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At VERTEX, we are connected by our drive to provide value and results for our clients. We foster long-term relationships not just with our clients, but within our organization. On our projects, we are diligent, industrious and experts in our fields. Outside of the office, we are triathletes, competitive skiers, classical musicians, pilots, professional poker players, car enthusiasts, proud parents, volunteers in our communities, and more! As part of our #WeAreVERTEX campaign, we will be sharing profiles of our employees, so you can get to know the people behind our success.

Courtney Ewell is a seasoned Human Resources leader with extensive experience in developing and executing HR strategies that align with organizational goals. Courtney spearheads the full spectrum of HR functions, including employee relations, performance management, and compensation and benefits administration. She has a proven track record of establishing strong working relationships with department heads to ensure that HR initiatives support business objectives.

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Thomas was brought on by The Vertex Companies LLC (VERTEX) in October 2023, as a Forensic Accounting Consultant. Prior, Thomas worked at FORVIS, LLP (formerly BKD, LLP) as an Audit Associate from January 2022 through September 2023. While there, Thomas performed audits in accordance with GAAS for a variety of clients in a stretch of industries (insurance, private equity, manufacturing, health care, higher education, nonprofit, commercial real estate, and others).

Thomas is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as of January 2023.

More About Thomas Akira Hennelly

Dr. Tumeo has expansive experience and background in the Civil / Environmental engineering field. He received his Ph.D. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of California Davis in 1988 and has been a practicing engineer for over 30 years. In addition to civil and environmental engineering, Mark has received a J.D. Law degree and has served as a professor at multiple universities including the University of North Florida, Cleveland State University, and University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Noah H. Baird, CPA, CFF, CFE specializes in calculating damages in forensic accounting, fraud investigations, and breach of contract analyses, including lost profits, valuation, and construction matters. He has been retained as an expert and has assisted in the preparation of expert reports and development of testimony, including presentations for mediation, arbitration, and trial.

Noah is Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). He is a member of the Young Leaders Advisory Council of the Illinois CPA Society. He has been a guest lecturer on accounting and fraud topics and has been published discussing the topics of white-collar crime and fraud.

More About Noah H. Baird

Mr. Ezold is a senior mechanical engineer with over 35 years of experience including expertise in central chilled water plant (variable primary and primary-secondary) and central steam plant (Biomass, Natural Gas, Coal, and CHP), design, operations, maintenance, and water treatment. Mr. Ezold has extensive retro-commissioning field experience with the optimization of building mechanical systems including VRF, HVAC, chilled water, hot water, steam, compressed air, submersible pumps, centrifugal pumps, vertical turbine line-shaft pumps, air and water balancing, and Direct Digital Control. Forensic investigation experience includes weld quality control and weld failure analysis, evaluating mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) failures in commercial and residential mechanical building systems, industrial plants, food processing plants, hospitals, and educational facilities. Mr. Ezold is a licensed professional engineer in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and is an active member of both ASHRAE and AEE.

More About Rob Ezold

Chelsea Cullum is an Executive Vice President in the Washington, D.C. office of VERTEX specializing in cost and pricing issues and forensic accounting related to U.S. Government contracts. She has extensive experience assisting clients with damages and procurement analysis, forensic accounting and investigation support, litigation support, management consulting, and compliance review and assistance. Chelsea has provided expert testimony on matters before various courts and Boards of Contract Appeals. Chelsea also served as an Adjunct Professor in the George Washington University Graduate School of Business, where she developed and taught the course Pricing and Cost Issues in Government Contracts.

Chelsea has conducted extensive reviews of accounting records, accounting systems, and various government regulations and guidelines, including the FAR, DFARS, DFARS Procedures, Guidance, and Information (PGI), Contract Pricing Reference Guides, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) and DCAA Contract Audit Manual (DCAM).

More About Chelsea Cullum

Ms. Ansley is an Architect with over 30 years of experience in the design and construction industry. Her career has not taken a linear path which has proved to be an advantage. She has acquired exceptional team building skills by serving clients alternatively in the roles of Architect, Owner’s Representative or General Contractor and as a result, brings insight from each of these major project stakeholder’s perspectives to every team interaction. Ms. Ansley’s experience spans the private and public sectors, completing projects on schedule and within budget for clients that include the University of Maryland at College Park, Baltimore City Fire Department, private multi-family housing Developers and numerous non-profit organizations. She has also worked as a Third Party Permit Plans Reviewer of hospital and casino projects for the Department of Permitting & Inspections of Prince George’s County, Maryland within their major projects division. Above all, Ms. Ansley is dedicated to providing client service that is transparent, honest and delivered with earnest urgency.

More About Laurie Ansley

Ms. Tomchinsky serves as a Senior Project Manager within the Claims, Disputes, and Forensics team at VERTEX, handling environmental insurance matters. Her roles and responsibilities include: environmental pollution claim cause and origin investigations, reviewing cost proposals and invoices to evaluate both remedial feasibility and reasonable and necessary costs for remediation, reviewing historical site documents, evaluating laboratory data, environmental risk investigations, conducting site visits to oversee underground storage tank removal and pollution event sites and indoor air quality claims, and environmental underwriting review assessments.

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Courtney Ciapciak has over 13 years of experience working in the environmental industry. Courtney has a broad range of technical and management expertise in insurance services, environmental consulting, remediation, risk management, and due diligence services. Courtney received her undergraduate degree from Salem State University with an emphasis in Geology. Courtney is currently working towards her Masters degree in Management at CU Denver.

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Mr. Steen serves as Vice President at VERTEX. As a Vice President, he is responsible for providing account management, staff oversight, and claims management services to insurance clients, specializing in No. 2 fuel oil-related matters.

