Who’s Who in Construction, Design and Engineering – 2011

Keywords Who's Who 2011

Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In a monthly feature that runs in the first issue of the month, through October, IBJ is identifying those people in eight industry categories.

This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. Thomas Harmon of Harmon Construction was among this group, but his biography was unavailable at press time.


Donald Altemeyer, 64
Founding Principal
BSA LifeStructures

Don Altemeyer has led the planning and design of a wide range of medical and research projects across the nation and is now planning health care facilities and university campuses in southern India and Malaysia. As part of the firm’s global initiative, Altemeyer is serving as a planning consultant to the Manipal Education and Healthcare Group based in Bangalore, India.

Significant local projects include several major buildings for the Indiana University School of Medicine, IU Health and the Roudebush Veterans Hospital. From 1999 through 2010, Altemeyer held a leadership role in the planning, design and construction of the midfield terminal project, at Indianapolis International Airport.

In 1970, Altemeyer graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in architecture, holding several scholarships and the AIA Ohio Silver Medal in Architecture. Following graduation, he was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and the Indiana Air National Guard. In 1975, while still flying planes a couple of days (or nights) a week, Altemeyer founded BSA with Dwight Boyd and Richard Sobieray. The company is one of the largest full-service design firms in the nation and has offices in Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis and Bangalore.

Altemeyer’s community involvement includes service on the executive committee of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the Criminal Justice Facility Planning Task Force for the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. He served as chairman of the Indiana Minority Development Supplier Council in 2005 and 2006 and was instrumental in rebuilding the influence of that organization throughout Indiana. He has served on the board of the Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority since 1988 and currently serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park and Harmoni, the Historic Midtown Initiative.

Altemeyer was born in Salem. His wife, Teresa, is an artist, and they have two daughters.


Robert L. Bowen, 71
Founder and Chairman
Bowen Engineering Corp.

When Bob Bowen graduated from Purdue University with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1962, he went to work for W.M. Lyles Construction Co., a California-based construction company founded by Purdue alum William Lyles. In 1967, Bowen returned to Indiana to start his own company. A multimarket company working in 15 states, Bowen Engineering specializes in water and wastewater treatment plants and energy utility construction.

Bowen Engineering has received six AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) Build America awards, considered the Oscars of the industry, including one for the $57 million Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant addition in 2004 and another in 2010 for the wind farm in Brookston.

Along with his wife, Terry, Bowen established the Bowen Foundation 15 years ago to provide scholarships to minority students in Indianapolis to help them pursue post-secondary education. About 300 students have received more than $750,000 in scholarships through the foundation. In October 2009, Bowen was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame.

In 2002, along with then-Purdue President Martin Jischke, the Bowens founded Science Bound. The program mentors IPS students, from grades eight through 12, and encourages them to pursue careers in science and technical fields, with an opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship to Purdue. The Bowens also provided financial support to Purdue for the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen High-Scale Performance Civil Engineering Laboratory. For their support of education, the Bowens received the 2005 Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Indiana chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

In 2007, Bowen was awarded an honorary doctor of engineering from Purdue and, in 2011, an honorary doctor of business administration from the University of Evansville. He also completed the Harvard Business School owner/president management program, which works with CEOs from around the world to learn creative ways to approach business challenges.


Diana M.H. Brenner, 55
Brenner Design Inc.

Diana Brenner designed her first building in sixth grade. She says, “It was shaped like the letter A and was seven stories tall with an atrium in the center of the A.” By high school, her artistic skills landed her a job as a portrait artist at King’s Island, something she did through college. Brenner holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Ohio State University and a bachelor of architecture from Ball State University.

One of only four women to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in Indiana and the only woman named a Torchbearer in Architecture, Diana Brenner calls herself an entrepreneurial architect and keeps tabs on her firsts as a woman, including the first woman to design a building on Purdue’s campus—perhaps ironically, the Mann Building. The company is the associate architect for the Mackey Arena expansion.

President and sole owner of Brenner Design, founded in 1992 and the largest solely woman-owned architectural firm in Indiana, Brenner works with clients who are moving, right-sizing or rebranding. She also owns B&B Contracting, founded in 2002, which specializes in traffic control, site protection and materials supply. B&B is currently working on the Georgia Street project and the IUPUI parking garage. Before founding her company, Brenner was vice president and director of interior architecture for Kasler and Associates Inc.

Brenner has passion for her community as well as for her work. She serves on the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and the Indiana Fire and Building Safety Commission. She also sits on the boards of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.


William A. Browne Jr., 55
Ratio Architects Inc.

Since founding Ratio nearly 30 years ago, Bill Browne has focused his career on advancing both the quality of design and delivery of professional services. He bundles architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design, and planning and graphic design into his approach to every project. Notably, he worked in studio with Robert Indiana and Dale Chihuly to help them realize the installations of both men’s largest pieces of work: Indiana’s INDIANA Obelisk at the Indiana State Museum and Chihuly’s Fireworks of Glass at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The company is nearing completion of the Glick Eye Institute on West Michigan Street and is working on the NCAA headquarters expansion.

Browne is serving his 20th year as a mayor-appointed member of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, where he is vice president. He is also board chairman of the Indiana State Museum, an advisory board member of Marian University Cycling Program, past president of the Indianapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and past vice chairman of Indiana Landmarks.

Browne earned his bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Illinois and his master’s in architecture at the University or Florida. He did postgraduate work at the Preservation Institute on Nantucket, Mass. He holds National Council of Architectural Registration Boards certification, is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and is LEED accredited.

Former Gov. Frank O’Bannon named Browne a Distinguished Hoosier and Gov. Mitch Daniels named him a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Browne is an avid cyclist, riding tours through the Alps, the Appalachians and the Rockies. Also a runner, he has completed three marathons, including the Boston, as well as 18 mini-marathons. He enjoys traveling with his wife and son to see interesting architecture in major cities.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses.  


Willis R. Conner, 57
President, COO and Co-owner
American Structurepoint Inc.

While he was still in high school in 1971, Rick Conner started to work at American Structurepoint as a part-time apprentice drafter, blueprint boy and deliveryman. The firm then had 12 employees. Today, there are more than 275 employees representing 10 disciplines. Since Conner took the reins in 1987, the company’s annual sales have jumped from $28 million to an average of $53 million, and the company has expanded throughout Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Engineering News Record has consistently listed American Structurepoint as a Top 500 Engineering Firm, and in 2010, Midwest Construction magazine named the company the No. 1 Indiana design firm.

