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ENR Texas & Louisianas Top 20 Under 40

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Good talent breeds talent. For the 2012 edition of ENR Texas & Louisiana's annual Top 20 Under 40 list, we feature young professionals who represent a broad spectrum of the industry. From design principals to construction managers, those profiled on this year's list appear to share a common characteristic: a commitment to mentoring the next generation of industry leaders.

Left to right, starting with Top Row Row One: Richard A. Arvizu, Jennifer Berthiaume, Jerry Crawford, Mike Donovan Row Two: Leah Fitzgerald, Matthew I. Frey, Thomas E. Gessner, Anthony Gonzales Row Three: Richard J. Harris, Matt Hoglund, Alan Hutson, Andrew L. Mellen Jr. Row Four: Ryan Myers, Yen Ong, Wayne Pontiff, Brian Richard Row Five: Cory J. Stull, Dana Stumpf, Jill Ibison Vessels, Richard Watters
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Just as these individuals found success early in their careers, they also hope to spark the interest of future engineers, architects and construction professionals to follow similar paths. Most of our featured professionals cite an early fascination with math, science and problem-solving. Others credit values instilled since childhood by family members, teachers or other mentors. In all cases, experiences growing up helped shape their drive for achievement and professional success.

Community service and industry involvement were among the top criteria considered by the independent jury that selected this year's Top 20 Under 40. Whether through industry initiatives like the ACE Mentor Program or local community outreach organizations, those individuals who give back struck a chord with our judges.

Other criteria included leadership qualities within their given field, involvement in creating landmark regional projects and achievement of industry certifications. All candidates were required to be under age 40 by our publication date, Feb. 20.

This year's panel of judges included Katie Harris, marketing manager at RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture + Graphic Design, Austin, Texas; Christine Hollinden, principal of Hollinden, Houston; William Richardson, senior associate of Urban Design Group, Dallas; and Albert C. Petrasek Jr., vice president of HDR Engineering, Dallas.

Read on to find out more about the young professionals who are forging the future path for our industry in Texas and Louisiana and fostering the generation that will someday follow their example.


Richard A. Arvizu

Grooms future engineers

39, Project Manager

Binkley & Barfield

Plano, Texas

An avid learner who went back to school to earn a master's degree in business administration, Richard Arvizu takes pride in grooming the next generation of engineers. Not exposed to engineering until his late high school years, he seeks to spark an interest in young people at an earlier age. "The sooner we can get them interested in engineering, the better prepared they can be," Arvizu says. He has chaired local and state MATHCOUNTS, participated in numerous school career days, serves as a liaison to college programs and was instrumental in reactivating the student chapter of Texas A&M Texas Society of Professional Engineers. Arvizu has developed a presentation relating "Star Wars" to real-life engineering applications. "I like to make engineering fun and exciting," he says. "Getting kids in school interested in math and science is the key to our future."

Jennifer Berthiaume

Collaborates across disciplines to get things done

30, GIS Analyst



Jennifer Berthiaume first took an interest in geography while traveling the world as a child. She went on to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in the subject. "Anything that has a location is inherently interesting to me," Berthiaume says. "Everything can be mapped, and you can hold so much information with each item. It has opened up a career for me." Berthiaume works with ARCADIS teams in water resources, environment and infrastructure to find new ways to collect data and implement geospatial solutions in their projects. She has created databases to store information and developed a series of new quality control steps, both for internal and client review and for correcting data. Berthiaume says she enjoys the creative freedom available in her current position, which has allowed her to grow as a professional. "Innovation is key," she says. "With technology changing so rapidly, we have to embrace it to provide new types of solutions, both in geospatial and regular data."


Jerry Crawford

From field superintendent to corner office in less than a decade

33, Special Projects/Interiors Manager

Turner Construction


Within a decade, Jerry Crawford advanced from a position as a field superintendent to manager of Turner Construction's Special Projects Division and Interiors, with stops along the way as a general superintendent, purchasing manager and operations manager. "As I've grown in my career, it's more focused on seeing the staff succeed," he says. "That drives me now." Crawford's high level of organization and even-keeled nature help keep his team focused—even during the fast-paced bid process. He credits having access to vast resources at Turner that he can tap for guidance. "I've been mentored at Turner by people looking out for the best interests of myself and the company," he says. Crawford now mentors others within Turner and through programs such as ACE Mentor and Communities in Schools. He also volunteers with the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, annually walking door to door to inspect and install home smoke detectors.


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