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40 Under 40 class of 2022 winners: Meet the contractors

40 Under 40

40 Under 40 class of 2022 winners: Meet the contractors

Meet the eight all-star construction professionals to be named 40 Under 40 class of 2022 winners by the editors of Building Design+Construction


By ROBERT CASSIDY, JOHN CAULFIELD, QUINN PURCELL, DAVID BARISTA | November 1, 2022
Pictured: Marcus Taylor, Vice President of Business Development with Gray Construction, based in Lexington, Ky.
Pictured: Marcus Taylor, Vice President of Business Development with Gray Construction, based in Lexington, Ky.

Last week, the editors of Building Design+Construction named the winners of the 17th Annual 40 Under 40 competition. Of the up-and-coming AEC professionals to be named to the class of 2022, eight make their living in the construction profession. Meet the contractors below. 

View the entire 40 Under 40 Class of 2022. Check out the 40 Under 40 class of 2021 and 40 Under 40 class of 2020

Interested in submitting a candidate for the 2023 40 Under 40 awards? The entry materials will be posted at https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdc-awards-programs in early February 2023. Reminders will be posted regularly in the BD+C Daily 5 newsletter. Sign up for our free BD+C Daily 5 daily newsletter

 

MEET THE CONTRACTORS - 40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2022
 

 

 

 

QUICK STUDY

Christie Brinkman, Castle Contracting, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Christie Brinkman
Director Design-Build
Castle Contracting
St. Louis, Mo.

AGE: 36

EDUCATION 
Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, University of Missouri

Bachelor of Arts, International Studies, University of Missouri

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
In her current role, she more than doubled the firm’s design-build clients, and increased number of design-build projects 6.5 times from a few years ago

As a design-build advocate, she has encouraged clients to consider a different way of procuring services to improve overall construction delivery on site projects and reduce design related change orders by 90%

Success with the first of its kind Safety Design-Build with Missouri Department of Transportation

ENR Midwest Top Young Professionals

St. Louis Business Journal 40 under 40

EXTRACURRICULARS 
Active participant in the McCarthy Partnership for Women, a national employee resource group organized within Castle’s parent company

Chair for Mission Advancement with Urban Land Institute (ULI) St. Louis

Has held leadership positions in the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) St. Louis Chapter, Urban Land Institute, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers, Construction Forum STL, the Engineers Club of St. Louis and the Missouri Society of Hospital Engineers

OFF THE CLOCK
Past president and board member of Home Sweet Home, a local nonprofit furniture bank

Other organizations that Christie has served include LifeWise STL, Women’s Safe House, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, Shalom House, The Bridge, and the Wet Nose Project

Biking on the trails around St. Louis

Gardening, yoga, and cooking

SECRET LIFE 
Once built bathrooms in India for Engineers without Borders

Great-grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Prussia, as an indentured servant digging ditches. He started his own excavation business once his debt had been repaid

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“The one piece of advice that guides me most though is that integrity is the most important thing you have. Do what you say you are going to do. If you do the right thing and treat people with respect, people will remember. Sometimes you may lose on price to someone willing to cut corners but in the end, being a person who is trustworthy is far more valuable than any single project.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
She says her biggest professional achievement to date has been Veterans Community Project, the design and construction of a village with 50 tiny homes for vets experiencing homelessness. “The impact the project will have in providing support for the men and women who served in the military is incredible. Our team developed creative solutions for a challenging project that required threading the needle with multiple Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), a complex site with many parcels and previous buildings, a lengthy approval process for the City of St. Louis and unknown subsurface conditions.”

 

 

 

 

TECH TITAN

Rohan Jawali, LEED AP, CM-BIM VDC Manager, Director of Innovation Hensel Phelps, BD+C 40 Under 40 class of 2022 winner

Rohan Jawali, LEED AP
Former VDC Manager, Director of Innovation
Hensel Phelps
San Diego

AGE: 37

EDUCATION 
Master of Science, Construction Management, Texas A&M University

Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, University of Pune, India

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Founding member of Hensel Phelps’ innovation arm, Diverge, which has built relationships with over 50 emerging companies

Has delivered nearly $5 billion in project value over 13 years

Helped build the firm’s mobile-based jobsite apps program that, over the past five years, has deployed more than 60 apps across the country

Introduced iPads to the firm’s regional field operations in 2010

Contributed to the firm’s corporate social media strategy

EXTRACURRICULARS
Guest presenter at San Diego State University

For over seven years, has sat on AGC San Diego’s Technology in Construction Committee

Has helped raise more than $400,000 for various charities through annual Halloween golf tournament.

