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ENR Mountain State’s Top 20 Under 40

These young professionals have earned the respect of their peers and the industry by taking on responsibility and leadership roles within their firms and contributing to the growth and health of the industry

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A key feature of this first regional edition of the new ENR Mountain States is our annual “Top 20 Under 40.” It offers brief profiles of some of the region’s most innovative and successful young professionals. All of these people were nominated by you, our readers, because you believe them to be among the best young talent working in the industry today.

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And we agree.

But we did not make the final selections on our own. Twelve judges were asked to select 20 professionals under the age of 40 from the nominees based on their contributions to the industry and their communities.

Judging criteria also included achievement of/or progress toward industry certifications, including professional licensure or LEED AP, and significant success in creating new systems, processes or landmark regional projects.


The Intermountain-area judges were: John Sparano, president, AIA Utah; Amy Mayberry, owner, Company AP, Top 20 Under 40 2010 alumna; Dustin Chapman, project engineer, Kier Construction Corp., Top 20 Under 40 2010 alumnus; Alan Rindlisbacher, director of corporate marketing, The Layton Cos.; Chris Hipwell, executive director, ABC Utah; and Scott Pettit, principal, BHB Consulting Engineers.

The Colorado/Wyoming-area judges were: Dustin Liljehorn, senior project manager, JE Dunn Construction, Top 20 Under 40 alumnus; Jessie Jones, director of sustainable services, The RMH Group, Top 20 Under 40 alumna; Cathy Rock, chair, Construction Department, Red Rocks Community College; Liz Couture, executive director, CITC; Mary Morissette, senior architect, Leo A Daly; and Deb Kleinman, executive director, USGBC Colorado.

Here are the winners—20 of the brightest young professionals working in the Mountain States industry today.

“The industry is just starting to examine lessons learned from existing net-zero-energy buildings.”
— Renée Azerbegi, 35, President, Ambient Energy
Renée Azerbegi

Renée Azerbegi
Her passion for sustainability drives a successful green-consulting firm
35, President
Ambient Energy

Renée Azerbegi started one of the first consulting firms in Colorado to offer energy-efficiency modeling. She has 13 years of experience in green-rating systems, life-cycle costing, renewable energy and mechanical design. Her volunteer commitments to green building have ranged from co-chairing Greening USGBC’s GreenBuild Committee to serving as 2004 president of Colorado Renewable Energy.


John Boknecht

John Boknecht
Builds safety-conscious project teams on small and large jobs
30, Project Manager
Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
Salt Lake City

John Boknecht came to Utah as a project manager on the Utah Transit Authority Airport Light Rail expansion of TRAX. He was on board at the 30% design level on the CM/GC project and worked with designers through 100% design to enhance value engineering, scheduling and community outreach.


Spencer Bradley

Spencer Bradley
Participated in several levels of management, leadership training
30, Chief Estimator
Wadman Corp.
Ogden, Utah

Spencer Bradley began his construction career as a laborer in May 1998 while going to school. At age 22, he created and now manages an estimating department that has helped Wadman grow to 100 employees and contributed to record construction revenues.

Under his leadership, estimators recently won bids for several large mountain resort projects.


Kurtis D. Dallinga

Kurtis D. Dallinga
Applied his passion for live music to designing new acoustics systems
35, Associate Principal
Spectrum Engineers
Salt Lake City

Kurt Dallinga began his career as an acoustical engineer by designing low-voltage systems, including voice and data cabling/infrastructure, and now focuses on the interplay of technology within different acoustical environments.

He frequently presents papers on acoustics to industry associations and owners and has conducted training seminars for AIA credit.


David Daniel

David Daniel
Strives to ensure that the region’s future is rooted in great design
39, Associate
Davis Partnership Architects

David Daniel leads teams of architects, interior designers, landscape architects and engineering consultants on large-scale mixed-use projects.

He was chosen as AIA Denver’s Young Architect of the Year and chaired the association’s Urban Design Committee for eight years. He has also served as the executive producer and fundraiser for a nationally released documentary about the need for excellence in transit-oriented development.

“Finding the right intersection between what is possible and what is appropriate holds the most exciting promise for our industry’s future,” Daniel says.


Cameron Donegan

Cameron Donegan
Searches for new ways owners and architects can utilize BIM
26, Virtual Construction Manager
Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Aurora, Colo.

Cameron Donegan has drastically changed A&P’s building information modeling processes. Through his philosophy of using BIM as a key building tool, the company has saved on risk, schedule and overall costs on over 21 projects. He is A&P’s go-to person for in-house BIM training and implementation.


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