Lerch Bates Inc. Building Insight

Global Leaders in Technical Consulting for the Building Industry

Lerch Bates Appoints William Bowden Project Manager

Bowden to Provide Vertical Transportation Analysis and Design


Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, announced William Bowden has joined the company in its Dallas office as project manager. In his new role, Bowden will manage vertical transportation system studies, perform vertical maintenance evaluations, design and oversee construction services for vertical transportation equipment and support design and construction services for façade access and materials management handling systems.

“William Bowden has more than 15 years of experience in elevator and escalator modernization sales and project management,” said Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan. “He has a proven track record of growing modernization business volume and providing exceptional customer service year after year. As the oldest and largest vertical transportation consulting firm in the world, Lerch Bates is excited to have him join our Dallas based team.”

Prior to joining Lerch Bates, Bowden served as a service account manager for Schindler Elevator Corporation, one of the leading global manufacturers of elevators, escalators and moving walks. He also worked as a modernization sales account manager for Amtech Elevator Services as well as a service/modernization superintendent and construction/modernization superintendent for KONE, Inc.

Bowden earned a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Houston-Downtown.

Lerch Bates Appoints Dean Herbstreit Project Manager

Herbstreit Manages Logistics Consulting Services to Global Healthcare Construction Market

Dean Herbstreit has joined Lerch Bates’ Richmond, Va. office as a project manager of the international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management.

In his new role, Herbstreit provides technical consulting services to architects on material handling systems as well as collaborates on materials management, elevator and façade access consulting services. He manages automated logistics solutions for the healthcare industry through the application of various automated material distribution systems. Herbstreit also consults on the development of process improvement programs for healthcare facilities through the application of automated solutions.

“Dean Herbstreit joins Lerch Bates with more than 16 years of healthcare automated logistics experience,” said Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan. “His superior expertise in providing logistics services to the global healthcare construction market is a welcomed addition to the logistics team of Lerch Bates. We are pleased that he joins our Mid-Atlantic Region with the talent and experience needed to ensure our firm continues to provide unmatched logistics solutions for the healthcare industry.”

Prior to joining Lerch Bates, Herbstreit served as a sales executive for Pevco where he provided consultation and sales services for the application of healthcare pneumatic tube systems. He has also worked as an automated logistics solutions consultant for Swisslog, providing consulting and sales services for the application of automated material distribution systems within healthcare facilities, as well as a national customer service sales manager and regional account manager for the firm.

Herbstreit studied communications at Regis University in Denver, Colo.

Lerch Bates Appoints Craig Sawvel Project Manager

Sawvel Joins the Firm with 30 Years of Experience in Project Management

Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, announced Craig Sawvel, PMP, has joined the company in its metropolitan Denver headquarters as project manager. In his new role, Sawvel will provide materials management technical consulting services to architects, developers and property owners around the world as well as collaborate on vertical transportation and façade access consulting services.

“Craig Sawvel is an established and respected project manager with decades of experience in the field of materials management,” said Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan. “We are very pleased to announce his appointment to the firm as we continue to increase our presence around the globe and be a part of the world’s largest and most unique construction projects.”

Prior to joining Lerch Bates, Sawvel worked for Swisslog, a global provider of integrated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers and hospitals, for 22 years. He most recently served as a project manager for Swisslog’s Automated Drug Management Systems (ADMS) business unit for nearly nine years and focused on hospital pharmacy austomation in the United States and Canada. Sawvel began his career in architecture as a facilities planner at Texas Christian University.

Sawvel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington and has earned a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

“Mentoring” is a Perspective

Have you thought about what Mentoring means to you….or to her….or to me?

We each have different views and positions on what mentoring should be or involve. To some people Mentoring means a thought-leader or innovator will teach and pass down ideas, arguments, or life-lessons to a junior associate, perhaps younger, perhaps more novice in a job, and perhaps one that is open to receiving the lessons learned. Sometimes Mentoring means that a formal relationship must exist between a Mentor and a Mentee (Protégé) such as a structured program, structured sessions to convey the knowledge, or recognize formal titles between two or more people that participate in the Mentoring.

Whichever definitions or perspectives you accept as Mentoring, then let’s be fair and recognize that Mentoring means different things to different people. For the sake of this article we’ll assume that Mentoring should be a relationship (formal or informal, stated or unstated) between two individuals where one person conveys beliefs that another person accepts as true for the benefit of both persons involved.

Case in point:

I am the IT Manager for my employer, Lerch Bates Inc. I regularly seek out insights and observations from others in the firm with regards to positions on topics, business ideas, entrepreneurial tactics to become more successful, and how to continue the surge forward in our industry as the Global Leaders for Technical Consulting in the Building Industry.

