Leadership

Learn more about the employee owners that lead Messer Construction Co.

Nick Apanius

Health Care Vice President, LEED®-AP

As health care vice president, Nick lead's Messer's Health Care Division and is focused on improving our services to the health care industry. Nick has more than 14 years of construction project management experience and serves as the company's in-house expert and consultant on health care construction and Integrated Project Delivery. He began his career at Messer in 1999, serving as senior project manager before being promoted to project executive, and later health care vice president. Project experience includes the Christ Hospital Cardiovascular Center, Barr Laboratories Lab Renovation and the Dearborn County Hospital Parking Garage/Patient Tower Expansion. In 2008 Nick earned LEED accreditation from the Green Building Certification Institute, making him a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP.)

C. Allen Begley, Jr.

Senior Vice President

Allen began his career with Messer in 1973 and holds an associate’s degree in accounting from the Southwestern College of Business. For the past 40 years he has served in a variety of roles with diverse and progressively elevated responsibilities within Operations. In 1999, Allen was appointed to Dayton region leader where he has been responsible for providing leadership and supporting project performance for the entire region. Under Allen’s leadership, Messer’s $75 million Schuster Performing Arts Center project was awarded a 2003 Build America Award by the Associated General Contractors of America - the construction industry’s highest honor. In 2014, he added executive oversite of the Knoxville and Nashville regions to his responsibilities. Allen is affiliated with many professional and community organizations, including the University of Dayton School of Engineering’s Advisory Council, the AGC Open Shop Committee, the City of Hamilton’s Green Committee, and the American Heart Society of Dayton. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Culture Works, the Better Business Bureau and the Dayton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Steven M. Bestard

Vice President

Steve began his career with Messer in 1992, after receiving a B.S. in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University in 1991. A registered engineer in Ohio and Indiana, his project leadership experience includes hospitals, religious facilities, entertainment projects, laboratories, multi-family housing, government facilities, parking structures, retail facilities, industrial facilities, distribution centers and office buildings. Steve currently serves as Vice President of the Indianapolis region, and has provided executive support on more than $100 million annually in Indianapolis region construction projects. He serves in various roles for the Construction Engineering and Management Advisory Board at Purdue, as well as on the board of ACE Indiana and as a board member and VP of Properties Crossroads Council for the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he is a diversity mentor for the Indiana Construction Roundtable and a Scholarship Committee member of the Indiana Subcontractors Association. He is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Class of 2009.

J. Steve Eder

Vice President

A University of Cincinnati graduate with a B.S. in Construction Management, Steve joined Messer in 1979. His work over the years includes three Build Ohio award-winning projects: UCMC Critical Care Pavilion, U.C. Mainstreet and Xavier University. His complex campus projects include Cincinnati Financial Corporation, West Chester Hospital, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Mercy Health Partners. He was appointed VP and GM in 2012 and provides leadership for Cincinnati operations and performance. Steve is actively engaged in the community and was honored by Smart Business Magazine in 2012 with a Pillar Award for Community Service – Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year, which recognizes his service with the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky chapter of Junior Achievement OKI Partners Inc., where he has volunteered in the classroom for more than 10 years and serves as board chairman. In 2013, Steve was awarded the Junior Achievement National Gold Leadership Award. He is also a supporter of DePaul Cristo Rey High School, Boy Scouts, Lower Price Hill Community School, Little Sisters of the Poor, Mercy Franciscans St. John, Ronald McDonald House, St. Elizabeth Health Center, and Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.  

Mark R. Gillming

Senior Vice President

Mark began his career with Messer in 1985 after several years as a co-op student. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1985 with a B.S. in Construction Management. He also received an A.S. in Architectural Technology from the University of Cincinnati in 1983. In 1995, Mark received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Cincinnati, and in 2000 he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Cincinnati College of Applied Science. Mark has extensive health care project experience along with public and educational project experience. He resides in Messer’s Cincinnati region and leads operations in the southern regions. Under his leadership, the Louisville region has received the Kentuckiana Minority Business Council’s “Corporation of the Year” award in six consecutive years (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) for meeting high standards in identifying and utilizing community minority firms. Mark is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky and in 2008 began a three-year term on the Leadership Kentucky Board.

Richard A. Hensley

Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Rick joined Messer Construction Co. in 2009, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience in information technology leadership, business and systems planning, and process improvement. Rick graduated cum laude from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Analysis. He is past president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Association for Systems Management, has served as a member of Miami University’s Business Information Systems Advisory Council, and recently served on Miami University’s Advisory Council for the Department of Computer Science and Systems Analysis. He is a member of City Gospel Mission’s Green Recycling Works board and has leadership roles in Crossroads Community Church First Impressions and Community Groups.

