Problem-Solving With a Personal Touch
Project Executive Michelle Clark began her construction career on large projects with budgets in the hundreds of millions. By the time she reached Balfour Beatty in 2010, she had discovered her true passion for the industry’s polar opposite: fast-paced, high-touch and complex special projects.
In the decade since, Michelle has refined her problem-solving skills and earned a reputation as an enthusiastic advocate for Mid-Atlantic clients with unique project needs. In occupied buildings and on accelerated schedules, through night work and more, Michelle and her teammates leverage their years of special project experience to solve problems no one else can, delivering beautiful renovations and additions suited to each client’s needs.
Tackling Complex Logistics
Balfour Beatty experts like Michelle excel at special projects with truly unique challenges. Converting a mid-level tower floor into parking space or renovating a busy lobby with minimal disruption present a Gordian Knot of logistical considerations, but one that our teams are uniquely suited to untangle and overcome.
“Owners and clients come to us because they know we can see even the most complicated jobs through to success,” Michelle says. “Our clients trust us to solve problems that no one else can with design assistance, complicated or accelerated scheduling and innovative solutions – it’s where we thrive.”
On a current project in Washington, D.C., Balfour Beatty’s Mid-Atlantic special projects team has been tasked with adding an elevator to the interior of a historic downtown building. Beyond the aesthetic considerations of building an appropriately styled addition, the project site logistics are especially complex.
In addition to providing design input to help the elevator mesh with the surrounding structure, Michelle and her teammates are delivering construction solutions tailored to the site’s challenges, including limited space for material laydown, equipment and selective demolition. Backed by years of creative problem-solving experience, the team is performing complex shaft drilling, hydraulic installations and more within a narrow footprint.
Security Clearance: Granted
The Mid-Atlantic construction market, especially near historic Washington, D.C. is such that Balfour Beatty’s special projects teams often perform work for the federal government. Such projects can involve stringent security measures that Michelle loves to approach as another opportunity to solve a complex puzzle of logistical challenges.
“Federal special projects, just like special projects for private clients, are often located in occupied and secure office buildings where you must be a U.S. citizen, you can’t bring in any mobile devices and you can’t interact with surrounding offices in any way,” Michelle says. “It requires more planning and coordination than others in the industry may want to tackle, but we have the experience to ensure success. Every challenge is an opportunity to excel.”
Project coordination in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) also requires a unique approach to project management and Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordination.
When our teams can’t bring smartphones or tablets onto a project site, they rely on paper plans, intensive and intentional day-to-day planning and strategically timed communication with off-site personnel. Our special projects teams adapt to and overcome these unique constraints, carefully coordinating operations to maintain accelerated schedules and reliable budgets.
Making the Impossible Personal
When faced with challenging special projects, Michelle takes a personal, high-touch approach. By getting to know a client and understanding their project goals, she and her teammates can overcome any hurdle through innovative planning solutions, enhanced trade partner engagement and simply thinking outside the box.
Two back-to-back projects in the Warner Building in Washington, D.C. showcased Balfour Beatty’s ability to bring a client’s vision to life, first while converting an office floor into additional parking space. The team needed to avoid disrupting the existing parking structure above the floor and the offices above that, but the added complication of doorway-sized access points to the space precluded any large demolition equipment.
To effectively execute the garage conversion, including pouring a concrete ramp down to the new garage level, the team transported small loads of concrete in buggies that could navigate the space. Avoiding larger equipment also meant they could keep the rest of the garage open, which greatly benefited traffic to the rest of the building.
Impressed with the team’s work on the garage conversion, client JBG SMITH engaged Balfour Beatty to build a fitness center and renovate the Warner Building lobby. The client desired a green space despite the limited natural light, so Michelle and the team found a film set design specialist in California who could construct a 10-foot-tall artificial tree inside the lobby.
All the while, the team worked closely with JBG SMITH and the Warner Theater, a major occupant of the building, to coordinate work around live theater performances and peak activity hours in the lobby.
