Meet the Contributors
Aaron has more than 12 years of experience in commercial interior design. He oversees space planning, plan design elements, interior finishes and prepares floor plans and perspective drawings for projects. As a LEED AP, he is fully involved throughout the project in planning sustainability efforts and LEED Certification. His project experience includes Starbucks, Nestlé Product Technology Center, Food Lion, and Wegman’s, among others.
Andy Sapin, P.E., S.E
Andy has more than 30 years of experience in engineering and construction of commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings. He is responsible for the development and management of project design scheduling in addition to ensuring conformity with structural code and permitting requirements. He has managed projects for Nestle USA, Smithfield Foods, Starbucks Coffee Company, Schreiber Foods Inc., General Mills, and other large corporations.
Brad has over seven years of experience with Stellar in all phases of industrial construction. His responsibilities include coordination of all issues pertaining to budgets, schedules, quality control and site management. He also oversees material procurement and site delivery, project logs, submittals, progress reports, quality assurance/control, field inspections and safety issues. His project experience includes DOT Foods, Food Lion, Nestlé, Sysco and many others.
Brad oversees a number of areas of The Fricks Company including field operations, project management, contract negotiations, overseeing estimating department, business development, safety, and quality control. The Fricks Company constructs Industrial Concrete Floors for Food Distribution Centers, Food Cold Storage Facilities, Food Processing Plants and Manufacturing Plants.
Brad has more than six years experience in the construction field in the food and beverage, distribution and industrial markets including international experience working in China. His responsibilities include construction and design scheduling, coordination, material procurement, project estimating and hiring of subcontractors. He has worked on projects for H.J. Heinz in Guangzhou, Guangdong and Heinz China in Shanghai, PRC. He has worked on a number of projects in the U.S. including Heinz, Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Starbucks.
Brandon has more than 18 years of experience of industrial design. At Stellar, Brandon is responsible for executing all packaged solutions and pre-fabrication refrigeration projects including pricing, proposals, project management, engineering, procurement, schedule, budget and quality.
Brian has over 15 years of experience with Stellar in the food and beverage industry. His responsibilities include overseeing all business relationships, project development, and execution of projects in the prepared foods, sliced meats, poultry, dairy and beverage industries. He oversees all global food & beverage operations including US, Canada, Mexico, and China. His staff consists of experienced project managers, project developers, industrial process engineers and packaging engineers who have a collective total of over 100 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He has worked on projects for General Mills, Heinz, Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Starbucks, among others.
Christine has more than 10 years of experience managing all phases of website development for digital PSM customers. Her responsibilities include the development of PSM management software to assist clients with document storage and tracking, preventive maintenance of ammonia process equipment and online training. Christine also ensures all documentation is posted to the client’s satisfaction, develops end-user procedures relative to the website, trains clients on the use of the web site, maintains client contact to ensure documentation remains current and resolves issues in a timely manner. She has managed PSM projects for Food Lion, Heinz, Johnsonville Sausage, Keystone Foods, and Smithfield Foods, among others.
Christopher has over eight years of construction related experience. He is responsible for overall project safety, creating and monitoring project-specific safety plans, confirming adherence to the Corporate Safety and Health Program and the behavioral based safety initiative. Chris enforces OSHA compliance and conducts weekly mandatory safety training for all on-site construction staff.
Chuck is president of CRT Design and Engineering Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida. He has over 30 years of experience in the design, construction and maintenance of large scale industrial refrigeration systems with specific expertise in natural refrigerants (NH3 and CO2), hygienic food plant HVAC systems, packaged solutions and synthetic refrigerant mitigation. Chuck has worked on projects for Campbell’s Foods, Keystone Foods, Smithfield Foods, Tropicana, Sara Lee Foods, Nestlé and many others.
Clint has over 14 years of accounting and financial experience in construction, development and real estate throughout the commercial, hospitality, institutional and residential marketplace. His responsibilities include analyzing, tracking and managing overall financial performance of Stellar, in addition to facilitating the company’s financial and legal strategies for international growth and future technology strategies. He has worked on a large number of Stellar’s projects providing business development and planning assistance for project financing, leasing and payment options.
