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Jonathan Barnes

Based in Pittsburgh, the author is a freelance writer who has reported for both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He has been published by Fortune, Reuters, and ENR, among others. A longtime correspondent for ENR, Barnes has covered such topics as worker safety, business management, economics, industry trends, and project news. For BuiltWorlds, he has focused his reporting on construction apps and emerging technology firms and entrepreneurs.


Euro Beinat

Vice President at Zebra Technologies Corp.

Euro Beinat studied Information Technology at the University of Padua (Italy) and holds a PhD in Economics from the Tinbergen Institute of the Free University Amsterdam. Between 2000 and 2005, he was the director of the Spatial Information Laboratory of the Free University of Amsterdam, a group dedicated to research and innovation at the boundary between geosciences and information technology, while serving as CEO of Geodan Mobile Solutions. In 2009, Euro was nominated Vice President of Zebra Technologies Corporation.

Euro Beinat is a member of the International Decision Conferencing Forum, Editorial Board MCDA journal, Aspen Institute Italy, and UNIGIS international advisory board.

Kevin Bredeson

Director, Virtual Construction at Pepper Construction

Kevin Bredeson is the Director of Virtual Construction at Pepper Construction Company, one of the largest GC/CM firms in the Midwest. Kevin is an expert with Building Information Modeling (BIM) / Virtual Design & Construction (VDC). As the leader of Pepper’s Virtual Construction Group, Kevin provides support and training to the company’s Illinois region and collaborates with other offices throughout the Midwest. Kevin works in conjunction with owners, designers, and contractors from initial project development through turnover and facility operations to provide insight and guidance for the project team and to ensure the client’s goals are met. He has attended and presented at several BIM conferences and national trade organizations about this technology and its inherent value. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Northern Michigan University, is AGC CM-BIM certified, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Kevin Carr

General Manager at MasterGraphics

As general manager of MasterGraphic's Imaging Solutions Group and Studio MGI, Kevin is responsible for providing leadership and growth for traditional 2D solutions and the latest in 3D printing and prototyping markets. Starting his professional career as a manager at Michigan-based Xerox, Kevin now leverages his experience to 3D printing and additive manufacturing. 

Kevin is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations.

Charlie Catlett 

Director at Urban Center for Computation and Data 

Charlie Catlett is a Senior Computer Scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division and a Senior Fellow at the Argonne / University of Chicago Computation Institute. His current focus areas include cyber security, distributed computing and mobile/embedded computing. From 2007-2011, Catlett served as Argonne’s Chief Information Officer.

Catlett was named to the Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50 list for 2014, an annual list that includes people from research laboratories, academia, industry – from entrepreneurs to techies – those who are “shaping Chicago’s technology digital scene.”

Clark Davis, FAIA, LEED AP

Principal Consultant at Cameron MacAllister Group.

Based in St. Louis, the Clark Davis is a principal consultant with Cameron MacAllister Group. Prior to 2014, he had served 12 years as Vice Chairman of HOK and was managing principal of its St. Louis headquarters. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow with the Design Futures Council.


Nancy Clark-Brown

Project Manager, Assemble Systems

Nancy is passionate about technology and is genuinely invested in helping the AEC industry become more efficient and productive in design and construction delivery. Prior to Assemble Systems, Nancy was a Sr. Manager at Autodesk, and was involved in transforming how building information modeling authoring and analysis tools were used in education. She has experience working with many Autodesk products including 360 Glue and Field, Revit Architecture, Navisworks Manage, Ecotect, Green Building Studio, Vasari, 3ds Max, AutoCad and Quantity Takeoff.
Nancy is a former tenured associate professor at Washington State University. She has a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in the City of New York and a Bachelor of Architecture from Washington State University. Nancy is a licensed architect in the State of Washington and a member of the American Institute of Architects.




Steve Crowley

PE, LEED AP, Construction Manager, Chicago Market Leader, Graycor Construction

With nearly 25 years of construction industry experience, Steve has managed projects in the corporate office, government, healthcare, senior living, hospitality, solar and retail industries for clients such as Advocate Healthcare, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, BP, Marriott, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Urban Retail Properties and Westfield Corporation. Most recently, Steve completed a 60,000 SF office building and a 35,000 emergency services building both designed to resist significant overpressure and toxic gases. 
As a LEED Accredited Professional, Steve’s sustainable project experience dates back to 2003. Joining Graycor in 1999, Steve has held increasing responsibilities and currently leads Graycor’s Chicago market. Additionally, as Graycor’s Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Lean Champion, Steve spearheads the firm’s Lean initiatives including company-wide training on Lean techniques. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Valparaiso University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.



