In 2021, the construction industry’s long-term struggle to attract a sufficient number of workers reached a near-crisis level, with contractors of all types reporting challenges in finding and hiring talent. When this workforce shortage crisis abates is anyone’s guess, though, and industry firms likely will continue to face this heightened struggle to find workers for some time to come.

At the same time, there is considerable talent already working in the Southeast’s construction industry, some of whom are highlighted here via ENR Southeast’s annual Top Young Professionals contest. The annual program recognizes up-and-coming construction industry professionals who exhibit notable achievements in terms of career and industry leadership, community service and creating landmark projects.

This year, ENR Southeast enlisted the services of four outstanding industry professionals as our Top Young Professionals judges. In fact, all of this year’s judges were named Southeast Top Young Professionals a year ago. They include, in alpha order by last name: Wheeler Crook, Vice president of engineering, Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc., Montgomery, Ala.; Erika Grace, project manager-environment, AECOM, Greenville, S.C.; Bradley Lockwood, Vice president, Moseley Architects, Raleigh, N.C.; and Jennifer Todd, founder and president of LMS General Contractors, Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.

We’ll have more information about each of this year’s honorees in the upcoming January 2022 print edition of ENR Southeast. Until then, here's an alphabetical list of this year's class. Congratulations to this year’s Top Young Professionals!

  • Lisa Bendas — project executive, Shawmut Design and Construction, Miami
  • Rachael Bisnett — senior associate, Stantec, Charlotte
  • Phillip Dieckmann — Southeast distribution and conveyance lead, AECOM, Columbia, S.C.
  • Jeffrey Elsey — vice president, Kimley-Horn, Atlanta
  • Aneesh Goli — president, Smart-Structures, Riviera Beach, Fla.
  • Cutler Knupp — director of strategy and technology investment, The Haskell Co., Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Nick Krarup — vice president of operations, Coastal Construction Co., Tampa
  • Jeffrey Macre — cybersecurity sector lead for utilities and transportation, 1898 & Co., a Burns & McDonnell company, Maitland, Fla.
  • Erin Murphy — environmental services manager, VHB, Atlanta
  • Ryan Nash — division president, Nash Plumbing & Mechanical, an HB Global Co., Wildwood, Fla.
  • Andrea Netcher — water team leader, Plummer Associates, Inc., Tampa
  • Daniel Nickols, Jr. — assistant engineering manager, GAI Consultants, Inc., Orlando
  • Kalyan R. Piratla — associate professor of civil engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.
  • Edwin Perkins — president - solar, Moss Construction, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Allison Stewart-Harris — community planning manager, VHB, Atlanta
  • Lauren Swan— senior director resilience and sustainable development, AECOM, Coral Gables, Fla.
  • Michael Tortorici — vice president and division manager, Brasfield & Gorrie, Nashville
  • Aimee S. Turner — traffic department manager, Croy Engineering, Marietta, Ga.
  • Sara Beth Wilcox — senior project manager, Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Jonathan Williams — deputy water business group operations manager, HDR, Winston-Salem, N.C.