OFF THE CLOCK
Enjoys photography, hiking, and reading; his goal for 2022 is to go on 24 hikes and read 24 books

SECRET LIFE
His uncle, Dr. Vivek Jawali, has performed over 20,000 cardiothoracic and vascular surgeries in India, where he is Chief Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon and Chairman of Fortis Hospitals

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“One of my long-time mentors, noticing my fascination with computers and software programs, told me on my first week at Hensel Phelps to focus on mastering the processes, not the tools. This piece of advice has made a tremendous impact on me and remains applicable after over a decade.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I had the opportunity to build the mobile-based jobsite apps program at Hensel Phelps, and in the past five years, we were able to deploy over 60 apps across the country.”

 

 

 

 

MODULAR MOGUL

Christian Lawrence, Founder, CEO, RISE Modular, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Christian Lawrence
Founder, CEO
RISE Modular
Minneapolis, Minn.

AGE: 29

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Arts/Science, Economics, Yale University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Founding partner at Lake Harriet Development in 2018

Founded RISE Modular in 2019, and by 2021, completed the five-story, 192-unit modular project Alvera Apartments in St. Paul. “I saw modular working in other countries and starting to come to the U.S. I wanted to build a project that way, but there weren’t any suppliers in the central U.S. and not enough suppliers in the U.S. overall. So, I decided to become one.”

Has grown the company to 159 employees in just four years

OFF THE CLOCK
Christian had his first ski lesson when he was just one year old and is still an avid skier today. He enjoys anything outdoors: skiing, hiking, biking, golfing, and fishing

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“One piece of advice that I think is imperative, particularly as an entrepreneur, is: ‘Never get too high or too low.’ Taking everything in stride and maintaining an even keel will sustain you and help you keep a level head through all times—good, bad, and everything in between.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Starting RISE Modular in 2019 was my biggest achievement so far. We broke ground on our first commercial volumetric modular project in 2020, and in 2021, we completed one of the country’s largest and most complex modular projects to date, Alvera Apartments in St. Paul. It’s 192 units on a tight urban infill site in St. Paul, with five stories of modules atop two stories of concrete. The uniqueness of the building shape and design of the building demonstrates that modular can deliver great quality, and great design almost anywhere, and I’m really proud that our team could deliver an award-winning project like Alvera as our second project.”

 

 

 

 

SAFETY CHAMPION

Steve B. Lee Regional Safety Director, West region Shawmut Design and Construction BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Steve B. Lee
Regional Safety Director, West region
Shawmut Design and Construction
Los Angeles

AGE: 35

EDUCATION
Working toward bachelor’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety at Columbia Southern University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Commercial Observer Top Young Professional

Top graduate at the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force base in Texas

Led Shawmut’s West region to win the company’s annual Safety Award in 2021

EXTRACURRICULARS
Member, American Society of Safety Professionals

Member, Associated General Contractors of California

OFF THE CLOCK
Volunteers as a CPR and First Aid course instructor for the American Red Cross

Holds several safety certifications, including OSHA 30 Hour and Safety Trained Supervisor

Coaches his daughter’s soccer team

Enjoys woodworking and fishing

SECRET LIFE
Before joining Shawmut, Steve Lee was a firefighter and EMT, first with the Department of Interior fighting wildfires, and then with the U.S. Air Force Fire Department
 
From an early age, was active in the underground skateboarding scene, and at one time considered going pro

His father has worked in the aerospace industry for nearly 40 years. The projects he has been involved with have included the space shuttle, the International Space Station, the Peacekeeper missile, and more recently the Artemis rocket that will transport the next human to the moon.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
 “‘Leave your ego at the door.’ This was given to me by a former manager who I highly respect and is somewhat responsible for me entering the safety field. He had years of experience and was very knowledgeable. He taught me that my opinion matters, but it may not be the best. I always respected the way he educated other supervisors in safety. He never acted arrogant or stuck up and respected everything anyone had to say. I take this advice into every meeting and on every project.” 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Becoming the Top Graduate at the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. The Louis F. Garland Fire Academy is a physically and mentally demanding fire academy which required me to push myself to my limits and overcome adversity. The academy help build my self-confidence and leadership skills. My success in the academy taught me that I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.”

 

 

 

 

RAINMAKER, TEAM-BUILDER

Victor Nuñez, DBIA Professional, Business Development Manager, Turner Construction Company, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Victor Nuñez, DBIA Professional
Business Development Manager
Turner Construction Company
San Francisco, Calif.