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Paul Doherty

President/CEO of The Digit Group

Globe trotting architect running a Silicon Valley/New York City Tech company.


Michael Drew

Founding Principal of Structured Development

As a founding principal of Structured Development, LLC, J. Michael Drew has been engaged in the real estate development and construction management business for nearly 40 years. During his tenure, the firm completed over 2,000,000 square feet of product including Lincoln Park Center, Blackhawk on Halsted, Kingsbury Center, and Kendall College at Riverworks. Structured Development is the Managing Partner on the “nationally significant” New City mixed use project. 
Structured was awarded the Adaptive Reuse Project of 2008 by the Landmark Preservation Council for its historic conversion of the Chicago and Northwestern Powerhouse to office and retail.
Michael represented the Builders Association of Greater Chicago on the City’s Minority Relations Committee, served on the recent Land Use Task Force Committee, and is a long term member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, and Lambda Alpha International. He is a 20 year member of World Presidents Organization, and a past President of Olympia Fields Country Club. Michael has served on the Advisory Board for the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University for over a decade.



Peter Ellis

Founder at Peter Ellis New Cities

An award-winning architect and urban planner based in Chicago, Ellis is a former partner with SOM and principal at CannonDesign. He has designed major buildings and planned cities all over the world, which is now the focus of his own firm, Peter Ellis New Cities.

Ellis has designed Jaypee Sports City for a population of 1,000,000 people, which is located 30 miles to the south of New Delhi. He is presently engaged in the design of a new campus for 20,000 students at the University of Texas, Brownsville. Among his architectural commissions is the HQ for Philips Electronics in Amsterdam, and the studios for Electronic Arts in Redwood Shores, CA.

Raised in Athens, Greece, Ellis attended the American College in Halandri, and then enrolled at the American College in Paris. He returned to the United States to attend the College of Architecture at Cornell University, where he graduated in 1971.

Ellis's passion now is on the re-structuring of America’s 19th century cities, aiming to find harmonious ways for both ancient, modern and emerging cities to contribute positively to the natural environment.


Josh Farkas

Founder and CEO, Cubicle Ninjas

Josh Farkas is the founder and CEO of Cubicle Ninjas, an innovative creative agency based in Chicago founded in 2008. By night Josh is an independent comic artist and writer whose work has been featured by Adobe, Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel, and read by over 1 million people. He also started a Chicago VR meetup for like-minded VR enthusiasts and developers. His company Cubicle Ninjas has helped leverage virtual reality and augmented reality for start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, leading to decreased costs, improved workflows, and more engaged clients. 


Jordan Fishfeld

CEO & Co-Founder, Peer Realty

Jordan Fishfeld is the founder and CEO of PeerRealty, where he focuses on developing strong strategic partnerships with investors, sponsors, and developers. As a finance attorney, he assisted on more than $1 billion worth of syndicated loan transactions, and now has nearly a decade of successful investing, development and sales experience in real estate.

Matt Garrison

Co-Founder, South Street Capital and R2 Companies

Matt has worked as a founder, partner and investor in a series of real estate partnerships, including residential, multi-family, retail, development and debt, and Co-Founded South Street Capital (“SSC”) in 2007 and R2 Companies in 2014. Matt began investing in real estate in 2001, investing his own capital in small projects in Chicago and elsewhere, which led to the formation of SSC. SSC successfully navigated the 2009 market correction, executing over 100 million dollars in opportunistic investments. 

Since 2012, SSC has created an institutional quality loft-office portfolio of approximately 1M+ square feet in Chicago and Minneapolis. Matt has developed a 10+ year track record across the real estate cycle of protecting capital and developing and executing creative, contrarian and unique real estate strategies. His prior experience includes managing over $300 million in development projects and ranking as the #1 Coldwell Banker agent worldwide in units sold. Matt graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Josh Golden

Founder and CEO at Table XI

As Founder and CEO of Table XI, Josh has helped clients conceive and execute digital strategy for more than 12 years. He has helped organizations in manufacturing, publishing, e-commerce, education and healthcare seize opportunities presented by rapidly changing marketplaces by leveraging technology.

