ENR MidAtlantic’s Top Young Professionals competition recognizes employees who have made a strong impact during the first phases of their careers. There were more than 30 entries for this year’s competition from across the region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
To be eligible, candidates had to be younger than 40 as of Jan. 1 and needed to submit online forms about their experience, education, career and industry leadership and community service.
Four independent judges were given the difficult task of choosing this year’s winners. The judges were: James Deriu, vice president, natural resources, KCI Technologies Inc.; Kellie Farster, structural engineer, SK&A Structural Engineers; Emre Ozcan, vice president and general manager for Gilbane Building Co.’s Washington, D.C., office; and Brian Skipper, business development manager, MidAtlantic district office, Hensel Phelps.
This year’s winners worked on such projects as the Silver Line Phase 2 in northern Virginia and the William Penn statue atop Philadelphia’s City Hall.
All of the honorees spend many hours volunteering on industry boards and committees. They give back to their communities, too. Many are committed to pro bono building and design programs as well as nonprofits and organizations dedicated to teaching young people about the construction industry.
Continue reading to learn more about this year’s industry standouts.
ENR MidAtlantic's 2017 Top Young Professionals
Engineer rises through the ranks to become firm’s youngest VP
Senior Vice President
HITT Contracting Inc.
Falls Church, Va.
Since joining HITT Contracting, Antonides, 33, has had one of the fastest-rising careers in the firm’s history, receiving four promotions in eight years. In 2016, Antonides became the youngest vice president ever at HITT.
Antonides is also an original member of the company’s technology team, which became HITT’s largest business unit sector after its first 10 years in operation.
Antonides has helped to construct projects totaling more than 3 million sq ft. He was project executive on the Northern Virginia Sterling II Data Center, an ENR MidAtlantic Best Projects winner in the manufacturing category. The 30-MW, 220,000-sq-ft greenfield data center was built in 180 days. In his current position, Antonides oversees a team that generated more than $350 million in revenue last year.
One of Antonides’ main charitable contributions involves the Big Build event, an annual National Building Museum program aimed at sparking children’s interest in construction.
Virtual construction expert leads by example
Virtual Construction Coordinator
W.M. Jordan Co.
Newport News, Va.
Bean, 31, oversees various projects, teams, and processes through all phases of construction and manages complex virtual-construction projects.
He has worked on 20 projects totaling more than 3.3 million sq ft and $840 million. Aside from his contributions to W.M. Jordan’s preconstruction, construction and operations efforts, Bean assists the firm in winning new business. He also has introduced and implemented new software platforms to accelerate the development and growth of the company’s virtual construction capabilities. He is part of a five-person team that produced, implemented and trained all of W.M. Jordan’s employees on its preconstruction process.
Bean has volunteered at career-day events at local high schools. In addition, he is president of the Tidewater district of the Associated General Contractors of Virginia. When he served as the organization’s young leader chairman, he doubled the number of members and the number of events.
A member of the Virginia Tech Young Alumni Committee, Bean participates in on-campus events to encourage students to go into construction. He also has volunteered for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk and the Wave Warriors Surf Camp.
Team leader sparked by high school program
Senior Project Manager
Owings Mills, Md.
Betz’s interest in engineering was sparked by a Maryland State Highway Administration program for high school students. In college, she landed an internship with the state agency.
Today, Betz leads a multidisciplinary team in Dewberry’s Baltimore office. The firm says Betz is known for instilling confidence and an entrepreneurial spirit in her team members. She also emphasizes the importance of having strong technical skills and polished “soft” skills to help explain the firm’s work to non-engineers.
Betz, 37, provided coordination between Dewberry and McGraw-Hill for the third edition of the Land Development Handbook, which examines current trends in land-use planning; technological advances in surveying and mapping; and low-impact development and sustainable design strategies. Betz contributed to the book’s text and oversaw 38 contributing authors. The firm says she also became LEED AP BD+C certified to develop a degree of specialty in the environmental area so that she could expand her contribution to the handbook’s third edition.
