Get to Know Our Speakers

Monday, October 4, 2021
8:40 – 9:25 AM

The Frick Building
Steve Bentz, Building Envelope Consultants & Scientists

Steve Bentz, Vice President with Building Envelope Consultants and Scientists, LLC (BECS) has been an active member of SWR Institute since 2006.  Over the past 15 years, Steve has participated on the Technical Resources committee in various capacities, Chairing the committee during his term of service on the Board of SWR Institute.  Steve has presented several times at SWR Institute meetings and has been assessing and designing repairs for building envelopes, waterproofing, structural systems, and façade access systems for over 20 years.  For BECS, Steve has led the development of the company’s F.A.S.T. Team of rope access professionals as well as directed the company’s operations in Virginia and Pittsburgh, PA.  BECS is a consultancy of intrapreneurial professionals……feel free to ask Steve all about it after the presentation!

10:30 – 11:00 AM
Projects on Parade
Hot-Mixed Quicklime Mortar - Wayne County Courthouse
Frank Halsey, Mid Continental Restoration Company, Inc.

Frank Halsey is the President and Chairman of the Board for Mid-Continental Restoration Company, Inc., an employee owned specialty contracting business, headquartered in Fort Scott, KS.  He is part of the third generation of family to run Mid-Continental, having been founded by his grandfather, Frank Doherty.  Mid-Continental regularly services eleven states, from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River, and from Canada to Mexico.  Frank has worked in the restoration and waterproofing industry for over 40 years and has worn about every hat, starting as a laborer in the field, and working his way through management.  He is actively involved in industry associations as well as local charitable organizations.

10:30 – 11:00 AM
Delray Beach Market located in Delray Beach, FL
Michael Bernhard, Metro Caulking & Waterproofing

Mike Bernhard has worked in the waterproofing industry for over 35 years and has served as Field Operations Manager of Metro Caulking & Waterproofing for 20 years. Mike comes from a long line of caulkers and his skills are still better than most, even though he hasn’t worked in the field for quite a long time. His knowledge of waterproofing is extensive and he is a valuable part of the Metro team. In addition to his dedication to Metro, Mike is an avid bowler, enjoys golfing, boating and diving and is known to some as the “lobster slayer.” Most importantly, Mike is a dedicated husband, father and Papa who loves spending time with his family, especially three granddaughters.

11:00 – Noon

A Bankable Exit
Byron McFarland, The McFarland Group

Byron has 30 years of experience guiding sole-owner, multi-owner, and family businesses through their unique Succession Journeys. He shows business owners how to sell their companies and get paid. His clients experience an average annual growth rate of 8% and valuation increases of $5-10mm per year. The McFarland Group has guided $500mm in business value through succession and incentive journeys and currently manages $200mm in value.  

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Technology – What the Salesman Doesn’t Tell You

Doug DeSilvio, The George D. Alan Company (Panel Speaker)
Doug is the Operations Manager at the George D. Alan Company, a specialty waterproofing contractor based in Dallas, Texas. Doug started his career in the waterproofing business in 2009.  Doug is a past president of SWR Institute and continues to serve on the Institute’s safety committee and the national OSHA Alliance Program. 

Technology – What the Salesman Doesn’t Tell You

Cindy Raffio, Metro Caulking & Waterproofing (Panel Speaker)
Cindy Raffio has worked in the waterproofing industry for over 27 years and celebrated 18 years of business ownership earlier this year. Cindy earned an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and is a State of Florida Certified General Contractor. As owner and qualifier of Metro Caulking & Waterproofing, Cindy expanded the company to also include MCW Restoration Services and MCW Companies over the last 15 years. Cindy proudly served on SWR Institute’s Board of Directors for nine years and was honored to be President for two. In addition to her dedication to her career, Cindy is a loving wife, mother and daughter who enjoys spending time with family and friends, boating, and traveling.

Technology – What the Salesman Doesn’t Tell You
Peter Vorhees, Everest Waterproofing & Restoration (Panel Speaker)

Peter has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years, starting from the ground level, and working his way through the ranks, to become a senior project estimator and manager, to current co-owner of Everest Waterproofing and Restoration, Inc. in San Francisco with his partner, Seth Acharya. 
Peter began as a laborer for a general contractor in 1982, and then in 1991, went on to Bryant Universal as a union field worker. Within only two years of working at Bryant, Peter made the leap from the 'field' to the 'office', and was promoted to become a salesman and estimator.
Peter's comprehensive knowledge of the construction industry makes him a valuable asset to the team. He is married and lives in Marin County with his wife Shelly, daughter Skylar and son Tucker. 