James R. Hess

Senior Vice President, LEED®-AP

Jim began his career with Messer in 1979. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Cincinnati in 1979. He also received an M.B.A. in Operations Management from the University of Cincinnati in 1987. In 1994, Jim was appointed region leader and general manager of the Columbus region which resulted in significant growth. Under his leadership the region was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of Amercia (AGC) for a 2004 Build Ohio Award and a 2005 Build America Award for the Ohio Judicial Center, home of the Ohio Supreme Court. Jim is currently serving as the onsite executive in charge of the North Residential District Transformation project at The Ohio State University. He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio and a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, and is affiliated with the ACG, The Builders Exchange of Central Ohio and several community-based non-profit organizations, including the Delaware Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America Simon Kenton Council and the United Way of Central Ohio.

E. Paul Hitter, Jr.

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Paul began his career with Messer in 1985. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Xavier University in 1983 and an M.B.A. from Northern Kentucky University in 1991. He was promoted to Controller in 1996 and Chief Financial Officer in 2010. He is responsible for overseeing all Messer’s financial affairs including expenditures and finances. He currently serves on the Boards of Every Child Succeeds, Urban Appalachian Council, Little Miami, Inc. and the TriCounty Economic Development Foundation. He serves on the Xavier University College of Management Advisory Board. Paul is a graduate of Leadership Northern Kentucky and Leadership Cincinnati Class XXXI. 

Stephen L. Keckeis

Vice President

Steve began his career with Messer in 1982. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1982 with a B.S. in Construction Management. He also received an A.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1981. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Cincinnati in 1995. He has diverse project leadership experience, which includes airports, correctional facilities, medical facilities, recreational facilities, casinos, office buildings, government buildings, and parking garages. In addition, Steve has extensive experience with educational facilities, having lead and completed several projects ranging from K-12 and university-level facilities. He is involved with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind where he has and still serves as a building committee member as well as a member of the Board of Trustees. Steve recently relocated to Charlotte, NC to run this region.

Thomas M. Keckeis

President and Chief Executive Officer

Tom began his career with Messer in 1977 as a field engineer, shortly after graduating with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Throughout Tom’s career at Messer, he has delivered results in all phases of construction operations. On Jan. 1, 2005, Messer’s board of directors elected him president and chief operating officer. Five years later, he was elected chief executive officer. Tom has provided executive direction on several significant projects, including the Aronoff Center for the Arts and the renovation of the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal (both in Cincinnati). He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio and is affiliated with the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT). In the spring of 2012, he was honored by the University of Kentucky College of Engineering with a Construction Management Founders Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom is a board member and past chair of the Greater Cincinnati YMCA. He also serves on the board for Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park, where he leads the corporate giving committee, as well as a committee member for the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee and on the 2014 Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Board.

William S. Krausen

Professional Development Vice President

Bill began his career with Messer in 1982. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1982 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. In 1994, post serving as estimator and chief estimator, Bill accepted the responsibility of director of professional development. In 1999, Bill was appointed vice president and currently leads Messer’s company-wide professional development initiatives, which focus on attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining employees for the long-term. Bill also serves on several education committees for the AGC of America, the President’s Council for the Boy Scouts of America and the University of Cincinnati Construction Innovation Center. In 2001, Bill received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

Thomas M. Lampe

Vice President

Tom leads Messer's Nashville region and operations and has more than 20 years of construction industry experience. He joined the company in 1991 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in civil engineering, and has continually taken on new roles with increasing levels of responsibility throughout his tenure. He most recently served as project development vice president, where he provided leadership and strategic counsel to business development team members in each of Messer’s nine regions. He was instrumental in the opening of Messer’s Nashville office in 2006 and has stayed plugged in to the company’s operations there ever since. He has extensive construction industry experience in the areas of preconstruction, planning, programming, value engineering, estimating and project management in the medical, research, housing, manufacturing and educational facilities. Tom is active in the community, serving most recently as chair of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science Alumni Board, as well as vice chair for Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. 

Mark S. Luegering

Senior Vice President

Mark began his career with Messer in 1983 after co-oping for four years. Mark received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1983. Upon graduation, he was assigned as quality assurance engineer on a major project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since then, he has progressed through increasing levels of responsibility including leading and developing Messer's presence in the Lexington and Louisville regions before returning to the Cincinnati region as a Senior Project Executive. Mark currently provides leadership for project operations and performance in Messer’s northern regions. He serves on the boards of ReSource, Allied Construction Industries, the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering Alumni Association, and the development and facilities committee for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he serves as the current president and board member of the Spirit of Construction Foundation.