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Joseph J. Egan is an Executive Vice President at The Vertex Companies, LLC. Joe has over 35 years of consulting experience in economic damages and accounting issues in several litigation areas including breach of contract, lost profits, fraud investigations, construction disputes, class actions, intellectual property, environmental disputes, and insurance. His clients have included commercial property developers, hospitality industry, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, defense contractors, telecommunication companies, oil companies, electric utilities, insurance companies, construction contractors, architects, engineers, and municipalities, among others.

Joe previously co-founded and was senior partner at Breakwater Forensics, LLC and has worked for several national and international consulting firms including Navigant Consulting where he was the Chicago Office Managing Director, and Tucker Alan, Inc. where he was a Vice President. He has also lectured at the University of Illinois on forensic accounting. He has guest lectured on construction management at the University of Illinois, Purdue University, and Northwestern University’s Master of Project Management Program.

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Carson Stepler is a Manager in the Austin office of VERTEX. He specializes in the review and analysis of construction claims related to economic damages, scheduling, and productivity disputes.

Carson is experienced in the evaluation of project delays using the critical path method (“CPM”) including delays resulting from design related changes, fabrication and delivery delays, COVID-19, adverse weather impacts, payment disputes, and loss of productivity, among other issues. He has also analyzed claims related to cost overruns, lost profits, and wrongful termination. He has been involved in a variety of industrial, commercial, residential, public works, and infrastructure projects including power plants, sports stadiums, high-rise condominiums, roadways, hotels, and hospitals.

Carson is also experienced in construction cost estimating. He has developed estimates for a variety remediation and repair projects including apartment complexes, airport developments, storage facilities, senior living facilities, and food processing plants, among others.Carson has assisted in the preparation of claims, expert reports, settlement presentations, and testimony. He has also provided clients with on-going schedule support including the development and modification of project schedules, periodic tracking of schedule progress, and identification of areas for improvement in schedule quality and accuracy.

More About Carson Stepler

I have 20+ years of administrative experience and began my career journey at VERTEX October 2014, as an Office Administrator in our New York City office in our Surety Services group. I supported not only the administrative needs of my group, but also the office. Over time I was able to learn about the different service areas at VERTEX and started supporting other groups and clients. When VERTEX then acquired a company named Xpera, I was eager to learn about their services and this led me to work closely with them supporting Fire claims and our litigation support group. I was selected to be a Facilitator for our company wide People Management training program where I was able to acquire new management skills and refresh others. As a Facilitator, the exposure to these lessons was my affirmation that I was ready to move to the next level in my career as a people manager. With the support and guidance of my manager, I applied and was promoted to my current role as an Operations and Teams Support Manager for our Surety group. I also partner with the HR team as a local office Onboarding Ambassador, ensuring the effective integration of new employees. I look forward to implementing all the lessons I have learned to date and continuing to grow and develop my management skills. I am also fluent speaking and writing in Spanish.

More About Merlyn Jaime

Brad F. Busick, MBA is a Manager in the Ft. Lauderdale office of Vertex’s Contract Claims group. Brad has over two decades of experience in the construction industry, with experience ranging from Project Management to Financial Management and Accounting. Brad specializes in construction matters, forensic accounting, cost audits, surety and fidelity claims, and other commercial disputes.

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Anissa has over 16 years of experience in the industry and is a knowledgeable and motivated Project Manager and Estimator. She is adept in all aspects of project management including planning, budget management, and coordinating all working parts of a project. She has excellent time management skills and the ability to juggle multiple projects in various phases of construction and budgeting simultaneously.

More About Anissa Ellis

Neil Wharton is a superintendent for the T.I division in Denver. He has been in construction for 5 years. He graduated with honors with a B.S in Project management and has had various roles in the construction industry. Whether it be on the project management side or the boots on the ground superintendent side, he loves what he does. His love of building relationships with clients, building managers and inspectors has helped him to flourish in this role and his love of learning helps him to excel.

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Meredith is an Assistant Project Manager on the VERTEX Owners Project Management (OPM) team. Meredith graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management with a concentration in Facilities Management in 2023. She began her career in OPM as a high school senior in 2019, where she interned with Compass Project Management, LLC (now a VERTEX company). During her final co-op at Wentworth in the fall of 2022, Meredith returned to Vertex to work on the Boston University Data Science Center Project. In the spring of 2023, after completing her co-ops, Meredith continues working with Vertex while completing her Master’s degree. She is currently working on the Westwood Pine Hill Elementary School and the Walpole Bird Middle School projects.

More About Meredith Borden

Mr. Heckel has been providing forensic architectural services for 25 years, and previously was an award-winning design architect. Mr. Heckel has been a registered architect in California since 1985. During his career, he has provided expert witness services on behalf of both Plaintiffs and Defendants (including subcontractors and developers) for construction defect and professional liability matters, and has provided opinions at mediation, deposition, arbitration and trial. Case experience has ranged in size from single family home remodels to 40 story high-rise and mid-rise complexes with claims from $30M to > $100M.

In addition to construction defect and professional liability claims, Mr. Heckel’s experience includes real estate development and investing, zoning and planning studies, permitting, construction management, architectural and engineering copyright infringement, ADA/FHA review, and architectural peer review. He has also reviewed commercial construction documents in Spanish related to claims in South America.

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Ms. Sarson has a strong scientific background, focused in the physical environmental sciences. As a Senior Project Manager in the Environmental Vertical, Ms. Sarson is a key manager for both the Remediation and Environmental, Social, and Governance (EGS) departments. For the Remediation department Ms. Sarson is responsible for managing and conducting specific job functions related to Brownfield Site redevelopment throughout New England, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and Phase II Subsurface Investigations nationwide, and remediation projects conducted under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). For the ESG department Ms. Sarson is responsible for reviewing Client specific ESG checklists, greenhouse gas emission data, and building energy audits. As a Senior Project Manager Ms. Sarson designs site-specific scopes of work, manages budgets, manages and directs project staff, and client deliverables and communication of results.