Technology – What the Salesman Doesn’t Tell You

Stace Grund, Tatley-Grund (Moderator)
Stacey Grund has over 39 years’ experience in the construction industry while working as the fifth generation principal for his 123 year old family business (started in Seattle -1898). As the president of the company Mr. Grund oversees the operations 200 employees with offices in Seattle WA, and Portland OR. The companies that comprise the operation are Grund and Company Inc. (Commercial Painting Company), Tatley-Grund Inc., (Repair / Restoration General Contractor) founded in 1991 and Building Envelope Innovations LLC (Construction Products Developer) founded in 2005. While working his way to becoming owner/president other responsibilities have included field labor, field supervision, general superintendent, accounting, project manager and estimator.
2:00 – 2:45 PM
The Do's & Don'ts of High-Rise Coating

Mackey Welch and Dan Wicht, Western Specialty Contractors
Mackey Welch, Assistant Branch Manager for Western Specialty Contractors in San Antonio and Austin. I’ve been in the industry for 40 plus years and worked on many great projects from the Capital building in Texas to Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas. I’ve been involved with SWRI Institute for several years while at Western and prior to that. I was involved a lot with the Institute while I owned my business. The Institute has proven to be a great asset to me, not only with the knowledge gained, but through the relationships that I have made.

The Do's & Don'ts of High-Rise Coating

Dan Wicht, Western Specialty Contractors
Dan Wicht, Branch Manager for Western Specialty Contractors in San Antonio and Austin. I’ve been in the industry for 20 plus years, served 5 years in the Marines. Married to Tina with 2 kids. I am an avid camper and huge Cornhusker fan.

3:30 – 4:15 PM 
Pier Three Condominium Atrium Rehabilitation Project    
Tom Gormley, PULLMAN
Tom is a Division Manager for Pullman, Philadelphia based office. Tom oversees the Operations of the Commercial Restoration Division which performs waterproofing, structural Repairs, Façade Repairs and Historical Preservations to aging structures.  Tom has a broad range of restoration expertise, and operational leadership experience. Tom has worked in restoration business for 31 years and has been with Pullman for 20 years.   

Pier Three Condominium Atrium Rehabilitation Project    
Zach Presant, PULLMAN
Zach is a Project Manager for Philadelphia Office and Pullman.  Zach is a graduate from University of Delaware and been working for Pullman for 6.5 years.  Zach has overseen may types of restoration projects that have been completed by the Philadelphia Office and most notably Zach is the project manager for the Building Façade Restoration and the Strengthening of the stone rubble support wall at the New Jersey State Capital Project in Trenton, NJ 

Pier Three Condominium Atrium Rehabilitation Project    
Scott Waltman, PULLMAN
Scott is a Senior Project Manager for the Philadelphia Office of Pullman.  Scott oversees and leads a team for larger and more complex projects.  Scott has worked in the construction industry for 21 years.  Scott has recently managed the Restoration of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NY in which Pullman is performing the historic masonry restoration to the stone towers and approaches. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

8:35 – 9:20 AM
How to Work with General Contractors and Not Lose Your Wallet
Dan Cain, The George D. Alan Company, Inc.
Dan Cain is the president of The George D. Alan Company, a waterproofing specialty contractor based in Dallas Texas.  Dan started his career in the waterproofing and restoration business in 1984.  His experience spans 4 decades and includes thousands of projects from the Southwest to the Mid- Atlantic regions of the United States.
Dan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering Management from the California State University at Sacramento.  He served as president of the Sealant Waterproofing and Restoration Institute in 2011 and has served on SWRI’s Safety, Product Validation and Training Validation Committees.  Dan has written several articles and given many presentations to SWRI, CSI, RCI and OSHA promoting safety and quality issues in our industry.

9:20 – 10:05 AM 
Developing and Maintaining an Effective Safety Plan              

Jessica Maguire, Allied Wateproofing, Inc.
Born LaGrange IL (20 min SW from Chicago)
Attended North Park University (north side of Chicago) and majored in French
Been with Allied for 8 years in August

Developing and Maintaining an Effective Safety Plan
Mike Willey, Tatley-Grund
With more than 15 years' experience in occupational safety and health management and access solutions. Michael has extensive training in Occupational Safety and Health and is a SPRAT certified technician. he also provides training for sprat L1 and L2 technicians. In addition to providing in field applied skills Michael has written and maintained safety programs for companies that have proven effective in both a safer work environment and lower overhead by managing risk through BBS and applied safety programs that reduce risk and empower worker involvement.      

