Austin in the News

Marketing Leader Named President-Elect of SMPS Northeast Ohio Chapter

Tamara Zupancic, Manager of Marketing with The Austin Company, was recently named President-Elect of the Northeast Ohio chapter of SMPS – the Society of Professional Marketing Services.

Tamara, who joined Austin in January, has been involved with SMPS for five years, holding a variety of roles with the organization on the local, regional and national levels, including Logistics Committee chairperson for SMPS Northeast Ohio Chapter, Communications Committee member for the 2017 SMPS Heartland Regional Conference, and serving as a judge for SMPS National’s Striving for Excellence Award and Marketing Communications Award programs.

With over 10 years of experience in marketing within the architecture, engineering and construction industry, Tamara brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to her role at Austin and carries that experience to the professional and community organizations on which she volunteers. 

In addition to SMPS, Tamara is active with KSKJ Life, a community-focused life insurance company and not-for-profit fraternal organization.

Austin is honored to have Tamara on our team,” stated Mike Pierce, President with The Austin Company. “Her expertise in identity and branding, along with her leadership in collaborating sales and marketing strategy are a great benefit to Austin and the organizations she supports.”



Article: Avoiding All Hazards

From Baking & Snack Magazine; June 2018

"Controlling water allows bakers to reduce downtime, streamline production and enhance food and employee safety."

"Water has historically been a demon when it comes to bakery reliability," explained Mike Pierce, president, The Austin Company. "When electrical panels are not properly sealed, either through design or employee practice, water can enter and cause havoc ... the conductivity through the water back to the hose holder creates a safety issue that is often overlooked."

Read More

Learn more about Austin's Baking & Snack Facility Solutions.



2018 Plant Construction Survey: Rising Rate of Food & Beverage Plant Renovations/Expansions

From Food Engineering Magazine; June 2018

Many food & beverage processors are renovating/expanding their existing plants to meet FSMA and consumer demands.

"Renovating your food or beverage plant can be done in stages, so as not to upset production. There’s even room to expand the building, and your design-build firm has done all the risk assessments, verifying that renovating and expanding are possible. Now, all that’s left, is what may be the toughest question: What will your business look like five, 10 or 20 years from now?"

"According to Eric Bockmuller, The Austin Company senior director, project planning, owners are also showing more interest in process and building control management, so they can closely monitor varying costs in manufacturing their product and how changes made in the process affect their production cost and volume."

Read More

Learn more about Austin's Food & Beverage Facility Solutions


Whitepaper: New OSHA Silica Dust Standard

Are you familiar with the new OSHA standard on silica and other hazardous dust exposure limits? Brian Foss, Mechanical Engineer with The Austin Company, examines the new standard in this whitepaper, "Keeping Employees Safe from Silica and Other Hazardous Dust, per OSHA New Standard."

Download your copy here.


Preconstruction Leaders Featured at Advancing Building Estimation Conference 2018

Cleveland, OH; April 30, 2018 – The Austin Company will be featured at the Advancing Building Estimation (ABE) Conference held May 15-16, 2018, in Denton, Texas.

Chris Jackson, Director of Preconstruction Services, and Amy Hewis, Preconstruction Coordinator, both with The Austin Company will be presenting at two sessions on Tuesday, May 15 as part of the More Efficient Bidding track:

  • Become the ‘General Contractor of Choice’ for Subcontractors by Out-Performing Your Competition
  • Exploring What General Contractors Are Doing to Optimize Their Subcontractor Relationships & Improve Bidder Responsiveness

With the widespread construction labor shortage and accelerated project schedules, general contractors and subcontractors must find new ways of working together more efficiently. These two sessions will share ways to optimize this relationship and how general contractors and subcontractors can become trusted partners for project success. 

As the largest event in North America dedicated to construction estimating best practices, Advancing Building Estimation is a gathering of more than 400 estimation, preconstruction and VDC professionals. The conference focuses on the latest technology and tools for model-based quantity take-off, conceptual estimating and bid management.

Email to learn more about The Austin Company’s Preconstruction Services.


Article: How World-Class Facilities Get Built

In this Q&A conversation with Generis, Matt Eddleman, Senior VP Operations, shares his background and insights on designing and constructing manufacturing facilities. Originally published for the 2018 Generis American Manufacturing Summit.

Read Article


Steve Lotz Promoted to Regional Safety Manager

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Austin Company (, a leading design, engineering, construction and location consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, recently announced the promotion of Steven Lotz to Regional Safety Manager.

Steve's career with The Austin Company began in 1988, working as a Field Engineer at the Pfizer, Inc. (formerly Upjohn) campus in Kalamazoo. His work included the construction of Building 300, which at the time, was the largest research and development facility in North America.

In 1991, Steve joined the Austin team at Boeing’s Seattle, Washington, site as Safety Engineer. His assignments included implementing the safety program on the 1.9 MM sq. ft. Boeing 777 project, seismic upgrades to the 747 assembly building, and renovations of various other buildings on campus. Following this project, Steve returned to Pfizer’s Kalamazoo campus as Safety Engineer – a position he held until 2002.

From 2002 to 2003, Steve lived in Venezuela performing missionary work. After returning to the United States, Steve was a Safety Officer at demolition of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons complex in Colorado. In 2004 Steve returned to The Austin Company to manage safety for Austin’s Michigan operations and served as Interim Corporate Safety Director in 2008.

Unique to Austin’s Michigan operations are the 100-plus self-perform trades group and work environment of a 1200-acre pharmaceutical manufacturing site with 124 buildings. “This environment requires an expanded safety program, including training for direct-hire subcontractors and incorporation of the client’s site-specific safety program,” stated Steve VanWormer, General Manager with The Austin Company. “Growth in our operations has required additional safety engineering staff who report to Steve. Austin is honored to have someone with Steve’s dedication and knowledge in this role,” VanWormer continued.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master’s in construction management from the University of Illinois. In 2014, Steve was recognized as an Austin All Star – an award based on his dedication to safety and quality.


Baking & Snack Industry Leader Joins The Austin Company

The Austin Company is pleased to announce that Jeffrey E. Dearduff has joined the firm as Corporate Director of Baking & Snack. In this role, Dearduff will have company-wide responsibility for leading Austin’s baking and snack industry services, including location consulting, design, engineering, planning, construction and design-build.

Jeff is a great addition to our team. His experience and background serving the baking and snack industry will greatly benefit our clients and their projects in this market,” said Mike Pierce, president of The Austin Company. “We are confident that Jeff’s progressive thinking will bring even greater value to our clients and their facility projects.

Dearduff joins The Austin Company from Gold Standard Baking where he was Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he was with ARYZTA Americas, where he served as Senior Vice President of Operations and Supply Chain Services; Senior Vice President of Bakery Development; and Senior Vice President of Strategic Partner Development. Prior to ARYZTA, he served as Director of U.S. Bakery Operations for East Balt, Inc.

In 2014, Dearduff was recognized by Sosland Publishing/Baking & Snack magazine as the Operations Executive of the Year. In addition, he is Past Chairman of the American Society of Baking, is on the American Institute of Baking Board of Trustees, has served in numerous other industry organization leadership roles, and has received several industry awards.


The Austin Company Continues to Grow

The Austin Company has added 7,000 square feet to its Cleveland office to support the company’s continued growth. The added space includes offices for 18 people and a training and conference center. This expansion compliments renovation projects Austin completed late last year to add collaboration and gathering spaces to its existing office and upgrade technology throughout the office.

“As one of Cleveland’s oldest companies, we are always working to stay on the cutting edge. Some of the improvements we have made in recent years have helped drive our growth and this expansion. Similar to what is happening in the community of Northeast Ohio, we see only brighter days ahead for Austin,” said Mike Pierce, President of The Austin Company. He continued, “When we considered this expansion, we wanted to include a training and conference center. Our business is collaborative by nature, so having spaces to support collaboration is important. This space also allows us to easily conduct interactive BIM model reviews and host start-of-the-art training.”

The Austin Company has already filled the added workspaces and is investigating options for potential future expansion. 


The Austin Company Receives Safety Award from Liberty Mutual

April 11, 2017; Cleveland, Ohio –– The Austin Company ( continues its tradition of outstanding safety practices in design, engineering and construction, and was again recognized by Liberty Mutual with a Silver Safety Award for working over 1.3 million man-hours without a lost time accident. In addition, Austin was recognized for being 60 percent below industry Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2016.

“This is a remarkable achievement,” states Charlie Engel, director of QA/QC - safety and health with The Austin Company. “Austin’s remarkable safety record is a testament to our employees’ dedication and commitment to putting safety first every day.”

This is another major safety milestone for The Austin Company and reflects the firm’s commitment to uncompromised safety and quality and safety on every job performed. Excellent safety performance not only enables everyone to go home at the end of the day without injury, but it also reflects a discipline on the job site that promotes quality and collaboration.