More About Kristen Sarson

Mr. Daniels is a Licensed Professional Geologist with over 30 years experience in environmental consulting, at both engineering/environmental consulting firms and in the insurance industry. For 20 years, Mr. Daniels provided internal environmental consulting, risk management, and engineering support services to the environmental claims and environmental underwriting divisions of Chubb and, prior to that, AIG, where Mr. Daniels founded, developed and managed for 16 years an internal environmental consulting division of the company consisting of 25 in-house engineers, geologists, and environmental scientists. During his tenure in the insurance industry, Mr. Daniels provided technical consultation, analysis, and advisement on over 500 environmental claims. Prior to his insurance industry experience, Mr. Daniels worked for 10 years at Dames & Moore (currently AECOM) as a Senior Geologist and Project Manager and prior to that was employed for three years as a Staff Geologist and Project Manager in CSS-Dynamac Corporation’s Environmental Risk Management Division.

More About Lawrence Daniels

Connor is an award-winning construction executive with expertise in Construction Management, Project Management, Risk Management, and Building Design. He specializes in resolving complex construction defaults and insolvency for high-value commercial construction projects. In addition to his practical work, Connor has authored expert witness reports and played a pivotal lead role in hundreds of claims investigations and remediation for numerous construction projects. Connor is one of less than ten professionals with the P.GSC (OCM) designation from the Canadian Construction Association, is a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects, and holds a professional Applied Science Technologist designation amongst various other certifications. As a design professional, he has contributed to large-scale architectural projects in the healthcare, education, and commercial sectors, holding positions on design teams for projects valued up to $1 billion.

Connor holds top honors including National 40 Under 40 in Construction, as well as Insurance Business National Top 50. He has been spotlight profiled in the Saskatchewan Construction Association magazine – We Build, and the national magazine – Piling Canada, among various other distinctions.

More About Connor Chow

Ms. Copeland is a Division Manager at VERTEX with 26 years of experience in the environmental field. She has a successful track record of completing projects on-time, multi-tasking, exceeding the expectations of company owners and clients while achieving outstanding overall results. Ms. Copeland currently manages due diligence related projects in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as national portfolios. These duties also include managing and training employees, business development, preparation of proposals and project work authorizations, and budgeting. Ms. Copeland is also a member of VERTEX’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) council and is mentor within the company’s mentorship program (EDGE).

More About Nicole Copeland

As Technical Director of Due Diligence, Ms. Reynolds provides technical support services for VERTEX’s Due Diligence services, and works with the Vertex Ingenieros Consultores, S. de R.L. de C.V. team on Mexico-based projects for US-based clients. Ms. Reynolds conducts Phase I ESAs and other Due Diligence-related services for complex properties, including malls, colleges, and factories, and works with VERTEX’s developer clients on initial Due Diligence investigations to review and characterize potential environmental concerns associated with properties proposed for development, including sites with contamination and Brownfield redevelopment opportunities.

Ms. Reynolds develops internal training and review programs to ensure compliance with ASTM, EPA, and industry standards for Due Diligence projects. Ms. Reynolds also develops trainings and outreach for VERTEX clients. Currently, Ms. Reynolds is closely tracking upcoming regulatory changes with respect to emerging contaminants, including Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS), and is working with the VERTEX team to develop internal and client-focused trainings to assist with these upcoming changes.

More About Genevieve Reynolds

Courtney Ciapciak has over 13 years of experience working in the environmental industry. Courtney has a broad range of technical and management expertise in insurance services, environmental consulting, remediation, risk management, and due diligence services. Courtney received her undergraduate degree from Salem State University with an emphasis in Geology. Courtney is currently working towards her Masters degree in Management at CU Denver.

Courtney serves as an Assistant Vice Presdient of Loss Control within the Environmental Insurance group at VERTEX. Her roles and responsibilities include: account management, business development, environmental risk investigations, environmental underwriting review assessments, claim investigations, remedy selection, cost evaluation, invoice reviews, cost and closure negotiations, scheduling, coordination of subcontractor activities, and report composition.
She currently managing the Environmental Loss Control accounts which include project that evaluate environmental and general liability risks for underwriting purposes.
Courtney also serves as Co-Chair of VERTEX’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and Chair of the LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group.

More About Courtney Ciapciak

As a Surety Claims Consultant for Vertex, Ms. Leech is responsible for s responsible for all aspects of surety claims investigations and resolutions, including initial investigations, resolving payment bond claims and other contract claims, conducting relet processes, monitoring completion of work, as well as managing on-site activities in completion scenarios. Ms. Leech is a Certified Construction Document Technologist (CDT) and is currently pursuing her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Ms. Leech has a background in Commercial Construction, Interior Finishes, Project Management and Accounting. She has worked as an onsite owner’s representative for several large-scale mall expansion projects across the US. Ms. Leech also has exposure to the multi-family sector managing a portfolio of CAPEX projects as well as trade specific experience working with a Millwork General Contractor fabricating and installing high-end custom finishes. Along with full-cycle project management, Ms. Leech brings strong experience in accounting analytics, plan review and field operations.