Conner and his company have been involved in such distinctive projects as the Keystone Parkway corridor, the I-70 interchanges at Indianapolis International Airport, and the Speed Zone urban redevelopment in Speedway. Conner has hands-on experience leading these highly visible projects. Internally, he has advanced the company with the formation of an Ohio office, purchase of the Shadeland headquarters office building, and the launching of an investigative group.

Conner is a lifelong resident of the greater Indianapolis area and a 1976 graduate of Purdue University with a degree in civil engineering. He and his wife, Penny, have two adult children and three grandchildren. He is chairman of the Noblesville Housing Authority, on the Advisory Council of Purdue University School of Engineering, and on the President’s Council of Purdue University. He belongs to Rotary Club of Indianapolis and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.


Stephen L. Corbitt, 48
President & CEO
Corbitt & Sons Construction Co. Inc.

Corbitt & Sons is an underground utility construction firm. Established in 1979, it specializes in underground utilities, directional boring and construction management. The company currently has 80 employees. The city of Indianapolis and local municipalities are primary customers, as well as Indianapolis Power & Light, Vectren Energy, Citizens Energy, Veolia Water Co., Indianapolis Public Schools and various general contractors.

Steve Corbitt has worked for the company in some capacity for 23 years and is the third generation of his family to lead the company. Corbitt was elected vice president in 1990. Since moving to his current position in 1995, Corbitt has led the company to increase revenue 200 percent, in part through capturing a market niche in directional boring. As a result, the company has been featured in several national trade publications. He is the majority stockholder of the company.

Corbitt received his bachelor’s in communications and marketing from Indiana State University in 1986 and also graduated from the small business executive education program at Clark Atlanta University and the Fast Trac II program at the Midwest Entrepreneurial Education Center. In 1997, he graduated from Amos Tuck School of Business, Business Executive Program at Dartmouth College.

Corbitt has consistently served on boards, including at the Madame Walker Theatre Center, the Indiana Regional Minority Supplier Development Council, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the city of Indianapolis General Contractors Board. Corbitt has two children and enjoys golf, running, weight-training, biking and boating.


Mike Dilts, 54
President and CEO
Shiel Sexton

Mike Dilts is responsible for a staff of more than 350 individuals, from vice presidents to carpenters and laborers. Dilts has a hands-on management style and understands the owners’ concerns, the architects’ and contractors’ needs, and his own staff’s capabilities.

Shiel Sexton recently completed the Indiana Convention Center expansion, the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, Federal Express expansion, the Birch Bayh Federal Building and Courthouse renovation, Dow Agro building expansion, Ivy Tech Fall Creek Expansion, and Emmett J. Bean Center renovation, among others. Dick Shiel and Tim Sexton founded the company in 1962.

Early in his career, after graduating from Purdue University in 1981, Dilts worked in Boston for a national construction firm. When he and his wife, Suzy, started a family, they decided to return to Indiana to be closer to their extended family. His friendship with Andy Shiel opened the door to Dilts’ return to the Hoosier state.

In addition to his full-time position, Dilts serves on the boards of the Super Bowl Host Committee; the United Way Tocqueville Society, which he chairs; the United Way; and the Providence Cristo Rey High School. He is also on the board of visitors for Marian University Business School.


David L. Doell, 51
Senior Project Manager, Design and Construction
Indiana University Health

During his career at IU Health, Dave Doell has managed the design and construction process for the East Building addition to IU Health Methodist Hospital, Riley Outpatient Center at IU Health, IU Health West Hospital, IU Health North Hospital and IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette. He is currently managing the construction of IU Health Saxony Hospital in Fishers.

Doell started his full-time career in health care construction management when he joined Methodist Hospital in 1992 as a construction engineer in the long-range-planning division of the Facilities Department. In 1997, Methodist, Indiana University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children consolidated under Clarian Health (IU Health since January), and Doell became manager of the newly formed Design and Construction Department. As IU Health has continued to grow, Doell has concentrated solely on managing large additions and new construction.

Doell joined IU Health after 10 years working as a project manager in general contracting. He holds a bachelor’s in building construction management from Purdue University. He has served in various roles with the Metro Coalition for Construction Safety, including two terms on the board of directors, as chairman of the Certification Committee, and as vice chairman of the Substance Abuse Committee. He also has served on the executive committee of the Indiana Construction Roundtable.


Gregory S. Fehribach, 52
The Fehribach Group

Widely considered a leading consultant on accessible design projects, Greg Fehribach evaluates every project with special understanding because he himself uses a wheelchair for mobility. Fehribach is an expert on ADA-compliance issues and diversity management, and through his company, helps organizations create more accessible environments. In addition to operating his own company, Fehribach is of counsel with the law firm of Doninger Tuohy & Bailey LLP.

Fehribach has never let his disability slow him down. Born in Lafayette, he is a graduate of Ball State University, where he earned both his bachelor’s and his master’s. While at Ball State, Fehribach made history as the first student with a disability to be elected student body president. He went on to graduate from Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law. He attended the International Program, Notre Dame in London, in 1984.

Fehribach serves on the boards of the Marion County Health and Hospital Corp., Wishard Foundation and the Arts Council of Indianapolis. He is a distinguished fellow to the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University.

He has been recognized for his work on numerous occasions, including the Indiana Lawyer’s Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister Award and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation’s Unbreakable Spirit Award, recognizing his ongoing efforts to improve accessibility of public facilities and the lives of people with disabilities.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. 


Mike Fratianni, 47
Executive Vice President & Division Manager
Hunt Construction Group Inc.

The bold Hunt logo has been prominent on many Indianapolis landmarks, including The Conrad Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium, One America headquarters, the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal and the JW Marriott. And for 25 years, Mike Fratianni has been with Hunt, integrally involved in those projects and many others, including the Cleveland Browns stadium, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, San Antonio Military Medical Center, Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal in Atlanta, and the Toyota Center in Houston.

Fratianni began his career with Hunt after graduating from Hanover College with a degree in business administration. He worked his way up through the ranks, starting as a field engineer in 1986 and working up to his current position as executive vice president and manager of Hunt’s East Division, which is headquartered in Indianapolis. He has overall corporate responsibility for the division, which places $1 billion worth of work annually in the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast.

Beyond his work at Hunt, Fratianni enjoys biking and fitness, miscellaneous trade work and crafts. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children, ages 15 and 13, and enjoy family activities. Fratianni is a supporter of the Assistance League of Indianapolis, the Humane Society and the Children’s Charity Fund, among other organizations.


