Neumann is happy to announce three new Project Engineers who joined our team in late summer of 2021. Scroll down for details about each of our new team members!
Project Engineer James McNaughton 7/7/2021
Neumann is excited to welcome back James McNaughton. James has been involved with Neumann for the past couple of years through our summer internship and co-op programs and now is joining us full time as a Project Engineer!
James was born and raised in Nebraska and moved to Iowa in middle school. He loved playing with Legos and knew he wanted to build things when he got older. When James attended high school, he participated in the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Mentorship program, led by Neumann’s Josh Braby and Mark Thompson. During his mentorship, James decided he wanted to pursue a career that involved all three types of engineering–civil, electrical, and structural.
After high school, he attended Iowa State University to pursue a degree in Construction Engineering. James was involved with Neumann through both co-op and internships, helping him prepare for his role as a Project Engineer by learning how to use new technologies and tools, prioritizing time management, and improve his communication skills.
When asked about his favorite project he’s worked on so far, James doesn’t hesitate to answer: the ISU Sports Performance Center. “It’s a project I get to drive by every day and say, ‘I helped build that,’” James reflects. “Plus, I like football, so seeing the athletes get excited about using the space is fulfilling, and another reason why I love this field of work.”
James is excited to continue his professional career with Neumann. He shares that he’d like to look back on his career one day and leave a legacy with his relationships. “My relationships with the office and the field teams are important,” James says. “I love working with everyone and building relationships with them while we work together as a team on projects.” He is also looking forward to getting involved with Master Builders of Iowa (MBI) and the ACE Mentorship program to work with students and help them grow like Josh and Mark helped James in high school.
In addition to getting involved with MBI and ACE, James also spends a lot of time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. With Neumann’s VTO policy, he will be able to continue working with the local Habitat chapter.
James lives in Des Moines with his girlfriend and their pet cat, Uno. When James isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and hiking outdoors. They recently completed a bucket list vacation to Estes Park, Colorado, for a hiking trip!
We are proud to have James as part of the Neumann team and are looking forward to watching him continue achieving his goals and finding success. Welcome, James!
Fast Facts about James:
Favorite Food: Buffalo chicken
Favorite Football Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Favorite Animal: Turtles (he’s a TMNT fan!)
Favorite Color: Red
Bucket List Trip: Hiking in Estes Park–check. Next up, hiking all over the country!
Fun Fact: Still loves to build with Legos. He has a model version of ISU’s Jack Trice Stadium!
Project Engineer Jose Caro 7/15/2021
Neumann Brothers is pleased to welcome our newest Project Engineer, Jose Caro! Jose has multiple years of experience, and when the opportunity to work with Neumann opened, he knew it was the perfect fit!
Growing up, Jose’s father was an experienced foreman. This exposure to the industry laid the groundwork for Jose’s future career in construction, beginning with his first job finishing drywall with his dad at 14. Jose enjoyed playing rugby during high school and was coached by Neumann’s Project Manager, Mark Thompson. He continued playing rugby throughout his college career but has since retired to spectator status.
In 2017, Jose graduated from Iowa State University with his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Despite the challenges of finding a job as a DACA Dreamer, Jose landed an internship with a company in Portland, Oregon, after graduation. He moved to the coast that summer, where he was soon promoted to a full-time employee. After a couple of years, Jose wanted to return to Iowa to be closer to his family. He reconnected with an old friend and classmate, Neumann Project Engineer Kingsley Jewett, who introduced him to our team. We are happy to announce that this summer, via our Employee Referral Program, Jose joined our Neumann team as a Project Engineer.
Jose’s favorite project at Neumann is the Iowa State University Sports Performance Center. “The sense of reward that comes with seeing something tangible that you helped build is my favorite part of my job,” Jose says. “The final results are the best part. And the Sports Performance Center is awesome!”
When Jose isn’t working, he enjoys spending his time building amazing furniture in his garage. “I’m a super hands-on person,” Jose shares. “I recently built an outdoor fire table and a dining room table.” Check out this craftsmanship!
Neumann is proud to have Jose on our team, and we are looking forward to seeing him accomplish great things. Welcome, Jose!
Fast Facts about Jose:
Cyclone or Hawkeye fan? Cyclones! And favorite pro team is the Browns
What did you want to be growing up? A military pilot
Fun Fact: Jose is colorblind (which is why he was unable to be a military pilot)
Bonus Fun Fact: Jose is pursuing his private pilot’s license!
Hobbies: Likes motorcycles, big into houseplants, enjoys reading, and anything Marvel!
Project Engineer Pierce Gelhaus 8/4/2021
Neumann Brothers is pleased to re-introduce Pierce Gelhaus! Pierce has been with Neumann for over three years as an engineering intern, field intern, and completed his Neumann co-op experience in 2018. After his college graduation in May of 2021, he joined our team as a full-time Project Engineer.
Pierce first became interested in construction in high school. He transformed an old chicken coop on his parent’s acreage into a mancave for him and his friends to hang out. Pierce reused old barn wood, insulated the building, installed electrical, laid carpet, and outfitted the mancave with a television, couches, and a pool table! “That was my first taste of construction,” he shares, “I was 16 years old.” A few years later, the mancave burned down, but that didn’t discourage Pierce. “I rebuilt the entire thing–and made it bigger and better!”
Pierce continued to be involved in construction throughout high school, working for contractors to pour concrete, frame buildings, shingle roofs, and remodel residential spaces. “I enjoyed the work probably more than most people would,” he says. “I found myself learning more and more about the different fields of construction and didn’t want to stop.”
Pierce attended Iowa State University and graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering degree in 2021. During college, he completed two summer internships and one co-op with Neumann. “My internships with Neumann gave me the complete experience of what my career in construction could look like,” Pierce shares. “With every phase, from bidding to closeout, I learned what needs to be done to complete a project. Working in both the office and the field helped you understand everything it takes for a team to complete a project.” He also worked closely with Mark Thompson, Project Manager, during his internships and co-op. “Mark has an impressive level of experience that was extremely beneficial to learn from.”
When Pierce graduated college, he knew he wanted to continue working for Neumann. “They treated me like a full-time member of the team,” Pierce says. “They didn’t assign menial ‘intern’ tasks. They allowed me to grow by taking on responsibilities and working the entire project with the team.” He also had the desire to stay local because he enjoyed living and working in central Iowa. When asked what he likes most about working at Neumann, Pierce reflects, “Watching the building develop over time and solving problems along the way. And knowing that you’re part of a team that’s working together to build something.”
Outside of his career in the construction industry, Pierce enjoys staying active and being outdoors with his friends and family. He enjoys playing in a summer sand volleyball league with his girlfriend and boating at Okoboji and Saylorville Lake.
Pierce has been a valuable member of our Neumann team, and we are proud he’s continuing his career with us. We are looking forward to watching him advance and leave behind a legacy of success!
Fast Facts about Pierce:
Cyclone or Hawkeye fan? Cyclone! (His favorite construction project is the Iowa State Performance Center)
Bucket list trip: Explore Europe & Australia
Favorite golf course? Honey Creek
Fun fact: Loves to dance
What kind of dance music? Country, pop, hip hop–everything!
Favorite subject growing up: Drawing in art class