ENR Southwest’s 2018 Top Young Professionals
ENR Southwest is pleased to announce this year’s class of Top Young Professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction community. In our second year after rebranding the regional version of our Top 20 Under 40 program, a panel of industry judges has selected the maximum of 20 honorees.
Judges graded candidates based upon four criteria: professional achievements, industry involvement, contributions to the Southwest’s built environment and service to their respective communities.
The quality of the honorees continued to impress. Several have not only made names for themselves in the Southwest but also nationally and internationally. Ronnie Thevenot of Stanley Consultants, for example, has worked on projects in Japan, Kuwait, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. Manrique Umana Brenes was trained and initially worked in Costa Rica before joining Gensler and playing a role on projects in Arizona, Florida, New York City and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Others pursued important work outside the office. Ralph Sibley and Jeff MacCabe of The PENTA Building Group have volunteered for Veterans House, a transitional and permanent housing residence for veterans in Las Vegas. Perhaps the most unique community-based involvement in this year’s class belongs to Stephanie Templeton of Gannett Fleming. She began making and selling Christmas ornaments for the Foundation for Blind Children at age 7 and continues the endeavor to this day.
Special thanks go to judges Brent Wright, CEO, Wright Engineers, and Craig Randock, design studio leader, DLR Group. Their dedication to this project was essential to its success.
ENR Southwest's 2017 Top Young Professionals
Leading in renewable energy
33, Project Manager
Burns & McDonnell
In 2006, as a recent Arizona State University graduate, Ahrens began his career at Burns & McDonnell with assignments in San Diego, Kansas City and Phoenix. He has since contributed to numerous projects, including Solar Dandan 1 in Guam; Community Solar in Brawley, Calif.; and Borrego One NRG Solar in Borrego Springs, Calif.
Ahrens’ efforts with his company’s solar energy practice helped establish Phoenix as the firm’s national “area of excellence” in renewable energy.
One of Burns & McDonnell’s largest and most strategic energy clients handpicked Ahrens to work on solar developments throughout the country and abroad. One example is his role in bringing clean and affordable energy to areas where access to fossil fuels has been problematic and expensive. Ahrens is a recognized leader in solar development and a national resource for renewables.
“He’s a leader who sees the big picture while paying attention to critical details,” says Pat Edwards, vice president, Burns & McDonnell, Phoenix.
In December 2013, he was chosen as the project manager for a new power plant in Tempe, Ariz. The 510-megawatt, simple-cycle gas turbine project is replacing two 1960s-era boiler units.
During his time at Burns & McDonnell, Ahrens has learned his primary job responsibility was not necessarily what he could learn and do, but rather to mentor, teach and assist others.
When not focusing on his career, Ahrens regularly donates time and resources to organizations such as Valley of the Sun United Way, Ronald McDonald House, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Maggie’s House, Habitat for Humanity, Mathcounts and Wounded Warriors.
“[Josh Ahrens] is a leader who sees the big picture while paying attention to critical details.”
—PAT EDWARDS, Vice President, Burns & McDonnell
Devoted to career and community
35, Principal, Licensed Interior Designer
With 14 years of interior design experience, Allen manages a team of 21 interior designers and support staff based in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. She plays a day-to-day role in the design and development of interior projects, working with business leaders in numerous fields—from health care to commercial industries. She is the youngest professional to be made principal and vice president in her firm’s 55-year history.
Allen wins praise for being a positive role model based on her commitment to improving the quality of life for employees, clients, building occupants and the general community. Her management skills, design talents and dedication to a variety of nonprofit organizations add to her reputation, colleagues say.
At D/P/S, she led the committee that created an employee development program to give employees a clear path to promotion. She also assisted with several award-winning projects, including the University of New Mexico Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education, the headquarters and Denver office of Mercury Payment Systems and the BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico headquarters.