Betz contributes to her community as the volunteer project manager for her son’s school garden project, which is an interactive design process involving the school community and the school’s curriculum. She is also involved in conducting alumni interviews for Duke University, her alma mater.
Entrepreneur specializes in autonomous vehicle infrastructure
Owner and Transportation Engineer
Falls Church, Va.
In 2015, four years after graduating from college, Evans co-founded a small woman-owned engineering firm called ITS Roads. The firm helps state and local transportation agencies implement technological solutions.
The company started with a single federal contract and has since been brought onto multimillion-dollar state and local infrastructure projects across the country. The firm developed Colorado’s first connected-vehicle deployment and serves clients such as Xerox and Panasonic.
Before co-founding ITS Roads, Evans worked for Leidos (formerly SAIC), where she helped design and engineer the Federal Highway Administration’s Saxton Transportation Operations Lab, the agency’s McLean, Va., facility for connected and automated vehicle research. She helped lead the lab’s research program for its first four years, managing technical staff to deliver more than $20 million in projects for connected/automated vehicle applications and prototypes.
Evans helped the lab build the first U.S. Dept. of Transportation-sponsored prototype for partial vehicle automation, called GlidePath. She also contributed to the U.S. DOT’s technical specifications for safety-critical infrastructure to support automated vehicles that are being deployed by state and local agencies nationwide. Evans even led President Obama on a tour of the facility.
In addition to running her own business, Evans mentors engineering students and recent graduates and volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children. In addition, Evans is a precinct captain for her local Democratic committee and volunteers for her local civic association.
Infrastructure specialist improves schedules
Senior Project Controls Specialist
Arcadis U.S. Inc.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Fletcher, 34, has performed numerous forensic schedule analyses on complex claims, including preparing and reviewing mitigation and acceleration schedules to help regain time and meet project goals.
During the past three years, he has worked with a contractor to help a delayed road and bridge widening project improve performance and finish early, with no claims. He has also introduced clients to risk management.
Drawing on 12 years of industry experience, Fletcher provides mentoring to young engineers, helping them to expand their skills in project controls. His efforts have attracted the attention of clients and the Arcadis marketing staff, whom he now helps with proposals and interviews.
Fletcher is active with the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering and Construction Management Association of America, which in October named him its Young Professional of the Year.
Project manager proves himself at the Pentagon
Falls Church, Va.
Hammerschmidt, 34, serves as an owner’s representative for a Sentry program charged with the design and construction of secure access-control points surrounding the perimeter of the Pentagon Reservation.
Construction of the project was completed in 16 months, one week ahead of the revised schedule. Hammerschmidt’s team’s success on the project led to the Pentagon’s hiring Markon to manage additional major capital projects.
Hammerschmidt is the only two-time recipient of Markon’s employee-of-the-year award. In his five years at the firm, he has participated in the rollout of its in-house training and development program and manages the program’s $500,000 budget.
He is an active member of the company’s philanthropy program, which is involved with Rebuilding Together Alexandria, Shelter House and CANstruction. He also volunteers for his local public school’s parent-teacher association and with the Girl Scouts.
Douglas L. Heinze
Structural engineer hardens buildings
A specialist in blast-resistant structural engineering, the 39-year-old Heinze has spent the last 15 years of his career hardening large, complex buildings.
He performs explosives-threat, vulnerability and risk assessments. He also helps federal and private clients develop anti-terrorist, protective designs for buildings worldwide, including for more than 25 U.S. embassies, federal courthouses and stadiums.
After working at Weidlinger Associates for several years, he joined Thornton Tomasetti in 2004 to lead and expand the firm’s blast design group. When Weidlinger Associates and Thornton Tomasetti merged in 2015, Heinze was a key adviser in integrating standards and business practices between the two firms.
He has also managed work on tall, glass-clad tower projects at 2, 3 and 4 World Trade Center in Manhattan as well as the Pentagon rebuilding and renovation projects following 9/11.
Heinze is on the board of the Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers and is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, serving on its blast standards committee.
Superintendent cut his teeth in health care sector
Turner Construction Co.
