St. Louis’ McCarthy Building Companies names new director of business development

Rowena Amelung

St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Rowena Amelung to the position of director of business development in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In this position, Amelung will continue to build relationships with potential clients and project partners while pursuing strategic project opportunities throughout the Midwest. Her focus is on McCarthy’s Advanced Technology and Manufacturing group, a growing market sector that encompasses pharmaceutical, food and beverage, consumer product, pet food, general manufacturing and lab facilities.

During her 13-year McCarthy career, Amelung has helped to expand the company’s geographic reach, develop the industrial division’s quality management program and connect women with construction career opportunities.

She originally joined McCarthy’s industrial division in 2007 as a field project engineer. In this role, she helped construct several complex projects, including the company’s first-ever ethanol plant; refineries for ConocoPhillips and BP; a power plant for Ameren Missouri; and a manufacturing building expansion for Boeing.

After earning a promotion to quality manager in 2011, Amelung developed and implemented a quality management program that continues to serve as the template for site-specific quality plans on all McCarthy industrial projects. She also helped to develop McCarthy’s in-house Project Tracker system, a database-driven tool that enables construction teams to monitor cost reports, materials and labor costs in real time so they can effectively manage projects from procurement through turnover.

In 2017, Amelung shifted her focus to business development so she could broaden her expertise and contribute to expanding McCarthy’s project footprint.

Amelung is an active participant in the McCarthy Partnership for Women, a national employee resource group that introduces young women to construction careers and provides resources and support for females within the company. She organized and emceed McCarthy’s first two internal conferences, which brought together more than 100 women nationwide with the senior leadership team to network and share personal and professional development opportunities.

She’s currently helping to lead McCarthy’s internal cultural imperative, which aims to sustain the company’s culture and create great experiences for everyone: employees, craft professionals, owners, design and trade partners, and the communities where everyone works and lives.

Amelung is also committed to introducing young people to the breadth of engineering and construction career opportunities available to them. This includes regularly speaking to middle school and high school students and participating in STEM-related activities where she can share her personal career success story with students evaluating potential career paths.  

She volunteers for a wide range of community organizations, including the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Open Door Animal Sanctuary, Camp Wyman, Women’s Safe House and St. Patrick’s Center. And her civic involvement includes membership in the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Illinois Leadership Council and Hawthorn Foundation, a statewide organization dedicated to developing a vibrant economy for Missouri.

Recognized as a “40 under 40” business and community leader by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2019, Amelung earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri–Columbia. She’s a board member of the St. Louis chapters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), as well as a member of the St. Louis Forum, which brings together successful female executives and professionals across the region.