Cord has over five years of experience in the Packaging Engineering and Development Field with Consumer Packaging Goods companies.
Dale has over 28 years experience in the industrial refrigeration and mechanical fields, including service, maintenance and installations. His responsibilities include managing all parts and services for refrigeration services in the Eastern United States, including seven maintenance, parts and operations offices and two compressor reconditioning facilities. Dale has worked on projects for Nestlé, Kraft Foods, Keystone Foods, Miller Brewing Company and many others.
With more than 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Dale has extensive knowledge of mechanical design for beverage, dairy and bakery, as well as process prepared and frozen foods. Customers count on him for everything from overseeing the initial development of critical project layout design to managing equipment installation and commissioning. Dale’s expertise has been put to work for some of the biggest names in the business – General Mills, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Heinz and Starbucks, to name a few.
Darren has over 20 years of construction experience as an estimator, field engineer, assistant superintendent, assistant project manager, superintendent, project manager and senior project manager. His responsibilities include project estimating and scheduling, material procurement and subcontractor coordination. His project experience includes Dot Foods, Hillshire Brands, Keystone Foods, Nestlé, Sara Lee Foods, and Starbucks, among others.
David has over 20 years experience in engineering, construction, and operation of commercial and industrial refrigeration systems, including coordinating new refrigeration systems, as well as engineering service department’s refrigeration system renovations.
Derek has over eight years experience in the construction field. His responsibilities include construction and design scheduling and coordination, material procurement, project estimation, subcontractor hiring and ensuring that construction quality, safety and progress proceed according to the owner’s requirements. He has worked on international projects for Heinz in Shanghai, China and numerous projects in the United Arab Emirates including Jebel Ali, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and Limitless Modular Chiller Plant.
Don has over 35 years of engineering experience in the food industry in building maintenance and renovation, process equipment installation, and design and installation of refrigeration, steam, compressed air, water and HVAC systems.
Donald A. Hicks, LLamasoft
Donald A. Hicks is the founder, president and CEO of LLamasoft, Inc. Don is a supply chain industry visionary, specializing in strategy and technology issues and is a highly sought after speaker and author. Over the last 20 years, he has personally consulted with and coached supply chain professionals at hundreds of companies around the world to optimize and improve their operations. Don has a BS in Systems Engineering from the US Military Academy at West Point, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Gerry has over 40 years of engineering, maintenance and operations experience in the food manufacturing industry. His responsibilities include organizing and directing process design, packaging, and automation requirements for food and beverage manufacturing facilities. Gerry oversees initial development of critical project criteria and budgets, food safety, technical requirements of equipment, proper execution of construction documents, equipment installation and commissioning. Gerry has project managed process engineering for Rich Products, Starbucks, Best Foods, H-E-B, Johnsonville Sausage, Nestle, and Pinnacle Foods among others.
Henry J. Probst
For the past four years, Henry has served as partner of The Probst Group, a consulting/engineering firm focusing on waste management and wastewater treatment for food, beverage, and dairy-based industries. Prior to that, he served as Vice President at ProCorp Inc. for 17 years, providing food, beverage, and dairy processing facilities throughout the United States and Mexico with wastewater treatment and waste management services. He has managed numerous wastewater projects for clients in the dairy and food industries.
Jason has over five years experience in design project management both in the research and development field and industrial refrigeration. He currently manages coordination of refrigeration engineers and designers through the execution of the refrigeration design process. He has also been a lead engineer in a combined $9.4 million, federal-contracted product research and development project with the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. This project included the initiating of analysis strategies, coordinating cross discipline design efforts and the execution of design product testing.
Jason has more than 23 years of experience in the design, analysis and improvement of operations, systems and facilities. This includes analysis of production methods, equipment mix, plant and equipment layout, material handling, production schedules and resource utilization. His responsibilities include conceptual design, sizing and throughput analysis, feasibility studies, simulation, master site planning and selection, detailed design, specifications, vendor selection, contract management, and commissioning. Jason has worked on projects for Coca-Cola, Heinz, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Sara Lee Foods and many others.
Jim Hale, P.E.