More About Heather H. Leech

Chris joined VERTEX in December 2023 as a Regional Vice President, responsible for overseeing Forensics in the Mid-Atlantic territory. With over 20 years of experience in the forensics and insurance claims industry, Casaleggio brings a wealth of expertise to the team. His background in property and casualty insurance will assist in driving growth for VERTEX’s Claims and Expert services, not only in the region, but across the country. His experience includes employment at several major insurance carriers and also time as an intercompany arbitrator, settling coverage, liability and damage disputes. Apart from expansion, Chris will also focus on improving the efficiency of the Forensic product and ensuring timely and accurate delivery of services while maintaining the highest standards of quality and professionalism for clients.

Chris is an active member of several insurance claims organizations in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. He holds several industry designations, including an Associate in Claims (AIC) and an Associate in General Insurance (AINS). He is also licensed as a Property & Casualty Adjuster in Texas, with reciprocity in over 30 states. Chris is the author of several books aimed at helping insurance claim adjusters excel in their careers, such as Adjusting to a Career in Property & Casualty Claims and Adjusting to Property & Casualty Claims: Negotiation 101. His articles have appeared in industry periodicals such as Property Casualty 360, Claims Magazine, Insurance Thought Leadership, and CLM Magazine.

In his leisure time, Chris enjoys playing and watching ice hockey, as well as traveling Europe and exploring new cultures.

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Andy helps companies and their legal counsel avoid and/or resolve business disputes. He investigates complex schedule delay and economic damages issues, primarily related to the construction, energy, and utility industries.

Andy performs cost and schedule analyses often related to contract disputes, delay claims, and change orders. He performs Critical Path Method (“CPM”) analyses, executes extensive review and analysis of large volumes of project documents, and analyzes cost and schedule overruns. He has authored expert reports for purposes of mediation and arbitration. He also supports the development of expert reports, assists with the preparation of demonstratives for arbitration and trial, and supports experts in preparation for testimony.

Andy has experience assisting general contractors with development and review of project schedules for ongoing construction projects. He has also developed cost estimates for a variety of construction projects.

Prior to his consulting work, Andy worked as a Field Technical Advisor for a major petrochemical technology company. He provided on-site advisory services at refineries and petrochemical sites in China, Taiwan, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

More About Andrew (Andy) Miltonberger

Cristal Brun is a Senior Director in the Miami office. She specializes in commercial damages, forensics accounting investigations, and related consulting.

Ms. Brun brings over 20 years of experience in forensic accounting investigations, commercial damages, litigation consulting, corporate finance, auditing, and strategic advisory for publicly-traded, closely-held, and public sector entities. She has led multiple engagements across a broad variety of industries and Fortune 500 firms.

Ms. Brun has extensive experience in economic damage quantification in breach of contract, class action matters, and other commercial disputes. She has managed engagements involving complex accounting and financial analysis, lost profit calculations, funds tracing, assessment of business practices, and internal controls. Additionally, she has significant experience conducting forensic accounting investigations of alleged fraud, money laundering, asset misappropriation, and related issues.

Ms. Brun also has experience working with government entities and government contractors in matters involving monitoring and accounting of federal funds, allegations of breach of fiduciary duties, contract termination claims, and bid protests.

She has provided business and litigation consulting services for clients domestically and internationally across various industries, including construction, pharmaceutical, consumer products, healthcare, telecom, leisure & hospitality, investment banking, financial services, auto manufacturing, distribution, retailing, defense, aerospace, and the government sector.

Ms. Brun has testified as an expert witness in Federal Court and arbitration and has worked with the Department of Justice (DoJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), corporate boards, audit committees, and other stakeholders.

Prior to VERTEX, Ms. Brun was a Partner at Yip Associates and previously she was a Senior Director with Alvarez & Marsal, Disputes & Investigations group. Prior to that, she worked for Navigant Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ms. Brun holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Corporate Finance from The Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University.

Ms. Brun is fluent in English and Spanish.

More About Cristal Brun

Mr. Tweet is a licensed bi-lingual General Contractor with over 20 years of hands on experience in commercial and residential construction and renovations including framing, roofing, interior finish outs, tile, stone, concrete, etc. in Texas. He has excellent oversight/management skills of commercial and residential new construction and renovations as well as extensive network connections within the construction industry. He is also well versed in damage assessment and providing detailed estimates regarding storm damage and CAT events. Lastly, Mr. Tweet understands and recognizes labor, equipment and material procurement and its challenges.

More About Kenneth Tweet

Neil is an Executive Vice President with VERTEX and specializes in the forensic investigation of financial, economic damages, project scheduling, productivity, construction management, contract administration, and other issues, primarily related to the government contract, construction, oil & gas, and public utilities industries. He has assisted government agencies, owners, contractors, architects/engineers, sureties, insurance companies, and their counsel with the investigation and resolution of complex business disputes. He has authored expert opinions in approximately 80 litigations/arbitrations. He has testified in trial and arbitration and has presented his opinions at numerous mediation proceedings. Neil also assists general owners, contractors, and other stakeholders with proactive oversight of on-going projects. He evaluates and updates project schedules and project status reports and documents events which have or may impact the contractor’s performance.

Neil cofounded Breakwater Forensics, LLC which was acquired by VERTEX in 2023. Earlier in his career Neil was a design engineer focusing in the areas of civil and structural engineering. His projects included government and commercial contracts including highways, bridges, office buildings, schools, and other civil projects. During this time, he prepared construction drawings, design calculations, specifications, proposals, contracts, budgets, and schedules. He reviewed and approved contractor shop drawings and change order requests. He has also performed forensic structural investigations of steel, concrete, and timber structures.

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Mr. Mora, a Forensic Engineer at VERTEX, offers 15+ years of structural design, contracting, and forensic engineering experience, specializing in inspections, reports, and structural analysis in the Chicago/Midwest region. His expertise covers various industrial, commercial, and residential structures, alongside rehabilitation projects. He excels in on-site fieldwork, condition assessments, testing, and expert witness reports. Mr. Mora’s professional background spans steel, concrete, and wood structures, including new designs, modifications, and collaborative project work.

