ENR Southwest's 2015 Top 20 Under 40
International experience stems from local successes
30, Project Manager
After joining Mortenson Construction in 2007 as a project engineer, Brian Fitzpatrick was involved with some of the firm's most important projects. The first project he worked on in 2007 was the 14-month, $101.4-million Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility in Glendale, Ariz. Since that time he has expanded his project portfolio to include international work. For example, Fitzpatrick was tasked with managing the design phase of a $23.8-million, 162,385-sq-ft pharmaceutical research and development facility in Shanghai. The project includes office space, analytical laboratories and medicine development laboratories.
Fitzpatrick is currently leading the high-profile $30-million McKale Memorial Center improvements project being built for the University of Arizona. The endeavor is a multiphase, fast-track project requiring a large work force over multiple shifts to complete the renovation in only eight months.
Integrated team approach nets precon manager huge projects
33, Preconstruction Services Manager
Julie Garcia is known throughout the construction industry as a solutions-oriented task master dedicated to bringing her projects in on schedule and under budget - a reputation that wins her the most important assignments that Kitchell has to offer, according to the firm.
Garcia led an integrated team approach at Banner Health's four East Valley clinics, including colocating and collaborating with the designers and engineers. "Based on her expertise in real-time costing, she was able to reduce the overall cost 20% because of her approach," says Scott Root, Kitchell's director of design services. She was also the lead estimator on the company's $750-million University of California, San Diego Jacobs Medical Center project, the firm's largest project to date.
Garcia also manages Kitchell's internship program, which boasts a 100% conversion rate for summer employees who make two-semester commitments. Garcia has been promoted four times in 10 years.
Engineer puts 10 years of experience to use on big projects
33, Structural Engineering Associate
PK Associates Structural Engineers
Known for her work on big projects such as downtown Phoenix's CityScape, Valerie Granger prides herself on thriving in a team environment. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, and over three years in her current position as a structural engineering associate with PK Associates, Granger is also a mentor to other engineers who work within her engineering studio at the firm. Although large projects are her hallmark, including Las Cumbres in Monterey, Mexico, Granger also works for clients with boutique structures across the U.S., including Van's, Ulta, Mattress Firm and Dollar General.
Executive mixes technical expertise with strong leadership
37, Director of Operations
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Steve Knighton joined Mortenson as a field engineer in 2001 and quickly jumped into a major project - the $125-million, 250,000-sq-ft Micron Technology research and development facility and laboratory in Boise. In rapid-fire succession, Knighton has served on the teams of various projects throughout the country, with roles that have included assistant project manager, design phase manager, project manager and eventually senior project manager. After gaining strong technical experience, he strived to develop exceptional leadership skills with the goal of leading large project teams. He was rewarded with a promotion to construction executive at the age of 35.
Problem solving is hallmark of astute associate
In just four years with Gensler, Chris Koch is already looked at as a leader within the company and someone who mentors the younger employees in the office. He serves both as an adjunct professor and architectural critic for the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Architecture. At his alma mater Kansas State University, Koch was honored by his peers with The Heinzlman Award for Design Excellence during his final year of design school. In his decade-long career, Koch has built a reputation as a problem solver with superior management skills. His extensive knowledge and experience in aviation design/construction has made him a valuable leader in Gensler's aviation practice. "With his dedication and technical knowledge in the industry, Chris is one to watch out for in the coming years," says Kristi Auxier, studio coordinator at Gensler.
Multitasking leads to multiple promotions for young designer
33, Senior Associate
Kathleen Lynch, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and National Council Interior Design-qualified, has been entrusted with many of Gensler's most high value projects during her three years as a senior associate. A recent role included serving as the project manager for the construction of the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Lynch was recently selected by Gensler to be part of the firm's NextGen program, which is designed to help groom future executives of the company through active learning and team-based projects. The nine-month process culminated in a presentation to the firm's board of directors.
Also active in the community, Lynch is a member of the board for the Las Vegas-area Rebuild Together, an organization that focuses on strengthening vulnerable communities by providing low-income homeowners with critical home repairs, accessibility modifications and energy-efficient upgrades.