Robert J. Thiel
Big moves on New Jersey Turnpike project at a young age
37, Director, Transportation Engineering
The Louis Berger Group
One of the most valuable lessons Robert Thiel ever learned wasn’t in the field, it was on the stage. Working in production management at a theater during college, Thiel learned to see the big picture and think several steps ahead on any task.
“We would set up an afternoon show and tear it down immediately afterward, so I always had to think about how one would affect the other,” Thiel says. “It’s a process of seeing the big picture and working backward to understand how the pieces fit together.”
Thiel joined The Louis Berger Group in 1999 as a senior engineer and was engaged on major components of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s $2-billion Interchange 6 to 9 Widening Program. He advanced to deputy project manager for final design of Section 4, Interchange 7A of the program, and was ultimately promoted to project manager overseeing $140 million in construction contracts.
Drawing from his wealth of knowledge gained at a young age, Thiel mentors many of the firm’s engineers and interns.
Helped grow New York office through entrepreneurial spirit
37, Managing Principal
New York, NY.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1997, Brian Tolman got a taste of life at an upstart firm. Hired by STUDIOS Architecture, a 180-person firm with international reach, Tolman was the fifth employee of its New York office.
“People had to be very involved in everything we were doing,” Tolman points out. “It was complete empowerment down to every level.”
Guided by a sense of curiosity, Tolman evolved into a critical component in the office’s growth. In 2001, work for a client on Park Avenue South led to a commission with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Subsequent work for Bloomberg LP’s worldwide headquarters and at Frank Gehry’s IAC Headquarters firmly established him as a leading expert in workplace design. In 2008, Tolman became managing principal of the New York office. Although the firm has grown tremendously in the last decade, Tolman says the legacy of its upstart roots remains.
“It’s a culture of self-starters and entrepreneurial spirits,” he adds. “We’d prefer you ask for forgiveness for a mistake rather than permission to try something.”
Monica Larsen Wetherll
Drive of a New Yorker with the compassion of a Midwesterner
36, Design Management Director
Ted Moudis Associates
New York, N.Y.
From the age of 10, Monica Larsen Wetherell knew that she wanted to move to New York from her small town in Iowa and become an interior designer.
“Although we lived in a small town, my parents were always very supportive,” she says. “We were brought up to do what we want and give it a shot.”
After graduation from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in interior design in 1996, Wetherell moved to the East Coast without a job. She found work at a variety of design firms in Boston and New York before landing a position with New York-based Ted Moudis Associates as a senior designer at the age of 26.
Wetherell says she came to Ted Moudis Associates with a drive and curiosity that has helped shape her career.
“I was fortunate to have great mentors early on who threw me in the fire, forced me to learn and wouldn’t let me take the easy way out,” she says.
At that time, the firm had approximately 40 employees—roughly one-third of its current size.
“The firm was small enough [at that time] that I felt I could make a difference,” Wetherell adds.
Wetherell became a design manager by the time she was 31 and at 34 she was promoted to design management director. In 2010 Monica was named an associate with the firm.
In her more than 12 years of experience, Wetherell’s work has encompassed a wide range of projects for an assortment of corporate clients, including those in the financial and investment, insurance and software development sectors, among others, ranging from 5,000 square feet to more than 300,000 square feet.
“I hope I bring the drive of a New Yorker and the compassion of a Midwesterner to who I am,” she adds.
Amy K. Wincko
Skilled analyst leads Tishman effort to take on more at-risk projects
35, First Vice President,
Tishman Construction Corporation
New York, N.Y.
Amy Wincko proved she could take a calculated risk right out of college. After graduating from University of Virginia in 1997 with a degree in civil engineering, Wincko bypassed the traditional route to an engineering or construction firm. Instead, she took a position at Navigant Consulting in its construction litigation consulting practice, where she completed forensic research and analysis on projects. “I saw the opportunity to combine engineering, business and legal,” she says.
With a growing reputation as a skilled risk analyst, Wincko grabbed the attention of Tishman Construction. In 2001, four years after graduating from college, Wincko was hired by Tishman to take on a newly created, undefined role for the firm, that of construction analyst, reporting directly to company president, John Livingston. She has since played a critical role in the company’s largest projects, including its high-profile work at the World Trade Center site.
“Amy represents a new type of talent that has become essential to the success of Tishman,” Livingston says. “As projects become larger and more complex, with greater risk, we need to spend more time analyzing the legal, financial and physical aspects. Amy leads this charge.”
C. Scott Wood
Seeks improved efficiency through technology and process change
35, Director, Virtual Construction Services
Tishman Construction Corporation
New York, N.Y.
When graduating from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Scott Wood overheard a contractor make a comment that architects “draw pretty, however unbuildable, pictures.” Ever since his first steps from college into construction, that comment has remained with Wood, helping guide him down a path to improve communication and collaboration among every member of a build team.
Wood proceeded to work for architects, engineers and construction managers on commercial, institutional, health-care, residential and transit projects.
“With every job I took on, I obviously wanted to do it well, but I wanted to do it more efficiently and I wanted to teach others how to be more efficient,” he says.
Wood was drawn to many emerging technologies, and became especially skilled in 3D and 4D applications. Through building information modeling, Wood saw the opportunity to create buildable images that leveraged valuable project data and encouraged a more collaborative process.
In the spring of 2008, Wood joined Tishman Construction to direct trade contractors engaged in work on World Trade Center Tower 3 and Tower 4. Skill and experience with building information modeling proved enormously valuable in coordinating these systems.
During this time, Wood was tapped to help launch the Virtual Construction Services group at Tishman, and now serves as its director.