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Mr. Morrow has a strong background in residential and commercial buildings, structural systems, architectural systems, and building analysis. He is a licensed structural engineer in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Texas, Florida and Hawaii. For more than 10 years, he has applied his knowledge as a member of the forensic engineering division at Vertex to provide clients with structural damage assessments, cause and origin investigations, and code compliant repair and design recommendations for residential and commercial applications. His experience includes stuctural design for new building components as well as assessing damage and recommending repairs on a wide variety of building systems, including structural members, roofing systems, and foundations.

In addition to his role in forensic claims and litigation support, Mr. Morrow is an integral member of the construction loss control service for Vertex, which provides plan review reports, construction quality control site visits, and health and safety site visits at construction sites nationwide. As part of the service, he has performed geotechnical report reviews, structural plan reviews and construction quality control site visits for high-rise construction and multi-family housing projects. Mr. Morrow also has experience in construction management roles with the Owner’s Project Management division at Vertex. Responsibilities included documenting existing conditions during demolition, determination of appropriate response measures to unexpected conditions, establishing proper construction methods to meet design guidelines, and communication between contractors, architects, engineers, and building owners.

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Mr. Broesler has over 40 years of experience in the construction inspection industry. He has served as resident engineer, chief inspector and office engineer on LKB’s major construction administration projects, including numerous highway and bridge construction projects, ranging in size from several thousands of dollars to over $100 million. His construction inspection experience covers a broad spectrum from New York City street construction involving complex utility work, and coordination with numerous public agencies, to work on high volume, high speed interstate highways, involving staged construction and complex maintenance and protection of traffic schemes. He has been responsible for supervising and coordinating the activities of crews as large as 30 inspectors.

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Ms. Sarles is a Project Manager at VERTEX. She earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University. Ms. Sarles previously served in multiple construction management roles for a national General Contractor/Construction Management at Risk firm.

At VERTEX she has provided owner’s project management services a variety of projects including educational facilities and public safety building construction. In many of these projects, Ms. Sarles assisted the project team and the clients in all phases of the design and construction process including trade contractor prequalification and construction administration.

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Allyson has been in the design and construction industry for over thirteen years managing large capital projects in the public and private markets. Her experience is widespread with a focus on financial management, contract administration, and project controls. Allyson has managed multiple public and private projects including K-12 and higher education projects and also worked as a Construction Project Manager for the Massachusetts School Building Authority gaining extensive knowledge of their policies and procedures. As a Project Manager at Vertex, Allyson is currently working on the Pembroke Community Center and the Scituate Hatherly Elementary School projectsShe is natural leader and hands-on teamplayer.  With her comprehensive industry knowledge and thorough understanding of administration, technology, and FF&E, she is able to facilitate effective communication and document control processes, ensure compliance and make informed decisions for a successful project outcome.

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Christy has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry with extensive Institutional and Healthcare project portfolios as well as experience managing large, complex multi-use development projects. Working in both Union and Open Shop environments, Christy has a vast understanding of construction projects. She fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. Her strong communication and client service skills enhance Vertex’s process-driven management philosophy.

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Andrew L. Sargent, a Senior Director in Vertex’s Contract Claims practice, specializes in resolving complex construction disputes involving critical path method (CPM) scheduling delays and productivity impacts. Mr. Sargent’s proficiency in preparing claims and expert reports is well-regarded, addressing issues like schedule delays, productivity loss and disruption impacts, quantum/damages, and more. His experience spans various project types, providing a broad spectrum of knowledge in construction disputes. Mr. Sargent has testified at trial, and he consistently offers his expertise to clients engaged in all dispute resolution forums.

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Carl Stokley is a Senior Manager in VERTEX’s Contract Claims group. Mr. Stokley is a professional engineer who has provided consulting and expert services for matters throughout North America. Mr. Stokley is proficient in schedule review and analysis productivity analysis, quantity take-offs, cost estimating, and provides opinions on construction standard-of-care. In addition, Mr. Stokley has performed investigations related to construction defects, including onsite observations, and prepared damages calculations and reports for high-rise and mid-rise condominium buildings in New Jersey and private and institutional entities in New York City.

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Ethan Evans graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management with a Minor in Sustainability. Once university had been completed, he immediately began his foray in the construction industry as an assistant to the project manager. He worked on a variety of projects pertaining to the federal-government market such as Coast Guard stations, military hotels, training centers, and aircraft hangars. Daily tasks included handling submittal documents, daily site-safety inspections, vendor prequalification, purchase orders, Requests For Information (RFI), submitting sustainability criteria, bid estimation, proposal writing, scheduling, and basic field work. With his valuable field experience, Ethan then transitioned into designer of fire protection systems in 2022.

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Frank Benway has over 18 years of construction management experience on some of the most complex projects nationwide. Specific expertise includes surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation.

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Mr. Harrigfeld serves as a Forensic Architect for the forensic division at VERTEX and is a Registered Architect in the State of Idaho. He has over ten years of design experience in architecture in addition to over eight years of project management experience in a variety of project types including commercial, industrial, educational, institutional, retail, multi & single-family residential as well as mixed-use projects. Mr. Harrigfeld provides a wide array of consulting services including forensic analysis of construction defects, building envelope assessments, water intrusion investigations, and property loss claims. Mr. Harrigfeld has expertise in Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Failure Mode & Effect Analysis (FMEA), and Defect Elimination (DE).