Near project completion, the team navigated even more complex logistics with the client and the city to deliver, assemble and install massive steel trellises, a key design feature of the renovated lobby. Though prefabricated in pieces off-site, each trellis component was large enough that the team worked with our delivery partners and the city of Washington, D.C. to coordinate lane closures during low-traffic hours.
The team needed to deliver the trellis components through the lobby’s front door, so constant communication with the client and its tenants was critical to mitigating disruptions to the Warner Building’s daily business.
Chasing the Next Challenge
Like many Balfour Beatty special projects experts across the U.S., Michelle feels uniquely suited for the fast-paced nature of these projects and loves what she does.
Every project has at least one especially unique, challenging or interesting feature. Whether she’s tackling an accelerated schedule, the challenge of delivering massive steel beams down a crowded city street or performing a complete lobby renovation without disturbing stage performances, Michelle is a passionate and respected Relentless Ally for our clients and communities.
Project Development Director, West
Relentless Ally since 2022
Jeffrey Dorf serves as project development director for Balfour Beatty’s civils business in the west region, overseeing rail, water/wastewater and other heavy civils pursuits across California and Arizona.
Prior to joining Balfour Beatty in 2022, Jeffrey’s 25 years of industry experience has led to notable project wins. Most recently, he played a key role in alternative delivery pursuits which yielded $1.6 billion in secured contracts across various market segments.
He attended Penn State University and received a bachelor of science in civil engineering prior to earning a master of business administration (MBA) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jeffrey has had the honor of being previously named the 1997 Pennsylvania Entrepreneur of the Year, by then Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, as well as receiving the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Arizona Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Business Development Manager
Relentless Ally since 2017
As Business Development Manager, Preston leverages his relationships and project expertise to aid our client development and work-winning efforts. Prior to this role, he gained over six years of project management experience working with our Large Projects and Interiors & Special Projects team. Preston joined Balfour Beatty in 2016 after graduating from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
Right on Track
Whether they carry commercial goods, raw materials or people, trains rarely have the luxury of stopping for long. That’s rarely an issue on an active rail line, but when railways require new construction, renovation and modernization, you need a hands-on expert who can keep things on track.
As one of Balfour Beatty’s leading rail experts, Commercial Director Chuck Chapman understands the importance of solutions-driven rail construction. Throughout his impressive 35-year career, Chuck has honed his skills as an innovative problem-solver, a master communicator and a creative project scheduler for public and private clients alike. Every dollar and every hour saved counts, and Balfour Beatty’s forward-thinking rail professionals like Chuck skillfully identify them at every turn.
Hands-On Problem Solving
Project leaders must display innovative problem-solving and the willingness to roll up one’s sleeves, take a personal role in the project plan and execute the best path forward.
Chuck’s storied career is replete with such situations, both as an estimator and as a project manager, and where the two disciplines converge. On a former employer’s bridge project, Chuck and his team were faced with a dilemma: the project required the creation of a dewatered area to facilitate bridgework, but traditional methods of sinking a cofferdam using sheet piles wouldn’t be adequate.
The approach spans of the bridge offered too little clearance to install cofferdams, and splicing sheet piles to handle the task would have increased project costs. So Chuck and his team got creative. They combined the strengths of each method by securing sheet piles to the cofferdam base using bulb seals.
“On each phase of the bridge, our solution probably saved four to six months,” Chuck recalls. “You multiply that across 36 segments, and the time and cost savings made an incredible difference for our client.”
While that level of creative problem-solving can come with the territory of complex infrastructure construction, it remains one of Chuck’s favorite aspects of his job and something he sees as wise stewardship of clients’ valuable time and money.
“There’s always an opportunity to partner with our clients, develop solutions and proactively prevent problems,” Chuck adds. “We get the right people together to create solutions that serve a project technically, fiscally and safely.”
From the earliest planning phases to the completion of a project’s lifecycle, project leaders must be master communicators with every stakeholder. Direct, constant communication with clients, owners and trade partners can help prevent costly delays and any unnecessary impacts to the traveling public or vital supply chains that rely on rail infrastructure.