Eric Fulford, 59
NINebark Inc.

With a background in both design and science, Eric Fulford integrates both disciplines in a contemporary landscape architecture practice. Along with his wife, Ann Reed, Fulford founded NINebark in 1995. (The name is derived from a native woodland shrub of the same name, which has bark that exfoliates and curls into the shape of the number nine.) Before founding his firm, Fulford taught and worked at a variety of design firms and institutions here in Indiana and around the country.

Fulford earned his bachelor’s in geology at Oregon State University, his master’s at the University of Illinois, and a diploma in urban design and countryside planning at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 1991, he was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize, conferred upon 25 to 27 individuals annually. Applicants come from around the globe, and the winners live and study together in Italy for at least a year.

His work at other firms and at NINebark demonstrates his commitment to public spaces. A sampling includes the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana Government Center, custom-designed streetlights for the Central Canal and Wholesale District, the Medal of Honor Memorial, and the proposed restoration of the Taggart Memorial in Riverside Park.

Most recently, Fulford has been involved in the new Wishard Hospital project, developing a 30,000-square-foot green roof on the clinical building—which includes Sky Farm, the organic garden that will help supply the SkyCafe—and Women’s Garden, which features labyrinths.

In his private time, Fulford enjoys travel, eating, cycling, reading, scouring e-Bay for treasures and cooking with his wife. He is on the board of the Medal of Honor Memorial Foundations and consults with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.


Charles J. Garcia, 61
President and CEO
Garcia Construction Group Inc.

Born in San Francisco, Charlie Garcia came to Indiana when he was offered a job at Gaylor Electric. In 1989, Garcia founded his own company, originally known as GM Construction. The company has offices in Indianapolis and San Antonio, Texas.

Garcia is proud of his efforts to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs. He developed a mentoring program, adopted by the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, that assists minority- and women-owned businesses. He is a founder of the Indiana Hispanic Scholarship Foundation and has helped increase educational opportunities for first-generation college students.

Garcia has received numerous awards, including Small Businessman of the Year, awarded by the city of Indianapolis; Entrepreneur of the Year, awarded by Ernst and Young; Small Businessman of the Year, awarded by the SBA; Center for Leadership Development Entrepreneur of the Year; and Madame Walker Spirit Award. His company was recognized by IBJ in both 2002 and 2003 as the third-largest minority-owned business in Indiana.

Committed to the community, Garcia sits on the boards of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis Economic Development Inc., Fifth Third Bank and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, among others. He is on the board of trustees of the University of Indianapolis and the IUPUI Advisory Board.

Garcia is a graduate of the Way College of Biblical Research and attended both the College of San Mateo in California and Butler University. He has graduated from executive programs at Dartmouth University and UCLA. The father of four holds a second-degree black belt in martial arts and is an avid backpacker.


Sanford E. Garner, 42
President and Founding Partner

Sanford Garner is president of the National Organization of Minority Architects and president and founding partner of A2SO4, a design firm whose primary areas of focus are historic preservation, master planning, urban design and project assessment. He says his passion is urban design and preservation. Before founding his own firm in 2001, Garner worked for several other local architectural firms.

A 1993 graduate of Howard University, Garner has also studied at Helsinki University in Finland and at UCLA. In June, Garner was one of 11 individuals honored nationally with the Young Architect Award, presented by the American Institute of Architects to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field in an early stage of their career. In 2009, he was named to Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40; he received that honor from IBJ in 2004. In 2002, he received the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business & Entrepreneurship.

As a Park Tudor High School junior, Garner remembers telling his art teacher that he didn’t want to be a starving architect. The teacher put him in touch with a Park Tudor alum who was a partner at a local architectural firm, so Garner could see how the profession worked. Also, he traveled quite a bit as a youngster and saw how people’s environments affected their lives. He says, “it left a huge impression on me, so once I started considering and researching architecture, it all fell into place.”

Active in the community, Garner is past president of the Indianapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects, past chairman of the board of Citizens Health Center, and past board member of the Indianapolis Zoo and Indiana Landmarks. He currently sits on the board of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.


John C. Gaylor, 57
President and Founder
Gaylor Inc.

John C. Gaylor founded Gaylor Electric in 1985. One of the 50 largest non-union electrical contractors in the nation, the company is primarily an industrial and commercial electrical contractor. Gaylor Inc. has been listed in Engineering News-Record’s top 600 specialty contractors every year since 1988 and has won the Excellence in Construction Award for the best electrical construction projects eight times.

Dedicated to the trade, in 1986 Gaylor founded Gaylor University, his own training program. He explains, “We have approximately 250 people studying for the apprenticeship and another 175 in various forms of management training.”

Gaylor was selected ABC Contractor of the Year at the national convention in 1999; the organization has about 28,000 members. He was the Ernst & Young 1992 Entrepreneur of the Year in Indiana in the construction category and served as one of the judges for that award in 1995. He was listed in IBJ’s Forty Under 40. Ball State University has honored him with the College of Business Award of Achievement and Award of Distinction. He was also selected as one of Ball State’s Distinguished Alumni and inducted into the Ball State University College of Business Hall of Fame in 2003.

An active Ball State alum, Gaylor serves on the Dean’s Executive Committee of the business school, the Ball State University Foundation board, and the Construction Technology advisory board, and heads the Corporate Philanthropy Division of the Ball State financial campaign. Gaylor serves as president of the Purdue University Construction Advisory Council and the Purdue College of Technology Dean’s Executive Council. He is also on the board of advisers of St. Vincent Hospital and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

Gaylor, a native of Muncie, received his degree in business from Ball State University in 1976. He and his wife, Valerie, who holds her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Purdue University, have four children and live in Carmel. John R. Gaylor (next page) is a cousin.

This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. 


John R. Gaylor, 59
President and CEO
Associated Builder and Contractors of Indiana

J.R. Gaylor was hired by ABC in 1987 to ramp up its training and education programs. He had previously been a social sciences professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. ABC represents 25,000 commercial and industrial contractors nationally, with about 450 in Indiana. Indiana is ranked in the top five chapters nationwide in apprenticeship training, safety and green-building services, as well as political action and advocacy.

Within ABC, Gaylor created Construction Prep Academy in 2009 to attract young people to the construction industry. He represents ABC before the General Assembly. Through 2012, Gaylor is the elected representative of the Midwest region on the national president’s advisory council.