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Ms. Pelkey is a Project Manager II for VERTEX, and graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in the Spanish Language. Ms. O’Brien has been involved in a variety of projects including Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments including Limited Compliance Reviews and Soil Management Plans. She has had experience managing a variety of site assessments including storage facilities, various industrial facilities and distribution centers, gasoline stations, and large commercial and residential facilities, which have included additional services such as radon testing, mold assessments, lead in water testing, and limited compliance reviews.

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Bryan Jarvis is a seasoned construction professional with experience managing complex public construction projects including public safety facilities and complex K-12 school projects. Bryan’s proactive management and organizational skills, along with a hands-on approach, allow him to strategically lead projects while creating a positive, team-oriented environment. He is an excellent communicator and a resourceful problem-solver which are invaluable attributes throughout a project. Bryan is a licensed Construction Supervisor, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified and earned his OSHA 10-hour and MCPPO Certifications.

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Adam Buck, a Senior Fire Protection Designer at VERTEX, is a seasoned professional specializing in Fire Protection Engineering Services. With an A.S. in Instrumentation from the University of Rhode Island and certifications including OSHA 10 and NICET III, Adam has received special training in various areas, such as Autodesk Certified Professional: AutoCAD and Victaulic Vortex Design. In the realm of Fire Protection and Life Safety, Adam is a key contributor, offering expertise in system design, performance-based design, hydraulic analysis, code consulting, audits, surveys, inspections, and more. With 23 years of experience in Fire Alarm and Suppression, Adam joined VERTEX in August 2023, showcasing a dedication to quality and excellence, backed by his U.S. Navy veteran status and ongoing pursuit of CFPS certification.

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Mr. Daly is a Senior Project Manager within the Environmental Insurance team. Mr. Daly’s primary duties include management of junior team members, oversight of loss control for petroleum, heavy metal, and indoor air pollution insurance claims to ensure projects are conducted as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, as well as initial claim investigation. Specific duties include remedial activity proposal and cost estimate review, development of cost allocations, assistance with regulatory negotiations, invoice audits, scientific analysis of laboratory data and scientific reports, and general oversight of environmental remediation. Mr. Daly’s is the Seattle office’s Health & Safety Lead which includes assisting in preparation of Health & Safety Plans and leading periodic office Health & Safety awareness training and discussions. Mr. Daly has significant expertise in environmental remediation projects in both urban and remote areas of Alaska, as well as experience and a deep understanding of regulatory requirements for several other states, including Oregon, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

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Mr. Pacheco is a Consultant II in the VERTEX’s Irvine office. He earned a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

Mr. Pacheco brings a background in project management across a diverse range of projects throughout his 8 years of field experience including ground up construction of boutique hotels and luxury senior assisted living facilities, rehabilitation of a sewer lines, and implementation of underground and aerial fiber networks. His field experiences include project management, subcontractor management, daily inspections, and scheduling. He brings extensive knowledge of contract documentation, best practices, owner’s representation, and field work standards. This includes a full array of construction administration duties such as punchlist, inspection, submittal/RFI/change order, and CO/close-out procedures.

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Grant Dickson is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. During his time in school, he gained internship experience in MEP design of healthcare buildings and design/construction management of wastewater projects. Experience included usage of various software, including REVIT, AutoCAD and IESVE. Additionally, basic field work and handling the submittal and RFI processes were tasks he regularly performed. Following his graduation, Grant transitioned to a fire protection designer role, focused on fire sprinkler and fire alarm permit drawings and fire alarm and fire suppression system evaluations.

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Libby has more than 25 years of progressive experience in business management, accounting, payroll, technical writing and proposals, and over five (5) years Human Resource experience. Libby began her early career in business administration in a variety of industries, earning her bachelors degree in Business Administration in 2009. She has also taken part in continuing education and professional development programs, earning her SHRM-CP certification and State of Florida Notary designation

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Luke has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry including experience on the architectural side of construction. He is an integral part of the Team working onsite managing the day-to-day activities to maintain the schedule and budget for the project. Luke is responsible for communications between architect and contractor and owner groups, as well as for tracking QA/QC issues and managing the cost management process. Luke has excellent organizational skills and is able to clearly convey information to the Team to maintain a professional and collegial environment. Luke has been a member of the Vertex Team, which handles multiple, large projects for Boston University, including the brand-new Center for Computing & Data Sciences, the Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering (CILSE), and the Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

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Mr. Keely, IAAI-CFI, is a Certified Fire Investigator through the International Association of Arson Investigators.

He has over 32 years of experience investigating fire and explosions, beginning in November 1991 as a patrol Deputy Sheriff with the York County Sheriff’s Department, York County, Maine. While employed with the York County Sheriff’s Department, he specialized in Fire and Explosion investigation and was promoted to Detective/Deputy Sheriff in 1995. Duties as a major crimes investigator included the investigation of fires and explosions to determine origin and cause in cooperation with municipal, state and federal law enforcement authorities within Maine and other states.

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Tiffany W. Chang is a Project Manager working within VERTEX’s Litigation Support Group. She graduated from New York University in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Environmental Biology. Continuing her education, she received her M.S. in Urban Systems Engineering and Management in 2017, also from New York University.

Ms. Chang has a strong background in civil and environmental engineering. Over the last 3 years with VERTEX, she has experienced a variety of litigation projects ranging from common issues such as home settlement to more catastrophic ones such fire and tornado damage. The projects have been located all over the continental US and included contract estimates of up to $100 million. Ms. Chang’s responsibilities have included construction estimation, report preparation, contract document composition, and litigation support.