Allen is a recipient of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network’s Nonprofit Board Member of the Year award. She is also a Leadership Albuquerque graduate and former curriculum committee member, a past Albuquerque Business First 40 Under Forty honoree and a LEED accredited professional.
Out of the office, she raises her family, conducts pro-bono work and volunteers for numerous causes including Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels and Rio Grande Bosque Trails Clean Up.
Manrique Umana Brenes
International talent creates strong portfolio
39, Architect/Technical Leader
According to his colleagues, Brenes has a passion for bringing new life to already existing buildings.
“[Brenes’] positive attitude makes his projects fun and interesting,” says Henry Melcher, vice president, Energy Systems Design Inc.
His projects are lauded for respecting the role architecture plays in the quality of life and include the creation of inviting office spaces, financial buildings that showcase sustainability as well as spaces that inspire children. Since joining Gensler in 2011, Brenes has dedicated himself to “resilient design.”
In the Phoenix office, Brenes’ focus has been tenant improvement projects, building renovations and upgrading old structures. His design perspective is holistic in terms of upgrades, systems/equipment efficiencies and creating welcoming spaces.
Certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Brenes has designed LEED projects all over the world and has been the LEED project administrator on several high-profile projects.
After studying architecture at the Universidad de Costa Rica, he formed his own practice, where he designed and led projects for several years before joining Gensler’s Costa Rica office.
Brenes also devotes time to his community. As part of a Gensler team, he helped serve meals for families at the Ryan House hospice. He has also participated in the International Interior Design Association Southwest Chapter Pride Awards and American Institute of Architects Arizona State Conference. In 2014, he took part in the Green Apple Day of Service to benefit a Phoenix middle school.
A champion for clients
37, Design Manager and Interior Designer
As project manager, Brown cultivates team synergy while ensuring projects are successful. In this role, she leads and mentors other project managers, maintains best practices and communicates with regional leadership regarding current projects and success stories. With an innate ability to connect with people, she strives to be a champion for clients, searching for design opportunities in each project she oversees.
“Her love for our profession in design and construction is manifested in all her endeavors,” says Michael Monroe at JLL in Chandler, Ariz.
After graduating magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in design, Brown began developing her interior design and project management skills at several major firms.
Brown is praised for providing honest feedback when mentoring, and she advocates for continuing education and is an active member of the International Interior Design Association.
She’s a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional in interior design and construction and also certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications. Her design skills have garnered awards for projects such as Apollo Red Flint in Las Vegas and Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo Hall. Brown also participates in community-focused activities, including the yearly bereavement dinner for Ryan House.
“[Cheyne Brown’s] love for our profession in design and construction is manifested in all her endeavors.”
—MICHAEL MONROE, Program Manager, JLL
Calm and confident on major projects
35, Project Manager II
Described as a hardworking and highly effective leader since joining Ryan Cos. in 2006, Brush has played a role in successful projects ranging from hospitality to transportation and has handled civil and electric infrastructure for the PHX Sky Train. He was responsible for quality control and scheduling while managing work through multiple phases of the project.
While overseeing construction of the Phoenix Marriott Residence Inn, Brush was credited for his work to keep costs under budget.
Brush recently served as lead project manager on the final 17-story office tower of Marina Heights in Tempe, Ariz., which finished ahead of schedule and under budget.
His leadership skills include mentoring many Ryan employees. Colleagues say that with patience, encouragement and teaching skill, Brush allows protégés “to reach their full potential.”
“Even during the most chaotic times of a project, Beau is confident and keeps everyone calm and moving forward,” says Ashley Black, Ryan Cos.
Brush, who earned his bachelor’s degree in construction engineering from Iowa State University is 2006, is an accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design professional. He receives strong reviews for his scheduling and lean construction tools and methods.
Work-life balance is important to Brush, who devotes time to nonprofit organizations like Feed My Starving Children, Rebuild Together and United Way.
“Even during the most chaotic times of a project, Beau [Brush] is confident and keeps everyone calm and moving forward.”
