Our People


Our Founder

John J. Smith Sr, Owner & CEO

John J. Smith Sr. began his career after returning from service in from Korea in 1952 repairing furnaces at Scullen Steel Mill on Manchester. Soon after he became a masonry apprentice at Elam Masonry. There, he completed his apprenticeship, became a Journeyman and eventually became Vice President. In 1975 he split off from Elam Masonry to pursue his own business and incorporated John J. Smith Masonry in 1977. He worked out of his basement, building a foundation that would stand the test of time. In 1975 John J. Smith Masonry had its first big break by being tasked with completing a Shoney's on Manchester at Hanley. This allowed for a series of amazing work and led to the greater opportunities of the 1980s including the beginning of the Smith – Washington University relationship, as well as the repair and redesign of Union Station in St. Louis. John J. Smith was President and CEO during this time and continued to grow the company leading to it become one of the top 10 masonry contractors in the nation and doing prestigious work for Ameren World Headquarters, Graybar and Boatman's Bank. For his hard work and dedication to the masonry industry, John J. Smith Sr. has been awarded the prestigious Lead Man Award. Donald Larsen, MCAA President, said the following about John Sr. when the award was presented: “Few industry individuals have ever received the prestigious Lead Man Award. It's awarded to those people who have distinguished themselves in their service to the masonry industry. John J. Smith has served his industry in numerous capacities and has been a catalyst for elevating the MCAA into a respectful, national construction association.” When not dealing with the business, John Sr. enjoys spending time with his grand children, playing golf and spending time in Florida.


The Office

John J. Smith - President

Masonry is in the Smith Family Blood. John J. Smith is a 3rd generation Mason Contractor. John was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and has approached everything in life with the great intensity that he has utilized every day in the business environment. Prior to his career in the masonry industry, John was very involved in sports (wrestling, football and track) and scouting. John achieved the highest level in Boy Scouts of America – An Eagle Scout, and went on to be inducted as a member of The Order of the Arrow. He was also a starter in football at the High School and Collegiate levels. At the University of Missouri-Rolla (now known as the Missouri University of Science and Technology), John studied Civil Engineering.

In 1975, John started his career in Masonry as an Apprentice in Bricklayers Local 1 of St. Louis. John performed his apprenticeship with Roy Elam Masonry, a large commercial Mason Contractor in the St. Louis region. After his apprenticeship John moved to John J. Smith Masonry as a bricklayer and quickly moved through the ranks working as a Foreman, Superintendent, Riding Superintendent, Estimator, Vice President and now President of the Corporation. Through John’s direction, John J. Smith Masonry Company has shown significant growth over the years. The corporation has spread into Central and Southern Missouri and into Central and Southern Illinois. The corporation has also achieved great recognition locally and nationally. John has also lead the charge to achieve great levels of safety for the corporation and its employees.

John’s dedication doesn’t stop with the corporation. He has been involved with all the aspects of the industry on both a local and national level. John has served as a Trustee, Treasurer, generation bricklayer and a 2nd Secretary, Vice President, President and now a key member of the Arbitration Board for the Mason Contractor Association of St. Louis. John was instrumental in developing and Implementing an OSHA/Mason Contractors Partnership for the St. Louis region. John sat on the Bricklayer’s Pension and Welfare Board of Bricklayers Local 1 of St. Louis. John was also the Chairman of the Bricklayers Apprenticeship Board. On the Industry side of the business, John was Chairman of the Masonry Institute of St. Louis. On the National level, John has served four years as Safety Chairman and also as Marketing Chairman. John has also served as Vice President of MCAA Region E. John was a key part of the Wall bracing policy developed by the MCAA, now a nationally recognized safety standard. John served eight years as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the National Association of the MCAA. John’s leadership, enthusiasm, commitment and relentless dedication to the industry has made John J. Smith Masonry not only a dominant Mason Contractor, but also an expert in the Industry for Architects, Engineers and General Contractors to feed off of in the pursuit of great Masonry structures.

John also finds time for his personal life. He always finds time to hit the links, and will have his clubs ready for any challengers. John and his wife Linda love to entertain, travel and see the sights. John has two children, Brian (now a fourth generation Bricklayer foreman) and Rebecca. John also has three grandchildren, Kayle, Isabelle and Hudson. Any mention of John’s family, especially his grandchildren puts a great smile on his face.

