A Catalyst in Name and Deed

By Todd Granato, President – Webber Commercial Division

When Darren Sloniger, the Chief Investment Officer and President of Marquette Properties of Chicago looked at downtown Houston, he saw a cityscape rife with opportunity. “People want to live in a walkable area, close to entertainment, restaurants, bars and work,” Sloniger said.

He was quick to point out that downtown Houston provides much of that but is barren of residential property to serve those who crave living in the middle of it all. He was struck by an idea that he hopes serves as a catalyst to transform Downtown Houston into the number one submarket in America’s fourth largest city.

Catalyst, downtown Houston’s first high rise residential tower, brings that vision to fruition. Already iconic, it overlooks Minute Maid Park and catches the eyes of those who meander past while commuting, on their way to a ball game, or a night on the town. The journey from an idea to a standing structure, however, is seldom an easy one. Unforeseen obstacles, setbacks, and other challenges often present themselves along the way providing all parties involved the opportunity to learn, develop, and improve. Building Catalyst was no exception.

Catalyst Residential Tower in downtown Houston.

Marquette’s decision to contract Webber to construct Houston’s first downtown living spaces proved an auspicious one. The issues and obstacles that presented themselves along the way may have been too much for a company with fewer capabilities to overcome sinking not only the project, but the company itself. Fortunately, Webber has a phalanx of resources which includes experts, financial and material resources, and perhaps most important, relationships with the City of Houston.

One of our lessons learned was to have our team involved in the permitting process from the start. That expertise and knowledge of the ins and outs of building in Houston could have consolidated the permitting process and expedited multi-story buildouts. Webber was later able to dedicate a team member to working with Jody Foster, the head of the Houston Structures Department. Foster said, “We’re here to help you be successful with the project and provide a beautiful skyline.”

Catalyst Residential Tower in downtown Houston.

We also ran into serious delays being hit with three significant storms, one while we were coming out of the ground, and of course Harvey which slammed into Houston when we were about 85 percent finished. That added to the scheduling woes which we were able to overcome with sheer brute force and having the financial resources to allow it.

With our four divisions, Webber is now a full-service infrastructure company; there’s not much we can’t handle. That doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges, but we work as a team and rise to meet them. We love doing what we do. We love building. Digging a hole in the ground and coming out of it and seeing it 10 years on and saying to yourself ‘We did that’ is why we got into this. When you have an owner and an architect tell you it’s exactly what they envisioned when they drew it up, well, it doesn’t get any better in our business.


Catalyst was recently awarded ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2018 Best Residential Project Award.


Todd Granato, President – Webber Commercial Division

About Todd Granato

Todd has 30 years of industry experience across the U.S., with a keen understanding of the construction industry and a passion for building strong relationships with his clients and within the community he serves.

Todd leads the company’s strategy and operations, including client relationships, project management, field operations and support services. Todd began his career in operations, where he led projects from $1 million to more than $100 million. He holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from the University of Florida and he earned his Bachelor of Science in Construction Science from the University of Oklahoma.

Well-known and respected in the Houston AEC community, he serves on the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Paint Horse Committee and is a member of the Katy Economic Development Council, Katy ISD Bond Committee, Houston ISD Foundation and the Texas Tech Advisory Board for Construction Engineering.

Webber Regional Vice President Wins ENR’s Young Professional Award

Houston, February 23, 2018 – Engineering News-Record (ENR) recently announced Josh Goyne, Regional Vice President of North and South Texas for the Webber Heavy Civil business line, as a winner of the 2018 Top Young Professionals program. This regional program (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi) honors outstanding young construction and design professionals.

This is an excerpt taken from an ENR article. Click here to read the article about Josh and The Top Young Professionals in its entirety on the ENR site.

The select group is made up of 20 honorees under 40 who represent the industry’s top rising leaders that also give back to their industry and communities. The judges assess the nominees by their industry experience and education, career and industry leadership and community service.

Goyne embodies all the characteristics of the judging criteria. He is a dedicated Regional Vice President, mentor, knowledgeable resource and, most importantly, a leader that is always pushing Webber’s interests forward. He has represented Webber well through his involvement in the Texas AGC organization and the Regional Black Contractors Association, where Webber won the prestigious Contractor of the Year Award for 2017, thanks in part to his ongoing work in North Texas.

Goyne also works to develop Webber’s next generation of project managers through the outstanding internship program, which has brought many of Webber’s leaders up through the ranks for more than a decade. Goyne values the importance of continuing education and has completed many diverse executive classes within Ferrovial’s University program, including the Global Management Program, which provides the student with a more worldly point of view towards management.

Josh Goyne, Regional Vice President of North and South Texas for the Webber Heavy Civil business line, as a winner of the 2018 Top Young Professionals program
Josh Goyne, Regional VP of North and South TX for Webber Heavy Civil.

In addition to being a dedicated leader, Goyne is passionate about serving his community. He has served as the Amarillo/Lubbock Area Highway co-chair for AGC Texas. Recently, members selected Goyne as the Fort Worth Area Highway Vice Chairman for the Texas AGC. He has also been a member of DBIA for the past three years and is in the process of obtaining his DBIA certification.

Although Goyne spends a lot of time traveling for work, when he is home in Dallas he spends his time with his wife and two young children. The weekends are filled with family events, soccer games and occasional date nights. His work/life balance is achieved by working during office hours and unplugging from all devices during family time. Goyne also supports the local schools in his area. He joined the Fathers of Lakewood organization which provides learning activities for elementary-age children and facilitates fundraising events to provide financial aid for repairs and updating at the local schools.

Goyne celebrates five years with Webber this month and will be featured in ENR’s February issue.

