Meet the Contributors
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 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.
Brad has extensive automation experience in several areas, with expertise in industrial and recreational refrigeration systems, large HVAC applications as well as heat recovery. His combined field experience along with proven team management skills allows Stellar to develop and deliver the cutting edge, best of breed automation systems and customer experience. Brad has nearly 30 years of industry experience.
Brian leads day-to-day operations at Stellar and has more than 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. His responsibilities have included overseeing all business relationships, project development, and execution of projects in the prepared foods, sliced meats, poultry, dairy and beverage industries. He previously oversaw all of Stellar’s global food and beverage operations including US, Canada, Mexico and China. He previously served as a division vice president and executive vice president. He has worked on high-profile 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.
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 more than 20 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.
Dale has more than 32 years of 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 more than 20 years of 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.
Freida Speicher, AIA
Freida has architectural design experience including educational institutions, commercial buildings and projects in the food & beverage industry. She has transitioned from Project Architect to Design Project Manager for food & beverage projects. Her previous training as an architect makes her uniquely qualified to lead the design team from conceptual design through construction. Freida has more than 10 years of industry experience, including five years with Stellar.
Grayson Avery, LEED AP BD+C
Grayson Avery has experience in the construction field with positions including project manager, assistant construction manager, assistant superintendent and assistant project manager. He has exceptional organizational and communication skills, and his experience encompasses both residential and commercial construction in the areas of military projects, educational, automotive and healthcare. Grayson has 15 years of industry experience, including 10 years with Stellar.
Greg Standridge, a VDC technician at Stellar, has extensive experience in the construction industry, including survey, 3D scanning, construction layout and project management. In his role, Greg’s primary focus is augmented reality development, drone imaging, field scanning and APL (Autodesk Point Layout) quality inspections. His body of work involves projects in the commercial, food & beverage, medical, military, residential, multi-residential and nuclear industries. Additionally, he is a commercially licensed drone pilot. Greg has more than 20 years of experience, including one year with Stellar.
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.
Jacob Roberts has experience in the process engineering field with a focus on food and beverage, pharmaceutical and industrial processes. He has knowledge in technical sales, process estimation, CIP and equipment specification. Jacob has eight years of industry experience, including two years with Stellar.
Jason has more than 5 years of 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 nearly 30 years of experience in the architectural, engineering and construction industry, with the majority being focused on the food & beverage market sector. Jason’s unique background and experience as an industrial engineer allows him to approach the design of such facilities with an eye for efficiency as well as safety (hygienic and personnel). Jason is responsible for an 85-person design staff at Stellar that includes Civil, Architecture, Structural, Plumbing, Mechanical, Utilities and Electrical. He also oversees Stellar’s VDC and Quality teams. Jason has worked on projects for Coca-Cola, Heinz, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Sara Lee Foods and many others.
Jeffrey has extensive experience in industrial refrigeration, including plant operation and maintenance, with an emphasis on Process Safety Management for the last six years. Jeffrey has 26 years of industry experience, including seven years with Stellar.
Jennifer Montee is a mechanical engineer with more than a decade of experience in the natural refrigerants industry. She has worked on a variety of projects including poultry plants, produce facilities and cold storage warehouses. Her experience includes refrigeration design, engineering, project management and ammonia compliance. Based in California, she has worked on multiple projects requiring the state’s unique codes and regulations.
Jesse works with Stellar’s Food and Beverage Process Engineering group and has led multiple projects with both large and small customers. These have ranged from pilot programs and remodeling to full-scale greenfield plant builds.
Jim Hale, PE
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 more than 20 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.
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 more than 16 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 Petoskey, PMP, CCM
Jonah has held the positions of field engineer, assistant superintendent, assistant project manager, project manager and is currently a senior project manager. Jonah has 14 years of industry experience including 12 years with Stellar.
Jose has more than 9 years of experience in design and construction, and three years working in IIoT. He has managed R&D projects, and has experience in the implementation of Smart PIDs as well as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. Jose has also worked on predictive and prescriptive maintenance solutions, and IIoT integration and implementation.
Jose Mergulhao is the Director of Business Development for Stellar Industrial Solutions (SIS). He has more than 25 years of experience in the industrial and recreational refrigeration industry, including expertise in cold storage, ice rink and food/pharmaceutical production facilities. Jose’s responsibilities include new business development, sales and marketing for Stellar’s SIS group. He has worked on projects for the National Hockey League and their teams, as well as Kraft, Sysco and numerous other industrial clients. He is also well-versed in AutoCAD, HVAC, pumps, and energy efficiency and design.
Joseph 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.
Justin Landowski, PE
Justin has more than 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.
Karishma has extensive experience as a project architect with a focus on residential, institutional, corporate and interior work. Her knowledge extends from conceptual design and development to construction administration, and she has received commendations for design, team work and communication skills. Additionally, she worked on a few award-winning projects and competitions, and has been recognized by mentors and clients as a rare, gifted individual. Karishma has 14 years of industry experience, including three years with Stellar.
