ENR Northwest is pleased to recognize six young professionals who have made a difference in their industries and communities.
The Top Young Professionals program was rebranded from Top 20 Under 40 to allow more flexibility in our judging process. Top 20 Under 40 is also the name for the nationwide program, which rolled out last fall via an ENR national cover story and collection of video interviews with the young leaders that can be viewed at ENR.com.
Candidates were graded using four criteria: professional achievements, industry involvement, contributions to their area’s built environment and service to their communities.
This year’s judges were John Schaufelberger, dean of the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington; Tarelle Osborn, president of Osborn Consulting Inc., who was one of 2017’s ENR Northwest regional winners and also earned a spot on ENR’s national Top 20 Under 40; and Joel Andersen, president of Andersen Construction Co., who was also selected as a 2017 ENR Northwest Top Young Professional.
Choosing these six young professionals working in Oregon, Alaska and Washington was a difficult task. The honorees profiled in these pages are energetic and innovative. They have contributed to the betterment of their communities, and they have passed along their expertise to others.
Mark Stapleton grew Greenberry Industrial LLC’s nuclear power and federal services division to $80 million in revenue in five years. Stacy and Witbeck Inc.’s Tommy Opland applied his Army training to ambitious transportation projects throughout the Northwest and currently manages Sound Transit’s Northgate Trackwork. Senior engineer and project manager Corianne Hart has founded multiple employee programs at Carollo Engineers, helping to further the careers of other young professionals.
Continue reading to learn more about this year’s class of Top Young Professionals.
ENR Northwest's 2016 Top Young Professionals
Leader and mentor in the industry connects with community
40, Project Executive
A dynamic leader with strong communication, organizational and systems skills, Ahlf leads Skanska’s special projects group in Seattle, providing improvements to such elements as Safeco Field’s retractable roof.
One recent project was construction of Kai Market in Seattle, a 5,500-sq-ft specialty food store with a 7-ft-wide shellfish tank and a separate room for the tank’s pumping equipment.
Martin Connor, senior consultant and Northwest office manager for Redmond, Wash.-based TBD Consultants, collaborated with Ahlf when both were at Turner Construction. They worked on the New Beginnings Church in Renton and a kitchen renovation in a ward for retired nuns with dementia at Mount St. Vincent’s Hospital.
“Lacey was able to connect with the hospital staff, nuns and, on the church project, the congregation. She did this through outreach and attending several events, allowing all stakeholders to be informed of the project’s progress,” says Connor.
Ahlf also chairs Skanska Women’s Network Northwest and is past president of the Seattle & Sound chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women.
Expanded Clark’s Northwest office
36, Vice President
Clark Construction Group LLC
As general manager of Clark’s Pacific Northwest region, Earnest has, in three years, expanded the office from two to 95 employees, with $2 billion in awarded contracts.
He has participated in 25-plus projects, including the $640-million Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center, completed in 2008. He has worked as a project manager and then senior project manager on the Microsoft Theatre at LA Live in Los Angeles.
In 2016, he won Clark’s bid for the 1.4-million-sq-ft Washington State Convention Center addition in Seattle, a complex $850-million project scheduled for 2021 completion.
“Brett has a great understanding of how to build and the importance of teamwork and strong leadership from his time in project management,” says Steve Dell’Orto, senior vice president of Clark Construction Group.
Earnest graduated from Bucknell University with bachelor’s degrees in business administration and economics. He joined Clark’s Mid-Atlantic interiors division, relocating to Washington in 2013 to reestablish the company’s presence in the Pacific Northwest.
He participates in Bicycles Against Poverty, an organization assisting East African villagers, and also acts as a formal Team Clark mentor to young company engineers.
Design-build specialist led major water projects
37, Senior Engineer/Project Manager
An environmental engineer specializing in the design of municipal drinking water and wastewater systems, Hart has focused on two large Oregon projects during her career.
While at Brown and Caldwell, Hart was the owner’s agent and project manager for the $249-million Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership, which upgraded and expanded six facilities to combine two cities’ drinking water operations.
At Carollo, she is project manager on the $1.2-billion, 30-mile Willamette Water Supply Program. The project includes four miles of welded steel pipelines, a new 60-millon-gallon-per-day water treatment plant and two 15-million-gallon reservoirs for the Tualatin Valley Water District and the city of Hillsboro.
