As construction employment levels begin to rebound in the Southwest, it's a good time to reflect upon the enrichment that a challenging job provides to one's professional and personal life.

The recipients of this year's Top 20 Under 40 awards have considerable achievements to reflect upon. In just a few short years, these young professionals have enhanced the design and construction fields with their optimism for the future and dedication to the industry while also enlivening their local communities with ample philanthropic endeavors.

Related Links:

ENR Southwest's 2014 Top 20 Under 40
ENR Southwest's 2011 Top 20 Under 40

While young, these recipients have collectively worked 265 years in the industry, an average of more than 13 years each. John Michael Stroud started his career with J.B. Henderson Construction Co. in Albuquerque when he was just 15. Shawn Ingram began his love affair with construction as an 18-year-old laborer in Colorado. At 30, Melissa Beutler is the youngest of those honored in the following pages, but she has achieved more in construction law in nine years than many do in a lifetime.

Nominations were solicited by ENR Southwest for individuals under the age of 40 at the time of publication who work primarily in Arizona, Nevada or New Mexico. Entries were reviewed for the Southwest region by an independent panel of industry judges: Ryan Abbott, science and technology group leader with Sundt Construction, Tempe, Ariz.; Wylie Bearup, street transportation director for the City of Phoenix; Danielle Feroleto, president/owner of Small Giants, Phoenix; Caleb King, curtain wall division manager with Pacific Architectural Millwork in Los Angeles; and Cynthia Schultz, president of Bradbury Stamm Construction in Albuquerque.

Abbott, King and Schultz are previous recipients of the Top 20 Under 40 award.

Candidates were judged on professional achievements; involvement in industry causes and associations; accomplishments in improving the Southwest's built environment; and service to the community.

This year's honorees will also be recognized at the Best Projects celebration later this year.



Dan Albrecht
Continual improvement pays dividends for concrete contractor
39, Vice President-Operations
The Noel Co. Inc.

Dan Albrecht's construction education began at an early age as he helped his father remodel homes. The lesson he took away was a simple one: Construction is about "making things better." After earning a degree in construction management and science from Kansas State University, he joined The Noel Co. After five years as a project engineer, Albrecht was promoted to chief estimator and helped the company achieve some of its greatest growth ever. Now as vice president of operations, Albrecht is so committed to continual professional improvement and community outreach that he changed the company's bonus policy to require the leadership team to contribute to community organizations. He currently serves on the board of the American Subcontractors Association of New Mexico.



James Bailey
Helped large civil contractor expand into Phoenix market
39, Division Manager
Skanska USA Civil

When Skanska USA Civil recently expanded into the Phoenix market, it leaned heavily on James Bailey to help make it happen. As one of its first hires for the Phoenix office in 2008, he worked as the chief estimator and directed all preconstruction activities. Bailey's experience with local projects was already considerable, and included a $28-million reconstruction of U.S. 93 and a $66.2-million runway project at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. After two years, Bailey was named division manager. The unit has performed an estimated $60 million of work to date. In addition to working with several steering committees of the AGC Arizona, Bailey also volunteers for a local elementary school serving at-risk students.



Melissa Beutler
Successful attorney makes strides nationally
30, Associate
Holland & Hart LLP
Las Vegas

As Nevada's first LEED AP attorney, Melissa Beutler has quickly made her mark as a construction lawyer both regionally and nationally. Beutler showed her potential early, graduating cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where she was named Most Outstanding Female Law Student. She is a member of the ConsensusDOCS Advisory Counsel, specifically applying her skills to the LEED Addendum and the 2011 revisions of the ConsensusDOCS documents. She served as editor of the industry's first green construction lawyer book, which was published by the American Bar Association. In 2011 Beutler was recognized as one of six "Rising Litigation Stars" in Nevada by Benchmark Litigation and was given the "Rising Star" award by the National Association of Women Business Owners.