John Megibben

Vice President

John joined Messer in 1993, after graduating from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering. Throughout his career, he has specialized in fast-track, multi-phased and renovation work. In November 2013, John was promoted to vice president and region leader for Messer’s Louisville region, where he provides leadership for project sales, operations and performance. He is well-versed in construction management for health care, higher education, religious, parking, industrial, and airport-related projects. Over the course of his Messer career, he has been associated with five projects that have won Build Kentucky Awards. He was selected to participate in Ignite Louisville (2005), Leadership Louisville (’07) and was named by Business First as one of the most influential health care business leaders in Greater Louisville (’08), citing his work on the $200 million Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Simon Family Tower – Messer’s first project to use Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). John is active in the community and serves on the boards of Family Scholar House, Uspiritus and the Competitive Council for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Matthew E. Monnin

Business Development Vice President

Matt began his career with Messer in 1994 as a co-op, before being hired full-time as a project engineer in 1997. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil & environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in business administration from Capital University. Matt provides leadership and strategic counsel to business development team members in each of Messer’s nine regions. He has a wide range of experience with Messer, including cost planning and estimating, construction project management and business development leadership in Columbus and the company's northern regions. His leadership and knowledge of the industry is evidenced by Messer's growth in the Columbus region. Matt serves on the board of directors of A Kid Again and on the campaign committee for the Comprehensive Transplant Center at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.

Alex Munoz

Vice President, Safety and Risk Management

Alex began his career with Messer in 2012, bringing with him more than 18 years of construction risk management and operations experience. Alex manages all types of risk for the company, including enterprise, strategic, project, and financial risk. He is responsible for creating and instilling a risk management culture across the company that provides leadership with the knowledge to identify and understand risk and how to control and mitigate it. Alex is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds an MBA from Franklin University.

Brooks A. Parker

Craft Force Development Vice President

Brooks began his career with Messer in 1975 as a journeyman carpenter. He quickly progressed and was promoted to carpenter foreman, field superintendent, and to project manager in 1995. Brooks has proven project experience on numerous projects including religious facilities, office buildings, hospitals, parking facilities, entertainment facilities and industrial facilities. Brooks holds certifications in Mobile Crane Inspection, Mobile Crane Operations (NCCCO), Tower Crane Operations (NCCCO), Master Trainer (NCCER), and ACI Concrete Flatwork Finisher & Technician. He is on the Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development advisory committee along with the Woodward Career Technical advisory council. He completed all 10 supervisory programs through the Associated General Contractors of America in 1991. 

Karen Pawsat

Benefits & Compensation Vice President

Karen joined Messer in the summer of 2013 to lead the Benefits & Compensation Department, bringing more than 14 years of experience in the employee benefits field. Karen graduated cum laude from the University of Cincinnati’s Business Administration program, and she has achieved Franklin Covey leadership accreditation as well as HIPAA certification. Outside of work, Karen serves on the board of Redwood, a Northern Kentucky non-profit that provides educational, therapeutic and vocational services to children and adults with severe and multiple disabilities.

William E. Rutz

Vice President

Bill began his career with Messer in 1972 after co-oping with Messer for one year. He received an A.S. in Building Construction from the University of Cincinnati where he graduated with high honors in 1972. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science in 1998. During more than three decades with the company, he has progressed through increasing levels of responsibility in operations. Bill provides executive leadership in the areas of Messer’s self-performance Craftforce, Equipment Rental Division, Employee Benefits and Professional Development. He also serves as Messer’s Corporate Secretary, EEO Officer, Code of Business Ethics & Business Conduct Compliance Officer, as well as a Trustee on the Messer Hourly Employee Retirement Plan committee and Messer Health Care committee. He serves on the advisory board of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College’s Civil Engineering program, the Great Oaks Council industry advisory committee, the Cintas Institute for Ethics Advisory Board and is a member of the National Construction Industry Ethics & Compliance Initiative.

Timothy J. Steigerwald

Senior Vice President, LEED®-GA

Tim began his career with Messer in 1988 after co-oping for several years. He received his B.S. in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University in 1987 and his M.B.A from Xavier University in 1993. Tim is a senior vice president, responsible for Project Development. Tim brings nearly 30 years of experience at all levels of project leadership. Tim is on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, the Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety, the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) National Diversity Committee, and on the Steering Committee for the Indiana Construction Roundtable (ICR). Tim serves as President on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Peter S. Strange

Chairman Emeritus, Messer, Inc.

Pete began his full-time career with Messer in 1972 after four years of co-oping. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1972. In 1989, he led negotiations resulting in the purchase of all outstanding Messer stock by management and employees. In January 1990, at the completion of the buyout transaction, he was named president and chief executive officer. Effective January 1, 2005, Messer’s board of directors elected Pete chairman and chief executive officer. In 2010, Pete transitioned to Chairman of Messer, Inc. Pete continues to be engaged daily at Messer. His present focus is on expanding Messer’s value and depth. He is active in the community serving on the boards of various organizations including The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and ArtsWave. His professional service focuses upon education, workforce development and innovation. Pete serves as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Cleveland, Cincinnati Branch and on the Board of Directors of Construction Software Technology.

