to be a part of a variety of different pursuits and projects that affect many lives (i.e. new and updated hospitals, alternative energy solutions, service to existing airports, innovative manufacturing, and more) and that is very fulfilling. There is so much gratification in knowing that  I help my team with my skills and that ultimately helps a lot more people in different communities and industries.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Don’t let fear of the unknown paralyze you. In the marketing world, new designs/ new campaigns/ new ideas are a GOOD thing. Especially in the construction industry, there is a lot to learn! That is why you have a team and an entire company of people to learn and grow with you. Never stop trying to learn. You WILL go places if you just… keep… trying.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  You only live once. Breathe! Soak it all in before your life flashes before your eyes. I promise this will make sense one day.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Like I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love helping people. Do not hesitate to reach out and connect so that we can do great things together.

 

Samantha Campbell
Samantha Campbell
Estimator

Samantha Campbell
Clay Piping Systems

Estimator/Piping & Plumbing/PM Trainee

Where you grew up:  East Saint Louis, Illinois

Where you went to school or did technical training:  East Saint Louis Senior High, Ball State University

Personal Hobbies:  Playing volleyball and relaxing outdoors

What do you do in your profession?  Understanding job cost reporting, job tracking and the review of budgets. I follow the process of creating an estimate Sub-contractor management. I physically visit job sites within the COVID -19 allowances. I work to understand Accounts Receivable reports and the collection of funds as well as understanding the itemized cost of labor and overhead. I also keep track of submitted and returned lien waivers for various jobs through Reconcile Vendor statements in the accounting system.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  Project Manger/Estimator for a construction firm

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Don’t ever give up, always keep your options open. It may seem like a tough path but it is one that you believe in and must keep going.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Start making connections now. In this industry nothing is ever given to you, you earn it!

 

Scott Faulkner
Scott Faulkner
Staff Scientist

Scott Faulkner
Geotechnology, Inc.

Staff Scientist

Where you grew up:  Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Where you went to school or did technical training:  Missouri S&T

Personal hobbies:  Hiking, fishing, woodworking, soccer

What do you do in your profession? Environmental sampling of soil and groundwater, and due diligence activities for various projects.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I think I’m still figuring that one out, but it would still be something in a public health-related area.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  This field is constantly changing, so be on the lookout for new opportunities and don’t be afraid to reach out to people who are in the industry.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Start saving for college sooner.

 

Sean Gabris
Sean Gabris
Director of Business Development

Sean Gabris
Phoenix Solutions
Director of Business Development

Where you grew up:  St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  UMSL

Personal hobbies:  Playing/Watching Soccer (YNWA), STL Craft Beer

What do you do in your profession?  Mitigate IT Risk on End-of-Life Technology, including(but not limited to) Data Destruction, Asset Tracking, Landfill-FREE IT Recycling, Reverse Logistics, and Philanthropic Impact. I connect with IT Professionals and Philanthropic minded C-Suite executives in industries such as construction to form goals for nonprofit contribution through ITAD(IT Asset Disposition) processes. This includes removal of old equipment through a refresh, aging equipment, etc.

What are your dream career and dream tasks to work on?  Connecting companies with and helping further Social Impact and Philanthropic Goals for corporations.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Have a heart for making an impact and knowing what you do impacts others for good. Learn to communicate effectively, Immerse yourself in technology and never stop learning.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Start learning sooner, there are opportunities and tools at your disposal that allow you to build your knowledge if you dig deeper than the surface level. There are SO many people out there willing to help young people. Be bold, make the ask, others will see this.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  Challenge yourself daily!

 

Sheena Jones
Sheena Jones
Sheet Metal Worker

Sheena Jones
Jarrell Mechanical
Sheet Metal Worker

Where you grew up: St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training: UMSL, technical training at SMART Local 36 JATC

Personal hobbies: Teaching youth how to sew

What do you do in your profession? I install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems on commercial projects. I also work in a fabrication shop from time to time.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?My dream career is one where I am able to own a sheet metal company.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Be persistent in learning. Always have a positive attitude because it will carry you a long way!

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Follow your heart. You are the only guardian of it.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. I am extremely thankful for the BUD Program and MOWIT for the training and support I have received in my journey as a tradeswoman.

 

Sondra Rotty
Sondra Rotty
Vice President, Operations

Sondra Rotty
Tarlton Corporation
Vice President, Operations

Where you grew up:  St. Louis (Oakville), MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  University of MO – Rolla (Missouri S&T)

Personal hobbies:  Learning, Reading, Running

What do you do in your profession?  My main duties include supporting our teams as they build great projects for great people while solving complicated problems. Additionally, I work on a team who develops strategy for the company as we continue to evolve to adapt to the social, physical, and economic conditions of our community, hoping to help make it better. To get here, though, I spent 15 years as a project engineer and manager.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  I am fortunate to be living a bit of a dream. While construction is hard, it’s amazing to know the impact it has on our community. I have gotten to build some pretty awesome projects for some of the greatest institutions in the St. Louis region, and it’s hard to top that.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  As my parents taught me, hard work is never wasted. No matter where you are starting, work hard and be open-minded to advice and direction provided by your peers and those with more experience. St. Louis’ depth of skilled tradespeople is a resource any emerging builder can tap for knowledge, if you are willing to listen.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Be comfortable not knowing; take advantage of as many free educational opportunities as you can possibly fit into your schedule; by your mid-30s, you will look back at these struggles and appreciate them for the character they will bring you; cut out toxicity, as it doesn’t help either party; sit up straight and eat your vegetables.

 

Stephanie Guion
Stephanie Guion
Special Projects and Warranty Coordinator

Stephanie Guion
S. M. Wilson & Co.
Special Projects and Warranty Coordinator

Where you grew up:  Fenton, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training:  SIU- Edwardsville

Personal hobbies:  I like to read and have taken up gardening.

What do you do in your profession?  I handle all the warranty claims on completed projects for the duration of the warranty period. I am also the Project Assistant for our Special Projects group so I work on contracts, change orders, and billing for our projects that are 3 million and under.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on?  My dream career would be to own my own banquet hall and help people plan special events.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you.  Be persistent in what you want, be sure to observe and learn from others and soak up as much knowledge from others as you can. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. If you do not know always ask someone is always willing to share their knowledge.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be?  Don’t ever give up, keep moving forward and take it a day at a time. You can do anything you want in this life.

Any other comments or information that you would like to include.  I have been in the Construction industry for over 20 years and being a woman is this industry has given me great confidence to know that I can do anything I put my mind to. When I started it was very unusual to see a woman as a project manager on a job site and to get a lot of push back from other people in the industry but if you know your stuff you can do anything.

 

Taylor Lammert
Taylor Lammert
Administrative Assistant

Taylor Lammert
ATON Environmental
Administrative Assistant

Where you grew up: St. Louis, MO

Where you went to school or did technical training: Webster University

Personal hobbies: Art & photography, walking & hiking, and camping

What do you do in your profession? I assist with daily administrative activities, including marketing, accounting, and report development.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I enjoy the work that I do now. I get to work on a little bit of everything from accounting and technical writing to marketing and design. My dream is to progress to a management and leadership position in the future.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to ask questions. Being able to multi-task is important too. It is better to thoroughly understand what is expected from you rather than assume that you are doing a task correctly.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Strive for things that scare you or seem difficult to achieve. It is important to experience new things that are out of your usual comfort zone. You will surprise yourself if you just take a leap of faith.

 

Tiffany Jones
Tiffany Jones
Material Handler

Tiffany Jones
Rexel USA
Material Handler

Where you grew up: St. Louis

Where you went to school or did technical training: SEMO

Personal hobbies: Puzzles, binge watching shows, anything

What do you do in your profession? Shipping, receiving as a material handler. In 2015, I was an inside apprentice, changed classification to telecom tech apprentice in 2017/2018, then changed classification again to material handler in 2021.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I never had a dream career. I just want to get paid enough to enjoy the activities after work.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Everything is entry level, so you’ll learn everything on the job. Just be prepared to learn a lot of things at one time.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Join the union as soon as you graduate. College and military are not your only options after high school.

 

Tim Vaughan
Tim Vaughan
Vice President

Tim Vaughan
Green Street Building Group
Vice President

Where you grew up: Granite City, IL

Where you went to school or did technical training: SIU Edwardsville

Personal hobbies: Golf, Poker and Mission trips to Haiti

What do you do in your profession? In charge of all aspects of Construction including bidding, estimating, building, client management, etc. I work with a great team and take projects from concept to completion.

What is your dream career and dream task to work on? I’m currently living my dream career! And my dream task is to continue to make Green Street Building Group successful.

Advice for someone who wants to do the same job or career as you. Trust in others. Be a people person and listen. You can learn something from everyone.

If you were to go back and give advice to yourself at age 16, what would it be? Invest in Apple. 😉

Any other comments or information that you would like to include. It is really exciting in construction when you get to drive around the city and see things you built, but I get the most pleasure from building people.