AGE: 33

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, Pratt Institute

Bachelor of Science, Business Management, Stony Brook University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
As the Business Development Manager for the firm’s Bay Area business unit, he played a pivotal role in winning more than $1.5 billion in construction work during the past year

Worked as a Project Engineer and Superintendent, managing several large projects and project teams, before transitioning to his current position

During the pandemic, he served as the lead for Turner’s Employee Resource Groups and helped launch a series to discuss racism, called Courageous Conversations, and a 21-day Equity Challenge. These sparked the creation of a new Turner ERG, the Mosaic Network, which highlights and celebrates diversity and cultural experiences

Notable projects include the National Geographic Ocean Odyssey experience in Times Square, New York; Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he managed a $50+ million project portfolio; and the Marriott Marquis Hotel Lobby & Plaza in San Francisco, where he helped the project team overcome a three-month strike to achieve a successful project completion

EXTRACURRICULARS
Member, DE&I Committee, Oakland Chamber of Commerce

Member, Bay Area Council Climate Committee

Volunteer, AEC Mentor program

Built and led teams to build two parklets for businesses at no cost during the pandemic

Was instrumental in organizing Turner’s involvement in Healing Hearts for Suicide Awareness and Prevention, which raised $3,800

OFF THE CLOCK
An avid traveler that has visited 18 countries. “On one of my trips, I visited Amsterdam and bungee-jumped off of a crane.”

Enjoys hiking (“especially hikes with waterfalls”) and working on the gut renovation of his house and accessory dwelling unit (ADU)

SECRET LIFE
Was born in the Dominican Republic, but his family lineage traces back to Spain in the 1700s

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Being the Project Superintendent on the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square, New York. It was the first of its kind with its immersive experience. I also had the fortune of working with brilliant special effects artists from around the world, whether it was someone who worked on “Game of Thrones,” or the movie “Hugo.” Lastly, the team culture was like no other. Our client, SPE Partners, made us feel like a part of their team. I was invited to ring the NASDAQ bell with them as we were televised and projected in the heart of Time Square.”

WHAT IS THE SINGLE BEST PIECE OF CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
“Always keep an open mind to new opportunities, even when they don’t seem exciting. There have been times throughout my career where I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy a role, or a project. By having an open mind and a positive mindset I’ve been able to learn from each experience. The culmination of those individual moments has allowed me to challenge myself and become a well rounded professional.”

 

 

 

 

DIVERSITY DRIVER

Johnny Ortiz Regional Diversity Manager Skanska USA Building BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Johnny Ortiz
Regional Diversity Manager
Skanska USA Building
Cary, N.C.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION 
Currently earning his Associate degree at Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, N.C.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Triangle Business Journal, 2020 Leader in Diversity Award

Established and leads eight-week English-as-a-second-language course within Skanska, focused on construction terminology

Career path took an unusual route: from high school dropout to working in his family’s residential construction business, he earned his GED and became an HVAC-R technician. After 10 years in the trenches, he was hired into Skanska’s diversity programs with subs and vendors, first as a part-time admin assistant, then working his way up to his current post as a director overseeing four southeastern states.

EXTRACURRICULARS 
Coordinates training and mentoring for Hispanic Contractors Association of the Carolinas and the United Minority Contractors of North Carolina

With Wake Tech, helped to coordinate classes in which English speakers learned common jobsite phrases in Spanish

Teaches recently incarcerated citizens about career opportunities in construction and connects job seekers with subcontractors

Volunteers for a workforce initiative focused on high school dropouts

Blogger and writer on construction-related topics

OFF THE CLOCK
Has played fantasy sports for the past 25 years. He treats each game like a puzzle that’s solvable by creating math-based spreadsheets. His nephew is considered a pro “gamer” and is part of an e-sports team sponsored by investors and companies.

SECRET LIFE 
Avid sneaker collector, with over 150 pairs. He and his wife were married wearing matching kicks.

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Always find a way to add value with anything you do. My mother and father taught me if I always add value, I will always be valuable. As an example, when I was a child, my mother cleaned homes for a living. I recall helping her with minor tasks to help her finish sooner as I always tried to not be idle if someone needed my help or assistance. Now, regardless of what I do personally or professionally, I always look for ways to add value and support others.” 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“As someone who dropped out of high school as a young man, I believe my biggest achievement is growing within my current role. In the nine years I’ve been with Skanska, I’ve gone from that part-time role to a Regional Supplier Diversity Director. I’m now creating and implementing programs that have a positive impact on residents in the communities we do business in who may have a similar story to mine and may be in need of an opportunity.”
 