—ASHLEY BLACK, Marketing Coordinator, Ryan Cos.
Talents lead to global role
35, Director of Construction Technology
With nearly 20 years in the construction industry, Caputo has worn many hats in his career, from union cement mason to business unit leader.
He began his career at The Colasanti Group, a large-scale structural concrete subcontractor. He served key roles at the firm, where he also developed estimating and project management skills.
His next stop was a six-year tenure at McCarthy Building Cos., learning more about preconstruction, design management and project management.
In 2015, Caputo took a career leap from an established firm like McCarthy to Katerra, a start-up seeking to “disrupt” the construction industry.
The firm is a general contractor that also provides architectural services as well as supply chain services and technological solutions. He was among the first 10 employees at the firm, which now employs more than 1,000, and booked the firm’s first sales. He became a unit team leader, conducting operations in six states before moving into his current position.
As director of construction technologies, Caputo and his team focus on data, process and technology. He leads several initiatives that drive innovation at construction sites, including radio-frequency identification tagging of materials, providing wearable technology to trade labor, geospatial technology for improved quality of prefabricated components and operation of an in-house drone.
Caputo is expected to play a key role when Katerra completes a planned expansion into Malaysia later this year.
A Michigan native, Caputo earned his bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Michigan and later followed that up with a master’s in business administration with a focus on finance and data analytics from the University of California, Los Angeles while with McCarthy Building Cos.
For several years, Caputo has served on several committees of both the Urban Land Institute and American Concrete Institute.
Strong work ethic carries over to his community
37, Senior Project Manager
Darnell’s resume includes a wealth of experience, from carpentry to health care project scheduling. Praised as a proactive and knowledgeable leader at Ryan Cos., Darnell oversees every project aspect: estimating, budget preparation, scheduling, value engineering, subcontractor selection, design management, project administration and cost control.
According to colleagues, Darnell has an outstanding record of leading large and challenging projects, including health care facilities, criminal justice facilities, office campuses and resort/casino complexes.
With particular expertise in delivering fast-track projects, Darnell is a go-to resource for solving problems and handling complex systems.
“He has an impeccable work ethic, great management skills and inspires others,” says Ashley Black, Ryan Cos.
He was the project manager on Building 500, the first of five office towers to be completed at Marina Heights, a 2-million-sq-ft regional hub for State Farm Insurance. The office tower won the 2015 Associated Minority Contractors of America project of the year.
While working on Marina Heights, Darnell developed a standardized format for scope review meetings as a way to keep his team on track while increasing the communication level.
Darnell is a graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in building construction management.
The father of two children, Darnell also gives back to his community. He’s an active Valley Partnership member who devotes time to Feed My Starving Children, Catholic Charities and United Way.
Skills and energy lead to executive challenges
38, General Manager
The Weitz Co.
A 16-year construction industry veteran, Davids provides leadership to help her company achieve strategic plan performance, growth and financial viability as well as meet its employee development and career opportunity goals.
Since joining The Weitz Co. in 2015, Davids has won accolades for her work ethic and team player attitude. As a new employee, she quickly provided oversight and management to finish a difficult project for an office in another region.
After returning to the Phoenix office, Davids was named the first female general manager in Weitz’s 162-year history.
“[She] brings an undeniable energy to The Weitz Company’s leadership team,” says Karmyn Babcock, vice president of operational excellence.
Notable projects in her portfolio include: 108 N. State in Chicago; Orland Park Public Library in Orland Park, Illinois; Nordstrom stores in multiple locations; Mission 106 in Kansas City, Kan.; Beatitudes Campus of Care in Phoenix; and Sagewood in Phoenix.
Davids says her goal is to turn an “us against them” mentality into team collaboration.
Davids has implemented lean practices in her firm’s preconstruction, marketing and business development departments. She has also established a visual work plan for the department and meets with staff on a daily basis.
As a recognized leader in the Arizona Builders Alliance, Davids will begin her role on the board of directors in 2018.
