Forty individuals who have distinguished themselves by their career achievements, service to their professions and communities, and active participation in charitable work.

May 08, 2013

We’re pleased to present our Class of 2013 “40 Under 40” honorees. Along with the 280 previous recipients of this honor, dating from 2006, they represent the next generation of leadership in the AEC industry. These superstars range in age from 28 to 39 (as of December 31, 2012), with a median age of 36. They have been chosen by the editors of Building Design+Construction on the basis of three factors: career achievement, service to their professions and communities, and active participation in charitable work.

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This year’s winners will be invited to join their 40 Under 40 peers—as well as up-and-coming professionals nominated by their firms—for three days of career development at our Third Annual BD+C “U40 Leadership Summit” in San Francisco, October 9-11, 2013. For more information, contact BD+C's Events Manager, Judy Brociek, at 847.954.7943 or jbrociek@sgcmail.com.

We'd like to thank our 40 Under 40 sponsors for their support of the awards program and U40 Leadership Summit:

           
 
           

 

 

RIGHT-MINDED BUILDER

CESAR RODRIGUEZ

Procurement & Construction
Service Manager
Make It Right Foundation,
New Orleans

AGE: 32
BA, University of Houston

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
A second-generation contractor, this political science major ran his own small construction/roofing firm and was headed to the Peace Corps when Hurricane Katrina hit.
Signed on with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation, which builds LEED Platinum-certified, Cradle-to-Cradle-inspired homes for people in need. As of spring 2013 the organization had built 90 homes in the Lower 9th Ward.
Works with product manufacturers and suppliers to determine if their materials meet sustainability criteria. Negotiates on procurement, oversees contractors and subcontractors, and trains local laborers in green construction practices.
Assisting Make It Right outreach projects in New Jersey and Kansas City.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Serves as a media spokesperson for Make It Right.
Conducts numerous site tours for VIPs and major donors to view homes designed by “starchitects” (Thom Mayne, Shigeru Ban, David Adjaye, Frank Gehry).
Coordinates scheduling of volunteer events.

OFF THE CLOCK
Hobbies: running, cooking, motorcycle riding.
Can’t live without: text messages from his eight young nieces.

SECRET LIFE
Building a beach house in Huatulco, Mexico.

 

MR. COMMISSIONER

JAMES SINK, LEED AP BD+C

Senior Project Designer, Associate
HMC Architects, Los Angeles

AGE: 37
BArch, California State
Polytechnic University
MArch, Harvard University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Joined HMC in 2010 after stints at other firms, specializing in the design of higher education projects, particularly student residences.
Recent work: 400-bed student residence at California State University–Northridge; 490-bed student residence at Cal Poly Pomona; LA Trade Technical College, Construction Technology Building; $60 million Sutter Hall residential facility, California State University–Chico.
Licensed architect in California.
Participates in HMC’s Undercurrents group, a platform for cross-
pollination of ideas through inter-
studio communication, internal lectures, charrettes, and seminars.
Recipient of awards from the City of Claremont  (Calif.) Architectural Commission.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Chair, Architectural Commission of the City of Claremont (second term).
Volunteer home tour docent for Claremont Heritage.
Invited juror for Cal Poly’s architecture design reviews.

OFF THE CLOCK
Hobbies: electric guitar, golf, Lego building (with children), yard work, and solo woodworking (used SketchUp to design a play kitchen for his children).
Favorite food: a perfectly cooked In-N-Out Burger.

SECRET LIFE
As 17-year-old Eagle Scout, glissaded down the Conness Glacier after a 13,000-foot climb of Mt. Conness.

 

GREEN RUNNER

ELISE KIRCHHOFER, PE, LEED AP, HFDP

Vice President
Henderson Engineers Inc.,
Lenexa, Kan.