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Amanda Michel is an Industrial Hygienist with one year of experience in the environmental industry. She is a certified asbestos inspector, asbestos project manager, asbestos project designer, certified air sample analyst per the NIOSH-582 Method, and certified mold assessment consultant. Field experience and expertise include the oversight of asbestos abatement projects, collecting and analyzing air samples per the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), conducting inspections/surveys for the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACM), lead paint in residential buildings, construction oversight and vapor mitigation system (VMS) inspections, and Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Additionally, she has completed her OSHA 10 – Construction Industry Outreach and Fall Protection Awareness trainings. She is a 2021 graduate from St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Mathematics.

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Mr. William Dauhajre is a Consultant III with VERTEX’s Tampa office. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Mr. Dauhajre specializes in Structural Engineering and oversees both small and large-scale commercial and residential projects. He is proficient in the preparation and expediting of structural contract documents in accordance with the current state codes and standards of construction.

Mr. Dauhajre has also worked on a wide array of projects including single-family and multifamily residences, offices, retail, airports, hotels, schools, and warehouses. As part of Mr. Dauhajre experience in the construction and engineering inspection scope, he has performed punch lists and detailed inspections, submittal/RFI/change order/additional services reviews, and CO/close-out procedures. Moreover, he has been involved with estimating, bidding, and proposals, as well as analyzing the scope, budget, and schedule of multiple projects.

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Amanda Turner joined VERTEX’s Environmental Remediation Division in August 2021 as an Environmental Scientist working primarily in the states of New Jersey and New York.

Ms. Turner has four years of experience in the field of environmental consulting, including Preliminary Assessments, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, and Phase II Subsurface Investigations. She has field experience in the collection of soil, groundwater, indoor air, and sub-slab soil gas, as well as the oversight and direction of subcontractors. Ms. Turner has technical report preparation and due diligence experience including site reconnaissance, research of historical information, interpretation of environmental databases, and documentation review.

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Chris has over 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry. He is a licensed architect with an extensive background in designing, coordinating and detailing construction projects. As a Project Architect, Chris led new construction and renovation projects through all phases of design and construction for public and private clients in seven states. His projects included educational facilities, containment laboratories, university dormitories, high profile assembly spaces, as well as hospitality and multi-family residential buildings. At VERTEX, Chris has been the Construction Site Manager/Project Manager on Municipal, MSBA School, and University projects. Chris has a focused approach to each project with his attention to detail and solutions-based problem-solving skills. He is an excellent communicator and maintains a supportive team environment.

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Dave Strzempko is a Vice President and Head of Loss Control. Responsibilities include: internal corporate risk management; management of teams providing private sector Loss Control assistance (underwriting) and Loss Control / Risk Management services on active construction OCIP and CCIP risks; and management of environmental insurance accounts (claims). Mr. Strzempko has 30+ years of experience in the environmental industry with the last 15 years focused on the insurance industry and attendant Loss Control services.  Mr. Strzempko has served as an expert witness providing litigation support and/or actively participating in several environmental insurance legal matters based on his education, training, and extensive experience in the remediation of releases of oil and hazardous materials, understanding of costs for remedial activities, and knowledge of compliance and reporting requirements. Mr. Strzempko’s legal support proceedings have included depositions, interrogatories, mediation, arbitration, and trial testimony.

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Mr. Maxwell has over almost 25 years of experience in management, engineering, expert witness support, claims management, and risk assessment and is a Vice President of the Forensic division at VERTEX. Mr. Maxwell is a Professional Engineer (PE) in multiple states, is a Registered Roof Consultant (RRC), and a Project Management Consultant (PMP). This education and experience enables him to opine on building costs and defects from both a damages and liability perspective utilizing a design and construction approach. Mr. Maxwell is an expert witness who provides testimony and expert support to construction defect casees with a special emphases in roofing, waterproofing, and costs.

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Mrs. Wieland has over 16 years of experience working in the environmental industry. Mrs. Wieland has professional experience in conducting various environmental due diligence projects, including Phase I and Phase II site assessments, for a variety of clients involving municipal, commercial/retail, industrial, and transportation sites. She has experience managing various projects in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank Program (LPST) as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) VCP and Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Program.

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Scott Crosby is an Engineering in Training (EIT) with a strong foundation in civil engineering, site development, and drainage design at VERTEX. Holding a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont, Scott’s expertise extends to various projects, including the design of educational institutions such as Central Falls High School, Coakley Middle School, Watertown High School, and Fall River Pre-K Modulars. His skills encompass site layout, hydrology and hydraulic analysis, utility design, grading, and construction document preparation. Additionally, Scott has contributed to projects like Amgen Slope and Field Stabilization, Harvard Pacific Stormwater Pipe Repair, and the Walpole Pool Replacement Study, demonstrating his versatility and commitment to engineering excellence.

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Curtis Grupe is a Project Engineer at The Vertex Companies LLC with a diverse background in industries such as Aerospace, Construction, and HVAC. He holds the designation of Engineer-in-Training (EIT) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University. Curtis has ambitions to pursue a Masters Degree in the future.

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Robert Fitzburgh has 25 years of professional experience in a wide variety of management responsibilities as a consultant in the areas of insurance, surety and environmental consulting. He has a proven track record of designing, implementing, and managing large projects profitably and independently. He has extensive skills in project management claim investigation, litigation support, regulatory compliance, industrial hygiene, health and safety, cost estimating, project planning, customer relations, purchasing, and vendor management. Mr. Fitzburgh is the Division Manager for the California office of VERTEX and is responsible for oversight of company operations in the southwestern US.