 

 

 

 

ADVENTUROUS ANALYST

Sairam Ramisetti, CMIT, LEED AP BD+C, FAA 107-certified UAV pilot Emerging Tech and Innovation Analyst McCarthy Holdings BD+C 40 under 40 class of 2022 winner

Sairam Ramisetti, CMIT, LEED AP BD+C, FAA 107-certified UAV pilot
Emerging Tech and Innovation Analyst
McCarthy Holdings
Dallas

AGE: 30

EDUCATION
Master of Science, Construction Management, Purdue University

Bachelor of Technology, Architectural Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture & Fine Arts University, India

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Co-developed the firm’s Emerging tech strategy, and its first engagement competition

Over the last nine years, he has been part of the design and construction of projects across five continents

Builtworld USA Construction Tech Adoption Leaders 50 (2021)

Early-stage angel investor and startup advisor

EXTRACURRICULARS 
Dallas Mayor Star Council

Citizen Climate Lobby and legislative lobbyist

Venture Capital Fellow at Hometeam Ventures, a $20 million early-stage fund

Sits on the Tech & Innovation committee of the Construction Industry Institute and the Innovation Task Force of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce 

Pro-bono Project Officer with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Flagship incubator

Board member and secretary, Purdue Technology Alumni Board

OFF THE CLOCK
Likes to undertake new experiences, from art exhibits and baking classes to skydiving and sailing

Hiking (aims to hike one national park yearly)

Has traveled to 19 countries to date

Hobby photographer

SECRET LIFE 
Big anime enthusiast (“‘One Piece’ is the best show!”)

Has a “huge” book collection

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“The best advice is from a mentor I look up to: ‘The goal of life is not to settle down into a pattern of unchanging regularity, where every new day is predictably safe and nice. Whether we like it or not, life is an adventure. And even we don’t know which mountain we will want to climb a decade later.’ Adventure is another name for struggle when it is chosen voluntarily. Forget the set life; instead, enjoy this roller coaster adventure.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“My most significant career achievement was founding a new emerging tech team with my Manager, Lewis McKenzie. We developed the company’s first Emerging Tech strategy, created a curated database of startups, created due diligence framework, and fostered strategic partnerships with Venture capital firms, rising startups, accelerators, and academia, to drive technology and innovation in the company.”
 

 

 

 

 

SHOOTING STAR

Marcus Taylor Vice President of Business Development Gray Construction BD+C 40 Under 40 class of 2022 winner

Marcus Taylor
Vice President of Business Development
Gray Construction
Lexington, Ky.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Science, Construction Management, Middle Tennessee State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Helped grow the firm’s Foreign Direct Investment customer segment to more than 70% of Gray’s manufacturing projects

Has completed more than eight million sf of projects with over $1 billion in customer investments. Projects include a 788,407-sf composite decking board plant in Little Rock, Ark., and a 1.6  million-sf paper mill in Circleville, Ohio

EXTRACURRICULARS 
Organized corporate support for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass

Served for three years as a junior board member for Cardinal Hill Hospital

Since 2013, has sat on the Gray Charitable Grant Committee that selects partners, allocates funding, and organizes events with philanthropic endeavors

OFF THE CLOCK
Has been hooked on skiing ever since his first experience “accidentally” took him down a black diamond run in Colorado

“Show dad” for his wife at her Eventing shows (which, for the uninitiated, are equestrian triathlons) 

Weekend golfing, traveling, and trying new recipes

SECRET LIFE 
Played Division 1 baseball in college

His goal is to visit all 30 major league baseball stadiums (he’s over halfway there)

He and his brother got married in the same calendar year, and will be first-time parents in the same year

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Always be willing to ask questions in any setting. You’ll often find most leaders and those with longer tenure in the profession willing to assist and grow someone’s career. Always have something with you to take notes with and never be afraid of failure in trying something new.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Being a part of various teams (totaling over $1 billion in value) that have taken on the challenge of pursuing and ultimately executing some of the most complex projects in Gray’s history that has us consistently viewed as one of the best in the industry for industrial construction.”

 

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40 Under 40

Meet the 40 Under 40 class of 2022

Each year, the editors of Building Design+Construction honor 40 architects engineers, contractors, and real estate developers as BD+C 40 Under 40 awards winners. These AEC professionals are recognized for their career achievements, passion for the AEC profession, involvement with AEC industry organizations, and service to their communities.

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