Associate Professor of Practice, Building Construction Management, Purdue University
Meet the Instructor: Brad Benhart
Brad Benhart has been a mainstay in the construction industry for over 25 years. He has been involved in all aspects of construction including healthcare, commercial, residential, international, and all related aspects of training and education. In 2009, Benhart furthered his commitment and passion to construction education by accepting a Professorship at Purdue University in their Building Construction Management program.
Brad is actively involved in Associated General Contractors (AGC), American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), Builders Association of Chicago, and Indiana Contractors Association. Through his industry engagement, Benhart has been invited across the country to do presentations and keynote speeches on the dynamics of the construction industry. His position allows him to further develop construction education in the built environment and be an industry advocate for the next generation of builders. He is currently working on training programs that highlight team collaborations between architects, engineers, and construction managers. Brad was honored at the National AGC Convention as the 2014 Outstanding Educator of America. He was also awarded one of six Charles Murphy awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching out of 2,200 Purdue University professors. Benhart also has an extensive resume in industry.
Brad previously worked as Vice President of Pepper Construction Company in Chicago, Illinois. While at Pepper, he managed multiple projects ranging from $100k to $250 million dollars. He continues to be an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in project management and has actively taught and trained many employees in the industry.
When he is not in the classroom, Brad owns Integrated Construction Resources, a construction consulting company that focuses on strategic planning, training, mentoring, and expert witness analysis.
Barry J. Brooks is a Partner in Peckar & Abramson’s Dallas office, where he concentrates his practiceon construction law, employment law, and general commercial litigation matters. He represents a broadrange of commercial and construction clients, including contractors, owners, healthcare providers, andcorporate executives, as well as U.S. and international corporations. Mr. Brooks thrives in high stakeslitigation and has maintained a strong reputation for protecting and advancing his clients’ sensitivebusiness interests.
A highly skilled litigator and defense attorney, Mr. Brooks vigorously represents his clients’ intereststhroughout the litigation process and understands the importance of efficient and decisive action. Hehas successfully represented numerous entities in multimillion-dollar disputes, including breach ofcontract, fraud, and defective construction lawsuits, as well as high-profile Department of Labor (DoL)investigations, theft of trade secrets, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He also works closely withbusinesses before problems arise to find creative solutions to protect their most vital resources andassist them in avoiding costly disputes.
Mr. Brooks offers his clients a wealth of hands-on construction industry experience, having workedfor several years as a civil engineer throughout Texas and Colorado. In this capacity, he managed anddesigned numerous engineering projects from preliminary feasibility through final construction forresidential and commercial developments. This practical knowledge provides him with a well-roundedunderstanding of his construction clients’ needs, as well as the numerous nuances and complexities thataffect major building projects.
Barry earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, where he served as a member andlater as a company commander in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. He later earned his J.D. from theUniversity of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he graduated in top three percent of his class, servedas Editor-in-Chief of the Denver University Law Review, and received numerous awards for academicachievement and student leadership. Barry spent his first year of practice as a law clerk to JusticeNathan B. Coats of the Colorado Supreme Court.
Tom Burleson is president of Burleson Construction Company, a third‐generation, 64‐year old firm in Johnson City, Tennessee. An AGC activist, Tom is a past chairman of the Construction Education Committee of the Associated General Contractors of America. He is also a Life Director of AGC of America, a past president of AGC of Tennessee, and a member of the Consulting Constructors Council and a director of the AGC of America Education and Research Foundation.
Tom is retired from the U.S. Army Reserves with the rank of colonel and served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Desert Storm. Tom earned a B.S. degree in Building Science from Clemson University and received Certified Professional Constructor (C.P.C.) status from the AIC Constructor Certification Commission. He is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Mark Federle, PE, Ph.D., CPC, F. ASCE, CM-Lean, NAC, is currently the Associate Dean for Academic at Marquette University. Previously, he was Chief Information Officer for The Weitz Company in Des Moines for 9 years. Prior to joining The Weitz Company, Federle was the Professor-in-Charge of Construction Engineering program at Iowa State University, where he taught for nine years. Mark earned his PhD and Masters in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Michigan. Mark is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Professional Constructor and a CM-LEAN. Mark was awarded The Career Achievement Award by Rose-Hulman in 2005. He was recognized by AGC of America as Instructor of the Year in 2011. He is a Fellow of ASCE. He is a member of the National Academy of Construction.