AGE: 36
BS, University of Wyoming

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Joined Henderson Engineers in 2009: youngest VP ever appointed by the firm, and one of only four women to achieve the rank.
Co-leads a team of 25 engineers and designers focused on healthcare, education, and commercial projects.
Recent projects: $100 million patient tower expansion for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, 144,000-sf medical clinic at Ft. Bliss (largest project of its kind to seek LEED Silver certification), and a new 660,000-sf commercial office campus.
Spearheads the firm’s sustainability education efforts, including LEED exam prep assistance for employees and other local design professionals.
ASHE/AHA Vista Award for Infrastructure, 2012 (Liberty Hospital Cardiology Addition).

EXTRACURRICULAR
Active in ASHE and Kansas City Healthcare Engineers Organization.
Board Chair and multiple committee positions, USGBC Central Plains Chapter.
Collaborated with Kansas City Sports Commission to “green” the KC Triathlon and Kansas City Marathon.
Volunteer service: KIPP Endeavor Academy, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City Hospice.

OFF THE CLOCK
Activities: yoga, competitive running—full and half marathons.

SECRET LIFE
Once appeared in a Benetton ad.

 

SURVIVOR

K. KULIA PACHECO BOERSTLER, PE, SE

Associate
Baldridge & Associates, Honolulu

AGE: 37
BS, MS, University of
Colorado Boulder

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Worked two jobs while completing her bachelor’s degree.
Completed master’s in structural engineering while holding down a full-time engineering job in Colorado.
After returning to Hawaii, promoted from senior structural engineer to associate in 16 months.
Licensed structural engineer in Hawaii and Colorado.
Project experience: Pacifica (48-story residential, Honolulu); The Spire (42-story residential, Denver); and assisted living, healthcare, office, retail, and military projects.
Diagnosed with Stage IIB colorectal cancer in 2011; continued to work during 18 months of treatment.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Volunteer with the American Cancer Society. Firm is doing the ACS Hope Lodge project, which will offer no-cost housing to off-island residents undergoing cancer treatment in Honolulu.
Member, American Institute of Steel Construction and Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii.

OFF THE CLOCK
Hosts annual Kentucky Derby party featuring mint juleps and outrageous hats.
Hobbies: cooking, baking, gardening, long-distance bike riding.
Favorite foods: Red wine-coffee-chocolate “trifecta.”

SECRET LIFE
Grandmother “Tutu” worked for the Hawaii Liquor Commission, took part in crackdowns on underage drinking at strip clubs—in her 70s.

 

ARMY OF ONE

NATHAN SPEANBURG, PE

Project Superintendent
M+W Group, Watervliet, N.Y.

AGE: 33
BSCE, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
MSCE, University of Missouri–Rolla

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Commissioned Army officer (Captain); deployed twice to Afghanistan, as well as to Honduras and Kosovo. Role included general engineering and project management, combat missions.
Recipient of the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal.
Taught military studies at the University of Vermont.
At M+W, manages contracting, planning, design, and construction of high-tech facilities.
Recent projects: $4.2 billion, 1.6-million sf Globalfoundries Fab 8.1, Malta, N.Y.; University at Albany, Albany Nanotech Complex, Office/Research/Technology Building, NanoFab East ($28 million, 211,000 sf); Albany Nanotech Complex, NanoFab Cleanroom building.
One of 10 U.S. employees on firm’s Injury Free Workplace Leadership Team.
Recruited for M+W Group’s Talents Program, providing intensive leadership training and mentoring for Top 20 employees (of 7,800).

EXTRACURRICULAR
Brigade Engineer Officer (Major), Vermont Army National Guard, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Educates first responders and town officials regarding semiconductor construction and operations.

OFF THE CLOCK
Activities: weight lifting, hiking, hunting, music (big band, early jazz, classical).
Favorite film: “Bridge on the River Kwai.”

SECRET LIFE
Building a cabin in the Adirondacks.

 

STRUCTURALLY SOUND

EMILY GUGLIELMO, PE

Senior Structural Engineer
Martin/Martin Inc., Larkspur, Calif.