Ken has extensive experience in the refrigeration field, from service, construction and compliance to operations and safety. He has more than 22 years of industry experience.
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.
Manny 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.
Mark Momberg has extensive experience as a senior project manager for both dry and refrigerated distribution facilities. Mark has over 30 years of experience in all phases of industrial and commercial construction.
Matt has more than 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 more than 20 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.
Michael Davis has extensive experience in all phases of design-build construction, managing both the Design and Construction of a variety of Industrial and Commercial projects. His experience encompasses management of design and construction projects in industries such as food & beverage, distribution, refrigeration, industrial and commercial. Michael has more than 21 years of industry experience, all with Stellar.
Michael Grochowski, S.E., P.E., LEED AP BD+C
Michael has a broad range of experience in the A&E industry, acting in various roles including Senior Structural Engineer and Design Project Manager. His diverse design and project management experience extend into both the public and private sectors, and incorporate all materials of construction. Michael has more than 16 years of industry experience including nine years with Stellar.
Michael McCollum is a project engineer in manufacturing. He is experienced in project management, sanitary process design, piping system construction and CAD software. Michael has four years of industry experience, including one year with Stellar.
Michael has experience in manufacturing and process design as a manufacturing engineer. He also has experience in product design. Michael has five years of industry experience, including three years with Stellar.
Mike Ballew, PE, LEED AP
Mike has more than 30 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 37 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.
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.
Morris has experience in the food and beverage industry, with emphasis on coffee, prepared/frozen foods and bakery processes. He has experience developing, managing and delivering unique project solutions with a focus on GMP and food quality/safety standards. He has performed the roles of an automation engineer and project manager throughout his career. Morris has 13 years of industry experience, all with Stellar.
Nathan has experience in the food and beverage, distribution and industrial markets in the construction field. Nathan has more than 13 years of industry experience, all with Stellar.
Neil has extensive construction and heavy industrial experience in training and application of safety practices including development and implementation of job site, trade specific and corporate safety and training programs. His experience encompasses direct supervision in facilities such as military, aerospace fabrication, paper and pulp mills, power plants and food & beverage plants. Mr. Ross has 32 years of industry experience.
Paul has more than 30 years of experience in architecture, encompassing food & beverage, distribution, industrial, commercial, housing and retail. In the past, Paul had been a project architect and a project manager.
Peter Wu, PE
Peter directs and coordinates all engineering and fabrication activities including design review, equipment selection, project development and project execution. Peter has extensive experience with structural and power piping engineering with emphasis on the structural steel, piping stress and plant design for turbine inlet air chilling, district energy and power generating simple cycle and combined cycle plants. Peter has more than 20 years of industry experience, including 14 years with Stellar.
Phil has more than 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 five years of refrigeration design, packaged refrigeration and 3D printing experience. His responsibilities include refrigeration system design and retrofits, machine room ventilation designs and PSM compliance calculations. Phillip’s project experience includes Kraft, Nestlé, Bolthouse Farms, Boar’s Head, Hillshire Farm and many others.
Rao Kolla, PE, CSCP, MBA
Rao Kolla is a highly experienced engineering controls executive who has led teams that have implemented sustainability practices in more than 80 factories worldwide. Rao has also contributed to the increased production efficiency and multi-million dollar decreases in operating costs of multiple production facilities. He has extensive knowledge in new plant start-ups, productivity improvements, operations streamlining, process control and automation, and process management. Rao has more than 30 years of industry experience.
Rex Smith, AIA, LEED® AP
Rex has more than 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.
Robert has extensive experience in construction and management with a focus in the low temperature and food processing sectors. Rob has also worked in the industrial roofing industry. He has held positions as Field Superintendent, Project Manager, Division Manager and Vice President. Rob has more than 32 years of industry experience, including 20 years with Stellar.
Robert Hepp, PE
Bob has extensive experience in the refrigeration services field managing key components of the field including services, aftermarket parts, compressor services and more. He has worked in the roles of division manager, engineering refrigeration manager, director of engineering, and industrial refrigeration service and engineering president.
Ronnie has over 18 years of structural design experience specializing on foundation, structural steel and construction services for food processing plants, distribution centers and commercial buildings. At his current role as the VDC developer, Ronnie is responsible for the successful integration of VDC (virtual design and construction) technologies (drones, lidar scanners, point layout, etc.) into the project execution process. He also serves as the Stellar UAV coordinator, managing Stellar’s pilots and drone activities.
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 20 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.
Sean is experienced in the food and beverage industry and has worked extensively in Package Engineering for beverage, dairy and dry foods. Sean has nine years of industry experience including more than half a year with Stellar.
Tanya Frantzen has 14 years of experience, including 11 years with Stellar. In addition to her experience in providing services in design and construction documentation, Tanya has 3D modeling experience and extensive CAD experience. She has been heavily involved on a variety of commercial and military design-build projects.
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.
Todd has more than 32 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 of 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 29 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.