A Turner employee for his entire career, the 29-year-old Kudenchak has worked on nearly $1 billion worth of high-profile health care projects in the Philadelphia area.
One such project is the 636,000-sq-ft University Medical Center of Princeton Replacement Hospital. Most recently, Kudenchak worked on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care. The project is a 700,000-sq-ft, 12-story ambulatory care center with a five-story underground garage and an expanded central utility plant.
At present, Kudenchak is the superintendent on a 174,690-sq-ft middle school project in Wyncote, Pa. Last year, he received a Turner Construction staff award for his contributions to the firm, its clients and the industry.
Kudenchak leads a group of Turner employees with student outreach and recruiting efforts. He mentors 15 local high school students through the ACE Mentoring Program of Eastern Pennsylvania. He also has been student outreach coordinator for the American Society of Civil Engineers Central Jersey Younger Members Group. In that role, Kudenchak gave project tours and arranged career panels and presentations for the College of New Jersey, and Rutgers and Princeton engineering students. An avid runner, Kudenchak logs nearly 40 miles a week.
Self-starter shows breadth
Senior Project Manager
A project manager since he was a sophomore in college, Liberato, the 35-year-old son of a carpenter, has worked on some of IMC’s most complex projects during his 12 years with the firm, including the $150-million expansion of the King of Prussia Mall. That project converted the shopping center into the second-largest retail mall in the country by constructing a 250,000-sq-ft addition over an active parking lot and four-lane road.
Liberato is active in business development. He cold-called the developer of a property in his community and pitched IMC. The firm is currently constructing a $32-million senior living facility on the site. While typically leading four or five projects at a time, Liberato also heads IMC’s technology innovation. He has instituted several project-management software packages at the firm. He researched options, convinced leadership to invest in the software and trained the staff to use it.
In his free time, Liberato volunteers for a youth mentoring program. After learning about the program’s office space needs, he managed the fit-out of its new headquarters. Besides donating his construction management services, he coordinated the donation of $75,000 in labor and materials. Liberato performed a similar service for a program that provides free health care to families in need, patching the organization’s roof, replacing pipes and installing new flooring and ceiling tiles.
Rooted in sustainability, architect gives back
Silver Spring, Md.
An architect and landscape architect, McEnroe works on urban and land planning, community “place making” and historic preservation projects.
He is involved in the management and design of a variety of project types, including conceptual design packages, adaptive reuse and master planning. Raised on an organic farm, McEnroe is an advocate for sustainable strategies for land, food and water resources. He has spoken and written extensively about approaches to integrate agriculture with building systems as a landscape amenity.
McEnroe has won numerous design awards, including the 2014 AIA|DC Emerging Architect Award and the 2015 District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies Young Architect Award.
McEnroe co-founded an AIA|DC leadership development program. The program for 16 young architects focuses on marketing, business development, management and philanthropic service during nine half-day sessions over a one-year period. At a national level, McEnroe is the AIA Young Architects Forum’s 2017-18 knowledge director. Earlier, he served as the MidAtlantic regional director, playing a key role in establishing the AIA Leadership Institute. McEnroe serves annual appointments on committees and task forces on various National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and participated in 11 National Architectural Accrediting Board visits, three of which he chaired. McEnroe also mentors high school students interested in architecture.
Environmental engineer stands out
Senior Engineer/Project Manager
Mitchell is currently working on $15 million in environmental contracts for federal and private-sector clients.
That includes serving as lead engineer and manager for an installation restoration program project at a local Dept. of Defense facility. The project includes management, investigation and environmental remediation for 34 individual sites. The 30-year-old Mitchell has also led the site inspection portion of a large preliminary assessment to determine whether contaminants were present at some 170 DOD facilities.
Her projects range from site investigation and remediating contaminated soil and groundwater to vapor-intrusion modeling and developing alternative remediation objectives for high-risk environmental liability sites.