Jim has more than 30 years of experience in project engineering and project management. His responsibilities include interfacing with regulatory agencies concerning design and permitting documentation, hydraulic and hydrogeologic design and analysis, civil engineering, design of roadway and drainage systems, utilities and computer modeling applications for design analysis. He has worked on projects for Tropicana, Nestlé, General Mills, Boar’s Head Provisions and many others.
Jim has over 19 years of experience in the design, analysis and improvement of operations, systems and facilities. His responsibilities include facility design, equipment design and procurement, project management, start-up and commissioning for projects in the food and beverage processing industries. This includes the development of process design, material balances, block flow diagrams and automated systems for related facilities. He has managed projects for Columbus Foods, Smithfield Foods, Purdue Farms, Sara Lee Foods, Starbucks, Pinnacle Foods, Cuisine Solutions, Maple Leaf Foods and others.
Joesph Bove, PE
Joe has more than 28 years of experience in the design, engineering and construction of food processing plants. Joe develops architectural and engineering standards to ensure compliance with client procedures, government codes and standards. Joe has managed projects for Burris Refrigerated Logistics, General Mills/Pillsbury Bakeries, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Sysco and many other brand-name food companies.
Johnnie has more than 18 years of project management and design experience within the design-build, engineering and business community. His responsibilities include performing all aspects of design in the plumbing and HVAC fields, including AutoCAD and Revit design documents and specification selections. He also works with in-house accredited LEED professionals to obtain the highest level of project certification, produces engineering documentation, adheres to code parameters, works with customers and contractors directly, and performs on-site project coordination. He has worked on projects for Anheuser-Busch, Frito-Lay, Maple Leaf, Pillsbury Bakeries and Starbucks, among others.
Johnny has more than 37 years of experience with all phases of food and beverage, nuclear, petrochemical, industrial and commercial construction. His responsibilities include construction field management, directing on-site managers in regard to budget, logistics, technical matters, schedule, construction coordination, safety and quality control. Johnny has worked on projects for industry leaders such as Burris Refrigerated Logistics, Johnsonville Sausage, Kellogg’s and Keystone Foods.
Jon has over 12 years of experience in electrical design and construction of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. His responsibilities include development of electrical documentation for schematic and detailed design, cost studies and interfacing with other engineering disciplines to integrate electrical power, fire alarm system, control, instrumentation and data/voice communication system requirements. His projects have included Burris Refrigerated Logistics, Columbus Foods, Keystone Foods, Maple Leaf Foods and Sara Lee Foods, among others.
Jonah has over six years of construction experience. He has held the positions of field engineer, assistant superintendent, assistant project manager and currently is project manager.
Jud has over 20 years of experience in design, engineering and construction of commercial, institutional and industrial facilities. Jud has extensive knowledge of technical management of electrical projects, development of engineering standards, and project design compliance with all required federal, state and local codes, as well as conducting engineering training and providing detailed technical evaluations of electrical systems.
Justin has over 10 years of experience working in project engineering and design, one year in construction supervision, and one year in project management. He has advanced knowledge in 3D site design and modeling, and is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.
Kevin has over 30 years of experience in the design and construction of food processing and distribution facilities throughout the US. His responsibilities include complete oversight of Stellar’s Thermal Construction Division, including design details, project estimating and project execution with a specific emphasis on building thermal integrity. His project experience includes United States Cold Storage, Columbus Foods, Keystone Foods, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Starbucks, and many others.
Kevin has more than a decade of experience in all phases of industrial and commercial construction. His responsibilities include construction, design scheduling and coordination, material procurement, project estimating, subcontractor hiring and coordination. Kevin has worked on projects for Sysco Foodservice, United States Cold Storage, Food Lion, Kraft Foods and many others.
With more than 28 years of experience in mechanical systems ranging from refrigeration to material handling, Kevin understands what goes into designing facilities that are as safe as they are efficient. Every day, he puts his 13 years of expertise in food and beverage plant applications to work as he organizes, directs and installs process and packaging design development requirements for manufacturing facilities. Prior to joining Stellar, Kevin worked as in-plant corporate project and plant engineer for nine years. He also spent 15 years designing commercial and non-food related industrial facilities.
