Meet the 2020 Class of AGC 40 Under 40

Get to know 40 individuals who demonstrate an incredibly high level of leadership, professional excellence and commitment to the construction industry throughout the state of Alabama.

Clay Ammons, 40

Ammons joined Ammons & Blackmon Construction right out of college as an equipment operator and has risen through the ranks until today he is vice president and field operation project manager, as well as being part owner of the firm and CCA Construction. At the same time, the firm has grown from 25 to 90 employees. He is responsible for multiple projects around Baldwin County and handles all types of construction from private developments to Department of Transportation work.

Sam Audia, 37

Audia is vice president for surety at McGriff Insurance Services, the largest surety brokerage firm in the Southeast. In four years with McGriff, Audia has worked his way to being the firm’s lead marketing account executive with construction clients. A CPA, Audia worked as an accountant before turning to the surety business. Outside of work, he is president of the Alabama Surety Association on the National Association of Surety Bond Producers 5-15 Leadership Council.

Josh Bhate, 40

Bhate is president of Building Diagnostics & Property Science, a firm he founded in 2005 to provide building commissioning services — helping ensure that buildings new and old avoid problems with roofs, curtain walls, windows and other envelope components. He has worked with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to help set standards for K-12 schools and with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District to develop evaluation standards. A graduate of Auburn University’s College of Architecture, he also holds LEED and other certifications. Bhate also is a shareholder and vice president of Bhate Geosciences Corp. He is active in the Birmingham Kiwanis Club, a volunteer soccer coach and a director of the Uday and Peggy Foundation.

Bradley Brock, 31

Brock is chief estimator at Marathon Electrical Contractors. He started with Marathon as a co-op intern and has worked his way up until he now leads the estimating department for this $120 million company. He is credited with making the department more efficient.

Leslie Bryan, 33

Bryan is founder and CEO of Ashton and Co., a woman-owned, union-supported, general contractor offering industrial and specialty contracting services. Her firm is based in Creola. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Mobile. She has worked through the Alabama Power Mentoring Program and has completed a number of projects for Alabama Power and other units of Southern Company. She is active in church and mission projects.

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Nathan Cauley, 36

Cauley is an operations manager in Brasfield & Gorrie’s power and process division. He is currently working on seven active projects, valued at more than $60 million. Clients include Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Southern Nuclear and US Steel. Earlier in his career, he worked on site on a variety of heavy civil and industrial projects. Cauley is a licensed professional engineer and is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Gabe Clement, 29

Clement is a commercial insurance and bonding agent and a branch manager with independent insurance agency Byars|Wright Inc. in Birmingham. Growing up around the construction industry, he has focused his insurance practice on construction. Some 85 percent of his $3.7 million book of business is in construction-related businesses — more than 75 firms that work below grade, roof top and anything in between. He volunteers his time in the industry, interviewing incoming classes for the Academy of Craft Training and working with newcomers to the insurance business. He is an Auburn University graduate.

Spearman Cobb, 35

Cobb is a senior project manager with Rabren General Contractors. In addition to his project leadership, Cobb serves on Rabren’s best practices initiative, helping develop companywide standards and procedures. He is also active with the firm’s Travis L. Rabren Foundation Memorial events.

Mark DeLaney, 39

DeLaney is manager at Cunningham DeLaney Construction in Summerdale. He moved into the construction industry immediately after graduating from the University of Alabama in 2004. Over the last 16 years, he has performed and managed site development, infrastructure improvement, heavy civil and building construction. As a co-owner of Cunningham DeLaney, he has been an integral part of building a team with a strong reputation for high-quality work.

Michael Eidson, 36

Eidson is operations manager at BL Harbert International. During his 14 years with the firm, he has worked his way up from project manager to the current role, where he oversees all aspects of a project, working directly with owner and architect. Key projects, many in the federal arena, have included work at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville; Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and the VA Savannah Primary Care Clinic in Georgia.

Taylor Engerson, 30

Engerson is president of Safety Plus in Mobile. He has created new training platforms for contractors and manufacturers, increased sales and collaborated with IT to develop a contractor qualification system. At the same time, he has grown the company from a local firm serving local clients until it now serves more than 450 clients nationwide.

Payton Gardner, 30

Gardner is business development manager with Southern Electrical Contractors. He uses his knowledge and dedication throughout the construction industry and has developed networking skills throughout the industry on behalf of Southern Electrical Contractors.

Michael Gibson, 35

Gibson is a project manager with John G. Walton Construction Co. in Mobile. A civil engineering graduate of the University of South Alabama, he began his career with the Alabama Department of Transportation. Since joining Walton, he has taken on steadily more responsibility, managing as many as eight projects at a time. He is a licensed professional engineer.

Eric Gunn, 37

Gunn is chief preconstruction manager for the healthcare and medical divisions of Brasfield & Gorrie in Birmingham. He has provided preconstruction services on some 40 projects valued at $750 million during his 14 years with the firm. After earning drafting credentials, he graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in construction engineering technology. Key recent projects include work at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia; Great Falls Medical Center in Montana and Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. He is active with ABC Young Professionals.