In 2012, he co-founded Ebert Digital with Roger and Chaz Ebert to reenvision and manage

Elliot Greenberger

General Manager at Divvy

Elliot Greenberger is General Manager of Divvy, leading Chicago's bike share system to be the most convenient, fast, fun, and affordable way to get around the city. Having served as Marketing Director on the launch team in 2013, he now oversees an organization of 100+ people who make Divvy roll, grow, and improve 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Before Divvy, Elliot worked on technology and marketing projects for Visa, Groupon, and Time Inc. as well as national nonprofits such as Ad Council, American Cancer Society, Refugees International, and Sierra Club. He has an MBA from Yale School of Management.

Gabe Greenbaum

Vice President at Pritzker Group

Gabe joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 2012. He has been involved in the financing, strategy and operations of various technology, energy/clean-technology and business service companies over the past 13 years.

Previously, Gabe worked as an investor with OCA Ventures, where he focused on early stage consumer IT, B2B, and SaaS investments. Prior to that, he was a consultant with AlixPartners, working on large scale operational and financial restructurings. He began his career as a financial analyst with ABN AMRO Bank.  Gabe co-founded StudentSpace LLC, a profitable, Chicago-based lead generation and brokerage group focused on the student housing market and, more recently, Storeplacer, an agile e-commerce Platform as a Service business.

Gabe graduated with a B.A. with Honors from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was also President of his graduating class. He holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law. He is a founding member of the non-profit board of Chicago Professionals for Youth (CPY) and is a member of Indego Africa.

Lauren Hasegawa

Lauren Hasegawa

Structural Engineer and Co-Founder of Bridgit

Lauren Hasegawa is a structural engineer with a background in concrete restoration. She is an active mentor to young women in construction and in 2013 was named to "The Next 36", a nonprofit dedicated to helping grow Canada's long-term prosperity by fast-tracking the growth of talented young innovators. Hasegawa has always had an interest in how new technologies can improve efficiency and productivity on construction projects. With this passion, she founded Bridgit, a mobile and web communication platform in 2012. Bridgit focuses on developing mobile-first solutions that can help relieve onsite pain points, such as punch list management.

Susan Heinking

Susan Heinking

Director of High Performance, Sustainable Construction at Pepper

Formerly a vice president and sustainability leader at VOA, Heinking this spring moved to Pepper Construction, where she has expanded her role but still emphasizes sustainability. An architect now working for a contractor, she likely will continue to guide design integration and building certification processes under the U.S. Green Building Council’s various LEED Rating Systems. Heinking has worked with public & private sector clients on tenant fit-out projects, individual buildings, campuses, real estate portfolios, and city master plans. She possesses LEED AP O+M certifications.

Ken Hepburn

VP of Business Development at DAQRI

Over a decade of success as a serial entrepreneur, Ken Hepburn currently leads all business development efforts for the 4D giant, DAQRI. The Los Angeles-based startup, founded in 2010, quickly established itself as a global leader in augmented reality and wearable devices.

A life-long love of tools and machines resulted in a Ken's first career as a sculptor of heavy steel and stone, but his persistently creative curiosity led to accidental entrepreneurship and the creation of businesses such as LivnGiv, GIVIGIV, Neoporte and Kenneth Hepburn Associates. 

Ken holds degrees from the the University of Connecticut and Founder Institute. 

David Hillman

Vice President & General Manger- Vocational Product Line, Navistar


David Hillman has worked in the North American commercial vehicle industry for twenty five years, and has been with Navistar for over fifteen years. After beginning his career as an engineer designing truck suspensions, he progressed through a variety of marketing management, product development, and brand strategy roles. He has been involved in many industry organizations and is a founding member of the American School Bus Council ( David is currently the Vice President and General Manager of Navistar’s vocational product line.

David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA in Marketing Management from DePaul University in Chicago.

John Hoesley

Managing Director at The Private Bank

John Hoesley leads the Technology Banking practice for ThePrivateBank, where he is focused on providing a full range of banking products to entrepreneurial information technology businesses. Previously, he was a managing director with Silicon Valley Bank, where he led the bank’s Midwest region and served the information technology, life sciences and private equity/venture capital segments.

Prior to joining SVB in 2011, John spent 10 years with Prism Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm with $190MM under management.  At Prism, John was a partner in the firm’s venture capital and mezzanine funds and led its healthcare investment initiative. Previously, Hoesley was the CFO of Legato Partners, which successfully restarted the Breck’s and Spring Hill horticulture brands after the bankruptcy of their parent company, and co-founded Evincio Corporation, provider of data management software.