Mitchell serves on the steering committee for an AECOM initiative to promote professional development and community involvement. She is part of an effort to expand the group’s reach to the firm’s offices nationwide. The initiative organizes a school supplies and backpack drive as well as the annual “Build a Kid a Christmas” campaign, an event helping kids interested in STEM fields build gifts during the holidays. AECOM says Mitchell also acts as an adviser and role model for junior-level staff at the firm.
VP strengthens company’s position
Vice President of Administration
Responsible for human resources, information technology, legal, accounting and strategic planning, Perryman has demonstrated leadership in many areas. She also oversees projects that have earned local and national recognition. The company says the 30-year-old has developed a strategy that outlines its growth opportunities.
Perryman’s attention to detail and knowledge of construction management has allowed her to compete with larger firms and lead by example in the company’s joint venture partnerships, the firm says. She has also helped the company invest in cutting-edge technology and diversify its risk management portfolio. In volunteering for the National Association of Women in Construction, she strives to enhance the success of women in the industry.
Specialist in traffic and highway design engineer shows true grit
Despite being cut, at first, from her high school swimming team, Scheuermann ultimately earned a swimming scholarship to Penn State University.
The 30-year-old traffic engineer’s work ethic, honed in the pool, has translated to her eight-year career at Urban Engineers. Besides her work in traffic design and analysis, Scheuermann also specializes in surveying and highway design. Urban Engineers says she has developed tools and procedures to streamline and standardize processes and has led significant coordination among clients, sub-consultants and co-workers to help complete projects on schedule and under budget.
While working on a $1-million state Route 23 transportation system management project for a Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation district, Scheuermann noticed that upgraded detection and emergency-preemption equipment that was to be installed along the corridor could not be put in place because of existing site conditions. She proposed a single-camera system that, according to the firm, was the first of its kind to be used in this way in the municipalities involved with the project.
In addition to volunteering for the Institute of Transportation Engineers MidAtlantic section, Scheuermann serves on the WTS Philadelphia chapter’s professional development committee, which aims to ensure that women have access to education, conferences and networks in engineering and construction. (WTS is the former Women’s Transportation Seminar.)
Infrastructure specialist runs large projects
Structural Engineer and Task Manager
Shah has led interdisciplinary design teams for Parsons on transportation, infrastructure and facilities projects.
The 31-year-old’s experience includes all phases of project management, including pre-award support, planning, initiation, execution and closeout. He is project coordinator and structural engineer of design and construction for the second phase of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Silver Line Extension to Dulles International Airport. Shah also oversees task orders for the Gannett Fleming/Parsons joint venture that is providing general engineering and architectural services to WMATA’s capital improvement program. A task manager for the five-year, task-order contract, Shah supports WMATA initiatives, such as a lighting improvement program for station mezzanines and platforms, a water-infiltration investigation for underground tunnels and stations, rehabilitation of parking garages and bridge inspection and rehabilitation.
Shah has won numerous awards for his volunteer efforts, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which includes a certificate, official medallion and congratulatory letter from President Obama. Shah has helped prepare meals for the homeless and has participated in youth education activities, neighborhood cleanups and clothing drives.
Architect makes complex design accessible
Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Spolidoro, 30, is known across her firm for making complex design information understandable for non-architects.
Working on affordable housing and senior housing projects in Pittsburgh, she has created diagrams and images in the firm’s “design sketchbook” tool and renderings in Revit to promote projects. Spolidoro, a LEED Green associate professional, is pursuing WELL certification, a tool that seeks to advance health and well-being in buildings. She is leading a biophilia team dedicated to increasing the use and benefits of plants and nature in the workplace.
Since 2013, Spolidoro has served on many American Institute of Architects Pittsburgh chapter committees and on its board. She also has been elected chair for the Young Architects Forum Pittsburgh. Through these efforts, she provides support to young architects pursuing their licensures.
Energetic engineer shows dedication and technical skills
Keast & Hood
With high-profile projects such as the support structure for George Washington’s tent at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and the William Penn statue post-earthquake survey at Philadelphia’s City Hall in his portfolio, Stadel, 29, has become a key player at Keast & Hood.