Ryan Harbuck, 35

Harbuck is project executive with Hancock Builders in Birmingham. In that role, he is responsible for estimating and managing commercial projects. An Auburn University graduate, he has devoted his career to the construction industry, working on federal government, higher education and healthcare projects. He joined Hancock in 2017.

Keith Harrelson, 37

Harrelson is a senior vice president with J. Smith Lanier & Co., a Marsh & McLennan agency. Since his first year in the insurance business, he has worked with construction projects and now brokers insurance and surety credit for companies including building general contractors street and road contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to the industry, with a book generating some $10 million in annual premiums. Outside of work, he serves on the board of Family Promise of Birmingham, a national organization helping homeless families find permanent housing.

David Hibberts, 30

Hibberts is outside sales manager for Metal Roofing Center & Supply. His work has helped the firm grow sales in Mobile and Baldwin counties and extended its reach into northwest Florida. He is highly regarded in the firm for his willingness to lend a hand where needed, whether making a sale or helping get the job done.

Bradford Houseal, 28

Houseal is area sales manager for McPherson Oil Companies. Working in his firm’s Gulf Coast market, he has helped clients manage their fleet lubrication programs, helping them extend oil drain intervals and teaching techniques to enhance reliability while reducing costs. He is active in the Mobile and Baldwin counties chapters of AGC and serves on the construction leadership council.

Tim Lyons II, 35

Lyons is environmental health and safety manager for Reed Contracting Services Inc. in Huntsville. His responsibilities include safety procedures for the firm’s 600 to 800 employees. In 2019, Lyons was honored as safety professional of the year by the Associated Builders and Contractors North Alabama Chapter.

Clint MacDonald, 39

MacDonald is construction executive for Caddell Construction in Montgomery. In that role, he oversees three or four major projects at a time. While in this role, he has been responsible for seven projects totaling more than $315 million. One current key project is renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium at the University of Alabama. MacDonald has worked his way up in the industry, beginning as a laborer for a local homebuilder while he was still in high school. Beyond work, he is active with local events from youth sports coaching to United Way campaigns.

Wesley Mansour, 35

Mansour is managing director for Travelers, leading the firm’s surety operations in Birmingham. He uses his understanding of contractors’ operations to provide excellent service to the companies he serves. He is active in the AGC chapter in Birmingham.

Hatton Marbury, 34

Marbury is a project manager with B.H. Craig Construction Co. in Florence. Recent projects include the $34 million Florence Middle School and renovations and additions to the YMCA. He is a University of Mississippi graduate with a second degree in construction industrial management from Middle Tennessee State University. He is active in the AGC Shoals Section and the Rotary Club.

Jeff McKenzie, 39

McKenzie is general superintendent at Gulf Hauling and Construction in Mobile. After graduation from the University of West Alabama, he rose from operator and foreman positions to his present role with the company. In addition, he is responsible for GPS applications within the company’s projects and has been involved in work at the OWA development, schools, shopping areas and subdivisions. He also manages the firm’s dozer, excavator and grader fleet.

Charlie McVea, 39

McVea is director of construction/bonding and risk management for BXS Insurance of Alabama. During 12 years in construction, he spent five representing the legal interests of contractors here and abroad, then led risk management and ultimately served as chief operating officer for an international industrial contractor. During his three-year tenure as COO, McVea conducted business in more than 15 countries, completing projects valued at $42.5 million. He advised the White House National Trade Council regarding Buy America and participated in the state coalition to expand US Workforce Development. Since joining BXSI two years ago, he ranked in his agency’s top five for new business production. He and the Mobile team are the fastest growing office in the firm’s nine-state footprint. He is active in Alabama AGC and serves on the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce board of advisors.

Wilson Nash, 35

Nash is associate general counsel for Brasfield & Gorrie. Beyond working on the company’s claims and litigation, ethics and compliance issues, he is active on the firm’s Covid-19 response team. He is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern with a master’s from the University of Sydney and a law degree from the University of Alabama. He is active with the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum and Rotary Club of Birmingham, serves on the board of Better Basics, the young supporters board of O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB and the advisory board of Birmingham-Southern.

Philip Parker, 32

Parker is sales manager with GC Specialties Inc., an architectural specialty company in Mobile. Parker began working there during summers when he was a student at the University of Alabama and has worked to become the firm’s top salesman. Outside of work, he is on the steering committee for AGC’s Construction Leadership Council and volunteers time with Ronald McDonald House. He also established the Michael Scott Scholarship at UMS-Wright in memory of a football teammate.

Robert Powell, 35

Powell is business development manager for Dunn Construction and Couch Aggregates. In addition to securing new business in a region covering Alabama and four surrounding states, he oversees barge operations, moving aggregates on the Intracoastal and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterways. His innovative skills led to a joint venture with Sunbelt Crushing, creating a rubble crushing system that lowers the costs of demolition projects. He is active in both Mobile and Birmingham AGC sections and is baseball commissioner for Mountain Brook Athletics. He is a University of Alabama graduate.