Gaylor regularly returns to his alma mater, Ball State University, to speak on business and labor topics. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. He also speaks at Purdue University and other ventures. He has served on the Vincennes University board of trustees since 2005 and has been chairman since 2007.

Gaylor, who grew up in Indiana, lives in Noblesville, where he was chosen to participate in the Noblesville Schools 21st Century Study Council. He sits on his neighborhood association board and is a member of First United Methodist Church. His other interests center on reading, golfing and learning about the Civil War, particularly researching his family’s involvement.


Fredrick J. Green, 55
President and COO
Cripe Architects + Engineers

The son of a small-town plumber, Fred Green was his father’s helper for years, learning his work ethic and commitment, as well as absorbing technical knowledge of integrating building systems. Green was attracted to what he calls the “built environment,” but was also attracted to art.

After graduating from Greencastle High School, Green attended Indiana University, where he earned a bachelor’s in printmaking. He coupled his interest in building and art by enrolling in an accelerated architectural program at the University of Kansas, where he earned another bachelor’s degree, this one in architecture. He graduated first in his class and began his career focusing on institutional work, such as museums and schools.

After working a couple of other places, in 1996 Green joined Cripe Architects + Engineers, where he helped redefine the architectural department. He was named president and COO in 1995. He was project manager for the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Western Middle School, Craig Middle School and New Palestine High School and designed several Forum locations, including the headquarters in Fishers. The company is currently working on the IUPUI sports complex garage, Greenfield High School and Riley Hospital. Cripe was founded in 1937 and has offices in Indianapolis, Carmel, Evansville and Fort Wayne.

Among his innovations at the company, Green developed the Cripe Way, which is seven acts of management that, he explains, “support proper organization of thought or a straightforward management approach that could and should become habit.” While it has been used internally, Green has also shared the concept with others in the industry.

Married with two daughters, Green serves on the Indiana Architectural Foundation board, the community board of advisers for the Eiteljorg, and the board for both Cripe Architects + Engineers and the Paul I. Cripe Charitable Foundation.


John Griffin, 57
Central Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council

John Griffin’s career path has bridged a variety of disciplines. After high school, he began a four-year apprenticeship program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 481. During the apprenticeship program, he started attending night school and ultimately earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and technology from Purdue University in Indianapolis.

About a year after getting his degree, Griffin started law school at Indiana University—Indianapolis, where he earned his law degree. In addition to being licensed to practice before state and federal courts in Indiana, Griffin is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Griffin worked for more than 10 years as an electrician and project foreman on heavy industrial construction projects and served as an instructor at the Indianapolis Electrical Training Institute for more than a dozen years.

In 1999, he was appointed to the Commission of Labor by Gov. Frank O’Bannon and served until 2003. In that position, Griffin was responsible for enforcement of child labor laws, wage and hour laws, and IOSHA.

In his position with the Building Trades Council, Griffin represents the 18 construction unions in Marion and the seven surrounding counties. He has negotiated and managed project labor agreements on more than $8 billion of construction work in central Indiana. For 15 years, Griffin has been a member of the executive board of Top Notch, the largest labor management organization for the union construction industry in the state.

Griffin is passionate about Japanese culture and travel. He has studied Japanese for years and frequently travels to Japan.


Jeffrey M. Hagerman, 40
The Hagerman Group

Jeff Hagerman, a native of Fort Wayne, is the fourth generation of the Hagerman family to lead the company. Hagerman Group is a commercial construction company founded in Fort Wayne in 1908; today, there are also offices in Fishers and Lafayette. With 130 employees, the company produces about $200 million in annual revenue.

After graduating from Purdue University’s construction, engineering and management program, Hagerman worked for a large commercial contractor, first as a project engineer and then as a project manager. He returned to the family company in 1997 and was immediately assigned to oversee the foundation’s package for Conseco Fieldhouse.

Hagerman next began work as project manager on the 220-car multistory Virginia Avenue parking garage, Earlham College’s recreational center and the Medal of Honor Memorial. In 2005, he was named president of Geupel DeMars Hagerman, the company’s construction-management company, and in 2007 he moved into his current position.

A passionate community booster, Hagerman encourages his employees to give back as well. He participates on the Fishers Chamber of Commerce board, the Fishers Economic Development Commission, the United Way Success By 6 Leadership Council, the United Way Childcare Ministries Task Force, the CEM Advisory Committee for Purdue University, and the board of the Sycamore School for Gifted Children. He is chairman of the United Way Capital Campaign Market Sector, a godparent for the St. Mary’s Childcare Center, and a trustee for the Indiana Carpenters Pension Fund.

In his free time, Hagerman spends time with his son, Drake, follows Purdue University athletics, and plays golf and tennis.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. 


Jonathan R. Hess, 55
Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf

Jonathan Hess worked his way through portions of undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Illinois by working at a small architectural firm. After he got his master’s degree in architecture in 1982 (his bachelor’s degree is in architectural studies), he took a job with James Associates. He spent about a year with the firm as it worked on the planning and conceptual design for the Indianapolis Zoo.

In 1984, Hess made a cold call on Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf and met Jim Browning. He says, “I had the job the following week. I did a lot of unrealized designs at the time; then the Eiteljorg Museum came along and provided a wonderful opportunity.” Hess became president of the company in 2009.

In addition to his work on the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Hess has worked on the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IUPUI’s Herron School of Art, Butler University’s Lilly Hall, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and additions to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Eli Lilly and Co.’s headquarters. The firm is currently working on the new Jacobs School of Music studio building at Indiana University and renovations of Emison Hall at DePauw University.

Hess was born in Highland Park, Ill., and spent his childhood in Normal, Ill. His father was a minister and “helped me hone the realization that I saw the world a bit differently.” Hess and his wife, Jody, have three children and a close extended family. He is a member of the facility committee at the Eiteljorg and a past trustee at Christian Theological Seminary.


William G. Horton, 49
Fink Roberts & Petrie Inc.

“I was always interested in architecture,” says Bill Horton, “and worked for a builder drawing plans in high school.” That experience led Horton to pursue architecture and engineering in college, where he discovered his true interest was in the engineering aspect of architecture and “how to realize the designs and make them work.” He graduated from the University of Illinois with a master’s of architecture/structures option.

Straight out of school, the Naperville, Ill., native went to work for Chris Stefanos Associates in Chicago. He also worked for Walker Parking Consultants in Indianapolis before joining Fink Roberts & Petrie in 1989. He was named president of the company in 2009.