Risk Management Executive, American Contractors Insurance Group
Meet the Instructor: Jack Florence
Mr. Florence joined American Contractors Insurance Group (ACIG) in 2002 as a Claims Consultant. In 2007, he joined the Risk Management Division as a Risk Management Executive. He began his career in 1988 with Employers Casualty Company. In 1994 he was with Houston General Insurance Company and later joined Employers General Insurance Company as the Casualty Claims Director. His primary experience has been concentrated in commercial insurance for construction, oil and gas and governmental entities.
Mr. Florence is a graduate of Angelo State University and has earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), the Associate in Claims (AIC), the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and the Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designations.
Anthony Huey is a highly rated speaker who offers session attendees pragmatic communications tools, tips, and techniques they can use immediately.
Anthony’s 20-year career includes tenures as a news reporter, magazine senior editor, crisis management specialist, media relations consultant and executive speech coach.
He owns Reputation Management Associates, one of the nation’s leading communications training and crisis consulting companies. Anthony has presented more than 2,000 media, crisis and presentational skills training workshops, seminars, and speeches in his career. His past client work includes a wide variety of advertising, public relations and communications initiatives for hundreds of trade associations, municipalities, and companies including Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Eli Lilly, Nationwide Insurance, The Kroger Company, and Procter & Gamble.
Anthony holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University.
VP, Business Development and Marketing, Bowen Engineering Corporation
Meet the Instructor: Jeff Purdue
Jeff Purdue has over 25 years of construction experience and holds a BS degree in civil engineering from Purdue University where he lettered on the baseball team for 3 years. Jeff worked at B.G. Danis out of college as an estimator until 1990 when he joined Bowen Engineering as an entry level field engineer. He progressed through increasing levels of responsibility and is presently Sr. VP of Bowen’s Southern Division. He has been involved in establishing (3) satellite offices with Bowen and is presently responsible for $ 85MM of work annually. He is a mentor in Bowen’s Leadership Program, instructor of Bowen’s Production Management System, Board Member of Junior Achievement, and member of Vistage International.
Bowen is a heavy, general contractor with annual revenues of $300 million, working in (13) states and has been in business for over 50 years. Bowen is owned by 85 stockholders who are also key Bowen employees. Bowen’s primary work includes construction of treatment plants, power plants, underground utilities and ethanol and industrial facilities.
Jeff graduated from AGC’s Project Manager course in 1993 and AGC’s Advanced Management Program in 2001. Bowen Engineering has been the recipient of 4 AGC Build America Awards of which Jeff has proudly been associated with 2 of these projects.
Stewart Shurtleff is a Partner in Peckar & Abramson’s Dallas office focusing on construction law,construction dispute resolution, surety law, and commercial litigation. Board Certified in ConstructionLaw from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Mr. Shurtleff represents general contractors,subcontractors, sureties, and real estate owners and developers in a wide array of construction-relatedissues, including breach of contract, breach of warranty, mechanic’s liens, bond claims, surety matters,collections, construction defects, contract termination, and delay and disruption claims, as well asgeneral business matters. He frequently acts as outside general counsel to general contractors andother clients.
Mr. Shurtleff most recently served as a member of the Board of Directors of TEXO, the largest commercial contractor’s association in Texas representing the North and East Texas chapters of both the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). He also is a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America and is the 2019 Secretary of the Construction Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association where he is an active member. Mr. Shurtleff has been named a Super Lawyers ‘Texas Rising Star’ from 2012-2018, and “Texas Super Lawyer” in 2019. Additionally, in 2016 he was named TEXO Young Constructor of the Year resulting from his extensive work with the TEXO Young Constructors Council, where he served as a steering committee member for five years and the Chairman in 2015.