Jason Reaves, 36

Reaves is a project manager and estimator with B.H. Craig Construction in Florence. Recent major projects include work for Pilgrim’s, Vulcan Inc., Navistar, FreightCar America and Constellium. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama in Huntsville and began his career as a maintenance engineer in the steel industry. He is active in the AGC Shoals Section.

Blake Rhodes, 39

Rhodes is marketing director for BL Harbert International. The firm’s president for U.S. operations describes Rhodes as “instrumental in helping BL Harbert become one of America’s most influential contractors,” adding, “She has helped us land every client in our portfolio since joining the team.” Beyond job proposals, she also writes speeches, handles social media, coordinates events and developed a company intranet. Rhodes is also active in community events in Birmingham.

Heath Roeber, 27

Roeber is a project manager with Fite Building Co. Key recent projects include a $31 million residence hall at Alabama A&M University and a $21 million carbon fiber manufacturing line at Hexcel Corp. An Auburn University graduate, he is also an Alabama Army National Guard veteran. In the community, he is active in his church where he serves on the security team and the building committee, with the Best Buddies program for special needs children and with Alabama ABC, where he has completed the Emerging Leaders program.

Ben Russell, 33

Ben Russell is executive vice president of Coastal Slipform in Mobile, where he has worked since the firm’s inception. An engineering graduate of Auburn University, he began his professional career with the Alabama Department of Transportation, handling road and bridge projects in Mobile and Baldwin counties. He is active with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Mobile County Road Builders Association and is chairman of the AGC Mobile Section Leadership Council. He also serves on the board of Feeding the Gulf Coast.

Jesse Rutherford, 33

Rutherford is a project manager for B.H. Craig Construction in Florence. Recent major projects include several multi-million dollar water and wastewater treatment plants. A University of Alabama graduate, he is a licensed professional engineer. He is active in the AGC Shoals section.

Chad Slaton, 38

Slaton is senior regional FUELZ manager for McPherson Oil Companies. He works with contractors and other fleet businesses to help them manage fleet fuel expenses and save time. Outside the office he is active in his church, helps raise funds for the Mobile Carnival Association and for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, where he won honors for his fundraising success.

Megan Smith, 23

Smith is a project manager with Hurst Construction in Munford. She is a graduate of Auburn University in building science. Since joining Hurst, she has managed projects ranging from just a few thousand dollars to more than a half million. She is recognized for her positive attitude and her attention to projects during construction and follow-up with owners when construction is complete.

Isaac Sneeringer, 39

An international project manager for Caddell Construction, Sneeringer worked on U.S. embassy and consulate projects in Kathmandu, Nepal; Juarez, Mexico; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; The Hague, The Netherlands, and Hyderabad, India. He has managed projects valued at some $725 million. On each project, he has brought to bear his expertise in site security. He holds advanced credentials from Stanford University. In additional to local and overseas volunteer work, he and his wife have established the Okanogan Highlands Lavender Farm in Washington State to teach sustainable living.

David Sullivan, 39

Sullivan is estimator and project manager for Wiregrass Construction Co. He has more than 15 years of experience in the heavy highway and infrastructure industry. He has estimated and managed multiple projects of varying sizes in public and private sectors. Sullivan recently completed his degree in construction management at East Tennessee State University.

Eric Wetzel, 35

Wetzel is an assistant professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University. His teaching brought him recognition, winning the AU Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award. He was the first in the Building Science program to win the prestigious award. Beyond Auburn, he is a member of the American Council for Construction Education Standards Committee.

Myron White, 38

White is a branch manager for Irby Electrical Distributors in Dothan. He joined the firm in its warehouse and delivery operations, but worked his way up to his present position and last year led the firm to an all time sales record. Outside of work, he  has coached youth basketball, most recently at his alma mater Wicksburg High School. He also has worked as a youth leader in his church and participated in mission trips to El Salavador and Mozambique.

Spencer Wiggins, 38

Wiggins is a commercial banker with Hancock Whitney Bank. He has been an active participant in AGC, sponsoring events such as golf tournaments, crawfish boils and Bonanza Days. A graduate of the University of South Alabama, where he played baseball, he now coaches youth sports and is a vice president of Partners for Environmental Progress.

Aaron Wright, 39

Wright is owner of The Construction Channel, presenting far-ranging construction video content via YouTube and today boasting more than 23,000 subscribers. Long at the forefront of building information modeling, he has helped firms learn how to benefit from technology on the job. Wright also is an adjunct professor at both Auburn and UAB.

Josie Young, 26

Young is marketing director for Russell Construction of Alabama. In addition to landing sales for the company, she maintains her construction safety knowledge certifications and has become Healthcare Constructor Certified. In addition to her work with Russell, she is a Chamber Ambassador in both Montgomery and Prattville, serves on the board of the YMCA, works with United Way and the Downtown Development Board Association, and she is active in the National Association of Women in Construction.

* Ages are as of September 1, 2019. Individuals whose age is 40 were selected while they were still 39.

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