On Chuck’s most recent project, the electrification of Caltrain in San Jose, California, he prioritizes clear and consistent communication with project leaders, the client and local municipal authorities, ensuring Balfour Beatty adheres to all standards and procedures for working in and around critical infrastructure. Chuck understands that early and proactive team alignment enables the collaborative development of solutions that enhance critical logistics and safety planning.
Chuck and his fellow rail experts at Balfour Beatty cultivate a shared team understanding our client’s vision and target turnover dates, enabling strategic and successful project schedules.
“Traffic impacts and utility relocation are at the forefront of our minds on any rail project, because we know how mission critical both can be,” Chuck says. “By identifying these constraints early, we’re actually empowered to plan the most effective solutions such as nighttime closures and utility relocations that avoid interference with rail tracks and any permitting necessary to accomplish both.”
Balfour Beatty’s rail leaders can also leverage the many advantages of prefabrication where it can accelerate the schedule, save money and mitigate a project’s public impact. Railway replacements are a prime example.
“Prefabrication is another powerful tool in our planning toolbox,” Chuck says. “If we can build 1,000 feet of rail next to its final location, we can keep trains moving during that process, take the line out of service for a shorter outage period and install the new rail all at once.”
United in Vision
For Chuck, understanding a client’s vision is just par for the course. By communicating that vision to all stakeholders, then planning, designing and scheduling projects accordingly, the entire team stays on track.
Rail is one of our oldest modes of motorized travel but still plays a crucial role in the way we move people and goods around our communities and around the country. We’re proud to serve our clients by making rail construction and renovation as efficient, expedient and economical as possible and empowering leaders like Chuck who can make it happen.
Vice President, Operations
Relentless Ally since 1986
As the Vice President of Operations, Bryan is a seasoned and results-driven leader with a proven track record for driving operational success. With extensive experience working on large, complex projects like 500 Folsom and LAX Automated People Mover, he excels in optimizing processes and implementing efficiencies for his team. Bryan's exceptional analytical skills, strategic vision, and dedication to achieving client objectives make him a valuable asset in overseeing and elevating
project success from inception to completion.
Embracing Every Opportunity
In her 16 years with Balfour Beatty, Project Business Manager Kelsey Beaty has enthusiastically sought out new challenges. From her time as an intern in Georgia to serving as a project accountant in the Carolinas and taking on the role of project business manager in Texas, Kelsey has been committed to expanding her skillsets since day one. Her willingness to evolve with the needs of the business has broadened her knowledge of every area of our work, making her an invaluable teammate with a deep understanding of the industry.
Building on a Legacy
Kelsey comes by her interest in construction administration naturally. Her father spent several years as a human resources executive at Balfour Beatty, imparting his passion for the industry and the many opportunities available within it.
In December 2007, an opportunity to become the first accounting intern within Balfour Beatty’s U.S civils business opened in Atlanta, Georgia, and Kelsey jumped at the chance. Though she was nervous to begin the internship, having only taken one accounting class in school, her nerves were quickly eased.
“No one expected me to be the CEO on my first day,” Kelsey laughs. “My supervisors were clear with me: they wanted someone interested in the business who was willing to jump in and learn.”
Kelsey continued interning within the shared services team throughout her time in college, building rewarding relationships, learning about the industry and maximizing every opportunity. When she graduated, she was eager to begin her career with Balfour Beatty.
After several years of working in an office environment in Atlanta and in a regional office in Wilmington, North Carolina, Kelsey began to feel that field work was the next step in her career evolution. She had supported field teams extensively and participated in jobsite tours that broadened her perspective of how the accounting function supports our work.
Kelsey soon made the move to Jacksonville, North Carolina, to work on the Camp Lejeune base entry project. For the first time, Kelsey was fully immersed in a project, experiencing her accounting work in action right outside her window.
Her time amid active work allowed her to build relationships with field and craft teams in a way she hadn’t before. “It opened my world up a bit,” she says. “I gained an understanding of operational processes that I’ve carried with me ever since.”