Please join us in congratulating Josh on this distinguished industry award!

About Webber, LLC

Founded in 1963, Webber is a leading heavy civil, commercial and waterworks construction company and material producer dedicated to safely providing intelligent solutions to its clients and community. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Ferrovial S.A., an international company based in Madrid, Spain, Webber has access to a global network of skilled engineers, best-in-class technology and vast resources. Webber is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and has been rated by Engineering News-Record as one of the largest transportation contractors in the Texas/Louisiana region.

For more information on Webber, please visit www.wwebber.com.

Webber Builds Value

Mitch Beckman as a keynote speaker for McCombs Business School, Austin, TX

As a leader in our industry, Webber was invited to participate in the “Building Value in the Construction Industry” program last month, hosted by McCombs Business School in partnership with INCAE, one of the most prestigious business schools in Latin America.

The twelve participants attending this module were Executives with leading construction companies in Latin America, coming from several countries including Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras or El Salvador.
Mitch Beckman, VP of Human Resources with Webber, joined in a fireside chat conducted by Gaylen Paulson, Associate Dean of the Texas Executive Education at McCombs, where he spoke at great length about creating value and delivering desired results in this market.

Mitch explained how construction success is both an art and a science; it is a function of thorough and careful pre-planning, alignment of all parties, progress and costs monitoring, engaging with stakeholders and managing through change. Together with the students, they examined the main challenges facing the construction industry and latest solutions.

Mitch was well received, and looks forward to participating in the program again in the future.

Willie Malone Honored for 50th Anniversary with Webber

When Willie Malone first started working for Champagne-Webber as a laborer in August of 1966, he had never seen concrete before. However, by the end of that year, he was setting concrete forms. At that time, the company only owned two pickup trucks and rented a backhoe to assist in the construction of a mobile home park in Michigan.

Looking back, Willie has many fond memories of the company and has experienced its huge growth firsthand. “When I first joined, Mr. Webber was an operator at the time,” said Willie. “He was very firm, but I looked to him as a father figure since I was on my own after leaving my family’s farm in Mississippi.”

Willie moved with the company to Texas in 1980, accepting a promotion in order to better himself.

Today, Willie is a foreman managing the paving portions of many projects across South Texas and considered a concrete expert.

After 50 years – all accident-free – what has kept him at Webber all this time? Willie smiles, “Webber has always treated me well.”

Thank you, Willie for your 50 years of service!

Webber's Annual Meeting

Webber’s Annual Meeting Highlights

Webber’s 2016 Annual Meeting was held April 13-15 at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center; this year’s theme was EXCELLENCE – Empower, Engage, Execute. The event took place only a week after the acquisition of Pepper Lawson and employees from all divisions of Webber gathered together for the first time, learning about the exciting direction of the Company.

Crewmembers had the opportunity to hear from our senior leadership and executive team on topics ranging from the overall status of the business, to more specific conversations around projects and best practices. The key takeaway from this year’s event was an emphasis on ‘striving for excellence’ and we believe excellence is about performance.


Over the last few years, Webber has made substantial investments in our crewmembers and diversified the markets in which we serve, and as a result, we’ve made great strides toward our goal of becoming the contractor and employer of choice within the region.  We want to empower and engage our people and foster a culture of pushing hard to make great things happen.

Excellence to me, personally, is that we’re constantly trying to achieve the unattainable, which is perfection. – José Carlos Esteban

Keynote Speaker, Mike Staver, was well-received. He is a high-energy speaker and author of  “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards.”  He was both entertaining and insightful and shared important aspects of leadership, certainty, and direction.

Annual Awards Presented:

Project of the Year >> UPRR – Sugarland to Stafford

Area Manager:  Troy Gjerde
Project Manager:  Thomas Arbuthnot
Project Engineer:  Matt Brangan
Superintendent:  Greg Kipe
Superintendent:  Victor Lopez
Safety:  Noe Maldonado

Safety Project of the Year < 100,000 HRS:  WSH – FM 1171 DENTON

Area Manager:  Felix Martin
Project Manager:  Mario Rosino
Project Engineer:  Paloma Fernandez
Superintendent:  Benny Husley
Field Engineer:  Caroline Garcia
Safety:  Michael Barefoot

Safety Project of the Year > 100,000 HRS: WSD – US 290 SEGMENT 6 

Area Manager:  Clark Hoppel
Project Manager:  Stuart Strasnicky
Project Engineer:  Lanny Thompson
Superintendent:  Ed Wallace
Superintendent:  Anthony White
Safety:  Pete Flores

Project Manager of the Year >> Thomas Arbuthnot

WSQ & WSF  Thomas Arbuthnot
WTV, WVQ, WVN  Mario Rosino
WSS The Colony  Mark Hutson

Team Player of the Year >> Rick Thomas

Superintendent NTR:  Jared Bosh
Safety NTR:  Michael Barefoot
Safety/ Compliance:  Rick Thomas
PM Utilities:  Andrew Jerome
Construction Tech STR:  Lauren Welch
Design Build Manager:  Richard Henderson

Office Professional of the Year >> Molly Rook

Corporate Legal:  Mario Menendez
WSH, WTU, WTS Admin:  Molly Rook
Utilities Support:  Laura French
STR Administration:  Jasmin Lopez


Unsung Hero Award >> Annie Hines


Project Engineer of the Year 2015 >>

WSH Denton  Paloma Fernandez
WSD US290 Segment 6  Lanny Thompson

WSH Denton  Paloma Fernandez
WSM Rockwall II  Adria Benages
WSD US 290 Segment 6  Lanny Thompson