Now in its third year, ENR California's Top 20 Under 40 list makes clear that the construction industry has a deep well of talent. Our 2013 competition drew a record number of entries, with nominations submitted for young professionals in all facets of design and construction. The unprecedented response is a hopeful sign that the industry in California has a full roster of emerging leaders.
Our Top 20 Under 40 list, selected by an independent jury, includes up-and-coming employees and those who already have lead roles in their respective firms.
The jury selected winners on the basis of candidates' career experience; industry leadership; community service; and other factors. This year's jury included Pauly De Bartolo, designer at De Bartolo + Rimanic Design Studio, San Diego; Marylou Flanders, pursuits manager, water & environment, at Atkins, San Diego; Leah Hislop, online communications and marketing specialist at Arup, San Francisco; and Gary Miller, vice president of transportation at RBF Consulting, Irvine.
This year's winners represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds, jobs and design and construction markets. Some among the 20 were born into family businesses; others developed a passion for the challenges of contemporary design and construction. Some lead their own firms; others hold senior positions at large international companies.
In reviewing the 2013 class as a whole, it is clear that the future of design and construction in California is in capable hands.
Read on to learn more about these inspiring professionals.
Worked his way up from the field to become an industry leader
38, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
Joseph J. Albanese Inc.
Kevin Albanese knows the construction industry from the ground up, starting from his days in the field pulling nails from concrete wood forms. He went on to run the maintenance shop, served as superintendent and moved up to project manager. Today, as vice president and chief operating officer of Joseph J. Albanese Inc., he is responsible for the company's risk management program, safety department, legal affairs (he graduated from the Santa Clara University School of Law) and banking and surety relationships. Albanese plays a role in local industry, too, as a board member of United Contractors, an association representing nearly 300 union general, utility and heavy civil contractors. He will serve as the organization's president in 2014. He is also co-chairman for the Cement Mason Negotiating Committee and serves on the executive labor relations committee, where he advocates for the industry on state and local initiatives.
Promotes net-zero design and high-performance projects
Green design isn't just a catchphrase for Hafsa Burt; it's the theme of her career. After gaining experience at firms like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Frank O. Gehry & Associates, Burt started her own consulting practice focusing on architecture, planning, collaborations and custom furnishings. As principal of HB+A Architects, she steers a practice that is dedicated to green building and holistic high-performance design, demonstrated on a range of projects, including work at Merritt College, San Francisco International Airport, Embarcadero Center and on private residential projects. She has committed HB+A to the 2030 challenge, which targets net-zero design. All of her designs seek to create healthy buildings with improved air quality. Burt is also working toward developing the next generation of green architects. She is part of the American Institute of Architects San Francisco mentorship team, the Eden Area Livability Initiative and U.S. Green Building Council as a liaison with Green Schools.
Go-to choice for megaprojects and big-budget programs
36, Senior Project Manager
When Parsons was awarded the construction management contract for the 330,000-sq-ft Los Angeles Air Force Base, the firm turned to Christopher Bush to take the reins. Bush's career at Parsons has been marked by major projects, including the $4.5-billion capital improvement program at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest. He also has overseen projects in Northern California, Hawaii, Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Bush acts as a manager in the Parsons Construction Group, mentoring 20 employees. He has served on the board of directors of the Society of American Military Engineers San Diego chapter and was responsible for the chapter's largest scholarship fundraising effort. He organized a group of 50 Parsons employees, family members and local business people in a community service project to transform a patch of weeds, rocks and dirt into the foundation of the Ocean Knoll Community Support Farm.