Hart has been closely involved with Carollo’s employee engagement group and the Carollo Cares Program. She also launched a companywide Young Professionals Community of Practice program last year with eight young engineers. She founded a book club as well, focusing on books about emotional intelligence and work styles.
“Corianne has helped develop the careers of many young professionals, committing herself both professionally and personally to recruiting and retaining bright talent in the water industry, independent of company and organization,” says Matthew Gribbins, a Carollo associate vice president.
“Corianne [Hart] has helped develop the careers of many young professionals, committing herself ... to recruiting and retaining bright talent in the water industry.”
—MATTHEW GRIBBINS, Associate Vice President, Carollo Engineers
Military background helps him keep projects on track
34, Project Manager
Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
Professionalism, leadership and a positive outlook have distinguished Opland since he joined the firm in 2010 following service in the Army and the Idaho Army National Guard.
Career highlights include work on the $109-million Portland Streetcar Loop project, incorporating six miles of track and an overhead catenary system on a historic bascule bridge.
Opland also completed Seattle’s $124-million University Link Extension light rail for Sound Transit. As systems manager, Opland oversaw new installations along with a control system retrofit of Sound Transit’s existing light rail alignment to the airport. In this role, he leveraged his military experience in managing classified communication systems.
Currently, as project manager for Sound Transit’s $72-million Northgate Trackwork, he is responsible for the team installing eight miles of track, including two miles of vibration-dampening tunnel track beneath science laboratories at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“Tommy has the unique ability to quickly grasp complicated things, organize them and then effectively communicate them to others to carry out the work,” says Steve Wood, a senior project manager and vice president at Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
He and his wife, Melissa, help raise funds for Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Their work was inspired by the 2011 death from cancer of Opland’s stepfather, who was also his mentor.
“Tommy [Opland] has the unique ability to quickly grasp complicated things, organize them and then effectively communicate them.”
—STEVE WOOD, Vice President, Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
Growing Greenberry’s nuclear services division
39, Director of Nuclear and Federal Services
Greenberry Industrial LLC
Stapleton’s interest in engineering began early in his career while he was doing water quality sampling and environmental testing at a soils lab.
His fieldwork experience has been the basis of his hands-on leadership at Greenberry, where he oversees nuclear and federal services.
Stapleton is also an authority on regulations surrounding process controls for nuclear power plants and petrochemical plants as well as for the aerospace and other industries. His work helps mitigate risk by sponsoring a quality-conscious work environment supported by rigorous process controls.
Under Stapleton’s leadership, the company has grown its nuclear division to $80 million in revenue in five years. He runs a technical staff of nine engineers as well as an internship program.
Prior to joining Greenberry, Stapleton spent nearly a decade with Bechtel, working on the $12.2-billion Hanford waste treatment plant in Richland, Wash.
Stapleton holds bachelor of science degrees in environmental science and civil engineering from the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Stapleton lives in Portland, Ore., with his wife and two sons, where he volunteers as a youth coach for several sports teams.
Brings technical and collaborative expertise to complex projects
36, Project Manager
PCL Construction Services Inc.
Throughout her career, Wiehe has led projects of increasing complexity, applying her technical and collaborative skills throughout the Northwest as well as California and Hawaii.
As project manager at PCL, Wiehe worked on $40 million of finishes on the Bravern Signature Residences towers as well as airport renovations for Hawaiian Airlines and Kaiser Permanente’s Mapunapuna Gastrointestinal Services building in Honolulu.
Wiehe’s most recent project was also the most demanding: a design-build transmission electron microscope facility at the University of California, Irvine.
The $6.5-million project was an ENR California 2017 Best Project in the specialty construction category.
This extensive renovation impressed judges with its complex transformation of college classrooms into four imaging suites designed to isolate stray movements, noise and vibrations from the microscope.
“Dana Wiehe absorbed the technical and physical elements of the process like a sponge,” says electron microscope consultant Michael Hiles with FMS. “She brought a razor-sharp intellect and attention to detail to the process that I’ve never seen before.”
Wiehe has also remained engaged with the community, participating in the ACE Mentor Program, Habitat for Humanity, United Way/Aloha United Way and Special Olympics in Washington, Hawaii and California.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering project design from Stanford University and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering.
“[Dana Wiehe] brought a razor-sharp intellect and attention to detail to the process that I’ve never seen before.”
—MICHAEL HILES, Electron Microscope Consultant, FMS