After a year on the Camp Lejeune job, Kelsey was tapped to make a major transition: moving to Dallas, Texas, to begin work on the Dallas Horseshoe project. The project spanned 73 miles of roadway and included the construction of 37 bridges, well beyond the scope of any project in which Kelsey had been involved.
“It was quite an undertaking,” Kelsey reflects. “I very quickly learned the importance of teamwork on a job of that scale.”
After completing the Dallas Horseshoe, Kelsey moved to the Southern Gateway project and, currently, the I-635 East project. As project business manager, Kelsey and her teams are responsible for all things finance, including processing payroll for hundreds of employees, managing payments to trade partners and more.
Her most important role, she says, is supporting our field teams. “My job only exists because of the teams working on the project site,” Kelsey explains.
A Powerful Mentor
During her time on the Dallas Horseshoe project, Kelsey developed a mentoring relationship with Director of Construction Dan Young. In the decade since, the pair have been an unstoppable force, and Dan has been pivotal in Kelsey’s career development.
“Kelsey is an invaluable asset to our team,” Dan says. “Her time in the southeast and the Horseshoe and Southern Gateway projects has given her a great breadth of experience that allows her to understand and support her teammates, and she’s always seeking out new ways to learn.”
Throughout her time with Balfour Beatty, Kelsey has demonstrated that she is not only capable of adapting to new environments but thrives in the face of change. She enthusiastically adapts with the ever-changing needs of the industry, giving her a broad knowledge of operations and making her a well-rounded leader and passionate advocate for her teammates.
Business Manager, Total Power Group
Relentless Ally since 2016
Renee Moore serves as business manager for Total Power Group (TPG).
Since joining TPG in 2016, Renee collaborates with all areas of the business to develop and implement consistent strategies. She maintains financial compliance and reporting accuracy while overseeing budgets for multiple projects from bid to completion.
Renee attended University of Mount Olive and received a bachelor of applied studies in accounting prior to earning a master of business administration (MBA). In her free time, Renee enjoys traveling, reading, baking, volunteering at her local animal shelter and spending time with her family and dogs.
Estimator, Total Power Group
Relentless Ally since 2013
In his role as estimator for Total Power Group (TPG), Gary Fields seeks opportunities to provide equipment and services to customers, builds relationships with clients and vendors while also generating business for the manufacturing facility.
Gary leads his TPG teammates to deliver on project materials, equipment and services while maintaining communication with the client. He provides a level of continuity with customers and lends his project knowledge and experience to his colleagues.
While not at work, Gary enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially while boating. He serves as a lifetime member of the United States Power Squadron, a boating safety organization, and combines his passion for music and the beach by playing guitar in a local beach music band.
General Manager, Total Power Group
Relentless Ally since 2016
Kevin Miller serves as general manager for Total Power Group (TPG) and oversees the manufacturing facility in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He leads business development and operations delivering traction power projects in major cities across the country as well as customized energy solutions with a high-level of flexibility and value to TPG customers.
After an extensive career in food processing manufacturing, Kevin joined TPG in 2016. Since that time, he has secured and delivered projects for major city transit authorities in New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Denver, Charlotte and Boston. TPG is currently working in tandem with Balfour Beatty’s rail division at the Caltrain Electrification project and Los Angeles World Airport’s (LAX) Automated People Mover (APM) project.
Kevin received his bachelor of science degree in accounting from Ball State University. He is a father of three and enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors.
Project Director, West
Relentless Ally since 2023
Jeff Jessamine serves as project director for Balfour Beatty’s civils business in the west region. He currently sits on Los Angeles World Airport’s (LAX) Automated People Mover (APM) project.
With over two decades of experience in the heavy civil market sector, Jeff has led many large-scale government infrastructure projects, including the largest consolidated rental car facility in the world to date at LAX and the Naval Station Pearl Harbor reconstruction.
Jeff holds a general engineering contractor’s license in California and is an accredited alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioner. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Forensic Expert Witness Association.
Accounting Manager, Total Power Group
Relentless Ally since 2017
Christine Poll serves as accounting manager for Total Power Group (TPG) with an additional focus on sales.