At Fink Roberts & Petrie, Horton has been involved with numerous projects that dot the Indianapolis skyline; among his most rewarding, he names The Conrad Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium.

In addition to his role with the company, Horton is on the board of the ACE Mentor Program of Indiana—an architecture, construction and engineering program geared to educate and mentor high school students about the professions and advancement opportunities. Horton is also a member of the Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety awards banquet committee and is past president of the Indiana Chapter of the American Concrete Institute. He is chairman of the trustees for St. Marks United Methodist Church.

Horton and his wife, Karen, have two college-age children.


Philip Kenney, 50
Wilhelm Construction

An Indianapolis native, Phil Kenney began working at Wilhelm in 1982 while studying engineering at Purdue University. When he graduated from Purdue in 1985, Kenney worked in Wilhelm’s Small Projects Group, becoming manager of the Facilities Contracting Group. In 1996, he became president of Wilhelm’s mechanical construction subsidiary, Freitag-Weinhardt, which is based in Terre Haute. Kenney assumed his current role as president of Wilhelm in 2001.

Wilhelm, Indiana’s largest employer of construction labor, has about 1,500 employees and has offices in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Bloomington. The company was founded in 1923 and has built such landmarks as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the NCAA headquarters.

It also built the Richard L. Roudebush V.A. Medical Center, IU Health Arnett Hospital and university buildings at Purdue University, Indiana University, IUPUI, University of Indianapolis and Ball State University. Its industrial facilities include clients such as Eli Lilly and Co., Dow AgroSciences, Progress Rail and National Starch.

Kenney has been active as a board member in several industry associations, such as Indiana Construction Association, Metropolitan Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety and Indiana Construction Roundtable. Beyond the industry, his community service has included serving as a board member for Scecina Memorial High School, Indianapolis Catholic Youth Organization, Noble of Indiana and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

Kenney and his wife, Colleen, are proud parents of five children. Kenney enjoys spending leisure time boating, golfing and watching his children participate in sporting events.


John P. Klipsch, 58
Executive Director
Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority

John Klipsch runs the state agency that designed, constructed and is financing Lucas Oil Stadium and the recently completed Indiana Convention Center expansion. In addition, he is president of Klipsch Consulting LLC, a company he created in 2000. Klipsch manages all phases of the business focusing on design and construction project management. Recent clients include the New Wishard Hospital, the Isaac Ray Treatment Facility at Logansport State Hospital, and the Indiana State Museum.

Before founding his company, Klipsch was director of special projects for the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank. While there, he managed and implemented the budget, real estate transactions, development negotiations, design and construction of the city’s portion of various high-profile projects, such as Conseco Fieldhouse and the Virginia Avenue parking garage, the Murat Theatre renovation, the Emmis headquarters building and garage, and the Anthem Insurance Operating Center.

In addition, Klipsch served as manager of special projects for the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, where he managed the city’s portion of the Circle Centre mall project, the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Lower Canal improvements project, and the 1987 Pan Am Games facilities fire station. His first job in Indianapolis was as construction representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Benjamin Harrison.

Klipsch, who grew up in Evansville, graduated from Eastern Kentucky University. He is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and Southport United Methodist Church, as well as a volunteer for the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. Klipsch and his wife, Connie, have lived in Indianapolis 27 years and enjoy traveling, especially taking road trips to visit family and friends.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. 


John Lewis, 38
Associate Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities
Indiana University

John Lewis joined Indiana University in 2010 and has oversight of all capital projects on the IUPUI campus. Additionally, he is liaison for the office with the eight regional IU campuses. Lewis negotiates contracts with architects, engineers, contractors, service providers and vendors. His department is managing more than 1,200 active projects campus-wide.

Notable projects under construction right now include the new Jacobs School of Music studio building at IU Bloomington, renovation of the Education Arts Building at IU South Bend, and the new parking garage at IUPUI. Major projects in the design phase include the new neuroscience building and the science engineering lab building at IUPUI and a new dormitory project at IU Bloomington. Lewis is working on master planning for the campuses, too.

Before working at Indiana University, Lewis worked for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 16 years. From 1994 through 2000, he assisted with design, construction and facilities operations at IMS. From then until 2010, he focused on business development for the IndyCar series.

Beyond construction, Lewis and his family opened 96th Street Steakburgers in 2004. The business now includes a second location at Indianapolis International Airport.

Lewis serves on the board of Tatum’s Bags of Fun, an organization that fills backpacks with items that will entertain youngsters during treatment for cancer. He is a member of the Indiana Construction Roundtable and a 2009 recipient of IBJ’s Forty Under 40.

Lewis, a Seymour native, and his wife, Kristin, have two young daughters and live in Indianapolis.


William J. McCarthy, 51
Pepper ConstructionCompany of Indiana LLC

While he was in college, Bill McCarthy interned with Chicago-based Pepper Construction. In 1981, right after graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s in architecture, McCarthy went to work for Pepper full time. He held several management positions within the company and, in 1995, was appointed president of the company’s newest venture: Pepper Construction Company of Indiana.

Pepper has worked on numerous projects in the Indianapolis area, including the Riley Hospital Simon Family Tower, IU Health North and currently Eskenazi Health and the Boy Scouts of America Scout Education and Resource Center. Most of the company’s work is in non-residential and private-sector projects. Top Notch named the company Contractor of the Year in 2011. Since opening the Indiana division, the company has also opened offices in Texas and Ohio.

McCarthy sits on the board of Top Notch and the Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was founding president of Rebuilding Together Indianapolis, an organization that clears slums and renews or rehabilitates old housing, and is a past board member of the Indiana Construction Roundtable and Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. He is also involved with the Capital Projects Committee of the United Way of Central Indiana.

A native of Evanston, Ill., McCarthy holds a master’s of management degree from Northwestern University J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, in addition to his bachelor’s.


Karl F. Meyer, 52
Meyer Najem Inc.

In 1987, Karl Meyer founded Meyer Najem Inc. with his longtime friend and fraternity brother Anthony Najem. After graduating from Purdue University in 1981, Meyer helped several startup construction firms grow before founding his own company. During the company’s life span, it has executed more than $1 billion of in-place construction value. Key focus is in health care and institutional projects; however, the company has done historic, commercial and multifamily projects, as well, across a 15-state geographic area.

Meyer Najem was voted a Top Place To Work in both 2009 and 2011 and the ISA General Contractor of the Year in 2009. It received a Pillar Award from the Fishers Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and 2008. It has also received awards for Witham Hospital, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house at Butler University, Brownsburg High School, IU Health Hospital expansion and others.