Kurt has more than a decade of experience in the food industry, with extensive project work in prepared foods, beverage, dairy, bakery and frozen foods. A recognized expert in food process design and engineering, Kurt designs food process layouts; specifies processing equipment; oversees the proper execution of construction documents; and manages equipment installation and commissioning. He has worked on projects for General Mills, H.J. Heinz, and Nestlé among others.
Luke has more than 12 years of design and construction experience. His responsibilities include managing the refrigeration division’s engineering department and to provide a high level of refrigeration and mechanical expertise. His project experience includes Carolina Pride Foods, Food Lion, General Mills, Keystone Foods, Kraft Foods and many others.
Manuel Valdivieso, AIA
Manny has over 28 years of experience in architectural design. His responsibilities include coordinating design development between the owner and client utilizing both design and construction disciplines. His duties include developing national and international architectural and construction relationships and budget preparation. In addition, he is specifically responsible for architectural design, space planning, coordination of code analysis and specifications. He has worked on projects for Burris Refrigerated, General Mills, Keystone Foods, Maple Leaf Foods and Nestlé.
Marc Weaver, PE, LEED AP
Marc has over 12 years of mechanical design experience and has specialized in HVAC and utility engineering in the commercial, healthcare and industrial marketplace. His responsibilities include proposal preparation, engineering calculations, preparation of detailed construction drawings and specifications and field inspections. He is also responsible for coordination with local building officials and other engineering disciplines. He has managed projects for H-E-B, Heinz, Nestlé, Starbucks and Tropicana, among others.
Matt has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry. He is currently a project manager for Stellar’s food and beverage division. Matt has worked on a variety of projects, both in the field and at Stellar’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.
Matthew has over 10 years of civil engineering and project management experience with an emphasis on civil site design and storm water management. His experience covers the industrial, food & beverage and commercial industries. Matthew’s responsibilities include development and implementation of project engineering requirements, project coordination with in-house architectural and engineering disciplines and outside engineering consultants. He oversees the development and maintenance of the project design schedule, design budget and permitting requirements from initial project development until certification of occupancy. He has worked on projects for Bahamas Food Service, Burris Refrigerated Logistics, Sara Lee and United States Cold Storage, among others.
Matthew’s responsibilities include the communication and coordination of project information between the client, vendors, design staff and construction staff. In addition, he is involved in the permitting and documentation of the project during all phases from conceptual layouts to built conditions. He has overseen projects for Boar’s Head Provisions, ConAgra Foods, Heinz, Kraft Foods, Nestle and Starbucks among others.
Michael has 10 years of experience in industrial automation including refrigeration, chilled water, power and energy management, and monitoring automation systems. He has extensive experience in the refrigeration control field including the design and programming of refrigeration computer control and microprocessor-based systems for complete automation of low-temperature food storage and processing facilities. Michael understands key process automation design and installation requirements for areas involving refrigeration and chilled water systems and safety and gas detection systems that are required in these facilities. His role is to lead all phases of the project to ensure cost, schedule, quality and safety are in line with project specifications. Michael has overseen projects for Burris Refrigerated Logistics, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Nestlé, Keystone Foods and many others.
Michael has more than 17 years of experience in industrial construction on domestic and International projects. His responsibilities include project development, executive supervision, planning, estimating, contractual negotiations, cost control, assurance of quality and completion. His project experience includes Bolthouse Farms, Burris Refrigerated Logistics, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods, Mondelez, United Stated Cold Storage, and many others.
Mike Ballew, PE, LEED AP
Mike has over 25 years of mechanical design experience performing HVAC, plumbing and mechanical utilities design in the industrial and commercial markets. His responsibilities include engineering calculations, supervision and preparation of detailed construction drawings, equipment sizing, specifications, shop drawing review and field inspections. He is also responsible for coordination with local building officials and other engineering disciplines. He has managed projects for Columbus Foods, ConAgra, Sara Lee and Starbucks.
Mike has over 35 years of experience in the refrigeration and process gas industry. As the division manager of compressor services, his responsibilities include overseeing all business relationships and repair standard practices such as quality assurance procedures and the execution of all repair and remanufactured compressors in the refrigeration, process gas, CO2 gas, nuclear safety related cooling,and compressed air industries. Mike has worked on projects for Nestlé, Sara Lee Foods, Tropicana, AirGas, Valero, Bayer, Honeywell and many others.