Davids has played a vital role the past few years in many of ABA’s successes, including the development and establishment of the Young Builders Council and the Leaders Development Forum Alumni Group.
An alumna of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Davids has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
Davids and her husband travel to exotic locations to scuba dive. She also runs in multiple long distance races each year, and not just for exercise. Davids participates in races to support organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition, Davids raises money for Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“[Kimberly Davids] brings an undeniable energy to The Weitz Company’s leadership team.”
—KARMYN BABCOCK, Vice President Operational Excellence, The Weitz Co.
Creating change through career passion
39, Business Development Manager
Graycor Construction Co.
Employed by Graycor since 2015, Delaporte handles coaching, strategic planning and overall business development efforts for the firm’s local, regional and national client portfolio.
“If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work,” she says.
Since joining Graycor, Delaporte has directed a major Southwest division regional rebranding campaign, created a standardized national marketing and request for proposal manual, and leveraged her knowledge to move Graycor beyond its perception as mainly an industrial and tenant improvement expert.
A few of her notable projects include the 10 West Logistics Center, Gilbert Spectrum and the Camelback Collective mixed-use development.
Her first major achievement was to transition the Tempe, Ariz., office from its brand as Nitti Graycor—formerly Nitti Brothers Construction—into the Graycor Construction Cos.’ Southwest regional operation.
“In a relatively brief amount of time, Jennifer has created real, positive change within the core of this organization: its people,” says Kyle Walker, senior project manager, Graycor Construction.
This shift involved a regional push that would maintain the office as a leader in industrial and tenant improvement sectors while leveraging Graycor’s nearly century-old platform to expand into regional office, retail and hospitality opportunities.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications, Delaporte is an active volunteer for numerous organizations and committees. She has served as a student entrepreneur boot camp mentor for the city of Surprise, Ariz., and as a facilitator, presenter and juror for ULI UrbanPlan.
Hannah Feil Greenhood
Promoting human wellness through the built environment
Greenhood is involved in the firm’s building information modeling technology, design visualization and sustainability efforts, and leads the firm’s health and wellness initiative, which integrates evidence-based design to promote well-being in multifamily housing, commercial and mixed-use projects.
An early adopter of active design, Greenhood was one of the first WELL Accredited Professionals in the country, a certification that signifies knowledge in human wellness in the built environment. She even designed and taught an in-house wellness course to train colleagues in seven practice areas: commercial, education, government, health care, housing, interior design and landscape architecture.
Her efforts resulted in the mixed-use Imperial Building development, consisting of a parking basement, ground-level retail, apartment homes on floors two to four and a rooftop garden. One major challenge was having to represent two ownership groups—one in retail and the other in housing.
The building won the NAIOP New Mexico Chairman’s Award for project of the year.
“Hannah is indeed a gift to the field of architecture, to D/P/S ... and tangentially, a creative gift to the world of education,” says Anne Taylor with the School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico.
Greenhood, who earned her master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, devotes time to numerous organizations, including School Zone Institute, Suits for Success, Roadrunner Food Bank and We’ve Got Your Backs! Backpack Drive. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects, NAIOP New Mexico, NAIOP Developing Leaders Executive Council, Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and Commercial Real Estate for Women.
Believes in ‘building up’ communities
34, Project Director
McCarthy Building Cos.
As project director for McCarthy’s Southwest division, Kuster is now leading one of his firm’s most challenging projects to date: the $96-million Biodesign Institute C at Arizona State University, slated for a spring 2018 opening.
Kuster’s colleagues cite his ability to listen to ideas and explore creative options for ensuring the team’s collective success.
Since joining McCarthy 12 years ago, Kuster has moved up through the ranks, from project engineer to project director. After being promoted to his current job in 2014, he played a major role in the 10-megawatt APS Desert Star Solar Plant. As a LEED-accredited professional, Kuster has used green building knowledge on several projects, including the Sedona Red Rock Performing Arts Center.