Meyer characterizes his management style as “stepping lightly to allow for growth and the enjoyment of future generations.” He attributes his style to his early involvement with Boy Scouts, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, his involvement in Catholic Youth Organization, his Brebeuf Preparatory School education and parents who believed that “the only person who has not made a mistake is a person who has not tried anything new.”

Meyer himself is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization. He sits on the boards of Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and CYO. He is on the Aldebaran Capital Advisory Board and is past president of Riverview Hospital Foundation Board. He is also involved with Westminster Neighborhood Ministries, Metropolitan Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety, Indiana Construction Roundtable and Associated Builders and Contractors.

Meyer and his wife, Barbara, have two daughters and enjoy the operations of their Greystoke Equestrian Farms and home in Westfield. They enjoy all things outdoors, including riding, gardening, fishing, hunting, canoeing, golfing and building things.


Anthony Michael Najem, 52
Meyer Najem Inc.

After graduating from Purdue University, Anthony Najem headed for Houston, where he spent several years working in the energy market, developing and constructing co-generation and power plants. But his hometown, Indianapolis, called, and he and his wife, Liza, who also attended Purdue, wanted to raise their four children near friends and extended family.

He teamed up with longtime friend and fraternity brother Karl Meyer to form Meyer Najem in 1987. He quips, “We were young, crazy and didn’t know any better.”

Meyer Najem has been voted as one of the Top Workplaces in 2009 and 2011, is the 12th-largest construction company in the Indianapolis area, and received the Crystal Eagle award, the highest award given to an Indiana construction firm for safety. The company is currently working on the Veterans Administration outpatient center, an addition and renovations to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, and Legacy at Springhurst Senior Living. Other notable projects include the Julian Center, Riverview Women’s Pavilion and Surgery Center and Noblesville City Hall.

Najem has been named a Distinguished Alumni of Purdue University and serves on Purdue’s President’s Council Leadership Board, Construction Advisory Council and the Dean’s Executive Council. Beyond service to Purdue, Najem sits on the board of Conner Prairie and on St. Mary’s Child Center Advisory Council. He is past president of both the Westview Hospital Foundation Board and the Associated Builders and Contractors and a past member of the Ball State University School of Architecture Advisory Council.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. 


Henry C. Onochie, 52
President and CEO
HCO Inc.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Henry Onochie came to the United States to pursue his education and his dream of becoming an architect. After he earned his master of architecture, summa cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma in 1986, he took a position with Odle Burke Architects in Bloomington and later moved to Indianapolis. He also worked for the state of Indiana and HNTB before opening the doors to his company.

Begun as a one-man shop 22 years ago, HCO is today a nationally recognized firm with more than 20 employees and $4.7 million in annual revenue. The company has experience in a variety of types of facilities, including education, health care, commercial and residential, and is currently working on projects in 25 states. Several noteworthy projects include the Julia M. Carson Learning Center at Ivy Tech Community College, two student-housing projects at Purdue University-Calumet, and the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore.

In 2007, HCO received the Top Diversity-Owned Business award from DiversityBusiness.com. That same year, Onochie received the African-American Contractors Association Outstanding Businessman of the Year award.

Onochie sits on the board of the Indianapolis Black Chamber of Commerce and is a member of both the American Institute of Architects and the Indiana Society of Architects. He provides job-shadowing sessions, mentoring opportunities and internships to high school and college students. HCO also helps at-risk and underprivileged students with annual grant and scholarship opportunities.

A family-oriented man, Onochie juggles raising his children and running his business. In his sparse spare time, he enjoys traveling and reading.


Kevin Osburn, 44
Rundell Ernstberger Associates LLC

Committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Indianapolis, Kevin Osburn is an advocate for complete streets, pedestrian-focused urban design, and quality parks and green space. Principal-in-charge of the Indianapolis office of Rundell Ernstberger since 1995, Osburn has led the design efforts on many of Indianapolis’ most celebrated places, including ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center, the Monon Rail Trail, White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo, the state headquarters of the Nature Conservancy of Indiana, and the recently completed Indiana Landmarks Center site.

Rundell Ernstberger, a land planning, urban design and architecture firm, has offices in Indianapolis, Muncie and Louisville. It is currently working on the design of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene &Marilyn Glick, an eight-mile urban greenway integrating bicycle and pedestrian pathways, public art, custom lighting and signage, and sustainable design features. It has received international recognition and is scheduled for completion in 2012. Osburn also led the firm in designing the Glick Peace Walk, a component of the Cultural Trail that won the Indianapolis’ Monumental Award for design in 2010.

Osburn, who grew up in Meridian-Kessler and Butler Tarkington, says, “I always wanted to be an architect and attended Ball State University to fulfill that dream.” Once there, he discovered landscape architecture, which seemed even better aligned with his interests. “After my freshman year, I made the decision to major in landscape architecture and never looked back.” He joined Rundell Ernstberger as an intern in 1988 and became a full-time employee after he graduated from Ball State in 1990.

Today, Osburn, his wife, Monica, and their two children live in a historic neighborhood downtown.

Ersal Ozdemir

Ersal Ozdemir, 37
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Keystone Group

Ersal Ozdemir founded Keystone Group in 1997, using as a template many of the skills he learned from his own father. Born in Turkey, Ozdemir recalls going to meetings with his father as early as age 7 and says that he worked in construction every summer growing up.

Of the many projects the company has been involved in, Ozdemir says he is especially proud of Sophia Square, a Carmel apartment and shops development; 3 Mass Condominiums, a mixed-use project incorporating sustainable features, such as a green roof; Madison Plaza, a 1920 industrial building, once blighted, and now redeveloped as office space; and the new Wishard Hospital, under construction between Michigan and 10th streets. Keystone is headquartered in the Majestic Building downtown, built in 1895 and completely renovated by the company and finished in 2006.

A graduate of Purdue University, Ozdemir holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is also a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series. An inveterate volunteer, he serves as chairman of the board of the Children’s Bureau Inc. and Current Publishing. He serves on the boards of the Palladium Center for Performing Arts Foundation, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. He is on the board of trustees of the Indiana Historical Society and the University of Indianapolis, the board of governors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the board of advisers of Purdue University’s School of Civil Engineering. He’s cofounder and on the board of the American Turkish Association, and the list goes on.

Ozdemir enjoys the arts—supporting it and attending events. Some of his hobbies are traveling, spending time with family and friends, and playing soccer and table tennis.