Edward J. Smith - Senior Vice President

When Ed came to work for John J. Smith Masonry in 1996 he brought a wealth of knowledge with him. During his career he has obtained a Bachelor's degree in Science in Mechanical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology as well as a Master's of Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Since then he has worked on aviation life support equipment for the US Army, missile systems proposals for McDonnell Douglas, design control and master scheduling for military aircraft engine systems at General Electric, Quality Engineer for Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac at the GM­Wentzville Assembly Plant and as a Quality Assurance Manager for a commercial HVAC manufacturer. Despite all of these tremendous experiences, Ed has come full circle and has settled in with the masonry trade. In fact, his first experience with masonry was before all of the above in 1975 as a young, barely in high school, kid. He worked for a man named John J. Smith Sr. as a yard kid at Elam Masonry. When Ed began at John J. Smith Masonry he was estimating and defining all of the components of masonry construction and following the project through to completion. This soon transitioned into accounting. His current duties include managing all of the day to day accounting, customer and supplier interfaces, government requirements, internal and external financial reporting, legal interactions, insurance requirements, banking relationships and IT/cell/FCC requirements. Ed's favorite project is the Plaza at Clayton due to the fast paced nature of the estimating, it being the largest project by John J. Smith Masonry and the largest hand laid brick project in St. Louis while also showcasing the skilled expertise of John J. Smith Masonry's excellent craftsmen. Ed has three children that he couldn't be more proud of and can't spend enough time with. In the summer he loves festivals and air shows while in the winter he loves to go to the mountains to ski.

Kelly Shrum - Project Manager/Estimator

Kelly was hired in February of 2003 as an estimator despite not having any masonry experience, a fact that she is very grateful about. After 3 years her responsibilities grew to also include Project Managment necessitating following projects from bid stage to construction completion. She has a Bachelor's degree in Science in Engineering Management – Management of Technology from University of MO ­Rolla. She has also completed the NAWIC Construction Industry Technician course and has received the CM­-BIM as of July 2012. Kelly is married with one daughter and enjoys going to the Zoo, the park and camping with her family. She also has a vibrant passion for photography and has graciously provided many of the building photos on the website.

Rebecca Smith - Project Assistant

Rebecca began working for John J. Smith Masonry in July of 2013, but it has been a part of her life since she was a child. Her grandfather is John J. Smith Sr. and some of her favorite memories were going to visit him at the office. Her grandfather, John Sr., and father, John J. Smith, instilled a strong work ethic and pride in the masonry industry in Rebecca and she is honored to be a part of the trade that she grew up with. She received her Bachelor's degree in Social Science from Drury University and worked at The Face & The Body Spa and Gymboree before working full time with John J. Smith Masonry. When not at work Rebecca enjoys going to baseball games, concerts, movies, walking her dog and spending lots of time together with her family.

Marilyn Haberl - Payroll & Accounts Payable

Marilyn was hired at John J. Smith Masonry in September of 2002 and has worked in Payroll and Accounts Payable since then while helping with other office duties as needed. She moved here from Southern Illinois and earned a degree in Business – Emphasis in Accounting from Maryville University by attending evening and weekend classes. Outside of work Marilyn enjoys crafting embroidered towels which she sells at various craft shows around town. She also has an entire room dedicated to sewing and crafting on her home. Beyond this, she also enjoys taking her Boxer for a walk or going on bicycle rides.

Ruth Vogelpohl - Administrative Assistant

Ruth began at John J. Smith Masonry in September of 2012 and handles the daily administrative functions of the office such as reception and organizing job files. She has an Associate's degree in Business from Meramec Community College, Certifications from the Institute of Financial Educations, and a Certificate in Graphic Arts from South County Technical High School. Ruth enjoys spending time with her family, friends and two Dobermans, Zeus and Hera, when not at work. She also loves being outdoors, going to the lake, cooking, reading, attending concerts and is a huge hockey fan.



The Field

Brian Smith - Field Operations

Brian began his career with John J. Smith in 1993 as a yard laborer organizing the storage yard and delivering equipment and material to the job sites. As a 5th generation stone mason Brian began his bricklayer apprenticeship in 2002 and by 2006 was a journeyman. By 2008 he was a foreman and then became Field Operations in 2013 where he continues to oversee manpower, equipment, and scheduling needs for all projects for John J. Smith Masonry. During his time with the company Brian has received several awards and certifications including 30-hr OSHA Safety, Swing Stage Training, Aerial Lifts, Grout Certification Course and others. In his free time Brian enjoys coaching his children during their sporting activities and spending time with his wife and extended family.

Bill Guidicy - Project Superintendent

Bill started with John J. Smith Masonry in March of 1998, and during his tenure he has assisted in completing several complicated jobs and projects always finding something new. During his 37 years in masonry, Bill has acquired several awards and certifications including 30­hr OSHA safety, rigging & hand signaling qualification, man lift training and a merit in craftsmanship for the Laclede & Sarah project. When not working on the job site he enjoys fishing with his kids and playing golf.


Steve Stark - Project Superintendent

Steve was hired by John J. Smith Masonry in April of 1986 after working on several masonry projects in Texas from 1981-­1985. He has been a foreman for John J. Smith Masonry for 27 years during which he has worked on the Potosi Prison, St. Louis University – John Cook School of Business, and the Plaza in Clayton. He has been the Chairman of the Safety Committee for 3 years and also has the following awards and Certifications: 30­hr OSHA Safety, Rigging & Hand Signaling Qualification, Grout Certification Course, Design Award for Pershing Elementary – U City Schools and many others. Stephen is a St. Louis Blues hockey fan and enjoys the outdoors including fishing and camping.

David Tarter - Project Superintendent

Dave started his career with John J. Smith Masonry in May of 1987 as a bricklayer, moving into the role of foreman a few years later. He had spent 6 years in residential bricklaying before coming to the company. David enjoys working on stone projects, and is very proud of both the Eden Seminary Towers restoration, and of his own home, which was built in 1990 and which he is still making additions and renovations to. Dave received Excellence in Masonry awards in 1999 for Washington University Brown Hall, as well as in 2006 for Schneithorst Center. He also holds certifications for: 30-Hour OSHA Safety, Dunlop Mastclimbers & Hydro Mobile Scaffolding, Rigging & Hand Signaling Qualification, Swing Stage Training, Aerial Lifts, Grout Certification, Man Lift Training, and he is a Certified Welder. In his free time, Dave enjoys his horses - he owns both Quarter horses and Paint horses - as well as hunting, and spending time outside with his family.

Chris Nyland - Foreman Bricklayer

Chris' first project with John J. Smith Masonry was in February 1985 on the One City Center project, a 25 story granite building with large amounts of granite site work. Chris excels at supervising such projects and has worked on several other sites such as Truman University and Westin Hotel. Chris has received several awards and certifications including the Rigging & Hand Signaling Qualification, Certified Welder, Man Lift Training and 30 Hr OSHA Safety.


Tim Kaikkonen - Foreman Bricklayer

Tim has spent his entire career with John J. Smith Masonry beginning in March of 1999 as an apprentice bricklayer. Over the past 15 years, he has worked on gaining as much knowledge and experience as he could in order to become a foreman. He has the following awards and certifications: 30­hr OSHA Safety, Man Lift Training, Aerial Lifts, Grout Certification Course as well as many others. He is particularly proud of the Washington University – Olin Business School project. Outside of work he likes to spend time with his family and coaching his son's baseball team.

Gary Ritter - Foreman Bricklayer

Gary Ritter started his career as a mason with his father's company after high school. In 1987, he came to John J. Smith Masonry, learning as much as he could. He transitioned to become a foreman bricklayer in 1995. Gary runs many of the brick and block projects for John J. Smith Masonry, and has received the following awards and certifications: 10hr OSHA Safety, Rigging and Hand Signaling Qualification, Man Lift Training, Swing Stage Training, Dunlop Mastclimbers & Hydro Mobile Scaffolding, Aerial Lifts, Grout Certification Course, 1999 Masonry Institute of St. Louis, Excellence Honorable Mention - Mary Institute Country Day - Olsen Hall. He is most proud of the work he completed on Council Towers. In his free time, Gary enjoys riding on his motorcycle, and working on his cattle farm. 

Randy Dickson - Foreman Bricklayer

Randy began his career in 1978 in Southern Illinois with Tom McGowan & Company putting in three years there. The next five were spent in Tulsa Oklahoma with H&S Masonry before relocating to St. Louis and starting his tenure with John J. Smith Masonry in 1987. During this time he has been able to build good working relationships with the company's employees as well as many of the general contractors' employees. Randy has received the following awards and certifications: 30­hr OSHA Safety, Man Lift Training, Aerial Lifts, Grout Certification Course as well as many others. He is quite proud of having worked on the Covenant Theological Seminary, Robinson Elementary and the Anheuser Busch Control Center Building. When not at work Randy enjoys hunting, fishing, hockey, football, and baseball.

Mike Eddings - Foreman Bricklayer

Mike started doing masonry work in the fall of 1979 for a family owned business under his father. After putting in 19 years of good work he moved to John J. Smith Masonry where he helped with the Bonne Terre Prison. Since then he has assisted in various jobs including the Washington University projects which he takes special pride in. During his time with John J. Smith Masonry he has obtained several awards and certifications including 30-hr OSHA Safety, Man Lift Training, Aerial Lifts and Grout Certification Course. When not on the jobsite, Mike enjoys fishing, hunting, spending time on his farm and playing with his 3 grandchildren.

Drew Gonz - Foreman Bricklayer

Drew began masonry in 1985 with Hand B Masonry and completed his apprenticeship there. He then transferred to Ste. Genevieve Building Stone in 1990 and came to work for John J. Smith Masonry in 1994 where he has advanced to the Foreman level. He has received the 30­hr OSHA Safety, Grout Certification Course, Stack Frame & System Scaffold, Swing Stage Training and Aerial Lifts among others. When Drew isn't at work he enjoys being outdoors such as hunting, fishing and camping.

David Heavin - Foreman Bricklayer

David has been a bricklayer for his entire career, starting in 1982, and began working for John Spencer in 1984. He stayed with Spencer until 2010 when he was hired at John J. Smith Masonry bringing with him 26 years of experience. He is most proud of Castlio Elementary School Addition and has obtained the 10­hr OSHA Safety and Dunlop Mastclimbers & Hydro Mobile Scaffolding certifications as well as others. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, gigging and camping. But most of all he loves spending time with his family, especially his grand­babies.

To contact, please call the office. 


Aaron Forck - Foreman Bricklayer

Aaron has been with John J. Smith Masonry since May of 2004. Working in Columbia Missouri and the surrounding areas, he has continued a tradition of masonry that runs deep in his family history, starting with his great grandfather. Starting at a young age, Aaron worked for his grandfather and Frank Ruestemeyer before joining the union in 2001. During his time as a mason, Aaron has received several certifications including 30­hr OSHA safety, swing stage training, competent person training, welding certification and several others. When not working with projects that use unique materials Aaron enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing and working on his vehicles.

To contact, please call the office. 

Keith “Petey” McClung - Equipment Operator / Truck Driver

Son-­in-­law of Alan Turner, a retiree of John J. Smith Masonry, Keith began his career as a laborer. After 8 years he was moved to his current position where his duties include operating all equipment such as cranes, truck cranes, lull and scaffold. He also delivers equipment to job sites and runs the crane to assist in stocking the scaffolding. He has the following awards, certifications and licenses: CDL – Class A License, 10­hr OSHA Safety, CCO (small & large hydraulic cranes) and Telescopic Fork Lift. In his spare time Keith enjoys riding 4 ­wheelers with his two children and hunting and fishing with Alan.

Jim Mennemeyer - Operator /Mechanic 

Jim started working for John J. Smith Masonry right out of high school as a mechanic in August of 1989. He worked on all equipment used on jobs including grout pumps, mortar mixers, delivery trucks, lulls, cranes and scaffold. In 1994 Jim joined the Operators union and became an equipment operator on projects requiring the cranes and lulls as needed. He has received the Dunlop Mastclimber Certified Installer & Trainer, 10-hr OSHA Safety, CCO (small & large hydraulic cranes) and Telescopic Forklift certifications. When not at work Jim enjoys spending time with his family going fishing and floating various Missouri rivers. He also has a 1950 Chevy Pickup that he enters into car show events and car show competitions.


Jon Sutterer - Brick Cleaner

As a Brick Cleaner, Jon is responsible for cleaning the masonry work post installation and sealing joints as needed. He works on every project that John J. Smith Masonry does due to his position and says that this is exciting and challenging since each project differs from the one before. Jon is most proud of the St. Louis University – Chaifetz Arena project and has received the 10­hr OSHA Safety, Man Lift Training and Swing Stage Training. In his free time he enjoys camping, fishing and hunting.