Senior BU EH&S Director – Central Region, Turner Construction Company
Meet the Instructor: Ian Smith
With over 17 years in Environmental, Health and Safety and 15 Years with Turner Construction Company, Ian Smith has been exposed to various markets of the construction industry. His mission is to provide an Incident-Free Environment with a focus on Lean safe practices − teaching, mentoring and coaching people to be agents of culture change.
Growing up in Connecticut and moving to Texas in 2004 opened many opportunities for Ian. He is now able to touch many people’s lives and positively cultivate a culture of safety. His wife, Jamie, and two children, Elyn and Xander, serve as his primary motivation to work safe.
National Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Turner Construction Company
Meet the Instructor: Steve Spaulding
Stephen Spaulding II is currently the National Director of Environmental Health and Safety for Turner Construction Company. He has over 15 years of industry experience and has served Turner in various capacities including Environmental, Health, and Safety, Project Engineer, Superintendent, Financial Cost Engineer, and Laborer. Steve also leads training in Environmental Health and Safety for Turner’s Annual Construction Management Training Program for local minority and disadvantaged businesses. Steve has received certification as a (CHST) Construction Health and Safety Technician and (CES) Certified Environmental Specialist.
Steve serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Safety and Health Network, CCMpower, and the Spirit of Construction. Steve also serves as a member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and on the Safety Committee for the Allied Construction Industry. He supports The Children’s Law Center, has chaired a committee for the United Way that has built playgrounds for the Newport and Center Hill Salvation Army and a recreation center for the St. Joseph Orphanage, and has participated in projects for Habitat for Humanity and to help renovate the Welcome House of Northern Kentucky and the Women’s Crisis Center.
Steve received a B.A. in Psychology from Marshall University and a M.B.A. from Thomas More College.
Jolsna John Thomas is a reformed attorney, recent Texas business development professional turned nonprofit leader. This past April, Rosendin’s CEO requested that she work fulltime as President of The Rosendin Foundation, the charitable arm of Rosendin Holdings, the parent company of Rosendin Electric and Modular Power Solutions. Jolsna also continues to serve on Rosendin’s DEI Advisory Council to the Executive Committee. Prior to her recent promotion, she had worked as Rosendin’s Texas Business Development Manager.
Jolsna started her career in the construction industry in 2007 with the largest local construction labor organization in the nation (Operating Engineers Local 3) where she represented the interest of close to 45,000 workers as its legal counsel. She is civically engaged through a variety of leadership roles locally and nationally. She sits on the board of the local South Asian Bar Association having previously served as its President and the President of the national organization. She currently sits on the AGC of America’s Diversity and Inclusion and Business Development Steering Committees and on the Board of the Real Estate Council of Austin. Jolsna chaired the National Association of Women in Construction Austin Chapter (NAWIC) first camp for middle school girls to get hands on exposure to the construction industry locally. She also championed the addition of a trades scholarship for individuals pursuing careers in construction through apprenticeship.
In 2021, Travis County Women Lawyers Association awarded her the 2020 Advancement of Women’s Interest Attorney Award. In 2019, NAWIC Austin named Jolsna the Women in Construction of the Year and the Luna Awards named her Austin’s Business Advocate of the Year. Jolsna is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (2000) and American University Washington College of Law (2005) and maintains licenses in California and Texas.
John VanderBloemen has been a partner in The VanderBloemen Group since 2006, primarily focusing on attestation, consulting, and tax compliance and planning. Prior to 2006 he was the CFO of Downey Inc., a total mechanical contractor based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for seven years. John graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and received his CPA license in 1995. After graduating from college, he spent six years working for a CPA firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. For close to thirty years, he has been involved in the construction industry, whether working for a contractor or advising clients of all types and sizes.