Presenting the 2023 Board Nominees…
It’s that time of year again to present the new nominees for Building Congress & Exchange’s leadership.
The proposed 2023 Executive Committee is the following returning members: Michael Martin of Live Green Landscape Associates as President; Ted Bowes of Excell Concrete Construction as Vice President; Rick Scheetz of Gray & Son/Maryland Paving Management as Treasurer; Jeff Hossfeld of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company as Secretary and Thomas Koch of Plano-Coudon Construction as Member at Large.
The nominated board slate is Schyler Bailey of Bowie & Jensen and returning board members John Gregg of GWWO Architects and Greg Meyer of Wohlsen Construction.
Ballots will be sent out electronically later this month and must be returned by Oct. 26. The new board will be introduced at the Annual Meeting on Dec. 7.
Bowie & Jensen
A construction law attorney, Schyler Bailey says “I sort of fell into the construction industry and I love it.”
Bailey had initially planned to specialize in family law, but discovered that she preferred helping companies resolve business issues. At Bowie & Jensen, she now handles a range of contract issues for general contractors, subcontractors and a few owners. On top of the standard claims for non-payment, delays and inefficiencies, the pandemic created new legal challenges for construction companies.
Bailey said the firm has worked to refine force majeure clauses to provide added protection to downstream contractors. “These clauses often include epidemic as a carve out but we have started adding pandemic and/or government mandate to help cover a contractor in the event that another stay-at-home pandemic occurs.”
Bailey also helped contractors cope with turbulent supply chain conditions by crafting material escalation clauses for new contracts, negotiating disputes over heightened expenses on contracts that began pre-pandemic and helping clients assess risk levels and cost-benefit scenarios on projects. In addition to litigation in the DMV area, she and her colleagues also pursue mechanic’s liens, bid protests, payment bond claims, construction claims with the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals and the Armed Service Board of Contract appeals, and arbitration of various issues.
When the pandemic began to ease and networking resumed, Bailey was delighted to find BC&E. “Every event has really great turnout and the people are friendly and easy to talk to.”
When she heard that BC&E was looking to establish a young professionals committee, she happily volunteered to chair it. “I think it’s really important for young professionals to have a network of people in their age group to look to for problem-solving, networking, business and career opportunities,” Bailey said.
The new committee has already attracted more than 40 people and is currently planning to hold multiple networking and educational events over the coming year.
While serving on the BC&E board over the past three years, John Gregg’s appreciation for the benefits of the organization has deepened.
“The biggest benefit of BC&E is the diverse network of people across the construction industry — both individuals and companies — and the ability to not just network with them but build relationships that have depth and meaning,” he said. “It opens up avenues for conversations that are both beneficial from a business development standpoint and beneficial in dealing with the challenges that we have faced over the past few years… The diversity of people I have been able to engage with has expanded my perspective in a more significant way than I expected.”
Gregg, who also chairs the BC&E Programs Committee, is eager to ensure that members have access to a variety of networking and educational events so that they can also build relationships, deepen their expertise and advance their careers in the construction industry.
Passionate about historic and community projects, Gregg advanced his career in recent years with projects such as extensive preservation work on the Jefferson Memorial, the opening of the World War I Memorial in Washington, and GWWO’s projects with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, including the Cahill Fitness and Wellness Center.
The pandemic also taught Gregg a valuable professional lesson.
“It clarified the way we need to mentor younger staff in architecture,” he said. Previously, “mentoring may have happened on a less purposeful level. The pandemic increased my ability to focus on how we work and communicate with and develop younger staff so that mentoring is more purposeful.”
For Greg Meyer, pursuing a career in construction was a product of “family lineage.” Meyer’s grandfather, father and uncles had worked different jobs within the industry.
“I went to school to become an engineer and knew I didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day doing design, so construction was the right path for me,” he said.
Over the past 18 years, the projects he has enjoyed most are the big, complex, challenging ones that require heightened planning, coordination and communication — like his current project at UMMS Upper Chesapeake Hospital. Wohlsen is completing a three-story addition to the existing, operational Kaufman Cancer Center.
“It’s a pretty sensitive patient population, so we have to make sure our work doesn’t create any environmental hazards for immuno-compromised individuals,” Meyer said. “We also have to focus on patient comfort. If you are sitting in a chair getting chemo or radiation treatment, you don’t want to hear pounding or other construction noise.”
Meanwhile, the project team must also ensure that the new addition integrates perfectly with the existing medical facility.
“Technology that allows us to assemble a building digitally before we put actual pieces together is really beneficial,” Meyer said. A robust design and extensive BIM modeling for the cancer center addition “has allowed us to identify issues that would have resulted in lost time and additional cost long before work in the field began.”
Meyer, who has served on the BC&E board for one year, said the organization plays an important role in helping industry professionals develop the relationships, partnerships and industry knowledge that are vital to advancing careers, growing businesses and completing great projects.