“Bryan is one of the most motivated and competent project directors I have worked with in my 30 years in the profession,” says Erik Halle, research and facilities director, Arizona State University.
Kuster is actively involved in engaging and mentoring new employees at McCarthy. A member of the Arizona Builders Alliance, he serves as the education committee chair for its Young Builders Council.
He is also active with professional organizations, including the Design-Build Institute of America and Arizona State University’s Alliance for Construction Excellence. He earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Arizona State.
Kuster is an active member of McCarthy Heart Hats, the company’s volunteer-based community outreach arm that provides grants. He has given time to food drives in New Mexico and worked to get school bond projects passed.
“Bryan [Kuster] is one of the most motivated and competent project directors I have worked with in my 30 years in the profession.”
—ERIK HALLE, Research and Facilities Director, Arizona State University
Turning designs into reality
31, Virtual Design and Construction Engineer
The PENTA Building Group
Just two years ago, MacCabe was an intern at PENTA Building Group, but he has since worked his way up to his current role. MacCabe leads the firm’s development of virtual design and construction policies and procedures along with brand standards that have in turn created efficiencies for the department’s support of other departments.
“Jeff has shown the willingness to tackle challenging assignments and produce a high-quality deliverable in the process,” says Cliff Cole, PENTA virtual design and construction manager.
MacCabe continues to play an integral role in transforming the company’s client focus during preconstruction phases. One main example is the firm’s use of 3D communication practices—more importantly, 3D logistics—allowing stakeholders to better understand the builder’s approach to projects.
A former Boy Scout, MacCabe is now a member of PENTA Cares, the company’s employee volunteer program. He also recently worked on Veterans Village in Las Vegas, a crisis intervention center for veterans in need, securing donations and assisting with the project’s graphics.
His other community service activities include St. Jude’s St. Francis House Charity Project, where he assisted with 3D graphical logistics planning, and the Salvation Army Food Kitchen, where he served meals to the homeless.
“Jeff [MacCabe] has shown the willingness to tackle challenging assignments and produce a high-quality deliverable in the process.”
—CLIFF COLE, Virtual Design and Construction Manager, PENTA
Embracing tech to make firm leaner
36, Project Manager
In nearly 12 years since joining Sundt, Miller has progressed from a project engineer to streamlining and modernizing some of the firm’s operations.
His onsite experience includes a number of sectors, including water/wastewater treatment plants, facilities for the National Guard, highways and bridges, light rail and power plant emissions. As project manager, he has worked on the construction of the Northwest Extension Phase I project for Valley Metro in Phoenix and the replacement of runway 11-29 at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. The latter project received an ENR Mountain States Best Project award in 2015.
Beyond specific projects, Miller’s influences on Sundt’s support of sitework activities has transformed the firm’s operations. While a project engineer, he worked with the firm’s equipment department to optimize management of the fleet and support the company’s self-perform groups. He also led the firm’s company-wide implementation of HeavyJob—a time card and job analysis software—across all operating units. The implementation of HeavyJob eliminated paper time cards and hours of data entry and, according to an estimate by the firm, will have saved administrative time valued at more than $9 million by 2022.
Out of the office and off the jobsite, Miller has participated in the Young Constructors Forum of the Arizona branch of the AGC. He is also a member of the Sundt Foundation, an employee-funded nonprofit corporation. In 2013, he spearheaded the issuance of one specific grant to help fund construction of a new playground for children living at a facility for women facing crisis.
Talents led to a new service for firm
26, Designer and Photographer
Nessler has built a career in the commercial real estate industry at Small Giants, a marketing and business development firm. She has worked in multiple roles—including graphic design—and grew an additional service: visual communications.
Nessler also supervises the company’s photo, drone and video operations. In order to comply with the myriad federal regulations on drones, she obtained a section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration, becoming the first licensed female aerial photographer to specialize in Phoenix’s commercial real estate industry.