10:30 – 11:15 AM

Old Cook County Hospital Restoration
Rachel Will, WJE
Rachel Will, PE is an Associate Principal and Associate Director of Knowledge Sharing with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Will received her Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structures from Iowa State University in 2005. Ms. Will became a licensed professional engineer in 2011. She has over 15 years of experience related to the investigation and repair of existing building facades. She has performed numerous evaluations of historic masonry facades and prepared repair documents along with provided construction period observations for many masonry-clad buildings.  She has authored multiple articles and given numerous presentations related to masonry.
11:15 - Noon     
First Baptist Church of Winston Salem
Jed Daniel, P.E., WxProofing LLC
Jed is a graduate of North Carolina State University and possesses a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Jed’s professional background includes (6) years in Structural Steel design; (8) years in General Contracting sales management; and (28) years Waterproofing/Restoration industry Executive Management. Jed is currently General Manager for WxProofing LLC (contractor), and in charge of overall operations for three offices in two states. Jed is a licensed General Contractor and Professional Engineer in the states of NC & VA. Jed has been very active in the market and is Past President for the Greensboro Engineers Club, Guilford Rotary, Carolina’s Chapter International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) and Sealant Waterproofing Restoration Institute (SWRI). Jed has presented numerous times here at SWRI, co-authored articles, been associated with many nationally/regionally recognized projects, and whose legacy was the creation of the SWRI Foundation and Trinity Award programs. Jed owes a great deal of appreciation to SWRI for the technical education and lifelong friends made through the years. Jed is married to his lovely bride Dana and enjoys tennis, golf, scuba diving and fine wines and bourbons.

First Baptist Church of Winston Salem
Robert McDowell, WxProofing LLC
Robert is a Virginia Tech graduate. Licensed General Contractor in numerous states. Professional career consists of 6 years production management and 21 years sales/management of weatherproofing projects. Associated with many projects recognized regionally and nationally for Awards of Excellence. Past President leadership role for Waterproofing Contractors Association (WCA) and Carolinas Chapter International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI).

1:00 – 1:30 PM 

Projects on Parade
Methodist Hospital Through Wall Flashing Challenges
Bob Miller, Advanced Masonry Restoration

Bob began as masonry laborer working summers through college in the late 80’s.   After a start in the financial advisory industry, he began working for AMR in 2005 as a Project Manage/Estimator, overseeing the implementation of restoration services for historical and contemporary buildings in the Twin Cities and greater regions of Minnesota.  Bob is currently CFO of AMR.   He has been married for 32 years to Andrea and has a daughter and son (twins) that recently graduated from Purdue and Creighton Universities respectfully.

Napa Courthouse Earthquake Repairs and Restoration
Bob Gensel, PULLMAN

Bob is a Senior Branch Director with Pullman SST Inc. assisting operations both nationally and in their San Francisco Bay Area branch. He has over 35 years’ experience working in the restoration industry and has been involved on hundreds of restoration and preservation projects throughout the country including numerous landmark structures. Bob’s many years of experience have contributed to his ability to effectively manage complex projects with demanding schedules and to deal with the inherent complexities of construction projects on historical structures. Some notable projects include West Chester University’s Recitation Hall, F&M College’s Old Main, the Historic Bethlehem Steel Stockhouse, Alcatraz Cell House, The Pennsylvania State Capitol, The West Virginia and Missouri State Capitols, The Historic Napa County Courthouse and Fire Island Lighthouse.

Napa Courthouse Earthquake Repairs and Restoration

Vivek Kumar, PULLMAN
Vivek is a Project Manager with Pullman SST Inc., in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He graduated with a master’s degree from Michigan State University and has been on the forefront of implementing new state-of-the-art technologies for seismic retrofit of California registered historic landmark buildings. Skilled in project estimation, project management, field management, and quality assurance, he serves as a great asset for projects with varying complexities. Some notable projects include the Alcatraz Quartermaster Warehouse, Alcatraz Cellhouse, and The Historic Napa Courthouse Earthquake Repair Program.

Napa Courthouse Earthquake Repairs and Restoration

Richard Sanders, PULLMAN
Rick is a Project Manager with Pullman SST Inc., in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida and has over 15 years of operations experience in the restoration industry. Rick has worked on a multitude of significant historic projects throughout the United States representing a wide array of scopes, materials, and construction techniques. Some notable projects include the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia Façade Repair, Alcatraz Cellhouse Restoration, Historic Napa Courthouse Earthquake Repair Program, and Senator Hotel Office Building Façade Remodel projects.