After an extensive career in healthcare administration, Christine joined TPG in 2017. She has grown in the company from project analyst to human resources administrator to project accountant prior to being named accounting manager.
Christine graduated from Fayetteville State University with a bachelor of science in business administration, with minors in economics and accounting. She is a proud wife to a retired combat Air Force veteran, mother of three daughters and grandmother to three. Christine enjoys spending time with her family, reading and occasionally line dancing.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Relentless Ally since 1993
Leveraging his nearly 30-year tenure with Balfour Beatty and his experience in nearly every facet of the company, Keith serves as senior vice president of operations for Balfour Beatty's rail operations.
In this critical role, Keith's mission is to ensure Balfour Beatty continuously improves safety practices across the company with the goal of achieving Zero Harm. He's passionate about creating a safe work environment for our workforce and the public, as well as reducing workplace injuries at Balfour Beatty and in the construction industry at large. Keith believes in supporting project teams through a servant leadership approach and helping teammates be successful not only in their projects but also in their personal and professional lives. He also leads the company’s sustainability efforts across the U.S.
Keith holds a bachelor's degree in construction science from Texas A&M University. He has served in numerous community and industry organizations, including the Texas Real Estate Council, Carson Leslie Foundation and 22Kill. He has also served on the boards of the Texas A&M Construction Industry Advisory Council and construction associations TEXO and AGC.
While not at work, Keith enjoys spending time with his children, road cycling, snow skiing and hiking.
Area Operations Manager, US Rail
Relentless Ally since 2012
Will Pfeffer provides solutions for Balfour Beatty rail clients in transportation, freight and industrial services as the area operations manager.
He leads a strategic team and manages resources to provide a high-level of customer service to the rail business while also developing relationships to attract new projects. Will is a problem-solving servant leader that enjoys providing a personalized experience for clients and for the growth of his teammates.
Will attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, commonly referred to as Cal Poly Pomona, and received a bachelor of science in construction engineering technology prior to earning a master of business administration (MBA). He is also a certified project management professional (PMP).
A life-long Southern Californian, Will enjoys camping and making the most of Disneyland Park passes with his three children.
Technical Director, US Rail
Relentless Ally since 1985
Roger Wilson brings his background as a civil engineer to serve as technical director for Balfour Beatty’s rail business.
Roger is a long-time Balfour Beatty teammate for the U.S. and the UK and is a project advisor on Los Angeles World Airport’s (LAX) Automated People Mover (APM) project. He served as the project manager for the first design-build highway project in the UK before moving to the U.S. Roger serves as an O&M board member for the Eagle P3 Commuter Rail.
While not at work, Roger enjoys skiing, golfing and hiking throughout Colorado and traveling to visit his four children.
Vice President, Risk Management, US Civils
Relentless Ally since 2019
Steve Williams is a problem-solving leader for Balfour Beatty’s civils business as the vice president of risk management. While promoting a culture of risk awareness, he supports complex projects and bid pursuits with the development of a corporate risk management policy, program and financial structure.
Steve plays an active role in providing solutions and context to the understanding of risks for Balfour Beatty teammates. He is passionate about integrating new technology into the risk methodologies of daily operations to create value through efficiency, safety and positive outcomes.
Although he began his career as a teacher, Steve’s broad perspective on risk management was born from his developmental work for companies across Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and the U.S. His efforts in leading mergers and acquisitions sparked the desire to continually utilize available technologies to overcome business obstacles.
In his free time, Steve enjoys cooking for his family, camping as well as watching college football and baseball. His love of music and travel combine in his occasional performances for a jazz and big band group that have played festivals and community concerts across North Texas, Italy and France, with plans to continue to play across Europe in the future.
Area Operations Manager, Southeast
Relentless Ally since 1999
Jay Boyd serves as the area operations manager for Balfour Beatty’s civils business in the southeast region. He brings several decades of extensive supervisory and hands-on experience in complex heavy civil and marine construction projects to the company.