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Heidi Klein is a Project Manager of Forensics in the Denver, CO office. Heidi received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and her Master of Civil Engineering (Structural) from Johns Hopkins University. Heidi is a licensed professional engineer in Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi, Texas, and Wyoming and has provided expert testimony in forensic engineering, building envelopes, and roofing. Heidi has additional certifications as a Haag Certified Inspector for Residential, Commercial, and Wind, a Haag Certified Reviewer, a Certified Residential Thermographer, a Certified Level 1 Thermographer, a member of the Cal OES Safety Assessment Program, and a Certified Inspector from the Exterior Design Institute. Prior to joining Vertex, Heidi’s experience included forensic engineering related to property claims (hail, wind, fire, hurricane, flood, etc.), construction defect, premise liability such as trip/fall and personal injury cases, seller’s disclosure disputes, and third party construction observations.

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Mr. Duverge is a Consultant out of VERTEX’s New York office and has been a part of a variety of surety projects ranging from the enlargement of an Air Force Base hangar in New Hampshire to renovating an Elementary School in Pennsylvania. Mr. Duverge graduated from Lafayette College in 2018 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is currently pursuing his Masters of Engineering degree in Construction Engineering and Management at the University of Colorado Denver.

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Mr. Gant is a graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he obtained a B.S. in Environmental Science. With Vertex, Mr. Gant has 3 years of claim investigation work regarding cause, origin, and timing discovery for underground storage tanks (UST), oil and gas pipeline releases, and mold losses. Currently, Mr. Gant serves as a Project Manger at the VERTEX. In this position Mr. Gant is responsible for providing loss control, claims management services, conducting site inspections, and field oversight. His field work experience includes, UST removal oversight, mold remediation oversight, asbestos remediation oversight, as well as, indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring.

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Mr. Ayrapetov has over 10 years of consulting experience advising owners, architects, engineers, contractors, insurers, and counsel on a wide range of projects in public and private sectors, including mass-transit, rail, highway, heavy civil, bridge, energy plant, wastewater treatment facilities, US Army projects, and also major commercial projects such as hotels and resorts. Additionally, Mr. Ayrapetov has over 10 years of experience working on numerous tenant improvement projects.

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Steven Platt has over 20 years of experience as an Architect, General Contractor and Owner’s Representative. Steven is a License Architect and General Contractor. His work types have included mixed-use, hospitality, commercial and residential, including interior and food service design. Steven has managed both an Architectural and General Contracting offices in Washington and California. He has also completed projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. His project management experience includes bidding, managing, subcontractor negotiations, site visits and project closeouts. As owner representative for a developer, Steven managed mix-use projects, including solicitation of consultants and contractor selection.

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Mr. Stedje is an environmental professional who specializes in site investigation, cost, and risk analysis, permitting, construction management and cleanup oversight. He has evaluated projects ranging from small scale commercial and residential developments to multi-billion-dollar industrial facilities. Mr. Stedje manages and directs a variety of due diligence environmental site assessments, designs comprehensive subsurface investigation programs, interprets analytical and field data, formulates, and communicates regulatory strategies to clients, prepares and manages regulatory compliance submittals, and plans remediation programs. He is a licensed Professional Geologist that has conducted assessment and cleanup actions under a variety of state and federal regulatory programs. As Regional Vice President at VERTEX, he provides operational leadership for the Southeast Environmental Service group.

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Mr. Jacobson is an accomplished Project Manager at VERTEX based in the Scottsdale, Arizona office. He has over seven years of expertise in environmental, health & safety, and engineering consulting. His extensive experience encompasses various projects, including Field Engineering, Construction/Workplace Safety Management, Property Condition Assessments (PCAs), Industrial Hygiene/Building Sciences, Environmental Due Diligence, and Remediation Services. He has demonstrated proficiency in working with different commercial properties, including public/military, multifamily, office/retail, industrial storage/warehouse, hotel, undeveloped land, manufacturing facilities, and manufactured housing communities.

Mr. Jacobson’s extensive environmental consulting background encompasses hazardous material site investigations, exposure assessments, site characterization, remedial investigations and design, removal of underground storage tank (UST) systems, hydrogeologic field studies, site development, brownfield redevelopments, construction and demolition oversight, pre-construction services, regulatory permitting, risk assessments, visual assessments of ADA compliance and evaluating seismic risk. He has spearheaded numerous Phase II Subsurface investigations and remediation projects, including sampling soil, soil gas, indoor air, and groundwater, overseeing soil boring, monitoring well installation, and excavation. Moreover, Mr. Jacobson possesses comprehensive expertise in building sciences, including identifying, designing, abating, and remedying hazardous substances like asbestos, mold, radon, and lead. He is also well-versed in developing, operating, and monitoring public and private drinking water and wastewater systems.

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Ms. Emma Theisen is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering. Emma is currently located in Vertex’s Denver office and using her educational background in Civil Engineering to help complete Civil Forensics Claims assignments. Emma completed a Capstone design project focused in Structural Engineering while at Texas A&M University, but is also well versed in Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, and Transportation Engineering.

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Kate has over 15 years of experience in the design and construction industry. Having worked for an architect, contractor, and OPM, she has managed many MSBA, UMBA and private higher education projects. Kate has a thorough understanding of FF&E and technology packages having managed and coordinated them on multiple projects from design to completion. In addition, she oversaw renovations to a historical 27-unit mixed income apartment building on Nantucket and has worked with a Community Preservation Committee, Historical District Commission and MassHousing. Kate works on various capital projects including K-12 and higher education. With her well-rounded background, team player approach and effective communication skills, she fosters a collaborative environment for all. Kate is well-organized and goal orientated which provides the team the ability to stay focused and be effective for a successful project outcome.

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Chris Phillips has over 30 years of progressively responsible and diverse experience in the disciplines of environmental compliance, industrial hygiene, due diligence and safety and currently serves as a Regional Vice President for VERTEX in the Western Region. Mr. Phillips is responsible for assisting with the development, management and execution of the Environmental business in the West, consistent with the company’s vision, mission and core values.

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