AGE: 32
BS, University of California–Los Angeles
MS, University of California–Berkeley

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Runs the firm’s San Francisco Bay office.
Licensed engineer, California and Colorado; special expertise in seismic and wind issues.
Recent projects: Colorado State University Sonny Lubick Field Stadium, Denver Health and Hospitals Far Western Addition, Mesa State College Field House, and San Jose International Airport improvements.
Young Member Award, National Council of Structural Engineers Associations Annual Conference, 2012.
Emerging Leaders Alliance Conference Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2012.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Member, Structural Engineering Institute’s Young Professionals Committee.
Founding member, Northern California Structural Engineers Association Young Members Support Committee.
Active member, American Society of Civil Engineers.
Community volunteer, Habitat for Humanity.
Structural engineering docent for the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge.

OFF THE CLOCK
Enjoys marathons, 100-mile bike rides, Ironman Triathlons, skydiving, bungee jumping, ziplining, and roller coasters.
Favorite spots: Italy’s Piemonte region, Lake Tahoe.
Favorite film: “The Shawshank Redemption.”

SECRET LIFE
Former elite gymnast: “I’m still capable of some flips and twists.”

 

EXPERT INVESTIGATOR

BASIL ALEXANDER, PE, Esq., CCE, CPE, PSP, LEED AP

Managing Consultant
Hill International, Washington, D.C.

AGE: 32
JD, University of San Diego School of Law
BEng, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Attorney and civil engineer for one of the world’s largest construction risk management firms
Advises clients on projects in the $50 million to $1 billion range.
Certified Professional Estimator, ASPE.
Expert witness in a case involving a $100 million project in the Dominican Republic.
Lead negotiator in a case involving $9.8 million in change order requests on a fitout project.
Auditing a $27 million claim on a Canadian pipeline project.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Organized a professional development workshop for the American Society of Civil Engineers’ D.C. chapter.
Committee member, Washington Business Congress.
Led an ACE Mentors team at D.C.’s Wilson High School.
Volunteer with local nonprofit Martha’s Table, driving a volunteer-staffed mobile soup kitchen and feeding up to 100 homeless adults per trip.

OFF THE CLOCK
Hobbies: biking, jogging, kayaking, fly fishing, and backcountry camping.
Studying Mandarin Chinese (he is first-generation American: parents hail from Finland and Greece).
Favorite vacation spot: Lendas, on the southern coast of Crete.

SECRET LIFE
Has run the Tough Mudder, a nine-mile race with 20 military-style obstacles, including an ice bath and 10,000-volt electrical wires.

 

GAME CHANGER

FRANK L. CIMINELLI II

Senior Vice President
LPCiminelli Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

AGE: 39
BS, Marietta College
MS, The Catholic University of America

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Wrote undergrad thesis that paved the way for the company’s ISO 9000 certification.
Leads the firm’s Gaming and Entertainment division, representing >$2 billion of gaming work in the past decade.
Recent projects: $360 million Mount Airy Resort & Casino, Mount Pocono, Pa.; $65 million Wheeling Island (W. Va.) Hotel-Casino-Racetrack; $33 million Saratoga (N.Y.) Gaming and Raceway; $22 million Hamburg (N.Y.) Casino at the Fairgrounds; $38 million Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.
Leads implementation of BIM and VDC at his firm.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Co-founded Jog for the Jake, an annual family fundraiser that has raised >$800,000 for Buffalo’s Jacobs Neurological Institute.
Developed co-op educational program with Erie Community College; serves on the ECC foundation board.
Serves on boards and committees for numerous educational, arts, civic, and healthcare institutions.

OFF THE CLOCK
Renovating a home in Buffalo at the gateway to the 1901 Pan American Expo.
Hobbies: squash, working out, reading Tom Clancy novels.
Favorite spot: Tuscany, for its “simple lifestyle, beautiful landscape, wonderful people, and of course food and wine.”

SECRET LIFE
Self-confessed sci fi dork, particularly “Star Wars.”

         
 

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