He is on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and is the President of IMSA Fund for the Advancement of Education. Hoesley holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master of management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Steve Holzer

Principal at eM8s, Founding Board Memeber AEC Hackathon

Stephen Holzer is the Principal of eM8s, LLC in Grass Lake, MI. eM8s, LLC is a real estate technology project management firm. Mr. Holzer is responsible for providing comprehensive internal operations tools, technology system implementation, and services to production homebuilders. He has over 30 years of experience in business process development and management leveraging electronic technology in the construction industry. Mr. Holzer has worked both in executive management as well as function as a consultant to residential and commercial construction and development entities. He has developed a comprehensive, web-based, home building Sales (CRM) and Internal Operations (ERP) system through his eM8s label as HomeM8 and CADeM8.

Considered by many to be an international subject matter expert in the field of BIM, Steve participated in the development of the National Building Information Modeling Standards - United States (NBIMS-US) as a member of the NBIMS-US Project Committee and a member of the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS) buildingSMARTalliance (bSa).  He served as Vice Chairperson of the NBIMS-US v3 Market Education Committee.

Steve has led technology implementations in the Homebuilding industry since 1981. Many of those years his role started out as VP of Purchasing and Estimating for production homebuilders building 100 to 700 units per year. Typically, his role evolved into enterprise wide business process development and documentation combined with technology system implementations as the Vice President of Internal Operations. In the 1990s, Steve was employed for a time by FAST Management Group assisting production building companies throughout the nation implement their FAST systems.

Steve served on the Business Management and Information Technology (BMIT) committee, the Education committee, and the Design committee of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  During 2012 and at the International Builder Show in 2013 Steve facilitated the passage of an NAHB resolution recognizing the National BIM Standard US.

In February of 2014, Steve became a founding board member of the Non-profit AEC Hackathon ( The AEC Hackathon is a series of events held to bring together diverse members of the AEC (Architect/Engineering/Construction) industries with technologists to create disruptive technologies to improve the outcomes of the creation of our built environment.

Steve presents at numerous building industry programs like the NAHB National Green Building Conference and Expo in Nashville, TN.  He has also contributed articles to the NAHB BizTools Business of Building eSource newsletter.


David Ivey

LEED AP Senior Associate, Design Technology Manager, HOK

As HOK Chicago’s Design Technology Manager, David coordinates BIM, buildingSMART, and IPD related activities in all practice areas and focus groups, and leads the strategic direction in these areas. During his tenure David has worked on more than 30 projects with HOK, including projects in the healthcare, hospitality, higher education and science and technology sectors. David is also founder and leader of the Chicagoland buildingSMART Group, which meets monthly to discuss buildingSMART and BIM as they relate to AEC firms and those associated with the built environment. David is also a frequent BIM seminar speaker at universities and organizations, representing the designer’s perspective.

Chris Jervey

Director of Global Construction at Bluebeam Software

Chris Jervey is the Director of Global Construction at Bluebeam Software. He works with the world’s largest general contracting, specialty contracting and construction management firms, helping to bring those companies into partnership with Bluebeam, translating workflow needs into software, and making Bluebeam Software a gathering place for innovators throughout the sector.

Chris is always learning about trends and tools in the construction industry that create workflow efficiency and make complex work a little easier; technology, lean construction, green building and sustainability are a few of his favorite subjects.

Chris graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1995 and was a carpenter’s apprentice soon thereafter. After 15 years working in construction project management, sales and business development, his experience ranges from building homes to building relationships.



John Jurewics

General Manager of Virtual Design and Construction, Wallbridge Technologies

John Jurewicz, a thought leader in the use of technology for theconstruction industry, is the General Manager of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) leading the company’s newly formed business unit, Walbridge Technologies LLC. Jurewicz Heads a specialized technology group for Walbridge Aldinger, currently conducting research utilizing various forms of scanning, radio frequency and multi-channel/multi frequency radar technologies. They are using this work to develop smarter infrastructure models for industrial planning purposes. Recent clients include several large steel and aluminum research mills as well as chemical processing facilities. He is an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern Universities McCormack School of Engineering since 2001, a published author and frequent conference speaker on the challenges presented with data integration. Walbridge Technologies consists of researchers, model makers, animators, rigging specialists, and integration coordinators. The Department’s focus is on the reuse of digital processes for complex projects, largely used in chemical and industrial plants. Jurewicz also leads a task force that specializes in reducing risk through improved safety evaluations.

Pete Kadens

President at SoCore Energy 

Pete Kadens co-founded SoCore Energy in 2008, and after a period of sustained growth, sold the company in 2013 to Fortune 500 company, Edison International. As president and chief sales officer, Pete currently oversees all sales and business operations.