Since joining Balfour Beatty in 1999, Jay has grown from a project manager to specializing in overseeing environmentally sensitive projects within budget and at the highest standards of safety, innovation and quality. He is a licensed tugboat captain, certified crane operator and an expert in working in offshore and coastal marine environments.
Chief Estimator, Southwest
Relentless Ally since 1996
Brian Ficzeri serves as the chief estimator for Balfour Beatty’s civils business in the southwest region, overseeing the estimating of all highways and bridges projects across Texas.
Brian joined Balfour Beatty in 1996 after college graduation and participated in the management of large highway projects throughout the Houston area prior to joining the estimating team in 2010. Brian has assisted in multiple winning design build joint venture pursuits in Dallas (Dallas Horseshoe, The Southern Gateway and I-635 East) as well as Austin (U.S. 183 South and Oak Hill Parkway).
Brian graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor of science in civil engineering. Brian is a father of two and loves to spend time with his family. When not at work, Brian enjoys sports, working in the yard and home improvement projects.
Operations Manager Special Projects, Southeast
Relentless Ally since 1999
Keith Nixon leads alternative delivery efforts for Balfour Beatty’s civils southeast region. He is passionately focused on effectively delivering innovative projects with an emphasis on safety, quality and timeliness.
Since joining Balfour Beatty in 1999, Keith continues to cultivate and utilize decades of industry experience spanning all aspects of project delivery. He serves as the client's single point of contact and is responsible for all planning, design, construction and contractual matters. Keith’s expertise plays a key role in developing and implementing the region’s strategic business plans and covers various contract types, including design-build, progressive design-build and CM-GC.
Keith is a graduate of Robert Gordon University in Scotland where he received a Bachelor of Science in quantity surveying. He is a Designated Design-Build Professional (DBIA) and a member of the Carolinas Association of General Contractors (CAGC).
Vice President, National Business Acquisition
Relentless Ally since 2008
Sarah Brand serves as vice president of national business acquisition for Balfour Beatty’s national operations where she is responsible for the development and support of strategic pursuits, with a focus on Federal acquisition with other teams. Sarah also supports Public-Private Partnership (P3) programs with the company's Buildings and Investments operations, and she is active in researching U.S. Rail opportunities and partnerships within existing Balfour Beatty geographies.
Since starting her career at Balfour Beatty in 2008, Sarah has successfully led the planning, design integration, and delivery efforts for various civic and social projects partnering with a range of clients from private developers to federal government entities. She has also guided project teams through the successful execution of design-build or team-based delivery methods and played an integral role in the pursuit and delivery of many high-profile projects including the National Science Foundation Headquarters, the Utah Data Center (USACE) and the $700 million design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) Joint Government Center in Broward County, Florida
Sarah is a graduate of Duke University where she received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with an emphasis on structures and a certificate in architectural engineering. She is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Virginia, a certified Core Clarity instructor, Designated Design-Build Professional (DBIA), and LEED® Accredited Professional.
In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, reading and fishing as well as spending time with her husband and two children.
Vice President, Human Resources, US Civils
Relentless Ally since 2000
Sonya Roberts is vice present of human resources, overseeing human resources functions for Balfour Beatty's U.S. Civils operations. Additionally she serves on the Civils executive leadership team as well as Balfour Beatty's national human resources leadership team.
Sonya joined Balfour Beatty in 2000 as a generalist and human resources partner for Balfour Beatty’s Civils and Rail businesses, having responsibility for all human resources-related services for nearly 4,000 staff and craft employees. Since then, she has served in various human resource roles with progressively more responsibility overseeing efforts that have resulted in more effective and streamlined workflow processes, technology automation and acquisition due diligence.
As a steward of the company’s people-first culture, she has also championed national initiatives to improve diversity, inclusion, pay equity, allyship, mentorship and rewards at Balfour Beatty.
Sonya is a passionate community service leader where she serves as a member of various nonprofit, professional and civic organizations including Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.’s North Atlanta Chapter, American Businesswomen’s Association (ABWA), Junior League of Atlanta, Shared Hope International and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
She is a graduate of South Carolina State University from which she earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology.