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Chuck Chapman

Relentless Ally

Right on Track

Whether they carry commercial goods, raw materials or people, trains rarely have the luxury of stopping for long. That’s rarely an issue on an active rail line, but when railways require new construction, renovation and modernization, you need a hands-on expert who can keep things on track.

As one of Balfour Beatty’s leading rail experts, Area Operations Manager Chuck Chapman understands the importance of solutions-driven rail construction. Throughout his impressive 35-year career, Chuck has honed his skills as an innovative problem-solver, a master communicator and a creative project scheduler for public and private clients alike. Every dollar and every hour saved counts, and Balfour Beatty’s forward-thinking rail professionals like Chuck skillfully identify them at every turn.

Hands-On Problem Solving

Project leaders must display innovative problem-solving and the willingness to roll up one’s sleeves, take a personal role in the project plan and execute the best path forward.

Chuck’s storied career is replete with such situations, both as an estimator and as a project manager, and where the two disciplines converge. On a former employer’s bridge project, Chuck and his team were faced with a dilemma: the project required the creation of a dewatered area to facilitate bridgework, but traditional methods of sinking a cofferdam using sheet piles wouldn’t be adequate.

The approach spans of the bridge offered too little clearance to install cofferdams, and splicing sheet piles to handle the task would have increased project costs. So Chuck and his team got creative. They combined the strengths of each method by securing sheet piles to the cofferdam base using bulb seals.

“On each phase of the bridge, our solution probably saved four to six months,” Chuck recalls. “You multiply that across 36 segments, and the time and cost savings made an incredible difference for our client.”

While that level of creative problem-solving can come with the territory of complex infrastructure construction, it remains one of Chuck’s favorite aspects of his job and something he sees as wise stewardship of clients’ valuable time and money.

“There’s always an opportunity to partner with our clients, develop solutions and proactively prevent problems,” Chuck adds. “We get the right people together to create solutions that serve a project technically, fiscally and safely.”

Complete Communication

From the earliest planning phases to the completion of a project’s lifecycle, project leaders must be master communicators with every stakeholder. Direct, constant communication with clients, owners and trade partners can help prevent costly delays and any unnecessary impacts to the traveling public or vital supply chains that rely on rail infrastructure.

On Chuck’s most recent project, the electrification of Caltrain in San Jose, California, he prioritizes clear and consistent communication with project leaders, the client and local municipal authorities, ensuring Balfour Beatty adheres to all standards and procedures for working in and around critical infrastructure. Chuck understands that early and proactive team alignment enables the collaborative development of solutions that enhance critical logistics and safety planning. 

Impact-Sensitive Scheduling

Chuck and his fellow rail experts at Balfour Beatty cultivate a shared team understanding our client’s vision and target turnover dates, enabling strategic and successful project schedules.

“Traffic impacts and utility relocation are at the forefront of our minds on any rail project, because we know how mission critical both can be,” Chuck says. “By identifying these constraints early, we’re actually empowered to plan the most effective solutions such as nighttime closures and utility relocations that avoid interference with rail tracks and any permitting necessary to accomplish both.”

Balfour Beatty’s rail leaders can also leverage the many advantages of prefabrication where it can accelerate the schedule, save money and mitigate a project’s public impact. Railway replacements are a prime example.

“Prefabrication is another powerful tool in our planning toolbox,” Chuck says. “If we can build 1,000 feet of rail next to its final location, we can keep trains moving during that process, take the line out of service for a shorter outage period and install the new rail all at once.”

United in Vision

For Chuck, understanding a client’s vision is just par for the course. By communicating that vision to all stakeholders, then planning, designing and scheduling projects accordingly, the entire team stays on track.

Rail is one of our oldest modes of motorized travel but still plays a crucial role in the way we move people and goods around our communities and around the country. We’re proud to serve our clients by making rail construction and renovation as efficient, expedient and economical as possible and empowering leaders like Chuck who can make it happen.

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Kelsey Beaty

Relentless Ally

Embracing Every Opportunity

In her 16 years with Balfour Beatty, Project Business Manager Kelsey Beaty has enthusiastically sought out new challenges. From her time as an intern in Georgia to serving as a project accountant in the Carolinas and taking on the role of project business manager in Texas, Kelsey has been committed to expanding her skillsets since day one. Her willingness to evolve with the needs of the business has broadened her knowledge of every area of our work, making her an invaluable teammate with a deep understanding of the industry.

Building on a Legacy

Kelsey comes by her interest in construction administration naturally. Her father spent several years as a human resources executive at Balfour Beatty, imparting his passion for the industry and the many opportunities available within it.

In December 2007, an opportunity to become the first accounting intern within Balfour Beatty’s U.S civils business opened in Atlanta, Georgia, and Kelsey jumped at the chance. Though she was nervous to begin the internship, having only taken one accounting class in school, her nerves were quickly eased.  

“No one expected me to be the CEO on my first day,” Kelsey laughs. “My supervisors were clear with me: they wanted someone interested in the business who was willing to jump in and learn.”

Kelsey continued interning within the shared services team throughout her time in college, building rewarding relationships, learning about the industry and maximizing every opportunity. When she graduated, she was eager to begin her career with Balfour Beatty.

Field Transitions

After several years of working in an office environment in Atlanta and in a regional office in Wilmington, North Carolina, Kelsey began to feel that field work was the next step in her career evolution. She had supported field teams extensively and participated in jobsite tours that broadened her perspective of how the accounting function supports our work.

Kelsey soon made the move to Jacksonville, North Carolina, to work on the Camp Lejeune base entry project. For the first time, Kelsey was fully immersed in a project, experiencing her accounting work in action right outside her window.

Her time amid active work allowed her to build relationships with field and craft teams in a way she hadn’t before. “It opened my world up a bit,” she says. “I gained an understanding of operational processes that I’ve carried with me ever since.”

(South)Westward Expansion

After a year on the Camp Lejeune job, Kelsey was tapped to make a major transition: moving to Dallas, Texas, to begin work on the Dallas Horseshoe project. The project spanned 73 miles of roadway and included the construction of 37 bridges, well beyond the scope of any project in which Kelsey had been involved.

“It was quite an undertaking,” Kelsey reflects. “I very quickly learned the importance of teamwork on a job of that scale.”

After completing the Dallas Horseshoe, Kelsey moved to the Southern Gateway project and, currently, the I-635 East project. As project business manager, Kelsey and her teams are responsible for all things finance, including processing payroll for hundreds of employees, managing payments to trade partners and more.

Her most important role, she says, is supporting our field teams. “My job only exists because of the teams working on the project site,” Kelsey explains.

A Powerful Mentor

During her time on the Dallas Horseshoe project, Kelsey developed a mentoring relationship with Director of Construction Dan Young. In the decade since, the pair have been an unstoppable force, and Dan has been pivotal in Kelsey’s career development.

“Kelsey is an invaluable asset to our team,” Dan says. “Her time in the southeast and the Horseshoe and Southern Gateway projects has given her a great breadth of experience that allows her to understand and support her teammates, and she’s always seeking out new ways to learn.”

Throughout her time with Balfour Beatty, Kelsey has demonstrated that she is not only capable of adapting to new environments but thrives in the face of change. She enthusiastically adapts with the ever-changing needs of the industry, giving her a broad knowledge of operations and making her a well-rounded leader and passionate advocate for her teammates. 

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Sarah Brand

Vice President, National Business Acquisition

Relentless Ally since 2008

Sarah Brand serves as vice president of national business acquisition for Balfour Beatty’s national operations where she is responsible for the development and support of strategic pursuits, with a focus on Federal acquisition with other teams. Sarah also supports Public-Private Partnership (P3) programs with the company's Buildings and Investments operations, and she is active in researching U.S. Rail opportunities and partnerships within existing Balfour Beatty geographies.

Since starting her career at Balfour Beatty in 2008, Sarah has successfully led the planning, design integration, and delivery efforts for various civic and social projects partnering with a range of clients from private developers to federal government entities. She has also guided project teams through the successful execution of design-build or team-based delivery methods and played an integral role in the pursuit and delivery of many high-profile projects including the National Science Foundation Headquarters, the Utah Data Center (USACE) and the $700 million design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) Joint Government Center in Broward County, Florida

Sarah is a graduate of Duke University where she received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with an emphasis on structures and a certificate in architectural engineering. She is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Virginia, a certified Core Clarity instructor, Designated Design-Build Professional (DBIA), and LEED® Accredited Professional.

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, reading and fishing as well as spending time with her husband and two children.