Mike has more than 36 years of food plant engineering, maintenance and operational experience in the industry. His responsibilities include organizing and directing process design and packaging and automation requirements for food and beverage manufacturing facilities. Mike has expertise in beverages, condiments, frozen foods and baby foods, and has successfully led teams through plant acquisitions and integrations, closures and consolidations throughout his career.
Mike has more than 20 years of experience in the engineering field with a focus on food and beverage and HVAC-R. His primary responsibility includes organizing and directing process and packaging design development requirements for food and beverage manufacturing facilities. This involves overseeing the initial development of critical project layout design, food safety, technical equipment requirements, proper execution of construction documents, managing equipment installation and commissioning. Mike has overseen projects for Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, Cargill, H.J. Heinz and many others.
Mike has over 27 years experience in leading the constructing of major distribution facilities. His responsibilities include overseeing all phases of scheduling and development to ensure cost, as well as quality and safety. He also coordinates the primary pre-construction phase and construction with the designers, engineers and project managers overseeing design reviews, constructability analysis, value engineering, quality control and budget control. His project experience includes United States Cold Storage, Dot Foods, Bolthouse Farms, Southern Cold Storage, Sysco Foodservice, Mondelez International, Associated Grocers, Burris Refrigerated Logistics, ConAgra Foods, Gwaltney, Keystone Foods, Kraft Foods and many others.
Mitch holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and has nearly 15 years of fire protection industry experience. After spending 12 years with other prominent national contractors, Mitch came to Wiginton in 2011. As a great addition to the Wiginton team, Mitch provides qualified experience in every facet of the fire protection design/build process. Mitch is also TYCO Quell Certified with a NICET Level III certification in Water Based Fire Protection Engineering Technology. Previous experience and expertise includes fire sprinkler design, project management and project estimating.
Paul has over 25 years of industrial controls experience in the food and beverage industry. He oversees quality control, responsible for division GAMP-compliant methods and processes. He also serves as the senior automation project engineer, with expertise in industrial refrigeration.
Phil has over 36 years of refrigeration and mechanical contracting experience, including job site quality control, general oversight and safety program management. His responsibilities include the coordination of all mechanical services and refrigeration contracting personnel, including superintendents, field engineers and foremen. Phil has worked on projects for Keystone Foods, Nestlé, Tropicana, Food Lion and many other industry leaders.
Phillip has more than a year of refrigeration design and 3D printing experience. His responsibilities include machine room ventilation calculations, refrigerant inventory calculations, pressure relief system design and managing rapid prototyping projects. His project experience includes Kraft, Nestlé, Bolthouse Farms, Boars Head, Hillshire Farm and many others.
Randy is a licensed mechanical engineer with nearly three decades of experience managing capital projects as well as the design and installation of industrial refrigeration systems and controls. He leverages operational food industry expertise gained at Dean Foods and ConAgra Foods with technical skills to provide Stellar refrigeration clients with the utmost quality.
Rex Smith, AIA, LEED® AP
Rex has over 26 years of experience in all phases of industrial, institutional and commercial building design and construction. His responsibilities include initial development of critical project criteria and preliminary budgets, design criteria, technical aspects of proposed projects and proper execution of construction documents. Rex has managed projects for Frito-Lay, Kraft Foods, Nestlé/Gerber and Cuisine Solutions, among others.
Richard has over 23 years of experience in industrial refrigeration and has served as the project manager for the “Stellar Safety and Compliance” team where he manages all phases of process safety management. He conducts audits of the PSM and risk management programs for numerous facilities. His project experience includes Butterball, Coca-Cola, Johnsonville Sausage, Keystone Foods, Kraft Foods and many others.
Rick Ross has over 14 years of experience in CAD Design and CAD Management, and has previously consulted on BIM solutions for design firms. He is responsible for creating and maintaining the CAD and BIM standards for Stellar, and oversees the CAD related software to ensure proper integration between Stellar’s multiple areas of expertise and software platforms. His project experience includes Maple Leaf Foods and Starbucks Coffee.