Currently, he is working on two high-profile renovations: the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Frank Gehry-designed renovations and expansion at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Beyond his day job, Stadel has become a resource for a large number of graduating industry professionals in Philadelphia, according to the firm. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor at Drexel University, where he has taught the structural sequence for the Architecture Department since 2012. He sits on the alumni advisory board for Drexel’s Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department, and also volunteers as a juror for the Architecture Department’s studio and thesis review panels. He has provided technical guidance for Drexel engineering senior design teams.
Executive leads co-workers by example
Vice President of Operations
Warfel Construction Co.
East Petersburg, Pa.
Swope’s leadership by example and his dedication to innovation have benefited Warfel’s culture, development and technology, according to the firm. Swope, 30, is responsible for managing Warfel’s more than 100 field and office employees. His duties include manpower needs, logistics and quality control. Swope also serves on Warfel’s executive team.
As a new employee, Swope convinced Warfel’s executive team to simplify management software and instituted Viewpoint construction-management software companywide.
Warfel now serves on Viewpoint’s industry advisory committee. Six years ago, he implemented a six-person cultural-assessment team that now is used to assess whether a job candidate meets the requirements of the firm’s corporate culture.
Swope also is vice president of a non-denominational ministry to support the people of Haiti and serves on the board of a nonprofit Christian organization that provides retreat facilities and outdoor education.
Leads largest project in firm’s history
Grunley Construction Co.
Triebl, 28, is a project manager on the largest project ever awarded to Grunley, the 1.4-million-sq-ft International Monetary Fund headquarters renovation in Washington, D.C.
She assumed management of her first project at 24 and has been a key member of each of her project teams ever since, according to the company. Triebl also chairs Grunley’s college recruiting committee. In that position, she has helped to improve the firm’s intern retention rate to its highest level ever. She also mentors many of the firm’s young professionals and encourages other young women at Grunley to take leadership roles.
Triebl is involved with service activities in the industry and elsewhere. She recently performed recruiting and community outreach for a bone-marrow transplant start-up that specializes in finding donors in minority groups that are most affected by a lack of available donors. Her efforts became more meaningful to her after her father was diagnosed with cancer.
Triebl also has taught students at Washington, D.C.’s Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering High School through the Associated General Contractors of D.C.’s involvement with the ACE Mentoring program. Triebl takes part in Grunley’s annual donations to the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. She also is active in industry organizations such as the Washington Builder’s Congress, Associated General Contractors Young Constructor’s Forum and Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington.
Engineer becomes champion of sustainable initiatives
Clark Construction Group
In her 13 years with Clark Construction, Winter has risen to become a leader who has shaped the industry and contributed to the company, according to the firm.
Since her start there as an engineer, she was quickly promoted to managerial roles and became the national operations manager for the National Green Strategic Initiative, coordinating sustainability efforts across all Clark regions.
Winter, 37, has been a business unit leader for two Clark divisions and participated in two of the company’s largest contracts, including the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase 2A, which includes six stations and a new rail line.
At present, Winter provides executive leadership for the firm’s sustainability department. Clark’s sustainability director reports to Winter, who also serves as an executive adviser to Clark’s sustainability committee.
Since 2016, Winter has volunteered and served on the board of Women in Construction. She mentors young professional women in the construction, design and construction-law industries and beyond, and has volunteered with the firm’s subcontractor development group, supporting small businesses.
Engineer pioneers work on Baltimore conduit
Associate Civil Engineer
Young, 38, has worked on key assignments for state and local agencies, including the Baltimore Dept. of Transportation and the Maryland Transit Administration.
In what STV says is pioneering work on the Baltimore City Conduit System for the city DOT’s engineering and construction division, Young developed an inspection inventory of Baltimore’s 14,000 manholes and conduit system and wrote a history of the system for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. STV says Young has become the “city’s go-to person for his technical expertise in this area.”
For more than a decade, Young has served on the board of his local Christian school and church and is responsible for building maintenance and capital improvements on its 22-acre campus. In mission work in Spain, he helped renovate a century-old farmhouse and barn serving as a camp and retreat center for teens and adults. He has also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity projects.