Pete is actively involved with the Chicago and national communities by participating in such organizations as Streetwise Inc., Bucknell University Advisory Board, Chicago Innovation Awards, the Cara Program and the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. Pete was honored as member of Crain's "40 under 40" class of 2012.

Ricardo Khan

Director of Integrated Construction at Mortenson Construction

Based in Minneapolis, Ricardo Khan is Mortenson's national director of integrated construction. He provides company-wide leadership of Virtual Design & Construction (VDC), driving efficiency and customer impact through the integration of technology into design, fabrication and installation. In this capacity, he oversees Mortenson's Integrated Delivery Advancement Team (IDAT), made up of over 60 VDC professionals who drive and support the use of virtual tools and technologies on projects.


Christina Klinepeter

Marketing and Design Consultant

Christina Klinepeter has more than 15 years of results-oriented marketing, product and visual communications experience in the architecture, construction and tech industries. She began her career at the global architecture, engineering and urban planning firm SOM—where she is currently consulting—spent time at CannonDesign, had her own design consultancy and helped launch Hard Hat Hub. Christina’s diverse background informs her upcoming role as Marketing Director at World Relief, a global non-profit which provides humanitarian aid, disaster and emergency relief. With a heavy emphasis on design thinking, Christina is passionate about problem solving, innovation and efficiency.

In her former life she was on the U.S. karate team, trained at the Olympic Training Center and won multiple national and world championship titles. Her interests include health, sustainability, global peacemaking efforts and raising her two boys that she adores.


Brad Kreiger

Co-Founder, CMO, Hard Hat Hub

Brad Kreiger, Brad is a thought leader in marketing & communication strategy with 15 years of experience within the commercial real estate, financial services, and construction industries. Prior to Hard Hat Hub, Brad was SVP of Marketing with global leader Jones Lang LaSalle. He’s also served in PR and Marketing roles with LaSalle Bank and Graycor Construction. Brad holds a BA and MBA from Purdue University, where he’s a guest lecturer and board member for the school of business.


Scott Läufer

Scott Laufer

Senior Program Manager at SMARTtech.

Based in Seattle, WA, Scott Laufer has been developing SMART products for architects, engineers and construction companies since 2013. With a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spent nine years with Microsoft as a senior program manager before joining SMARTech. 

Scott has been an active participant and supporter of the AEC Hackathon. 

Kelly Lignos Ziv

PR/Marketing Manager at FieldLens

Kelly Lignos Ziv is the PR and marketing manager for New York-based FieldLens. Before joining the computer software startup, she helped publicize such authors as Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, John Pawson, Toyo Ito, Charles Saatchi, Jim Cramer, Dieter Rams, and many more. Having virtually grown up in the construction industry with her grandfather, father, and brother owning industrial painting and concrete companies, Kelly’s knowledge of construction and marketing comes full circle in joining FieldLens.

Eric Loos

VDC Integration Manager, Wallbridge Technologies

Eric Loos specializes in the advanced use of technology and software for the construction industry.  Currently he is an Integration Manager of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) for the company’s newly formed business unit, Walbridge Technologies LLC. 

Eric is a member of the specialized technology group for Walbridge Aldinger, currently conducting research utilizing various forms of scanning, GPS identification, radio frequency, and software technologies.  They are using this work to develop smarter infrastructure models for industrial planning purposes and construction safety.  Recent clients include several large steel and aluminum research mills as well as chemical processing and production facilities.  Eric holds a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is a licensed architect in the state of Illinois.  When he is not at a computer you can find him outdoors hiking and fly fishing.

Preeti Lovekar

Enterprise Architect at Zebra Technologies

Preeti is an Enterprise Architect at Zebra Technologies, working on developing Zebra's IoT platform - Zatar. Preeti holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Pune, and has been involved in the technology industry for over 13 years. Her experience spans a multitude of domains including banking, travel, healthcare, retail with a focus on high volume transaction processing and highly available systems.

With Zatar, Preeti is driving the effort to build interfaces which allow external applications to connect to the platform and collect information about their devices.  

Kevin Luchansky

Digital Specialist at Hard Hat Hub 

Kevin grew up in Connecticut with a passion for sports, writing and analytics. After completing his Journalism degree, Kevin worked his way into the built environment as a researcher and reporter for a construction trade publication. He later joined the BuiltWords and Hard Hat Hub content teams after managing Content Marketing campaigns for a software company. In his marketing role, he specializes in Search and Social.

Outside of BW, Kevin likes to read about market and team strategies, watch his beloved Hoosiers, and analyze game films. 

