CM alumni engage and give back through industry advisory board

Collage of 4 members: Powell, Ortiz, Spight, and KeeAlumni of the Department of Construction Management are making important contributions in the construction industry every day. Several stay connected and engaged with the department as members of the Construction Management Professional Advisory Development Board (PADB). Four CM alum have committed to giving more after being selected to join the PADB Executive Council, a committee that acts as a steering group for the advancement of construction education at CSU.

Amy Powell (’06)

If someone were to ask what career path Amy Powell would follow or where she would end up, 20 plus years after high school, no one, would have guessed the construction industry – including Powell, herself. Powell was a first-generation student with no experience or exposure remotely related to construction. It wasn’t until a CSU adviser mentioned construction management as a degree that she realized it was a career path option.

After graduating in 2006, Powell continued her career path in high end residential, in the mountains with Infinite Scope, Inc.; specialty mechanical in the high desert with Kinetics Systems, Inc.; then managing commercial projects along the front range with GTC. These experiences have ultimately guided and contributed to her passion for helping to develop the people, who build and make-up the industry. It also led her to provide training for the construction industry and to found Well Works. Amy Powell

Powell shares, “I am very honored to be invited to be a part of the CSU CM PADB Executive Council. It is serendipitous to have the opportunity to work alongside some phenomenal industry members and fellow alumni, to give back too, and support the department that has become a part of who we are within this industry. Our reputation and the perception of construction, as a whole, is composed of those who are in it. Great people make a great industry. I would strongly encourage these great people within our industry to contribute to the building of those who are considering, or who are already devoted to a career in this amazing industry.”

Sergio Ortiz (’09)

Sergio OrtizSergio Ortiz graduated with a B.S. in construction management and a minor in business administration in 2009. He currently works at The Neenan Company as an operations/senior project manager. In his time at Neenan, an integrated design-build firm based out of Fort Collins, Sergio has been exposed to new building techniques and fast-tracked projects in a wide variety of markets and building types. Sergio was the project manager and LEED administrator for the LEED Platinum Certified Powerhouse Energy Institute at CSU which was named Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Rocky Mountain Region 2014 Best Green Project and Top Three Regional Project. Most notably, Sergio served on the Collee of Health and Human Sciences Emerging Leader Council from 2016-2019, and was recently named one of BizWest 2020 Northern Colorado 40under40 honorees.

Ortiz shares, “I am grateful to be given a platform to share with the fellow PADB Executive Committee, and am eager to share my experiences with those willing to listen. I have found that a simple passion to help can make a real difference. I encourage those who are unsure how to get involved with the program to reach out to understand the ways you can get involved. The program is filled with eager minds and your support can show up in so many ways.”

Sergio and his wife Audrey have three children, Maree, Adriana, and Mila and currently reside in Fort Collins. He enjoys family time, organized sports, outdoors, and giving back to CSU considering everything CSU has done for him.

John Spight (‘07)

John Spight is a Fort Collins native and graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Construction Management in 2007. Spight joinedJohn Spight Swinerton in 2012 as an assistant project manager after two of his mentors had previously made a move over. He quickly advanced in his career, serving as project manager, senior project manager, project executive, and operations manager before rising to his current role of division manager this year.

Spight has benefitted from strong mentorship his entire career. “These individuals helped cement the importance of talent development which drives my focus on college recruiting and employee retention,” he said.

Spight’s philosophy is as direct as he is: “Genuinely care about others, surround yourself with good people, develop them in the way they need to be developed, and never let anybody down. With this foundation established, everything else falls into place despite challenges that arise.”

An avid supporter of CSU, Spight is passionate about getting involved with the university and the Construction Management program. He loves getting back to campus for recruiting events, supporting student clubs, guest speaking, and fundraising opportunities. Spight and Swinerton have been heavily involved with both CM Cares and the Professional Advisory Development Board. He is excited to be joining the PADB Executive Council and would encourage anyone interested in getting more involved with the CM Program to reach out.

Richard KeeRichard Kee (’06)

Richard Kee graduated with a B.S. in Construction Management in 2006. He has over 18 years of experience in the construction industry. His work on notable projects include the United Airlines Training Center in Denver, the Denver Justice Center, and the Highlands Ranch Hospital, Littleton, Colo., among many others.

Kee is part of Mortenson’s Denver Leadership Team as Operating Group Quality Director. He is responsible for overseeing the total construction effort to ensure a project is constructed in accordance with design, budget, schedule and quality standards. Kee’s responsibilities as quality director include identifying quality problems and initiating action which results in solutions. He verifies implementation of solutions to those problems and controls the further processing, delivery, or installation of any nonconforming item, deficiency or unsatisfactory condition until proper disposition has been made.

Professional Advisory Development Board

Powell, Ortiz, Spight and Kee will serve with continuing PADB Executive Council members and CM alumni Rick Tucker (‘90), Jeff Keller (‘81), and Doug Becker (‘03), as well as a fifth new member, Bryan Cook, from AGC Colorado. During the spring PADB meeting the department gave thanks and acknowledgement to three outgoing executive council members for their years of support and service to the department:

Clay Benson (‘83), served as PADB Chair 2019-2021 and on PADB Executive Council 2015-2021
Dave Davia, served as PADB Chair 2019 and on the PADB Executive Council 2012-2021
Michael Gifford, served on the PADB Executive Council 2013-2021

The PADB was established in 2000 to support and promote the Construction Management program at Colorado State University. Membership is comprised of representatives from all sectors of the construction industry with a vested interest in the continuous improvement for the CM program and its graduates.

The Department of Construction Management is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.