Ana Pinto-Alexander, 47
Maregatti Interiors

Ana Pinto-Alexander has more than 25 years of experience designing interiors for the country’s most progressive health care facilities through company offices in Indianapolis and Chicago. Her company is currently working on Riley Hospital for Children, Simon Family Tower, as well as the new Wishard Hospital. In 2009, she was named one of the 25 most influential people in health care design by Healthcare Design magazine. Her work has received numerous awards for interior design and has been featured in national publications, including Interiors and Sources, a national publication for commercial interior designers.

Pinto-Alexander spent her childhood in Colombia, and has traveled extensively, both of which have influenced her design perspective. She says, “By understanding other cultures, observing their idiosyncrasies and customs and respecting them, I have developed an empathic design. Wherever I go—from Paris to Chicago to New Mexico—I am always finding the essence of spaces.” She firmly believes that her designs can make a difference in the healing process and enhance the experience for the patients, staff and family members.

Pinto-Alexander came to Indiana by way of Purdue University, where she earned her interior design degree and, following graduation in 1986, took a job in Indianapolis. She founded her company in 2002.

Pinto-Alexander is a board member of the Hispanic Business Council and the Indiana Repertory Theatre. She is a member of the International Design Association and a guest lecturer at Purdue University.
This month, we recognize the people who built this city, from the new airport to Lucas Oil Stadium to the Palladium. Nominated and vetted by their peers, these architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, builders and representatives of the trades have colored our cityscape and are among the most respected in their businesses. 


A. Peter Rimsans, 40
Executive Director
Indiana State Building & Construction Trades Council

Pete Rimsans heads the ISBCTC, the umbrella organization representing the state’s construction unions. The council represents more than 75,000 working men and women who are members of the council’s 121 affiliated construction union locals. He previously served the council as associate director.

As executive director, Rimsans serves as chief lobbyist and spokesman, encouraging investment in economic development, worker education and training, labor protections, and worker safety and health. Rimsans coordinates activities among affiliated local unions and works with end-users, contractors, government entities and elected officials.

Before joining the ISBCTC, Rimsans was deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Labor from 1999 to 2004. He also served as policy director for the Indiana Department of Labor and as a field auditor, performing common construction wage audits.

A native Iowan, he holds a bachelor’s in political science from Iowa State University and remains active in his college fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, in a graduate volunteer role. Before moving to Indiana in 1995, he did brief stints with the Iowa Democratic Party and the Iowa General Assembly. He is a member of Laborers’ Local 120 in Indianapolis.

Rimsans is an avid runner, having run five marathons, including the Boston Marathon. He lives in Lockerbie Square with his girlfriend; two rescued, geriatric West Highland Terriers; and a cat.


Thomas J. Ringham, 56
Associate Vice President, Facilities Transformation
Wishard Health Services

Following several years working with firms in Indianapolis on various design projects, Thomas Ringham opened his own architectural business specializing in health care design. Building off a strong relationship his company had developed with Wishard Health Services, Ringham joined Wishard in 2001, becoming director of facility-planning management.

In 2009, Ringham was promoted to his current position, where he is overseeing the construction project for the new Wishard Hospital, to be known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital. As a registered architect and member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Hospital Engineers, Ringham is responsible for ensuring that the new hospital is successfully completed by the end of 2013. It is expected to rank among the most advanced hospitals in energy efficiency and environmental design.

The immediate past board chairman of the Indiana Construction Roundtable, Ringham is active in numerous organizations and groups and presently serves on the board of the Indianapolis chapter of the A.C.E. Mentor Program and as a member of the American Institute of Architects and American Society of Healthcare.

Ringham graduated from Ball State University with both a bachelor’s of architecture and a bachelor’s of science in environmental design. He and his wife, Cathy, have been married 33 years and have two grown sons and one grandson. Ringham is active in the community and has been involved in the Concord Neighborhood Center, Arsenal Technical High School, Irvington Little League and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.


James Armand Schellinger, 51
Chairman and CEO
CSO Architects Inc.

Jim Schellinger joined Indianapolis’ architectural community shortly after his 1984 graduation from the University of Notre Dame. In 1987, he joined CSO. Less than a decade later, in 1996, at age 36, he became president and CEO of the firm, founded in 1961.

The firm has led a number of projects that mark the Indianapolis cityscape: Circle Centre mall, the Indiana Historical Society museum, the Indiana Government Center North, Anthem Operations Center, the new Indianapolis International Airport, the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts and the JW Marriott.

Schellinger donates a significant amount of time and resources in serving the community through the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He has served on the Catholic Community Foundation Board, including as president in 2008; as vice chairman and chairman of the Spirit of Services Awards Dinner; and on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Building Commission for 14 years. He is a former board member of the Fatima Retreat House and an honorary Knight of Columbus. He currently serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre, Washington Township Schools Foundation and the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board, where he led the new stadium and convention center task force. He also serves on the Indiana Sports Corp. board, the Indiana Construction Roundtable board, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Schellinger has received a number of honors and awards for his service, including being selected to IBJ’s Forty Under 40. In 2010, he received the Career Achievement Award at the Catholic School Values Dinner from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He is a Sagamore of the Wabash. Schellinger and his wife, Laura, have three sons and are members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.


Wayne Schmidt, 66
CEO and Principal
Schmidt Associates

On July 4, 1976, Wayne Schmidt founded a one-person architectural office, which has since grown to a full-service strategy, design and construction firm of approximately 85 people. The downtown Indy firm is a five-time winner of the statewide Best Places to Work award, from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Schmidt Associates’ projects range from the restoration of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle to the façade restoration and new addition to Ivy Tech Community College on the site of the old St. Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek. The company has also played a leading role in the redevelopment of Massachusetts Avenue. As current board chairman of Indianapolis City Market, Schmidt is leading the effort to bring renewed vitality, purpose and a fresh look to the city landmark.

A native of Evansville, Schmidt is a graduate of the University of Illinois and a certified facilitator of strategic planning. He holds an honorary doctorate of creative thought from Martin University.

In 2010, the Indiana Design Coalition named Schmidt an Indiana Legend in the field of architecture. The AIA Indiana conferred upon him the Juliet Peddle Award in 2010 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2008. He has also won the Robert D. Beckmann Junior Leadership Award from Riley Area Development Corp. and the city of Indianapolis Development Award from the Department of Metropolitan Development.