Dan Lyne

Senior Vice President, Global Tech & Media, 

Dan Lyne is a Senior Vice President with CBRE – leading client engagement and transaction efforts across all sectors, with specific expertise as a member of CBRE’s Global Technology & Media Practice.
For nearly a decade with World Business Chicago (WBC), Dan led corporate relocation and expansion projects for domestic and globally based technology firms - serving as Chicago’s principal public/private liaison for corporate technology & entrepreneurial tech leadership. During his tenure, WBC was repeatedly been recognized and awarded as one of the top international organizations in its field. 

Dan is a co-founder on the team that launched “1871” - a 50,000 square foot co-working center for digital startups located in Chicago’s famed Merchandise Mart. He is also an active member and was the founding Executive Director of Mayor Emanuel’s tech council, ChicagoNEXT, Co-Chaired by J.B. Pritzker. 

He is a native Chicagoan, a proud gear-head, and an unapologetic champion of Chicago’s tech scene.


Ian Manger

Director of Marketing & Digital Media at BW

Ian grew up with an eclectic taste that can be seen through where he has lived and what he participates in. He considers himself a sort of Jack of All Trades, dipping his hands in every aspect of the BW business he can. With an MBA in Marketing Strategy and a background in Accounting, Ian brings a unique perspective to the team.

Outside of BW, Ian enjoys playing pick up soccer, taking lifestyle photographs, recording voice-overs, reading science fiction books and watching Foreign Films with Subtitles.

Rob McKinney

Founder, ConAppGuru

Based in Atlanta, McKinney is Construction Risk Manager for XL Catlin, Dublin, Ireland. Until this spring, he had been the longtime safety director for JM Wilkerson Construction in Atlanta. He still dedicates his extra time to researching, developing and reporting on construction technology through his online forum and colloquial identity, the Con App Guru. He currently is technology committee chair for the Associated General Contractors of Georgia, and serves on the steering committee for the national AGC-IT group. 


Rob McManamy

Editor & Content Lead at BW

Rob is responsible for leading our blog's news and analysis. His experience includes more than 15 years as a reporter, editor and manager with ENR, Design-Build, and Building Design + Construction.

As an award-winning correspondent, Rob has covered the Great Chicago Flood, the Mississippi River's 'Flood of the Century', the Los Angeles Earthquake, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the post-9/11 rebuilding of the Pentagon. He also holds a law degree specializing in mediation.

Steve Monforton

Vice President at ESD Global

Steve Monforton, is a Vice President with ESD Global, and an industry leader in all aspects of technology infrastructure applications for real estate involving the industrial, corporate, public assembly, and data centers markets. He is a founding member of Building Industry Construction Services International (BICSI) and past chairman of the Communication Technologies Forum in Chicago. A member of the Uptime Institute, Monforton holds degrees in both electrical and computer engineering.


Caralynn Nowinski

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, UI LABS

As the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of UI LABS, Caralynn Nowinski oversees the entire research and commercialization collaborative, including the $320-million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.
Prior to UI LABS, Caralynn was Associate Vice President for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois. Caralynn spent her early career in venture capital and corporate finance, primarily focused on technology-based university spin-outs. She was a Principal with early-stage venture capital firms ARCH Development Partners and Midwest Venture Partners, and Senior Vice President of Sikich Investment Banking. As a graduate student, she co-founded SanoGene Therapeutics, an early-stage biotechnology company, where, as CEO, she led the company’s spin-out from the University of Illinois and raised a strategic equity investment.


Sarah Putman

Manufacturer Representative, DIRTT

Sarah Putnam, is a manufacturer representative with Chicago-based DIRTT Environmental Solutions. Always passionate about sustainable design and the use of technology to improve the built environment, she helps to manage distribution partner relationships. Putnam is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford OH, where she received a degree in fine arts, focusing on interior design and marketing.

Bonnie Reese

Chief Strategy Officer at irisVR.

Bonnie is an entrepreneur with a passion for business development and cutting-edge technology. She joined the Vermont-based software company in 2014 to help establish the virtual reality platform within the architectural, engineering and construction environments.

Always interested in solving puzzles, Bonnie's personal life echoes her diverse professional interests. In 2011, after graduating from Babson's MBA program, she co-founded Radius Tracking Systems, which helps eliminate losses in customer linens throughout the hotel and commercial laundry industries. 

Andrew G. Roe

President of AGR Associates

Based in Minneapolis, the writer is a civil engineer, editor and consultant who has contributed articles to ENR, Design-Build, and Cadalyst, among other publications. He is president of AGR Associates, and the author of Using Visual Basic with AutoCAD, published by Autodesk Press. 