Additionally, in order to bolster her onsite safety awareness when performing drone flights and other marketing functions, Nessler has earned her 10-hour OSHA certification.
Nessler’s drive doesn’t just apply to her career; she is also deeply involved in various community and industry organizations, including Arizona Commercial Real Estate Women, the Salvation Army, the AZCREW Professional Development Committee, the Phoenix Community Alliance NextGen Committee and the Arizona Builders Alliance Young Builders Council.
Strong skills led to major airport project
39, Project Manager
Sanchez first started at AECOM Hunt as an intern, and it wasn’t long before he was hired as a full-time project engineer after graduating from Arizona State University in 2005.
Today, he is overseeing the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Terminal 3 renovation and expansion project. To ensure success, Sanchez coordinates with and assists nearly 50 staff members, along with the project’s design team, ownership group and stakeholders.
Sanchez has been involved in all aspects of construction at AECOM Hunt, resulting in a stronger connection with the teams he manages while also giving him a better understanding of the breadth of project challenges.
Sanchez has experience on large projects, such as the expansion and renovation of the Phoenix Convention Center; the North Las Vegas Veterans Administration Hospital; the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility in Surprise, Ariz.; the Chicago Cubs spring training facility and Riverview Park in Mesa, Ariz.; and Cascade Project Onyx for Apple Inc., also in Mesa.
“Mr. Sanchez strives to better himself and advance his career by willingly taking on challenges and opportunities to lead,” says Raymond Libonati, vice president, AECOM Hunt.
Sanchez says one of the satisfying elements of his job is being able to mentor younger project engineers.
“[Martin] Sanchez strives to better himself and advance his career by willingly taking on challenges and opportunities to lead.”
—RAYMOND LIBONATI, Vice President, AECOM Hunt
Busy career involves mentoring others
35, Project Manager
The PENTA Building Group
A PENTA Building Group employee since 2014, Sibley has worked his way up to overseeing some of the firm’s biggest projects, including the Lucky Dragon Casino in Las Vegas. Sibley’s duties included tracking the project, managing self-performed concrete and carpentry work, and ensuring on-time construction completion. The Asian-themed casino opened in December 2016 and received a 2017 Best Project award from ENR Southwest in the hospitality/residential category.
“Ralph Sibley is a detailed planner with a meticulous focus on safety and quality. He leads by example both at the jobsite level as well as in the community, and is a proven leader who continuously mentors the next generation of construction professionals,” says Joel Wallis, senior vice president of operations, PENTA.
Sibley guides young engineers through PENTA’s policies and procedures and was recognized as PENTA’s 2016 Coach/Mentor of the Year. He’s also a team leader with Southern Nevada’s ACE Mentor Program, visiting local high schools twice a month to educate students about construction careers as well as providing students with the opportunity to intern at PENTA.
Sibley’s mentoring roots began in college, when he served as both treasurer and vice president of the Associated General Contractors Student Chapter.
Sibley takes time to give back to his community in numerous ways. He has made sack lunches for Three Square Food Bank, cleaned books at Spread the Word Nevada and is now leading a charity build for a new crisis intervention center for a Veterans Village in Las Vegas.
New York transplant makes his mark in Las Vegas
35, Job Captain
Sisti’s colleagues praise his dedication to the field, the quality of his work and the passion be brings to his role as job captain for Gensler. To date, his career has centered around construction administration, with project experience including hospitality and entertainment projects as well as corporate headquarters and an adaptive reuse of the Old Chicago Post Office in Illinois.
“[Sisti] is focused on bettering himself, the people around him and the work that he and people around him do,” says Anthony Yue, Simpson Coulter Studio, Las Vegas.
After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2005, Sisti spent a semester in Dublin and learned Royal Institute of British Architects guidelines and practices.
He was able to visit numerous architectural firms throughout the U.K. Returning to the U.S. to pursue his graduate degree at SUNY Buffalo, Sisti started teaching and worked with a group of students to help build three new houses in Buffalo with Habitat for Humanity.