Bernard P. Suer

Senior Vice President

Bernie began his career with Messer in 1978 after co-oping at the company while earning his degree in civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati. The first part of his career was managing large construction programs at Mercy Anderson, The Christ Hospital, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In 1994, Bernie was promoted to Senior Vice President in charge of business development where he focused on developing Messer as an organization that delivers successful regional expansion and leadership in health care construction. In 2010, Bernie transitioned to leading relationships with corporate and health care clients. Bernie is on the Purcell Marian High School Board, member of Norwood Board of Zoning Appeals, Hamilton County Board of Building Standards, and a board member for the College of Mount St. Joseph.

Timothy C. Toft

Building Systems Group Vice President

Tim began his career with Messer in 1986. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati College of Applied Science in 1986. He is responsible for preconstruction and mechanical/electrical engineering coordination and supervision. His project experience encompasses almost every project type Messer has completed. 

Matthew R. Verst

Director of Cost Planning & Estimating

Matt began his career at Messer in 2000 and served as Senior Estimator before being promoted to Principal Estimator. In his current role as Director of Cost Planning & Estimating, he is responsible for leading and developing Messer’s estimating department. He is also responsible for leading the overall preconstruction process, developing cost estimates, guaranteed maximum prices, constructability reviews, value analysis, preliminary schedules, and phasing plans by coordinating the efforts of Messer’s in-house estimating, scheduling, and engineering departments. He serves on the board of directors for Holly Hill Children’s Services.

Robert E. Verst, Jr.

Vice President

 

Rob began his career with Messer in 1987 after co-oping for three years. He graduated with a B.S. in Construction Management from Northern Kentucky University in 1987. He also obtained an A.S. in Construction Management from Northern Kentucky University in 1986. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Buckeye Ranch. His experience includes office buildings, power plants, recreational facilities, medical facilities, educational buildings, commercial facilities and trade contractor coordination. Rob currently serves as region leader and general manager of Messer’s Columbus region.

Kristin M. Wainscott

Accounting Vice President

Kris began her career with Messer in 1989. She is responsible for overseeing all financial and cost accounting functions for the company. Kris received a B.A. in Accounting from Wilmington College in 2009 and an A.S. in Accounting from Cincinnati State Community and Technical College in 2001.

Thomas K. Wall

Rental Division Vice President

Tom has joined Messer as Rental Division Vice President in February, 2011. He brings over 30 years of management experience in the equipment rental and construction material supply operations with demonstrated success in areas of logistics management, marketing, sales management, asset control processes, and internal/external customer service.

Robert L. Williams

Vice President, LEED®-AP

Bob began his career with Messer in 1991 as a project engineer. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Construction Engineering in 1991. He received an M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1997. Bob is also a LEED Accredited Professional (from the U.S. Green Building Council) and is a registered professional engineer in Kentucky. His project experience includes award-winning courthouses, library, educational, manufacturing, multi-unit housing, post office, retail, parking, religious and medical facilities. He is a graduate of the Executive Professional Engineer Leadership Program and is an advisory board member of the Salvation Army, Lexington, KY. He is also a member of the University of Kentucky Construction Engineering and Management Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for both the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County and Bluegrass Tomorrow. Bob provides leadership for project operations and performance in the Lexington region.

Stanford T. Williams, Jr.

Economic Inclusion Vice President

Stanford joined Messer in 2005 as Director of Economic Inclusion. He was promoted to Economic Inclusion Vice President in 2008 and is an officer of the company. He received a B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, from Curry College in 1984 and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Howard University in 1986. He currently leads Messer’s Economic Inclusion program across the entire company. In this role, he develops relationships and partnerships with certified minority and women-owned businesses that can lead to economic opportunities, such as project work and joint venture opportunities. Additionally, Stanford is charged with finding minority and women candidates who have a desire to work in both the craft workforce as well as the administrative/corporate offices of Messer. Under his leadership, Messer has been awarded the 2010 Greater Dayton Workforce Diversity Award, the 2011 Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Accelerator, Corporation of the Year Award, the 2012 Spirit of Diversity, Healthcare Supplier of the Year Award, the 2012 Belk Diversity Award and from 2005-2012, the Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council, Corporation of the Year Award. 

Tiffany D. Witham

Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications

Tiffany has been with Messer since 2008 and leads marketing strategy, execution and branding for the company. She received her B.S. in Marketing from Morehead State University. In recognition of her career achievements and leadership, she was chosen as a YWCA Rising Star in 2008, has been nominated for the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “40 under 40”, and is currently in the 2010 Women Excel Class with the Cincinnati Chamber.