Jaime Rosales

Developer at Autodesk

Jaime Rosales is a member of the DevTech Americas team for ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) since July 2014. Jaime joined Autodesk in 2011 through the acquisition of Horizontal Systems: the company that developed the cloud-based collaboration systems---now known as BIM 360 Glue (the Glue). He was responsible for developing all the add-ins for BIM 360 Glue, using the API’s of various desktop products, such as Revit, Navisworks and AutoCAD. He was also a part of the data integration work that connects BIM 360 Glue, BIM 360 Field and Navisworks in a real time collaboration workflow, using the three products API’s.

He is originally from Guatemala and moved to New York in 2007, where he obtained his BS in Computer Science from Manhattanville College in 2011. He worked as the main student instructor for the top major requirement classes, and enjoyed learning new technologies as much as teaching them.

He is a certified NYC bartender. His favorite drink is Hendricks, tonic with an orange peel. He also likes to discover the multi-cultural culinary options only NYC can offer and has a passion for photography. One of his latest projects is catching unique and expressive aerial photos of NYC using his drone and GoPro.




Molly Rossow

Scientist, Engineer, Developer- Bright Image Scientific, Chicago Women Developers


Molly Rossow is a scientist and engineer with broad experience in computer-assisted mathematical analysis, including applying image processing and signal analysis techniques to large scale image data. Currently Molly writes software for scientific applications at Bright Image Scientific. She has a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of California Irvine where she developed optical and computational techniques to measure blood flow.

She is also the program coordinator for Chicago Women Developers, an organization for “women who love to code or want to learn.” Through CWDevs Molly organizes workshops, lectures and events for women in Chicago’s tech community.



Kristen Schmid

Digital Marketing Consultant at SWC

Kristen Schmid is a forward thinking digital marketer, working to actively promote the integration of analytics and digital strategies. She currently leads SWC Technology Partners Digital Marketing consulting practice which serves local businesses by delivering strategic and tactical marketing solutions.  Kristen is a certified PMP and holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a BS in Materials Engineering from the University of Illinois.  A math nerd at heart, she is currently pursuing a Masters in Analytics from the University of Chicago through which she hopes to identify a mathematical model that generates a 25 hour day and a method to never growing up.


Judy Schriener

Journalist, Author, Radio Show Host 

Judy Schriener is an award-winning veteran journalist who has covered the design and construction industry since the 1980s. In 2010, she co-authored with architect Mike Kephart, Building for Boomers, Guide to Design and Construction, published by McGraw-Hill. Today, she hosts her own general interest radio show, Off the Record, which airs every Tuesday at 2 pm EST.


Karl Sorensen

Freelance Researcher

Either too tech for blue collar firms, or too blue collar for tech firms, Karl finally found a home working with both technology and construction at BW.  Karl joined BW as lead technology researcher, writer and industry liaison that brings innovation to the built environment. 

In his former life, Karl has helped manage over $75M in DoD contracts, 50+ subcontractors spread across 5 different states and has earned LEED Gold and CCASS Government Outstandings on nearly every project.

Karl Stephan

Professor at Texas State University Ingram School of Engineering

Karl D. Stephan is a professor of electrical engineering at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He received his Master of Engineering degree from Cornell in 1977. After several years in the private sector, he earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. For many years, he taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, before moving to Texas State University in 2000.

James Stein

Director, Brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield

James Stein is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, and began his career practicing commercial real estate law at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in Chicago. Mr. Stein spent the next 6 years of his career at Studley, Inc. where he represented Corporations, Law Firms, Not-For-Profits, and Technology firms in commercial real estate transactions, including lease restructures, office relocations, and space efficiency analyses. In 2014, Mr. Stein joined Cushman & Wakefield in the office tenant representation group, where, working closely with partner Ari Klein, he advises tenants in a variety of sectors in the Chicago area and nationally.

Petra Stieninger

Director of Smart City Projects at CCJM

As the director of smart city projects, Petra Stieninger is responsible for the business development and management of CCJM projects in the smart city field. She offers extensive language skills (German, English, Spanish, Italian and Arabic) and 7+ years of professional experience as a global consultant, planner, researcher, and project manager in the fields of sustainable city and infrastructure planning, energy efficiency and environmental technologies.

Petra has a PhD in Urban Planning from the Vienna University of Technology.

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Kelsey Taylor

Principal at Engage Civil

As the entrepreneurial head of a civil engineering company Kelsey is in his lane - at the intersection of developing a company and site development.  A practicing design engineer for over 15 years, Kelsey leveraged his portfolio of work as the civil engineer of record for projects such as Exelon City Solar (the nation’s largest urban solar power plant) and the University of Chicago Lab School’s Shapiro Hall as a springboard to Engage Civil, a company he started  focused as much on the culture of purposeful endeavor and relationships as it is on great work.

An optimist, Kelsey tends to view every project, every site, every relationship as a chance to learn something new and stretch a new muscle. When not at work smiling, he can usually be found in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, the place Kelsey and his wife call home base for their numerous community and family activities as well as their daughter’s full-time enterprise as a student and ballerina.




Amr Thameen

3D Artist & Designer at irisVR

Recent graduate and longtime creative enthusiast, Amr Thameen holds the position of artist and designer for Vermont-based irisVR. Starting off building the wire-frame design for the startup's website, Amr now finds himself involved with creating architectural demos on behalf of clients and converting 3D building models into a virtual reality experience. Relying on the Oculus Rift, he believes that virtual reality will "revolutionize" the way designers execute their craft. 

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Amr holds a BA degree in architectural studies from Middlebury College. He is an active volunteer with AFESIP Cambodia, a non-profit that is fighting to stop to human trafficking. In addition to English, Amr speaks Arabic and Portuguese.

John Tolva

President at PostivEnergy Practice

John Tolva is the president of PositivEnergy Practice, an urban systems engineering firm based on data-driven decision-making for sustainable new building design, retrofits, and urban master planning. 

John’s career has focused on developing and applying technology to improve the urban environment. From 2011 to 2013 he was Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, leveraging technology to streamline public services through more efficient data-sharing, digital communications, and next-generation infrastructure. Prior to joining the City, he was Director of Citizenship and Technology at IBM Corp

In 2012, the White House recognized Tolva as a ‘Champion of Change,' and in 2006, he was honored as Crain's ’40 Under 40.'

Sean Wiedel

Assistant Commissioner at Chicago Department of Transportation

Sean Wiedel manages the Citywide Services section at the Chicago Department of Transportation. Sean recently oversaw the launch of the Divvy bike share program with 300 stations and 3,000 bikes. The Citywide Services section also includes bike safety education initiatives, such as the Bicycling Ambassadors, along with travel demand management, alternative fuels deployment and green job training programs. 

Matt Weirich

CEO & Co-Founder, REALYNC

Matt Weirich is co-founder and CEO of ReaLync Corp., a Chicago-based real estate technology firm that provides real time virtual tour and open house technology. A former management consultant turned entrepreneur with a passion for the crossroads of business, technology, and real estate, he is now helping to change the way consumers around the world tour properties in both the residential and commercial real estate markets.

Peter Wilkins

Managing Director, Hyde Park Angels

Over the past two decades, Peter has successfully founded, built, and turned around companies in the education, healthcare, and technology industries. He has also leveraged his entrepreneurial experience to help build one of the largest and most successful angel investor groups in the country.

Peter currently leads Hyde Park Angels (HPA) as the managing director. Prior to HPA, he co-founded New Futuro, a socially innovative education company helping Latino families get their students into college. Before New Futuro, Peter worked with KKR Capstone (KKR’s operations group) as President of PRIMEDIA Healthcare, where he turned around the company from record losses to record profits and built one of the premier online physician education communities. Prior to PRIMEDIA, Peter successfully served in senior sales and marketing roles for two technology startups that collectively sold for more than $2.8 billion. Peter holds a degree in business from Indiana University and graduated from the University of Chicago Booth Executive Institute.

Peter is passionate about inspiring and developing current and future startup leaders. He believes when entrepreneurs lead with purpose as their best-selves they improve their lives, their companies, and the world in incredible ways. Peter serves on a number of company, venture capital and non-profit boards and is an active advisor to many entrepreneurs. He also frequently speaks about entrepreneurship, as well as providing highly tailored, purpose-driven solutions to executives and companies through the Omaxen Group.


Willard Williams

Principal at Ronin Architects.

A licensed architect and principal with Ronin Architects in Redwood City, California, Willard Williams is also an active member of the AEC Hackathon community. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 2007 with a B.Arch degree, his next big step was working working as an intern with Graphisoft, where he was recognized nationally by the firm for his exemplary work in ArchiCAD. In 2009, Williams won 1st prize at the Corpus Christi Colosseum Mixed-Use Design Competition for his area-revitalization design efforts. He has been a practicing architect since April 2013 in the State of California.

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