Sisti is also committed to American Institute of Architects programs and volunteers his time to the AIA Las Vegas.
Sisti has also devoted time to Three Square Food Bank, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Shade Tree Shelter and One Drop Walk for Water.
Community involvement from age 7
28, Structural Project Engineer
Templeton’s Gannett-Fleming colleagues praise her leadership skills. Since joining the firm three years ago, she is credited with landing one new client and two new jobs for the firm. Templeton’s role involves designing and managing large construction programs. She also conducts technical design reviews as well as quality assurance and control checks.
Templeton has played a role in major projects, including the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Association’s Southwestern Yard Maintenance Facility. She has also designed a steel structure for Phoenix International Airport’s Sky Harbor Terminal 3 modernization and provided structural design and analysis of 10 structurally irregular rail-station escalator canopies for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
While working at M3 Engineering, Templeton worked on the $2.5-billion Peñasquito Polymetallic Mine, one of the world’s largest, in Mexico. She designed pipe supports, racks, pump pads and buildings, and prepared design plans and shop drawings.
Along with winning awards for her work, Templeton has developed her professional abilities via classes and by completing the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona’s seven-month Leadership in Engineering Administration Program.
Templeton’s work ethic also extends to helping others. At the age of 7, she began making and selling Christmas ornaments for the Foundation for Blind Children. She’s earned more than $55,000 for the Phoenix-based organization and received a Volunteer Service Award in 2006 from President George W. Bush.
Ambitions took hold at a young age
30, Civil Engineer
In his nearly three years working for Stanley Consultants, Thevenot has become that firm’s go-to person for airfield paving projects. His latest assignment is serving as the lead airfield engineer on an $80-million aircraft parking apron in the Middle East.
“He’s a self-motivated self-starter. When I think he’s evenly loaded with work, he wants more,” says civil department manager Barb Veal, Stanley Consultants.
Thevenot’s specialty is understanding airfield operational requirements and structuring projects, working with airfield managers to minimize impact on runways, taxiways and navigational aids.
“I have found success in being willing to take advantage of opportunities in saying yes,” he says. Thevenot’s open attitude has led to projects in Japan, Kuwait, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
As a lead engineer, Thevenot acts as a mentor to younger engineers and has served as a judge coordinator for the Future City Arizona, coordinating 60 volunteers that judge all of the student deliverables. He acted as a classroom mentor for the program.
Thevenot’s career in engineering began in high school, when he taught himself drafting while designing school and community theater sets. That early talent landed him a drafting job at an Arizona land development firm. While finishing high school, Thevenot took courses at Pima Community College.
Two years later, while studying civil engineering at the University of Arizona, he joined a civil land development firm as a designer, focusing on residential, commercial, water, grading and paving plans.
“I have found success in being willing to take advantage of opportunities in saying yes.”
—RONNIE THEVENOT, Civil Engineer, Stanley Consultants
A passion for safety propels career
39, Associated Principal Engineer
Wallace serves as the fire protection engineer for all Southland divisions throughout the U.S. He oversees a group of engineers and designers, providing strategic and operational direction to his company and clients.
A 15-year veteran of fire protection and mechanical construction, Wallace has been involved in both consulting engineering and design-build contracting for various market sectors and system types across the U.S.
He has either personally handled or directed application design for high-rise buildings, hotels/casinos, industrial/commercial buildings, aircraft hangers, data centers, detention centers, hospitals as well as education and residential housing projects.
Wallace is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and a member-at-large for the Southern Nevada Society of Fire Protection Engineers for the greater Las Vegas area. Now a licensed fire protection engineer in 10 states, Wallace earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Mississippi, followed by a master’s in engineering management from Christian Brothers University.
“It is critical to be able to work hard but also to have time to decouple from the work,” he says. “There is a delicate balance between putting in the required effort to meet the needs of the organization versus being overworked with no chance for conditions to improve in sight.”