ENR Southeast's 2013 Top 20 Under 40: Building for the Future
Company he co-founded has achieved solid growth
39, Vice president and Co-Founder
Structor Group, Atlanta
The civil engineering graduate of Auburn University co-founded Structor Group six years ago as a general contracting firm specializing in interior construction for health care, education and commercial projects. Since then, the firm has grown considerably—doubling its staff on a nearly annual basis. Now with a staff of roughly 40, the company's 2012 revenue reached approximately $30 million.
Eleven years ago, Schilling organized the first charity golf tournament to benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. To date, the annual event has raised roughly $350,000 to fund cancer research.
Structural engineering expert mentors young engineers, students
38, Project Manager
Collins Engineers, Charleston, S.C.
After serving as one of the team leaders investigating a crane collapse at Milwaukee's Miller Park project, Jonathan Sigman began mentoring younger staff on inspection work and report-writing. His inclination to help educate others hasn't slowed. He's since taught multiple engineering classes at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University. In Charleston, where he heads up the building design group for Collins Engineers, Sigman is working on a $45-million Charleston cruise terminal project. And he's still reaching out to educate, this time by serving as the sole structural engineer mentor for the local, 2-year-old ACE Mentor Program.
John 'Jay' Bloxham Smith
Expanded opportunities for his company and families in need
38, Vice President
Ajax Building Corp., Tallahassee, Fla.
The grandson of Ajax Building Corp. founder "Block" Smith, Jay Smith has grown up in the construction business. Starting young as a laborer, Smith went on to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Florida and served as a project engineer after graduation. As director of business development and now a vice president and company owner, Smith has overseen much of the company's expansion in recent years. Throughout the recession, Smith helped expand its market beyond Florida. With 10 offices in the Southeast, the company has a presence in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Smith also is active in numerous organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Big Bend. While chairman of that chapter, he spearheaded development of the Day Room at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, which provides families of children patients with a place to rest. He also helped build Leon County's first science, technology, engineering and math complex at a Tallahassee school.
Learned on the job to become a leader for her firm and community
39, Vice President
SEMCO Construction, Bartow, Fla.
Jennifer Sturgis started her career at SEMCO Construction when she was 19, and with admittedly limited knowledge of construction. Since then, she's dedicated herself to becoming an expert in her field, earning a master's degree in business administration with a thesis addressing the best-value proposition for construction management.
Sturgis keeps busy with community groups, and was recognized by the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce as an "Emerging Leader" for Polk County.
Gives patients a voice in the design of health care environments
Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Atlanta
Personal experience as a medical patient with a chronic disease fuels Thompson's advocacy of compassionate health care design and prompted her to create a nonprofit to bring patients' needs to the design table. Under her leadership, the institute engages patients to offer valuable information, including feedback, to health care design professionals.
The institute was recently presented with the 2012 March of Dimes Community Award. As a frequent guest speaker and writer for peer-reviewed journals, Thompson tirelessly works to improve resources available to health care designers.
She chartered the American Institute of Architects' Academy of Architecture for Health in Georgia. She currently co-chairs the group, and continues to be active both locally and nationally to provide continuing education opportunities for architects engaged in the design of medical facilities.
Led a $1.2-billion airport project to successful completion
29, Project Manager
Manhattan Construction Co., Atlanta
After 11 years in the construction industry, with four in the Atlanta area, Matthew Widmaier has made a big impact. He recently managed the $1.2-billion Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The 1.2-million sq ft project included the U.S. Customs facilities, an underground train expansion, roadways, bridges and two parking decks.
Widmaier is currently tasked with building a $21.5-million parking facility at the Georgia State Capitol campus. He is also working internally to streamline production and reduce risk. He is active in industry associations, including the Urban Land Institute, for which he serves as a councilman for the Young Leaders Group in Atlanta. He also served as chair for the ULI Young Leader Mentor Program for the past two years.
Scott Blair and Bruce Buckley contributed to this report.