William Shrewsberry, 68
President and CEO
Shrewsberry & Associates LLC

Bill Shrewsberry’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from his boyhood days delivering newspapers in Jeffersonville. After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, Shrewsberry studied business management at Indiana University Southeast and later earned a master’s degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Shrewsberry’s early career started at Indiana Bell Telephone Co., where he served first as a plant engineer and later as a facilitator and consultant. In 1976, he was elected to the Jeffersonville City Council, where he served four terms. Later, he became a member of Gov. Evan Bayh’s senior staff and served as chairman of the Indiana Alcoholic Beverage commission, the Indiana Minority Business Development Commission and the State Office Building Commission. In 1994, he was named commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration, where he directed 600 employees, a $100 million budget and state procurement, public works, information services, lease agreements and minority business development.

From January 2000 to June 2001, Shrewsberry was deputy mayor for public policy for Bart Peterson. He established Shrewsberry & Associates, an engineering and consulting firm, in 2001. Shrewsberry envisioned a company that would do more than just provide quality engineering and environmental solutions. He wanted to build a culture that would create opportunities for a diverse group of professionals to be trained and mentored.

Shrewsberry serves on many community boards, including the board of Indiana Sports Corp., the Mind Trust, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, Methodist Health Foundation and Hanover College Board of Trustees. He is currently chairman of the operations division for the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. Shrewsberry and his wife, Brenda, are the parents of three grown children and attend Eastern Star Church.

Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In a monthly feature that runs in the first issue of the month, through October, IBJ is identifying those people in eight industry categories.


Brian Sullivan, 55
Managing Partner
Shiel Sexton

Brian Sullivan grew up in Irvington and attended Cathedral High School and then Ball State University, where he graduated in 1978. Following his graduation, he went to work as a government reporter then architectural reporter for McGraw-Hill’s construction news service.

His background researching and publishing information on Indiana construction activity provided an excellent overview of the industry. In 1984, he became director of marketing for F.A. Wilhelm Construction, where he helped lead the firm through a period of significant growth. In 1996, he joined Shiel Sexton as partner in charge of business development. Today, he is responsible for overall business strategy, strategic planning and work acquisition.

Shiel Sexton was founded in 1962 and has been ranked among the best places to work in Indiana from 2008 through 2011 by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Notable local projects include the Dinosphere at the Children’s Museum, the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful headquarters building, the Indianapolis Art Center and ArtsPark, the technology center buildings for Eli Lilly and Co., the Oceans building at the Indianapolis Zoo, and the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Sullivan is active with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Local Initiative Support Council, Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Indianapolis Arts Council and Indianapolis Economic Development Commission. He is a longtime trustee for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and is a recipient of a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Sullivan is married to State Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan.

Michael Wells

Michael W. Wells, 58
REI Investment Inc.

REI’s newest high-profile local project is the JW Marriott, which opened in February, but the company, led by Mike Wells, has been involved in Circle Centre mall, the Wellpoint Operations Center, Emmis Communications Corp.’s headquarters and the Indianapolis Marriott Hotel, all of which are downtown. The company has a number of hotels and multifamily projects under development in Indianapolis, Louisville and Austin.

In addition to his development work, Wells manages the portfolio of real estate investments owned by REI Real Estate Partnership. These investments, totaling more than 950,000 square feet in the Indianapolis area alone, include 300 North Meridian downtown, several parking garages and suburban office buildings. REI currently has more than $200 million of ongoing development projects.

Wells joined REI 21 years ago and became president in 1994. Before joining REI, he was a practicing attorney, specializing in real estate and tax-exempt financing. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis and holds a bachelor’s from Purdue University.

Wells sits on the boards of the Building Owners and Managers Association, the Benjamin Harrison President Site and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. He is immediate past chairman of both the Indianapolis Zoo and the Crossroads of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was co-chairman of the Jazz Fellowship Awards held in April and has been involved in the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series.


Drew White, 51
Axis Architecture + Interiors

Drew White received his bachelor’s of architecture from Ohio State University and his master’s of architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985. Following graduation, White worked for Skidmore Owings & Merrill in the firm’s Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles offices.

In 1993, White moved to Indianapolis and joined a larger firm before creating Axis along with his business partner, Kevin Cooper, in 1995. White’s work has included community, not-for-profit and commercial-based projects. He focuses on the adaption of or addition to existing structures for new uses, redesigning interior space and providing solutions for new construction. His approach to design is based on collaboration and a desire to form a singular vision with landscape, architecture, interior design and branding.

Today, the Axis studio employs 16 people and has won numerous design awards for projects such as the Nature Conservancy headquarters, Exact Target interior renovations, Business Furniture Corp., the Visitor’s Center at White River State Park, Wheeler Arts building and the Indiana Veterans Cemetery in Madison.

A registered architect in several states and a LEED-accredited professional, White is involved in a variety of professional and community organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, where he is past president of both the Indianapolis and Indiana chapters. He is on the boards of Riley Area Development Corp., Indiana Landmarks, the Design Arts Society of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and most recently the Skiles Test Baseball/Softball League. White also served on the Meridian Street Preservation Commission for eight years, was an original member of the Indianapolis Greenprint Commission, and a commission member of the State of Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission from 1997 until 2001.

White grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife, Patty, have a son.


Albert W. Wurster, 49
Wurster Construction

Al Wurster stepped up as president of Wurster Construction when his father retired in 1998. The company was founded in 1938 and Wurster is the third generation to be active in this commercial construction management firm. While he was still in school, he began working job sites for the company. Before he took over the presidency, he was vice president and project manager.

The company has a notable footprint in the community and beyond. Locally, Wurster is especially proud of the IU Health People Mover stations, IU Health pathology laboratory, Hendricks Regional Hospital Northwest expansion and the IU Foundation’s Showalter House.

Wurster has served on the boards for the Associated Builders and Contractors, where he is currently board chairman, and the Indiana Construction Association, as well as the Metropolitan Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety. Beyond the building industry, he has been involved with the Young Presidents’ Organization. His lifelong dedication to Indianapolis is manifested through his involvement in its various charitable organizations, including the Beacon Society and the Methodist Health Foundation board; the 500 Festival, where he served as chairman in 2006; and the 500 Festival Foundation. He is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series and was named to IBJ’s Forty Under 40 in 2003.

A graduate of Purdue University, Wurster is a member of the John Purdue Club and the Purdue Grand Prix Alumni Association. He is also a board member of the Sigma Nu Education Foundation.

Wurster and his wife, Sally, have been married more than 20 years and have three children. They are active members of the East 91st Street Christian Church.•

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.