Ryan has 10 years of experience in the design and construction of technical facilities. He has performed the role of field engineer, project engineer, MEP coordinator, scheduler, estimator, superintendent and project manager. His responsibilities include ensuring client satisfaction, overseeing Stellar design staff, setting performance precedents, negotiating design changes and overseeing design execution.
Sam Simkowski has over 16 years of experience in the papermaking industry. He has knowledge with processes involving steam, hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical and mechanical systems.
Scott has more than 23 years experience in the process engineering arena where he has had direct responsibility for the successful completion of numerous multi-million dollar projects. He has a proven track record of leading efficient and cost-effective projects for his clients.
Scott has over 16 years of design and construction experience. He has held the positions of field engineer, project superintendent, project manager, senior project manager and project developer. Scott’s responsibilities include working as a team mentor to ensure project success and client satisfaction. He oversees the project throughout planning, construction, pre-construction and warranty period. Scott has worked on projects for Boar’s Head Provisions, Nestlé, Sara Lee Foods and many more.
Sonja Antunovic-Curcic, LEED AP BD+C, GGP
Sonja has over 15 years of experience in architectural design. She has a strong technical background and ability to effectively transform challenges into opportunities. Her experience involves design of new buildings, expansions or alterations to existing buildings.
Steven Cunningham, EIT
Steve has more than five years of experience in refrigeration design for new facility construction, renovations and expansions. His duties also include refrigeration equipment and piping design, and specifications for energy efficient equipment based on design parameters. He is also responsible for ammonia inventory calculations, ventilation calculations, safety relief calculations and relief header design. His project experience includes Bahamas Foods, Dot Foods, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods and many others.
Taylor is responsible for sales, marketing, development and product application support as well as accounts management at Southern Waters Company. His career in the water treatment industry began in 2000. He started out working in filtration and sanitation installing softeners, reverse osmosis systems, carbon filters, UV and chlorination systems. In 2007, Taylor began practicing chemical water treatment of industrial and commercial boilers, and cooling systems. His experience with water treatment includes industries such as food, beverage, HVAC, and potable water treatment.
Tom has over 20 years of design and construction experience. He has held the positions of field engineer, project superintendent and project manager. His responsibilities include project oversight, project development, design management, scheduling, and project estimating. He has managed projects for Bar-S Foods, Carolina Food Processors, Keystone Foods, Kraft Foods and Maple Leaf Foods among others.
Tim has over 16 years of experience in Process Safety Management and Risk Management Services. He has completed over 200 PSM programs, compliance audits, Process Hazard Analyses and Risk Management programs for various facilities in the food, distribution and power industries. He is certified as a Dyadem Process Hazard Analysis Team Leader, 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response Instructor and has completed 24-Hour Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response training. In addition to the various facility projects, Tim currently serves as the primary regulatory consultant for Johnsonville Sausage, Smithfield Foods, Heinz – North America, Koch Foods and Capital Power.
Todd has over 26 years of experience in the construction industry including profit and loss responsibility, design, project management, construction field support and operational management. His responsibilities include new business development as well as sales and marketing for Stellar’s food and beverage markets. Todd has worked on projects for Heinz, Keystone Foods, Sara Lee Foods, Starbucks and many others.
Tony has more than 35 years experience in the design of domestic and international commercial, industrial and institutional projects. His responsibilities include the architectural design, space planning, master planning, programming, coordination of code analysis and overview of architectural department and the delivery process. He works closely with our in-house engineering professionals to integrate sustainable strategies and forward thinking to obtain high-level project efficiencies and carbon footprint reduction. He also performs feasibility studies and analysis for both new and existing facilities, detailed design, value engineering, research, project coordination and management. His project experience includes Starbucks, Heinz, Nestlé, Kraft, Mondelez, General Mills, US Cold Storage and others.
Wyatt has more than 22 years of experience in the design, engineering and construction fields. Wyatt’s responsibilities include project development and management of construction personnel, which involves client relations, cost estimating, scheduling, constructability analysis, value engineering and proposal preparation. He has worked on projects for Keystone Foods, Tropicana, Maple Leaf, United States Cold Storage, Dot Foods and many others.