As a new hire in 2010 I remember asking the then Vice President of Operations what he thought about the nine ideas that I spent lots of time crafting and writing in emails. These nine ideas came over a series of nine months and typically consumed my brain while running after work on the trail systems throughout Denver. After several email and in-person responses he gently made it clear to me that he decided he was not the right person for me to lean on as a Mentor. Several months later I approached my Supervisor, John Arther, and this time I asked for a more formal relationship by way of stating, “If you’re open to the idea, then I’d like for you to mentor me.”

John accepted the role as Mentor in the Mentoring relationship aside from Supervisor – Associate role we already had. However, I was not prepared for a different [unstructured] perspective that I would create and have to adjust to. I’ve found that this Mentoring relationship is built on my own perceptions of lessons that I create or take-away from situations and not so much a sit-down and listen Mentoring relationship.

John likes to run. He runs far and he runs fast (sub 7:30/mile pace for 4-6 miles daily). I like to try to keep up with my Supervisor and Mentor – partly because he has a decade on me in age and I am supposed to be faster according to my own understanding of adult male stamina statistics; partly because I have a complex where I must be better than my boss. The truth is I cannot keep up with him.

Here are three recent Mentoring lessons where my perception of the situation helped me to see a lesson that he taught – whether stated or unstated, formal or informal.

Run 1: Ninety degrees at 5,900 feet of altitude on a groomed trail. We run at 8:10/mile pace and John doesn’t appear to start the six mile run gently. Furthermore, he asks question after question expecting answers that are not short, quick answers. Each answer takes roughly a quarter mile to answer and my breathing gets heavy quickly. This questioning continues until the fifth mile when I ask John to stop talking. John sprints to the finish one mile ahead and I walk the remaining mile exhausted. Upon my return John asks if I am okay. After a few minutes of gasping for air the conversation turns towards a large project that will get underway at work that involves migrating from one Accounting system to another. The project will take 18 months in total and cost the company a lot of money. He needs a leader; someone that can keep up, press hard, talk comfortably, and sprint to the finish line when it means the most. I put two and two together and correlate the run to the project. The Mentoring lesson was conveyed loud-and-clear; I was going to be his project manager and he needed me to sprint to the end of the project and not give up when it counted most.

Run 2: Eighty degrees at 2,000 feet of altitude on an ungroomed trail through backcountry. We run at 8:00/mile pace and John leads us through a raging creek (six times we crossed it), boulders used as a trail, cactuses, scat of unknown origin, and steep elevation climb. At the top of the run, he stops and says, Look at the beauty right in front of you!” We snapped photos of each other – and then we darted back down the ungroomed trail as quickly as we climbed it before the sun peeked behind the canyon walls. The conversation at the trailhead parking lot revolved around our company, recent successes of the past year and the associated bonuses that we received, and our healthy families and lives that we live. I drove back to the resort the company leaders were staying at and thought to myself “Beauty is right in front of me isn’t it. I work for a great employer – I have strong friendships and relationships at work – and I get paid well for my hard work.

Run 3: Seventy-five degrees at 10 feet above sea level of altitude on pavement at the resort we were having our Annual Conference. I ran at 5:00am to get the coolest temperatures possible and ran fairly quickly for a short three mile run. On the way back to my room at 5:30am, a man darts around the corner and surprises me. The light is so dark that I cannot see his face but his gait coming at me appears to be that of my Supervisor. I mumble out, “Enjoy your run” hoping to hear his voice so I can identify the runner. He responds, “Let’s go Chad!” I follow his lead and at each turn we constantly run into each other’s arms as I am clearly not paying attention to where we are going – I think left and he turns right and vice versa for four miles. After running past a mailbox for the third time and recognizing the parked car in the driveway I ask, “didn’t we just pass this house?” John continues talking about the conversation that we were having before my question and we continue running in circles as far as I can tell. After 30 minutes I am tired and tell John to go on without me and that I’ll meet him back at the resort. John sprints away. I think to myself that I do not know how to get back “home.” “Wait!” I have to sprint to catch up and realize that John is my compass for this run – and then I realize that John is my compass for my career at Lerch Bates Inc. too. Sometimes he guides me by listening, sometimes he guides me by running into me, and sometimes he is just John.

I don’t think John sets out to teach me lessons during our runs together. However, it does seem odd that at the end of each run something significant is conveyed to me. Perhaps the perspectives I hold are those that I create. Perhaps Mentoring is not so much what a Mentor teaches a Protégé in a formal stated environment but rather teaching moments are those perspectives that the Protégé takes away from time spent with a Mentor in different settings and situations.