Generation Next: 2014
Six Professionals Under 40 Who Will Lead the Wall and Ceiling Industry in the 21st Century
Baker Triangle | Cedar Park, Texas | Vice President | 36
Coming from a family who immigrated to the U.S., Montoya feels that he has been given a chance that many people in our world do not have.
“From the time that I was old enough to help around the house, I knew that work was important,” says Montoya.
Montoya earned an Associate of Science Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting from Hi-Tech Institute in Phoenix. After graduation, he went on to work as an entry-level CAD operator to design steel frame homes and prefab trusses for Pioneer Residential Steel, which soon after became USA Frametek.
Montoya began working for Baker in 2001 as an estimator, moved into project managing about five years later and then became vice president in 2010.
Baker Triangle specializes in exterior and interior metal stud framing, drywall, insulation, acoustical ceilings, act wall panels, metal/wood ceilings, pre-fab exterior and interior walls, EIFS and stucco.
The company is currently working on a load bearing hospital where they are prefabricating the exterior walls with the exterior finish. They are also working on some higher education buildings, office buildings, pharmaceutical work and multiple interior office renovations.
“To this date, I am a firm believer that all your rewards are met through hard work and dedication,” Montoya says. “Everything should be earned, not handed to you. Coming from a family that taught me not to be afraid to work and take on extra work, I think this is one of the reasons why I am where I am today.”
OCP Contractors | Cleveland | Chief Estimator | 38
Exl’s introduction to the contracting business started with the construction of the new Cleveland Browns stadium in 1998. As a project engineer, he watched the stadium take shape, and he was an integral part of production tracking and change management. In 2004, Exl was recruited by Ed Sellers, now president of OCP, to help start the Cleveland office as chief estimator.
OCP Contractors is one of the largest framing/interiors contractors in Ohio. The company’s services include framing, insulation/drywall, acoustical ceilings, carpentry, plaster/EIFS, spray fireproofing and doors/frames.
“When we receive a set of drawings from a customer it’s really just ‘on paper’ until we start to give it life,” says Exl. “Getting a preliminary set of drawings for a job and working with customers to develop a scope and budget, then seeing the job through to completion is not only interesting but rewarding.”
Recent jobs include the expansion of the Cleveland Museum of Art, East Bank Flats 24 story tower, Goodyear World Headquarters, Southwest General Hospital and St. John Medical Center.
“OCP is a great company at what they do because they listen to the customer, as well as research techniques and technology that may not even be available in our market and make it available to our customers,” Exl says. “As the chief estimator, it is part of my job to excel in the knowledge not only of the foundation of the process, but also in the newest processes available for the benefit of the client, the schedule and the budget.”
F. Richard Wilton Jr. Inc. | Ashland, Va. | Vice President | 26
Established in 1953, F. Richard Wilton Jr. Inc. is a privately held, second-generation commercial contracting firm. The company has been an innovator in the wall and ceiling industry since its founding. In the state of Virginia, the firm performed the first EIFS application using a Dryvit finish system, the first thin coast plaster installation, the first metal stud and drywall partition, the first prefabricated panel shop and the first installation of demountable partitions.
Brannan, grandson of Mr. Wilton, has been employed with the firm as an estimator and project manager since 2009 after graduating with a bachelor of science in Building Construction from Auburn University. He earned the LEED AP BD+C credential in 2013. Brannan was also promoted to vice president in 2013 and is on the executive board of the Richmond District of Associated General Contractors of Virginia, and serves as chairman of its Young Leaders committee. He is also involved in HELP Charities Inc. and the Richmond Ducks Unlimited chapter.
Currently, the company is working on renovations to the University of Richmond Robins Center, an expansion for Covenant Woods, master plans for Philip Morris USA Manufacturing Center and work for the Virginia Commonwealth University Learning Center.
“Every job is unique in its own right,” Brannan says. “To me, it is interesting just to see black and white plans turn into a completed project and to see all of the individual skill sets it takes to complete a project.”
Garrett D. Vap
South Valley Drywall Inc. | Littleton, Colo. | Senior Vice President/Residential Division Manager | 32
Vap started with South Valley Drywall by working in the field learning to install, finish, texture and patch drywall. He then worked his way up through the sales department and is now running the company’s residential division.
“Our division specializes in custom homes, semi-custom homes, tract homes, basements, remodels and additions,” says Vap. “We also have a full service patch department and a full service commercial division.”
South Valley Drywall Inc. has more than 220 employees and has been in the business for 38 years. The company also offers Level 5 finish and high-end detail work.
Vap says that his favorite part of a job is that “the client has a vision to create and differentiate the project from others like it. This brings a unique experience to the project and allows us to help them achieve their vision.”
“We stop and listen to our clients,” Vap says. “We meet with our team to come up with a plan to overcome these challenges. Then we implement the plan. In order to create consistency we dedicate specific teams to the type of work we do. This has allowed us to deliver a more consistent product to our clients.”
Expert Construction Inc. | Cleveland | President | 36
Expert Construction Inc. has been in the business for 15 years, and focuses on metal studs (heavy and light gauge), drywall and acoustical ceilings. Kazak got his start working as a foreman for a family company. He founded Expert Construction in 1999 and six years later decided to focus strictly on commercial work.
“The most interesting aspect of a job for me would have to be learning something new, especially anything to do with architecture or engineering,” says Kazak. “I like to figure out why things are done a certain way, the engineering behind something, or a better, more efficient way to do something.”
The company is currently working on projects for Heartland Nursing Home, Samaritan Hospital, Vera Bradley, Nestle headquarters, Affinity Hospital and the Portico Plaza in Orrville.
“I’m very fortunate to have great people around me, including my brother Ken who is VP in charge of sales/estimating and running the office,” Kazak says. “They themselves overcome most things that might otherwise be my challenges. I’m constantly surprised at how well our guys are able to handle situations better than I could.”
Kazak says that 2014 will be another successful year for the company. Some of the current projects they are working on will last well into the rest of the year, and they have already had to turn down a few projects.
“We keep a steady work flow,” says Kazak. “We work very hard to make sure our guys always have work, but not so much work that we have to hire and lay-off individual projects. We always set our revenue goals prior to the start of the year, and regularly turn down additional work in order to give each project the attention it deserves.”
Tom Sass Drywall | Norton Shores, Mich. Owner | 39
Tom Sass Drywall focuses on drywall hanging and finishing for residential and commercial applications. The type of drywall ranges from small insurance patch work to high end custom homes.
“A few years ago I started painting the homes I was drywalling,” says Sass. “Which has proven to be a very good niche for my company. We not only paint interiors, but we’re doing exteriors as well.”
The company’s specialty is finishing. As a third-generation drywaller, Sass has a wealth of knowledge from two generations before him.
“The crazy thing is that I still learn something new every day,” Sass says. “I started working with my dad when I was five. He was a second-generation drywaller, which he learned from my great uncle. I didn’t go full time until I was 18. I worked with my dad and brothers until he passed away three years ago. Which is when I started my company.”
Sass enjoys custom hand painting and custom drywall finishes that he creates.
“I love doing decorative drywall,” says Sass. “It’s the one time where you can express your pride and passion with the talents that took you a lifetime to learn. Plus, it’s a great way to break up the monotony of doing ‘normal’ finishing jobs. My dream would be to do this full time. It’s really neat to see how an idea or picture in your head comes to life by just moving your arms.”
Currently, the company is booked through summer, and have already started scheduling jobs for the fall.
“It’s great to have a company that’s based solely on referrals,” Sass says. “People are willing to wait for us, and we’re willing to give them the best possible job that we know how.”